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Archive for the ‘4 1/2 Flaming Hearts’ Category

Rocky Mountain Angel #4Rocky Mountain Angel (Six Pack Ranch #4) by Vivian Arend
* I received this ARC free from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Allison Parker needs a convincing excuse to come home to Rocky Mountain House. A hopelessly romantic reason that won’t let her mother suspect the truth—that Allison has discovered Mom is keeping a terrible secret from the family.

Gabe Coleman is struggling with two of the roughest parts of ranching: dealing with his bull-headed mule of a father, and making enough to pay the bills. When his old friend Allison offers to help him develop his ideas for organic ranching—in trade for pretending to be her fiancé—it sounds like the perfect set-up.

Yet the deception leads them in an unexpected direction, where their shared daily hells are erased by nights of heavenly distraction. It’s not supposed to be real, but once the gates are opened, there’s no denying they’ve found in each other a little bit of Paradise.

To break free of the past and face the future, though, will take more than temporary pleasures. It’ll take putting their hearts on the line.

Warning: Tortured hero with a guardian-angel complex, grief-stricken heroine willing to sacrifice everything for family. Break out the tissues, this trip to the ranch is a heartbreaker on the way to the HEA.

Gabe Coleman is struggling with the making their ranch profitable, while dealing with his father who refuses to adapt with the changing times.  His father puts him down every chance he gets and never lets him forget that he blames him for his brother’s death.  Gabe has a lot on his shoulders but still manages to be there for friends and family when they need him.  When Allison shows up on his doorstep with an offer that will benefit them both, he can’t help but agree to her plan.  He just didn’t realize that he would lose his heart in the process.

Allison’s mom is keeping a secret that will destroy her brother and sister.  She has to find a convincing way to move home without raising her mom’s suspicion and Gabe Coleman seems to be the perfect answer.  She offers to help him with the farm in exchange for him acting as her finance.  Everything seems to be going as planned until she starts to develop real feelings for Gabe.

I love these two together.  They are so good for each other; each provides something the other has been missing from their lives.  Gabe has been struggling with his brother’s death for years and his father hasn’t helped matters either with his anger toward him.  He spends his time working on the family farm while helping out friends and family when needed.  When Allison comes to him with her plan to move back home, he can’t bear to say no to her.

After Allison finds out her mother’s secret, she would do anything to spare her brother and sister the grief they went through when their father died.  She hatches a plan that will let her move home and be there for her family, with the help of Gabe.  She doesn’t realize how much she will come to rely on him and he will mean to her.

The two of them are so perfect for one another.  They are there for each other while helping to heal old wounds.  Gabe always tries to do the right thing but with his father always telling him he is worthless, he has a lot of self-doubt.  Allison helps him see that he is worthy of love and loving someone.  Gabe is Allison’s rock, he is there for her throughout her mother’s illness and makes not only her days better but her mother’s too.  She comes to rely on him when she has a rough day and they both tend to lean on each other when needed.

They have excellent chemistry and I loved the fact that they didn’t just jump into bed with each other, even though they have known each other for a long time.  They didn’t let the sex complicate their relationship, but let the chemistry build naturally with them.  The scene by the lake was full of sexy fun.  I think one of my favorite scenes was the one in the rain at the end, very sweet.

The story focuses on Gabe and Allison but several of the other Coleman clan was mentioned in the story too.  We are also introduced to a few new members of the family and Allison’s family too.  It was a great read that I truly enjoyed.  I give Rocky Mountain Angel 4½ Flaming Hearts.  4.5 Hearts

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Lover at LastLover at Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood #11) by JR Ward
* This book is part of my personal library*

Qhuinn, son of no one, is used to being on his own. Disavowed from his bloodline, shunned by the aristocracy, he has finally found an identity as one of the most brutal fighters in the war against the Lessening Society. But his life is not complete. Even as the prospect of having a family of his own seems to be within reach, he is empty on the inside, his heart given to another….

Blay, after years of unrequited love, has moved on from his feelings for Qhuinn. And it’s about time: it seems Qhuinn has found his perfect match in a Chosen female, and they are going to have a young. It’s hard for Blay to see the new couple together, but building your life around a pipe dream is just a heartbreak waiting to happen. And Qhuinn needs to come to terms with some dark things before he can move forward…

Fate seems to have taken these vampire soldiers in different directions… but as the battle over the race’s throne intensifies, and new players on the scene in Caldwell create mortal danger for the Brotherhood, Qhuinn finally learns the true definition of courage, and two hearts who are meant to be together… finally become one.

