Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Waking up to the two complete strangers who have saved her, she’s alarmed at her overwhelming response to both of them. Marcus Brand and James Archer are different from any men she’s ever met, but she didn’t realize how different. Shape-shifters don’t exist. Then they tell her something even more remarkable. She is their mate.
She fights the emotional pull, even while reveling in the passion that only seems to grow stronger, passion that just can’t be ignored. Neither can the attacks. When black panthers save her life once again, the trio must hide the truth from the rest of the world while struggling to come to grips with their own destiny—and overcoming the danger surrounding them.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
Dr. Cameran Young knew her assignment wouldn't be easy. As lead biologist on the Environment Impact Assessment team, her findings would determine the future of a large mining project in the northern Canadian bush. She expected rough conditions and hostile miners--but she didn't expect to find a dead body her first day on the job.
Former SAS Sergeant Daniel Fox forged a career as a helicopter pilot, working as far from the rest of the human race as possible. The thrill of flying makes his civilian life bearable, and he lives by his mantra: don't get involved. But when he's charged with transporting the biologist to her research vessel, he can't help but get involved in the murder investigation--and with Cameran, who awakens emotions he's desperate to suppress.
In the harsh and rugged wilderness, Daniel and Cameran must battle their intense and growing attraction while keeping ahead of a killer who will stop at nothing to silence her...
I really like stories set in the cold and stark wilderness of Alaska and its surrounding areas. Perhaps that is due to really loving sdome of Jack London's stories that we read during my school years. In any event, this story is stark in its background, unadorned living with only the bare necessities of human existence, and the kind of surroundings that insist that all who venture there be sure to make good decisions because there just may not be a second chance. This novel features the story of a young and attractive environmental scientist who is charged with judging the activities of the oil company employees so that they do not violate the environment or those animal species that are endangered. No doubt her efforts are not readily received and almost from the get-go her life is in danger. Bring in our hero--a man who is wounded in spirit and body, whose military career as a British Special Ops soldier was cut short by an unscrupulous officer and his own personal decision to leave the military as a way of protecting its honor and tradition and reputation. Now he is a charter pilot flying his helicopter as a way of making his existence bearable. Meeting up with Cameron Young threatens his carefully orchestrated life, boring though it may be. She's sexy and cute, sassy and forthright, but she doesn't want to get involved, until she realizes that she has sacrificed her personal life, her personal thoughts and needs, to her career. Now she wants to "seize the day" and Daniel seems to be her best option right now.
This is a complicated novel that is full of really different people with their personal idiosyncrasies, their strange habits, their own efforts to dodge the realities and responsibilities of mature living. There's a dead body and accusations flying through the air as to who might be the killer. There are law enforcement officers who bring their own take on life to the story, full of their own sets of personal problems and career snafus. There are a few native characters who have a very different viewpoint of their homeland and when all these characters with their individualities and personal quirks come together, the story gets interesting, suspense-filled, and its all spiced up with some hot loving.
I have really enjoyed this author's work in the past and was delighted to have the opportunity to read this novel. I've made no bones about the fact that some of my favorite romance novels have that added tension caused by a really good murder mystery. Ms Anderson has brought tension, twists and turns to this story, so much so that the ending really caught me off guard. That's not really easy to do. So I found this novel to be compelling and kept my interest from start to finish. I actually read it in one sitting. The excellent story and the really fine writing testify to this author's command of the writing task. And after all, when a serious romance reader encounters a story that just keeps the heat turned up, it's the best of all literary worlds. I hope you will seek this one out and enjoy it as much as I did. I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Christmas May Be Gone, but the Love Lives On! "Holiday Kisses" by Alison Kent, Jaci Burton, HelenKay Dimon, and Shannon Stacey
A man gives the gift of trust and receives a second chance at love in return. A woman helps to heal the wounded heart of a soldier. A couple finds that true love knows no distance. And a young widow learns that there can be two great loves in a lifetime. Love, romance and passion come together in this collection of four seasonal shorts.
This Time Next Year by Alison Kent
A Rare Gift by Jaci Burton
It's Not Christmas Without You by HelenKay Dimon
Mistletoe and Margaritas by Shannon Stacey
"This Time Next Year" tells the story of two people who have vastly different plans for their future. Dillon Craig is a doctor returned from Afghanistan and who is trying to heal from the inner wounds of losing so many to war wounds. He is "hiding" on the mountain where Brenna Keating's grandmother lives in the Carolinas. Brenna is a nurse who has long wanted to travel and work in medical clinics throughout the world and has already signed on for a year in a foreign setting. (Her parents were committed to the same kind of medical missions and so she comes by this naturally.) Yet as badly as Brenna wants to be with her grandmother for Christmas, she is stranded in a blizzard with Dr Dillon as her only refuge. This is a love story, right? So we won't be surprised that they were attracted to one another and then acted on that attraction. But the crisis that is always lurking in the background is Brenna's plan to go overseas and Dillon's determination to stay on his mountain and tend to the families there. What starts out to be your usual love story does not turn out that way. It's a great story and very touching as each of these people come to a greater understanding of themselves.
