Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Review: Just One Touch by Maya Banks (Slow Burn #5)

Raised in a strict religious cult since she was a young girl, Jenna has no connection to the outside world beyond vague flashes of memory that seem to be from another life. Memories she clings to when the cult leaders discover her extraordinary ability to heal- and punish her. Years held captive and forced to do the cults bidding have turned Jenna into a meek, timid woman.. or so they think. In truth, she's just biding her time, waiting for the perfect moment to escape. 

When a terrified young woman tries to steal the SUV of Deveraux Security's toughest recruit, Isaac's anger quickly turns into a strange sort of protectiveness for the beautiful, bruised stranger. But, when they are caught in a firestorm of bullets and Isaac is hit, he's sure the end is near, until Jenna touches him and closes his wounds. As he tries to bring Jenna to safety, she refuses to tell him what danger haunts her or how she healed him, but Isaac vows to do whatever it takes to gain her trust... and her heart. Because with just one touch, Isaac knows he wants Jenna to be his forever. 

Just One Touch is book number five in author Maya Banks Slow Burn series. There is nothing slow about the plot of this book. The story starts quickly with Jenna's escape from the cult and meeting her/our hero Isaac. I loved how he recognized the beauty within Jenna the first moment he saw her hiding behind a bruised, bloodied face and dirty clothes, even while trying to steal his truck. Before he can even begin to help her, he is shot and the alpha protector becomes the one needing help.  Jenna risks her safety to heal him and in return saves his life at their first meeting. He doesn't understand what happened, how she healed him, but he is damn sure not going to let anyone or anything hurt her.

I am not always a fan of instant love, but this story sold it to me almost immediately. These two shared a life-altering experience that sparked their feelings. While there is a paranormal element to this story, it's not the story. Jenna's ability to heal just gives the story a little something extra. I'm a romantic, I love when a hero isn't afraid to tell the heroine how he feels and Isaac has no qualms about revealing his feelings often. If you love a good alpha hero, Isaac is all that and a bag of chips. The twisty plot kept me interested and there were a few things I didn't see coming. The author does an amazing job of making this story stand alone, while at the same time peaking my interest to know more about other secondary characters (Isaac's crew from DSS Security and their spouses). This is the first book I've read in author Maya Banks, Slow Burn series and I can assure you it will not be the last. 

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**I was given an advanced copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I honestly loved this book!**

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Review: First Star I See Tonight by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

A no-nonsense sports hero and a feisty female detective go head-to head in this funny, fresh, seductive novel from the award winning NYT best selling author known for her unforgettable characters, heartfelt emotion and laugh out loud humor.

He's the former quarterback of the Chicago Stars football team.

She's trying to make a success of her very own detective agency.

Her first job? Follow him.

Let's just say it's not going well. 

Not well at all....

Piper Dove is a woman with a dream- to become the best detective in the city of Chicago? First job? Trail former Chicago Stars quarterback, Cooper Graham. The problem? Graham's spotter her, and he's not happy.

Which is why a great detective needs a first rate imagination. "The fact is... I'm your stalker. Not full-out barmy. Just... mildly unhinged."

Piper soon finds herself working for Graham himself, although not as the bodyguard he refuses to admit he so desperately needs. Instead, he's hired her to keep an eye on the employees at his exclusive new nightclub. But Coop's life might be in danger, and Piper's determined to protect him, whether he wants it or not (Hint: Not!).  If only she weren't also dealing with a bevy of Middle Eastern princesses, a Pakistani servant girl yearning for freedom, a teenager who just wants to fit in, and an elderly neighbor demanding that Piper find her very dead husband.

And then there's Cooper Graham, a legendary sports hero who always gets what he wants- even if what he wants just might be an intrepid detective hell bent on proving she's as tough as he is.

From the busting streets of Chicago to a windswept lighthouse on Lake Superior to the glistening waters of Biscayne Bay, two people who can't stand to lose will test themselves and each other to discover what matters most.

Yeah baby! My Chicago Stars are back and better than ever. Susan Elizabeth Phillips proves yet again why she is and will always be my favorite author. First Star I See Tonight is fast paced romantic tale of two characters who initially don't like each other very much, but quickly find their lives intertwined and gradually develop a friendship turned love with a few incredibly entertaining bumps along the way.

The hero, Cooper and heroine, Piper are both such well developed characters. The trademark SEP witty banter kept me laughing and quickly turning the pages. The humor and romance are sure to charm even the toughest critic. The secondary characters and their storylines running alongside our romance made it even more intimate and charming. I could really visualize these characters, where they lived and who their people were.

I give First Star I See Tonight five big bright beautiful shooting stars! This book is one that is certain to be on my must re-read list for many years to come! There is a reason you are seeing this book show up on so many top reading lists- it's amazing! As I type this I sit with my fingers crossed that another Chicago Star romance will come our way in the future (Hint, Hint SEP).

