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Archive for November, 2010

Mount Up Memory Grove #2 by Melissa Ecker
* I received this ARC/book free from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Dr. Natalie Shea doesn’t want to be attracted to the rugged but affable cowboy who ends up under her care after a rodeo injury.  But when a second fateful accident has their paths crossing again, there is no denying the synergy, both in and out of the bedroom. 

 Luke Reilly is everything she never expected.  He’s captured her body, but her heart won’t be won that easily.  Can Luke break down the walls built by a childhood tragedy and set Natalie free to love him forever?  Or will she walk away from him and Memory Grove without looking back?

 Mount Up book two in the Memory Grove series introduces us to Natalie, an ER Dr and Luke, a rodeo cowboy.  Two people from totally different worlds that find they have more in common than they thought.

Natalie accepted a residency in Arkansas and ended up staying.  She is a country girl at heart and loves being close to her grandmother.  She has closed herself off and is basically a loner.  She still hasn’t come to grips with events of her past but everything changes when she meets Luke.

Luke is a local star and everybody knows and loves him.  He has been a pro rodeo star for many years but he is starting to tire of the circuit.  He has a house, boat and truck but is it enough.

Natalie is cool and aloof when she treats Luke in the ER, even though all of the nurses are fighting over helping.  Luke is immediately interested in her but can’t understand why she doesn’t succumb to his charms.  Another accident pushes the two of them together and helps jump start their relationship.

The two of them have an immediate attraction but Natalie isn’t ready to give in to the desire she is feeling.  Luke pushes all her buttons but she is scared of getting close to someone like him.  She thinks he’s arrogant and not the type of guy she wants to date.  Luke is just sure of himself and even though he is a rodeo star, he’s really just a down to earth guy who enjoys being at home with friends and family.

I love the interaction between these two, it took them awhile to get to know each but when they did Wow!  The sex between them was very HOT and well worth the wait.  I also love the fact that they have to deal with the same issues and emotions that everyone else has to deal with, jealousy, anger, fear and slutty ex’s.  It makes is so easy to connect to the couple in the story, you can relate to them.

I loved Mount Up by Melissa Ecker and can’t wait to read the next installment in the Memory Grove series.  The series releases on December 1, 2011 with Lazy Day Publishing.  You can visit Melissa at www.melissaecker.com for more information about this series. 

Overall I give Mount Up 4 Flaming Hearts  

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The Sweetest Deal by Mary Campisi
* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

An impossible demand…

Max Jernigan is ready to close the most important business deal of his life—all he has to do is agree to one request from Grayson Crowell: impregnate the mogul’s daughter.

No way can Max do this. He’s a decent guy. But he would love a child. He just doesn’t want a wife.

An impossible man…

C.C. Crowell gave up on dreams of a family after Mr. Worse-Than-Wrong broke her heart. Hiding behind spreadsheets, boring suits and an icy attitude, she’s more than a little suspicious when arrogant, handsome Max is suddenly chasing her. But she can’t deny their chemistry. Until she learns about the deal and plans to pay Max back in kind….

The Sweetest Deal is a story that combines business and pleasure when Max agrees to a deal that may cost him his job as well as his heart.  Max Jernigan believes in his project and wants to see it developed but the only way it’s going to happen is if he agrees to Grayson’s terms.

CC Crowell wants more than anything to prove to her father that she can handle the job, especially after what happened two years ago.  She is no longer the carefree girl she was; now she is all business and has sworn off men.

Both Max and CC have a lot to learn about themselves.  They have both have suffered heartaches in the past that has drawn them closer.  Max sees the vibrant, beautiful woman under CC’s stiff exterior and wants to bring it out.  She is the first woman that he has enjoyed being with in a long time.  She is smart and funny and everything he never knew he wanted in a woman.

The more time CC spends the Max the more beautiful and daring he makes her feel.  She begins to see beneath his pretty boy image to the man underneath.  She has sworn off men but Max passed her cookie test and makes her want things she thought were out of her reach.

The connection between Max and CC is there from the beginning.  I loved seeing the characters grow and change before your very eyes.  The story also has great secondary characters.  I hope we see a future story between Roxie and Ryder they provided a lot of comic relief in this story.  I loved the ending and was pulling for Max and CC to make it work from the beginning.

Overall I enjoyed The Sweetest Deal and give it 4 flaming hearts. 

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Pull the Trigger by Melissa Ecker
* I received this ARC/book free from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Rebecca Harper is making a clean break.  The ink is dry on her divorce decree and her dream job has finally come to fruition.  In two weeks, she will be on a plane to St. Louis.  All her plans are set until sexy cop Justin Cain, her former high school crush, asks her to dinner.

This one night out instigates a roller coaster ride of hot sex, serious soul searching and heart breaking decisions.  Will Rebecca leave Justin behind to follow her dreams?  Or will his love be enough to keep her in Memory Grove?

