Head Over Heels (Lucky Harbor #3) by Jill Shalvis

Head Over Heels (Lucky Harbor #3)
by Jill Shalvis
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing ~ Forever
Publication: December 1st 2011
ISBN: 0446571636   ISBN-13: 9780446571630 

Review courtesy of netGalley 

Breaking rules and breaking hearts

Free-spirited Chloe lives life on the edge. Unlike her soon-to-be married sisters, she isn't ready to settle into a quiet life running their family's newly renovated inn. But soon her love of trouble--and trouble with love-draws the attention of the very stern, very sexy sheriff who'd like nothing better than to tame her wild ways.

Suddenly Chloe can't take a misstep without the sheriff hot on her heels. His rugged swagger and his enigmatic smile are enough to make a girl beg to be handcuffed. For the first time, instead of avoiding the law, Chloe dreams of surrender. Can this rebel find a way to keep the peace with the straitlaced sheriff? Or will Chloe's colorful past keep her from a love that lasts . . . and the safe haven she truly wants in a town called Lucky Harbor?

My Thoughts:

I didn’t think anyone could be sexier than Ford, well I stand corrected. I fell Head over Heels in love with Sawyer. Never underestimate the quiet ones; Sawyer’s reminded me of candy, all strong on the outside and gooey on the inside. We knew so little about him in the first two books, he seemed reserved, often aloof, extremely guarded about his private life. All it took was the Wild Child to chip away at his seemingly impenetrable exterior! Before I go any further, there is one hell of a sexy shower scene, which I am still trying to unfog my glasses!!!

Desired by Nicola Cornick

By Nicola Cornick
Publisher: Harlequin
Pub Date: November 29, 2011
ISBN: 9780373775903

Tess Darent’s world is unravelling. Danger threatens her stepchildren and she is about to be unmasked as a radical political cartoonist and thrown into gaol. The only thing that can save her is a respectable marriage. But when it comes to tying the knot Tess requires a very special husband – one who has neither the desire nor the ability to consummate their marriage.
Owen Purchase, Viscount Rothbury cannot resist Tess when she asks for the protection of his name. But he has no intention of making a marriage in name only. Will the handsome sea captain be able to persuade the notorious widow to give her heart as well as her reputation into his safekeeping?

My thoughts:

Like a true romance, Tess and Owen are two of the most unlikely souls imaginable who turn out to be the most perfect of mates. Alone, the hero and heroine are incomplete – they both hide behind shame of their past. Together, they are complete - they fit together like the proverbial pieces of a puzzle. Of course, both need to face and deal with their issues to reach their ultimate destination - and it is that very journey that I love. Well Done!!

Tess has been married and widowed three times. Her first marriage was to her best friend, a man who fought for reforming politics; she continued on with his cause to fight to alleviate violence, poverty and misery. Her second marriage left her with a tainted past and a fear of any thought of intimacy. Her third marriage, left her with stepchildren, for a woman branded as selfish, manipulative and a bad influence, it was a selfless act on her part to give up those children so she didn’t damage their future. When those she loves are threatened, is she willing to risk another marriage to put them out of harm’s way?

Owen, is the best kind of hero, he is one that helps her face the past and helps her break through the fears of intimacy. He was patient and caring, he didn’t pressure her and made her set the pace. While doing that, she helps him deal with his own past demons. Owen has been haunted for years about an incident buried deep.

I found it refreshing that almost every page had the two leading characters interacting, sometimes you find an author tends to keep them separated for so much of the book, building the drama up, and that writing leaves me disconnected and wanting more. Their attraction was instance and seeing their relationship blossom was touching. Trusting for Tess was difficult, but as soon as Tess trusted Owen, she knew it was time to stop running.

“I enjoy your company too much to waste the day spending it without you.”

“I love you,” she said. “I love you so much. You made me whole again.”

There were secondary characters which infuriated me. I especially didn’t like Joanna in this book, she came across spoiled and vindictive. I wanted to slap her and tell her to grow up, she has the man of her dreams, Alex. Why would she be so petty and have Tess doubt Owen’s feelings? I am so glad Owen and Tess cleared this up before it came a wedge between them. I didn’t really understand the need for Emma, it was like she was put in there to fill some space. Her character was one dimensional; I wish there were more mentioned of the relationship between her and Tom, that may have helped. If these characters were in the last book, it would have been helpful to add a snippet of their past so new readers understood. The last I knew of Tom was in Mistress at Midnight, so there is a big gap for me.

The least favorite part was the ending, I won’t give you the details but I will say when I got to the last part of the book which was building up to HEA, a unexpected curve was thrown in, which came across as being put together hastily.