The long awaited book about Qhuinn and Blay is finally here and it did not disappoint.  Qhuinn and Blay have been dancing around each other for years but the timing never seems right for them.  Now events keep pushing them together, will they be able to finally make things work?

Qhuinn has had a hard life and had to grow up at a very early age.  He was shunned by his family because of his eyes but he always found safety and love at Blay’s house.  He is a fighter alongside the Brotherhood now and has a home where he is loved and trusted yet, he still feels alone.  He and Layla have a child on the way; he will finally have his own family.  Before he can move forward though, he has to work through his personal issues.

Blay has been in love with Qhuinn for as long as he can remember but has given up on ever having a relationship with him.  He has moved on with Saxton and things have been good but there is still something missing.  Now that he is free, will Qhuinn be able to overcome his personal issues so they finally have a chance.

Qhuinn and Blay have been friends forever and if it wasn’t for Blay, Qhuinn wouldn’t be here today.  While Blay has made it known that he was in love with Qhuinn, Qhuinn hasn’t been able to admit his feelings.  Over the past year he has been dying a little inside watching Blay and Saxton together, knowing he would never have him for his own.  He has decided that he needs to grow up and get his life together before his young is born.  He and Layla have become friends but she isn’t the one for him but they will still have the family they both desire.

Qhuinn and Blay have several encounters and let me say, JR has written their scenes so well.  They are actually quite HOT together and the reader is provided with enough information to know what is going on between them while still leaving some things to the imagination.  The scene in the clinic was really powerful and I actually ached for Qhuinn when he and Blay got into their screaming match in the training center.  But when Qhuinn finally has his ahha moment, I wanted to cry right along with him.

There are so many moments in this story that evoke emotion from the reader that you are fully vested in these characters.  The book also gives us glimpses of the Band of Bastards, Assail, the shadows and lessers.  Each chapter is full of action or emotion.  There is so much going on in this world that it is impossible not to include these side stories.  We were given just a taste of new plot lines that include Trez, Assail and Xcor and the possible female mates in their futures.  And the all the brothers were present and accounted for.

I loved this book and took my time reading it because I just didn’t want it to end.  I give Lover at Last 4½ Faming Hearts.   4.5 Hearts

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With the holiday season officially upon us I wanted to take a minute to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.  I hope that it was filled with lots of friends and family.  Ours was great and we got to see some family members we haven’t seen in awhile.  I am truly blessed with wonderful friends and family and am thankful  for everyone in my life.

In celebration of the holiday season and anticipation of our elf Knowie returning, I am reposting my review of Elf on the Shelf.  It’s a great family story that gets both parents and children involved.  Sit back and ejoy.

Elf on the Shelf™ by Carol Aebersold
*This book is part of my personal library*
 

How does Santa really know who is naughty or nice? The answer is finally revealed in…The Elf on the Shelf A Christmas Tradition.TM The Elf on the Shelf A Christmas TraditionTM is an activity the entire family will enjoy. Based on the tradition Carol Aebersold began with her family in the 1970s, this cleverly rhymed children’s book explains that Santa knows who is naughty and/or nice because he sends a scout elf to every home. During the holiday season, the elf watches children by day and reports to Santa each night. When children awake, the elf has returned from the North Pole and can be found hiding in a different location. This activity allows The Elf on the Shelf to become a delightful hide-and-seek game. In addition, each shipment is marked for special delivery from Santa’s workshop.

Elf on the Shelf is a book the whole family will enjoy.  Each set comes with a book and a cute little Elf.  Each Elf will gain his magic once he/she has been given a name.  The names are as individual as the kids that the elves belong too and naming them is half the fun.

Each night the elves travel home to the North Pole so they can report in to Santa.  Will their child be on the naughty or nice list?  With the help of their magic, they return each morning and find a new place to sit and watch.  It’s important that the children don’t touch their Elf or he will lose his magic.