Pull the Trigger is the 1st book in a series by Melissa Ecker about Memory Grove.  It introduces us to the small town, along with two of it’s residents Rebecca and Justin.

Rebecca works at the local libray and is newly divorced.  She married her first love, or so she thought.  As the story progresses, we see how he knocked her self image down over the years they were married.  She is not confident about herself or her abilities, she has a poor self image of her self and very low self esteem.  All that changes when she decides to take the chance and go to dinner with Justin.

Justin is a police officer in the small town.  Everyone knows everyone’s business so he isn’t surprised when he stops Rebecca and she tells him about her husband.  After her divorce is final, he runs into her at the liquor store and asks her to dinner, not knowing where the dinner invitation would lead them.

Rebecca can’t believe that Justin really is interested in her.  Her self esteem has been so damanged by Tim she thinks he’s just going out with her because he feels sorry for her.  As they get to know each other, Justin slowly helps her see that Tim was the one with the issues not her.

Justin was popular in school but has never married, he was waiting for the “one” to come along.  He’s had his share of romances but no one he wanted to settle down with.  There is an instant connection with Rebecca that he never expected but she is moving in two weeks.

Both of the main characters are very easy to relate to becauese they have real problems.  They are complex and intersting and I wanted to read more about them.  I was instantly pulled into the story and agreed with Justin, Tim needed to be shot for the things he did to Rebecca.  I hated to see her so down on herself but loved seeing her regain her self confidence and independence.

The airport scene was one of my favorites, it was beautifully written and very touching.  I loved the fact that Justin wasn’t afraid to show his softer, more vunerable side.  The sex scenes were steamy and you could feel the connection between the two of them.

Overall I enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read the other two in the series.  All three books will be released through Lazy Day Publishing in December.  Visit Melissa’s website at http://www.melissaecker.com/ for more information about this series.

Overall I give Pull the Trigger 4 Flaming Hearts. 

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Lying Eyes by Amy Atwell
* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

No-nonsense jewelry designer Iris Fortune yearns for a normal life. But life as Vegas magician Cosmo Fortune’s daughter is anything but normal, especially since dear old Dad is also a scam artist. When Cosmo’s latest scheme goes awry and he pulls a real-life disappearing act, Iris is left holding the bag.

Now Iris must be a master of illusion—play the poised partner to her politician fiancé while trying to save her father and stay out of reach of Mickey Kincaid, the sexy thief who claims he’s only after her jewels.

Detective Kincaid is deep undercover and seeks Iris out because of her connection to Cosmo—he never expected to be so drawn to her. While working with Iris to find the elusive con man, Mickey learns a killer has Iris in his sights, and he must do everything he can to save her, without blowing his cover.

Mickey’s put his life on the line before, but never his heart—and now he’s not sure which is more dangerous…

Lying Eyes by Amy Atwell has something for everyone, there’s romance, intrigue and adventure.  The story is set in Las Vegas where what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, unless it involves stolen famous Russian gems.  Cosmos Fortune has a habit of getting himself into trouble with his adventures.  He’s used to it but he never expected to involve his three daughters.

Iris Fortune runs Lying Eyes, a jewelry store that she inherited from her mother.  She has a nice orderly life, until Mickey the jewel thief walks into it.  She has had it with her father Cosmos and doesn’t want anything to do with him.  She wants a nice stable life, or so she thinks.  Her father spent more time away from home than he did there and she doesn’t want that kind of future.

Mickey needed to get away so he took a job working undercover with the Ls Vegas police.  He is still having trouble dealing with his brother’s death.  He is working with Detective Hunter to try and find out who the big boss is in the operation.  There have been several deaths and Cosmos or Iris could be next. 

The chemistry between Mickey and Iris is instantaneous.   I love that he helps her discover that she is not living life, so much as just getting by.  Her life is safe and orderly with a dependable finance.  In return, she helps him come to terms with his brother’s death.  He realizes that he wants a chance at love and happiness, only Iris can provide. 

This story pulled me in from the very beginning because something was always happening.  It kept me reading, wanting to know what was going to happen next.  I loved the story about the gems and their history.  The characters were all interesting and added something to the story.  Some of my favorites were Aunt Tatiana, Edward and Cosmos.  They provided humor and kept the story light and enjoyable.

Overall I really enjoyed Lying Eyes and recommend it to others.  Amy Atwell does a wonderful job of telling a story that draws the reader in making them a part of that world.  I didn’t want to put it down. 

I give Lying Eyes by Amy Atwell 4 Flaming Hearts.

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Demon’s Love Cinnamon by Kate Richards
* I received a copy of this book from Breathless Press in exchange for an honest review*

Cinnamon-loving demon, Alessandro, had a mission to accomplish: to snatch a soul. But sweet witch, Gwenny, had other ideas besides Hell.