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Note: I purchased this book on my own and as always all thoughts are my own

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Review: Chasing Lady Amelia by Maya Rodale

Chasing Lady Amelia

Keeping Up with the Cavendishes

Lady Amelia is fed up with being a proper lady and wishes to explore London, so one night she escapes... and finds herself in the company of one Alistair Finlay-Jones. He's been ordered by his uncle to wed one of the American girls. How lucky, then that one of them stumbles right into his arms!

Alistair and Amelia have one perfect day to explore London, from Astley's Amphitheater to Vauxhall Gardens. Inevitably they end up falling in love and making love. If anyone finds out, she will be ruined, but he will win everything he's ever wanted.

When Amelia finds out Alistair has been ordered to marry her, he must woo her and win back the angry American girl. But with the threat of scandals, plural, looming... will he ever catch up to the woman he loves.

Chasing Lady Amelia is the second book in Maya Rodale's, Keeping up With the Cavendishes series.

Lady Amelia is an American and if she had her way she would still be living in America. She has no interest in becoming the proper lady everyone in London expects her to be. Let it not be said that Lady Amelia doesn't at least put her best foot forward (foot only wearing stockings that is, as her shoes are hiding in the planter in the ballroom, as they were terribly uncomfortable). After a ball that was guaranteed to cause scandal in the society pages she finds herself a little drugged (unknowingly) and lured to the city streets by a singing siren.. in the form of one Mr. Alistair Finlay-Jones

Alistair Finlay-Jones feels he owes a debt to his Uncle and the best way to satisfy that debt is to grant his wish and marry one of the American girls. Her dowry will give them the financial boost they need. He never expected one of the girls to literally cross his path and make her way to his home and bed, all in the same day. He also never expected to fall in love.

Lady Amelia spends an amazingly adventurous day exploring London with Alistair Finley Jones, but with Amelia's family desperately.. but quietly, hunting all over London for her she is forced to return to reality. Once she realizes that Alistair knew who she was all along, he has his hands full convincing her that he fell in love with her, not her money.

5 STARS for Chasing Lady Amelia. It was a delightful, uplifting escape from reality. I enjoyed the fast pace of the story, the non-stop humor and the romance, oh the romance. This is the first book of this series that I've read, so it can be read as a stand alone book. That being said, I have already purchased the first book in this series Lady Bridget's Diary and plan to preorder Lady Claire Is All That (releasing 12/27/16). All of the books in this series are written to be taking place at the same time, which adds an extra element of fun to the mix. I became a fan of Maya Rodale after reading her Writing Girls books. I loved every book in that series and have reread it more times than I can count. I have a feeling that the Keeping Up with the Cavendishes novels will be joining my shelf of favorite books as well.  If you are looking for an fun, romantic happily ever after you must read Chasing Lady Amelia!

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About the Author:
Maya Rodale began reading romance novels in college at her mother's insistence. She is now the bestselling and award winning author of numerous smart and sassy romance novels. A champion of the genre and its readers, she is also the author of the non-fiction book Dangerous Books For Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels, Explained and co-founder of Lady Jane's Salon, a national reading series devoted to romantic fiction. Maya lives in New York City and her darling dog and a rogue of her own.

Note: I was given an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I honestly loved this romance!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Review: Sweet Little Lies by Jill Shalvis

Choose the one guy you can't have...

As captain of a San Francisco tour boat, Pru can handle rough seas- the hard part is life on dry land. Pru loves her new apartment and her neighbors; problem is, she's in danger of stumbling into love with Mr. Right for Anybody But Her.

Fall for him- hard...

Pub owner Finn O'Riley is six-foot plus of hard-working hottie who always makes time for his friends. When Pru becomes one of them, she discovers how amazing it feels to be on the receiving end of that deep green gaze. But when a freak accident involving darts (don't ask) leads to shirtless first aid, things rush way past the friend zone. Fast.

And then tell him the truth.

Pru only wants Finn to be happy; it's what she wishes for at the historic fountain that supposed to grant her heart's desire. But wanting him for herself is a different story- because Pru's been keeping a secret that could change everything....

Pru has spent a good portion of her adult life making amends for a tragic accident caused by her parents. She's helped everyone involved in one way or another and her last wish is to see Finn O'Riley happy. Selflessly, she places a wish in the magic fountain. Her heart's desire is for Finn to find happiness. However, I don't think she planned for that happiness to come in the form of... well, her. Finn has been taking care of his brother and their business since his father died. He's not really taken time for himself, but he can't seem to not spend time with the lovely ship captain, Pru. From their first eye lock in the beginning of the book to their last kiss at the end of the book, Jill Shalvis reeled this reader in hook, line and sinker.

Sweet Little Lies the first novel in the new Heartbreaker Bay series by Jill Shalvis is an example of contemporary romance at its best. The romance is steamy with the perfect amount of comedy and angst. The characters felt real. I want to be friends with these people. I loved EVERY single page. Heartbreaker Bay has officially made my list of favorite fictional towns. It may not be as small town, as say Fool's Gold (Susan Mallery) or Sweet, Texas (Candis Terry),  but with this tight knit group of friends it certainly has that small town feel. I can't wait to see what's next for Heartbreaker Bay!

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