Saturday, April 19, 2014

ARC Review: Midnight Pursuits by Elle Kennedy

Elle Kennedy’s Killer Instincts spec ops romantic suspense series isn’t for everyone (read: definitely not if you’re into sunshine and rainbows!), but it’s one of my favourite series out there and much fist pumping happens when ARCs go up on NetGalley. I read a lot of romantic suspense ranging from the darkest, grittiest stuff with heinous villains that do unspeakable things I need a couple of days to decompress from to the RS-lite I can read in one sitting, so counting the days to release day from the second a book is announced is a rare occurrence. And yet Ms. Kennedy manages to do it every time with her perfect mix of scarily badass heroines, sexy alpha heroes, realistic and non-superfluous violence, and uber-hot sexytimes.

MIDNIGHT PURSUITS is the fourth instalment in the Killer Instincts series and is definitely best read in order. It’s rare, even in RS, to have the heroine be even more badass than an a former-Special-Forces-turned-soldier-for-hire hero, but former master thief and current assassin on a very personal (and bloody) revenge mission Juliet Mason does just that. You know you have one tough chick when a former Marine is the bleeding heart! Juliet is one of assassin queen Noelle’s most ruthless operators and will go to any length to complete her mission. In MIDNIGHT PURSUITS, that mission is highly personal: a power play by corrupt Belarusian politician Dmitry Orlov results in her foster brother’s death as collateral damage and she vows to avenge his death and kill Orlov, no matter what it takes. She is unapologetic about her an-eye-for-an-eye plan, and it’s fascinating to ponder and witness how Ms. Kennedy can turn someone who kills for a living and is willing to murder someone in cold blood for revenge (albeit, granted, Orlov is a coldhearted psycho!) into a redeemable character readers can empathize and sympathize with. I love a strong heroine, but I also like them a little damaged and vulnerable and chock-full of emotion under that hardened façade, and Juliet has all that in spades. In previous novels and at the beginning of MIDNIGHT PURSUITS she’s closed off and unapproachable, but as we slowly learn about her tough childhood in foster care, her love for and loyalty toward her foster brother, her work for Noelle, her blossoming feelings for hero Ethan, and what she tells herself she has no right to want out of life, the heartless bitch façade crumbles and we get to see and feel for the real woman underneath. Eliciting empathy and rooting for a seemingly heartless assassin? Score one for Ms. Kennedy.

Hero Ethan Hayes is the Captain America of illustrious Jim Morgan’s team of mercenaries that specializes in high-risk extractions: the quintessential honourable all-American boy-next-door with the idyllic childhood and ‘sweet’ nature. But in MIDNIGHT PURSUITS the rookie proves to everyone—especially Juliet—that he has a sexy, dangerous alpha side that makes him all man. When Juliet is seriously injured in her quest for revenge, he intercepts her SOS to good friend and fellow operator Isabel and flies halfway around the world to her aid. And when he discovers that there are others besides Juliet’s brother being targeted by Orlov—including a teenage girl— he can’t turn a blind eye and convinces Juliet to help him protect them whilst she seeks her revenge. Seriously: swoon! I really liked Ethan; in previous books he’d come across as the laid-back, fresh-faced newbie, but he really comes into his own in this story and proves that he’s not one to be trifled with and that he is exactly what Juliet needs. The teasing and groundwork for the sexual tension between Juliet and Ethan had been laid in the previous novel, but the chemistry leaps off the pages in this one and threatens to set your e-reader on fire. In typical Elle Kennedy fashion, those two—and their love scenes—are HOT. I liked how Juliet was incredibly attracted to Ethan but (futilely) fought it because she didn’t do relationships (Ethan has ‘commitment’ stamped across his forehead) and was too much messed up darkness to his (seemingly) youthful light, but I especially liked how Ethan loved and accepted her for who she was—flaws and all—without any desire to change her. I seriously wanted to take him home! (That scene with the cookies? Incredibly adorable and humanizing.)