Archaic and powerful demon, Alessandro, knew never to disappoint his overlord, but Samhain night on Earth is a new experience for this red-hot guy. When a captivating scent leads him to a Halloween party, he finds Gwenny. The witch is everything he never even knew to dream of. The only problem is, he’s due back in Hell in the morning with somebody’s soul…and it looks like it may be hers.

Unable to resist Alessandro’s wicked allure, Gwenny doesn’t realize the danger she’s in until their night of passion comes to an end. If Lucifer’s demands are refused, will they both survive, or will Gwenny lose her heart and soul to her cinnamon-loving demon?

Demon’s Love Cinnamon gives you plenty paranormal elements including magic, witches, and demons all tied to Samhain.  Gwenny is part of a Coven of witches that looks forward to Samhain every year.  It’s a night filled with magic and when you add a full moon, anything is possible.

Alessandro is excited because this is his first opportunity to visit earth.  He doesn’t understand the draw of earth that his fellow demons feel, until he gets a whiff of cinnamon and a glance at a beautiful witch.

As an exchange for Alessandro visiting earth, he has to bring a soul back to Hell when he returns at dawn.  He isn’t concerned with his task until he spots Gwenny at a Halloween party.  He realizes that he is willing to suffer the consequences of Hell for one night in her arms.

Gwenny doesn’t know what to think of Alessandro.  She has been hurt before but is willing to take the chance with him, even when he shows her his secret.  She realizes that he is her soul mate and is willing to do whatever she can to hold on to him.

I enjoyed this short story about love and sacrifice and would love to see more of the characters.  I loved Alessandro’s wonder at simple things like cinnamon and dancing.  Gwenny showed courage and wasn’t afraid to hold onto what she wanted.  They had an instant chemistry that was obvious and the love scene was hot. 

I give Demon’s Love Cinnamon 3 flaming hearts.

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Undertow by Moira Rogers
* I received this ARC free from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Being needed isn’t half as desirable as being wanted.

Building Sanctuary, Book 2

Victor left behind a life of crime to focus on a new vision—helping his alpha build an island sanctuary for werewolves. Harsh experiences prepared him for the hardships involved, except when it comes to dealing with the young female refugees of the brutal Boston pack—especially Simone, who rouses his inner wolf like no other. A woman he must resist, or risk becoming just the latest man to make demands on her.

Born to wealth and privilege, Simone lost everything when she fell for the seductive whispers of the textile heir who turned her. Once adrift, now she is fired by a new sense of purpose—the chance to broker peace between werewolves and European wizards. Yet even as Europe beckons, her instincts—the same ones that led to trouble before—keep drawing her back to Victor.

During a sailing trip to the mainland for supplies, Victor finds it impossible to hold himself aloof from the warm, engaging Simone. And when a winter storm traps them together during a full moon, she breaks through his walls so easily and completely, the question is no longer how he’ll stay away, but how he’ll let her go.

Warning: This novella contains werewolves engaged in such improbable (but legal) activities as lobster fishing and sailing during nor’easters. The breaking and entering and instinct-driven sex on every surface in someone else’s summer cottage is a little more criminal

Undertow is the second book in the Building Sanctuary series.  We get to continue the journey started in Safe Harbor and visit old friends.  Victor is the right hand man for Seamus and the pack.  He has a small boat that he lives on that provides him with minimal privacy.  But even that privacy doesn’t let him escape his own thoughts of Simone.

Simone has been through a lot but she knows what she wants, Victor.  She spends her time at the camp helping the other woman cope and providing support for them.  She was disowned by her family and this is the only family she has now.  Along with Joan she helps protect the girls.

Simone is in love with Victor but he thinks she’s in love with the wizard.  His wolf recognizes her as his mate but he is concerned that Simone doesn’t really love him; her wolf is influencing her actions.  He has had a hard life and doesn’t think he’s good enough for her.  He thinks she deserves more than he can provide her with but in reality, she just wants to be loved and needed. 

When James offers her a chance to go to Europe with him, she seriously considers it until she is stranded on the island with Victor.  While on the island, they are forced to deal with each other in order to survive.  There is nowhere Victor can hide and he discovers he no longer wants to.  He is still concerned that he is not good enough for her but can no longer deny how he feels.

While on the island we get to see a different side to Victor, he finally lets his guard down.  He enjoys Simone’s company and the simple life they are forced to live on the island.  They have to rely on each other to stay safe and warm. 

I loved this story.  It paints a picture of place where they are living with bare essentials and the supplies are crucial.  We get to visit with past characters but they don’t over power the main story of is Victor and Simone.  The growth of these two characters was the forefront of Undertow.  I give this story 4 flaming hearts.

You can also check out their Red Rock Pass series and find a couple of free stories at http://www.moirarogers.com/red-rock-freebies.

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