Bound In Death (Bound #5) by Cynthia Eden

Bound In Death (Bound, #5)Rating: 3.75 stars

Published: April 11, 2013

Available at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo

Synopsis: She can’t remember him…
He can never forget her.

For over two hundred years, alpha werewolf Alerac O’Neill has been searching for his mate, Keira McDonough, a woman who was taken from him and imprisoned by a dark vampire master. He’s hunted for her, endlessly, using vampire blood to extend his life. He has become a vicious predator, feared by all the supernaturals. His hold on reality seems to slip more each day because he is consumed by her.

Only…the woman he discovers in a small Miami bar isn’t the Keira that he remembers. In fact, this woman doesn’t remember anything. She calls herself Jane Smith, and she has no memory at all of Alerac—or of her own past.

Now that she’s been found, Alerac knows that his enemies are going to start closing in on her. Jane may try to act human, but she’s not. She’s a pureblood vampire princess, incredibly powerful and incredibly valuable. His enemies want to use her, her enemies want to destroy her, and Alerac—he just wants her.

If he can’t make her remember him, then Alerac has to seduce Jane into loving him once again. Because now that he’s found her, he’ll fight hell—and every sadistic vampire that stalks the night—in order to keep her safe at his side.

Some bonds go deeper than the flesh. Some go beyond life. Beyond death.

Jane will soon learn that a werewolf’s claiming…is forever

Review: Cynthia Eden never fails to deliver an intriguing tale and  Bound In Death is no different. In this fifth installment in the Bound series, we get Alerac and Keira’s story.

After years of imprisonment by the vampire ruler for acts against their kind, Kiera awakens with no recollection of her previous life. Now going by the name of Jane, she goes on with her life while guarding the secret of her ‘condition’. Then a stranger walks into the bar she works at and her life is forever changed. She must confront the past she left behind and a world where her enemies want to end her and her lover is a werewolf.

I enjoyed this story very much. Even though the story felt predictable to me in some ways, it was still interesting and engaging with some unexpected twist and turns that kept me entertained. I’ve always enjoyed Cynthia Eden’s writing, especially the characters and how they relate to each other. Alerac was your typical Alpha wolf – possesive, strong and stubborn. On the other hand Kiera was a surprise. At first, she came across as timid and vulnerable, but as the story progressed she developed into a strong, protective heroine. I enjoyed how she stood up for herself and took matters into her own hands – it was refreshing to see that.

All in all, Bound In Death is a fast, sexy read with a bit of action, a bit of drama and a whole lot of angry wolf!

I received this title from the author in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

 

Flawless (Irresistible Attraction #4) by Cat Grant

FlawlessRating: 4 stars

Publisher: Riptide Publishing (April 22nd 2013)

Available at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo

Synopsis: Steve Campbell used to be a player, until a mid-life crisis opened his eyes to his long-repressed love for Connor, his soon-to-be-married best friend and business partner. Coming out at thirty-eight means learning how to date all over again, and this time, Steve’s not willing to settle for empty one-night stands. He wants the real thing.

Gil Alvarez has never had it easy, struggling through childhood and rejected by his family for a body that didn’t match who he was inside. A skilled driver and mechanic, he’s working hard to make his auto shop a success. The last thing he needs is a rich white guy in a candy-apple-red Ferrari tempting him, but Steve’s ready smile and easygoing manner prove irresistible.

One brief, intimate encounter leaves them both hungry for more. Gil’s not ashamed of who he is, but he’s terrified that Steve will reject him—or worse—when he discovers what Gil can’t find the courage to tell him.

Review: Steve has been lonely, longing for something more than one-night stands now that he has finally accepted his sexual orientation. He has everything a man should want – a great job, money and a fast car. Now all he wants is to find that real connection to someone else.

Gil has had a rough past, especially with his family’s acceptance of who he truly is. He is in a place where he is working hard to make a life for himself, living from job to job to make ends meet and sometimes fearful of how people will react when they get to know him.

Steve and Gil meet when Steve’s sports car doesn’t start and Gil steps up to help. Steve is immediately attracted to Gil, but he doesn’t know how to go about getting a date with the guy. This whole business of dating as a gay man is new to him and he is afraid of being rejected, especially now that he knows he wants something permanent and not only a hook-up. Gil, on the other hand, is so focused on Steve’s financial status that he immediately dismisses his attraction to him, thinking he is like every rich man that comes to his shop. Later on he relents and their journey in finding something real begins.