With MIDNIGHT PURSUITS, Elle Kennedy delivers another excellent fast-paced and action-packed addition to the Killer Instincts series. Queen of the assassins Noelle and chief of the mercenaries Jim Morgan are complete scene-stealers (in a good way!), and the Epilogue sets up their upcoming story—which has been building since the first book—nicely. Those two have a long history, and I can barely wait until November and the release of MIDNIGHT ACTION to learn their story and how they went from passionate love to unadulterated hate. That story promises to deliver badassery, complex emotions, and scorching heat to the max!

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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My Favorite Book Couple with Lorraine Heath

New York Times bestselling author Lorraine Heath always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals, press releases for a publicist, articles, and computer code, but something was always missing. In 1990, she read a romance novel and became not only hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She's been writing about them ever since.

Places to find Lorraine:

ARC Review: Indecent Desires by Jane O'Reilly

I have been really enjoying the Indecent Trilogy from Jane O'Reilly, so I couldn't wait to start the third installment Indecent Desires. I really loved Lucas from Indecent Proposal, but I knew that he wasn't right for Amber. As much as I had enjoyed him in that book, I felt like it took a bit away from the relationship developing between Amber and Scott. So I was really excited to get a book where Lucas finally got his story told and where he got everything that he deserved. These books can be read separately and as standalones since they have interconnected characters. I would highly recommend reading all of them though as they are short and hot and you really get to see the whole picture for each of the characters by starting at the beginning.

Meredith is looking for a husband and a family. At the age of thirty-four, she knows that she is running out of time and after her divorce things have become even more important to her. Her husband told her that she was too bossy and was a constant nag. Now she is trying to become more agreeable and she is determined to be less bossy in her next relationship. She is looking for the perfect match for her by day, but by night she is watching her sexy younger neighbor pleasure himself just for her. She slips him notes and he always shows at night to follow her orders. They have never spoken and he has no idea who she is. One day, he shows up at her desk at work to help her office install some new computer software. Soon they are both drawn into a game and the stakes have never been higher. They are both pushing boundaries and are determined to get what they want. When they finally give in to the passion between them, they find that the other is able to fulfill them in ways that no one else ever could. Can she get over his age and the thought that he is not what she was looking for though and have a chance at a future together?

I loved Lucas! He was so sexy and sweet, and determined to get what he was after. I loved that he pursued Meredith and wouldn't let her get away with keeping things only on her terms. He wasn't ashamed of his desires or who he was, and I absolutely loved him for it. It was nice to see a different side of BDSM, where the female is the one in charge and the male not only is ok with it but needs and craves it. I liked seeing Lucas not only follow what Meredith said and wanted but be so passionate about it with her. I also really liked how he encouraged her and supported her unlike her ex-husband. He showed her that it was ok to be herself and to not deny who she was and what she wanted and needed. I had a tough time relating to Meredith, but I liked the way she was with Lucas. She was pretty cold and rigid at first, and I just didn't ever really come to like her as I had wished. But as the story progressed it was great to see her loosen up and start to really come into her own with Lucas's help. I didn't have a problem with her being dominant or controlling things, but it would have been nice to see her a little softer with Lucas and really see her feelings show. I don't mean to be softer on him in the bedroom, but I felt like by the time that we actually saw her feelings for him it was a bit too late. Before that it seemed to be lust and control only, and it felt like the relationship was pretty one sided. I did think that Lucas and Meredith had a lot of chemistry and were really steamy together though.

Overall, I did really enjoy this story and I really loved Lucas. These novellas really surprised me, because normally I am not a fan of novellas or short stories. These were able to tell a complete and believable story every time, and I didn't feel as though anything was missing. I am really impressed with what Jane O'Reilly was able to do in such a short amount of pages, and I really liked her writing style. I would definitely recommend these books to anyone looking for some short and hot erotica, and I think that these are stories that a lot of people will really enjoy. These are the perfect way to spend a little bit of time and get all the heat and steam that you are looking for when you need a quick fix or don't have the time to read a full novel. I will definitely be looking for more from Jane O'Reilly in the future, and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next!