There were some other parts of the book which I wished were tidied up:
What happened with her stepchildren?
Why did they never play a part after Owen took care of Corwen?
There was no further mention of Justin, what happened with him?

Other than a few of the issues I described above, I enjoyed Tess and Owen’s love story. I enjoy Nicola Cornick’s writing style and consider her an author that will always be on my TBR list. I would recommend this book for those true die hard romance fans, who believes in HEA.

My Rating:

USA Today bestselling author Nicola Cornick writes passionate Regency historicals for HQN Books and MIRA. She studied History at London and Oxford and was awarded a distinction for her dissertation on historical heroes. It was a tough study but someone had to do it. Nicola has a “double life” as a writer and guide at the stunning 17th century hunting lodge, Ashdown House.

Romantic Times has described her writing as emotional and sexually charged and Publishers Weekly have called her a rising star. She is a double nominee for both the RWA RITA Award and the RNA Love Story of the Year.

Nicola lives near Oxford and loves reading, writing, history, music, wildlife, travel and walking her dog. She also loves hearing from her readers and chatting to them on her blog at www.nicolacornick.co.uk She can also be found on Facebook and Twitter @NicolaCornick.

This six book Regency series, The Scandalous Women of the Ton debuted in October 2010. Each of the books is a standalone story in itself . Prior to my reading Desired, the only book in the series I have read was Mistress of Midnight. While, I agree that the books can be standalone, now having read Desired, I think having more of a background of Owen's relationship with Joanna, Whisper of Scandal, would have been helpful.

DesiredNotoriousMistress by MidnightOne Wicked SinWhisper of Scandal

Guest Review: A Mad Passion by Scarlett Scott

I had so much fun over at my friend Nat's blog,, she has asked me to guest review twice each month (Sundays) !!

How much of a romantic are you? Do you believe in true love? A soul mate chosen by fate? What if circumstances let it slip away?

Scarlett Scott’s Mad Passion is about reconnecting with your true love and getting a second chance.

Here is my latest review for Mad Passion by Scarlett Scott.

Did you miss my
first review? You can read it here The Viper by Monica McCarty.

Her Dark Knight by Sharon Cullen

Her Dark Knight
Publisher:  Carina Press
Publication: November 28th 2011
ISBN:  1426892713 (ISBN13: 9781426892714)

Review courtesy of netGalley

Madelaine Alexander is on a mission. When her boss sends her to the hottest nightclub in town to meet with the owner, she won't be deterred, even if that means standing in line for fifty-eight minutes in torturous heels while she'd rather be home in her pj's with a bowl of popcorn.
A Knight of the Templar, Christien Chevalier was given immortality along with the responsibility of protecting the treasure of the Templars. He's been unwavering in his task for centuries until his one true love—who died seven hundred years ago—shows up in his club, demanding his attention.
Christien couldn't protect Madelaine when they first fell in love. She was married to a lord and he was simply a knight. Now, through some unknown miracle, she stands before him again and they have a second chance. But Christien fears that Madelaine is being used as a pawn in a dangerous game, a game of good versus evil that could affect all of mankind...

My thoughts:

Two cross star lovers from the past who meet again in the present.  Will their romance turn out any different this time around, or are they destined to remain apart? A superb job was done merging both the past with the present in this page turner. The heroine, Laine, uncovers her past in her dreams, by reliving her suppressed memories. Just when you think our heroine’s life could not be any more horrid there is yet another chapter that divulges more of her past.

The hero, Christien, is the last one standing between life and the end of the world, in order to protect the “treasure” he was given eternal life. Evil follows him throughout the years, and he must make decisions that not only protect the “treasure” but Laine. 

“I had a mission and it was all I concentrated on. Finish my mission and I could die for there was no thought of living without you.”

An O'Brien Family Christmas by Sherryl Woods

An O'Brien Family Christmas (Chesapeake Shores #8)
by Sherryl Woods
Publisher: Mira
Published September 27th 2011
ISBN: 0778312704 (ISBN13: 9780778312703)
Dating Matthew O’Brien-a playboy and a younger man-cost Laila Riley her career and her parents’ respect. A high price, even for love-and when Laila decides it was just a fling, she breaks it off, despite Matthew’s objections.

It’s a great time to get away from it all, but Laila has reservations about joining the O’Briens for a Dublin holiday. Matthew’s bound to be there, and she’s far from immune. What if she can’t resist temptation?

Meanwhile, the O’Briens are in an uproar over matriarch Nell’s unexpected romance with an old flame. Will she follow her heart despite the risks? And will Laila discover that some risks are actually once-in-a-lifetime opportunities?

