Short Story Review: Werecat: The Rearing by Andrew J. Peters

For Jacks Dowd, a college senior who feels ungrounded from his family and life in general, an alcohol and sex-infused weekend in Montréal sounds like a pretty good escape. His Spring Break binge takes a detour when he meets Benoit, an admiring drifter with startling green eyes. A hook-up turns into a day, two days, and then a full week in Benoit's hostel, making love and scarfing down take-out food. But at the end of the week, Benoit demands that Jacks make an impossible choice: stay with him forever, or go back to college and never see him again.

There's something dangerous about Benoit, but Jacks has fallen for him brutally. The night before Jacks is supposed to return to college, he finds Benoit in Mont Royal Park, where they first met, to try to work things out. Benoit springs on Jacks an unfathomable secret: he's a mythical creature, half man and half jungle panther. He traps Jacks in an abandoned cabin and performs an occult rite so they will be mated forever.


Jackson Dowd is on a weekend trip to Montreal with his friends when he wanders into a park while drunk and ends up in a ditch.  He wakes up in a cabin of sorts on the park property and is greeted by Benoit, the man who found him and took care of him.  Though Jacks is understandably leery of Benoit at first they end up spending the day together and having a great time.  In fact they never separate and end up in Ben's hostel making love for a week.  During this time Jacks only vaguely lets his friends know where he is and that's he hooked up with someone.

At the end of the week it's time for Jacks to return to college (he's a senior with just a few months til graduation) and Benoit's not happy at all.  He sneers at Jacks' suggesting that Benoit visit him at college and when Jacks mentions the word boyfriend he seems even more disgusted.  Benoit gives Jacks a choice:

"Come back tonight to where we met.  After the park closes.  With only what you wore the night I found you.  Do it, if you want to be with me."

Jacks is torn but decides that he doesn't want to lose Benoit so meets him in the park.  There Benoit ends up turning Jacks into a werecat without his consent. 

While the months pass Jacks isn't exactly happy with his transformation or with Benoit.  They head to New York City to get lost.  When Benoit finally asks Jacks to go out hunting with him one night Jacks is happy that he's finally being included but what occurs after sets off events that leaves Jacks wondering what he's going to do with his life.

The story is told in alternating chapters - present day in New York first and then  flashbacks to 3 months prior and so on.  I can't say that I was a fan of the format.  I think that the story was short and succinct enough to have laid it all out in order.  Of course during the first chapter we get the feel for Jacks' discontent with his relationship and it does flavor the rest of the book, imho.

Jacks, to me, was a young, idealistic man who didn't quite know what he wanted. It never actually stated what he was going to school for so I never got a sense that he was all that excited about graduating.  When he met Benoit he was so easily influenced just by a man who was paying him a modicum of attention and not sharing anything of his life with him.

Benoit, I can honestly say, was a complete bastard.  For such a short story he really showed his true colors and I didn't like what I saw.  Neither did Jacks which made me like Jacks even more. Benoit was possessive, domineering, unaffectionate and condescending to Jacks.  The fact that he changed Jacks without informing him of what he was or giving him the choice really pissed me off.  I won't tell you what happens but I really thought the end of the book was apropo.

This is definitely not a romance, definitely a darker read emotionally, I think I can see one happening for Jacks in future books.  I wasn't a huge fan of the writing at first but it grew on me toward the end and I'm interested to see what happens with Jacks in future stories.  

Rating: 3 out of 5

Saturday Song

Not my normal type of song but for some reason I can't help dancing around to this while I'm cleaning the house, lol.  Here's Can't Touch It by Ricki Lee. enjoy!

 

Are You Ready, Once Again, for #DFRAT???


Starting July 1st, Book Binge will be hosting their second Digital First Read-a-Thon with Tracy’s Place, The Book Reading Gals and RR@H Novel Thoughts. We’re super thrilled to be cross-promoting all things digital first with some fabulous book bloggers again.

For the entire month of July, we challenge each and every reader out there to read as many digital first e-books as you can. There isn’t a set number of books you have to read. There isn’t a set list of authors that you must read. For that part of the challenge, you set the rules. The only rule we have is that the books read for this challenge have to have been published as an e-book FIRST.

We’re not talking about the e-books that are being re-released right now that were originally released in print format or part of print anthologies back in the day.  All books that were released to the public as e-books first.

You can track your reads at Goodreads by creating a DFRAT shelf. If you aren’t a member, they've created a list where you can share your reads with us. Just click here and enter your reads. 

If you’re participating, add your information here for a chance to win a $25 gift card to either Amazon or B&N.

I also invite you to share what you’re reading every Friday. Book Binge does a post and we want to hear what you’re reading too. Check that out here.

Please remember, we’re hosting this month long read-a-thon to bring attention to the awesome books that you might be missing because you keep passing them up for those print books. There are tons of fabulous authors publishing digital books and you might be missing out. Stick around and find some new to you authors, you just might find a new favorite.

There will be heaps of authors stopping by all four blogs involved with the Digital First Read-a-Thon so really, come play with us. We’ll have giveaways, excerpts and a whole bunch of other goodies so it should be a good time. Load up those e-readers everybody, we’re going to have loads of fun come July 1st. Remember, the more you comment on all posts for DFRAT, the better your chances are of winning something!

Tracy, Rowena, Holly, The Book Reading Gals and RR@H Novel Thoughts

Review: Freefall by Jill Sorenson

HE'S HER ONLY HOPE... 

Park ranger Hope Banning's plans for a little R & R are put on hold when a plane crashes at the top of a remote mountain. Hope will have to climb the summit and assess the situation. And the only climbing partner available is Sam Rutherford--the enigmatic man she spent a night with six months ago. 


FOR STAYING ALIVE... 


Ever since Sam lost his girlfriend in a falling accident, he insists on climbing solo. But Hope and any potential survivors need his help. As Sam and Hope set out on an emergency search-and-rescue mission, he realizes the sparks still sizzle between them. And when they learn a killer is among the survivors, they must place their trust in each other for a chance at happiness.

 

Hope Banning and her sister Faith have planned a 3 day river rafting trip and it’s the morning of the first day when Hope gets a call from work. She’s a Park Ranger in the Sierra Nevada’s and there’s a plane that has been reported to have crashed. Hope is supposedly on vacation but as there’s no one else available she sends her sister – who is NOT into river rafting - on her way on the trip and goes to find the plane and see if there are any survivors. The plane crash was reported by Sam Rutherford who happened to be hiking in the area when the plane went down. Hope and Sam met in a bar about six months earlier and ended up having a one night stand. Right after Sam kicked her out of his bed and she was completely humiliated. Now they’re face to face again and Sam’s embarrassed and Hope just wants him gone. Unfortunately there’s no one else who can climb with her to the plane crash and she can’t go alone.
 