**ARC Provided by Author**

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Friday, April 18, 2014

ARC REVIEW: To Love a Highlander by Sue Ellen Welfonder

Sorley the Hawk believes he is the bastard son of a Highlander. He’s tolerated by the court’s men because he saved the king’s life with a precision arrow shot, hence his nickname. Mirabelle MacLaren’s father, Munro, is a scholar and herbalist, translating books for the king. He also seeks to marry off his daughter. He doesn’t see through Sir John Sinclair’s treachery, but everyone else does. Especially Mirabelle and Sorley. Mirabelle propositions Sorley, ruin her so Sinclair will take his attentions elsewhere. He believes Sinclair killed his friend. He’s happy to oblige, but doesn’t want to let Mirabelle go after one night. She believes in ghosts and sees the infamous Pink Lady. She also figures out Sorley is a member of the Fenris soldiers. She recognizes him when he’s in disguise. A stranger comes into the local tavern looking for Sorley. Grim MacKintosh has an astonishing message, Archie of Duncreag Castle is Sorley’s father. He travels with Grim to meet Archie. Sinclair sees an opportunity to kidnap Mirabelle. Sorley spots them on the road and rushes to save her. She witnesses his brutal strength with his treasured sword, Dragon Breath. I loved the fact it has a name. The Pink Lady continues to follow them because their love is true.

Sorley and Mirabelle met as children and the spark has never gone out. They make a good couple because he has respect for her. He appreciates her intelligence and recognizes her predicament. She has no choice in her father’s decision about a husband. Sorley does rescue her from Sinclair and from the life she’s led. Sorley proves he’s worthy of her love and confidence. Sorley is making the best of what life has handed him. Being born on the wrong side of the sheets doesn’t define him. He makes his own place in life.

Mirabelle is surrounded by books and intelligent people. Because she is a woman, she’s relegated to the back of the line. She tries to be a good daughter, but sees her father’s naiveté about reading people’s characters. She loves her home and Scotland and will be a welcome addition to Archie’s family.

I liked this story because it shows people were intelligent and interested in the natural world. Mirabelle’s father and the King both are looking for medicinal properties for plants. It reminds us fascination with the world around us is as old as time.

This is the first in a series of books. Other men are introduced as fellow outcasts. My guess is they will be the heroes of the next books.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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My Favorite Book Couple with Sara Humpreys

Sara is a graduate of Marist College, with a B.A. Degree in English Literature & Theater. Her initial career path after college was as a professional actress. Some of her television credits include, A&E Biography, Guiding Light, Another World, As the World Turns and Rescue Me.

Recently, Sara joined the HEA Blog at USA Today as a weekly contributor and her novel, UNTAMED won two PRISM awards--Dark Paranormal and Best of the Best.

Sara has been a lover of both the paranormal and romance novels for years. Her sci-fi/fantasy/romance obsession began years ago with the TV Series STAR TREK and an enormous crush on Captain Kirk. That sci-fi obsession soon evolved into the love of all types of fantasy/paranormal; vampires, ghosts, werewolves, and of course shape shifters. Sara is married to her college sweetheart, Will. They live in New York with their 4 boys and 2 insanely loud dogs. Life is busy but never dull.

Places to find Sara:
| Site | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

ARC Review: Lost In Me by Lexi Ryan

I know that I shouldn't have been surprised about this book having a cliffhanger because of the fact that Lost In Me is the first book in the Here and Now series. But seriously I was not expecting that ending! Talk about the mother of all cliffhangers, I need the next book now! This one was so good. I was instantly drawn into this story and I read it in a single sitting. I seriously could not put this one down and I loved every second of reading about how Hannah's life was unfolding and seeing as she got her memories back. I loved this book, and I am so intrigued by all the characters. This one is a must read!

