Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The winner of the Christy Reece books is ....

Lisa F!  Congratulations, Lisa!  Thanks to everyone who commented - I hope you'll all check out Ms. Reece's work because she has an exceptional talent for romantic suspense.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Loving me some Janice Maynard! Your chance to win one of her books!

Author Janice Maynard has a new series, The Men of Wolff Mountain, that started in January with INTO HIS PRIVATE DOMAIN.

This book tells a uniquely powerful, riveting story from the very start. Gracie is a sweet young woman and while amnesia storylines aren’t usually my cup of tea, she possesses an innocence and vulnerability that mesh to make her condition believable without making her irritating or weak. I’ll admit that it took me a while to warm to Gareth. My issue with him? I think it was that he acted like a real man rather than your typical romance hero. His statements of disbelief at Gracie’s amnesia were brutally honest, sometimes bordering on cruel. I think most males with his childhood and history would react similarly and he soon began to grow on me as their story progressed.
Gareth values the quiet solitude of his home on his family’s mountain. When that solitude is interrupted by a beautiful trespasser, he doubts her alleged amnesia and her motives. Despite those doubts, Gareth has to admit that her actions are much stronger than those pesky doubts. Gareth’s family has had a painful, troubled past and his distrust is understandable.
Gracie Darlington works for her father in his art gallery and has come to Wolff Mountain on a mission of some sort, but after falling off Gareth’s porch and striking her head, she has no recollection of what or why. It is obvious that Gareth’s family is extremely wealthy, but she doesn’t understand the reason for their reclusiveness. Gareth is mysterious and private and Gracie is helpless in escaping his razor-sharp charm. When truths are eventually revealed, it’s clear that Gareth’s distrust was well-founded and it appears that their relationship may not be strong enough to survive.
Janice Maynard’s characters are always realistic and she never fails to make family dynamics emotionally charged and desires sizzling and heated. This first book in her “Men of Wolff Mountain” series hits a reader’s home run and I can’t wait for the next installment, A TOUCH OF PERSUASION, coming in March!
Thanks, Janice, for allowing me to read and review the start of this bright new series for you – it was truly my privilege.

The second book in this series is A TOUCH OF PERSUASION and Kieran Wolff and Olivia Delgado are the hero and heroine. Kieran and Olivia met in college in Great Britain and had a brief but intensely heated affair. Kieran was Olivia's first lover and when he suddenly disappeared, she could not track down the young man she knew as "Kevin." Discovering she was pregnant by this seemingly unknown man who had deserted her, Olivia returned home heartbroken. By the time she learned his true identity, enough time had passed that Olivia decided against notifying him. Olivia's six year old daughter, Cammie, has enough love and attention from her mother and from Olivia's beloved and world-renowned actor and actress parents. The last thing she ever expected was for Kieran to discover Cammie's existence and show up on her doorstep demanding to see his daughter. Olivia fears she won't be able to resist Kieran, but when vicious threats against her mother by a crazed fan begin to escalate, she is intelligent enough to know that she and Cammie will be safest at the Wolf family compound in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Will she and Kieran be abled to maintain civility for their young daughter's sake or will the mistrust resulting from the way their relationship ended be enough to make renewing that relationship unrealistic?
Kieran Wolff's emotions are in a shambles and he can barely focus enough to collect his thoughts to confront Olivia. When he goes to her, he's once again struck by her natural beauty and grace and finds it difficult to hold onto the anger running through him.  That anger is softened even more when he is faced with the pain Olivia suffered by his disappearance. Increasing theats against Olivia's family have him insisting that she and Cammie come with him to Wolff Mountain and the castle his family calls home. Kieran's realization that he did Olivia a grave injustice in abandoning her, but can't help but be angered at her decision, after discovering his true identity, to not seek him out. His adult life has been spent traveling the world, constantly on the go. Will he be able to change direction, being there for Olivia and Cammie? Will he realize in time that asking Olivia to adjust her life and move with him to Wolff Mountain permanently is only fair if he himself makes the same concession to stay home and commit himself to their relationship.
I never fail to finish any book by Janice Maynard without a satisfied sigh. Kieran and Olivia are former lovers and neither has been able to find contentment with anyone else. Sometimes a child is a hindrance in a romance. Not so with Cammie. She's written realistically by someone who obviously knows little girls. Her actions and behaviors are spot-on for a child of her age.
A TOUCH OF PERSUASION has my highest recommendation for all romance lovers. If you haven't read series romance for a while or have found them to be unbelievable or silly, I'm certain you will be pleasantly surprised at what this line has to offer these days.
Although not necessary as this book stands competently on its own, you will likely find more enjoyment if you read INTO HIS PRIVATE DOMAIN first. I'm looking forward to the next book in Ms. Maynard's Men of Wolff Mountain series!
Now the giveaway - I have a print copy of INTO HIS PRIVATE DOMAIN up for grabs. Leave a comment here about the Desire line, series romance in general, Janice's books, characters, covers, etc.  I'll draw the winner on Friday, March 2nd.  Thanks again, Janice! Good luck readers!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Oh how sweet it is! SWEET REVENGE and SWEET REWARD from Christy Reece - win a copy of each!