My Thoughts:

Sherryl Woods brings back the O'Brien Family just in time for Christmas. What’s better than spending Christmas with the O’Brien’s? Taking the entire family and spending it in Ireland. Well, if you have been a fan of the Chesapeake Shores series, you know that love is always in the air. It’s a family known for meddling and matchmaking.

In the last book, Beach Lane, Laila Riley kept her relationship with Matthew O’Brien hidden; she was worried how society and especially her father would react to the age difference between the two of them, Laila being older than Matt. She doubted that Matt had changed his playboy ways and in the end she broke things off. I didn’t like Laila in the last book. If she had truly loved him, no obstacle or prejudice should have stood in the way. When the going gets tough, she bailed.

All Things Books...........

I love my Kindle, but I find myself missing.... bookmarks. I don’t want to confuse anyone, I know that my Kindle can save my place wherever I stop reading and I can also add additional bookmarks throughout the ebook. 
book·mark: n.
A strip of material, as of ribbon or leather, or a metal clamp, that is placed between the pages of a book to mark the reader's place.

I didn’t set out to collect bookmarks it just happened, in my childhood I would normally received a book either for my birthday and/or for Christmas; with each book there would always be a bookmark tucked in between the pages.  So, I was slowly accruing a collection of bookmarks over the years. Each one was either whimsical or unique in its own way.

Over time, I found myself buying them whenever I came across, if they were free the better.  Why didn’t I just use the ones I already had? Well like the black hole or the one missing sock syndrome, I managed to lose them quite often.  So then I needed to be creative, sometimes they were business cards, receipts, paperclips, a matchbook cover, basically anything that was around, once I used a toothpick.

Why not just bend back the page I was stopping at?  I spent a large part of my childhood in the school or public library, where I learned to treat each book kindly, back then those books were not my propriety, and above all,

 You Do Not Write in Books and You Don’t Dog Ear the Pages.

I also miss the fact that with bookmarks, I could quickly tell at a glance how far I have read and how much further until the ending. 

I still love my Kindle, there are just a few things I miss.  to be continued...

Here are some artistic and unique bookmarks:

I found magnetic bookmarks, there are two magnets, which clips firmly to the page. It not only can mark a line by placing it on the side of a page, you also will not lose your bookmark or your marked page.


Detours by Jeffrey Ricker

by Jeffrey Ricker
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Published Date: November 19, 2011
ISBN: 1602825777 (ISBN13: 9781602825772)

Review courtesy of netGalley

Joel Patterson should be happier than ever. He's just returned from a two-week vacation in London, where he met Philip, who might be the man of his dreams. Instead, Joel's heading to Maine for his mother's funeral. He quits his job to fulfill one last request for his mother: unload his parents' albatross of an RV by delivering it to an old family friend—in California.

Somehow, Joel's high school "friend" Lincoln has invited himself along on the ride—and into Joel's bed. The other person who's invited herself along? The ghost of his mother, who still has plenty to say about her son's judgment (or lack thereof). Joel has to get the RV to San Francisco, get rid of Lincoln, and get back to Philip. It would also make him feel better if he learned what's keeping his mother tied to this earthly plane. However Joel manages it, the route is likely to be anything but straight.
My thoughts:

I took away so much more than I think the author may have intended, I say that in a good way. Have you ever had a dialogue in a movie, or the words in a song reach you in a place so deeply hidden behind the walls you have built to protect your fragile soul? Well, this book did it for me and honestly, I don't know why it affected me the way it did.

Detours is about saying goodbye and moving on. It was so profound it took me a bit to be able to put what I was feeling into words. By the middle of the book I had this foreboding feeling of something I didn’t want to face and by the last few chapters I had tightness in my chest and my eyes began to blur. I couldn’t put a name to it, it was a path I didn’t want to continue. I tried to ignore it at first but the truth of the matter, I have been putting it off, it was saying “goodbye”.

While reading this, it brought a slew of feelings of loss, loneliness, grief, and finality, ones I have put high upon a shelf. Feelings I have locked away, not wanting to deal with them. I felt the pain of mourning when reading the pages of what Joel’s was facing when he was saying goodbye to his friendship with Matt and Carrie, never knowing if he would ever get back to see them, leaving his beloved dog behind and, after just beginning to build a bond with his father after his mother’s death, he struggles with never knowing if he would ever get back to Maine to visit.