When Hannah wakes up in the hospital, she has no idea what has happened over the last year. She has lost eleven months and everything in her life is completely different than what she remembers. Her longtime crush Max is now her loving fiance, her twin sister is no longer her best friend, and she has also lost about fifty pounds. At first glance her new life seems to be almost perfect. Her hot fiance is devoted to her and they are going to be sharing a life together, she owns her own bakery which was always her dream. But the more she starts to remember her past, she quickly begins to piece together the fact that her life is not what it seems at all. Now she is left trying to figure out her entire relationship with Max, but also why she is drawn to the sexy rocker Nate. Nate seems to know more than he is letting on, and Hannah is determined to get answers before she marries Max. Who is the man for Hannah, and was her fall down the stairs that landed her in the hospital really a fall? Or did someone push her?

I liked Max. He seemed to be so perfect at first, but of course no one ever is. The more we get to know him, the more I could tell something was a bit off with him though. He really did treat Hannah well, and he seemed to be really kind and patient with her. At first he seemed to be interested in her twin, but when Hannah wakes up and finds his ring on her finger Max only has eyes for her. I feel like we really don't know him that well yet, and there is a ton more to his story. I am curious to learn more about him. I have to admit that I was team Nate from the start though. We don't know a ton about him and of course the more we find out, the more questions there are. But there is just something about him that seems to be so genuine and sincere. I feel like he was more honest with Hannah than anyone else really had been even if he didn't tell her much or talk to her a lot. What he did say seemed to ring true every time, and he seemed so torn up and lost about his feelings and their relationship. I felt so bad for him and all that he was going through. I really liked Hannah's character, and I enjoyed the first part of her journey. This entire book is one emotional ride, and I can't imagine what it would be like to be in her shoes. She has no idea who some people are, and she has no idea what she has done for a year. Even the people she would normally turn to don't seem to really know who she is at this point because she has changed so drastically. I really loved that her character was so easy to relate to though. She was a normal girl, that was confused and lost and just looking to find her way. I also really liked that she was so real and that she struggled with some issues that most girls face at one point in their life or another. It was hard to watch her struggle with her weight and be treated horribly by some because of it. I really liked how both Nate and Max seemed to like her for who she was though and they seemed to be supportive of her regardless of her size.

Overall, this story was a really fantastic start. This one has a huge cliffhanger that left me absolutely reeling and had me wondering so many things. This book definitely has more questions than answers, and once you think you start to figure something out it goes in a completely different and unexpected direction. I feel like we are just scratching the surface of these characters and their story. I will say that I really have no clue how things are going to turn out and I have no clue what has happened. I love that this book is so different and unpredictable. This book really is a journey, and I am so glad that I took a chance on this one. I can't wait to find out more and to see what happens next in their story as well as get more pieces of their past. I know that cliffhangers scare some readers off, and this one is a real doozy. I do think that this book is worth reading though, and I know that with two more books coming we are a long way from the end. I am excited to see what Lexi Ryan has in store for Hannah, Nate and Max. I highly recommend this book, and I think that no matter what team you find yourself on you will really like both Nate and Max. Now all we have to do is wait until June for the release of Fall to You to see where Lexi Ryan takes us next.

**ARC provided by AToMR Tours**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | The Book Depository |

Thursday, April 17, 2014

ARC Review: Perfectly Broken by Prescott Lane

I have never read anything by Prescott Lane before, so I went into Perfectly Broken not knowing exactly what to expect. The blurb sounded really interesting though so I figured this was one to take a chance on. I ended up liking the story and the characters, and found it interesting enough to keep me turning the pages. There were a few things that I had a couple of criticisms about, but not enough to really detract from my enjoyment of this book.

Peyton owns a pie shop that she named after her grandma in New Orleans. She wears baggy clothes and doesn't date or really think about guys. She spends time with her friend Quinn, talks on the phone with her friend Griffin who is also Quinn's brother, and she goes to therapy. Peyton believes that she is broken after a horrible event that happened in her past. One day when Quinn and her boyfriend Bret come into her pie shop, Bret's best friend Reed comes in as well. Reed and Peyton are instantly drawn to each other. But Reed is a player that is not looking for more than his next hook-up, and Peyton isn't about to be another notch for him. Reed begins to pursue Peyton, and after several attempts to get her to see him Peyton finally agrees to dinner. Reed and Peyton begin seeing each other, and Reed is determined to show her that she is special and is anything but a hook-up like the girls of his past. But not only does Peyton have a troubled past, Reed does also. With so much yet between them, can they possibly have any chance of a future together? What happens when the truth comes out? Can they find a way to trust each other and take the risk?

