Monday, 22 April 2013

Miss - Match by Erica Lawson and AC Henley

Twenty nine year old virgin, Clancy Fitzgerald, is still single despite having had numerous dates and the best efforts at matchmaking by Minerva Goldberg. Minerva is unable to find any man Clancy desires. Now it’s time to go down another route. Minerva is about to set Clancy up with a woman. Why not? All else has failed.

Carmen Prakta has been coerced by Minerva into going on a blind date with Clancy. On meeting with Clancy, it’s obvious to Carmen, as well as it has been to Clancy’s friends and acquaintances, that Clancy is a lesbian. How come Clancy is the only one not to realize this?

Carmen sets out to prove to Clancy two things. Number one is that Clancy is a lesbian and number two is that Clancy is her one true love. Will she succeed? Well, there was certainly great fun and hilarity finding out.

A very nicely written romantic comedy. One that produced copious amounts of laugh out loud humor. Thank goodness I read this book at home. This is a very easy and comfortable heart warming read.

This is a book about self discovery. What happens when a person thinks they are straight all their lives? Suddenly they reach the age of twenty nine and find things out about themselves that they never expected. Or maybe they did expect them deep down, but wouldn’t admit to them. Clancy can deny being a lesbian all she likes, but she can’t deny her feelings. This tender, sweet and gentle romance unfolds slowly amid much soul searching from Clancy. We get to see right down into her most private thoughts. Get to see just what makes Clancy the woman she is today.

Both Clancy and Carmen are multifaceted and are backed up by some equally tremendous characters, all essential to the progression of the story. Which incidentally, goes beyond being just a romance and hot sex. The actual storyline is exciting, has a serious side, but is humorous at the same time.

I have no intentions of adding in any spoilers, but this is definitely a light hearted book that left me with a feel good factor. From the way this story is written, I could picture myself right beside the characters as they tentatively explored the possibilities open to them. Carmen is sure she knows what she wants, or more to the point, who she wants. She is the strong one. Clancy is more timid. Although when pushed, her strength shines through.

Both characters have their own little traits that make them so adorable. Oh, and I loved little Toby. You’ll have to read the book to find out who he or she is.

This book is a complete one off, there will not be another. So, make the most of this and savor it. It is on my re-read list for when I need a boost up and a good laugh.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Desolation Point by Cari Hunter

After suffering the terrible tragedy of losing her mother and her younger sister to a drunk driver, almost losing her own life and being abandoned by her step father, Sarah Kent feels she owes it to herself to travel the world. After leaving her home in England, Sarah eventually arrives in the North Cascades. Sarah is trying hard to get her life back on track and regain her health and confidence.

Ex Los Angeles cop, Alex Pascal, leaves Los Angeles after a traumatic attack on her life. She no longer has the confidence to be a cop. Her colleagues are just not the same towards her. She can’t bear the looks of pity any longer. Alex makes her home in Desolation Peak away from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles and the dangers of the criminal world.

Sarah and Alex are destined to meet after a storm leaves Sarah cut off from civilization. When Alex hears of Sarah’s plight, she is determined to find her and heads off into the wilderness.

When Alex finally discovers Sarah, she finds that Sarah is running from a dangerous, murdering criminal who has already killed without any regard for human life.

The two women set out on the run, trying desperately to stay one step ahead of the perpetrator. Will they succeed?

It isn’t long before both women begin to feel the magnetic pull of attraction. Is it possible to fall in love while they are trying to survive? Will Sarah and Alex manage to escape with their lives unscathed?

Let me start by saying, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is an extremely well written, page turning adventure romance. I simply couldn’t put this book down and read well into the night.

The suspense and tension along with several OMG moments had my heart racing and left me breathless.

The two main characters, Sarah and Alex are well formed and multidimensional. Both women have suffered mind and body altering experiences, which in my opinion, helps them to form a close bond from the outset.

I love the way Cari Hunter laid out their stories, so that we got to know each of the characters backgrounds as well as their story together in the present day. It certainly helped me to understand Sarah and Alex and how their backgrounds formed them into the women they’d become.

Another thing I enjoyed about this book is the way Cari Hunter portrayed Sarah who is English and Alex who is American. I’m English and have many American friends, their dialogue is very much the same as between me and my friends.

Although most of this book is a serious story, there is a great sense of humor throughout. Amongst all the devastation and pain Sarah and Alex suffer, the humor really shines through and takes the edge off the terror.

The scenic descriptions were excellent. I lost myself in the mountains with Sarah, Alex and the baddies. After I’d read the book, I Googled Desolation Peak. The area was exactly as I’d envisaged it.

This is another book to add to my re-read list.

