Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Review: After the Dark by Cynthia Eden

Publication Date: March 28th 2017 by HQN Books
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

In New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Eden's gripping new series, a disgraced FBI profiler must save her reputation by stopping a sadistic killer she knows all too well. 
Former FBI agent Samantha Dark was one of the most respected profilers in the bureau, an expert on the twisted minds and dark hearts of the most depraved criminals. But when her own former lover turned out to be the serial killer she was hunting, Samantha's career was destroyed. Blamed for the FBI's failure on the complex case, Samantha fled Washington, DC, for the quiet anonymity of Alabama.
Now an all-too-familiar killer is hunting once again. She can catch the sadistic assassin, but that means putting her trust in her former partner, Blake Gamble. Ex-military, Blake is tough, protective, precise. With her entire life on the brink, she knows he wants her back in the FBI…and possibly more.
But someone else wants her, too. A threat is waiting in the dark, a killer who has set his sights on the ultimate trophy victim—Samantha.

My Thoughts:
FBI Profiler Samantha Dark is shaken after finding out her former lover, Dr. Cameron Latham is a murderer, and she’s fired in the aftermath.  All the signs were there in front of her, but she never thought Cameron would be capable of such darkness.  Licking her wounds, she moves back to her hometown, all the while trying to track down Cameron before he strikes again, because Samantha knows he’s not done.

Blake, Samantha’s former partner, has never doubted her abilities and knew she was unjustly fired by the FBI.  Company policy prevented him from acting on his intense feelings for Samantha, feelings he suspects she returns, but she’s not his partner anymore.  When a new murder happens with a similar MO to Cameron’s, Blake has the excuse to track down Samantha for help, and this time never let her go.

I love Cynthia Eden’s romantic suspense novels! I can always count on a fast-paced, good time with some thrills and chills when I pick up one of her stories. As former partners, Samantha and Blake know each other well, and I just loved the undercurrent of sexual tension they had brewing between them. I knew it was only a matter of time before all that longing gave way to heat and passion!

While After the Dark was an exciting read, I think a little bit of the tension was gone knowing the identity of the killer.  Still, there were some twists to discover, and the jealousy over Blake’s relationship with Samantha made Cameron even more dangerous, making me worry over his reactions.

You could read After the Dark without reading the prequel, Gathering the Dusk, first, but it lays the foundation of Blake and Samantha’s relationship, and has its only little mystery.  It’s only sixty-two pages and currently free (see links below). 

3.5 Suns

The prequel to After the Dark (which I highly recommend reading first) is free on:

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Giveaway: The One Real Thing & Every Little Thing by Samantha Young

Happy Friday readers! I thought I'd celebrate that the weekend is just about here by offering up a giveaway.  As most of you readers know, I'm a fan of Samantha Young's romances so I'm excited to offer up the first two books of her new series Hart's Boardwalk: The One Real Thing and Every Little Thing (my review), just released earlier this month. The giveaway is provided by the lovely people of Berkley and open to US and CA residents.  Just fill out the rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

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Friday, March 10, 2017

Review & Giveaway: Every Little Thing by Samantha Young

I've long been a fan of Samantha Young's romances so I'm thrilled to share my review of Every Little Thing as well as an awesome giveaway of ALL SIX On Dublin Street series generously provided by Berkley and the giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY!! Awesome, right?!

Publication Date: March 7th 2017 by Berkley
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

Hartwell, Delaware—the perfect place to get away from it all, and find what you never knew you needed…

Bailey Hartwell has many reasons to feel content—her successful business, a close circle of friends, and her steady boyfriend…even if their romance feels staid after ten years without a serious commitment. The only challenge in her life comes in the form of sexy businessman Vaughn Tremaine. She thinks the ex-New Yorker acts superior and that he considers her a small-town nobody. But when Bailey’s blindsided by a betrayal, she’s shocked to discover Vaughn is actually a decent guy.

Vaughn admires Bailey’s free spirit, independence, and loyalty. As his passion for her has grown, his antagonism toward her has only worsened. Every little thing Bailey does seduces him. But when Vaughn’s painful emotional past makes him walk away in fear he will hurt her, it opens an old wound in Bailey, and she uncharacteristically retreats.

