What I Read Last Week

Greetings!

Well it was a quiet week at my house for most of the week. Echo the kitty is doing well. She’s just as adorable and lovable as she was when we first brought her home. I’ve never been a cat person but I just love her to pieces. Of course I’m not in charge of changing her litter box so that makes me love her even more. lol

Sunday morning we did get word that my husband’s father had suffered a stroke. He’s 73 but really a strong healthy man. He apparently had a small brain bleed that caused the stroke but they got him to the hospital quickly and he’s doing really well. Yesterday when we travelled to see him he was just as much as a smart ass as he usually is which really put our minds at ease. :) From what I understand he’ll be out of ICU soon and then home some time this week. He’s excited to get home as he can’t get any sleep in the hospital and it’s making him crazy, the poor guy. My hubby’s dealing with the situation really well which puts my mind at ease. He’s a pretty easy-going guy (he’d have to be to stay married to me all this time) and doesn’t get anxious about stuff so that’s good.

So what did I read this week?

First up was a really great romantic suspense book called The Past Came Hunting by Donnell Ann Bell. This was the story of Melanie who, when she was 17, got a ride from someone she thought was a good Samaritan. He ended up being a murderer and she was caught in the middle, thought a conspirator and sent to prison. Now it’s 15 years later and she moves to a different city – right next to the office who arrested her 15 years ago - Joe. Not only do we have the romance brewing in this story but the murderer who’s getting out of prison and his vendetta against the woman. You can read my review here if you’d like. 4.5 out of 5

Next up was The Devil of Jedburgh by Claire Robyns. This medieval romance was about a man who was looking for a woman to bear him children. He contracts with a father to marry his daughter because the man has 12 strapping sons and 1 daughter – he figures she’ll be as fertile as her mother. When he sees her, however, and she’s just a little bitty thing he knows that she can’t provide him with the heirs he needs. They handfast and of course don’t PLAN on falling in love, but they do. They argue horribly and are both stubborn arses but it was a good book and well worth the read. 4.25 out of 5 (I posted my review for The Book Binge so I’ll let you know when that goes up.)

Blank Slate Kate by Heather Wardell was the story of a woman, aged 32, who wakes up one morning in a strange bed and can’t remember the previous 15 years. She thinks she’s 17 but soon learns the truth. The story told of her dealing with life, accepting that she may never get her memories back and finding her family. It was good book and very interesting. Told in the first person present tense the story won’t be for everyone but it worked for me. 4 out of 5 (This was for The Book Binge so I’ll let you know when my review posts)

Permanently Legless by JL Merrow was the only m/m book I read this week (I know!) but it was a good one. The story was very short so we don’t get to know the characters all that well but it was very sweet and touching. The story was about a soldier who goes off to war and comes back legless. He runs into a guy that he hooked up with prior to leaving and though he believes the guy won’t have anything to do with him he’s wrong, wrong, wrong. 4 out of 5

Secrets of a Lost Summer by Carla Neggers was my next read. This was the story of Olivia who quits her job in Boston and moves to her hometown to open a destination/retreat location. She meets the owner of the house next door and they not only hit it off but they discover a mystery as well. A very good book that I really enjoyed reading. You can read my review here. 4 out of 5

Next was Matched by Ally Condie – my Tracy’s TBR Challenge read. This is a YA futuristic/dystopian novel about Cassia, a girl who gets “Matched”. This means that the person that she matches with is her almost perfect match and they will have nearly perfect children together. The boy she matches with is her best friend Xander – which is highly unusual – but she’s thrilled. Except when she puts the microcard in to view his data (which she knows most of) she sees another face flash across the screen - Ky. She starts to think about Ky and spend more time with him – and they fall in love. But Ky is what is called an Aberration and he can’t be matched with anyone – even if The Society would let them choose their own matches. The book goes on with the somewhat love triangle between Ky, Cassia and Xander but there’s a ton of stuff going on and eventually the Ky and Cassia get separated. It was a really good book from about the second half til the end but I have to say that the first half almost made me stop reading. There was SO much description of the world and the kids’ thoughts that I was almost begging for dialogue! As I said though the book got really good in the second half and kept me turning pages. 3.5 out of 5

My last book of the week was the sequel to Matched and it was called Crossed by Ally Condie. The story picks up a few months after book 1 ended and each character is trying to deal with the cards they’ve been dealt. Cassia is in a work camp and is trying desperately to find where Ky was taken. Xander is still considered her Match and visits her but she’s very intent on finding Ky. She eventually finds him but when they learn more about each other and the possible rebellion going on against The Society they find that they may not want the same things out of life. It was an good book but it had a slower pace than the first one. Ky and Cassia are already in love but their trying to deal with what their future will look like and how they can possibly be together. The triangle with Xander, we think for the most part, is pretty much decided in Ky’s favor but the author throws us for a loop right at the end of the story. No real decisions were made and we’re left hanging a bit and for me it was really frustrating…probably because I can’t decide if either of the boys are workth fighting for. lol 3.5 out of 5


My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:

Happy Reading!

Review: Secrets of a Lost Summer by Carla Neggers

Beneath the surface lie the greatest treasures

A wave of hope carries Olivia Frost back to her small New England hometown nestled in the beautiful Swift River Valley. She’s transforming a historic home into an idyllic getaway. Picturesque and perfect, if only the
absentee owner will fix up the eyesore next door.…

Dylan McCaffrey’s ramshackle house is an inheritance he never counted on. It also holds the key to a generations old lost treasure he can’t resist…any more than he can resist his new neighbor. Against this breathtaking landscape, Dylan and Olivia pursue long-buried secrets and discover a mystery wrapped in a love story…past and present.

Olivia Frost is a graphics designer when a so called friend steals her biggest client. This forces Olivia to take a good look at her life and what she really wants out of it and she decides to quit her full time job in order to start a business in her home town. A while back she had purchased a house and property and she planned on making it a destination/event location in Knights Bridge, MA. Her nearest neighbor is unknown to her except that the person has old appliances and crap in their yard and she wants it gone as any clients she may have have to pass that house in order to get to hers. Olivia finds out the owner and sends him a letter. She believes that the owner is Duncan McCaffrey but the real owner is Dylan McCaffrey – who had no idea he even owned the property.

Dylan McCaffrey is an ex-NHL player who now runs a software business with his lifetime friend Noah. Dylan is shocked when he gets Olivia’s note and then finds out that his lawyer knew about the property the whole time. Dylan looks up Olivia on the internet and finds pictures of her getting awards for graphic design. So what is she doing in Knights Bridge? Dylan likes what he sees of Olivia and he does own the house now so he goes out as much to meet Olivia as he does to find out what he deceased adventurer/treasure hunter father was doing buying a house in the small town of Knights Bridge.