Right Out of Nowhere by Laurie Salzler

Roni Oatman is a member of the Search and Rescue team (SAR) for the Forestry Service in the Bitterroot Mountains, Idaho. Each summer Roni, her brother Jeff and his wife Beth, head up to their mountain cabin base to ready themselves for the seasons rescues they’ll have to attend to. This year however, there is a slight change, Beth is unable to go up to the cabin. Who will take her place?

Roni is deeply in love with a woman she has no chance of ever having. Although she’s had her fair share of women in the past, she is a bit of a loner, concentrating on training horses on her father’s ranch when she isn’t on her SAR summer rescue mission.

This year Selena Ayala is set to join Roni and Jeff as a part of their SAR team. Roni is not happy at first to have someone unknown along in Beth’s place.

Selena has been badly hurt by her ex partner, Kim and is still on the rebound. She has to gain Roni and Jeff’s trust quickly. SAR is often a matter of life or death and quick decisions.
Roni and Selena are attracted to one another. Both women have issues to sort out though. As the weeks go past, they form a friendship and understanding. Then right out of the blue, Selena’s ex Kim appears on the scene. Will Selena throw aside the tentative friendship and bond she is forming with Roni and go back to Kim? How will Roni react to Kim’s sudden appearance? Will both women resolve their personal demons to find the love out of nowhere they are both desperately seeking?

A well written page turner from start to finish, I simply couldn’t put it down. Roni and Selena are both broken women. Both are harboring secrets and desires that are unfulfilled. Whether it’s possible to fulfil them with love together remains to be seen.

I really enjoyed reading about the search and rescue missions the team carried out. The scenic descriptions were fantastic. I totally immersed myself in the story and could easily visualize actually being in the wilderness with the SAR team as the story unfolded.

The two main characters, Roni and Selena are both multidimensional and are backed up by a terrific cast of lesser characters to progress the story forward. I have to also mention the animals. Puller the Dachshund is a star in his own right with his own dash of energy, a real little trooper. Sparky the horse, another favorite, also plays a big part and is quite the hero. Laurie Salzler has integrated the animals all in as part of the family and team nicely, as they should be.

Throughout this exciting scenic adventure story is a slow burning romance, which could end up going either way at any time. This also kept me on the edge of my seat.

I’ve put this book in my favorites folder for re-reading. I would love to see a sequel. I do feel these characters have a lot more to entertain us with.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

The Rainey Season by RE Bradshaw

Former FBI Special Agent and Behavioral Analyst, Rainey Bell is back. She’s living a contented life with her wife Katie and their young triplets, when she gets a phone call. A phone call that once again will turn their lives upside down.

Although Rainey has left the FBI and the BAU, her skills are being called upon to assist the local police.

There is a rapist on the loose, also a murderer. Cookie Kutter is up to her usual antics and Rainey’s family are her targets. Just thrown in for good measure, someone is determined to get at Rainey. Will Rainey discover who the perpetrator is before it’s too late?

As always, I’ve looked forward to this next book in the Rainey Bell series since reading the last page of it’s predecessor, Rainey Nights. RE Bradshaw has excelled herself with this latest blockbuster. The whole book is a page turner from the very first page right through to the very last page. Yet still I wanted more. It is an understatement to say that this story is a rollercoaster ride full of ups and downs, twists and turns and thrills and spills. Just when I was convinced I knew exactly what was going to happen next, so the story veered off sharply throwing me right off my game and showing me how wrong I was. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the entire book, my blood pressure must have sky rocketed as the perspiration rolled down my back. RE Bradshaw has written the most perfect Rainey Bell book yet.

The character Rainey Bell, is loveable, clever and unique. There is no one at all like her. She’s as hard as nails one minute, then as soft as butter with her wife Katie and her children the next. She’s witty, she’s humorous and a person I’d love to have as a friend.

We meet lots of characters we know and love from RE Bradshaw’s previous books, including a real favorite of mine, Molly. Each and every character in this brilliant masterpiece has a special part to play and is essential to the progression of the story through to it’s awesome climatic conclusion. Although this book is a nice lengthy volume, I was still very disappointed to come to the end. Everything about this book is perfect. The story, the plot, the scenic descriptions, the characters and last but not least the wonderful way RE Bradshaw has of putting all these things together to make the perfect book.

