Showing posts with label Mira Books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mira Books. Show all posts

Review: Always On My Mind by Bella Andre

After a tragic loss three years ago, Grayson Tyler left his life in New York City behind and started over in the rolling hills of the California coast. He's convinced himself that all he'll ever need again is the blue sky, a thousand acres of pasture, and the crashing waves of the ocean. Until one day, Lori Sullivan barges into his life and promptly blows his emotionless and solitary world to shreds, driving him crazy as only a woman nicknamed “Naughty” can. But will Lori be able to convince him that it's safe to love her...and that forever isn't actually out of reach?

Lori is a dancer – it’s what she does and what she loves…except her no good boyfriend has made her doubt not only herself but her reason for dancing. After leaving a show in Chicago she flies home and instead of alerting her family or even heading home she rents a car and just drives. The car rental attendant had told her that Pescadero was beautiful so there she heads. During a stop at a Pescadero deli/general store she sees an ad on their bulletin board that says that Grayson Tyler is looking for a ranch hand. Lori believes she can do anything she puts her mind to so she heads out to see Grayson.

Grayson’s quiet day is interrupted when Lori comes barreling down his driveway and promptly crashes into a fence. When a gorgeous woman in spiked heels pops out of the car he’s momentarily speechless. When she says she’s his new ranch hand he’s baffled, and definitely not happy. He tries everything he can think of to get rid of her but he soon sees that she’s just as stubborn as he is.

Lori was expecting Grayson to be an old farmer but he’s the exact opposite. He’s not only young but incredibly handsome and built. She’s decided she’s off men so she tries not to look but sometimes it’s hard. She knows Grayson doesn’t want her around but she’s determined to make herself useful. She annoys him with her mistakes and her constant talk but she can’t help it, she’s friendly and social. He’s gruff and mean and pushes her away at every turn. But Lori can be just as mulish and after living with 7 siblings she knows how to give as much as she gets. Fate steps in, of course, and their soon realizing that even though they’re exact opposites they can’t live without the other in their life.

Such a good end to the stories of the 8 Sullivan siblings (I know there are more books in the series but this was the end of this particular family’s stories). I really liked Lori a lot. I thought it odd that she would ever want to be a farmhand but I guess that is almost the furthest away from dancing as she could possibly get. Though she made mistakes I loved her affinity for the land and the animals. They seemed to take to her just as much as she took to them.

Grayson was a bit of a butthead at first. Wow, he could be MEAN as mean could be but he always felt bad about it afterward. Doesn’t make it right but when we got all of the background on him we could see that it was all a defense mechanism and a desperate attempt to keep Lori out of his heart. I loved that even at the end he continued to be gruff (not mean) but Lori embraced it and actually enjoyed it.

The story was sweet, fun and sexy and I loved finally reading about Lori and what she’d been going through while all of her siblings had been finding love. Both Lori and Grayson found themselves in this story and it was definitely satisfying.  It was worth the wait and I can’t wait to see what comes next in the Sullivan series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Bella Andre 

(Kindle version available now, MMPB version out on 4/29/14)

Review: Come a Little Bit Closer by Bella Andre

Movie star Smith Sullivan can’t afford any distractions. He’s staking his entire reputation on his new film...but he can’t stop thinking about Valentina Landon and the fire he sees smoldering just beneath the surface of her cool exterior.

Valentina isn’t averse to sensual pleasure, or even to the idea of finding true love, but as a Hollywood business manager she’s watched too many smart women fall for actors...only to be torn apart when the fairy tale comes to its inevitable end.

But when intense weeks together on set turn their heated attraction into red-hot flames of passion, Smith knows he has to find a way to convince Valentina to let him get a little bit closer. Close enough to completely steal her heart...the way she’s stolen his from the start.

Valentina is on the set of Smith Sullivan's movie with her sister who is his co-star.  From the moment that Smith saw Valentina he knew that she was different from other women he'd met and/or bedded, and that she may even be the one.  The problem is that she won't let him in.  She refuses dates and tries to push him away at every turn.

Valentina's mother started dating actors after her father died and after seeing the slew of actors go through her house and dealt with the ones who came on to her as well she wants nothing to do with them. She just wants to get through the filming of this movie with her sister and then move on.  She doesn't plan on Smith being pretty much relentless in his pursuit and she certainly didn't plan on giving in.

This is book 7 in The Sullivans series.  I liked getting to see a little bit more about Smith, I have to admit that I didn't really get into this one as much as I have books 2-6.  

