Friday, July 28, 2017

Review & Giveaway: When I Need You by Lorelei James

Publication Date: July 25th 2017 by Berkley Books
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

Rules are tossed aside when a pro football player join forces with a spitfire cheerleading coach in New York Times bestselling author Lorelei James’s brand-new romance…

Heir to Lund Enterprises and ladies’ man Jensen “The Rocket” Lund has three conditions when it comes to dating:
1) No single mothers
2) No cheerleaders
3) No medical personnel
So it makes no sense that he’s wildly attracted to Rowan Michaels, who breaks all three.

Rowan Michaels didn’t pass the rigorous requirements to become an athletic trainer and Vikings cheerleader in the hopes of landing a pro athlete: been there, done that, and she has a young son as proof that football players and fidelity don’t go hand in hand. When Rowan learns her new neighbor is Jensen Lund, the smoking-hot tight end who takes being neighborly to a whole new level, she’s grateful for the team’s strict “no fraternization” policy because the sexy man defines temptation.

But Jensen is intent on rushing straight to the goal line to prove to Rowan he’s much more than just a player…on and off the field.

My Thoughts:
Jensen “The Rocket” Lund suffered from a sports injury in last book, one that’s taken him out of the last playing season with surgeries and physical therapy. Facing such a serious and possibly life altering event has changed some of Jensen’s views on life.  I like the change and growth it brought out in him. He wanted to be recognized as more than just an athlete, rich guy, or a playboy.  Yes, football is a large part of his life, but he realized that things could change so easily. Casual hookups no longer appeal to him, either, but Rowan Michaels, the woman who lives across the hall breaks all his relationship rules:  no single moms, no cheerleaders, and no health care workers. The rules have served him well, until he met Rowan.  She’s gorgeous on the inside and out, so they’ll just be friends.  Right…that’s really going to work out!

Rowan has worked hard to get where she is as a coach and cheerleader for The Vikings football team, and her job is important to her as the sole provider for her six-year-old son, Caulder.   She’s very wary of jocks, won’t date one, since she got burned so badly by Caulder’s father. But Jensen Lund tempts her like no other man since she’s become a mother.  He’s surprisingly sweet and funny, and has a way with Caulder.  Still, no matter how much she’s attracted Rowan must be careful.  It’s not only her heart on the line.  Also, there’s a “no fraternization” policy that could threaten her career if she decides Jensen is worth the trouble.

When I Need You is my favorite installment so far in the Need You series! The romance was a slow build, friends-first-relationship that made the pay-off when they finally got together sweeter for the wait.  I enjoyed their “just friends” situation, too. Their flirty banter back and forth, and sizzling chemistry made it obvious Jensen and Rowan would burn-up the sheets once they got together!  I appreciated there wasn’t any unnecessary drama between them, because it’s so frustrating when that’s thrown in just to create conflict if it doesn’t feel natural. I liked how Jensen handled the “no fraternization” policy, as well.

I so love the Lund family, especially Jensen’s mom, Selka! This Swedish matriarch is a fierce momma cat to all her grown children, not that they always appreciated that, lol. Her attempts at English sayings were hilarious:

“You are feisty? Or just contrary?”
“Both. It’s harder for you to put me in a headlock if I’m standing across from you.”
“Headlock.” Her lips curled slightly. “I have no UPC moves.”
UPC? What the hell? “You mean…UFC?”
“Yah. Whatever. I am harmless.”
I laughed. “I doubt that.”

I look forward to a story centered on Dallas and Igor in the future, but I’m really hoping for one with Lucy and Jaxson Lund.  It’s obvious Jax wants back in with his Lucy and young daughter, but he was a complete ass to them in the past! Not sure they could patch things up after all he did, but I’m sure Lorelei James could make it happen believably if she decides to.