Criminal Minds has nothing on RE Bradshaw. I love the show, but for me, RE Bradshaw’s Rainey Bell series beats it hands down. The series would be awesome on the small screen as a series or even the big screen as a series of cases in a film. Either way, I would dearly love to see this happen. Meanwhile, I look forward as I always do to the next magnificent offering from the mighty pen of RE Bradshaw.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Short Snippets of March Reads

The Lure of White Oak Lake by Robin Alexander
Morgan Chassion is recovering from the loss of her father, her job and being dumped by her girlfriend. Her father had left her a cabin in White Oak Lake. So, that’s where she goes to nurse her wounds.
Jaclyn Wyatt, a single mother and owner of The Lure, a bait shop, is the towns pet project. It seems that everyone wants to see Jaclyn fixed up with a nice woman. So, there is a love potion being brewed in the town to see to it that Morgan and Jaclyn get together. Not that they need a love potion, they are both attracted to each other. But, Morgan is only in White Oak Lake until a job comes along. Will Morgan stay for love though?
This book is without a doubt in my mind, the best Robin Alexander has ever written. It’s a page turner from start to finish. The characters are many sided, easy to get to know and loveable. Although this is a romance, there is a really humorous side to the story too. Star rating 5/5
Poison Flowers by Nat Burns
After splitting up with her girlfriend, Marya Brock returns home to the small town of Schuyler Point. She finds a job at the local newspaper as a reporter and begins to settle down.
Dorcas Wood, (Dorry) dislikes Marya as soon as she learns she is a reporter. The newspaper had been responsible for causing a lot of trouble in Dorry’s life. Dorry lives alone and is eccentric to say the least. Just as Dorry begins to warm a little to Marya, her brother in law is found murdered right in front of Marya’s home. Both Marya and Dorry are under suspicion. They form a tentative truce. Both women are battling an attraction toward each other. But what if one of them is the killer?
A well written story, but I didn’t like the characters very much. I found it hard to believe that they would be attracted to one another. The plot was good though and I didn’t work out who the perpetrator was. Star rating 4/5
Love Loss Revenge by Graysen Morgen
FBI Agent, Rian Casey is working on a big organized crime case. She’s deeply in love with her girlfriend Ari, her life simply couldn’t get any better. Unfortunately, a terrible tragedy occurs and Rian’s life is turned upside down and she feels it’s not worth going on. She quits the FBI. Bit by bit the truth of the tragedy comes to light. Rian is a woman possessed in her quest for revenge. Will she succeed or be killed in the process?
Not one of Graysen Morgen’s best stories, it also ends in a cliffhanger and the story is choppy. Although the editing is marginally better than her previous books, this book is way over priced for the story, length and quality. Star rating 2/5
Love By The Numbers by Karin Kallmaker
Behavioral scientist, Professor Nicole Hathaway has written a best selling love manual. Her publisher has booked her on a tour of the USA and Europe. Her latest assistant has just quit, unable to take anymore of her. She’s convinced that Lily Smith won’t last long either, which suits her down to the ground.
Lillian Linden-Smith is desperate to keep her new found job. She’s being pursued by a rabid TV lawyer and a public lynch mob for the crimes committed by her parents. This job is a perfect way to get away for a while.
Is it possible that hate at first sight can become love?
A nicely written story with two strong main characters. One loveable and one not so nice. It’s interesting to read how they get to know each other and go from hating each other to being attracted to one another. Star rating 4/5
In Love, At War by Graysen Morgen
Army Air Force mechanic, Charley Hayes is stationed at Ford Island, Pearl Harbour. She is the Commanding Officer of an all female squadron. Charley loves her job. She is in it for the long haul.
But what happens when Charley falls in love? It’s not easy when in the midst of WW11, being attacked by the Japanese and loving another woman. Will she survive being in love at war?
A nice story full of excitement, thrills, twists and turns. There are a few typos, but not enough to pull me out of the story. However, the book is short and over priced for an indie. Star rating 3/5

Monday, 1 April 2013

Close Enough by Harper Bliss

High Rise Novella Four

After the devastating break up with her former lover, Nat finds it impossible to make a commitment to anyone. Nat loves Isabella, but because of her fear of commitment, she betrays her in the worst possible way.

Isabella wants a loving relationship and a commitment. She knows she probably won’t get one from Nat, but she isn’t ready to give up on her entirely just yet. Although Nat has badly hurt Isabella, she finds herself still being drawn to her.

Isabella and Nat have to try to find some sort of neutral ground. But are their personalities and life styles simply too different for a stable relationship to work between them?

This is another winning story, the last in the High Rise series, from Harper Bliss. These novellas are short, sweet and very well written. Set in Hong Kong in and around an upmarket apartment block named The Ivy, they are all about a group of four friends and their lives and relationships. This final story features Nat and Isabella, but does include Alex and Maddie as well.

All these characters are loveable and multidimensional. We read of their problems and vulnerabilities and their on going relationships. Sometimes heart breaking, sometimes amusing, but very hot, always very hot with plenty of hot sexy scenes.

I would advise buying the whole series to read. Although this book could be read as a standalone, you won’t get the impact and the whole wonderful story featuring the four friends unless you read them all. I’m saving these in my favorites folder to re-read. I love this group of friends, the settings and their camaraderie. One problem......... Now I’m desperate to visit Hong Kong, the place sounds amazing.