My granddaughter will be three in a couple of months and she received her elf this holiday season.  Naming our Elf was an adventure.  Every name we suggested she said “No” to so we asked if she wanted to name is “No” and she said YES!! So our Elf’s name is Knowie.  He travels home every night and finds a new place to perch the next morning.  Each morning it’s a game to find out where he is sitting and she loves it.  We have to tell him goodnight every night and make sure that she knows he’s watching and will report to Santa so she’d better be good.

This is a fun book/activity for the whole family to enjoy.  Finding out where the Elf will show up next the best part, along with the threat of the “naughty” list (for parents).  Lilly and I give Elf on the Shelf 4½ Flaming Hearts. 

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 An Engagement Challenge by Kiru Taye
* I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

When savvy PR consultant Ijay Amadi meets successful Industrialist Paul Arinze, the only things on her mind are to forget the pain of her failed relationship and enjoy the delights his branding touch and soul-searing kiss promise. It’s a one-time only event. Perfect.

However, Paul is annoyed to wake up and find her gone the next morning. He isn’t ready to forget the dark-haired beauty or their scorching night together just yet. So he plans to have Ijay right where he wants her—in Abuja, working on his latest business project by day and enjoying the pleasure of his bed by night.

Except when Ijay arrives, she’s wearing another man’s engagement ring. With the explosive desire between them threatening their priorities and loyalties, the stakes get higher by the minute. Who’ll be left standing at the altar when Ijay walks down the aisle?

Ijay Amadi has just broken up with her long term boyfriend and isn’t looking for another relationship until she meets Paul.  He offers her a night with no strings but neither one realized that their hearts would be at stake.  As Ijay and Paul work together on a promotional campaign, their desires become harder to deny, even though Ijay is engaged to another.

Paul Arnize has been searching for something all his life; he just doesn’t realize that it’s Ijay.  When they meet at an event, he offers her one night because that’s all he can give her.  His mistrust of women makes him cautious but he has sworn to never to marry.  When he awakes to a note, he sets things in motion to get Ijay to Nigeria so he can continue what they started; he just never expected her to be engaged to someone else.

Paul and Ijay are so good together.  Both have been hurt in the past but find comfort in one another.  The sexual tension between them is evident from the first time they meet and sets the pages on fire.  I love that Paul’s tie plays a role throughout the whole book as a reminder of what they almost through away.

Paul is the quintessential tortured hero.   His childhood was far from ideal, filled with heartache and distrust.  His past helped shape the man he has become along with a close knit group of friends and family that are his support system.  He is a successful businessman that has made his own way in the world.  He doesn’t have much faith in women because everyone he has known always seems to have an ulterior motive.  He watched his father have affairs and not remain faithful to his wife, vowing to always be a one woman man.

He never realized something was missing in his life until he met Ijay.  She was the one woman that quelled that restlessness that he had been feeling as of late.  Instantly he felt comfortable with her, like he had known her all his life.  When he found out who she was engaged to, it really hit home how much she meant to him.

Ijay has almost as many issues as Paul when it comes to relationships; although she had a good childhood.  She was dumped by the guy she had been dating for three years and not feeling very good about herself.  Paul was the first man that made her feel loved and cherished, even when he was dominant in the bedroom.   She is engaged to another man but she can’t stop thinking about her night with Paul.

Now that she is with Paul again, it’s everything she can do to remain faithful to her finance.  Armed with the advice of her mother, she decides that she can’t walk away from Paul without seeing where this could lead them.  She already knows that he is kind, caring man that tries to take care of his community and those close to him.  She hopes that he cares about her too.

This book drew me in right from the beginning.  The story was engaging and it was easy to be vested in the characters.  I knew from the beginning that Ijay’s finance was bad news from the beginning and couldn’t wait to see how the story would unfold.  I was pleasantly surprised by a few things in the story and loved the ending; it was a fabulous end that tied everything together.

I had the pleasure of reviewing a couple of Ms. Taye’s books and when I was offered the opportunity to review this one I gladly accepted.  I enjoy her writing style and love being transported to places I have never been.  Her characters are engaging because they are interesting and complex.

I think this is my favorite book yet by this author and give An Engagement Challenge 4½ Flaming Hearts.  

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The Lady is a Vamp by Lynsay Sands
*A review copy of this book was received from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*

One late night leads to . . .

Kidnapped! When Jeanne Louise Argeneau left work, she never thought she’d end up tied down by a good-looking mortal. More attracted than annoyed, she quickly realizes there is more to her abductor than meets the eye.

