Make Me Want by Rebecca Brooks – a Review

Make Me Want by Rebecca Brooks – a Review

 

Make Me WantAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM

Description:
Abbi Haas likes them big, bad, and out of her bed the next morning. So when a smoking hot firefighter shuts down a possessive ex by pretending to be her boyfriend, she’s happy to play along—and stay for the no-strings-attached sex under the stars. But her knight with bulging biceps had better not think she’s some damsel in distress. She’ll handle her ex like she does everything: on her own.
 
Wildland firefighter Tyler McCall is supposed to be taking a break from danger. First step to having fun: pick up a sexy stranger by pretending he’s her man. Too bad his fake girlfriend is also his new coworker…and their little white lie has already spread. Tyler knows he should walk away before he gets burned. But he can’t stay out of trouble, and there’s no way he’s letting her go.

 

Review:

Make Me Want begins with Tyler McCall showing up in Gold Mountain with one objective:  work with the Forestry Service on a fire break, finish the job and head out.  Before he heads to the house he’s rented, he stops in a local bar to have a drink, trying to stay one step ahead of what he’s running from.  It doesn’t take long for him to notice a guy in the bar giving one of the local girls a hard time, and being who he is, he intervenes on her behalf.  Abbi is more than grateful when he shows up, and if she were being honest, more than happy to go along with his ruse. 

It takes just a few minutes for Tyler and Abbi to head out and for thing to heat up between the two of them.  However, once Abbi learns of the reason for Tyler being in town, she can’t believe her luck….or lack thereof.  Abbi is a naturalist, and the one leading the charge to stop said fire break.  What are the chances?  Like moths drawn to a flame, they both find it hard to stay away from each other.  One thing they both know, if you get too close to the fire, someone is bound to get burned.

Make Me Want is a nicely written story, and can easily be read as a standalone.  Tyler is your typical hero:  hot with a healthy dose of savior complex.  His back story more than explains his savior complex, and will endear him to the reader.  Abbi surprised me a little.  Her back story is one that will leave your jaw hanging.  I think this may be the first romance that I’ve personally read that went there, and I still don’t know how I feel about it.  It does explain why she is a “need no one” type, but dang………  Anyway, I liked the two of them together and I loved the townsfolk and the secondary characters.  If you’re looking for a quick read with sizzling scenes and relatable characters, you won’t go wrong with this one.  Make Me Want is ultimately a story of forgiveness, redemption and love.  I liked it well enough that I’d like to go back and read the first two installments of this series.  Well done, Rebecca Brooks!

Reviewed by Vickie

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A Penny for Her Heart by Alretha Thomas – a Review

A Penny for Her Heart by Alretha Thomas – a Review

 

A Penny for her HeartAmazon

Description:
Vanessa Johnson Rossi’s dream is to work in the White House. Not as the leader of the free world, but as chief of staff, overseeing the executive office of the president. As an assistant working at Buderwood Hills City Hall, she finds herself getting closer to realizing her dream when a plum position becomes available that would put her a step closer working directly for the mayor who has personal connections to the White House. But Vanessa’s hopes are dashed when her best friend, Penelope Newhouse, lands the coveted job. However, when Vanessa discovers Penelope murdered less than a hundred feet from the office she dreamed of occupying, her disappointment turns into devastation. Detective Rachel Storme and her team are put on the case and she soon finds herself delving into the underbelly of politics in search of the killer. The clues point to a litany of suspects, including the mayor. As usual, Detective Storme is determined to solve this case—a case so chock-full of dark and sinister twists and turns, it has her questioning her own competence.

 

Review:

A Penny for Her Heart begins with Vanessa heading into work at the mayor’s office on what should have been her day off, but duty calls.  She arrives and heads to her best friend’s office.  She and Penelope (Penny) met in college and have been best friends ever since.  Once Vanessa enters Penny’s office, she notices almost immediately that things seem a bit off.  Penny is nowhere around, which leads Vanessa to check the bathroom.  Little did she know that once she set foot in that bathroom, her world would be changed forever.  She sees blood everywhere and someone in a stall, but is so distraught all she can do is run out screaming for the security guard on duty to summon the police. 

Rachel Storme is attending a cookout at Herb’s, who also happens to be her long-time partner at the police department.  When Herb gets the call that there’s been a murder at the mayor’s office, he and Rachel, along with co-workers Vincent and Carlos, who were also attending the get together, head out to the scene of the murder.  It doesn’t take Rachel long for that methodical mind of hers to start processing the scene and the people there.  She interviews Vanessa, who is understandably upset and ready to just go home.  Once finished, Vanessa heads out with the promise to call Rachel if anything of use comes to mind. 

