Thursday, January 31, 2013

Kristen Ashley--For You (The Burg #1)

Contemporary Romance

Lieutenant Alexander Colton and February Owens were high school sweethearts. Everyone in their small town knew from the moment they met they were meant for each other. But something happened and Feb broke Colt’s heart then she turned wild and tragedy struck. Colt meted out revenge against the man who brought Feb low but even though Colt risked it all for her, Feb turned her back on him and left town.

Fifteen years later, Feb comes back to help run the family bar. But there’s so much water under the bridge separating her and Colt everyone knows they’ll never get back together.

Until someone starts hacking up people in Feb’s life. Colt is still Colt and Feb is still Feb so the town watches as Colt goes all out to find the murderer while trying to keep Feb safe.

As the bodies pile up, The Feds move in and a twisting, turning story unravels exposing a very sick man who has claimed numerous victims along the way, Feb and Colt battle their enduring attraction and the beautiful but lost history that weaves them together.

{3.5 stars}
This is probably the lowest rating I have ever given a KA book before. And I waffled on my decision. The reason for this is I think the book was 100 pages to long. It's a great story, mind you, and I love Colt and Feb. The base mystery/suspense storyline was unique, and their love story was absolutely great. But there was a lot of normal redundancy mixed in. That bogs a story down for me personally, and I need it to keep a more fast paced, on the edge of my seat, page turning kind of story.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Nicole Edwards--Kaleb (Alluring Indulgence #1)

Contermporary Romance-Erotic

Zoey Stranford might’ve had a crush on the sexy boy next door since middle school, but she’s a woman now, and that crush has turned into a full blown case of lust. So why is it that at twenty nine, her libido decides to ramp into high gear and the only thing she can focus on is the intensely sexy, scorching hot boy next door who is definitely not a boy anymore?

The only problem is that Zoey and Kaleb have been best friends for as long as she can remember. Not to mention, Kaleb and his brothers are working on buying Stranford land to build a new resort, and she’s more than a little hesitant about his intentions.

Kaleb Walker has had his eye on Zoey for close to twenty years, but never before has he considered taking their friendship to the next level, no matter how many fantasies he’s had about her over the years. That doesn’t explain why Kaleb is hell bent on having her – in as many ways as possible.

Kaleb finds himself in a precarious situation. His brothers have nominated him to pursue Zoey’s father about purchasing the land needed to get their new resort off the ground. Finding out that Carl Stranford is on the brink of foreclosure and Zoey might just lose her house and the land, Kaleb now has to convince her to put aside her pride and let him help her.

It doesn’t take long before the flames start burning bright and hot, and the two of them burn up the nights and the days as they explore each other’s forbidden fantasies. But can their friendship survive a business transaction or the new friends with benefits clause? Or will they realize that they’ve been overlooking something much deeper that’s been right in front of them all along?

Warning: This book contains sexual encounters and graphic language that some readers may find objectionable, including, but not limited to m/f/m encounters, anal sex, exhibitionism, and voyeurism. Consider yourself warned! Contains graphic material that is not suitable for anyone under the age of 18.

{4 stars}
This is the first Nicole Edwards book I've read, and I like her writing style. I waffled between 3 stars and 4 stars the whole way through the book. But once I reached the end I gave in to 4 stars. My only reason for dropping one star was because it almost seemed too normal. There wasn't any "life or death" action inolved to give it an "edge". BUT, it is a really good story. Taking a statement straight from Zoey's vocabulary, this book is food for every woman's inner slut. The sex is smoking HOT, the men even HOTTER. And the story is absolutely perfect to tie it all together. Nothing felt out of place, it all flowed well. And now that I have finished it, I can't wait to read Zane's story. Once brother down, 6 to go!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Kristen Ashley--Sweet Dreams (Colorado Mountain #2)

Contemporary Romance

Lauren Grahame has spent her whole life thinking something special was going to happen. She didn’t know what it was, she just knew it would one day be hers. But she learned the hard way that special wasn’t on offer.

So, after divorcing her cheating husband, Lauren searched for nothing special and she thought she found it when she landed a job as a waitress in a biker bar in Carnal. It was perfect: a nothing job in a nowhere bar in Nowheresville.

Then Tatum Jackson walked in. Part-owner of the bar, he took one look at high-class Lauren and wanted nothing to do with her. And he made this known, loudly.