Dylan and Olivia hit it off immediately but there are many, many secrets flying around the town for such a small place. Olivia hides from her family and from Dylan the reasons she left Boston and in doing so makes herself an island. She’s not the only one in her family who is hiding their anxiety. Her mother plans trips that she’ll never take and her sister has a horrible claustrophobia that goes not only from her home but also to her town. She has wanderlust and her boyfriend/almost fianc√© worries that she’ll find him wanting because he has no desire to leave his hometown.

Then there’s Grace Webster. Grace is the woman in her nineties that Dylan’s father bought the home from. Grace now lives in an assisted living home with Olivia’s grandmother but she’s hiding something. She’s actually written a book that she won’t anyone read until after her death. Everyone who knows about it wants to know what’s in the book but won’t upset Grace to get the info.

Dylan and Olivia end up working together to find out exactly why Duncan McCaffrey was in Knights Bridge and in the course of that find that they are two people who, even though they have their own issues, are perfect for each other.

This book was a definite surprise for me. I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading and got right into the story. I found myself wanting to find out about the past and how it effected the present just as much as Dylan and Olivia. There were parts of the book that were excerpts from Grace’s book and told us some of her life and gave us clues as to what was happening in the now. I love having history enlighten the present – it should do it more in life but that doesn’t always happen.

The relationships in the book were a little…strained. First there’s Dylan and Olivia. Though they hit it off immediately I kind of felt like whenever Olivia was talking to Dylan, in the first part of the book, she was interrogating him. Maybe she was to a point but it was so very blunt it threw me. In the second part of the book she had softened up and was seeing life from a different perspective so I think that helped.

Then there was Olivia’s family who were all very close but all shared some sort of anxiety issues. While this was realistic and at time entertaining, it just seemed to take something away from the book, at least for me it did.

The history of the Quabbin Reservoir was so incredibly interesting. The body of water that feeds drinking water into the Boston area and how it came to be was both intriguing and incredibly sad. While I read Grace Webster’s thoughts and feelings about having her home and the areas she loved destroyed to make way for the reservoir had me in tears a couple of times and I loved the emotion that was wrought because of the story.

Overall this was a very good book that had me turning page after page. It was a great adventure as well as love story and I definitely recommend it.

Rating: 4 out of 5


Carla Neggers
Mira Books

Saturday Song

12 Stones if fast becoming a favorite band of mine.  I love their music and the I'm a huge fan of the lead singer's voice.  This song is Anthem for the Underdog and the lyrics are great on this one - I've posted them at the end of the vid. Enjoy!





You say you know just who I am
But you can't imagine
What waits for you across the line
You thought you had me
But I'm still here standing
And I'm tired of backing down

And I'm here now feeling the pain
Of a thousand hearts
Been to hell and back again
I won't take this

You try so hard to bring me down
You can't break the broken
You still don't seem to understand
It's your turn to see just
How it feels to be me
How it feels to be knocked down

And you're here now feeling the pain
Of a thousand hearts
You've been to hell and back again
You can't take this

Remember
This feeling

How it feels to be alive
Now you see me through my eyes
And we're here now feeling the beat
Of a thousand hearts
Coming back to life again
We can make it

Remember
This feeling
Remember...

Review: The Past Came Hunting by Donnell Ann Bell

Fifteen years ago a young Colorado Springs police officer arrested a teen runaway accused of aiding a convenience store robbery and attempted murder. She was innocent, but still served prison time briefly. Her testimony sent the real thief to jail for much longer. Now she’s a young widow raising a son, and the man she put in prison is free and seeking revenge. 

She moves to a home in a new neighborhood—then learns that her next-door neighbor is the by-the-book officer who arrested her. Now he’s a Colorado Springs P.D. Lieutenant. Like it or not, he may be the only one who can protect her and her son from the past he helped create

When Melanie was 17 years old she ran away from home. After a harrowing experience with an old trucker she accepted a ride from what she thought was a just a good looking guy. He’s nice enough until the next morning when they stop at a convenience store and while she’s in the bathroom the guy, Drake Maxwell, tries to rob and murder the store clerk. Melanie tries to save the clerk but in doing so makes it impossible for her to get away from the scene of the crime in time to save herself. Since she was on dope at the time the cops believe that she was complicit in the robbery and attempted murder. She receives 5 years with a plea bargain but only serves 9 months. Part of her plea is to testify again Drake Maxwell. He gets 15 years in prison and makes no secret about the fact that he will come for Melanie when he gets out.

Now it’s 15 years later and Melanie is a hard-working mom who just wants a normal life. Her husband has died and she’s moved to another city to try and hide herself from Maxwell when he gets out of prison. Little does she know that when she finally meets her next door neighbor and father of the boy that her son Luke has become so attached, she finds that he is none other than the man who arrested her 15 years ago. Neither of them want their children around the other but soon find that ending the boys’ friendship is impossible.

Joe looks further into Melanie’s background from when she was released from prison and Melanie is pissed. Joe states that he did it strictly to find out if he should be worried about his son spending so much time at her house but he’s really quite intrigued by Melanie. She is absolutely nothing like what he’s thought her to be all these years and he finds himself not only wanting to get to know her better but being incredibly attracted to the beautiful woman.

Melanie wants nothing to do with Joe except to keep their kids friends. Her son lost his father and he had been so happy since they’d moved and he’d formed the friendship with Matt. She wants nothing to ruin his happiness. She starts to view Joe in a completely different light and after getting to know the man realizes that he's not who she thought all these years. Once the barriers between the two come down they can’t seem to keep away from each other but there are more obstacles in their way - especially Joe’s job and how the higher ups feel about Joe the Lieutenant being with Melanie the ex-con.

Throughout the story we also get to see things from Drake Maxwell’s pov and follow him as he gets out of prison. The choices that he makes and the personality that comes from the man truly shows the psychotic human that Drake truly is. He’s making plans for Melanie, among many others, and he won’t stop until she’s pays.

I have to say that I really like romantic suspense stories when I read them – but I’m not normally drawn to them all that much so read them rarely. I’m so happy that I picked this one up and decided to read it. The book had such a feel of reality to it that I really felt like the characters were living the events as they happened.