It has been almost three years that Sam’s been emotionally numb. His fiancé died and he lost his memories of the incident. He has blamed himself for Melissa’s death and until he can get those memories to come to the front of his brain, if they ever do, he’s going to stay emotionally unavailable. Hope, however, is one person, actually the only person in the years, that has made a crack in Sam’s self-made prison. He knows he screwed up majorly when he kicked her out of his bed but he had the feeling even then that Hope could be the person who could invade the castle, so to speak.
 

So Sam and Hope head to the top of the summit and discover the plane crash but they also find that the pilot was shot and didn’t die in the crash. Now they’re looking for a murderer. When Hope figures that they murderer joined the rafting trip with her sister Faith she’ll stop at nothing to save her sister.
 

Sam doesn’t want to follow Hope into whatever crazy rescue mission she’s thought of but he can’t let her go alone either. They go through some incredible things together and the longer they spend with each other the closer they get.
 

This was another great story in the Aftershock series. I really loved the first book, Aftershock, and was hoping that the second book would be just as good – and it was. 

Sam and Hope both have serious emotional issues from past experiences and each other them has to learn to open up and trust someone. Together they manage to do that but it’s certainly not an easy road for either of them. It’s not like they looked at each other and started spewing their past – they had to work up to it and that wasn’t always easy.
 

Then there was Faith who actually ends up getting close to the murderer. Now, this sounds horrible but I was actually pulling for Faith and Javier throughout the book. I just kept thinking that everyone deserves a second chance and so should Javier. Their story was a good one was blended into Hope and Sam’s story almost seamlessly.
 

Between the climbing, kayaking, hiking…the drug cartel boss and his minions…the romances and a couple of other things going on in Hope’s story there was never a dull moment. I didn’t want to put the book down and I definitely recommend this one.
 

Rating: 4 out of 5

Jill Sorenson


Review: Waiting for Ty by Samantha Ann King

Tyler Coil doesn't do men. But it’s harder to remember that each time he visits his best friend, gorgeous Landon Burke. As a political reporter, Ty is good at reading people, and he can tell the lust is mutual. But giving in to it could mean alienating his ultra-conservative family.

Landon never desired a man badly enough to explore that side of his sexuality—until he met Ty. He’s waited four long years for a sign that Ty wants him too, and he can’t deny his needs much longer. So when a career opportunity arises out-of-state, Landon wonders if maybe it’s time to move on.

Then Ty crashes at Landon’s while working on a story—and a searing kiss ignites a night of mind-blowing sex that’s better than their most erotic fantasies. Forced to face his feelings, Ty must decide if love is worth the risk after all—before he loses Landon forever.


Ty and Landon have been friends for years. They both consider themselves bi-sexual but neither one of them has ever been with a man before. They see each other about every other weekend but each of them tries to keep their attraction under control. One weekend they just can’t do it any longer and they finally make their moves. It ends up being like they’ve been together forever but Ty has more than a few reservations and after the weekend leaves Landon.

Ty’s issues are with his extremely conservative family that he’s not sure he wants to leave (as he knows they won’t agree with a relationship between two men) and his work. He’s an investigative reporter and he gets a lot of his info from the good ole boys of Texas (the state they live in) and he’s not sure he could get the same info if he were with a man. After time Ty decides that a relationship with Landon is worth trying for but will Landon take him back?

This was an emotionally charge story that showed two men trying to deal with the outside world’s perceptions of them and their relationship. Ty loved his family and wasn’t sure he could live without them so it was hard for him to come to the decision to be with Landon and tell his family. Sure he could have lied to them but I admired the fact that he was honest despite the consequences.

We definitely got more of Ty’s background than Landon’s but what I read of Landon I liked. He was open and giving and willing to stand by Ty throughout the months it took to be together fully. I wasn’t a huge fan of the writing style but it all seemed to work in the end.

Rating 3 out of 5


Samantha Ann King 


Review: It Happened One Midnight by Julie Anne Long

More than one beautiful woman’s hopes have been dashed on the rocky shoals of Jonathan Redmond’s heart. With his riveting good looks and Redmond wealth and power, the world is his oyster—until an ultimatum from his father and a chilling gypsy prophesy send him hurtling headlong toward a fate he’ll do anything to avoid: matrimony.

Intoxicating, elusive Thomasina de Ballesteros has the bloods of London at her feet. But none of them knows the real Tommy—the one with a shocking pedigree, a few too many secrets, and a healthy scorn for rakes like Jonathan.

She is everything Jonathan never wanted. But on one fateful midnight, he’s drawn into Tommy's world of risk, danger…and a desire he’d never dreamed possible. And suddenly he’s re-thinking everything...including the possibility that succumbing to prophesy might just mean surrendering to love.


Jonathan Redmond is much more than his father believes. He’s more of a man, more of an investor, more of a thinker. He’s a good person and though his father might not see it he’s got a good head on his shoulders. When his father blindsides him by telling him that he is now cut off from his allowance and will not get another penny unless he marries “appropriately” by the end of the year, Jonathan is shocked. The things that his father says about him shows Jonathan that his father doesn’t know him at all.

Jonathan’s friend Argosy hauls him to a salon that Jonathan is not interested in going to but he’s a bit intrigued by the main attraction, namely one Miss Thomasina de Ballesteros. While the men are falling all over themselves to speak with her Jonathan hangs back as he’s not THAT intrigued. When he runs into her, in the dark, in the back of the Duke of Greyfolk’s home he has to admit to himself that he’s even more intrigued. The two become friends because they are not judgmental of the other. They have fun and share witty banter and eventually Tommy, as she’s known around town, drags him into assisting her in a midnight caper. It turns out that Tommy is helping small children who have been sold from workhouses into servitude and then beaten. Jonathan is shocked at what a dangerous endeavor this is but is blown away by how noble it is of Tommy to get involved.

It’s while helping one of these children that Jonathan and Tommy stop seeing each other as friends and see each other as so much more. Unfortunately Jonathan’s father is aware of everything that goes on in Jonathan’s life and tries to scare Tommy off. Jonathan’s having none of it and he sets out to prove that he and Tommy should be together no matter what his father thinks.

How can I possibly begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this book? From beginning to end the author had me completely engaged and rooting for the hero and heroine. I loved Jonathan and his strength of will and determination. His father, Isaiah, was such a bastard to him and just expected Jonathan to kowtow to his requests/demands and then acted like everything was right with the world while his children were suffering. I thought this part in the book, the morning after Isaiah had told Jonathan that about his impending marriage, was so typical of Jonathan’s thoughts toward his father. Jonathan is at breakfast with his mother and father and his mother just mentioned the marriage and how she had “put it about town”:

Jonathan took this in, nodding, and eyed his fork speculatively. He had two options, as he saw it: He could drive it into his own heart. Or he could hurl it straight into the tiny black heart of his father. Perhaps his aptitude for darts was all in preparation for this moment.