As the investigation progresses, Vanessa soon realizes that Penny had a whole other side that she never knew about.  Lies are uncovered, hearts are broken and Vanessa finds herself questioning everything she thought she ever knew about her friendship with Penny.  While Rachel and her team dig up clues and try to tie together a motive, she knows that the longer it takes them, the chances of finding the killer get smaller.  Add to that the family issues Rachel has with her scattered and irresponsible aunt, along with her mother’s Alzheimer’s disease……….some days she just can’t catch a break.  The one thing that she excels doing?  Pulling together the pieces of evidence and listening to her gut.

A Penny for Her Heart is another wonderfully written book by Alretha Thomas.  As I’ve said before, all of the characters in Mrs. Thomas’s books are relatable, as well as believable.  While reading this particular one, more than any of the others, I found myself wrong so many times when I thought I’d figured out who the killer was.  The twists and turns kept me turning the pages, but Rachel Storme keeps me coming back to this series.  Her determination and drive, along with a big ol’ heart, is very endearing.  I’m starting to feel repetitive in my reviews of this series, but Rachel is truly one of the most believable and realistic characters I’ve read in a long time.  Anyone would feel lucky to have such a person in their lives.  If you’re a mystery fan, this one will not disappoint.  And, as always, I look forward to the next installment.  Well done, Alretha Thomas!  Very, very well done!

Reviewed by Vickie

Copy supplied for review

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The Duke Meets His Match by Tina Gabrielle – a Review

The Duke Meets His Match by Tina Gabrielle – a Review

 

The Duke Meets His MatchAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
The daughter of an infamous art forger, Chloe Somerton grew up poor. Desperate to aid her sisters, she’d picked a pocket…or two. Now circumstances have changed, and Chloe has a chance to marry a young, wealthy lord. Only his mentor—a dark, dangerous duke—stands in her way. The duke knows about her past, and she’ll do anything to keep him from telling.

The moment Michael Keswick, the Duke of Cameron, sees Chloe Somerton, he recognizes her as a fraud. The stunning beauty with sapphire eyes and golden hair now appears to be a proper lady, but he knows better. What begins as a battle of wills soon escalates into a fierce attraction. In Chloe, Michael finds peace from the memories of war, but he refuses to marry…and she won’t settle for anything less.

 

Review:

The Duke Meets His Match begins with Chloe attending a party with her sister, who is bound and determined to play matchmaker for Chloe.  Of course, Chloe had rather make her own match, but appreciates her sister’s interest….most of the time.  As Chloe sets her eyes on a handsome young Earl named Henry, she can’t help but notice Michael Keswick, the Duke of Cameron, who just happens to be Henry’s guardian.  Michael and Henry’s father were in the war together, and only Michael made it home.  Henry’s father took a bullet meant for Michael, which has caused Michael a great deal of guilt.  Once home, he has made it his mission to teach the young Henry about managing his estate and his affairs. 

Once Michael sees Chloe, he immediately recognizes her and knows that there is a shady past that Henry knows nothing about.  He attempts to warn Chloe away from Henry, and call her bluff (if you will).  What he does not expect is Chloe’s reaction.  As their mutual attraction grows, the Duke knows that he has indeed, met his match….

The Duke Meets His Match is a wonderfully written story that has relatable characters.  I love the Somertons, and Chloe is by far my favorite.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the other two books and their heroines, but I LOVED Chloe.  Determined to distance herself from her torturous past, she stands up for herself in a way that will endear herself to everyone who reads her story.  Michael was a bit of a surprise for me.  Yes, he started out as an antagonist whom I couldn’t see myself liking (at all!), only to turn out to be a multi-layered character that I fell in love with.  His reasons for saying he would never marry are actually valid ones, but Chloe being Chloe, makes him see reason.  She also makes him see that asking for help does not make you weak.  The Duke Meets His Match is ultimately a story about pushing past preconceived notions to truly see a person for whom they really are.  If you’re a fan of this genre, you will never go wrong with any of the Somertons’ stories, but this one will make you a true fan of the author.  Well done, Tina Gabrielle!  Very, very well done!