One desperate act leads to . . .

Love? Paul Jones has need of a vampire, and only Jeanne Louise will do. He just has to convince this beauty of a Vamp to help him . . . never imagining that he would fall in love. But with the immortal world’s answer to law enforcement hunting them, their time together is running out . . . and Paul and Jeanne Louise will need to risk everything to spend an eternity together.

Paul’s daughter is sick and he will do whatever it takes to save her, even kidnap an immortal.  Jeanne Louise has been dreaming of the day she would find her life mate, she just never expected him to also be her kidnapper.

In the beginning Jeanie may have been a prisoner but everything changed as soon as she realized Paul might be her life mate.  He was a good looking man and she was excited that she couldn’t read him; she only hoped the rest of the signs were there too.

Enforcers send this trio on the road and Jeanie does everything she can to make sure that Livy’s headaches are kept at bay, even if it causes her pain.  She helps the little girl eat so she can gain some of her strength back.  The sun seems to be helping her spirits as much as anything else.

Jeanie loves both Livy and Paul.  She would do anything for either one, except turn Livy.  She has only one turn and she’s hoping to use it on Paul, if he agrees to be her life mate.  Her hopes and dreams are within her grasp until and unfortunate accident changes everything.

This book takes you on an emotional rollercoaster ride from start to finish.  There is such a strong emotional connection between not only Paul and Jeanie but also Livy and Jeanie.  It makes it that much harder to watch some of the events unfold.  You want them to have their happily ever after but they have so much to work through before they get to that point.

Paul and Jeanie want to work things out but they are different; Paul is mortal and Jeanie is immortal.  Paul just wants to feel like a man and Jeanie makes it hard by not letting him do anything for himself.  She is afraid that something is going to happen and she will lose him so she tends to be overprotective and over reacts to incidents.  There really is no happy medium for them as long as Paul remains human.

I love Lynsay Sands, she is one of my favorite paranormal authors and I have been reading this series from the beginning.  Her books are always such fun to read and have me laughing out loud.  This is the first one in the series that had me just about in tears.  I connected so strongly for with the characters and felt they were going through right alongside them.  When Jeanie had to make that split second decision, I kept thinking someone was going to step up to the plate.  In the end, I never expected things to happen the way they did.

Overall, I think The Lady is a Vamp is my favorite book in the Argeneau series.  I give this book 4½ Flaming Hearts. 

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Rodeo Rebel (McDougal Sisters #4) by Debra Kayn
* I received a copy of this book from Entangled Publications in exchange for an honest review*

When widower and land baron Cole Reardon acquired the Turner Grain Corporation, he didn’t know the company sponsored a bull rider. He refuses to support thrill-seekers dumb enough to get on the back of a crazed animal. He’s not willing to risk his fortune and livelihood when he has his daughter’s well-being to consider. Not even when the bull rider is the sexiest woman he’s ever seen.

Bull rider Florentine McDougal plans to turn pro after the season championship, fulfilling her lifelong dream of succeeding in a man’s world. That is, until Cole Reardon shows up and threatens to break his sponsorship contract with her. Now everything she’s worked for is less than eight seconds away from being destroyed.

Cole distracts Florentine with his sexy mouth and unreasonable demands, and he’s not going to compromise his integrity. But she’s not going to let him loose until she has pro status. And neither will come away from this dust-up unscathed.

Florentine is back on the rodeo circuit and she is determined to finish on top, regardless what the men think.  She has dreamed of riding in the PBR for as long as she can remember and be an inspiration for young girls everywhere.  She loves her family and they are extremely supportive of her.  They are a tight knit family and when you hurt one, you have an enemy in all.

Cole Reardon became Florentine’s sponsor when he bought Turner Grain.  He wants her to let him out of the contract because he can’t condone someone taking unnecessary risks with their lives.  His ex-wife was that way and it led to her death and his daughter having to grow up without a mother.  Cole is drawn to Florentine even though she is the exact opposite type of person that he wants a future with.

This family is such an inspiration and you can’t help but fall in love with them.  They have had to come to terms with their father’s death, while finding the love of their lives.  They stick together and watch each other’s backs and when they love, they love with such fierceness and depth.