I have to admit that I jumped on the Christy Reece train a little late. I thought I was starting at the beginning of a new series only to find that I was halfway in.  I decided to hang on and read to the end and then go back and catch the three books that I had missed. If you are a romantic suspense fan like me and haven't read Christy Reece then all I can say is now is the time to get to know her work.  I was fortunate enough to snag these two books for Romance Junkies review and I was happy dancing until I read the very last page. Check them out:

Christy Reece is truly one of the masters when it comes to writing romantic suspense.  SWEET REVENGE is a prime example of her expertise.

After Jamie Kendrick was abducted by one maniac and then sold to another, Dylan Savage of Last Chance Rescue rescues her. Determined to take her life back, Jamie looks to Noah McCall at LCR for physical training in order to seek revenge. The last thing she expected was for Dylan to be assigned to train her. As her training and abilities intensify, so does her attraction to Dylan, just as the matchmaking Noah anticipated.
Dylan can’t believe he’s stuck training Jamie, but with her dogged determination she’s made it clear that she’ll seek revenge with or without LCR’s assistance.  He’s amazed that with all of the tragedies in her life that Jamie has the fortitude to train day after grueling day.  The physical attraction between them becomes too strong to deny or resist, but it isn’t long before Dylan decides that he’s not good enough for Jamie.  He intentionally and cruelly destroys their budding relationship. Imagining her feeling broken and failed, Dylan could never have predicted that Jamie would continue on her own. When Dylan finds her in the presence of the madman who captured her in the first place, he’s more frightened than he’s ever been in his life.
This is the eighth book in Ms. Reece’s Last Chance Rescue series and while you would think a series would begin to wane and become repetitive after so many books, this one continues to be fresh and powerfully intense. The suspense is gripping and the passion truly sizzles. Characters are realistic and perfectly imperfect. I strongly recommend this book and all previous installments in the series. If you enjoy well-written romantic suspense, you absolutely must acquaint yourself with Christy Reece’s work.

Once again, Christy Reece gives readers an intense, passionately sensual romantic suspense with SWEET REWARD. This book, and the entire series, is pure romantic suspense gold.

