Our Reviews

Most Recent Posts First - Previous Reviews are listed under the Blog Archive on the right hand side.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Review of NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVER by Sarah MacLean

The Fourth Rule of Scoundrels Series Book Four
Sarah MacLean
Avon Publishing
ISBN# 978-0-06-206851-4
December 2014
Historical Romance

In her last installment of this series, we finally learn about the fourth scoundrel, Chase, who is actually Lady Georgiana Pearson.  The daughter of a Duke, her future was bright and exciting until that changed when she was ruined before her first season.  Now, suffering the ton's cruelty by day, at night, she became Chase, the cloaked owner of London't infamous gaming hall, The Fallen Angel.  A cut-throat and shrewd business man, Chase is able to keep the ton's elite men under his thumb by learning their secrets.  Everything is fine until Georgiana needs an advantageous marriage in order to pave the way for her daughter to marry well.

Duncan West has secrets, and as a newspaper tycoon, he's been dealing with Chase for years through correspondence.  Being blackmailed, he decides to use Chase's influence into gaining his blackmailer's secrets as well.  Then he meets Georgiana at a ball, and he finds her fascinating.  When he follows her, he discovers that she is also Anna, a woman who has connections with The Fallen Angel.  He decides to see if she can help him gain access to Chase.

Working together, Duncan uses his influence in the newspaper and Scandal Sheet, in order to help bring about a marriage for Georgiana, and Georgiana helps him with Chase.  However, it soon becomes apparent that their feelings go beyond business.  Georgiana's deception and Duncan's past both threaten any future they could have together, and even if they could get beyond that, there is the question of the dangerous blackmailer who doesn't want Duncan to have a future at all.

This is a wonderful conclusion to this series, focusing in on Georgiana, who is actually Chase.  We get to see all the other scoundrels as they have each married now.  We learn the background story as to what happened to Georgiana years ago, what drives her, and how she is able to maintain the facade of Chase.  Duncan is a striking compatible hero, strong and powerful in his own right, yet he has a weak link that is exploited by someone from his past.  Duncan and Georgiana fall in love, and yet the reader is held in suspense as to how they will actually work it out to be together.  Sexy without being over-written, intriguing, and her interactions with Bourne, Cross and Temple, she is shown to be a strong and independent woman with her actions, not just words.  This book is a must read for fans of the previous titles.  While this is the conclusion, it's not wholly necessary to read the others first, even though there will be references to previous characters.  A new series coming soon that will have a connecting character from this book.

Reviewed by:  Jennifer Jones
Rating: 4.5

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Virgin River Book 20
Robyn Carr
Harlqeuin MIRA
ISBN:  978-0778313854
November 2012
Contemporary Romance

In one of my all time favorite Christmas novels, published a two years ago, 
Robyn Carr gives us the story of Patrick Riordan.  Patrick is on an extended 
leave from his duties as a Navy pilot.  His best friend has been shot down and 
he is trying to recover.  He comes to Virgin River to get some peace and quiet, 
staying in a brother’s small cabin.  He begins getting dinner in Jack’s bar and 
one day, while there, he spots Angie LeCroix.

Angie, a brilliant over-achiever, is in Virgin River getting some space from her 
very bossy and opinionated mother, who is also Jack’s older sister.  Angie is on 
leave from her medical school studies after being in a very serious auto 
accident that almost killed her.  Now she is rethinking her life plan, much to 
her mother’s distress.  

This novel has some interesting side plots, including Angie’s efforts to obtain 
plastic surgery for a disfigured girl in the town, the town Christmas tree with 
a military theme, and Patrick’s commitment to his best friend’s widow and son.  
Honestly, I have read every one of these Virgin River books and I was thrilled 
to read about all these characters from past books, integrated into Patrick and 
Angie’s very fine romance.  

Can two people fall madly in love in a short period of time and have it be real?  
Is it possible for two very geographically different lives to merge and succeed?  
Readers will certainly hope that the answers are yes to these questions!  I 
loved this book, the romance, the passion, the character development of these 
two charming people.  I also love that Patrick’s insecurities and worries are 
just as prominent as Angie’s.  Awesome book and can be read over and over!

Reviewed by  Jeri Neal
Rating:  4 1/2

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Sons of Chance
Vicki Lewis Thompson
Harlequin Blaze #823
ISBN:  978-037398278
December 2014
Contemporary Romance

Ben Radcliffe is making a “secret” birthday delivery of a hand-crafted saddle to 
the Last Chance Ranch, for matriarch Sarah’s seventieth birthday.  Commissioned 
by her son Jack, Ben is acting as a potential horse buyer to keep the secret 
until the big birthday party a few days hence.  Molly Gallagher is an academic 
genealogist taking a holiday with her relatives as she continues to pursue the 
family history.  