Reviewed by Vickie

Copy provided by Publisher

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Salazar’s One-Night Heir by Jennifer Hayward – Review & Giveaway

Salazar’s One-Night Heir  by Jennifer Hayward – Review & Giveaway

 

Salazar's One Night Heir

 

Salazar’s One-Night HeirAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
The challenge: take revenge for a decades-old injustice…

Tycoon Alejandro Salazar will take any opportunity to expose the Hargrove family’s crime against his–including accept the challenge to pose as their stable groom! His goal in sight, Alejandro cannot allow himself to be distracted by the gorgeous Hargrove heiress…

Her family must pay, yet Alejandro can’t resist innocent Cecily’s fiery passion. And when their one night of bliss results in an unexpected pregnancy, Alejandro will legitimize his heir and restore his family’s honor…by binding Cecily to him with a diamond ring!

 

Review:

Salazar’s One-Night Heir begins with Alejandro accepting a challenge from a friend:  survive two weeks without your money and your affluence.  Alejandro accepts the challenge and finds himself at the Hargrove family ranch as “Colt Banyon”, a lowly stable groom.  There is a history between the two families, one that left Alejandro’s beloved grandmother seeking revenge, and also puts Alejandro in the position to discover the truth and finally get justice.  The last thing he needs is to be intrigued by Cecily Hargrove’s presence. 

As Cecily tries to get herself, and her horse, back into top competing form, things aren’t going well.  To top it off, a new groom, Colt, is telling her she’s going about things all the wrong way.  She storms off, not believing the audacity that someone, especially a new groom, would ever challenge her.  What she can’t understand is why she can’t get that confrontation out of her mind…. She can’t afford any distractions, but as time passes, it becomes more than obvious that the attraction goes both ways.  They resist, but ultimately give into the passion firing between them.  After all, what can one night hurt……………..

Salazar’s One-Night Heir is another nicely written story by Jennifer Hayward.  Cecily is a character who is independent, and at the same time, needful.  Once you learn more about her mother and her past, your heart will ache for her.  Alejandro is, in a word, delicious.  His love and devotion to his grandmother will endear him to everyone.  However, it is his fierce protectiveness that develops for Cecily that will pull you in.  If you’re looking for a quick and fun read with well developed characters and a hot romance, you’ll not go wrong with this latest installment from Jennifer Hayward.  Well done, Jennifer Hayward!  Very well done!

Reviewed by Vickie

Copy supplied for review

 

 

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How to Ruin your Reputation in Ten Days by Harmony Williams – a Review

How to Ruin your Reputation in Ten Days by Harmony Williams – a Review

 

How to Ruin Your Reputation in 10 DaysAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
In 1814 London, England, a lady is defined as a demure, delicate flower. Miss Francine Annesley is not that lady. If men were like plants, she would have a garden of admirers to choose from instead of the thorn in her side since childhood, Julian Beckwith. But she would make an even worse nun than she does a lady, which will be her fate if she can’t dig up a husband before the Season ends. However, Julian is not an option.

With only ten short days left in the Season, Francine doesn’t have time to waste on petty squabbles or knee-weakening kisses, even if Julian’s offer to fulfill her every wish rouses her curiosity. It seems men are more complicated than plants. Too bad love bloomed at the most inconvenient of times…

 

Review:

How to Ruin Your Reputation in Ten Days begins with only ten days left in the Season.  Francine is attending a party at which her parents are hoping that she finds an appropriate suitor.  After five Seasons without an offer, their hopes of her picking someone are faltering.  Francine is determined not to enter into a loveless relationship with someone who is more interested in her dowry than they are in her.  As Francine skirts the people and their boring conversations at the party trying to get away from unwanted suitors, she makes her way outside and into the garden.  She soon finds herself in an awkward position and snags her dress on a thorny bush and eventually gets herself freed, only to come face to face with none other than her childhood friend, Julian Beckwith.  The two of them had been exchanging letters for the last few years, but he suddenly stopped replying, which hurt her more than she wanted to let on.

As things progress, there is no denying the pull between them, but when Francine discovers the reason he stopped replying to her letters, she is shattered.  To make matters even worse, her father has had it with her not choosing a suitor and issues an ultimatum:  pick a suitable suitor by the end of the Season or you’re going to the convent!  (Harsh much?!?!)  Seems he’s had it with her independent ways and the fact the she always seems to get caught in the most awkward and inappropriate situations.  Unfortunately, said situations have made her the gossip of the ton, and her father is DONE.