4.5 Suns

Connect with Lorelei James:

The fabulous people of Berkley Books have generously provided a copy of one book from The Need You series (What You Need, Just What I Needed, All You Need or When I Need You) to one lucky reader.  Winner's choice! The giveaway is open to US residents only.  Simply fill out the rafflecopter below for a chance to win. Good luck!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Review: The Legend by Donna Grant

The Legend (Sons of Texas #3) by Donna Grant
Publication date: June 27th 2017 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:


Callie Reed doesn’t need a man to protect her. An expert sharpshooter and renegade hacker, this Texas-born spitfire’s got the skills and the courage to stand up to any danger―no matter how deadly. But when she becomes the target of a shadowy organization known as the Saints, Callie is forced to team up with the one man she can’t outshoot: the gorgeous, and infuriating, Lone Star legend named Wyatt Loughman…

A Delta Force Colonel with a rock-hard body and stone-cold heart, Wyatt has been teasing and tormenting Callie since they were playmates on his family’s ranch. Of course, he’s wildly attracted to the fiery, strong-willed Callie. But he’s always hidden his feelings behind a wall of Texas tough and military cool, even as he’s burning up with desire. Can Wyatt save Callie’s life―without putting her love in the line of fire?

My Thoughts:
Callie Reed is no stranger to danger.  Her family is notorious for scheming and bilking funds off others.  The family business isn’t anything she wants to join.  Instead Callie got work at the Loughman’s Ranch with Orrin Loughman, the family’s patriarch, treating her like a daughter.  However, his son Wyatt’s feelings towards Callie were never brotherly. When she first came to the ranch Wyatt didn’t trust that Callie wasn’t exactly like her kin, but she proved him wrong with hard work and determination. Wyatt fell hard for her, and their mutual attraction led to a hot and passionate summer, but that quickly came to an end when Wyatt’s mother was murdered and grief and anger took over.  Wyatt left the ranch and signed up for Delta Force, but he never forgot Callie.  Now fifteen years later Wyatt is back since a nefarious group, The Saints, are targeting his family and the world.  Seeing Callie again has stirred up all those long-buried feelings, but do they have any chance together after so long? Can Callie forgive him? Do they even have a future with the danger his family faces? Wyatt doesn’t know that he could even stick around if there was, but he’s beginning to realize all that he missed out on by leaving.

Callie fell in love and had her heart crushed by Wyatt Loughman.  The memories of those hot sultry summer nights they spent together so long ago are brought back when Wyatt returns to help, but Callie doesn’t want to let him have a chance to hurt her again, so she tries to keep everything professional and business-like. But the heart wants what the heart wants, and the danger that keeps coming for them underscores the fact that life is short, better grab hold of love while you can. 

I enjoyed this story, but I think I would’ve liked it more had I read the previous stories because of the ongoing story arc with the Saints and their past with the Loughman’s.  There was much I didn’t understand, and storylines with other characters at play with this installment that I didn’t get. Still, I’m a sucker for a second chance romance, and when the story focused on Callie and Wyatt I perked up. Danger, action, and revelations about the murder of Orrin’s wife (Wyatt’s mother) unfold.  Like I said, some of this was over my head.  I would like to go back and read/listen to the previous books, because Ms. Grant sets a fast pace and writes an addictive plot.    

3 Suns

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Monday, July 10, 2017

Review: Wired by Julie Garwood

Publication Date: July 4th 2017 by Berkley
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | TBD

About the book:

A beautiful computer hacker and a bad-boy FBI agent must collaborate—in more ways than one—in the sizzling new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood.

Allison Trent doesn’t look like a hacker. In fact, when she’s not in college working on her degree, she models on the side. But behind her gorgeous face is a brilliant mind for computers and her real love is writing—and hacking—code. Her dream is to write a new security program that could revolutionize the tech industry.

Hotshot FBI agent Liam Scott has a problem: a leak deep within his own department. He needs the skills of a top-notch hacker to work on a highly sensitive project: to secretly break into the FBI servers and find out who the traitor is. But he can’t use one of his own. He finds the perfect candidate in Allison. Only, there’s one problem—she wants nothing to do with his job and turns him down flat.

What Liam doesn’t know is that Allison is hiding secrets that she doesn’t want the FBI to uncover. But Liam will do nearly anything to persuade her to join his team, even break a few rules if that’s what it takes. A temptation that could put his job—and both of their futures—on the line…
and longing for more . . .