I admit that when I read the previous books in the series, Steve didn’t caught my attention one bit. I had not read his story as was related in Doubtless. However, I am happy to say that he finally caught my eye and his story was amazing.

I loved this story! Cat Grant did an amazing job in bringing to the page a story of understanding, letting go and second chances in love. Flawless was packed-full of emotions ranging from fear of rejection on both parts to acceptance of an unexpected situation and ending in elation at finally finding someone worthy to fight for. I especially enjoyed how the character’s complexity added to development of the story. As each layer was peeled away from the characters, I got to know them better and fully came to understand where each was coming from. Once I got to understand that, I truly felt connected to both of them and found myself cheering them on. I wanted to smack them upside their heads every time they overreacted, cried with some of the emotions presented and had a happy grin on my face by the time the book ended.

Of course, the chemistry between these two was easily palpable, but I appreciated the fact that the author took her time bringing them together. Steve and Gil truly did have issues to overcome and obstacles to get through to be together and if those weren’t dealt with as the story progressed I wouldn’t have enjoyed this story as much.

Cat Grant’s writing was everything I have come to expect from her and then some. She managed to bring to the page a complex concept and she did it well. It showed that she did her research, which helped me to further understand Gil’s feelings, hesitations and actions. She did a wonderful job of keeping the subject matter accurate while still making Steve and Gil’s story interesting and entertaining.

Although Flawless is the fourth book in the Irresistible Attraction series, it can certainly be read as a stand alone since the author does a great job of giving you enough back story for you to know what has happened in previous installments without making you feel overwhelmed. I only wish the story was longer. I would have loved to see how Steve and Gil’s relationship developed further.

I received this title from Riptide Publishing through NetGalley in exchange of my honest opinion.

Luck of the Draw (Shamrock Falls #2) by Kelley Vitollo

Luck of the Draw (Shamrock Falls, #2)Rating: 5 stars

Publisher: Entangled Publishing – Bliss (January 13th 2013)

Available at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo

Synopsis: Rowan McKinley isn’t looking for one wild night while vacationing in Vegas, but she gets it anyway when she meets professional poker player—and professional ladies’ man—Breck Wilder. Breck’s easygoing charm and lighthearted banter draw in the reserved Rowan, and though she’s always dreamed of the kind of forever love her best friends Sidney and Kade share, she’ll settle for one night with the charismatic player.

After their crazy one-night stand, Breck never expected to see the mysterious redhead again. So when he shows up at a Shamrock Falls B&B looking to get away for a few weeks and Rowan answers the door, he’s floored. Breck’s rolling-stone lifestyle and ill-fated history with women means he’s not interested in anything long-term. But the longer he stays at the B&B, the more he considers dropping the poker face and putting all his cards on the table…for Rowan.

Review: Rowan is in Vegas for a conference and disappointed that she could not get together with her brother. She’s sitting at the bar nursing her wounds and feeling once again forgotten by her family when she meets a handsome stranger.

Breck has sworn off women after his last relationship failed, but he is attracted to the fiery redhead who doesn’t take any of his crap. Their attraction is immediate and although Rowan does hesitate and tries to talk herself out of it, they end up having a one-night stand – a memorable one-night stand!

A month later Breck decides to take some time off to relax and unwind with his cat, Ace, and ends up in Shamrock Falls staying in none other than Rowan’s newly established Bed & Breakfast. Since the business is just starting out, Rowan cannot risk sending Breck’s business away, especially after getting some unexpected news regarding their one night of passion.

I loved, loved this story! As I mentioned in my review of the previous book, I couldn’t wait to read Rowan’s story. I am happy to say that it was everything I was expecting and then some.

Kelly Vitollo did an amazing job of bringing to the page a sweet, angsty, romantic story of second chances and new beginnings. I liked how she brought Breck and Rowan together, making them start out as friends after their one encounter and showing how deep their connection ran. The chemistry between Breck and Rowan was clear to see, especially after that explosive first night in Vegas. However, it was their connection and how it developed further that made this romance story a joy to read.

I appreciated the fact that Breck was torn between his past and what he felt for Rowan and that when he finally realized what he was feeling for her he didn’t hesitate to step up and give it a try. I also enjoyed how Rowan opened up to Breck and showed another side of herself other than her caring and helpful side. She was thoughtful, friendly and immensely attracted to Breck. I liked how her mind worked and her sense of humor, but it was her longing for a family of her own, her range in emotions and her actions that endeared her to me.