How to Ruin Your Reputation in Ten Days is a nicely written tale with two great characters.  I loved Francine.  I loved her independent streak that warred with her wanting to please her parents, who in my opinion, were sorely lacking in the parenting department.  I also loved her devotion to her friends and to Julian.  She also made me laugh.  Julian was great as well.  Once we find out the back story as to why he’d stopped responding to her letters, your heart broke a little.  You also wanted to box his ears a little!  The two of them together will melt your heart.  With all of that said, I have to admit that the story I’m most anxious for is her friend, Mary’s.  That one has great potential and I can’t imagine how she’ll be tamed, seeing as she is one of the most inappropriate (for the time) and independent characters I’ve read in years.  I have my fingers crossed that her story will not disappoint.  If you’re a fan of historicals, this series is a nice read.   Well done, Harmony Williams!

Reviewed by Vickie

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Her Scottish Mistake by Michele De Winton -a Review

Her Scottish Mistake by Michele De Winton -a Review

 

He Scottish MistakeAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
Aspiring blogger Janie Milan is finally on her dream trip to Thailand. But when an unfortunate piña colada incident lands her in the path of a hot Scotsman, Janie finds herself dying to find out what’s under his kilt. Only the frustratingly sexy man isn’t who he’s pretending to be…

After cutting a deal to keep his brother safe, Scottish heartthrob Blaine Galloway is hiding from the press. But his secret identity starts to slip the second he meets small-town blogger, Janie. Now the press is hot on their heels and Blaine’s life is tumbling into a tabloid-sponsored hell. Coincidence? He’s not so sure.

 

Review:

Her Scottish Mistake begins with Janie escaping her hometown in Texas and taking her dream trip to Thailand.  She’s nursing a bit of a broken heart due to her ex, Tom, having cheated on her with her best friend.  Her entire hometown would be at their wedding, which she had no desire to witness.  Janie is talking to a new acquaintance when she gets up to do something and spills her entire drink on a man close by.  As Janie apologizes and tries to clean up her mess, things get a bit awkward and she invites him to her room so that she can get the stain out.  Once she really looks at him and hears that Scottish accent, she is intrigued….and a little excited.

Blaine went to Thailand to escape the paparazzi at the behest of his agent.  His brother had gotten in trouble one too many times and, as many times before, Blaine had to step in and set things in motion to keep said brother safe.  Even though he’s a star in his home country, he is not a worldwide star and Thailand seemed the perfect place to escape to.  Once Janie spills her drink on him, he finds her accent and demeanor charming, and also finds her very attractive.  When they figure out that they are at a couple’s resort, and that the excursions and their pricing were based on actual couples, Janie is heartbroken.  However, when Blaine offers to go with her, neither sees the harm in that.

As their friendship and mutual attraction builds, Blaine, who by the way has given her a bogus name, finds that for the first time in his life, being with someone who doesn’t want anything from him to be just the respite he needs.  However, their world comes crashing down when the paparazzi tracks him down and post pictures of him and Janie for the world to see.  The problem with that?  Blaine’s “engagement” to a socialite to whom his brother is indebted, and, oh yeah……..Janie had no idea.  And, once he found out that she was a blogger, he laid the blame at her feet.  It didn’t matter that her blog was about snakes.  Yep, snakes………

Her Scottish Mistake was an enjoyable story.  I liked both of the characters.  Janie was a bit naïve, but has a strong sense of family and honor.  The one thing that bugged me was her characterization of her hometown.  Every time she started talking about the Podunk place, I could almost hear banjos playing.  That went a bit over the top for me. Once we meet her dad and brothers though, they stepped up in a big way.  Blaine was likable as well.  Of course, being an actor he had a bit of an ego, but once he got a taste of being with someone who liked him for just being him, he humbled himself and did what was needed to straighten out both of their lives.  The story was humorous and sexy and, as I said before, very enjoyable.  Well done, Michele de Winton!

Reviewed by Vickie

Copy provided by Publisher

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Seduced by Sin by Kris Rafferty – a Review

Seduced by Sin by Kris Rafferty – a Review

 

Seduced by SinAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
When Caleb Smith saved Francesca Hamilton from a nasty situation with her father, she was beyond grateful. Sure, it landed her in Caleb’s bed wearing his engagement ring, but neither of them took that seriously. It was a means to an end, and he was so sexy and exciting, she was enjoying the ride. It wasn’t Caleb’s fault her feelings were changing, leaving her wishing things between them were real rather than pretend.