Once Vaughn begins to realize he’s made the biggest mistake of his life, he has no choice but to fight like he’s never fought before to convince Bailey that the love they’ve found together only comes around once in a lifetime.
My Thoughts:
Bailey and Vaughn have had an antagonistic relationship since Vaughn built his hotel on the Bailey’s beloved boardwalk.  They verbally spar and snark, and could be pretty terrible to each other, but everyone around can sense the underlying attraction there.  That’s been a moot point since Bailey’s been with the same guy for the last ten years, a lackluster relationship to anyone with eyes, but it’s safe and comfortable to Bailey.  Tom is reliable and would never break her heart, or would he?  That question is answered leaving Bailey on her own and ready to move on.  She’s attracted to Vaughn, and can finally acknowledge it, but should she when she barely likes the man?

They dynamics in their relationship have changed and Vaughn finds himself drawn to Bailey over and over, and even though he hates that he’s attracted to her, there’s no use in denying it.  He’s not interested in settling down, so it would be a waste of time to act on his feelings, but still, he can’t stay away from Bailey.

Both Bailey and Vaughn hate that their attracted to each other for different personal reasons.  For one, Vaughn acts like a jerk pretty much every time Bailey runs into him, and Bailey isn’t very nice either.  One hurt turns into another snipe, and they just keep the animosity going, until Bailey runs into some trouble with the notorious Devlin’s and Vaughn makes it his business to defend her. Seeing Vaughn in a new, positive light changes Bailey’s initial opinion and both let their guard down for a steamy night of passion.  Of course, this is where Vaughn turns into a bigger ass and screws up everything.  There was push and pull, and these two keep circling, because they can’t stay away!  The heart wants what the heart wants! For the most part I was wrapped up in their story, getting to the whys for Vaughn’s reluctance, and Bailey’s trust issues, because they do each have their reasons.  I did roll my eyes a time or two when the drama was a bit predictable, and annoying, but thankfully it wasn’t drawn out.  

On a side note, I found Bailey’s sister, Vanessa so very irritating I wanted to reach into the book and smack her! Bailey didn’t just lie down and take her antics, but she was much nicer in the end than I could’ve been.

I enjoyed Every Little Thing far more than the first book in the series and I’m very interested in the next story to come.  It seems like Jack Devlin and Emery might be next.  I wonder how Jack will redeem himself.  Can’t really say I’m over here swooning, but I haven’t heard his side of the story yet.

4 Suns

Berkley has kindly provided a giveaway of  all six of the On Dublin Street series! The giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY!!!  Yay!! Simply fill in the rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Review: Live Wire by Caisey Quinn

Publication Date: March 7th 2017 by Berkley
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

Caisey Quinn—author of the Neon Dreams romances—delivers the debut novel in an explosive new romantic suspense series...


Explosive ordinance disposal specialist Chase Fisk never breaks a sweat defusing even the most complicated of explosives. So when a homicidal maniac threatens to set off military-grade IEDs during Nashville’s largest music festival, Chase is the man to take him down. But with the reappearance of a woman he thought was long dead, everything he thought he knew is blown away.


FBI operative Vivien Montgomery is an enigma to everyone around her. So when a deadly threat lands her in Nashville and paired up with the only man she’s ever loved, she isn’t looking forward to an emotional reunion. She’s only here to get the job done and get out. But when the madman behind the chaos targets her for death, the one man she left behind might be the only person she can count on to save her life... 
My Thoughts:
Chase Fisk thought he lost the love of his life, Vivian Brooks, four years ago, shattering his heart into bits.  When Vivian, now an FBI agent, shows up in Nashville assigned with his team to find the person intent on blowing up targets during a big music festival, Chase has the shock of his life.  Can he put aside his anger, hurt and feelings of betrayal and work with her to stop this madman before he strikes?

Oh, the flood of so many conflicting emotions!  My heart hurt for Chase and for Vivian (once I got her side of things). Chase was furious and upset with Vivian, and I couldn’t help but side with him, at first.  The pain of loss, the nightmares he experienced, all seemed so unnecessary, because Vivian wasn’t dead!  I could totally understand why Chase felt so betrayed.  But as Vivian’s side came out I felt for her as well, and I just wanted them to patch things up, and get back together.  This was the perfect blend of romance, and angst, my feelings being tugged all over the place for these two! 