I liked Reed. He was really great despite his flaws. I loved that he was who he was and didn't make excuses for being a man-whore. He openly admitted it and wasn't afraid to tell Peyton the truth. I also love how quickly and easily he gave that up for her. He was sweet and thoughtful, and I loved that he got her flowers to make her see that she was different and that he was paying attention to her. I also really loved that he would leave her petals behind even if she returned the flowers so that he was still letting her know he was thinking of her. I thought that he had a few issues though, and some of that was due to his past and his family. I could tell that it really bothered him being judged based on his family rather than himself. Peyton was a survivor. She might have thought that she was broken, but she really had a silent strength to her. She was a fighter and I loved that she didn't give up easily. She made Reed work for it and I loved that she made him prove himself. Reed and Peyton were really great together, and I thought that they were exactly what the other needed. They not only fit together, but they had really great chemistry and you could feel their attraction. But it was so much deeper than that, and I loved that they seemed to really understand the other.

I did have a bit of a tough time getting used to the writing style with this book though. Perfectly Broken was written with multiple POVs. It was hard to get used to not only Reed and Peyton's POVs, but also those of some of the secondary characters. The change between POVs is what really confused me though as there was often little or no warning when it would switch from one character to another. It wasn't changed with each chapter, but often times in the middle of a chapter or even paragraph. I found it confusing and disjointed, and it really affected the flow of the story for me. No matter what was going on in the story at the time, it would distract me and really take me out of what was happening. I wish that it wouldn't have been done that way because I think that it really took away from the story and the characters. My other criticism was that I felt like the big reveal about Reed's past fell a little bit flat. It was alluded to most of the book and was made a big deal only to be kind of a let down. I felt like Peyton reacted really badly, and it was extremely judgmental and immature of her to handle things the way she did while never giving him a chance to really explain anything. I didn't understand that considering she had taken her own time and her own way to explain her past, and couldn't figure out why she wouldn't allow Reed to do the same. I also felt like Reed while patient and kind with Peyton was a little bit shallow and focused on the physical a bit too much. He might have been one way with her, but in his POV he was constantly thinking about how he could get her naked or have sex with her despite her wanting to wait. It just felt like he was one way to her face and then another way in reality. Its not like he ever acted on those urges or tried to push her, but it just felt like he wasn't really being true to his character at times. I also felt like he was a bit over-the-top and judgmental when it came to Griffin. His concerns were well founded and accurate, but he went about handling them wrong and I thought that he came off too heavy handed considering the length of time he had known Peyton. I also really did have some issues with Griffin. He might have helped Peyton when she needed it. But what kind of a friend helps her get through a horrible past only to date someone else and then expect Peyton to drop Reed and take a chance with Griffin because all of a sudden he says he loves her? Why did it take her finding someone else for him to ever say anything or try to be with her? I just didn't really buy that his feelings were true love or he never would have handled things like that. I also thought that what he did at the end was really selfish and it just proved to me that he cared about himself more than he had ever cared about her. She was much better off.

I did like this story despite my issues with things, and I was really glad to see Peyton heal and grow as well as Reed. I think that they were great together, and I really enjoyed seeing their journey separately and together. I think that they were real and believable and I loved the ending of this story. It was really nice to get a conclusion and be completely satisfied with it. I also really enjoyed most of the secondary characters in this story. I absolutely loved Dr. Lorraine. She was a hoot and really cracked me up. I loved her no nonsense approach to her clients and the fact that she was so unconventional. I think that she really was able to reach Peyton because of how she was, and I will admit that she sort of stole the show for me! I would love to see more of her character with other clients of hers, I bet it would be a riot! Overall, I think that this story was easy to become invested in and is one that a lot of people will be able to relate to. Perfectly Broken was one that drew me in and had me turning the pages because I had to know what would happen. This one is definitely worth the read, and I look forward to seeing more from Prescott Lane in the future.