These two are powerfully attracted to each other and have several somewhat 
awkward early moments before they become romantically entangled.  Ben is very 
skittish about the whole concept of family, given his own problematic 
background.  He finds Molly completely caught up in family and all it entails.  
Will he give her a chance and take a risk on his own heart?  

I have not read all of the previous books in this series and I think this was a 
detriment to fully understanding the history around these various and complex 
characters.  While the passion between Molly and Ben is palpable, some of their 
intimate encounters don’t completely jive with being guests at this ranch.  
Still, the positives far outweigh any negatives in this story.  Christmas at the 
Last Chance Ranch, with a snowstorm thrown in, is magical and fits right in with 
the holiday season.  

Reviewed by  Jeri Neal
Rating:  3 

Christine Feehan
Pocket Star
ISBN # 9781476784564
November 2014
Paranormal Romance

Cole Steele was born and bred in roughness and he has a difficult time being gentle with people. After the death of his father, he learns he has a half-brother and has been named his guardian. His brother is experiencing nightmares, the same nightmares that have plagued Cole every time he closes his eyes. Cole's father was a cruel and abusive man, who took pleasure in hurting his sons and his wives. According to town rumors, Cole killed his father and plans to kill his stepbrother Jase so he wouldn't have to share the inheritance money. When a series of accidents plague their ranch, it makes the brothers doubt each other. The two need to have faith in each other and Cole wants to provide Jase with all the love he can. He just has to figure out how and perhaps Maia Armstrong can help him find a way.

Maia Armstrong is a veterinarian and a woman of many talents, including a unique ability to understand animals. Maia has never taken a permanent veterinary position in town. She often fills in for other vets in order to save enough money so she can buy out the elderly vet and take over his business. Some say she possesses magic and strange things seems to happen when she is around. It is said she can cast spells on animals and men. Maia has noticed Cole, he seems to be obsessed with her and if truth were told, she is just as intrigued with him. When there is an emergency at the Steele ranch, Maia agrees to go. She feels a strong need to help Cole and Jase deal with their past and wants to help them look forward to being a family in the future. She can't help falling in love with Cole, but will he return her love?

ROCKY MOUNTAIN MIRACLE is an outstanding paranormal romance. Ms. Feehan delivers on so many levels especially in revealing a dysfunctional family trying to learn to have faith in each other. There is love, faith, forgiveness and the miracle of the Christmas Season. There is also intrigue, suspense, and interesting animals that all add to the story line. Although this book is re-released, this is my favorite Christmas story.

Reviewed by Gloria Gehres
Rated 4 1/2

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Welcome to our new review site! Starting December 1, 2014, our book reviews will be posted online instead of our monthly newsletter. We will have blogs, author interviews, as well as reviews for you to enjoy. Our reviews will be posted as the books are completed, so there will be something to read all throughout the month. Thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Three Vices Book One
C.H. Admirand
C.H. Admirand Publishing
March 2014 (eBook)
ISBN# 978-0-9897099-6-5
Historical Romance

Viscount Rexley must defend his family's honor in a duel, but he never meant for the bullet to hit a woman! His family is in crisis due to a blackmailer, so he needs funds and the most reasonable solution is to find an heiress. When they show up at the same ball later that night, it shocks him to discover the woman he shot is the same one he has contracted to marry.

When Lady Patience's cousin has an appointment at dawn in a duel, she feels the need to thwart his demise and in turn gets herself shot. She's stunned to discover that the man she's been contracted to marry is the same man who shot her. Patience doesn't want to marry anyone, but she finds Lord Rexley captivating and eventually they marry. Little do they both know that when an unexpected event tears them apart, it may be too late to realize the depths of their love.

This reboot of a previous version( published in 2007) is a toned down one according to the author. I found the story a bit tiresome, with many plot devices thrown in as if the author couldn't figure out which way to go. I did skip through some of it, simply because I lost interest in the characters. I also found the ending to be a bit predictable.

Reviewed by: Jennifer Jones
Rating: 3

Monday, July 28, 2014

**5 Star Rating** Lindsay McKenna's NEVER SURRENDER

Lindsay McKenna
Harlequin HQN
ISBN:  978-0373778829
July 2014
Contemporary Romance

In this seventh book in the Shadow Warriors series, McKenna continues the story begun this past year in BREAKING POINT.  Medic Bay Thorn has gotten engaged to her Navy SEAL, Chief Gabe Griffin.  When Bay has to return to Afghanistan to fulfill her military commitment, Gabe is nervous and worried back in San Diego. Readers learned in the first book that Bay was a quietly tough, skilled and gentle healer, respected by her colleagues. 