For me the best part of this book was Smith.  He was just all that was wonderful.  He was kind, loving, caring, and giving, all wrapped up in one beautiful package.  He was the sort of man that I love reading about and I loved that he was so single-minded in his plan to get Valentina.  He did all the right things (well except for that one time when he caved to pressure but I'll forgive him for that!) and he really made the book for me.

Valentina, while a good character, really didn't shine for me.  She was definitely better when she was with Smith but there was something missing in the way she was written, imho.  I loved her relationship with her sister, I must say, but that's kind of where it ended.  Not that she wasn't a nice person, but she just didn't have that something special that I think most of the other heroines in Andre's books have had.

I loved the parts of the book that contained Smith's siblings.  The wonderful family camaraderie and love that you feel flowing from all of them is amazing and I love it when they're all together.  This one was great as we got to see Sophie's babies born and Gabe's wedding.  Awesome! :)

So while I liked this one for many reasons I didn't care for it quite as much as previous books.  I have to say that I am really looking forward to reading about the last Sullivan, Lori, and seeing what's been up with her throughout the series.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Review: Let Me Be The One by Bella Andre

How far would you go for a friend?

Back in San Francisco preparing for her big art show, Vicki Bennett needs help protecting herself and her career from the unwelcome advances of one of the judges. She knows that her longtime friend and baseball star, Ryan Sullivan, will know just how to handle things, and he's the only person she can imagine asking for help.

Ryan is thrilled to have Vicki back in his life, and he will do anything to protect her from harm, including playing the role of pretend boyfriend. But when their staged kisses and caresses lead to an incredibly sensual night, they both worry that they may have damaged their friendship forever.

Have they made the worst mistake possible? Or is the perfect combination of friendship and love finally within reach?

Ryan Sullivan and Vicki Bennett were great friends in high school.  Even back then they had a thing for each other but neither wanted to take the chance that admitting their feelings would ruin their friendship.

Now it's 15 years later and Vicki is back in San Francisco.  She's trying to get rewarded a fellowship so that she can work on her career.  When one of the men on the board gets her alone and starts trying to make advances Vicki immediately texts Ryan to come help her.  He would do anything for her so he comes running and ends up playing her fake boyfriend.

Despite not wanting to run the friendship eventually Ryan makes his move and the pair end up in bed together.  Ryan means it to be forever but Vicki tries to make it seem like a one time thing.  Ryan has to try to make her see that he's loved her forever and he's not about to stop anytime soon.  He's not letting her get away from him again.

What a heart warming story.  I've really fallen in love with the Sullivan family and their partners.  This book was no different.  We got to see another side of Ryan other than his professional baseball persona and Vicki was just perfect for him.

I loved how Ryan admitted to himself that he loved Vicki long before they ever got into bed together.  He was all in before he could get her on board.  He was very convincing with Vicki and making her see how great they would be together.  The final stretch for Vicki, when she finally "got it" was wonderful and I loved the way she described how it looked like they wouldn't work but that they were just two halves that made up a whole.  Good stuff. lol

I can't wait to see what happens next in the Sullivan family - especially as it's Smith Sullivan - famous actor - who has a story up next.  I'm sure Andre won't let me down and will give me another fabulous romance - just like she did in this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Review: If You Were Mine by Bella Andre

The last thing Zach Sullivan wants is to take care of his brother’s new puppy for two weeks. That is, until he meets the dog trainer. Heather is bright, beautiful and she just might be the only woman on earth who wants nothing to do with him.

Heather Linsey can’t believe she agreed to train Zach’s new pup, especially since his focus seems to be more on winning her heart than training his dog. Having sworn off love, she has vowed never to fall for a charming man. But Heather’s determination to push Zach away only fuels his determination to get closer and the sensual and emotional connection between them grows more undeniable. Will the biggest Sullivan bad boy of all tempt Heather into believing in forever again?

When Gabe, his new wife Megan and their daughter, Summer, ask Zach to take care of their new puppy while they’re away in Europe for 2 weeks he immediately says no. He knows nothing about taking care of dogs and besides, it will cut into his love life and extra curricular activities. Summer doesn’t take no for an answer though and soon Zach is caretaker for 3 pound Yorkshire terrier, Cuddles.

Heather is a dog trainer and when one of her loyal clients contacts her and tells her that one of her friends needs help with a puppy Heather is happy to help. When she arrives at Sullivan garage and hears Zach yelling to find the puppy she’s really upset. How can this brute take care of a poor little animal. She finds the dog hiding in the bushes and almost leaves with her in her arms. Zach manages to talk her down from taking the dog and they make arrangements for some training sessions.