He met Isaiah’s eyes. His father was smiling blandly and indulgently.

No, his heart is too small and shriveled of a target, even for a marksman like me, Jonathan decided blackly.

Isaiah’s lack of faith in his son didn’t slow Jonathan and his ideas down. He would make his mark and his fortune and his ideas would come to fruition. I loved it! I also loved Tommy’s guts and fortitude and how that seeped into Jonathan the longer she knew him. I thought they were great characters separately but together they totally rocked.

The slowly dawning knowledge of their attraction to each other was wonderful. I loved how they started as friends and it almost knocked them over to realize how attracted to each other they were. After that Long gave us a dose of sexual tension that could have been cut with a knife and I adored it.

Obviously I’m a fan of the book and would highly recommend it. Just a fabulous addition to the Pennyroyal Green series!

Rating: 5 out of 5

Julie Anne Long

What I Read Last Week

Howdy !

Whatcha all up to? Anything fun?

My week was pretty normal – work, home, kids, hubby – you know…normal.

So what did I read this past week? 


First for the week was a book that I’ve had for more than a while and finally picked up called A Rural Affair by Catherine Alliott. The story was based on Poppy who’s husband dies in a freak accident and though it wasn’t a close marriage at all she’s still shocked to find out he’d been having an affair for the past 4 years. The story follows Poppy as she tries to go on with her life – bumbling along – and then shoves a romance at us in the last few pages. Not a great book imho but at times entertaining. 3 out of 5 (read for Book Binge)

Next up was Tangled by Emma Chase. I know a lot of people didn’t like this book because they thought the first person POV from the “hero” (I use the term loosely) sucked. I personally loved it. I didn’t love him but I thought he had a great sense of humor though he could be an ass at times. You can read my quickie review here on Goodreads. 4 out of 5 

Next was Temptation by Lee Brazil. The story is about Lake, a male model who has a bit of a hook-up with a guy named Solomon at a party. When Solomon doesn’t call, and they always call, Lake decides to seek him out at his office. He is introduced to Sol’s partner – in all things – and they end up having a threesome. Sol and Adonis want more but Lake has severe anxiety and insecurities about being a third wheel in an already established relationship. It was a good read though Lake got to be a bit annoying at times. :) 3.5 out of 5 (read for Book Binge) 

Next up was Awakening by Serena Grey. This was a very short story about an 18 year old girl who is basically swept off her feet by an older guy. They share a night together and then get married. There’s more to it than that but that was the gist. I’m curious to see what’s next because you could tell the guy wasn’t in love with Sophie by any means so why get married on the spur of the moment? The series is called A Dangerous Man so there’s definitely more. I have to say was saying WTF a couple of times during the story and was kind of stunned at the end when it was done. 2.5 out of 5 

Rift by Andrea Cremer is a prequel to the Nightshade series. The story takes place in the 1400’s but involves demons and wraiths and all the paranormal stuff. It was a good read but it had honestly been so long since I’d read the first two Nightshade books that I was kind of confused about the relationship. I have to go back and read those first two books again before I pick up the last in the trilogy. 3.75 out of 5 

Anybody But Him by Claire Baxter is about Nicola who house swaps with her sister and ends up back in her hometown to help take care of her aging and eccentric parents. She runs into Blair who she had a crush on in school but was also the bane of her existence. She wants nothing to do with him until she sees that they’ve both changed over the years. I really enjoyed this one. The humor took a little getting used to at first but the story was easy to read and quite enjoyable. 4 out of 5 (read for Book Binge) 

How to Marry a Highlander by Katharine Ashe doesn’t come out til the end of July but I sat down to read it early. This was a great novella. It has Teresa approaching a destitute Scottish Earl and asking him to marry her. She saw him a year and a half earlier and hadn’t stopped thinking of him. When her parents want her to marry a stick in the mud vicar she gets desperate. She makes a deal with the Earl even though he has no plans to marry her. The relationship grows and only happens within a months time but this was oh, so good. I really liked just about everything about it and definitely recommend it. 4.5 out of 5 

Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid is the story of Janie who finds out her boyfriend cheated on her and then goes to work and gets “downsized.” She then meets Quinn Sullivan who she kind of starts dating, but kind of not and he helps her get a job at his security company. The story is odd and humorous at the same time as it’s awkward and sometimes frustrating. I really enjoyed the writing though and definitely want to read more from this author. 4 out of 5 (read for Book Binge) 

Wicked as She Wants by Delilah S. Dawson is a steampunk fantasy novel that mixes the contemporary with the historical and I really, really liked this one. The story focuses on Casper who is trying to help a princess get back to her homeland after she’s abducted. The world they live in is wonderful and it was just really good. You can read my full review here at Book Binge. 4 out of 5 

Last for the week was Werecat: The Rearing by Andrew J. Peters. This is a short story about a guy meeting a man who he thinks might be “the one” and having it go all wrong when the guy transforms him into a werecat. I’ll post my review of this one later this week. 







My Book Binge reviews that posted since last Monday:
The Secret of Mia Danvers by Robyn DeHart
Wicked as She Wants by Delilah S. Dawson 



Happy Reading!

Saturday Song

Here's Warrior by Evans Blue - enjoy!


Review: An English Bride in Scotland by Lynsay Sands

Annabel was about to take the veil to become a nun when her mother suddenly arrives at the Abbey to take her home… so that she can marry the Scottish laird who is betrothed to her runaway sister! She knows nothing about being a wife, nothing about how to run a household, and definitely nothing about the marriage bed!

But from the moment Ross MacKay sets eyes on Annabel, he is taken with his shy sweet bride… and the fact that she's blessed with lush curves only makes him utter his own prayers of thanks. But when an enemy endangers her life, he'll move the Highlands themselves to save her. For though Annabel's not the bride he planned for, she's the only woman he desires…


When Annabel was seven years old her parents took her to an abbey and left her there. She was not cut out to be a nun but eventually became an oblate and was looking forward to becoming a nun. When her mother suddenly shows up unannounced Annabel is shocked as she hasn’t seen or heard from anyone in her family for 14 years. Her mother rushes her off to their family estate and prepares her to marry. You’re thinking WTF, right? Yeah, I was too.

The father saved the life of a Scottish Laird at one point and they became friends. Eventually they decided that the Laird’s eldest son and the English Earl’s eldest daughter would be contracted to be married when the time was right. Unfortunately things didn’t work out the way either family had planned.

The Laird MacKay died and his eldest son, Ross, was challenged by his cousin for the position of Laird. Then family members became mixed up in the challenge and four years passed before Ross felt it was safe to leave his clan temporarily and go get his bride.