When her deployment results in her capture by the Taliban, her hostage status puts her in harms way over and over.  Tortured and assaulted by the brutal leader she holds on to the hope that Gabe and his SEAL unit might rescue her.  While wounded and broken she manages to escape and is found by Gabe and his men. 

The painfully realistic majority of this remarkable novel involves Bay’s response to her trauma, her attempts to heal, her flashbacks and PTSD.  Throughout her recovery in the hills of Kentucky, Gabe is a constant presence in her life.  McKenna is especially skillful at giving readers Bay’s story of surviving the horrors of captivity during a war but the story is made even more poignant by the portrayal of Gabe’s struggle and pain at watching the woman he loves move through recovery. 

With this book Lindsay McKenna further distinguishes herself as the leading contemporary author of military romances.  It is beautifully written with sensitivity and heartbreaking honesty.  Some readers might find this book painful and disturbing to read but honestly, I saw it as a testimonial to all the soldiers, male and female, who go through war and manage to survive and move on with life.  It is also about their families, truly an exceptional book that I thought about long after I finished reading it.  Bravo Ms. McKenna!

Reviewed by Jeri Neal

Rating:  5

Monday, July 14, 2014

Blog Post & Giveaway by author, P.J. O'Dwyer

CLAIMED is the first book in the Hunter’s Moon Series by P. J. O’Dwyer

“O’Dwyer displays an unfailing instinct for building and maintaining story tension and intensity, and for creating complications as believable as they are compelling.”
—USA Today

One girl. Two horses. And a past itching to catch up. . . .

Fourteen-year-old, Colorado juvenile delinquent Mackenzie Lynn Stonebreaker doesn’t do horses. But the volunteer gig at Hunter’s Moon Ranch has its perks. With cold, hard cash she lifts from its boarding fund, Mac’s poised for escape to search for her birth mom when an Arabian mare named Bella is viciously struck by a shotgun blast. Alive and talking—well, telepathically only to Mac—the horse begs for her help.
Talking to horses totally freaks Mac out. But leaving Bella and her colt Raider isn’t an option. Ditching her plans for now, Mac becomes a modern-day Dr. Doolittle, looking for justice. Only Mac tends to act first and ask questions later. When her protective instinct for the horses gets in the way of her good sense, Mac finds herself, once again, on the other side of the law.
Dodging a return trip to juvie, thanks to the ranch owner’s partner Dr. Rachel Hunter, Mac is now in the pediatrician’s custody and living a life she could only dream. With newfound friendships, the gift of gab with two quirky horses, her first kiss, and a chance at that family she’s always wanted, she can’t quite let go of one thing.
Abandoned and unloved by her mother, Mac wants to know why. But sleuthing for answers puts Mac on a collision course with the past—one that will shatter everything she believes in about herself and those she’s come to love and trust at Hunter’s Moon.
Mac just may find that what she’s been looking for her whole life is the exact opposite of what she will get.