Caleb took the FBI’s assignment because he wanted to end the tyranny of a man who’d hurt the people he loved. Odds of success were slim and the danger high, but he knew the risks. Francesca didn’t and was completely in the dark about her family’s “business.” And the more time he spends with her, the harder he falls for the gorgeous blonde. But to finally get retribution, he’ll have to destroy her world…

 

 

Review:

Seduced by Sin begins with Caleb sizing up the competition at a party hosted by Francesca Hamilton’s father in her honor.  He’s been in the Hamilton home for a week having meetings with Jonathan Hamilton.  Hamilton is a billionaire who has discovered he’s dying and wants to find someone to head up his international business interests and, unbeknownst to Francesca (his only child), the person he picks will also wed his beautiful daughter.  Francesca feels she has never lived up to her father’s expectations.  He is cold and aloof and never has time to spend one on one with her.  Caleb has one objective: gain Jonathan Hamilton’s confidence.  Unknown to Francesca, her father’s businesses are anything but above board.  Caleb, however, knows what a monster her father is.  Caleb also knows that in order to “win”, he’ll have to seduce Francesca in order to gain the upper hand.  What he ends up gaining is more than he could have ever imagined.

Francesca has seen Caleb around the house during the past week, and is curious about him.  When Caleb finally approaches her, their attraction to each other is palpable.  However, when they are both called into her father’s office, Francesca learns that she is to wed whomever her father picks because that is the only way (her father’s words) he knows that she’ll be safe.  When Francesca refuses to marry the one her father chose, she blurts out that she wants Caleb.  For some reason, she trusts him to keep her safe in a world that she truly has no idea how to navigate.  Caleb and Francesca discuss their options and agree to keep up the ruse in order for Caleb to get what he wants and for Francesca to skirt her father’s wrath when he realizes she’s not marrying anyone.  There was something neither counted on…….being seduced by sin.

Seduced by Sin is a wonderfully written tale wrought full of mystery, intrigue and some hot romance.  Francesca is not a poor little rich girl.  She’s college educated and has her future mapped out in her mind.  All of that came to a halt when her father got sick, so she came home to spend time with him.  Let’s just say, that didn’t work out like she thought it would.  Then, there’s Caleb.  Oh my sweet Jesus.  He’s one of the best I’ve read about in a long time.  We know a little about him from the last book, Tempted by a Touch.  He had a tough childhood and eventually became a grifter, as in one of the best.  That’s how he ended up working for the FBI.  The last grift he and his best friend, Marnie, ran went south and people ended up dead.  That was ten years ago, but you know what they say about the past catching up with you.  Let’s just say his did in a big way.  When Francesca ends up in danger, Caleb soon realizes that he may have been on the receiving end of a grift that could very well get them both killed.  I absolutely loved this book and could not turn the pages fast enough.  Well done, Kris Rafferty!  Very, very well done!

Reviewed by Vickie

Copy provided by Publisher

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Delicious Satisfaction by Sabrina Sol – a Review

Delicious Satisfaction by Sabrina Sol – a Review

 

Delicious SatisfactionAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
As LA’s hottest up-and-coming chef, Alexa Montoya is known for her ruby red lipstick, award-winning arroz con pollo and a penchant for falling for the wrong kind of men. And when a confrontation with a loser ex-boyfriend lands her in some legal trouble, she’s forced to call her long-time friend, Dante Perez, to bail her out. Only this time, Dante seems different, somehow.

 

Review:

Delicious Satisfaction begins with Alexa meeting up with friends for dinner at an up and coming restaurant.  The only problem with that scenario?  The restaurant belongs to an ex of hers.  She’s convinced her friends and herself that it will be fine.  They’ll eat good food, have some drinks and catch up.  However, once Alexa realizes everything in the restaurant looks awfully familiar, she confronts the owner and chef.  Let’s just say Alexa’s night does not go as planned when she finds herself in a bit over her head, and has to call none other than Dante Perez; long-time family friend, wonderful attorney and someone she’s always been attracted to.

Once Alexa realizes that her vindictive ex is going to sue her and her brother for the incident in the restaurant, she decides to try and fix things herself.  Once again, things don’t go as planned.  What follows is a wonderfully written friends-to-lovers story.  Alexa is determined to make a name for herself, but all of that determination tends to get her into trouble from time to time.  She’s also been harboring feelings for Dante for years.  Dante has a secret past that he’s never shared with anyone and has the same determination as Alexa.  And, like Alexa, he’s had feelings for her for years.  Their chemistry is amazing and once Dante convinces Alexa they’re perfect for each other, the two of them together will melt your heart.

Delicious Satisfaction is the first book I’ve read by Sol, and I had no idea that it was part of a series until I went to write this review, so reading it as a stand-alone is not a problem.  I love the author’s style and her character development left me very pleased.  If you’re a fan of friends-to-lovers , or just romance in general, you won’t go wrong with this one.  Well done, Sabrina Sol!

Reviewed by Vickie

Copy provided by Publisher

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