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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Dare's Scottish romance is a worthy read!

Castles Ever After Book Three
Tessa Dare
Avon Books
ISBN# 978-0-06-234902-6
September 2015
Historical Romance

Madeline Gracechurch is painfully shy, she cannot stand to be in large crowds. So, at sixteen, she invents an imaginary suitor so she can be left alone. For years, she writes letters to what she believes is a made up name, only they actually get sent to a real man with that name. The letters become almost like a diary for her, revealing her secrets, dreams, desires and wishes. Logan, having received the letters, reads them, memorizes them, and decides to use them to his advantage when the time comes.

Captain Logan MacKenzie has read all the letters and knows this is his chance to give back to his men that have been displaced, abandoned and left alone after years of soldiering. He doesn't care what he has to do, but he needs the castle and the land to give his men a permanent home. One lying English miss isn't going to stand in his way. He wasn't prepared for how beautiful, alluring, and tempting his new wife would be, and suddenly, the prospect of having a real future becomes more appealing every day. Yet, Logan is hiding his own share of dark secrets that threaten his future.

These two together are fun to watch as their relationship develops along. Logan has his secrets that he hides and it drives a wedge between them. A wonderful character romance worth reading.

Reviewed by: Jennifer Jones
Rating: 4

IF YOU ONLY KNEW by Kristan Higgins is a keeper!

Kristan Higgins
ISBN: 978-0-373-78497-4
September 2015
Contemporary Romance

This latest from one of my favorite authors does not disappoint. Jenny Tate is a wedding dress designer who has given up the New York City scene for her small town hometown up the Hudson River. Her former husband has moved on to a new wife and baby and Jenny just does not feel in the mood to be included in their happily ever. Especially since this was supposed to be her scenario.

So, Jenny goes home and opens up a classy wedding dress designer business. She is close to her sister Rachel, who is having some significant relationship issues of her own with her philandering husband. Rachel’s plate is full with triplets and she leans on Jenny for support.

Jenny’s mom is intrusive and always reminding her what she doesn’t have. Her mom is also obsessed with her late husband, who died suddenly and wasn’t as perfect as everyone believed.

In the middle of all this is Jenny’s landlord Leo, a mysterious man who gives piano lessons and seems to have a secret. Jenny, of course, is powerfully drawn to him. This relationship forms the backbone of the book.

As always, Kristan Higgins manages to make me laugh out loud and cry all within the same novel. Her characters are so darn human and believable and readers will adore this offering. This novel is no different from all the others yet, it was so terrific that I read it a second time. It will go on my keeper shelf, along with all her other books, to provide a book friend that I know will give reading pleasure in years to come. Bravo!

Reviewed by Jeri Neal
Rating: 4 1/2

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

EXIT STRATEGY is action packed!

EXIT Inc. Thrillers
Lena Diaz
ISBN# 978-0-06-234908-8
July 2015
Romantic Suspense

EXIT Inc. enforcer Marcus Hunt is on a mission to eliminate a threat, Sabrina Hightower. However, there's something not quite right about his target and he suspects maybe she is innocent. Questioning his mission and everything he's built for himself, he keeps her out of harms way until he figures it out. This process is especially hard because a colleague is also after her. Marcus and Sabrina flee into the mountains, where they fight for their lives and against a powerful attraction.

From the onset, Sabrina is fighting for her life. After an intruder forces her from her house, she runs headlong into Marcus, who whisks her away for her own protection. Fighting against a powerful organization that wants her dead, Marcus and Sabrina have to stay ahead of the game in order to survive. Falling in love just gave them more incentive, but will they reach the end of the line alive?

This is an action packed thriller, complete with bad guys that aren't that bad, and bad guys that are really bad, and sexy, sultry tension that permeates the pages to keep the reader enthralled. Marcus is one sexy to the bone enforcer who has met his match in Sabrina. All these things make for a superb start to this series.

Reviewed by Jennifer Jones
Rating: 4

Put Up Your Duke by Megan Frampton


Dukes Behaving Badly Book 2
Megan Frampton
ISBN# 978-0-06-235222-4
July 2015
Historical Romance

Nicholas Smithfield has just been newly minted as the Duke of Gage, after the previous Duke was ousted due to an illegitimate issue some generations back. He not only inherits the Dukedom and all that it entails, but also a fiance that he must marry in order to help keep his estate solvent. Lady Isabella Sawford has been molded, preened, educated and bartered by her parents since she was born. Her parents gave the previous Duke money in exchange for marrying her, and now that duty falls to Nicholas. Neither one is happy about it, but they proceed since they really have no other choice. What ensues is a relationship that is slowly built through trust and companionship. The only thing missing is love, but can it be far behind?

When I first picked up the book, I had high hopes that this would be a romance filled with tension, angst and sizzle. Not the case, sadly enough. The plot is slow, the parents horrendous in their constant manipulation and overbearing ways towards both their daughters, and the romance is nearly non-existent. This story is about as interesting as a piece of dried bread and lukewarm water. Obviously something could have been made about the previous Duke, as he's trying to cause a conflict with regards to his ousting, but that's really all done behind the scenes as if he's just off stage and we are being told about it. Nicholas is a scoundrel (or so we are lead to believe), but as soon as he's married, he turns into this wonderful, understanding, husband who slowly woos his wife but it takes him a very long time. A scoundrel should have a few weapons in his arsenal to win over his wife, I would think. The ending is somewhat of another blah moment. By the time these two finally get around to, you know, I really just didn't care. I'm giving this a little higher mark than I should because Isabella's sister is entertaining at least.

Reviewed by Jennifer Jones
Rating: 3