I love the dialogue between Joel and his mother, it was witty and heartwarming. I enjoyed everything about this book, it made me think of all the friends I have met and have promised to keep in touch with but never did and how quickly they have drifted away without barely a struggle, life is fragile never knowing when it will be the last time you will see someone. Don’t put off telling those around you how you feel and live each day doing things you enjoy, get out of the dead end job, get out of the unfaithful marriage, step outside your comfort zone. Life is meant to be enjoyed, explored, expanded and lived!!!

This was a great read, do yourself a favor and go out and buy this book!!

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:
About Jeffrey Ricker:

I'm a writer, editor, and graphic designer living in St. Louis, Mo. My first novel, Detours, will be published in November 2011 by Bold Strokes Books. I've been published in the anthologies Paws and Reflect, Fool for Love, and Blood Sacraments, the literary magazine Collective Fallout, and my short story "New Normal" is available for download from Untreed Reads. I have stories coming out this year in Speaking Out, Wilde Stories 2011, and Men of the Mean Streets.

A Shot In The Dark (Long Shots #2) by Christine d'Abo

A Shot In The Dark (Long Shots #2)
by Christine d'Abo
Publisher: Carina Press
Published: November 7, 2011
ISBN: 142689256X (ISBN13: 9781426892561)

review courtesy of netGalley

Carter is one of the hottest men ever to walk into Paige Long's coffee shop. The attraction is mutual, and when Carter reveals himself to be a Dom, the submissive in Paige is aroused. Yet she brushes him off—her last relationship was abusive and she's unwilling to get involved with another Dom. But when Carter returns the next day—in his firefighter uniform—Paige's fantasies really heat up. She can't resist his offer to get to know him over a drink at Mavericks, a local sex club. Their conversation quickly escalates to a session in one of the private rooms, and Paige is both thoroughly satisfied by Carter's skills in domination, and impressed with his selflessness as a lover.

Paige is ready to move on with her life. But can she trust in herself and submit to happiness?
My Thoughts:

The two things that make a great book, no matter what the genre, are a strong female character and a passionate, sensual leading man. You find them both in this book. In the first book, Double Shot (see my review) the author introduced Paige. We didn’t know much about her other than she along with Sadie and Ian run a coffee shop.

In this short novella, the author gives us more of an in-depth look into Paige. When Paige was young, she entered into a DOM relationship, not knowing much about them, she didn't know that it actually was an very abusive one. It’s been three years and she is still rather shaky of entering into another one, even though she is a lot wiser this time around. One night Carter shows up at the coffee house and he is determined to change her mind. He coaxes Paige to face her fears; he is patient and teaches her even as a sub she can still control the outcome.
I learned a few things in this book, like whoever would have guessed “peas” could be a sexual turn on? LOL. The sex scenes were erotic but not over the top, there was some light bondage, nothing to rough or out of control.

Carter is the perfect, super-hot hero, and did I mention that he is also a HOT fireman!! I thought it was endearing when he would take time out of his day to text Paige, made me love him even more.

You can’t go wrong with the Long Shot series, I can't wait for Ian's story, Pulled Long, this is due out in December, we were again left with cliffhanger between him and Blue Eyes.

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:

Christine d’Abo adores the worlds of science fiction and romance. By combining those elements into tales of adventure and love, Christine creates the types of stories she wants to read. Writing has always been an important part of Christine’s life, and will continue to be well into the future.
Christine has published with Ellora’s Cave, Samhain Publishing, and has a future release with Berkley Books and Cleis Press.

Mistress by Midnight by Nicola Cornick

Mistress by Midnight
Book 3 in the Scandalous Women of the Ton
Publisher: HQN Books
Published Date:  August 19, 2011
ISBN: 9781408951071