Tate’s angry insults seared in her brain, Lauren decides the feeling is mutual and she doesn’t want anything to do with the gloriously handsome Tate Jackson. The clash of the bartender and barmaid begins but, even though Tate makes his change of mind clear (in biker-speak, a language Lauren is not fluent in), Lauren is intent on going her own way.

Until a serial killer hits Carnal and Lauren finds out Tate isn’t a bartender, he’s a bounty hunter. He stakes his claim for Lauren before he goes on the hunt for a killer but Laurie doesn’t speak biker nor does she understand bounty hunters and Tate comes back from the hunt to find his old lady has moved on.

Life throws curveball after curveball at Laurie and Tate. As secrets are revealed, women are brutally murdered, and Lauren tries to find her inner biker babe.

{4 star}
I absolutely love Tate and Lauren. Tate is the badass biker boy we all wish we had. Lauren is the suburbia escapee looking for a new start in life. When she stumbles into Carnal, Colorado and gets a job at the only biker bar in town, her life changes dramatically, and all for the better. Tate is slow to catch on, but once he does there is no stopping him from getting what he wants. He's domineering, the typical alpha male. But Lauren gives attitude back in the trademark KA way. There was lots of action in this one, but there was also a lot of "normal". And the normal is what slowed it down for me. I was, at times, a little bored. And that is really hard to do in a Kristen Ashley book, but there it is. I loved the whole cast of characters in Carnal, they were a lot of fun to read. And even though this did bog for me a little (it took me 5 days to finish it), I still enjoyed it.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Kristen Ashley--The Gamble (Colorado Mountain #1)

Contemporary Romance

Nina Sheridan’s on a timeout adventure in the Colorado Mountains. She needs distance from her clueless fiancĂ©, distance to decide whether she wants to spend the rest of her life with a man who doesn’t care enough to learn how she takes her coffee.

Arriving in a blinding snowstorm at the A-Frame she rented, she comes face to face with the most amazing man she’s ever seen. Minutes later, when he kicks her out of his house, she goes head to head with him.

Beyond angry because she’s flown half a world away to start her timeout adventure, not to mention her sinuses hurt, she heads back down the mountain and ends up in a ditch. Unable to extricate herself, she gives up, hopes for rescue and falls asleep in the backseat.

The next morning she wakes up in the amazing man’s bed and she’s sick as a dog.

Holden Maxwell spends days nursing her back to health and then he spends the next two weeks trying to convince her to take her Colorado adventure further, in other words, make it permanent and take a gamble on him.

Nina has a tough time fighting her attraction to Max, especially when it seems all Max’s friends, her mother and stepdad and the whole town want them together and both she and Max get embroiled in the murder of Max’s ex-friend and the town of Gnaw Bone’s most detested resident – a man everyone has motive to kill, especially Max.

{5 stars}
Most authors can not make a 500+ page book work, but somehow Kristen Ashley does it. She keeps your attention word after word, line after line, chapter after chapter. At no time did I want to stop or skim the page. The Gamble is a lifetime movie, sprinkled with a dose of the comedy channel, and it just works. Nina is a little spitfire, with lots of attitude and baggage. Engaged to a "convenience", she takes a break and seeks her own little adventure. Max has been on hold for 10 years, never really finding what he wanted after his wife died. Then during a snowstorm, Nina blows in with attitude and blows his world upside down. KA takes us on a 2 week adventure that changes the lives of more people than Nina and Mac. Nina tries to fight whats happening and is constantly trying to stop the Max from saying things she isn't ready to hear. Max is domineering and needs to get his way so he can maintain control of his world. Their banter is hilarious, charming, and just plain lovable. They are a perfect match. And you wouldn't think so much drama could happen in a small Colorado town. The cast of characters (like in any Kristen Ashley book) make this story even better. Lots of laughter, fighting, break ups, make ups, family visits, kidnappings and murders. It all comes together to create a whirl-wind story that makes me want to run away to Colorado and find my own mountain man.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Meira Pentermann--Firefly Beach