One thing leads to another and though Heather fights Zach on all levels he soon wins and they go on a date. A date leads to friends with benefits. That’s as far as either of them are going to go – or so they think. Heather has issues with trusting men and Zach knows he’ll die early so why get involved just so he can leave people behind, it’s just not gonna happen. We all know both are full of it and soon they find themselves in love.

Another great book in the Sullivan series! Zach is a total charmer and is used to getting his way with women. When Heather shoots him down he’s fascinated. But I loved that that wasn’t the only reason he was attracted to her - it just meant that he had to work harder to get her. He was quite convincing and besides, how can you say no to a man that’s not only beautiful but is loving and caring with not only his family but also little fur balls as well. :0)

Heather had serious issues with men because of her father but I thought that while the author showed us those issues that they weren’t over exaggerated and pushed in our face constantly. We knew the issues and they came out in various parts of the book but always there in a defining moment. She was a smart woman and I loved that about her. She knew what she wanted, or didn’t as the case was, but was still very open with Zach despite that. It sounds like she might have contradicted herself but it just worked.

I have to say that I’m thoroughly enjoying the series so far. There have been a couple of books I haven’t loved but overall they’ve been very readable and they keep getting better.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Bella Andre

Review: I Only Have Eyes For You by Bella Andre

Sophie Sullivan, a librarian in San Francisco, was five years old when she fell head over heels in love with Jake McCann. Twenty years later, she's convinced the notorious bad boy still sees her as the "nice" Sullivan twin. That is, when he bothers to look at her at all. But when they both get caught up in the magic of the first Sullivan wedding, she knows it's long past time to do whatever it takes to make him see her for who she truly is...the woman who will love him forever.

Jake has always been a magnet for women, especially since his Irish pubs made him extremely wealthy. But the only woman he really wants is the one he can never have. Not only is Sophie his best friend's off-limits younger sister...he can't risk letting her get close enough to discover his deeply hidden secret.

Only, when Sophie appears on his doorstep as Jake's every fantasy come to life-smart, beautiful, and shockingly sexy-he doesn't have a prayer of taking his eyes, or his hands, off her. And he can't stop craving more of her sweet smiles and sinful kisses. Because even though Jake knows loving Sophie isn't the right thing to can he possibly resist? 

Sophie Sullivan has had a crush on Jake McCann since she was 5 years old. Now I personally found this ridiculous because a 5 year old's brain just doesn't work like...thinking that Jake's hair was a little too long or thinking this:

Oh, my. He was so handsome, and intelligent, and just plain wonderful. She could have stared at him forever, …

It just would happen, imho. But despite that I knew that the author was just trying to set the scene for 20 years later.

Jake refuses to notice her as a woman so at her brother Chase's wedding she gets the hair and make-up people to really do her up to show Jake that she is, in fact, a woman. Jake definitely notices but when he finds himself getting too interested in her he leaves – that's after a heated kiss behind the shed. 

Now Sophie's absolutely sure that Jake is kissing her because now that he's noticed her he'll want a relationship with her. She's not even deterred when he takes off and heads to his house. She ends up at Jake's house (the one he's rented for the weekend) and seduces him. He's only a man so he takes her up on her offer and then promptly leaves when she's asleep. Nice.

Shoot forward 2.5 months and Sophie's ecstatic bubble has popped. She not only got to see the worst side of Jake (and he hasn't called since) but now finds herself pregnant. She's freaked out but does the right thing and immediately heads over to tell Jake that he's going to be a father. She totally expects him to have nothing to do with her or their kid but he surprises her and not only steps up to the plate but also asks her to marry him. She refuses but he asks that she give him 7 days – and nights – to let him convince her that they should be together for more reasons than just the kids. Sophie agrees but she's sure at the end of the week she'll still be on her own.

This story had a really great premise with the whole friends to lovers and then Jake having to deal with not only Sophie but her 6 over-protective brothers. While I liked parts of the story and the general idea of it all there were so many parts that didn't work for me.

Sophie was a really great girl, she was, but when she was so very immature in her thoughts and actions during the wedding it was hard not to see a teen with her head in the clouds – even though she's 25. I really wanted to sit her down and tell her, “honey, sex does not mean a man loves you.” She figured that out quickly for herself though. 

Jake was a nice guy who had seriously self-esteem issues. Granted his father had called him stupid his whole life so he had reason to believe it all but he absolutely believed that he wasn't good enough for Sophie – even though he'd wanted her since he met her. Ok, maybe not when she was 5 but you get my meaning. He really loved Sophie but until she became pregnant he didn't think he could be with her. Even after that he really didn't believe himself good enough but was willing to try.