As I had said before Melanie was a hard-working mom and had been for quite a while. She’d not had an easy life either before or after she met Drake Maxwell but she’d really made a good life for herself. She had some crazy events happen to her even before Drake came back but she managed to get through them – mostly with Joe’s help.

Joe was just a great guy. He was a good cop and though his family had been torn apart by divorce he really tried to make the most of the time he had with his son. Yes, he could have spent more time with his boy but with his job calling him away as often as it did it was difficult. Luckily his son knew that he loved him and dealt with the separations as they came.

Joe and Melanie had some really tough times trying to deal with their lives and how those lives intertwined. I thought that the couple really tried to do what was best for everyone and in the end it worked out – with a little help from an unlikely source.

If you like a good romance with a lot of suspense built in then this book is not to be missed. Just a really great book that’s definitely worth reading.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Review: How Miss Rutherford Got Her Groove Back by Sophie Barnes

Emily Rutherford is having a very bad day. 

Of course, having the man you’ve loved forever announce his engagement to your (now very former) best friend will do that.

Emily is sure nothing good could possibly come out of this horrid situation. But she lets her sisters—along with Francis Riley, the delectable but brooding Earl of Dunhurst—convince her that a season in London will be just the thing.

Now Emily has a choice: sulk in a corner while her sisters enjoy the glitter of the ton . . . or become the belle of the ball, dazzling everyone on an earl’s arm. But as Francis helps Emily get back on her feet, she quickly realizes that a childhood crush is nothing compared to the power of true love.

Emily Rutherford is best friends with Kate. She’s also in love with a man that she grew up with and has an understanding of marriage with, Adrian. Emily believes, as does her family AND Adrian’s family that he is finally ready to make an announcement about his marriage. When Adrian asks Emily to take a walk with him because he needs to speak to her she’s giddy with happiness. That giddiness comes to a screeching halt when Adrian tells her that he will be marrying her friend Kate and he would like her approval. What? OMG, poor Emily is devastated. She leaves the ball that her family is attending and heads off to try to deal with her heartbreak.

The Earl of Dunhurst, Francis, who is a cousin to Adrian and someone that Emily also grew up with is at the ball. He is quite angry at his cousin for being so insensitive as to not know how Emily had felt all this time and to not honor their marriage agreement. Adrian holds that the “agreement” was all in jest and that he never thought that Emily would have taken it seriously. Wrong. Francis steps in and decides to get Emily and her two sisters out of their town for a while and decides to take them to London where they can be distracted. He gets them a sponsor and buys them all they’ll need to have a great Season. Francis, however, is more interested in Emily than he is in her having a great season. He finds that Emily is someone he thought he knew but really, he had no idea of the wonderful person she had become. She’s fun and forthright (kind of a new development) and incredibly intelligent – what’s not to love? Francis begins formally courting Emily but he’s got some BIG family secrets and when some wrong conclusions are brought to light about those secrets, Emily’s pretty sure she wants nothing more to do with Francis.

I’m not sure where to start with my thoughts on this book. I think I’ll tell you what I didn’t like about the book first and end on an up note by telling you what I did like at the end.

What I didn’t like:

While I liked the idea of story the execution just didn’t work for me. The story felt choppy and it moved all over the place. There were, at times a bit of head-hopping as well and that tended to be confusing. While I really liked the characters they still had to play their parts in the story and the author had them acting in some ways that frankly I thought were a bit out of character for them. That bothered me when it happened as it wasn’t consistent.

I also felt the story was told in a way where we were told almost everything that happened. There were a couple of parts where it jumped ahead rather than telling us every detail but for the most part we were given every detail and thought from beginning to end. While I liked that at some points of the story for others it brought the reading to a slower pace and dragged things down a bit.

What I liked about this book:

I liked Emily so very much. We didn’t get to see too too much about her before the whole Adrian fiasco but what we saw afterward really made me admire her. She did her mourning over Adrian and moved on. She figured out her own mind and without becoming someone she’s not she moved on to become just a better version of Emily. Kind of an Emily 2.0.

Then there’s Francis. The poor man had had a crappy childhood and had to deal with some really hard truths about his family. He had become a closed off, walled-up man who didn’t know how to have a bit of fun or for that matter really live life. He became a better person when he was with Emily and I loved how he really saw her and didn’t just focus on her beauty – he saw the whole woman.

The secondary characters were great as well. Though we didn’t get to know Emily’s sisters that well or the men they fall for, they were loving and supportive til the end which is always a plus in my book.

In the end I liked the book because of the characters and the premise of the story but the writing itself just wasn’t my cup of tea.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Review: She Tempts the Duke by Lorraine Heath

Three young heirs, imprisoned by an unscrupulous uncle, escaped—to the sea, to the streets, to faraway battle—awaiting the day when they would return to reclaim their birthright.

Sebastian Easton always vowed he would avenge his stolen youth and title. Now back in London, the rightful Duke of Keswick—returning from battle a wounded, hardened, changed man—cannot forget the brave girl who once rescued him and his brothers from certain death.

Lady Mary Wynne-Jones paid dearly for helping the imprisoned young Lords of Pembrook, and she remembers well the promise she made to Sebastian all those years ago: to meet him once more in the abbey ruins where they shared a bold, forbidden kiss. While Mary is betrothed now to another, a friendship forged with dark secrets cannot be ignored. Unexpected passion soon burns dangerously between them, tempting Sebastian to abandon his quest for retribution to fight for a love that could once again set him free.

Sebastian and Tristan, age 14 and their brother, Rafe, age 10, are escorted to a tower on their family property right after their father’s funeral. Sebastian, who is now officially the Duke of Keswick, knows that their uncle who is now their guardian wants them gone and plans to get rid of them somehow. The first line in the book relays Sebastian’s thoughts pretty succinctly:

Tonight was the night they would die.

It gave me chills and made me want to know more, more, more. The three boys are saved from certain death by Sebastian’s best friend and neighbor, Mary Wynne-Jones. They take off into the night and aren’t heard from again for 12 years when their uncle is petitioning to have them all pronounced dead and take over the dukedom. The three boys, now men appear at a ball and make the announcement that indeed they are not dead and they are there to claim their birthright. The uncle is none too pleased when he is sent off and kicked from the London home he considered his.

Mary is at the ball when the brothers arrive and she immediately heads to acknowledge them. Sebastian is shocked that Mary has grown into a beautiful woman. In his mind he had always remembered her as the 12 year old he left that dark night. He finds that he can’t stop thinking about the woman and surprisingly she can’t stop thinking about him either, even though she’s engaged.