Review courtesy of netGalley 

A wicked duke’s bed is no place for a lady…
Lady Merryn Fenner is on a mission to ruin the Duke of Farne. A beautiful bluestocking with a penchant for justice, Merryn has waited twelve years to satisfy her revenge against Garrick Farne. Her family name had been tarnished at his hands, her life destroyed.
For twelve years Garrick, Duke of Farne has kept the secret of what really happened on the night that he killed his best friend, Stephen Fenner, in a duel. Now Stephen’s sister is intent on discovering the truth and putting at risk all those secrets Garrick has protected.
When a disaster traps Merryn and Garrick together, white-hot desire stirs between the two sworn enemies. Merryn's reputation is utterly compromised and she is forced to do the one thing she cannot bear; accept the scandalous marriage proposal of the man she has vowed to ruin.
My Thoughts:
The story centers around hidden secrets. These secrets were put into place twelve years ago to protect the innocent, over the years these secrets eventually led to telling lies and the consequences of these events has now become a tangled mess. It took our young heroine, Merryn, to put the wheels in motion to unravel them. She would not rest until she found out what really happened regarding her brother’s death, putting at risk all the secrets our hero, Garrick has protected. Garrick has kept the secrets of what really happened on the night that he is best friend is killed. For Garrick, these secrets have brought shame, guilt and unworthiness. And by not dealing with them, he has carried them into the future. He believed what he had done had made unworthy of love.
In the midst of uncovering the truth, there was passion and romance between Merryn and Garrick.  Two people, who found love and a sense of completeness, while both struggling with secrets: he to keep them and her to reveal them.  As Merryn moved closer to the truth, she becomes open her mind to other possibilities of what really happened.  In doing so, Merryn was finally able to see Garrick as he truly was, an honorable man who had been in an intolerable situation, who had made mistakes and tried to make reparation.  The sparks ignite right from the start.  The love scenes were filled with passion and sizzled right off the pages.
“I love you,” she said softly. “It is that simple.”

     “What can I give you,” she said. She felt Garrick’s arms tighten about  her with a fierce protectiveness. “I have everything I could ever want here in my arms.”

Takes Your Breath Away #1

Introducing my new and 'hopefully" monthly post: Takes Your Breathe Away.

If you have been following me for awhile, you know I love to use quotes in my reviews, which gave me an idea.  Why don't I write a post spotlighting other great quotes, these will be one from books I have read or those I find on my fellow bloggers site (I will send kudo's your way). I would also like to use ones that mean something to you, so if you would like me to use a quote, just 
send me the quote that "takes your breathe away", the book, the author, etc..

Looking back at some of the books I read in 2011, I can't help but mention Julia Quinn's, The Bridgerton series. I just began reading historical romance this year when I participated in a reading challenge. At first, I was apprehensive, but I have to say, I fell in love with the family and their lives. The Bridgerton series consists of eight siblings finding their purpose and the love of their lives.

I found myself laughing and crying... Julia Quinn has the ability to write the words of "love". You know what I mean, the ones you want your sweetheart or your husband to say to you. In each one of her books she creates "the moment" when the characters express their love for one another, and each time, she nails it. They are all written in a way that touches you deep within your heart. Who wouldn't want these said to them?

Just wanted to give a BIG SHOUT OUT to Nat over at Reading Romance, she introduced me to this wonderful author. If you haven't had a chance to stop by her site, don't miss out on any of the FUN GIVEAWAYS !!

Here are a few of my favorite quotes, they all Take My Breath Away...

The Duke and I (Simon to Daphne)

"I want to be in your heart. I want—" His entire body shuddered when their skin touched. "I want to be in your soul." "I love you," he whispered. "In all my life, it's been only you." "'Now' doesn't even compare to tomorrow. And tomorrow couldn't possibly compete with the next day. As perfect as I feel this very moment, tomorrow is going to be even better. Ah, Daff," he murmured, moving his lips to hers, "every day I'm going to love you more. I promise you that. Every day ..."

The Viscount Who Loved Me  (Anthony and Kate)

When Anthony realized he loved her... "It means that love isn't about being afraid that it will be snatched away. Love's about finding the one person who makes your heart complete, who makes you a better person than you ever dreamed you could be.. It's about looking in the eyes of your wife and knowing, all the way to your bones, that she's simply the best person you've ever known.... Because with you gone...there was nothing left for me to live for".

An Offer From A Gentleman (Benedict to Sophie)

"I have always loved you. I think I loved you before I knew you. You are the reason I exist, the very reason I was born."

Romancing Mr. Bridgerton (Colin to Penelope)    This is my favorite:

“I love you with my past and I love you for my future. I love you for the children we’ll have and for the years we’ll have together. I love you for every one of my smiles, and even more, for every one of your smiles”

To Sir Philip with Love…. (Phillip to Eloise)

“I need you, I need you like I need breath. I need you like food, like water. …I think I’ve waited my entire life for you.”

Guest Review- The Viper by Monica McCarty

My friend and fellow blogger, Nat, over at Reading Romance asked me to be a guest reviewer. Saying yes, was the easy part. What to review, now that took a little a little longer, my TBR list is growing every day.  But in the end, I decided to read a book about those brawny, sexy Highland warriors.  I knew just the one: Monica McCarty’s, The Viper.  

For the full review, stop on over to Reading Romance, and while you're there enter to win her latest giveaway...