The Withram family had had their own share of troubles. The eldest daughter, Kate, had fallen in love with the stable masters son and had run off with him not two days before Ross was to arrive at their home. Kate had been disowned so that made Annabel the eldest and the families last hope to save them.

Annabel doesn’t have a clue what’s going on and when she does figure it out she’s freaked out, to say the least. Ross is about to leave as it’s taking so long for the bride to be to see him but then Annabel comes down the stairs and Ross is smitten almost from first sight. They marry and as Ross doesn’t like Annabel’s parents they leave the next day for Ross’s castle.

Annabel isn’t anything like Ross thought she would be – little does he know she’s REALLY not what he thinks – but she soon wins over even the grumpiest of clan members. Annabel has a hard time at first and she’s not sure she can be what she’s supposed to be as she was never raised to take care of a home but she does her best. During this time Annabel is hurt, so is Ross, by an attacker that is very persistent; they get a visit from Annabel’s sister that is completely unexpected – an unwanted after they get to know her; and they fall in love.

I have to say I love reading Sands’s historical novels. She always writes such great characters and puts them in situations that are completely believable and could have actually happened but that are almost ridiculous in nature…and pulls it all off. She’s got such a great sense of humor and it really shows in her historicals.

In this one I loved Annabel’s innocence. She made some bad decisions, sure, but she did it with such a good heart that it was hard for me to dislike her for some of them. It turned out that her family had done her a huge favor by sending her to the abbey – even though it was sometimes torturous (literally) – as we see when we meet the very, very, very spoiled sister, Kate. My God that woman was a piece of work. Even I wanted to climb into the book and throttle her! Annabel had the patience of a saint but even she could only take so much of Kate. lol

Ross was a great hero. He was kind and grumpy and possessive and lusty and he loved Annabel to bits. His patience with her was a testament to his upbringing and I loved seeing the strong, capable man treat his wife with care and not lose any of his masculinity.

In the end it was a very good story and I can’t wait to see what the next book in the series brings.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Lynsay Sands

Review: Bite Me by PJ Schnyder

Few people walk the streets of London since the zombie outbreak, but that's not an issue for Seth. As a werewolf, he can handle himself and save humans reckless enough to take a nighttime stroll. While on patrol he comes across a group of people under attack. The one woman brave enough to take a stand against the zombies catches his eye—and not just because of her way with a gun. Learning the beautiful woman is homeless and fends for herself only intensifies his urge to protect and care for her.

Maisie can't help but admit that she's attracted to her werewolf rescuer. She's drawn to Seth's strength and ferocity, and finds herself opening up to him in ways she never imagined, even though she's determined to not rely on Seth or anyone else. She doesn't want another person to get hurt—or die—for her sake. She has enough scars, physical and emotional, from the last time…

But when Seth realizes something is drawing the zombies to Maisie, there may be nothing he can do to save her…


Seth had been out with one of his packmates earlier and was trying to walk off his anger when he heard a woman scream. Being that most of London was infested with zombies, hearing a human scream wasn’t a good thing. When he makes it to Kensington Gardens he finds a woman protecting a family from a hoard of zombies that are bent on getting to feed. Between Seth and the woman, Maisie, they manage to get the family away and the zombies taken care of. In the fight, however, Maisie shot Seth so she takes him back to her animal clinic to patch him up.

Maisie is surprisingly unaffected by Seth’s growls and complaints and Seth is soothed by Maisie’s calm nature. They talk and go to dinner at a nearby pub and Seth is smitten. He wants to be around Maisie all the time and can hardly hold himself back from going to see her first thing the next morning. When he hears that Maisie’s apartment building may soon be infested with zombies he knows he’ll stop at nothing to save her.

This was a great little paranormal/shapeshifter/zombie novel. I liked how the author brought in all the different elements and even mentioned vampires, witches and fae. She gave us the low down on how the zombie infestation came about and continued by giving us the information bit by bit throughout the story rather than overwhelming us with an info-dump and I appreciated it.

Seth was a bit of an enigma, even at the end of the book. We got some info about him but not a whole lot of back story of which I think there was a great deal. We did get to know him somewhat though and what I saw I definitely liked. He was strong and fierce, gentle when he needed to be and really very thoughtful. All that wrapped up in one hot alpha package and hell, what’s not to like? lol

Maisie was a strong character as well. She was a single woman who had lost her family to the zombies and was homeless to boot. Despite that she was pretty well put together and kept her animal clinic going despite her hardships. She dealt with the loss of her family by learning how to protect those she cared for and it paid off. She was someone to be admired, that’s for sure.

Overall the story was a good one and I’m curious to see what book 2 in this series brings us. Will we get more of Seth and Maisie (which would be a good thing) or will we move on to other characters? I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

Rating: 4 out of 5

PJ Schnyder

Review: Damned if You Do: The Complete Collection by JL Merrow

Sexy male succubus Rael has an insatiable appetite for men that gets him into all kinds of trouble. And he’s just found his favorite flavor: hunky blond detective Lars Thornsson. When those cool Nordic looks combine with Rael’s smoldering dark charms, all Hell could break loose.

Lars’s job at the Paranormal Enforcement Agency means he’s supposed to be policing demons, not falling in lust—or love—with them. But there’s something about this feisty little sex demon that hits all his buttons.

With no shortage of deadly sinners in his city, from serial-killing succubi to drug-dealing demons, all Lars can do is try to keep his private life from interfering with his work. But Rael has a knack for getting mixed up in cases that threaten both their domestic harmony and their lives.


What a great set of Novellas! The Collection is a set of novella’s that make up a series about Paranormal Enforcement Agency cop, Lars, and succubus demon, Rael. 


In the first novella, A Calling for Pleasure, we have Rael being summoned by a teenager who was definitely expecting a woman to show up, not a man. Rael is hungry though so shows the boy a good time and then goes on his way. He eventually gets arrested because the PEA – arresting officers Lars Thornsson and his partner Chelle Rochelle – think he’s the sex demon that’s being killing men all over town. Lars doesn’t want to be having a million little fantasies in his head about his murder suspect but he manages to hand over the number of a good lawyer and next thing you know Lars is taking Rael home to stay. Rael eventually helps Lars and Rochelle catch the true killer.

In novella #2, A Blast from the Past, Rael gets visited by his ex-lover, who is an envy demon and dead set on getting Rael back. Rael doesn’t want to have anything to do with his cheating ex boyfriend and is happy being a one man man – namely with Lars.

In novella #3, A Wish Too Far, Lars and Rochelle are looking for a drug dealer who is handing out wish pills but when they wish and aren’t specific enough they don’t exactly get what they want. Rael hears about some evidence in the case from Lars and thinks about a friend he had a couple centuries earlier so goes about trying to find out if his friend and the drug dealer are one in the same.