"A Rare Gift" by Jaci Burton tells the story of two people who have known each other for years but who are separated and essentially made unavailable to one another by the presence of the ex-wife--the former Mrs. Kent, Cassandra. The big problem is that Cassie is Calliope's sister and Calliope has long had a crush on her former brother-in-law. Wyatt is nearly struck dumb by Callie's mature self--he always saw her as a pimply-faced kid, and now he realizes that she is hot, hot, hot. Yet the spectre of her sister looms between them. This story seems to get worse, and then get better, and then gets worse again. It certainly kept me on the edge of my chair as I hoped that these two could find their way back to each other. Callie is sassy and doesn't seem willing to accept the eventualities of life and just let Wyatt go. No--she is going to do whatever she must, and it is Callie's "doing" that gives this story its verve and vitality and the sparkle that makes the love story live as it possibly would in real life.
"It's Not Christmas Without You" by HelenKay Dimon. There's an old saying, a rhetorical question of sorts that asks: "How are you going to keep them down on the farm after they see Times Square?" So it would appear with the hero, Austin, a botanist who works his family's tree farm, and Carrie, a girl who is wildly in love with Austin but whose dream job is at an art museum in Washington, D. C. that lifts up and celebrates women's artistry. No matter how much she has loved Austin in the past, no matter how many times they reconcile and then break apart, the museum job and her life in Washington, D. C. interferes. Now Austin is making one grand gesture, a final attempt to woo Carrie away from her grand experiment and get her to come home at last. She ain't goin' to do it, so there!! It's a story that begins and ends with their crisis, a story that highlights how people can genuinely love one another and yet their lives just don't seem to run in the same direction. I must admit that I wasn't sure that here was a solution for these two, and I don't think the ending was a well-done as it might have been. This author is so good--she writes from the heart with wit and sensitivity to real people and their difficulties and joys, and while I was happy with the ending, I felt that it came at me too quickly and the resolution to the problem was all of a sudden there. Probably just me. Anyway, I loved the story and was vastly entertained by it.
"Misteltoe and Margaritas" by Shannon Stacey. Claire and Justin are a couple that are bound together by their deep and abiding friendship. Each had been close to Claire's husband and Justin is very open (in his thoughts) that Claire would have been wooed by him rather than her husband if he had seen her first. Since Brendan was his best friend, he backed off, and supported the lovers through their wedding and brief marriage. Yet his heart was always Claire's and now that two years have passed since her hubby's death, Justin wants to bring Claire into a different kind of relationship with him. In some ways this is the most emotionally charged story of the four but it is a story of hope for the future. I found it very touching and am honest when I say that this, like the other Shannon Stacey stories I have read, connected with me on a very deep level.
Like a number of holiday stories I have read and review this year, this is a collection that will entertain and resonate with romance fiction lovers no matter what time of the year the reader may indulge. Yes, the setting is holiday in nature. But the sentiments, the situations, the real human circumstances and feelings are all pertinent to any time of the year. This anthology is worth the time and effort to read, and I hope you will avail yourselves of the entertainment. I give it a rating of 4.25 out of 5.
This collection was released by Carina Press in December, 2011.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Could Most of Us Even Remember our First Love? "The Christmas Cookie Chronicles: Carrie" by Lori Wilde
Come join a meeting of the First Love Cookie Club
"On Christmas Eve, if you sleep with kismet cookies under your pillow and dream of your own true love, he will be your destiny.""
Carrie MacGregor doesn't believe this--not one bit. She might be a "paid up" member of the Cookie Club and the local Sweethearts Knitting Club, but she's not about to give in to the forced ho-ho-ho of the season. And why? Mark Leland. When he left town he broke Carrie's heart. Now, the local-guy-made good is back, hosting the reality show "Fact or Fantasy."
Fact: Mark broke her heart. Fantasy: her friends think they'll be getting back together. But could the magic of a Twilight, Texas Christmas make Carrie's secret dreams come true?
