Our Reviews

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

Monday, December 21, 2015

Another Great Winter Romance!

Whiskey Creek
Brenda Novak
ISBN:  978-1410487230
November 2015
Contemporary Romance

This is Kyle’s story in the ever popular Whiskey Creek book series.  Kyle has appeared in other novels and was always a bit of a mystery given that he looked like a complex character who, while on the periphery of other stories, deserved his own book.

In this novel the only woman he has ever loved is married to his stepbrother, this woman’s sister, Noelle, is his crazy ex-wife, and while Kyle is successfully running a business, he is stuck in a sea of marriages and babies without a significant other.  He ends up renting his house to Lourdes, a country music star trying to find herself in her music, in a geographical setting where she can remain relatively anonymous.  She is immediately drawn to the quiet strength of Kyle, a man very different from the superficiality of her entertainment world.

Lourdes would like to have one more successfull song or album and finds competing with younger talent exhausting.  Her own difficulties with her male fiancĂ© make Kyle look very normal.

I loved this book and read it in one sitting.  These are nicely complicated characters who manage to assuage their lonely lives with a sweet relationship.  I was really rooting for Kyle who I think deserved a happily ever after.  A terrific holiday read!

Reviewed by  Jeri Neal
Rating:  4

A New Cold Creek Christmas Story for RaeAnne Thayne fans

RaeAnne Thayne
Harlequin Special Edition  
ISBN:  978-0373659258
November 2015
Contemporary Romance

Readers have met Celeste Nichols in previous books by this author.  As the librarian of the small town Pine Gulch library she has lived in relative obscurity for a long time.  This all changes when her children’s stories about Sparkle the reindeer became an instant success and she is pushed into the publishing limelight.  The youngest of the Nichols sisters, she has lived on her family’s ranch with her cat and dog and helps make the Christmas Ranch a continuing holiday tradition.

At the same time divorced hometown boy Flynn Delaney returns to Pine Gulch to clean out his grandmother’s home.  A successful businessman in California, he is trying to heal his young daughter’s physical injuries and traumatic memories associated with her mother’s murder by an unstable boyfriend. Now she is Flynn’s responsibility and he brings her back to Pine Gulch with some desperation and a wish to heal.

The delicious part of this story is the knowledge that Celeste had a wild crush on Flynn when they were children.  She knows him instantly when he returns to the small town where he spent summers with his grandmother.  Celeste has had her own brush with trauma, losing her parents as a child and being raised by her aunt and uncle who owned the Christmas Ranch.  She particularly understands what Olivia is experiencing as she tries to conquer her fears.

Flynn finds himself drawn to the quiet young woman who his daughter adores because she is the one who wrote about Sparkle.  This is a very sweet, lovely Christmas story about two very lonely people, commitment to family, and finding out what really matters in life.  A terrific holiday romance!

Reviewed by Jeri Neal
Rating:  4

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Eva Leigh's newest is a slow building romance

Wicked Quills of London Series Book 2
Eva Leigh
ISBN# 978-0-06-235864-6
November 2015
Historical Romance

As a successful playwright, Maggie Delamere is on the brink of financial ruin. Her wildly successful previous play has footed the bill for a while, but now that her benefactors are pressuring her for the sequel, she finds that her creative genius has gone quiet. Without the income, she will be left with little resources, the actors and people involved in the theatre will also suffer. With a deadline two weeks away, she has little time for the bothersome and dangerously attractive Viscount Marwood.

Cameron, the Viscount Marwood, has been admiring the work of the talented Mrs. Delamere for a long time. Once he finally meets her, his curiosity turns into fascination as she rebuffs him at every turn. She clearly has no use for him, but he senses something is amiss with the talented widow. Gaining her friendship little by little, he is able to offer her his country estate to get down to writing her sequel. However, once they finally get past the barriers and hidden heartbreak, Cam finds that friendship turning into love. A future for a pair like them would be near impossible, or would it?

I found this second installment to be a bit slow in the romance department, however very interesting in the behind the scenes of a theatre group. Maggie has issues with the upper class, stemming from a long ago heartbreak. She doesn't trust Cam in the slightest and we get to see how slowly they are able to overcome the issues presented them with their relationship as well as her writing. The passion is very slow in coming and that is my only complaint. I like to see something in the first half of the book besides character building, at least a kiss or two. So if you prefer a character story, with a hint of romance, then look no further.

Reviewed by Jennifer Jones
Rating: 3

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Debra Webb/Regan Black
The Specialist: Heroes Next Door Series
Harlequin Intrigue #1602
ISBN: 978-0-373-69869-1
November 2015

Having been a follower of author Debra Webb's Colby Agency series for years, I was recently stunned to read she had developed a new series with fellow author Regan Black called The Specialist: Heroes Next Door. Imagine my surprise when I started my search for this series and found out three books were already in print and the fourth was imminent. Let's just say this reviewer is enjoying the discovery of new stories and characters and is getting immersed in the Specialist via the back door, that is, starting with the last book and working my way back to the first.

In HER UNDERCOVER DEFENDER, we meet covert agent David Martin, a former member of the US Coast Guard, assigned to an elite CIA team. David has just been transferred to a medical facility in Charleston, South Carolina where research is being conducted on a device that tracks terrorist. His assignment is to provide the agency with information on the progression of the research and to get to know a nurse working in the hospital. The nurse has a close relationship with the doctor in charge of  biotech research.

Nurse Terri Barnhart works at the Medical University of South Carolina. She has a younger brother that is causing her to worry because he's dropped out of college and completely disappeared  without contacting her.  When her brother finally surfaces he does so with issues that involve terrorist activities. By now, Terri and David have met and taken a strong liking to each other,  developing a relationship that could seriously backfire if Terri ever discovers what David's background really is and why he's in South Carolina.

With criminal/terrorist activity as a backdrop, HER UNDERCOVER DEFENDER  mixes romance and suspense into a slightly homespun, small town tale. If you can get past wanting to strangle the bratty brother, you'll enjoy the story. You will definitely want to gather the other books in the series to start at the beginning, or, if you're lucky and have been reading it all along, you'll enjoy the addition.

Reviewed By Livia Holton
Rating: 4