Paranormal Cozy Mystery

When Beth LaMonte rents a cottage on the coast of Maine, she wishes only to withdraw and paint. A mysterious ball of light disturbs her peace and leads her to a secret beach where she finds the diary of a girl who disappeared in 1975. Now Beth is on a mission, not only to bury her own past, but to put to rest the spirit of Firefly Beach.
{5 stars}
The synopsis doesn't do this book justice. It is an emotional tale, and quite the journey for more than just Beth and the Firefly. This was one of those "deal of the day" ebook emails I get, and it seemed interesting enough to give a try. Honestly, the first 25% of the book didn't quite keep my attention, the author had a way of overly describing the scenery (but I skimmed thru that).
Once Beth starts reading the diary, my attention was hooked 100%. The journey isn't only about the Firefly, it's about Beth (and in some small part Kenny), and Katherine's father. Everyone has a past, not always one we are proud of, and sometimes want to escape from. Decisions are made, sometimes you can correct them, sometimes you just have to move on. But sometimes you can make it right. Beth becomes obsessed with making it right, with finding out what happened to the girl in the diary and along the way journeyed thru her own regrets to find closure with her own past. This book is sweet, charming, and completely lovable. I really enjoyed it.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Maya Banks--Shades of Gray (KGI #)

Romantic Suspense

P.J. and Cole were sharpshooting rivals on the same KGI team and enjoyed a spirited, uncomplicated camaraderie. Until the night they gave in to their desires and suddenly took their relationship one step further. In the aftermath of their one night stand, they’re called up on a mission that goes terribly wrong, and P.J. walks away from KGI, determined not to drag her teammates into the murky shadows she’s poised to delve into.

Six months later, Cole hasn’t given up his search for P.J., and he’s determined to bring her back home where she belongs. Bent on vengeance, P.J. is on a mission that will plunge her into a serpentine game of payback and make her question everything she’s ever believed in. Cole—and the rest of their team—refuse to let her go it alone. Even if it means sacrificing their loyalty to KGI and their very lives…

{4 stars}
We have read about PJ and Cole throughout this series so far, and I didn't think that they would really have a good story. They are both such alpha personalities and on the same team it didn't seem plausible. But it was a great story. We, thru very unfortunate circumstances, see PJ's vulnerable side. She volunteers to be the "bait" in a mission to take down a child trafficker. But it all goes wrong, and was very difficult to me (as a woman) to read. But the strength that it takes PJ to stand back up and take her revenge is nothing short of remarkable. Cole can't let PJ go, he has been "dating" her for years thru their shared missions. And now that he is so close to having her in his life on a permanent basis, everything goes to hell. When the team gets word of some unlikely hits, that all to well resemble the attack on PJ, they know where to find her. And Cole has his chance to prove to her that she is part of their team and part of his life. And as always, the KGI clan come together to help one of their own.

Banks has done a wonderful job writing these 2 characters, they balance each other in dominance and vulnerability. Each showing a different side when needed to help the other. Great addition to the series.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Lisa Renee Jones--Secrets Exposed (Tall, Dark, and Deadly #0.5)

Romantic Suspense

Her enemy is her passion, her passion is her enemy.

Lindsey Paxton was once the number one defense attorney in New York. She fought for those who were innocent, but charged. Her instincts were her lifeline, never failing her, as they guided her in her choices of who to defend. Or so she thought. Until she won a case she would forever wish to have lost. Her client, an accused rapist, kills and rapes a woman only a day after being set free. Destroyed by her role in the woman's death, Lindsey blames her father's controlling ways for what she has become, and runs from her career and life. Years later - the past becomes the present . . . Her father has cancer, and Lindsey is forced to leave her career with the Washington branch of the FBI. She finds herself facing the responsibility of running her father's law firm with the reluctant help of hotshot attorney Mark Reeves, a man who sparks her temper while also managing to tempt her body, her mind, maybe even her heart. With his help she finds herself fighting the emotional battles of the past, tempted to trust both him and her instincts. Now, faced with a case inherited from her father so similar to her career-ending one, she now must decide if her instincts will lead her down the path to saving an innocent man or setting free another killer. But while she fights her own battles, someone watches, wanting from the past what he had failed to get the first time . . . Lindsey.

{3 stars}
I picked this up as a box set deal of the day. (book 1-3, with the prequel incl). This prequel was a romance and a suspense thriller. But at times, the 2 halves of this story seemed to complete with each other, kind of like fraternal twins. The suspense half didn't seem to make much sense in the romance half other than it is how Lindsey and Mark came together. Confusing to say the least. I, at times, rocked back and forth as to what I liked most. The suspense half could have been a really good thriller all by itself with no romance involved at all. And the romance half didn't need the suspense/murder/thriller part to support it. Mark and Lindsey could have developed without it. Muddled for sure. Nothing erotic about it. But all in all, I liked the story, getting it for free was worth the time I spent with it. And I will certainly finish reading the box set. I am hoping the next storyline has a clear path in mind.