The brothers are not who they used to be. They had separated when they escaped all those years ago as to make it harder to find them and they had each lived hard lives instead of the pampered lives of Lord’s. Sebastian is scarred both emotionally and physically and though he knows he should marry to produce an heir the last thing he wants is a wife to have to worry about as well. His mind is constantly on the main estate, Pembrook, and his uncle’s downfall and the guilt he carries for doing what he had to do with his brothers all those years ago - he can’t possible focus on a woman. But then there’s Mary. Mary who is beautiful, sweet and kind. Mary who seems to be there for him and his brothers whenever she is needed – despite the fact that her reputation is on the verge of ruination. Mary, the woman that Sebastian decides he must marry after her fianc√© breaks their engagement. He thinks it’s a hardship but really, Sebastian’s been in love with Mary for years it just takes a lot of time and a bit of “almost” tragedy for him to clear his mind and see things how they really are.

I have to say that I have really been enjoying the books I’ve been reading from Lorraine Heath in the past year and this one was no different. She just has a way with her stories and her characters that really feed my need when it comes to historical romances. Yes, there are many that do that but so many who don’t.

In this book the characters, at least for me, played the major role. Sebastian with his scarred face and the passionate need pulsing through him for retribution was just such an intense man. I’m a sucker for a scarred hero anyway and he was a good one. It did almost take a konk over the head (figuratively speaking) to get him to have that light bulb moment but when he did he didn’t sit and ponder it for a while – he took action. Mary, who had spent most of her life in a convent after the boys escaped, was such an incredibly strong character. She had taken the girl who had loved adventures and shenanigans and turned her into a loyal and steadfast woman who was to be reckoned with. I loved it.

The brothers, Tristan and Rafe, I must say, though they didn’t have humongous parts in the book made appearance enough to really pique my interest. I want to know more about what they went through growing up and how that formed the people that they are now.

She Tempts the Duke ended up being a very good book that I very much enjoyed and I definitely recommend it to those readers who love a really good historical romance.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5


What I Read Last Week

It was a pretty quiet week this week until we got to Saturday.  Apparently on Friday my father had taken my girls to a local drug store for some ice cream and while they were wandering while eating it they happened upon a pet supply.  In the pet supply they happened to have a 3 month old kitten that was a rescue that they were trying to find a home for.  After many hours of my girls bugging the ever-livin crap outta me...we are now officially cat people.  Yes, I caved - especially when I saw the kitten and saw how cute she is.  We brought her home on Saturday morning and so far so good.  The girls named her Echo and she's incredibly sweet and lovable...and litter box trained (that was a must before I even said yes. lol)  Here are a couple of pictures.  They don't really do her justice but they're what I've got.  I think she's camera shy because every time I try to take an up close picture she turns her head. :)


Besides that - a pretty quiet week. lol

On to what I read:

I started off the week with a romantic suspense novel called She Can Run by Melinda Leigh.  This story was about a woman who is running from her husband (for many reasons) and trying to protect her kids.  She takes a position as a caretaker at a home and falls in love with its owner.  You can read my review here. 4 out of 5

Next was a novella called A Waltz at Midnight by Crista McHugh.  I normally don't read books so very far in advance (ok, sometimes I do) but this one just spoke to me when I got it from Netgalley.  It comes out at the end of February from Carina Press.  The story is about a man who starts writing a woman that his father wants him to marry.  The woman is in love with someone else so her maid writes the man intending to dissuade him from writing again. Not only doesn't she dissuade him but they end up corresponding.  The problem is, he thinks she's someone else.  It was a really good story.   I'll post my review next month. 4 out of 5

Buckle Down by Eve Cassidy was the story of Ty who has a police record who has moved to help his brother start the rodeo that he purchased.  He is attracted to Dane the sheriff but the sheriff thinks that Ty had something to do with a local robbery.  The story of the two men being attracted to each other when they were so opposite was compelling but the sheriff thinking that Ty had something to do with the robbery with absolutely NO supporting evidence really drove me a bit nuts.  Ty knew he was innocent so he took it with a grain of salt but STILL. Ug.  In the end it was a bit too pat for me as it all got worked out. 3 out of 5

Tamed by a Highlander by Paula Quinn was my next read and I read this one for The Book Binge.  A great story that wove political intrigue (back in the 1600's) and romance really did it for me.  The heroine drove me crazy at first and I almost stopped reading but in the end the book ended up being really good.  The hero, Connor and heroine, Mairi had fallen in love and promised to each other but then Connor went off to fight for England.  Feeling betrayed Mairi started to hate Connor and though he wrote and begged her to come to him she refused.  Now she's in England for a coronation and they see each other after 7 years' separation.  Love blossoms once again (after a bit of viper biting on the heroine's part) and all seems well - until the King and Queen get involved. 4 out of 5 You can read my review here.

She Tempts the Duke by Lorraine Heath was my next read.  This one I really liked - you can read my review on Wednesday.

My Tracy's TBR Challenge read for the week was Enforcer by Lauren Dane.  I can't tell you how long I've had the Cascadia Wolves series and haven't read it.  Shame on me.  Lex is watching Nina in hopes that her brother, Rey, will surface.  Rey is a werewolf and ran when some bad shit went down.  Nina and Lex end up together but Nina has to deal with some weird werewolf rituals and she's not all that pleased with it.  I really liked Lex and his brother, the Alpha, Cade.  I liked the supporting characters the story.  I really had a problem with Nina's mouth.  Yes, she was incredibly strong and intelligent and she distrusted werewolves on principle...but, she was so forthright that there were times I just wanted to tape her mouth shut! lol  3 out of 5

Next up was Safe Harbor by Derek Adams. This story was about Mike Vickers who had his life planned out after high school when he gets sideswiped by the fact that his ex-girlfriend finds herself pregnant with his daughter.  During the summer he meets Eric who is an artist and though they come from different backgrounds they form a friendship.  That friendship turns into becoming lovers but when they are discovered by guys in Mike's high school he turns on Eric as well.  10 Years later Mike and Eric meet again and try to form a relationship.  I liked the premise of the story but I just didn't get to see the two men reconnecting as much as I would have liked.  Yes, we get to see some but not enough imho.  I loved the daughter in this one.  3 out of 5

How Miss Rutherford Got Her Groove Back by Sophie Barnes was next up and it was a historical romance about a woman who had her heart broken and bounced back.  I'll post my review for this later this week.