Once again we encounter a wonderful holiday story that may seek to embrace the miracles and wonder of a Christmas season, but which is really, at its core, a delightful love story. But as most mature adults will testify, the road to true love seldom runs smooth, and so it is with Carrie, a woman whose first love left her, their home town, their brief, weekend-long marriage, and left her with eight years of silence. Mark was the man who stole her heart, who gave her a sense of belonging, and then disappeared even though he left her with promises that somehow never came true. Now Mark is a famous TV personality and host of a reality show dedicated to debunk local myths throughout the United States. The producers have now focused on Twilight and its myth that one can and will be re-united with one's true love when a penny is cast in the town fountain or one sleeps with these special cookies under one's pillow. Carrie is prepared to testify that it is all foolishness.
This is a story of two people who have gotten off the emotional track even to the point that they have strayed from their life goals and plans. Carrie is now a successful business owner but inwardly she is bitter and disappointed. Mark somehow knows that while he has the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry, complete with arm-candy women and sumptuous life style, he knows in his heart that what he has always wanted to write is a novel. He is a journalist at heart.
I found this story to be a delightful read, one that reminded me of those days when I wondered what path my life would take. It introduces the reader to fun characters and a town which has built its entire social calendar and economy on this business of lovers finding each other. I had the sense that I was once again experiencing some of the feelings that made Carrie's days depressing, her persistent sense of disappointment over Mark's betrayal of their love, and her almost palpable loneliness. Yet underlying the obvious negatives of Carrie's personal experience was also a layer of optimism which even Carrie's unhappiness couldn't erase. It's a holiday story, to be sure, but it is a love story that will entertain and be a fun read at any time of the year. I had not read any of Ms Wilde's work recently, but was excited to be re-acquainted with her style, her evident story telling ability, and a story that left me with the sense that this is a story that will leave readers with that satisfaction serious readers experience when completing a really good story.
This is a book you'll not want to miss. I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.
The Kindle edition of this novel was published in November, 2011.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Devon Crawford is an officer; Air Force Pararescueman Cam Munro is enlisted. Dev flies medical evacuations; Cam jumps into danger zones to save lives. Dev wants to return home from Afghanistan with her heart untouched; Cam will do anything to win the woman he loves.
Reaching for happiness in a war zone is the last thing Captain Devon Crawford plans, but she can't ignore the feelings she's hidden for so long. Cam's sexy charm and wicked kisses weaken her resistance, but she's too afraid of losing him to give in.
When Dev's helicopter and crew are shot down and set up as bait by a notorious warlord, Cam risks all to save the team. What he doesn't know is that the trap is set for him....
* * * * *
Just as readers were inundated with stories that grew out of past wartime venues, so we are experiencing a number of fine fictional efforts set in the midst of the Middle East conflict in Iraq or Afghanistan. This story takes readers right into the war action through the experiences of a Black Hawk helicopter pilot whose mission is primarily rescuing wounded soldiers. It is an incredibly dangerous assignment, and yet Capt. Devon Crawford feels that sense of power and the adrenaline rush each time she lifts off the pad. Yet the certainty of war's hurt and possible death is never absent. Add to the danger from attacks by the enemy as she is hovering over the landing zone, weather can often play a role that may mean the difference between life or death to everyone concerned.
Now Devon must wrestle with her own inner demons: her decision to turn back to the base rather than put her craft and crew in mortal danger because of deadly fog has now given her the sense that she was partly responsible for the man she had been dating before she was deployed to Afghanistan. Even though she was preparing to break off the relationship, her sense of deep guilt is keeping her from feeling OK about her almost overwhelming attraction to his friend, Cam. It is the kind of survivor guilt many experience because of the deadly nature of war.
This story is full of colorful characters, all of whom are really special people, skilled and ready to do their duty, but still dealing with that underlying reality that any one of them might not return from the next mission. Cam and Devon are kept apart by the fact that one is an officer and the other enlisted, by their continuing struggle over Ty's death, by being deployed on missions at different times of the day, and eventually, by needing medical care that means that they are separated by thousands of miles. Yet throughout there is that connection with all the characters--the bonds that develop when human beings find themselves in this kind of pressure cooker circumstance.
I had not previously read any of this author's work but I am looking forward to this continuing series as well as looking up other works available. The story is well-written, the plot and storyline are interesting from start to finish, and the insertion of passages which bring the reader into the thoughts of the enemy keep the tension at a consistent level. This book is definitely a "keeper" and one that is well-worth reading. Even though all war stories bring in the crisis of battle, this book seemed to have a fresh feel about it. I felt that I had been privileged to share the characters' experiences in a way that has not always been the case. I hope you will find time to enjoy this book. It is really good! I give it a rating of 4.5 out of 5.
This novel was released in September, 2011, by Carina Press.