After Shadow by Kim Pritekel

Clara has always known she isn’t like other people. As far back as she can remember, she has been able to see visitors from the spirit world. At first, she thought it was normal, what everyone saw. But her gift was promptly squashed by her mother when she was very young. Her family really had no idea of the range of Clara’s talents when she was growing up.

Clara found herself on some incredible journeys through the after shadows in her quest to help earthbound spirits pass over.

Clara’s life is spent living in the shadows of darkness, no one seems to understand her. Not even the few girlfriends she’s had along the way. Clara begins to despair of ever finding her soul mate. Can it be that she’s already met her one true love and doesn’t know it? Will Clara find her niche in life as well as the world of darkness that is so much a part of her everyday life?

I always enjoy Kim Pritekel’s books. They are always really well written. Each one is so vastly different from her others. It’s been a while since we’ve had any new books, so I was really pleased to see she hadn’t stopped writing.

This book follows Clara through her childhood, teens and adult years. It shows the development of her skills as a medium and the path she chooses to take regarding her abilities.

The story clips along at a nice pace, it’s spooky in parts, heart breaking in others and there is an added touch of humor too. The book is a page turner right through. I loved Clara. Her character has many different sides. She had a raw deal growing up having her talents supressed. But eventually she comes in to her own and and her talents evolve. Her story is not a typical story of a regular girl growing up. There are many ups and downs and twists and turns, making this exciting reading. There is a wealth of characters throughout, some nicer than others of course. But each and every one of them essential to the progression of the story.

After reading such a long book, I was a little surprised by a rather abrupt ending. I would like to have seen a little more of Clara’s life after she’d found her true love and how they settled down together. There was also a few story lines that had a build up, just to fizzle out and not be concluded. I have no intention of putting in any spoilers here, so I’ll leave it there. I will just say, that it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the book.

I would love to see a sequel with Clara and her partner. I look forward to any book Kim Pritekel writes. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait so long for the next one.

Red Hot Stone Cold by Trin Denise

Famous artist, Danica James, doesn’t like being in the limelight. She hides herself away in her cabin up in the mountains in West Virginia with her faithful dog, Sammie. That is, until the fateful day she comes across car accident victim, Heather Ransen. Heather is suffering from retrograde amnesia. Danica has no idea of who she is or where she was going in one of the worst storms of the season. Somehow, she gets Heather back to her cabin, resigned to the fact that her peace is over for a while due to the worsening storm.

Heather had in fact, been on her way to confront her cheating lover Angela, but now has no knowledge of it. Will Heather get her memory back?

Danica is attracted to Heather, but she’s been badly hurt in the past. Will Danica take a chance on love again?

As Heather slowly begins to remember things, she also finds herself attracted to Danica. But her feelings are not reciprocated.

What will it take to get Danica and Heather together? Will time be the answer?

Another winning, well written, novella from the pen of talented author, Trin Denise. A highly emotional read in a short novella. As with all of Trin’s books, I wanted more. I would have loved to have seen more of the area of West Virginia, more of the characters day to day lives and more about what happened to Danica and Heather next.

The two main characters Danica and Heather are so obviously attracted to one another. But the question is whether they will find their way into each others hearts.

A short, but very enjoyable read. One to re-read as a comfort read to enjoy again and again.

Also Known As Rising & Falling by Kelli Jae Baeli

AKA Investigations Book Four

Jobeth O’Brien had had an accident involving a flight of stairs and a pair of slippers. Even though Jobeth is laid up with a back injury, she still manages to involve herself in her Private Investigation business.

At this moment in time, Phoebe, Izzy and Ginger are busy helping women who have been victims of violence by men. Men who are predators.

Jobeth and Phoebe, along with Jobeth’s sister Izzy and her partner Ginger, are all intent on helping these female victims, but how will this affect their own relationships? The four women are all as different as chalk and cheese. This is probably why they get on so well together. But when insecurities begin to surface, where will this leave them?

Izzy gets a terrible shock when someone from her past turns up unexpectedly. Will Izzy make a run for it or stay and face this unwanted visitor?

No one is safe from a rapist doing his rounds either. Not even the women connected with AKA Investigations.

The storyline in this book is the same as in AKA Syzygy only it’s told from the point of view of the AKA Investigations team.

I love the characters from the AKA team, so I enjoyed reading this from their perspective. It did seem a little odd though, knowing who the perpetrators were.

As always with Kelli Jae Baeli’s writing, the story is really well told and enjoyable.

I have no intentions of spoiling this book for anyone who hasn’t read AKA Syzygy, so I’m going to leave this review right here. Suffice it to say, it’s another winner.