**ARC provided by Author**

Purchase:Amazon |

My Favorite Book Couple with Lara Adrian

LARA ADRIAN is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of the Midnight Breed vampire romance series (Random House) and numerous other titles published independently. With nearly 4 million books in print and digital worldwide, and translations licensed in more than 20 countries, Lara's books have been called "addictively readable" (Chicago Tribune), "strikingly original" (Booklist) and "a must-read" (Fresh Fiction).

Places to find Lara:
| Site | Facebook Twitter

ARC Review: Prince’s Fire by Amy Raby

Emperor Lucien of Kjall has decided his sister, Celeste, should marry Prince Rayn. Their country needs an alliance with his country. Celeste has been pledged in marriage before to a horrible man who berated her and ruined her self-confidence. He tried to lead a coup against her father and was killed by the Empress Vitala. Before marrying Lucein, she was a spy and an assassin. She recruits Celeste to help her former network. She’s eager to help. Celeste has devoted herself to mathematics ever since her disastrous marriage. It’s easier to understand than men. They agree to be wed and Celeste travels with Rayn to his country. On the ship, Celeste discovers Rayn has a daughter and the mother, Zoe, is also on board. She trails after Rayn, trying to get his attention, but he’s done with her. She neglected their daughter and not princess material. Rayn and Celeste are attacked on the ship and she is thrown overboard. Rayn jumps into the water to save her. He has fire power and warms the water around her. They wash up on shore and begin their journey back on foot. They find they have much in common, including a strong physical attraction. He’s interested in science and is trying to find a way to predict volcanic eruptions in his country. Her magic is being able to understand nature and communicate with plants and animals. They make it back and he’s attacked again. He receives news that his father has been forced to abdicate. He leaves and Celeste follows him. With Vitala’s help, they uncover the spies in his kingdom. One is missing and has a personal score to settle with Rayn. Celeste is kidnapped. If she is harmed, her country will declare war on Rayn’s country. Political intrigue, supernatural powers, and wariness from failed relationships threaten to keep them apart.

Celeste is a modern woman, more than happy to stay single and be a member of the Mathematical Brotherhood. A forced marriage is the last thing she wants, but agrees to help her country. Rayn shows her he values her opinion and tells her she’s beautiful. She puts herself in danger by helping him find the spies, but she’d do it again to save him.

Rayn cares deeply for his daughter and ailing father. He must get an alliance with Kjall to protect his country. Celeste is more than he could hope for in a wife. They travel different paths, but end up together.

The secondary characters add to the story. Each one carries secrets, hidden agendas, and flexible alliances.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N |

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

ARC Review: Burning Down the House by Allie Gail

Burning Down the House was the first book that I have ever read by Allie Gail, and I absolutely couldn't put this one down! It kept me awake until the very early hours of the morning because I absolutely had to keep reading. I enjoyed this story so much, and I can't wait to read more from Allie Gail. This book was the perfect combination of sweet moments, steamy scenes and enough suspense to keep you turning the pages. I am definitely a new fan of Allie Gail's, and I really enjoyed her writing style.

When Sara moves back with her father, she never expects to end up sharing her house with the creepy goth kid that was her father's best friend's son. After his parents died in a questionable house fire, her dad took Rob in because he had nowhere else to go. But when Sara shows up, Rob is no longer the same goth kid dressed in black but now is a super hot football stud. Only problem is, Rob still has a major attitude problem and Sara has no idea why he hates her so much. Even though they barely talk and when they do its only to argue or insult each other, the attraction between them is undeniable. However living under the same roof, they begin to get to know each other and the more they are around each other the more their attraction and feelings grow. Unable to fight the passion that is growing between them, Sara and Rob finally give in and are soon together. But when another house fire happens killing a girl they go to school with, Sara begins to wonder if maybe she is dating an arsonist.