Florentine is trying to get through the rodeo trials and place in the finals so she can have some time off with her family.  Her sister is getting married and it’s time for their annual 4th of July barbeque.  She just wasn’t expecting to use the time recuperating from a bull riding injury.  She is conflicted because she is attracted to Cole but he just wants out of their contract.  The more she is around Cole and his daughter the more she realizes she wants more out of life.  She can still be a positive role model for young girls and have the family she desires.

Cole is a sexy cowboy and a single father.  He is concerned about his young daughter and is looking for a wife that will be a good influence in her life.  He is torn because he desires everything about Florentine, except her bull riding.  Her spirit and fire call to something in him that he thought was long dead but he can’t risk having a woman like that around his daughter.  The more time he spends with her, the more he realizes that there is more to Florentine than meets the eye.  That underneath that brazen bull rider lurks a sensitive, caring woman that he could easily fall in love with.

Florentine and Cole are explosive together, like fire and gasoline.  They are both stubborn and set in their ways but both are very lonely.  They are good for each other but they can’t see past their differences until they spend some time together on the McDougal ranch.  I loved watching the transformation in Cole and seeing the relationship between him and his daughter grow.

I absolutely adore this series and highly recommend you pick it up and read it from the beginning.  I give Rodeo Rebel 4½ Flaming Hearts. 

***Be sure and stop back by on Saturday, July 21st and check out my Interview with Debra and a chance to win a copy of Rodeo Rebel***

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Naked Angel (Club Burlesque #3) by Logan Belle
* I received a copy of this book from Kensington in exchange for an honest review*

It’s the biggest night of Mallory Dale’s life. She’s unveiling her sexy new burlesque club, The Painted Lady, and her boyfriend has a thrilling surprise for her. An injury forced ballerina Nadia Grant to hang up her toe shoes, so now she’s perfecting the art of the striptease and whipping the crowd at The Painted Lady into a frenzy.  Meanwhile, the club’s financial benefactor is endangering his marriage – and the business – when he begins a sizzling affair with a young costume designer. Just when they’re so close to having it all, will the stars of The Painted Lady lose everything?

Its opening night at The Painted Lady and the night is full of surprises for Mallory.  After her performance, she is surprised when her boyfriend Alec proposes to her in front of the crowd.  The night is going perfectly until Nadia loses it on stage.  A packed house, friends and a proposal, what better way to start their new adventure together?

Things quickly go downhill for the gang when their benefactor loses his money over a female.  They not only stand losing the club but they have also lost the fabulous costumer to Violet Offender.  Mallory knows that the only way to save their club is to win the Vegas Burlesque completion.  With Nadia and Maxes help they have the perfect costumes and routines for the show.

Due to an injury Nadia has had to quit performing ballet.  She and Mallory have been sharing rehearsal space for a while and Mallory offers her a chance to perform at The Painted Lady she decides to give it a try.  She continues to struggle with her performances while Max feels like she is degrading herself when she performs.   In the end she finds a compromise they can both live with.

This was a fabulous conclusion to the Club Burlesque trilogy.  It pulled me in just as quickly as Fallen Angel did and I didn’t want to put the book down.

It was packed full of emotion and I loved the fact that it wasn’t just about Alec and Mallory.  We got to visit with some old favorites and we got to learn more about new ones.  I’m glad that Violet Offender was in this book but not a primary focus, I like her but a little bit can go a long way with her.

Both Mallory and Nadia are going through several personal struggles with their relationships.  Their men want them to quit dancing on stage but for different reasons.  Mallory loves performing on stage and is thrilled to be running the club, she isn’t sure if she wants to quit dancing when she and Alec get married.  Nadia can no longer perform ballet and it is killing her.  She has so much creative energy and no outlet for it until Mallory offers her the chance to perform at the club.  Even that doesn’t fulfill her like ballet did.

There are so many side stories all connected together that the author risks it being too much; in this case it just works.  Each individual storyline has such an impact on the overall story that you would be missing something without them.  Each person has ties with several other characters that it is obvious that we would be lost without them.

The story is well written and pulls you in from the beginning.  It gives us a glimpse into the world of Burlesque, which intrigues me greatly.  The characters are interesting and have complex relationships with one another and the ending was fabulous.

I love this series and highly recommend that it be read in order, however these books can be read as a stand alone.  I enjoyed this series so much that I bought a copy of Blue Angel to read.  I give Naked Angel 4½ Flaming Hearts. 

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