Novella #4 brings us A Glutton for Punishment. Rael has started working as a guest chef on a tv show when the head chef and host of the show turns up kidnapped. Rael gets temporarily moved to the position of head chef but then starts to get threatening notes. On top of that Rael has to say that he’s boyfriends with the hosts PA because he’s not a legal resident and doesn’t want to get Lars in trouble. This makes for some tense times between Lars and Rael.

I have to say that every single one of these novellas was fun, funny, entertaining, hotter than hell in the sex department and just all around great stories. Nothing deep and meaningful, just an unlikely romance with lots of humor thrown in.

Rael and Lars are perfect together. Lars is willing to put his job at stake to keep Rael and though Rael always finds himself in a bit of trouble it all gets worked out. I loved their easygoing relationship and all its little quirks.

Then we had secondary characters who threaded through all of the stories – Rochelle the petite and pretty foul-mouthed partner. She could scare the skin off a lion with just one look. She had a soft underbelly though and she ended up showing it time and time again without taking away from any of her toughness.

There were other PEA officers Dumont and Dee – what a bunch of numbnuts. Merrow wrote these two so well and I loved hating them.

I loved Lars and Rael’s pet salamander, Kitty, who was loving and incendiary at the same time. lol She was adorable.

Four great stories that I definitely recommend.

Rating: 4 out of 5

JL Merrow 

 
These novellas come out on June 24th and will be sold either as a collection or separately

What I Read Last Week

“It’s just another manic Monday. Wowo wowo” (Starting with a little Bangles music from 1986.)

Actually I think the Monday so far is going alright but I’m still manic from this past weekend. On Saturday we helped some friends move and that was tiring of course. Then on Sunday morning I helped, with 3 other parent, run a youth group car wash fundraiser in the church parking lot. The adults moved cars and the youth group washed and dried while the car owners were in church. The wash was free we just asked for donations. We ended up raising over $1,000.00 so we were exhausted afterwards but quite excited. The money will help pay for the mission trip the youth will be on at the end of the month. They’re headed to the Diocese of Navaholand to help out. I think it will be great. My oldest is going – hopefully she’ll have a good time.

After I got home from car wash I wound down a bit and then my youngest asked the hubby and I to rearrange her room and add the bookshelf that’s been sitting in the garage forever. She’d asked before but the weekend schedule just never left enough time. Well it was mostly the Tracy show with the hubby coming in when he needed to muscle things around but it finally got done and looks great. It should after spending 5 hours moving, trashing and reorganizing the place! lol  Needless to say there wasn't much time this weekend for reading but I did get some done this past week:

So, what did I read last week? 


I started the week with The Secrets of a Runaway Bride by Valerie Bowman. This is book 2 in the Secrets Brides series and I have to say I liked this one much better than book one. In this story we have Annie or Anne who is love with a complete milktoast man who can’t seem to keep his own opinion. He’s always going with what others. If he’s with his father he goes with his pov. When he’s with Anne, he goes with her pov. Frustrating. Anne is making a bit of a mess of things as she can’t seem to leave Arthur alone and she’s pursuing him so that he’ll propose once again. They were stopped from getting to Gretna Green in the last book but that was 6 months before and she’s ready for the relationship to go to the next level. Her sister is on her honeymoon but before she left she asked a friend, Jordan Holloway, to look after Anne. He gets frustrated as well as he’s constantly trying to save Anne from herself but then falls in love with her himself. It was a very cute book and an enjoyable read. A bit predictable but fun, nonetheless. 3.5 out of 5 (read for Book Binge) 

Next up was Flirting With Disaster by Ruthie Knox. This story is about Katie who took off with her boyfriend when she was just out of high school and got married but he eventually took off leaving her high and dry. She’s back in her hometown of Camelot and her brother has gotten her off the couch and into the office in his security firm. He lets her take a case along with one of his security guys, Sean, who has liked Katie since he was in high school. He has a stutter though so tries to refrain from speaking as he’s sure he’ll much it up. They eventually work together on the case as well as in the bed but they both get more involved in each other than they planned. This was a good read as well. I liked that Sean stuttered and Knox didn’t have him magically saved by the end of the book. He was who he was and I loved it. You can read more of my thoughts here. 3.75 out of 5 

My next read was Damned if You Do: The Complete Collection by JL Merrow. This is the story of a male succubus and a police officer with the Paranormal Enforcement agency who meet and can’t keep their hands off each other. There are 4 novellas/stories in this m/m collection and they’re all very entertaining and sexy. I’ll post my review for this one later this week. 4 out of 5 

The Secrets of Mia Danvers by Robyn DeHart is about a woman who is blind. She lives in a cottage at the corner of a Duke’s property but was abandoned by her family and the ton was lead to believe she was dead. When she witnesses a murder she heads to the Duke’s home and from there the duke and Mia become friends and then so much more. I really like blind heroines as they give a level of depth in a story that might not otherwise be there. Things get heated, especially when Mia thinks that the killer might be the duke’s brother. 3.75 out of 5 (read for Book Binge) 

Last for the week was Life of the Party by Kate Davies. This is the 3rd and final story in the Girls Most Likely to… series. This story was Tess’s and it’s about her friend and kind of co-worker, Luke, getting together. She has self-esteem issues and he’s been burned by previous girlfriends due to his American Indian heritage. It was a good story and a good way to pass the time but nothing made it really stand out. 3 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Unforgiven by Anne Calhoun
Ellie’s Gentleman by Georgiana Louis

Happy Reading!!

Review: Flirting With Disaster by Ruthie Knox

Fresh out of a fiasco of a marriage, Katie Clark has retreated to her hometown to start over. The new Katie is sophisticated, cavalier, and hell-bent on kicking butt at her job in her brother’s security firm. But on her first assignment—digging up the truth about the stalker threatening a world-famous singer-songwriter—Katie must endure the silent treatment from a stern but sexy partner who doesn’t want her help . . . or her company.

Sean Owens knows that if he opens his mouth around Katie, she’ll instantly remember him as the geeky kid who sat behind her in high school. Silence is golden, but he can’t keep quiet forever, not with Katie stampeding through their investigation. It’s time for Sean to step up and take control of the case, and his decade-old crush. If he can break through Katie’s newfound independence, they just might find they make a perfect team—on the road, on the job, and in bed.


Katie is happy to be back in Ohio with her friends and family but she’s getting a bit restless in her job. She’s been working as secretary/receptionist for her brother’s security firm. She finally talks Caleb into letting her do some field work but she gets paired with Sean Owens who brings new meaning to the word stoic. Katie, who always wants everyone to like her, tries to get Sean to talk to her but he refuses.