The secondary characters in the story were enjoyable too. I especially loved seeing Sidney and Kade together and watching as Jace and Betsy became closer since the previous book. I am looking forward to Jace’s story after some of the things I read in this installment. He does need to find his happily ever after.

Luck of the Draw is the second book in the Shamrock Fall series and although it can be read as a stand alone I would encourage you to read the previous book, Lucky Break. There you’ll get to meet Rowan for the first time and really get to see another side of her. I think that having met Rowan in the previous book helped my enjoyment of this story.

I received this title from Entangled Publishing through NetGalley in exchange of my honest opinion.

Lucky Break (Shamrock Falls #1) by Kelley Vitollo

Lucky Break (Shamrock Falls, #1)Rating: 4 stars

Publisher: Entangled Publishing – Bliss (August 24th 2012)

Available at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo

Synopsis: She’ll gamble her heart on the best friend she left behind…

One lucky break is all struggling actress Sidney Williams needs. But when living the LA life becomes too much, she heads back to the small town of Shamrock Falls for the vacation she needs to get her life on track—and immediately runs into Kade Mitchell, her former best friend and the boy next door she’s always regretted leaving behind.

Kade, the new owner of Lucky’s—once the most popular bar in Shamrock Falls—is determined to bring the place back to its former glory, and seeing Sidney again is a distraction he doesn’t need. Sure, the chemistry between them is explosive, but Kade can’t let himself fall into a fling with his best friend—not when he knows she’s soon heading back to the glitter of Tinseltown.

Now, with the possibility of her first major acting role looming, Sidney must decide if her lucky break is in Hollywood or right where she left it—in Shamrock Falls.

Review: Sidney left Shamrock Falls to pursue her dream of making it in Hollywood, only she did it without saying good-bye to her best friends Rowan and Kade. This mistake has haunted her ever since, but she can’t make herself keep in touch with them or return to her hometown regardless of the guilt she’s been feeling for the past five years.  After a series of events, she finds herself back in Shamrock Falls and running straight into Kade.

Kade had a rough family life growing up and his only escape was spending time with Sidney and Rowan. Although he tries to convince himself that he is over Sidney and that he is no longer angry about how she left him without a word, it all comes back to him the moment she’s standing in front of him.

I adored this story! Kelley Vitollo did a great job of bringing to the page a sweet story of forgiveness and new beginnings that tugged at my heart strings and left me wanting to see more from Kade and Sidney. I appreciated the hesitations, doubts and questions that both characters felt because it added to the believability of their happily ever after. I liked the fact that Kade was honest and direct and that he never wavered on his loyalty to Sidney and that she in turn finally accepted her feelings for Kade for what they were – feelings of love, not only friendship.

Kade and Sidney were both complex characters with many layers to them – issues about their childhood, their needs and wants. Their connection as best friends through childhood and teenage years, as told through flashbacks, felt real and gave me the opportunity to get to know them better, thus helping me connect to them fully.  Needless to say that the chemistry between Kade and Sidney was palpable from the beginning and although their scenes were not overtly explicit their passion for each other came across perfectly through the page. Especially that first kiss, wowza!

The secondary characters were a joy to read too and they added beautifully to the story. Rowan, Jace and Betsy all came across as interesting characters, but I especially enjoyed Rowan and her interactions with both Kade and Sidney. I can’t wait to read her story! She was funny, adorably sweet and her longing for a family of her own endeared her to me.

Lucky Break is the first book in the Shamrock Falls series and a great start to the series. This is the first book of Kelly Vitollo I’ve read but I am certain it won’t be the last one. She managed to capture my attention from the beginning of the story all through the end by bringing to life both Sidney and Kade and bringing to the page a wonderful story of friendship and loyalty.

A Time To Love (Mill Creek Crossing #2) by Angelina Rose

A Time To Love (Mill Creek Crossing, #2)Rating: 3 stars

Published: February 10th 2013

Available at: Amazon

Synopsis: Gracie Tillman is well known in Mill Creek Crossing as the sassy waitress at Stella’s diner. But what many people don’t know is that she has virtually no family left, and the one person she should have in her life is her sister, Eva. Unfortunately, Eva did some rotten things to her sister years ago, and Gracie says she’ll never forgive her.

As Eva’s life starts to fall apart in Atlanta, she finds out that the only way to survive is to depend on her sister and crawl back to Mill Creek Crossing. Keeping a major secret, she shows back up in town and tries to convince her sister to forgive her. At the same time, Eva starts to change when she meets an interesting biker named Brice.