I really liked Rob. I didn't understand why he was so rude when we first met him, but I did get that he had been through a lot. As his past is revealed though, you really get to see just how much he had to deal with and why he was the way he was. I really liked how he was with Sara though, and I thought that he was really funny and sweet. He was also protective and possessive of her, but it was in a way that was really attractive rather than being overbearing. I liked that he wanted to take care of her and look out for her. Sara was smart and funny also, and she was also really nice and kind. I loved how she kept trying to be friendly even when Rob wasn't very receptive at first. I also really loved how sweet she was with Peyton, the little girl that she babysat. She was always thinking of others, and it was really nice to see a girl that I would actually be friends with and that didn't annoy me. I thought that Rob and Sara had a really great relationship together, and I loved watching as it evolved and happened naturally rather than instantly. I liked that they took their time and that it wasn't rushed at all. It made what they shared real and believable. They were also really hot together, but it was so much more than just steam. They really belonged together, and you could really see the love they shared. I just really adored Rob and Sara as a couple!

Overall, I thought that this book was fantastic. It was so much different than anything I have read before, and I liked that it was something completely new. I loved all the twists and turns, and I will admit that I honestly didn't have a clue what would happen next. I had no idea who had done what, and this book was impossible to put down. I had to keep reading to see what would happen next, and I loved every second of it. This book was one of the most well written and entertaining books that I have read in a really long time. I highly recommend this book to not only New Adult fans, but also Romantic Suspense fans as well. This book is one that you definitely won't want to miss out on. I look forward to reading more from Allie Gail in the future and can't wait to see what she writes next!

**ARC provided by Author**

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My Favorite Book Couple with Theresa Romain

Historical romance author Theresa Romain pursued an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She then worked for universities and libraries, where she got to read even more. Eventually she started writing, too. She lives with her family in the Midwest, where she is working on her next book.

Find Theresa at:
Site | Blog | Facebook | Twitter |

ARC Review: The Seduction of Miss Amelia Bell by Paula Quinn

This was my first time reading Paula Quinn. She is a very enjoyable author. I think she was masterfully able to keep different elements of the story in play at the same time and keep them all interesting. One element is the romance between Amelia Bell and Edmund McGregor. Edmund is determined to stop the signing of the Act of Union between Scotland and England. Edmund, along with his clan believe that this treaty will strip them of their rights and their identities as Scotsman. Edmund and his clan come up with an idea on how to stop the signing. He decides that he will kidnap the niece of the Duke of Queensberry who is a big advocate of this union. Amelia is promised to the Chancellor of Scotland. Everyone knows that it is not a love match but an advantageous political step for her father.

The night of her betrothal dinner she meets Edmund and she falls in love with him immediately. She knows that she is promised to the Chancellor and that her parents are depending on her to fulfill their dreams but she finds Edmund attractive and irresistible at the same time. While they share a kiss he covers her mouth with a cloth and kidnaps her. Obviously this changes her feelings a little bit towards his trustworthiness. Edmund for his part begins to regret his decision once he meets Amelia and also begins to fall in love with her but he also feels responsible for his duty to his clan and his home Scotland. Although Edmund is raised in Scotland and adopted at the age of 4 by his clan he is really from England.

In the midst of this romance lies the tension between England and Scotland. I personally found that more interesting than the romance between Edmund and Amelia. Although I liked both Amelia and Edmund I found them to be boring… I know they are caught in the middle of this big conflict but they basically make googly eyes at each other throughout most of the story. I personally was more interested in Saran and Lucan’s romantic story more. I loved that they were complete opposites. Sarah is Amelia’s best friend but their friendship is banned by Amelia’s mom since Sarah is a servant. Sarah and Amelia are completely different. While Amelia is a devoted and virginal Sarah is adventurous and very experienced with the opposite sex. Sarah is also naturally drawn to the wrong men. Lucan, Edmund’s cousin, is definitely the right type of man. He is a knight in shining armor sans the shining armor with a kilt. I loved seeing them fall in love and Lucan’s unwavering patience with Sarah. Although they were secondary characters I liked them best.