Sean is a man who came to Camelot to take care of his mother’s estate after her passing and ended up staying. He’s not sure why as he has a home and a business in California. He had a thing for Katie back in high school and he still gets nervous around her. Sean thought he had overcome his stuttering but when he’s around Katie he just can’t control it. He gets frustrated so rather than make a fool out of himself he chooses not to talk. Eventually he finds that he HAS to talk and when he does Katie couldn’t care less. When they finally decide to do something about the attraction that’s buzzing between them it’s scorching hot. Katie and Sean are great together but Katie needs to figure out what she’s going to do with her life and Sean needs to head back to California to deal with his company.

This was another good story in the Camelot series. I really loved Sean. Yes, he acted like an asshat a couple of times during the story but really, how could I not love A) a stuttering hero and B) one who overcame his emotionally charged childhood. Sean had his issues but he once he started talking he proved to be an intelligent man with a body made for sin.

Katie I liked as well, but definitely not as much as I liked Sean. She had such self –esteem issues that is was really hard to get past that. She did learn and grow during the book but it came too late in the book for me. I didn’t feel we got a good view of the “new” Katie and that was more than disappointing.
We did get to revisit characters from previous Camelot books and that was nice. Tony and Amber from book 1 were only mentioned but we got a couple scenes with Jamie, Ellen, Caleb, Henry and Carly and those were great. I’ve really liked the Camelot series so far and can’t wait to see what Ms. Knox has in store for Camelot next.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Ruthie Knox


Saturday Song

Here's a new one from one of my favorite bands, Sick Puppies, called No Turning Back.  This will be on their new album, Connect, that's due out on July 16th.

 

Author Interview: Theresa Rizzo

Thanks so much for making the time to read and review He Belongs to Me and for having me on your blog!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your road to becoming an author.  


I married my high school sweetheart thirty years ago and I have four great kids-- 19-26yrs old. Though being a stay-at-home mom is a laudable profession, I found it a thankless job (at the time) and living for my kids and husband was sucking the life out of me—all my fault by the way. Writing was a wonderful creative intelligent outlet and it fed my soul and made me a much happier person and better mother and wife. So I joined writers groups, went to several conferences every year, entered writing contests, and invested in learning to write.
 

It must be so exciting to have your first book being published! Tell us a little about the decision to self publish.  

It is exciting having my first book out there. I’ve been writing and learning the craft for about 16yrs and in the past 5 years had 2 very good agents who could not sell 2 other women’s fiction books—because the stories were hybrid books and didn’t firmly fit in a genre.

So after I got some great feedback and another rejection from Entangled Publishing on He Belongs to Me, I decided to self publish my works starting with this story. I figured I’d let readers determine if it’s a story worth reading.

So I hired an editor to check the grammar and spelling, and a professional cover designer to give me a great, marketable cover. It was very important to me to offer my readers the best product I could.

What do you like most about being a writer?

I love that I can create characters that each have a piece of me in them. I can express the meanness and cattiness in me through some characters like Shelly and the grandparents, and then I can be sweet and loving and smart and witty through my hero and heroine. I can kill people without going to jail (in other books) and I can have hot passionate sex with a young thing without being labeled a cougar or without being unfaithful to my husband.

That’s pretty sweet if you ask me.

Did you always know that you'd like to write contemporary romance? Did you try other romance genres?

I write romantic suspense as well as women’s fiction. I write the stories that fascinate me. I enjoy paranormals and historicals, yet I simply don’t have the interest in history and voice to write those genres.

If you have time to read what are some of your favorite books?

Of course I make time to read. I love reading and the publishing industry is constantly changing and I think it’s important for an author to keep up to date with reader expectations. Also, I believe that reading really good writers helps elevate my writing. Some of my favorite books include the Harry Potter series, The Hunger Game series, Harlan Coben books, Christine Feehan Game series and Lisa Kleypas contemporary books and I could go on and on.

If you could be in any book/series/world which would you pick and why?

No idea. I write contemporary stories, so I guess that’s where I enjoy being.

 

Short Bio-Theresa Rizzo is an award-winning author who writes emotional stories that explore the complexity of relationships and families through real-life trials. 

Born and raised in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, she currently lives outside of Boulder, Colorado with her husband of thirty years. She’s raised four wonderful children who are now scattered across the country.

Find Theresa On the Web:


Book Buy Links:

Theresa, thank you so much for joining me today and great luck to you on your novel!

 

Review: He Belongs to Me by Theresa Rizzo

He Belongs to Me is a love story . . . a tale of betrayal and deception and of a young mother's determination to recover what belongs to her.

Forced to leave her baby and tricked into relinquishing her parental rights, four years later Catherine Boyd is back and she'll do anything to regain custody of her son--even reconcile with the husband falsely accused of killing their son's twin.

All in the name of love for a little boy, generations of pain and tragedy are exposed in a courtroom drama.
 

When the book begins Catherine is graduating from Stanford and is so excited that her son, Drew, who is 5 or 6 is going to come live with her permanently. Her parents show up for the graduation with Drew but when Catherine asks why Drew only brought one suitcase with him the parents drop their bomb – Drew will continue to live with them as they are his legal guardians. What? Sarah and Eric, the parents, produce a document that Catherine signed that shows she gave made them Drew's legal guardians. What Catherine thought she was signing was a document that just gave them permission to get Drew medical care, etc. while she was in school. Needless to say Catherine is distraught as all she wants is to be a family with her son. 

Catherine decides that she needs to contact her estranged husband, Thomas. She believes that if they show they are reconciled (even if they truly aren't) that her parents will give Drew back in a heart beat. After they get their son back they'll then go their separate ways. Thomas is wary of the plan. He doesn't believe that it will work and even states that if it doesn't and they have to end up suing for custody he wants nothing to do with it. Well the plan doesn't only not work but the parents (who are such conniving, backstabbing, manipulative people) try to get a restraining order against Catherine and Thomas and tell them that they are suing to get their parental rights revoked. 

What ensues is a court battle that's ridiculously enlightening for all parties involved and some horrible truths come out as the mudslinging begins. But will the judge decide in the favor of Catherine and Thomas or Drew's grandparents.

Let me give you a little background info:

When Catherine is just 18 and Thomas 20 years old they get married. Soon after Catherine has twin baby boys Bobby and Drew. Because they are so young they are living in a wing of Catherine's very wealthy parents' house. Bobby ends up dying and Catherine's mother ends up accusing Thomas of killing little Bobby and a trial ensues in which he's acquitted. After he leaves jail he ends up going back to school in Michigan after some harsh words were spoken from Catherine. Catherine takes care of Drew but her parents bully her into going to Stanford and leaving Drew with them. See...manipulative. Getting Catherine to sign that paper when she's just suffered the death of her child and the imprisonment of her husband and the poor thing's only about 20 years old by that time. 