My Thoughts:
FBI agent Liam Scott has a leak in his office, but not being sure who he can trust he needs an unconventional way to find the bad guy.  Someone who can hack into their systems without alerting the perpetrator.  Enter gorgeous college student, Allison Trent; not a woman you’d peg as a computer genius, but looks can be deceiving.  She’s not thrilled with the job offer, Allison doesn’t want to draw the attention of the FBI because of some secrets of her own, but not many can say no to Liam. He’s persuasive and downright sexy.  Not that she should notice, because Liam is all about his job, and Allison doesn’t want to get hurt.  Still, they can’t help the growing attraction building between them.  Every time Liam resolves to stay away that irresistible pull between them brings him back to her.

Allison was a quirky character, very smart, beautiful, but a little socially awkward.  Her mind works a little differently and so it completely escapes her that she has so much power just from her looks alone. It’s completely by accident she was discovered for a modeling job, and if it weren’t for her aunt and uncle pressuring her to take jobs for the money it brought them Allison would’ve never accepted. 

Her aunt and uncle were completely horrible people, but, unfortunately, Allison’s guardians since the age of four when her parents died tragically. They were such losers!  Thankfully, Allison doesn’t let them use her as a doormat, not since she came of age, but it didn’t stop them from trying throughout the story.  

Then there’s the security program Allison has been working on that makes her another kind of target.  Honestly, danger just seemed to follow her around. Allison handles all these issues well, but the fact that Liam had her back every time she needed him spoke volumes about his devotion to her. He was protective without being condescending.

Their relationship didn’t start out with the feel of permanence, especially since Liam makes it clear his job isn’t conducive to long term, but the gradual realization that they couldn’t live without each other was fun to watch. There was a lighthearted, amusing feel to their romance, and I found myself laughing in more than a few spots.

Wired was a fun, engrossing story full of action, danger, and a hot romance.  I was so caught up with these two I read this straight through in one sitting!

4 Suns

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Review: A Touch of Frost by Jo Goodman

Publication Date: June 6th 2017 by Berkley Books
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

USA Today bestselling author Jo Goodman presents a "sprawling, lusty recreation of life, love, and slowly uncovered secrets*" as a rancher rescues a mysterious young woman with trouble of her trail.


After his train is robbed at gunpoint, Remington Frost awakens from a blow to find the bandits gone...along with the woman he was shadowing for protection. No stranger to risk, Remington will do what it takes to bring Phoebe Apple to safety and her kidnappers to justice. But ransoming Phoebe is just the start of trouble...

Phoebe is shocked to learn that her mysterious rescuer is none other than Remington Frost, the son of her sister's new husband. Home at Twin Star Ranch, she falls happily into western life--and cautiously in love with Remington. But danger hides close to home, and their romance illuminates a web of secrets and betrayal that may put the rancher and his intended bride past the point of rescue.

*Publisher's Weekly

My Thoughts:
A Touch of Frost took me back to the old west back in 1800’s.  I’m always curious about how people lived and got by years ago, and it was interesting to get a glimpse into that time.  The old west ranch life is appealing to me, and Colorado from the descriptions sounded like a beautiful place. Phoebe and Remington’s romance captured my heart right away, and there was a bit of suspense mixed in to keep the story exciting.

Phoebe has grown up in New York, her life revolving around working stage/theater where her older sister, Fiona was a star for many years only to give it up for a handsome older cowboy/widower, Thaddeus Frost.  Wasn’t a huge fan of Phoebe’s sister, and her drama, but by the end I could understand some of it. 

Phoebe takes the train out to join her sister out in Colorado on the Twin Star Ranch only to be held up and abducted off the train.  Never fear, Phoebe’s brother-in-law sent along his son, Remington, to watch over her, and make sure she makes it safely to Twin Star. 

Phoebe was a spunky heroine I immediately connected with. Loved the banter between her and Remington!  They had great chemistry, and once their romance took off it was super hot! Also, the men in historical romances never seem to have issues with committing like modern day romances and that eliminates some of the frustration or uncertainty I feel while reading contemporary romances.  Once Remington got to know Phoebe he was determined to stick by her. 

There was some action, a few twists, and danger rounding out this western historical romance quite nicely.  This is my first time reading Jo Goodman, so I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy this as much as I did.  I’ll be checking her backlist for sure.

 4 Suns