Last for the week was Reluctant by Lauren Dane.  This was a short about Lex and Cade's sister Layla.  She heads out for the night to have some fun and ends up with a mate that she doesn't want.  Not that she doesn't want Sid himself but she has a plan for herself professionally and it certainly doesn't include a mate.  The story of Layla coming to terms with having a mate was pretty good.  I will definitely keep reading the Cascadia wolves. 3 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
One Grave at a Time by Jeaniene Frost
Tamed by a Highlander by Paula Quinn

Happy Reading!

Saturday Song

Today's post is in memory of a wonderful singer and an incredible musician, Etta James, who died yesterday 1-20-12.  Thank heavens we live in a world of technology where we'll be able to enjoy her music even though she's gone.  She will be missed.










Review: She Can Run by Melinda Leigh

Elizabeth was a young widow with two small children when she met Congressman Richard Baker. Handsome and wealthy, with a sparkling public image, Richard seemed like the perfect man to provide the security that Beth and her kids were craving. But when she uncovers a dangerous secret about her new husband, Beth realizes he will go to any lengths—even murder—to keep it. After barely escaping with her life, she and her children flee. They eventually make their way to a secluded estate in the Pennsylvania countryside, where Beth dares to hope she has found a safe place at last…

Forced into retirement by an unexpected injury, Philadelphia homicide detective Jack O’Malley is mourning the loss of his career when his uncle abruptly dies, leaving Jack to dispose of his crumbling country house. Unbeknownst to him, his uncle engaged a caretaker just before his death, a mysterious woman with two children and a beautiful face that haunts his dreams. Determined to know her, Jack begins an investigation into Beth’s past. When he uncovers the shocking truth, and a local woman is viciously murdered, Jack puts his own life on the line to keep Beth and her children safe. 

Elizabeth has been on the run from her husband, with her 2 kids, for 10 months when she takes a job as caretaker with Daniel O’Malley. When she gets to the house, however, she finds that Daniel has died and his nephew, Jack, is now in charge. Jack agrees to a probation period of two weeks to see what happens with Beth and her kids. Jack knows almost immediately that something isn’t on the up and up with Beth but he wants to bide his time to find out what the problem is.

Beth and her kids end up staying at the house and working with the horses as well as getting farther ingrained in Jack’s life. They are skiddish around each other but there is definitely some feelings of attraction there.

Beth is afraid for her children as well as for herself. What she saw her husband doing, and the reason she ran, is something that she is sure he will kill her for and she wants the kids to be taken care of above anything. Multiple “accidents” start to happen to Beth but she isn’t sure that they’re really accidents or if they’re caused by her husband’s people.

On top of all that Beth and Jack have to deal with that fact that there's also a serial killer on the loose and he’s looking at Beth as his next victim.

Melinda Leigh has written an engaging suspense story. I was intrigued by the plot line and as I turned pages I wanted to learn more and more. She definitely kept my attention and gave me just enough info to make me want to know what happened next.

As I mentioned there was the romance between Jack and Beth as well as the issue with her husband, and the serial killer. I didn’t mention it before but there was also a small part that had to do with her uncle and his “visions” that was a part of the story There was definitely a lot going on in the story but the flow of the book worked out nicely.

I think the only issue I had with the book, and unfortunately it was a biggish one, is that the heroine of the book was in continuous peril. There were constant “accidents” and after a bit I was thinking that it was just too much. Falling and needing stitches, car accidents, being accosted by assholes in the supermarket, being attacked with a knife and so on (I won’t tell all of the times but you get the picture). The constant need to be saved got a bit old for me. It was written well, and in the end I saw exactly what the cause was, but as a reader I felt that it was just too much for one woman to handle.

There was one fun and exceedingly bright spot in the book and that was the German shepherd, Henry.  He was a police dog reject and was just a happy go lucky guy.  Nobody really thought he was anything but playful but in the end he more than proved his worth in so many different ways - as a friend, a companion and savior.  I don't want to say that he stole the show in every scene he was in but almost. Now if I could just find a Henry of my own that doesn't shed. lol

In the end a good book that kept me turning pages – which is something I love in a book. lol

Rating: 4 out of 5

Melinda Leigh

TBR Challenge 2012 Review: The Army Ranger's Return by Soraya Lane

January's Theme: Category Romance

A soldier's second chance…

As nervous as a teenager about to go on her first date, Jessica Mitchell waits for Special Forces Ranger Ryan McAdams—her best friend for the past year— whom she's never met! They've been pen pals while Ryan was away fighting for their country and Jessica was secretly fighting her own demons back home.
She knows widower Ryan's fears of returning to civilian life and his hopes of reconnecting with his son. Now she can't wait to meet him face–to–face—to hear his voice and see his smile…

Jessica and Ryan have been pen pals for a while. Now Ryan is returning from the Army and wants to meet Jessica. Jessica is determined to think of Ryan as just a friend but they had become so very close via their letters to each other that it’s hard for her – especially after she sees him.

Once the couple meet in person they find yet another connection to each other. Though Ryan is leery to talk about the cancer that took his wife he knows that he needs to discuss it with Jessica as it affects his relationship with his son. Jessica is hiding something too. Though her feelings for Ryan grow daily as they spend time together she’s keeping from him the fact that she is only but a year out from surviving cancer. Jessica knows Ryan doesn’t want to deal with anything cancer related so she knows the relationship must end.

I read the blurb of this book and it looked really great but unfortunately it didn’t quite work for me in all ways.

The book starts out with Jessica moments away from meeting the man that she’s been a pen pal with. We don’t find out until much later in the book how they became pen pals but that was ok. When the two meet they don’t quite know how to act around each other. They are both attracted to the other but they had been so emotionally intimate during their letters to each other it was kind of awkward to finally meet in person. I personally thought that the meeting would be less awkward because they had shared so much in their letters but that wasn’t the case here.

The couple start spending time together but throughout it all there was just this stilted talk and well, I’ll say it again, awkwardness. To me they never seemed to just flow together and feel comfortable with each other – even when they were in bed together.

I really liked that Jessica helped Ryan work on the relationship with his son but I hated that she was keeping her cancer from him when she knew he felt so strongly about it. I perfectly understand her reasoning behind it, I really do and I felt for her wanting to be treated as someone who was “normal” in her eyes. But that just made me think she didn’t trust Ryan fully and what is love without trust? IDK, I really went back and forth with this story and in the end it was good but not great. An interesting way to pass a bit of time, but nothing that knocked my socks off. Some may feel differently but that’s how I felt about it.

Rating: 3 out of 5

What I Read Last Week

Well it was another stressful week at work but I survived which was a good thing. 