When Catherine and Thomas get back together I had a feeling that it just wasn't going to work. I really liked Catherine and her strength, although I really wish she would have really gotten mad at her parents at one point. She was mad but she was always contained and I wanted her to let loose. Thomas was a completely self-involved man. I honestly believed that he loved Catherine and Drew but loving someone and having them virtually change and take over your bachelor life are two very different things. I think he loved Catherine but I honestly didn't feel this love and felt it was more about sex than love. He did stick with it all even when it got really rough so I have to give him points but it was almost too late in the book to redeem him by that time.

I really liked the writing style of this author and will look for things written by her in the future. She definitely made me feel the tension and emotion in the book, that's for sure – maybe just not as much on the romance part, imho. Definitely readable but make sure you're not looking for a light fluffy read when you pick this one up.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 

Theresa Rizzo

Review: Just What He Wanted by HelenKay Dimon

Travis Yardley thought he had everything he needed, but one look at Andrea Patterson shows him he was wrong. Andie is a gorgeous, curvy blonde who moves to town to manage a nearby campground. Seizing the chance to get close to her, Travis volunteers himself as tour guide and "bodyguard.'

After a bad breakup, Andie is looking to start over and determined to put her heart on hiatus. She's working on her self-esteem, and she is not ready for the likes of Travis. He comes on strong, with all the energy of a guy almost ten years her junior, which is exactly what he is.

Even as Travis's troubled past catches up with him, he pulls out all the stops to convince Andie he deserves a chance. And with the spring thaw hitting the Mountain View Resort, Andie discovers her own temperature rising whenever Travis looks her way…

Travis heads out to the Mountain View resort where the new manager is and he expects to meet a man, Andy. What he finds is Andie, a voluptuous woman that turns his brain to mush and gets his blood flowing. Immediately he can tell that there's an attraction between the two of them but after she pulls a gun on him and then asks him his age (as she's almost 10 years older than he) so he knows that he's got his work cut out for him. 

Andie is thinking that Travis is more than drool worthy but he's so young! She's also got serious issues surrounding her weight as her ex-boyfriend constantly bagged on her, even after she lost weight, so she can't believe that any man would think she's worth the effort. She just hadn't met Travis yet. 

This was another great little novella in the Holloway series. Travis is totally drool worthy and young, but he's a wonderful guy who has his head on his shoulders. He had a hard life before he was 15 but he had gotten his life in order with help from friends and the people who then became his family. He would be an excellent catch but Andie just has those issues that she thinks she can't get past. Together they work them out and it was great to read about. 

Andie is beautiful inside and out despite what she thinks of herself. Her self-esteem was frustrating but she was wonderful anyway. I liked her pluck and thought she was a great match for Travis.

So will there be more stories in the Holloway series? IDK, but if there are I will definitely be reading them.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5


HelenKay Dimon

What I Read Last Week

Yo Babies!

How the heck are ya? I’m good. It was actually been a pretty pleasant week and the weather is cooperating so it’s all good. 

Nothing much happened last week so I’ll get on to what I read:

I started the week with Coming Home by MJ O’Shea. I’ve liked her stories in the past so I picked this one up and wasn’t disappointed. The story is about Tally who was an ass and bully in high school so the town didn’t think too kindly of him. Then his dad got caught with a young girl and killed himself. He’s back now to live with his grandmother rather than on the streets and he’s a changed person. The only person that will give him a job is Lex at the local coffee shop. Tally doesn’t recognize him as the guy he bullied in high school. Despite the bullying Lex always had a crush on Tally and that apparently didn’t change. This was a great well, coming home story and I really liked the romance between Lex and Tally. 3.75 out of 5

Next up was a western historical called Saving Grace by Sandy James. This was a story of a woman looking for her brother while running from the law. You can read more about the book and my thoughts on it here. 3.5 out of 5

Fire Inside by Kristen Ashley is book 2 in the Chaos MC series. The story is about one of the MC members and a friend of the club. They start out as wanting to have just one night but then fall in love while working out emotional issues. I really liked parts of this but then other parts annoyed the hell outta me. You can read more of my thoughts on the book here. 3 out of 5

Not the Leader of the Pack by Annabeth Leong is the story (novella) of a girl who has been away from her shifter pack and her family for 5 years. Her father’s health is failing and before he dies he hands over alpha duties to her. The Beta of the pack wants to bag the girl but that doesn’t stop him from trying to wrestle the pack leadership from her hands. This was an ok read but the hero in this one really annoyed me and I wanted to hit him. lol (read for Book Binge)  2 out of 5

Ellie’s Gentleman by Georgiana Louis is a May/December romance between a 20 year old girl and a man of 42. I thought I’d be squicked out but it actually worked well and though a very short story it was a good one.(read for Book Binge)  3.5 out of 5

Unforgiven by Anne Calhoun is another coming home story but the hero in this one has ulterior motives for coming home – although he says he doesn’t. Adam is to be best man in his best friends wedding to Adam’s former fiancé. While he’s home he registers for school and also gets back involved with his former girlfriend, Marissa. The story is about finding out who you are and following your dreams. It’s not a funny story at all but not dark and depressing either. More along the lines of solemn but very good. Well written. 4 out of 5

He Belongs to Me by Theresa Rizzo is the story about a 23 year old girl who’s looking forward to her 6 year old son coming to live with her but finds out her parents plan on keeping him and raising him themselves. She enlists her estranged husband to get him back but he’s not necessarily all-in. The story is about the conflict with the parents as well as the issues that Catherine and Thomas have as a couple. Good story – I’ll post my review on Thursday. 3.5 out of 5

Reluctant Mate by Eden Cole is a short story about the Alpha of a wealthy shifter pack who wants his son to mate with another man who will bring their pack political influence. The problem is that neither the son, Gray, nor the other guy, Lucas, is gay. They try sex out so that they can tell Gray’s father that it won’t work but after their initial hesitations they find they like it. The story here was minimal and it certainly wasn’t written wonderfully well but I gotta say I thought the sex was pretty hot. I’m not sure if it was because it was so experimental or what but I liked it. lol 3.25 out of 5

Last for the week was Just What He Wanted by HelenKay Dimon. We’re back in Holloway, Virginia and this time we get Travis’s story. He’s asked to keep an eye on the new manager of the cabins, Andy. Only it’s actually Andie and she’s a woman. A woman that makes Travis drool and lose his head. She’s got a block about their ages since he’s 25 and she’s 34 and she also has self-esteem issues regarding her weight that drive Travis crazy. It was a good story and though short it packed a punch. I'll post my review this week :) 3.75 out of 5



My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Happy Reading!

Saturday Song

Here's a little Papa Roach for you on this fine Saturday morning.  Enjoy!