Prized for his snake-like stealth and deadly strikes, Lachlan “Viper” MacRuairi is a warrior to enlist but not to trust. His only loyalty is to his purse, his indifference sealed by bitter betrayal. All that changes when Lachlan is tasked to protect and deliver Bella MacDuff to the king’s coronation—and the proud, lushly sensual countess unwittingly challenges him to his greatest battle yet: to love again.

Passionate and devoted, Bella has defied Britain’s king and her own husband to place the crown on Bruce’s head—and pays a terrible price. She loses her daughter and her freedom to her husband’s vengeance. Imprisoned with barbaric cruelty, she vows to reclaim her child, even if it means selling her soul—and her body—to a dark, lethal warrior whose eyes glint like steel, but who makes her skin tingle and her breath race. Together they embark on a rogue mission with sinister twists and turns that threatens not only Bella’s gamble to save her daughter—but also her heart


Her Christmas Pleasure by Karen Erikson

Her Christmas Pleasure
by Karen Erickson
Publisher: Carina Press
Published Date: November 28th 2011 
ISBN:  1426892705 (ISBN13: 9781426892707)

Review courtesy of netGalley
Damien Morton is madly in love. Unfortunately, it's with his best friend's widow, Lady Danver. Damien is not worthy of Celia. Or so he thinks. Desperate to escape his feelings for her, he plans to leave the country at the first of the year. Celia treats him as a family friend and nothing more—until they share a heated kiss beneath the mistletoe...Celia is shocked by the passions that surge within her at her dear friend's kiss. One touch and one taste aren't enough to satisfy her cravings, and she is startled into action. Damien has stirred something inside her that she never expected to experience again, and she must have more. Full of shameless desire and emotions newly discovered, she decides to pursue Damien and won't be deterred. Will she be able to convince him to stay—both in her heart and life—forever?

My Thoughts:

Her Christmas Pleasure was a hot short novella. Did it put me in the Christmas spirit after reading it, No. But it did make me wish for someone like Damien underneath my tree. Hopefully Santa will get my letter and grant my Christmas Wish. ♥
The basic premise of the story is one which has been repeated time and again. Man secretly lusts after woman, woman is married to his best friend. There are a couple of twists to this one: it’s set in the 1800’s, the woman is now a widow and the storyline doesn’t drag along at sluggish pace, the whole will they or won’t they game. In the span of eight chapters, they share their feelings, act on their attraction, and they go off and live HEA.  THE END.
Now with any Karen Erickson’s books, she creates the most delicious love scenes. The tension leading up to Damien’s and Celia’s first kiss under the mistletoe leaves some sparks, simmering until the love scenes, which are explosive and wickedly erotic.
If you in the mood for a romantic sizzling novella, you won’t go wrong reading this.  

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating: 
After leaving the working world to become a stay at home mom/slave, Karen Erickson realized she needed to get crackin’ and pursue her life long dream of being a published writer. A busy mother of three, she fits her precious writing time in between chasing her children, taking care of her wonderful husband and pretending she has a maid. She lives in California
You can visit Karen at her website.

Never Love a Highlander (McCabe Trilogy 3) by Maya Banks

Never Love a Highlander (McCabe Trilogy 3)
by Maya Banks
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Published October 25th 2011
ISBN: 0345519515 (ISBN13: 9780345519511)

Caelen McCabe's young, reckless heart nearly destroyed his clan. Now, putting family loyalty above all else, he steps up to marry his older brother's jilted bride and salvage the uneasy alliance between two clans. While beautiful Rionna McDonald is a fit wife for any man, Caelen trusts no woman, especially not this sweet temptress who torments him with white-hot longing. As the sacrificial lamb in her father's power game, Rionna will do her duty but vows to protect her heart and her pride from humiliation. Despite everything, though, the heat in Caelen's touch melts her defenses, and she craves the sensual delights of a husband who guards his emotions as fiercely as his clan. But when the ultimate battle for the McCabe legacy is upon them, Rionna's true warrior spirit emerges. She will risk the wrath of her father, the fury of her enemies, and her life to prove to Caelen.
My Thoughts:
This is the final book in the series. Hands down this is my favorite. I have been waiting for Caelen and Rionna’s story I hoped it would be explosive .. It was that and more… I loved every aspect of the book, the plot, the characters , the romance, the battles and the hot, sensual sex scenes…. My kindle was filled with highlights and notes throughout… see below as I added my favorite quotes which made me shiver.

In the first two books, we learned there was an arranged marriage planned between the McCabe and the McDonald’s clan, in order to form an alliance. Rionna McDonald not only got jilted once by the eldest McCabe brother, Ewan, she then was jilted by Alaric. Caelen, the youngest, stepped up to wed Rionna, how could he refuse to do the one thing that would solidify a union that would bring about the destruction of a man hated by him and his brothers.
Rionna is a bold, courageous warrior, doing what she can to keep her clan alive. Caelen, is tormented on a past that threatened his clan, and has closed himself off in exposing his heart again.