We had a nice weekend as I headed out to my mom's to help here with some computer stuff and then yesterday I got to see my grown & married nephew who lives in Pennsylvania.  Yay!  The local family got together for lunch and we had a great time just talking and catching up.  Here's a picture that I took of my nephew and my youngest.  (I'd actually had one taken of him and me but apparently it turned out really blurry. I'll have to take another before he heads home to PA.)

Don't forget to enter the 2 contests I've got going.  One for a box of historical novels and one for a box of fantasy/UF.  The links are on the sidebar.

I read a really long novel at the beginning of last week and after that really felt the need to read a bunch of shorts.  Here's what I devoured this week:

I started off the week with Season of the Shadow by Bobbi Groover.  This is an american historical that I read for The Book Binge and I really liked it but for a few items. The story was about a man (boy, really, as he was only 17) who was kidnapped, kept chained in a madhouse and treated like an animal for 6 years before he managed to escape with his life and most of his sanity.  He's back in his hometown to destroy the person who did it all to him, his cousin.  He also is still madly in love with his first love but he thinks she might have had something to do with his abduction as well.  The man is confused and hurt emotionally but determined to get his life back from the man who stole it.  The book was very good but I did have a problem with the length which was 690 pdf pages.  Just too long imho.  I'll let you know when my review posts at TBB. 4 out of 5

Here is where my short reading began:
First up was A Wedding Story by Dee Tenorio.  Ruth Ann and Bobby have been prankster enemies since they were young kids.  Ruth Ann isn't thrilled when at her sisters wedding reception she is not only sat next to Bobby but they are at the kids' table.  Ruth Ann and Bobby decide to make the most of it and decide to dance but that's when things at the reception start going awry and when Bobby and Ruth Ann are left alone they realize that maybe they don't hate each other as much as Ruth Ann thought.  Really cute and funny story. 3.5 out of 5 (free on Kindle)


Holding Out For A Hero by Stacey Joy Netzel was a short about a woman who is having a really crappy day.  When she's at lunch, however, she sees something happen that makes her start looking at life a little differently and it changes everything.  A great story that has a little bit of a hopeful romance in it.   I did kind of a mini review that you can read here if you're interested.  4 out of 5 (free on Kindle)


Next up was Fury by Anya Bast. This is part of her Otherkin series which is looks like there are only 2 of.  The story is about a woman who is in a "pack" of shifters but there are mostly wolven shifters.  She is a cougar but the elders want to make her their queen.  She runs but her mate comes looking for her.  This was an ok read.  I didn't love the characters but the story was a good one and of course the sex was hot as is the norm with Bast's books. 3 out of 5 (free on Kindle)


Without Mercy by Belinda Boring followed Darcy as she runs an errand for a pack bbq with the her future sister-in-law and best friend.  A crazed man who is on a mission ends up accosting the two and all hell breaks loose.  It was a sad story but it was so short that I just needed more.  More of the after effects of the whole situation, etc.  Maybe we were supposed to get that in future books but I never like being left hanging.  3 out of 5 (free on Kindle)

Four Kisses by Bonnie Dee was the story of two people who meet when they are 13 and share a kiss.  The pair meet about every 3 or 4 years due to odd circumstances and always share some form of a kiss.  It was a very sweet story and I really liked the whole scenario.  You can read my mini review here. 4.5 out of 5
So ended my short binge. lol

A Rose is A Rose by Jet Mykles tells the story of Carson who is in his early twenties.  He is a man used to be taken care of and when his "boyfriend" doesn't want to take it to the next level it crushes Carson.  He finds out that he was just one of many who is man was seeing.  Carson befriends the owner of his building who is a shy manly man named Eddie.  Carson isn't used to not being taken care of but Eddie helps him out with food and stuff but Carson knows that Eddie isn't gay.  Of course Eddie will be gay for Carson as he just finds him beautiful and fascinating.  I really liked this book a lot.  Carson's character was great but I just didn't love the romance.  The story was told in third person but we never got to see things from Eddie's pov.  When Carson decides that he needs to do things on his own we never get to see how that effects Eddie which I would have loved.  Overall a good story but I did have some issues with it. 3.5 out of 5

My next read was My Summer of Wes by Missy Welsh. Mal is friendless and lives in a vanilla world with no excitement until his new neighbors move in across the street. Wes is the neighbors son and though older than Mal they hit it off immediately.  Wes is gay and even though Mal has been called names and been accused of being gay for the past four years he is certain that he's not.  Until Mal and Wes start spending more time together and Mal starts to see the truth in himself.  The story was very sweet with very little conflict.  The sex scenes were hot and I just loved Wes to pieces.  4 out of 5

A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare is the first in the Spindle Cove series and I finally read it!  It was really good and I'm so glad I did.  Bram was hurt in the war and is looking to regain his position in the field.  He contacts Sir Lewis in Spindle Cove and heads there with the hopes that he will get what he wants.  Sir Lewis not only turns him down but makes him an Earl (via the king) and then asks him to get a militia ready in a month.  Bram is pissed but Sir Lewis's daughter Susanna is a nice distraction.  Distraction being the key as he can't seem to keep his mind on his work due to thinking of Susanna constantly.  It was a cute book about the inhabitants of Spindle Cove and how they come together to try to make their local field day the best there is.  Susanna and Bram's relationship was wonderful and just thinking of the book makes me smile. 4.25 out of 5

Last on the list was my read for the monthly TBR challenge and that was An Army Ranger's Return by Soraya Lane.  Pen pal's Jessica and Ryan have written to each other constantly and now Ryan is returning home.  Jessica is nervous about what will happen and what DOES happen is not what she expects at all.  I'd tell you more but then I wouldn't have to write my review for Wednesdays post. lol  \


My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
**crickets chirping**


Happy Reading!!

Saturday Song

Evanescence for a Saturday - Enjoy

What You Want


What Is Your Fantasy/Urban Fantasy Book Recommendation? A Giveaway


The Fantasy and Urban Fantasy genres are not books that I read on a regular basis.  I really have to have a solid recommendation for them before I'll buy and even then sometimes I'll hem and haw for a while before I actually lay down my cold hard cash. I think it's because I love my romances so much.  I want that HEA at the end of the books and it usually doesn't happen with F or UF books, IDK.  I've have read some really great books though and I'm always happy when I find a great series that I love.  