Leader of the Broken Hearts

Review: Fire Inside by Kristen Ashley

Lanie Heron isn’t looking for love—no surprise, considering her last serious relationship nearly got her killed. So when Lanie propositions Hop Kincaid, all she wants is one wild night with the hot-as-hell biker who patrols with the Chaos Motorcycle Club...

For Hop, Lanie has always been untouchable. She’s too polished and too classy for his tastes. But when she gives Hop the once-over with her bedroom eyes and offers him a night in paradise, he can’t say no. And he doesn’t regret it when he finds that Lanie is the best thing that’s ever happened to him—in or out of bed. Now the trick will be to convince her of that


Lanie Heron approaches Hop Kincaid at one of the Chaos MC’s hog roasts and propositions him in a not so subtle way. He gives her a good argument but eventually he caves and they head up to his room at the MC’s compound. It was only supposed to be one night but after that one night Hop isn’t ready to give up what he thinks might be his new addiction: Lanie. 


Hope and Lanie continue to see each other but decide that it’s just going to be a strictly sexual relationship but really neither Lanie nor Hop are made that way – under all the talk, they’re each looking for that one special person. Unfortunately Lanie’s drama, her family, her history and a whole slew of other things has Lanie messed up emotionally. Hop has his own emotional demons but is willing to talk and work through them for Lanie because he thinks she’s worth it. Lanie is scared and that might end up ending their relationship for good.

This is my first foray into the Chaos Motorcycle club. I didn’t read book one, which a friend tells me is something I absolutely need to do. I have read one other book by Ashley before and I have to say that after having read her work I was more than a bit surprised that I didn’t like this book more.

I really liked Hop. I thought he was a great character although surprisingly very open and communicative, which was a good thing. He knew what he was getting into with Lanie before he took that plunge and slept with her. Lanie I didn’t care for as much. At the beginning of the relationship when I thought she should have been either defending herself or speaking up to Hop, she didn’t. When she should have been keeping her mouth shut she spouted off. I’m not sure drama is a strong enough word, quite frankly.

The frustrating part of this book for me was the dialogue. It was heavy and with Hop leaving out the first part of almost every sentence I had to go back several times to reread so that I could verify what he was saying. He said some great stuff it was just almost stuck under WAY he spoke. A couple of other issues - the long stares and requisite eye to eye contact that Hop demanded frankly got a bit old and Lanie’s nickname for Tyra “Ty-Ty” made me want to throttle her as it just sounded like she was referring to a preschooler.

The end of the book seemed to last a darned long time. They wrapped up their issues and worked things out and then…it just kept going. I’m sure this was some sort of set up for the next book but I just thought it could have been nixed and I would have been a lot happier. ;)

Overall the book was a bit maddening but a decent read.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Kristen Ashley 



Review: Saving Grace by Sandy James

Grace Riley is on the run—from her past and from her fears. The victim of a violent rape at the hands of a rich politician’s son, she must “disappear” to escape his constant attempts to recapture her. Moving from cattle drive to cattle drive as a cook, she avoids her tormentor for nearly twenty years. When she discovers that the brother she gave up for adoption after their mother died in childbirth was orphaned at an early age, she is frantic to verify that he’s safe. She tracks him to a cattle ranch in Montana.

Widower Adam Morgan owns the Twin Springs ranch, but finds himself falling into a life of loneliness. Although he enjoys spending time with his grown daughter and the two men he rescued when they were living on the streets, he longs to meet a woman he can love. Living in the Montana territory where men greatly outnumber women makes finding a new wife difficult. Weary of working cattle, he is ready to make some changes in his life.

Grace falls ill on her journey, but she manages to make it to the Twin Springs ranch where her brother is supposed to be living. Adam takes her in, concerned for her health and the reason she’s searching for one of his adopted sons. Their chemistry is immediate and intense, but can Grace heal from her past of pain and fear? When her secrets are finally revealed, can Adam forgive her deceptions and learn to love again?


Grace has been running her whole life. She was raped when she was just a few months past her 14th birthday and pursued by that same man for the past 20 or so years. Seeking the son that came of that rape she finally breaks down and asks for help from her attacker, Stephen Shay. When they meet face to face once again he tries to attack her once again and she shoots him. Think Stephen is dead she heads to Montana from San Francisco to find her son, Jake (Stephen doesn’t know he exists). When she arrives in Montana at the home Jake is supposedly living in she’s incredibly ill and collapses on the porch. The owner of the home, Adam Morgan, gets Grace into his home and nurses her back to health with the help of his adult daughter, Victoria.

Adam is a kind man and takes his duties as nurse for Grace, very seriously. While she is recuperating Adam falls in love with Grace and she with him. Unfortunately Grace is determined to meet Jake and then leave so that she doesn’t bring the law down on Adam and his family now that she’s a murderess. Adam is having none of it and wants to keep Grace safe, especially when he discovers that she’s not safe at all.

While this is happening Matthew, Grace’s brother, is falling in love with Adam’s daughter, Victoria. They are both stubborn and they argue constantly but they each feel the pull of the other. Matthew wants Victoria but feels he’s not good enough for this woman who was raised with wealth while he has nothing, not even a home.

Jake, who is told by Grace that he is her brother, had recently married and is expecting his first child. He’s not exactly happy to have Grace and Matthew in his life and feels that he was the discarded brother. Grace has a hard time breaking through his hard outer shell to get to the softer inside.

While western historical romance is not my go-to genre, I really enjoyed Saving Grace. There were a lot of things to like about this book and the author did a great job in showing the different facets of all of the characters personalities.

Grace was amazing and she really was a person that I admired. After living through the horrible rape she knew that she wasn’t safe from Stephen, or her father for that matter. She immediately took Matthew, who was only 8 at the time and left home. She had virtually no money and nowhere to go but she cared for Matthew and survived. She didn’t feel amazing, which is obvious in the book, but she truly was a fighter.

Adam was a great guy. He had found Jake living in Denver and eating out of garbage cans (part of Jake’s back story that I won’t share right now) and took him in, along with another boy and raised him as his own son. Though life was different back then I don’t know many who would be so generous and so trusting of two ruffians. He loved his family and friends and was kind, loyal and protective of them. This included Grace and Matthew eventually.

Adam fell in love with Grace during her recuperation. We were told of how they spent their days together and played chess or he read to her, etc. but we weren’t shown that part of the friendship/budding romance and I think that had an effect on my appreciation of their romance. I loved the couple and wanted them together but as we didn’t get to see it happening it almost felt like it happened too fast when in fact it didn’t, at least not for the time period. We did get to see the interactions between Victoria and Matthew and I enjoyed those scenes immensely – watching them verbally spar was great

Overall I thought this was a good read with likable characters. A good story and an interesting conflict I thought it was realistic to the time period. I like James’s writing style so I look forward to seeing what this series brings to us next.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


Sandy James