If you’re looking sweet romances, intriguing history and sexy men in quilts you won’t go wrong. Amelia and Edmund have many obstacles standing in their way, both of them are torn between their devotion to their country, family and to each other. I loved learning about Scotland and its history and the fast pace adventures along the way made this a great read!

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

ARC Review: Far Gone by Laura Griffin

I seriously want to take up residence in Laura Griffin’s brain. I’ve been a huge fan of her work, and especially her Tracers series, from the beginning and know that I can turn to any one of her novels for some of the best romantic suspense or romantic thrillers in the industry. And it only gets better with each novel! FAR GONE marks her well-deserved hardcover debut and the eighth entry in her Tracers series of loosely connected stories and delivers what readers have come to expect from a Laura Griffin novel—a perfectly paced white-knuckle thrill ride of a plot, a gutsy yet believably vulnerable heroine, and a swoon-worthy alpha hero with a sweet side you want to take home—whilst managing to keep it fresh and interesting despite being set in the same world as seven other novels (all of which can be read as standalones).

FAR GONE sees disgraced Austin PD detective Andrea Finch, on administrative leave following the officer-involved fatal shooting of a teenager holding up a restaurant kitchen, tracking her computer genius of a younger brother to a dusty West Texas border town and stumbling across an FBI undercover investigation into an anti-government homegrown terrorist following in the footsteps of Timothy McVeigh. Admittedly, the thwart-a-terrorist-attack plot isn’t particularly novel, but Ms. Griffin masterfully layers in political ideology, a series of seemingly unrelated bank robberies, a six-year-old cold murder case, Islamic radicals, and a compressed timeline leading up to April 19th (the anniversary of Waco, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the beginning of the Revolutionary War) to create a complex, thrilling, thoroughly researched, and scarily believable multi-pronged storyline that captures the reader’s interest from the get-go.

Perfectly complementing the fast-moving plot is the complex blossoming relationship between undercover FBI Special Agent Jon North, working against the clock and the rest of the Bureau to link the seemingly unrelated cases to notorious antigovernment gun nut Shay Hardin, and Andrea, whose younger brother Gavin is implicated in the imminent attack. Andrea can’t imagine her sweet-natured brother being complicit to a terror plot and Jon can’t see how he could not be involved given that he’s living in Hardin’s fortress of a compound. What better source of romantic tension than falling for the fed investigating your brother who wants to use him as an inside source to stop a sociopath? Ms. Griffin skillfully builds that tension throughout the bulk of the book—the first love scene happens ~2/3 of the way through the novel—and the desire to see Andrea and Jon reconcile their differences and get their HEA (or HFN) keeps the reader turning the pages as much as the suspense plot. Ms. Griffin excels at striking that perfect balance between romantic tension and suspense and weaving the two together intimately; in FAR GONE, the romance isn’t particularly overt (perhaps to appeal more broadly to the hardcover thriller audience) but is an integral part of the story and the characters’ emotional journey. As per usual, the characterization is top notch and the protagonists well-developed and three-dimensional: with just a few words, we feel Andrea’s trust issues and fear of failure that threatens to get in the way of everything good in her life, and Jon’s protectiveness and commitment to stopping a ruthless villain no matter the personal cost. Andrea and Jon are both emotionally complex characters I wanted to both hug and whack upside the head for being (occasional) idiots, and they have a real, layered relationship-in-the-making that resonated with me. What Jon does near the end of the novel is sure to earn him much disdain from female readers, but I found it to be consistent with his character and an important contributor to making his relationship with Andrea realistic despite the short time frame.

Overall, FAR GONE is another great addition to the popular Tracers series (kind of—as more thriller than straight-up RS, it may be positioned somewhat outside of the Tracers brand despite featuring many of the series’ secondary characters) that is sure to satisfy Laura Griffin, romantic suspense, and romantic thriller fans alike. I’m already looking forward to what Ms. Griffin does next!

**ARC provided by Author**

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