Renee goaded me until I finally bought the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs and man am I glad I did.  She literally had to shove the book at me in the store and say, "buy this!" lol  Thanks, Renee! :)

Amy C had to email me a bajillion times for me to finally perk up and buy the Black Jewel Trilogy by Anne Bishop, which is dark fantasy, and then I thought I'd be smart and buy the omnibus edition.  More fool me.  Seriously.  That thing was so effin big it was completely intimidating and it sat on my shelf for about 6 months before I picked it up and dug in.  Of course then I couldn't put the damned thing down because I was completely and utterly hooked.

The first book in the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews was sent to me as a gift from another friend Amy who thought I'd enjoy the series.  I think book 2 had already been published by that time and she wanted me to not fall too far behind. Magic Slays sat on my shelf for years! (Talk about falling behind in a series.) I tried to pick it up and read it once and I just couldn't get into it.  I almost gave it away twice in the blogger book swaps but something held me back.  Last year when I finally sat down and read the book it was good.  It wasn't great but definitely good enough to keep reading the series.  I then picked up book 2 which I liked a little better.  Book 3, Magic Strikes blew me away.  I loved that book and immediately read books 4 and 5 after which I also loved like chocolate...I just couldn't get enough.

So where is all this leading?  I want you to recommend some Fantasy or Urban Fantasy books to me.  I feel the need to expand my repertoire (yeah, like I don't have enough books to read, right?) and I'd like to know what you think.  I would probably like stories that have more romance in them but that's not required.  So tell me - which books/series do you love and think everyone should read and why do you love it/them so much?

I also have another mystery box of books to give away thanks to Holly at The Book Binge.  This box is filled with Fantasy and Urban Fantasy reads so if those are up your alley leave a comment with your F/UF book rec, along with your email address no later than Friday, January 20th at 7:00pm to enter to win.  Again, I'm sorry, but this has to be limited to the US only.


The Long and the Short of It....Ok, Just the Short of It

This week I went on a “buying” spree with my Kindle and managed to download 5 or 6 free books that looked appealing to me. All of them were pretty good but these two really stuck out among the bunch.

Holding Out For A Hero by Stacey Joy Netzel (though the cover looks historical this is most definitely a contemporary story)

Kelsie Newman meets the man of her dreams at the beginning of a really, really bad day, so excuse her for not recognizing him. Good thing she's a smart girl and a quick learner. When he rescues her from her Good Samaritan act gone bad later that same day, she doesn't make the same mistake twice.

Kelsie is just having a terrible no good rotten day. She manages to muddle through which is great but along the way she realizes while eating her lunch and watch a man save a child from running into the street was that

Our society is so enamored with Superheroes, and great BIG gestures that are easily recognizable and indisputably heroic, that the little everyday, wonderful things people do for others often times go unnoticed.

Because of this Kelsie, despite her awful day, starts seeing life and people with a new light. She sees that there are heroes all around us and they may not be Lancelot or Robin Hood or any of the other fairy tale heroes of old but they end up being somebody’s hero.

She also realizes the man who helped her after his brother practically knocked her off her feet was a really nice guy and she should have been a whole hell of a lot nicer to him. Luckily fate is on her side and things start looking up when she runs into him again.

This was such a short little book but it really hit me in a good way. It wasn’t a romance at all but the possibility is there. What really struck me was some of the truths that the author puts in about the way we look at the world and I just really liked that about the story. It just made me smile.

Rating: 4 out of 5


Four Kisses by Bonnie Dee

Unforgettable moments shape a romance that could last a lifetime.

Jen Adams’s first kiss didn’t happen the way she’d expected. On a steamy summer’s day, a shared moment with a boy who runs with a bad crowd leaves an indelible impression on a thirteen year old girl. But that’s only the first time Jen and Drake Malinson’s paths cross in an unforeseen way.

This story spans about 17 years in about 50 pages. The story follows Drake Malinson and Jen Adams from the age of 13 to the age of 25. The two meet when they are with friends at the lake and end up heading off to see swans together. Jen and Drake come from different worlds (Jen is a pretty straight-laced A student and Drake claims to sell drugs) and they both know that but they still manage to lock lips. Though the kiss is pretty unforgettable for a first kiss neither of them speak to each other after that.

The story then goes on to tell us how Jen and Drake run into each other again and again and how their lives change and move throughout the years. What I liked about the story besides the fact that it was very sweet is that the author created two people who were so very different from each other but could still find comfort, solace and yes, desire with each other.

Drake being a drug dealer, obviously, doesn’t exactly make him hero material. But there was just something about the guy that I liked. I always learned that we should begin as we mean to go on when it comes to our lives and so many other things, but we also have brains and free will and though we make mistakes in our lives we can always change them. For Drake that meant he ended up changing for the better and I loved that Jen could see the man that he could be from the very start.

The story also doesn’t end in an HEA but again, like the first book, it was the possibility and hope that was there that that I loved.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

I've Got Books and I'm Giving Them Away!

That's right.  Thanks to Holly over at The Book Binge I have a box of books to give away to one lucky winner.   This particular box will be filled with m/f historical romance and it's a mystery as to what's in there (honestly, it is, because I don't even remember what's in there).

So, leave  a comment on this post no later than 1/17/12 at 7:00pm (pacific) and I'll pick a winner via random.org.

I hate to say this but I have to limit the give away to the US because I just don't have the extra moola to mail internationally right now.  I know, I suck and you can cuss me out, I'll understand. I'll love you anyway. :)

What I Read Last Week

Greetings!

Well it was almost back to a full work week last week. I did have Monday off but then we had crazy things happening at work so it was really busy and really stressful. I was happy for the weekend where my youngest and I went to see Holly at her home. That was a ton of fun just talking books and stuff. We were there for 7 or 8 hours and it just didn’t seem like enough time! lol I have to say I was a giant tired lump yesterday doing…nothing but hanging with the fam, reading and watching movies. Nothing got done but hey – it’s not going anywhere right? All the stuff that needs to be done will still be there today when I get home today so I’ll work on it then. :)

On to what I read last week:

First up was Whispers in the Dark by Maya Banks. This is book 4 in the KGI series and it was about Nathan who has been captured in Afghanistan and is being tortured for information. He thinks he’s going crazy when he hears a female voice in his head and even starts talking to her. He’s not crazy. The woman is actually Shea Peterson and is a psychic who has been feeling Nathan’s pain. The story is about Shea helping Nathan and then Nathan helping Shea and their love story. It was a good story that I liked. I read this one for The Book Binge – here’s the link to the review. 4 out of 5

Next up was Caged by Tam Ames. This is a free story that Tam wrote because Wave said that hamster shifters couldn’t be done. Tam proved her wrong in a hilarious story about a hamster shifter and his owner. Very funny and well done. 4 out of 5