Excerpt from CLAIMED
Chapter Four

ou want me to go in with you?” Miss Rachel sat in the driver’s seat of the dark blue Hunter’s Moon pickup parked outside of Rifle House, her warm green eyes searching Mac’s under the interior light.
“Nope. I’m good.” Miss Rachel had already contacted Hale. Hale had agreed to let her stay and help. That was good enough for Mac. “Thanks for McDonald’s.”
“Least I could do.” She frowned. “I could have cooked something homemade.”
Mac understood. They’d all been wrapped up with Bella. She only hoped the note in the pocket of her sweatshirt from Miss Rachel would be enough for Hale to agree to let her go back to the ranch tomorrow, which was Sunday. They usually didn’t volunteer on Sundays. That day was set aside for church. But you would think any God-fearing woman—although she doubted Hale was one of them—would allow Mac to slide if she was helping out an injured horse that, from Miss Rachel’s point of view, needed the calming presence of one Mackenzie Lynn Stonebreaker. Mac smiled at that.
Since when had she ever been a calming presence?
“I’ll see you tomorrow.” Mac grabbed the door handle.
“If you need a ride, have Ms. Hale call the ranch. One of us will pick you up.”
Ugh. With her luck, she’d end up with the ranch manager. She didn’t much care for Gil Bruckner. He was way grumpier than Whit could ever be.
“Okay. See ya.” Mac jumped out and headed up the sidewalk. She cleared the gate of the chain link fence—like that was somehow going to protect the neighbors from the baddies locked inside—and climbed the stairs to the two-story Cape Cod with its barred windows.
The rumble of the truck engine gave way to panic. Mac dug out the handwritten note from her pocket, her face cool in the shadows of night under the porch, and wondered. What could possibly stand in her way of being reunited with Bella and Raider?
Mac squinted against the bright light coming from Hale’s office window and gritted her teeth.
It wasn’t what could get in Mac’s way. More like who.
Jordan wasn’t an oversized giraffe. No. She was a backstabbing, two-faced suck-up. Mac gripped the doorknob and seriously considered cutting through the back, rounding the shed, and coming in the back door.
The door swung open, and Mac jumped.
Caroline Hanson stood frowning at her. “You need to hide the—”
Mac beaded in on Caroline. If she thought she was going to buddy up to her, she was wrong. Her fingers clenched. She made it a habit to never trust anyone, especially the girls at Rifle House. Not that Caroline—super brainiac, freckles, straight blonde hair that Mac envied, and one of her bunkmates—had given her any crap like Jordan. She wasn’t into making friends. She didn’t plan on being here in this uptight place long enough.
“Out of my way.” Mac brushed by her, never making eye contact. She skirted the double glass French doors of Hale’s office—the stupid whiteboard with Hale’s schedules she was half tempted to rip off the wall—and ignored the curious raccoon eyes of Skylar, leaning against the entryway hall with her dark makeup, dyed black hair, and pierced eyebrow.
If there was one girl more antisocial than Mac, it was Skylar. Good thing. She wasn’t talking to her either.
Mac cringed at the singsong voice of Brooke Jenkins and glanced into the recreation room on the opposite side of Hale’s office near the steps. Both Brooke and Angela Hawkins—they were forever attached to their bony hips—hung over the couch, their equally annoying ponytails swishing into place.
Mac gave them a mean face. “Get a life.” She took the steps upstairs.
“I think you should be more concerned with your life.”
Mac recognized that nasty tone and turned to find Ms. Hale next to her.
“Glad to see you finally made it home.”
Mac could read between her fake smile and pleasant words. Even her professional outfit screamed poser. Most youth counselors dressed casually—not Ms. Hale. She liked silk, tight skirts, and killer heels.
Mac’s stomach gurgled, and the heat crept into her face.
So much for the hamburger and fries.
“Can I get something to eat?”
“Kitchen’s closed.” Ms. Hale folded her arms and looked down her slender nose at Mac through a pair of designer reading glasses. “Your assistance at the ranch is not a requirement.”
Yeah, well, it beats hanging around here. She hated this place, especially during Hale’s shift, and she hated when the woman threatened her. Totally one of the reasons she wished Hale would slide off this side of the earth and never come back.
Mac said nothing and started up the steps.
“Miss Stonebreaker, we’re not done here.”
A bowl-shaped blonde head, body like a bendable super hero—only more evil—cleared Ms. Hale’s office. “Thank you, Ms. Hale, for taking the time to speak with me.” Jordan shook Ms. Hale’s hand, and Mac wanted to puke. What? Did she think she was running for office? She was fifteen and a juvenile delinquent.
“My door is always open, Jordan.” Ms. Hale gave a sweep of her arm. “In my office, Miss Stonebreaker.” She turned and walked toward her desk, her high heels clicking on the wooden floor.
Mac remained rooted to the floor, debating whether she wanted to or not. Ms. Hale’s tone was pleasant enough. Maybe Jordan hadn’t ratted her out. Mac reached for the note in her pocket and relaxed. Show her the note, let her give you a lecture, and boom, you’re out and on the ranch tomorrow.
Jordan smirked and then mouthed the words, “You’re dead.”
Mac nailed her with her eyes, refusing to look away.
Miss Stonebreaker, I’m waiting.”
Mac’s shoulders slumped. Well, that pretty much sealed it. Jordan was “Jordan” to Ms. Hale and Mac was “Miss Stonebreaker.”
Mac’s heart sank lower as she made her way into Hale’s office.

P. J. O’Dwyer donates ten percent of all book and jewelry sales to horse rescue to help in their mission of rescue, rehabilitation, and education.

Author Bio –

P. J. O’Dwyer is an award-winning author of young adult and romantic suspense. She’s an active member of Romance Writers of America. When asked where she gets her story ideas, she laughs ruefully and says, “It helps being married to a cop.” She lives in Maryland with her family.

Connect with P. J.


Linked In      

Giveaway: Click Here To Enter The Rafflecopter Contest For A Chance To Win:

Kindle eBook
Keepsake Necklace Inspiredby
 Heroine Mac Stonebreaker