Love required sacrifice. It required trust and faith. It required making yourself completely vulnerable to the one you loved. The last time he’d offered a woman his complete trust and faith, she’d destroyed his clan.

Seduced by Her Highland Warrior (MacKinloch Clan #2) by Michelle Willingham

Seduced by Her Highland Warrior (MacKinloch Clan #2)
by Michelle Willingham
Publisher: Harlequin
Published July 19th 2011
ISBN:   0373296541 (ISBN13: 9780373296545)


Alex MacKinloch is chief of his clan and, in these dark times of unrest, he has united his people. The void between him and his wife is proving a much harder challenge. When Alex discovers Laren has been keeping secrets from him, his thinly veiled frustration can no longer be contained.

The pleasures of the marital bed seem long forgotten to Laren. Yet her warrior husband is looking at her with increasingly hungry eyes... This powerful highlander has seduction on his mind and his wife in his sights!

My Thoughts:

Seduced by Her Highland Warrior continues where the first book in the series, Claimed by the Highland Warrior left off.  I was waiting to finally learn more about Alex and Laren.  Their story is different from many historical romance books I have read, with the main characters being married and dealing with some hard issues which have caused them to grow apart.
Alex is the chief and trying to rebuild his keep, but to me, this is the secondary storyline in this page turning book. The real story is the about dealing and coping after the emotional loss of a child. When their young infant son died, a part of them has died too, a vital part of them has been ripped away and each dealing with it their own way. They stopped communicating and drifted apart, no longer connecting emotionally, physically, and sexually with each other.  

Falke's Captive by Madison Layle & Anna Leigh Keaton

Falke's Captive
by Madison Layle & Anna Leigh Keaton
Publisher: Carina Press
Published October 10th 2011
ISBN 1426892438 (ISBN13: 9781426892431)

Review courtesy of netGalley

A graduate student working in animal genetics, Beth Coldwell is in town to track and tag big cats in the wild. Her prospects for the summer only improve when she meets Kelan and Reidar Falke and decides the sexy brothers are the right pair to fulfill her other, less than scientific, desires...
But her research is a threat to the Falke family secret. When Kelan, in cougar form, is captured, that secret comes closer than ever to being revealed. He escapes, but not before Beth draws a blood sample, and analysis shows this is no ordinary mountain lion.
Kelan and Reidar cannot deny the powerful attraction they feel toward Beth. She might just be their destined mate. But if they reveal themselves to her, will she embrace who they are or see them as just another science experiment?

My Thoughts:

I put off reading Falke's Captive thinking it was a short story with no depth; I was pleasantly surprised by this book. This is book two in the Puma Night series; you don’t need to read the first book to enjoy this one. Though, I now want to go back and read the first book, Falke's Peak and meet the two older brothers, Alex and Gunnar.

You quickly learn the Falke family is unique, not only are there eight in the family: a set of quadruplets, and a set of triplets but they are Shifters. Then add in the element they must mate in pairs, two brothers for one woman and you have a very HOT book!! WOW!!! There is more to this book then a ménage relationship.

Can't Hurry Love (Three Kisses #3) by Christie Ridgway

Can't Hurry Love (Three Kisses #3)
by Christie Ridgway
Publisher: Berkley
Published July 5th 2011
ISBN: 0425242102 (ISBN13: 9780425242100)


Liam Bennett staked his claim to Tanti Baci after stepping in to help the Baci sisters save their family legacy. But Giuliana Baci doubts his motives. They've been at odds since the hot summer long ago that ended in heartache. With the fate of the winery on the line, the former lovers need to get a handle on their barely leashed hostilities-and the attraction that still draws Liam Bennett staked his claim to Tanti Baci after stepping in to help the Baci sisters save their family legacy. But Giuliana Baci doubts his motives. They've been at odds since the hot summer long ago that ended in heartache. With the fate of the winery on the line, the former lovers need to get a handle on their barely leashed hostilities-and the attraction that still draws them toward each other.