Jared Livingston, working for Last Chance Rescue, an unstoppable group that rescues kidnap victims, is more than a little surprised when his ex-wife and her husband contact him about finding their kidnapped baby girl. Jared still feels responsible for the failure of his marriage and can’t refuse his ex-wife’s request for his help. Jared had a violent, abusive childhood and as a result is a deeply troubled man. When he is paired with Mia Ryker, formerly with LCR but now running her own rescue business, he is not happy and doesn’t hesitate to let her know. As more babies are kidnapped, it becomes apparent that this is a widespread, very sophisticated kidnapping ring.
Because Mia knows their sole suspect as a family friend, she feigns an attraction to him in an attempt to gain his trust so she can search his home. As Mia’s attraction to Jared grows and their relationship intensifies, the more she is repulsed by the increasingly intimate advances of their suspect. The  stakes and the danger rise drastically the deeper Mia gets with the suspect and Jared’s purpose grows to encompass tracking the missing children, exposing the bad guys, and keeping Mia alive.  
This entire series has been suspenseful and is packed with heated passions; SWEET REWARD is no exception. Mia and Jared are total opposites, and an attraction between them seems unlikely in the beginning. Watching their relationship blossom and deepen is a real pleasure. An abundance of action and danger make a rich, strong story and rounds out the required elements of a well-written romantic suspense.  SWEET REWARD gets a stamp of approval and a high recommendation from me.

As readers here know, I get Kindle versions of all of my favorite books, and these two are already on my Kindle. That means I have my review copies and would like to share them with one lucky winner here.  Leave a comment to be entered. I really would like to know if you're familiar with Ms. Reece's work. If so, what is your favorite book, favorite characters, setting, etc.  If you've not read any of her books, which are you most intrigued by? I'll pull the winning name on Tuesday, February 28th.  Good luck, everyone! Reviews of recent/upcoming books from Janice Maynard with another giveaway coming right up, so check back soon!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

CAUGHT IN THE SPOTLIGHT - new from Jules Bennett (w/a giveaway)

UPDATE! The giveaway winner is Cindi - congratulations, Cindi! I'll email you to get your book and bookstore choice.
Thanks to all who commented - I always love to hear what books everyone else is interested in. If you're not familiar with Jules Bennett - from one romance reader to another - I urge you to get your hands on her work ASAP!
Have a great weekend!

CAUGHT IN THE SPOTLIGHT, the latest Harlequin Desire release from author  Jules Bennett, is a beautifully written book. I admit that the Desire and Presents lines from Harlequin are a guilty pleasure of mine. What about you? Do you enjoy them? I don’t buy every single one, but tend to read them in clusters.  I’ll read several in a row, then turn back to the darker, edgier romantic suspense that I love so much before coming back for more!

Jules was kind enough to give me an early copy of CAUGHT IN THE SPOTLIGHT and once I started reading, I devoured it. I have a feeling that you will do the same thing!
My review:
Mia Spinelli loves her new position as PA to the famously well-known and much-loved actress Olivia Dane. Olivia is the sweetheart of Hollywood and Mia finds her a true pleasure to work for. Putting her former employer and the rumors that she was the lover behind his troubled marriage behind her, Mia is especially thankful for the opportunity to work for Olivia. Now Olivia’s son, Bronson, is another story. His obvious distrust because of her former employer, whom Bronson despises, is more than a little troublesome to Mia. There’s no denying the sparks between them though, and when Mia turns up pregnant, those sparks and every other emotion burn even hotter. And if things aren't complicated enough, Mia knows a secret about the Dane family that, if found out, would set all of Hollywood back on its heels.
Bronson doesn't trust Mia one iota, but can’t deny that she’s got him twisted into knots. His mother’s fondness of Mia doesn’t make things any easier. He doesn’t want to believe that the baby she’s carrying is his, but there is an air of caring and vulnerability about her that makes him question whether she would lie about something so serious.
Jules Bennett has a real flair for writing characters with style and class. Mia is adorable and watching the seemingly cold-hearted Bronson take a fall for her is a real treat. The glitz and glamour of Hollywood is a fabulous backdrop for this story. I strongly recommend CAUGHT IN THE SPOTLIGHT to all romance readers.
The giveaway? I’ll give one lucky reader a Kindle or Nook version of one book from Jules’s Desire backlist. Check out her website and leave a comment with a couple of titles that you’re interested in.  I’ll draw the winning name on Friday, February 17. You can either provide your email with your comment or check back to see if you’re the winner, it’s up to you – but if you don’t leave an email address, be sure to come back.
Thanks for checking out CAUGHT IN THE SPOTLIGHT and special thanks to Jules for allowing me to read and review this one for you!