After that it was One Grave at a Time by Jeaniene Frost. Book 6 in the Night Huntress series has Cat and Bones working to capture a ghost who is extremely violent and can become corporeal on Halloween night. They’re also dealing with an asshole who has decided to take over her uncle’s position at the security compound who thinks he knows everything but doesn’t – and we never really learn what’s up with him as that storyline wasn’t completed. I really liked Cat and Bones and the strength of their relationship in this book. That’s something we don’t often see in UF books but this one is as strong as ever. The story was good and the fight scenes as well, but there was just something missing in this one for me that made it a good story but not fantastic. I read this for the Book Binge so I’ll let you know when my review posts. 3.5 out of 5

My next read was Amazon Heat by Melinda Leigh and Rayna Vause. This was a novella about Elizabeth who is doing research in Brazil and is saved from certain death by a group of women who turn out to be the mythical Amazons. Two years later her love, Logan, is looking for her in the same area when he is hurt and taken to the Amazon’s as well. Elizabeth must save his life and then they must try to escape as the Amazon’s aren’t ready to keep a man around for any period of time – especially after he’s worn out his usefulness. It was an interesting story but frankly I thought it was just too short. We didn’t get enough of Elizabeth and Logan or their background so the romance was just ok for me. On top of that it’s a story about the Amazon’s and we get little to know info on them or their life – how they’ve survived all these years, what their life is like, etc. Now there was a portion that looked like it was set up for a second book so maybe we’ll get more then? IDK. 3 out of 5

Next was Oracle’s Moon by Thea Harrison. I was lucky enough to get this one for review from The Book Binge and frankly I just couldn’t wait to crack that puppy open. It was the story of Kahlil who is a Djinn that we met in the previous books and Grace who is the Oracle. The story was not like anything that I expected but it was wonderful. Really romance and relationship focused and I LOVED Kahlil so very much. If you’ve been reading the Elder Races books don’t miss this one! 4.5 out of 5

Abercrombie Zombie by KZ Snow was next and it was a good one. This story followed psychic mediums Quinn and Hunter who are business partners as they deal with a man who claims to be a zombie. On top of that Quinn, who is in love with straight (well, maybe straight) Hunter, is trying to work through his feelings. The story is great and done very well and Quinn and Hunter were fabulous together. I just love KZ’s stories and this one was no different. 4 out of 5

My Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week was Forbidden which is boo 1 in the Playing With Fire series by Karen Erickson. The story was about roommates Michaela and Austin. They have the hots for each other but Michaela believes that Austin is gay since he’s not dated any women since they’ve known each other. Turns out he’s bi and he wants Michaela and all of her fantasies. Michaela has been held back by her conservative lovers and goes a bit wild with Austin as she trusts him. They act out fantasies together both at home and at a sex club. The story was extremely hot in the sex department but I thought that the relationship suffered more than a bit for the sake of the sexual aspect. While I really liked Austin I didn’t particularly care for Michaela all that much because of her indecision and sometimes overpowering shame and that diminished my enjoyment of the entire book. 3.25 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:

Happy Reading!

Saturday Song

I thought I had posted this song and scheduled it for today, but apparently not.  I just got online after being gone all day and lo and behold...nothing. lol  And....since it's still Saturday here for all of 19 more minutes I'm in under the wire! :)

So here is my favorite song of the week (This week because I just heard it for the first time but I'm sure it will be my favorite for a long while).  Set Fire To The Rain by Adele. I LOVE this song...absolutely love it...like, I wanna have babies with it, seriously. Enjoy.


Review: Striker by KyAnn Waters

Sports writer Max Myers just discovered he lives next door to the hottest soccer player to hit the field. If he scores a coveted interview with the reclusive striker for the Denver Blaze, he could take himself from sports blogger to mainstream sports authority.

Riley Grayson has no interest in interviews or in outing his private life to the public. He wants to be known for the scoring he does on the field and not in the sack. But Max is a temptation he can't resist. Taking a chance, Riley and Max discover they have more in common than passion for soccer and hot sex between the sheets. 

Just as they begin to trust each other outside the bedroom, Max is put in a no-win situation: write an article about Riley exposing accusations of drug use, or risk destroying his own credibility. If he does, he'll lose Riley. If he doesn't, he'll lose everything he's worked hard to achieve. 

Max had just moved into his new condo in Colorado when he meets his new neighbor, Soccer star Riley Grayson. He’s instantly attracted to this man but has no idea what Riley’s sexual orientation is due to the fact that Riley is an incredibly private person. Not only is Max attracted but his mind starts heading into professional mode thinking that he can possibly get an exclusive interview from Riley – something that’s not been done before.

Riley is a very private man. He is an ace soccer player and that’s what he wants to be known for – not the gay soccer player. He’s more than positive that if he comes out that that’s exactly what will happen. When he meets Max he’s pretty firm about not ever giving him an interview but that doesn’t stop him from making a move on the sportswriter.

The men start up a relationship immediately and find that it may be moving quickly but it just feels right to them. All is happy happy until Riley’s urine test comes up positive for drug use. Riley and Max – as well as Riley’s team – knows that the test is a false positive but until that is proven Riley is benched. Not only that but Max’s boss insists that he write an article on Riley which Max does not want to do. The men find themselves caught in a catch 22 and aren’t sure how to get out of it.

This was a pretty short book but I thought it had a lot going for it. I loved that the men hit it off so well right off the bat and were so comfortable with each other that Max practically moved in with Riley. Though we weren’t shown too much of those initial weeks together it was enough to show how good their relationship had become.

When the drug accusations surfaced Max knew that Riley hadn’t been doping since he’d be basically living with the guy and knows how well he takes care of himself both with exercise and eating right. I love how Max supports Riley and goes along with him on many different levels but Riley isn’t quite as supportive of Max and it made me sad. He trusts Max…to a point when it comes to Max’s career but when Max tells him that it’s write the article on him or lose his job Riley still doesn’t trust Max to do the right thing.

It really showed a boat load of patience on Max’s part to deal with Riley and the ensuing heartache that Riley caused. Riley was so mired in appearance for the games sake that he had really always put his personal life on the back burner. He had to really come to terms with who he was and what he wanted his life to look like when the shit hit the fan. I almost thought when it was time for Riley to grovel he just didn’t grovel enough but I was quite happy when the book ended on a HEA and we all know how much I love my happy endings. lol A good book and definitely worth reading.

Rating: 4 out of 5

KyAnn Waters
Carina Press

This book will release on 1/9/11.