My Thoughts:

Giuliana (Jules) fulfilled both wishes of her parents, at sixteen her mom’s dying wish was for her take care of her younger sisters, and her at her father’s deathbed he asked her to come back home and help her sisters save the family winery. She had to be strong and controlling and push aside her needs and wants to see things through. I had a love hate relationship with her. I understand that for her to avoid any more heartache she had to distances herself from Liam, but the more the storyline unfolded, I  didn’t get why she kept her self so guarded even still. 
Now Liam was also a difficult character for me to warm up to. He is closed off, never letting anyone to close to him. He has been feeling guilty most of his life, hiding his father’s little secret for years; it’s not until his father passes when they are exposed.  He would do anything not to be like his father, and he does this but shutting himself off.  This has been working for him, well, until Jules returns. He first and only true love, but will their secrets of their youth bring them closer or separate them forever?  

She and Liam had history, what it was we never knew, but boy did we find out in this story. I am trying to write this where I don’t let alot slip out, I am not one to write spoilers. Don’t you hate it when someone tells you how the book ends? 

Too Wicked to Wed by Cara Elliott

Too Wicked to Wed (Lords by Midnight #1)
Publisher: Grand Central by Forever
Published November 1st 2011 
ISBN 0446584576 (ISBN13: 9780446584579)
Review courtesy of netGalley

Outspoken and independent, Lady Alexa Bingham enjoys the heady freedom of making all her own decisions, even though the challenges of overseeing her family's country estate are daunting. But when a chance encounter with London's most notorious rake awakens a secret longing for adventure, she accepts her aunt's invitation for a Season in Town . . . only to find that breaking the rules of the ton has serious consequences.

The Earl of Killingworth uses his rakehell reputation to hide the fact that poverty has forced him to work for a living. As the owner of a gambling den and brothel, Connor has no time for glittering ballrooms or innocent young ladies. But after a reckless wager leaves him with a new business partner, he is forced to take a risky gamble . Will the cards fall in their favor? Alexa and Connor begin to play a dangerous game of intrigue and deception as they seek to outwit a cunning adversary who wants to put them permanently out of business. But if they are not careful, it is the flames of their own fiery attraction that may destroy them.
My thoughts:

What a thrilling start to a new series (Lord of Midnight) from Cara Elliott. Too Wicked To Wed is the first book in the series. We are introduced to three men who have become friends while fighting in Portugal. They have made a name for themselves, they are known simply as the Hellhounds. Connor is the Irish Wolfhound, Gryff is known as Deerhound, and Cam is Bloodhound.

Connor, the Earl of Killingworth, owns the Wolf's Lair, a gaming hell and brothel. Someone is out to financially ruin Wolf's Lair. And, talk about having things go from bad to worse, now someone is out to kill him. He has never been known to put faith in other people, even his fellow Hellhounds. Now suddenly, he is surrounded by people willing to come to his aid to track down the person who wants to harm him.

From the beginning you knew Lady Alexa Hendrie was not your typical young lady of the ton awaiting yet another season. Not her, fashion and flirting seemed so utterly...boring. As did all the gentlemen she knew. We first meet our daring heroine as she is contemplating masquerading as a man to play cards at the Wolf's Lair. She knows her cards and lady luck is on her side that night, as she ends up walking away with more than just money.

The banter between the two main characters is great, hilarious at times. Alexa isn't afraid to tell it like it is and can hold her own against Connor. Although, Connor has had many torrid affairs, he has always been detached from them. Until Alexa, she had from their first meeting exasperated and enthralled him.

After escaping flying bullets, slashing knifes, Alexa and Connor escape to his family home to try to figure out who is out to kill him. Being hidden away, Alexa starts getting not only under Connor's skin but also in his heart, a place he had always thought impenetrable. It frightened him to his very core. When they finally succumb to the attraction simmering between them- it is explosive, it is so intense you feel it down to your toes!! Yes, it is that HOT!!!! The scenes were erotic without being too lewd.

After the threat on Alexa's life, Connor finally admitted to himself that Alexa was his ray of light and the prospect of his life coming full circle.

"I have taken a great many gambles in my life, but I would never risk losing you."

"A house needs more than polishing and dusting to make it a home, she whispered. "Yes, I know. It needs love."

The story picks up the pace as they are tracking down the person who is trying to kill Connor. I like the added mystery and the who-done-it aspect the author introduced, it kept the pages turning.

There were some parts of the story which I felt need closure or more depth. For instance, Alexa's family was never concerned or noticed that she disappeared? Or what about her brother, he was mentioned quite often in the book, but he never appeared.

Now I am curious to read Gryff and Cam's stories. I have never read Cara Elliott work before, but I was pleasantly surprised. I love books which have more than just romance, throw in a little intrigue and you have a great combination for any reader's interest.

I received a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:


Cara Elliott began her writing career at age five with a number of lavishly illustrated Westerns, which were lovingly preserved for posterity by her first fan. Learn more about Cara Elliott by visiting her website.