I think my biggest issue with this book was that it was mostly sex. Yes, that was Jake's way of avoidance when Sophie tried to get to know him better but still – just too much. Too much sex and not enough sexual tension, - or even real relationship building. I did really like Sophie and Jake together when neither one of them was worrying about other things – for Jake “I'm not good enough”; for Sophie it was “he only wants the baby, not me.” 

I think that Jake and Sophie were definitely meant to be together and I liked the book but in the end I just needed more.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Bella Andre

Review: The Line Between Here and Gone by Andrea Kane - and Blog Tour Info

"The man she loved is gone forever. The child she lives for could be next."Each day is a struggle for Amanda Gleason's newborn son as he battles a rare immune deficiency. Justin's best chance for a cure lies with his father, who was brutally murdered before Amanda even realized she carried his child.

Or was he?

One emailed photo changes everything, planting a seed of doubt that Amanda latches on to for dear life: a recent photo of a man who looks exactly like Paul. Could Justin's father be alive? The mother in her is desperate to find out. But tracking down a ghost when every second counts is not for amateurs.

"Forensic Instincts is the one team up for the challenge."

A behaviorist. A former navy SEAL. A techno-wizard. An intuitive. A retired FBI agent. A human-scent-evidence dog. Together they achieve the impossible, pushing ethical and legal boundaries whenever the ends justify the means.

The manhunt is on for the elusive father. Yet the further FI digs into his past, the more questions are raised about whether the man Amanda fell in love with ever really existed at all.

Dark secrets. Carefully crafted lies. From the congressional halls of Washington, D.C., to exclusive Hamptons manors, there are ruthless people who would stop at nothing to make Forensic Instincts forget about the man Amanda desperately needs to find.

Little do "they" realize that once Forensic Instincts takes the case, nothing will stop them from uncovering the shocking truth that transcends "The Line Between Here and Gone."

Amanda Gleason is at her wits end. Her 3 week old son has been diagnosed with an immune deficiency and he can maybe survive if they find a donor in time. When a friend sends her a picture of a man that looks exactly like her supposedly deceased boyfriend she's shocked. She's also determined to find out if that's him or not as his blood could possibly save her son Justin's life.

Amanda heads to Forensic Instincts, a private investigations unit like no other. Marc who is part of the team listens to her plea for help and decides to take the case. The rest of the team isn't so happy with Marc as they usually decide their cases as a group but once they hear the circumstances of the case they're all in and ready to get down to business.

Paul Everett was a real estate developer who Amanda had dated for 5 months. Paul was in the middle of building a huge hotel that would feed into an Indian casino but there was definitely something fishy going on. His efforts to complete the project were thwarted by none other than Amanda's uncle, Lyle Fenton. Paul had disappeared and been claimed a no-body homicide 8 months earlier. After receiving the picture on her cell phone, however, Amanda believes that Paul is alive and she wants his blood to save Justin's life.

Marc, Casey, Ryan, Claire and the bloodhound, Hero, set to work on investigating Paul's life, what he was working on, who he was working with and what possible motive anyone would have to kill the man. Even though they are kind of looking at his death they honestly believe that Paul is alive – they just need to find him.

In their investigations they find out some incredible information about Amanda's uncle, Lyle Fenton, and they believe that he may know more about where Paul is or how he disappeared. Unfortunately they keep getting pushed every which way with people trying to hold back information and they're getting frustrated. They WILL find Paul, they just hope it's in time to save little Justin's life.

This was my first book by Andrea Kane but the second book in the Forensic Instincts series. Not having read book one didn't keep me in the dark about this team of investigators at all. The story was informative about the characters and there were some on-going issues with them but nothing that I was lost about or felt like I needed to go back and read book one first.

The mystery/investigation in this book was pretty intricate. There were so very many ins and outs with the whole story that I have to admit I was getting a bit tired of by about ¾ of the way through the book. Not that it wasn't good but I was obviously anxious to get the story moving and yet another obstacle would fall into the teams way. I enjoyed the story within the story – finding Paul as well as finding out about corruption and crime with Fenton and the mob but it was a bit too dry in places and I found myself trying not to skim.

Overall it was an interesting novel filled with a mystery that had many clues with lots of places to find them. When the case was brought to a close I had figured out who Paul was but couldn't figure out how it all tied together so that when it was all wrapped up I was slightly surprised but happy with the ending.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5

Andrea Kane

Numbly, Amanda nodded.
She held Justin for one more brief, desperate moment, then kissed his soft cheek and handed him over to the nurse.
How many times had she done that in the past few days?

In celebration of the release of this book there's a scavenger hunt going on. Click HERE to get more details about the tour as well as scavenger hunt info.

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 fiancĂ© 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