Chase and Vivian find themselves faced with danger as they try and hunt down this madman, and I was on the edge of my seat wondering when the killer would strike next! I didn’t want to put my kindle down and just read straight through! 

While you could read Live Wire as a standalone, I would recommend reading the prequel, Lit Fuse, first.  I don’t think you’d feel the intensity of Chase and Vivian’s connection, or understand how deeply it cut when they separated four years earlier.  I loved their emotional story!

This is the first time I’ve picked up a story by Caisey Quinn.  She grabbed me by the heart and squeezed with Lit Fuse and Live Wire, and I enjoyed every minute! I’ll be watching out for anything she writes in the future! I hope we get Luke and Annalise’s story next!

4.5 Suns

Monday, March 6, 2017

Spotlight, Review & Giveaway: Talk Cowboy to Me by Carolyn Brown

I love Carolyn Brown's Southern romances so I'm thrilled to be participate in the Spotlight Tour for Talk Cowboy to Me.  I loved this story! As part of my stop I have my review, an excerpt and a lovely giveaway sponsored by the wonderful people of Sourcebooks Casablanca, so be sure to scroll down to the bottom to enter for a chance to win!

Talk Cowboy to Me (Lucky Cowboys #1) by Carolyn Brown
Publication Date: March 7th 2017 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

One cowboy. One cowgirl. One ranch.
Who will win the Double Deuce by the Fourth of July?

Adele O'Donnell knew that Double Deuce Ranch had to be hers the second she walked onto the property. Freshly divorced, she sees it as the perfect spot for her and the kids to start a new life. Remington Luckadeau was always a carefree playboy...until his suddenly orphaned nephews became his responsibility. The Double Deuce Ranch would be the perfect place to raise two boys. But some fiery woman is fighting him for it, and Remington is not sharing-no matter how the sparks fly when he and Adele are together.

My Thoughts:
The premise for Talk Cowboy to Me caught my attention right away because it promised a fun antagonistic romance, and with Carolyn Brown, I can almost guarantee I’ll have a good time!

Remy Luckadeau and Adele O’Donnell want the same property, and must work and live together for one month to prove they’re the right fit for a beloved ranch. Remington and Adele see the Double Deuce Ranch as a perfect property to raise their respective children.   For Adele moving off her ex’s ranch means starting a new life with her two daughters, free of the man that so easily tossed them aside. Remy is left with the care of his two young nephews when his brother dies, and wants them to have the down-to-earth upbringing he had. Neither is willing to give up without a fight let the competition begin, and the sparks fly!  

There are definitely sparks of attraction between Remy and Adele, but both are cautious, with good reason. Adele has much more to risk than her heart as a mother of two, but Remy brings out emotions that even her ex-husband couldn’t. Remy has been a tried-and-true-player, only interested in a one-night stand or at the most a weekend, but he’s dealing with much more than a fleeting attraction with Adele. Working side by side he’s come to admire Adele: her feistiness, work-ethic and big heart.  The O’Donnell’s and Luckadeau’s start off with an adversarial relationship, the girls against the boys, but soon working together they form a grudging respect; actually begin to like each other.  Before they realize it, neither can picture life at the Double Deuce without each other, one big blended family. 

I love the way Carolyn Brown depicts ranch life: minding cattle, farming, cooking and canning, sipping sweet tea on a porch swing while watching the sunset after a hard day of work.  It sounds like an old-fashioned, simpler way of life, and it appeals to this tired city girl. 

Carolyn Brown captured my heart again with this sweet, sassy Southern romance.  I laughed and swooned in equal parts while reading, and I was thrilled how everything worked out!

4 Suns


About the Author:
NY Times and USA Today Bestselling author and RITA Finalist, Carolyn Brown, has published more than seventy books.  These days she is concentrating on her two loves:  women’s fiction and contemporary cowboy romance. She and her husband, a retired English teacher, make their home in southern Oklahoma.

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