Will the sisters be able to mend their relationship? Will love bloom between high class Eva and biker Brice?

Review: This novella started with the introduction of Gracie, a woman who has been estranged from her sister but who has made a life for herself after having to struggle with a disastrous wedding attempt and money problems. She has grown along the way and has accepted her new life with her husband even while she still yearns for a family of her own.

In comes Eva, the sister. Eva came across as a selfish, spoiled brat who didn’t think twice about her actions. It was presented as her being honest and direct in what she expressed, but I just could not get over her attitude. I admired Gracie’s strength of character and the way she stood up for herself and didn’t easily fall for Eva’s apology.  I was all for Gracie working out her troubles with her sister, but I just did not believe Eva’s quick change of heart.

This is where the story took a wrong turn for me.

This is classified as a romance but it just didn’t feel like one to me. It was more about the story between the sisters and their struggles to mend their relationship. Although Brice played a major role in helping Eva’s change come along, I felt that their romance was brought to the page as an afterthought. Their connection was barely palpable and their dialogue came across as superficial.

Having said that, I have to admit that I enjoyed the story as a whole, mainly because of Gracie’s emotions and the obstacles she faced with her marriage and her sister. The emotions that she expressed ranged from anger with her sister to anguish at her situation ending with elation at having a chance at gaining what she always wanted. It is because of Gracie that I stuck it out and finished the book and I am glad I did, if only to see Gracie’s happiness across the page.

A Time To Love is the second book in the Mill Creek Crossing series, but it can be read as a stand along too. The author, Angelina Rose, did a great job of bringing to the page a heart-warming story of reconnecting siblings and new beginnings. I still think that the romance part of the story lacked in its execution, but the conflict between the sisters and its resolution was enough for me to want to read more works from this author.

I received this title from the author in exchange of my honest opinion.

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About the author:

AmazonAngelina Rose has wanted to write ever since she could hold a pencil. The first daughter of immigrant parents, Angelina constantly had her head buried in books.
 
In 2010, Angelina had a long stint in hospital following her involvement in a motor vehicle accident; the longest time off work (as a Registered Nurse), she’d ever had in her life!
 
It was then she took up pen and paper and started to write again, just as she had done when she was a child. She wrote four short fiction stories for young adults, entered them in several competitions, and managed to win three first prizes!
 
After happily dipping her toes into writing those short fictions stories for young adults, Angelina has now started a new “Mill Creek Crossing Romance” series of contemporary romances intended for adults.

First Frost by Liz DeJesus

First FrostRating: 4 stars

Publisher: Mesa Publishing (June 22nd 2013)

Available at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: Fairytales aren’t real…yeah…that’s exactly what Bianca thought. She was wrong.

For generations, the Frost family has run the Museum of Magical and Rare Artifacts, handing down guardianship from mother to daughter, always keeping their secrets to “family only.”

Gathered within museum’s walls is a collection dedicated to the Grimm fairy tales and to the rare items the family has acquired: Cinderella’s glass slipper, Snow White’s poisoned apple, the evil queen’s magic mirror, Sleeping Beauty’s enchanted spinning wheel…

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Frost wants none of it, dreaming instead of a career in art or photography or…well, anything except working in the family’s museum. She knows the items in the glass display cases are fakes because, of course, magic doesn’t really exist.

She’s about to find out how wrong she is.

Review: Bianca doesn’t understand why she has to spend her time working at her family’s museum and it isn’t until she witnesses her mother fighting off an evil witch that she discovers her family’s history and her legacy.

Author Liz DeJesus draws you into Bianca’s journey from the beginning and holds your attention all throughout the story. I enjoyed reading about Bianca’s family, their history and the legacy that has been left for her. I liked that the author not only mentioned different fairy tales and how they related to the items in the museum, but that she did this in a way that was entertaining, engaging and didn’t make me feel overwhelmed by it all.

At first, I was hesitant in how the author would bring all the elements of the story together, but she did a great job in making all the concepts flow together along with the conflict of the story. She managed to achieve this while still developing Bianca’s character from a normal teenage girl to a young woman who has to prove herself in order to save her friends and family.

Once Bianca sets off in her adventure, the story truly takes on a life of its own. The setting, the characters and the world of Everafter came alive with every page I turned, which truly added to my enjoyment of the story. In addition, the secondary characters added to the story nicely and were interesting in their own right. Ming, Bianca’s best friend, was funny and loyal and Prince Ferdinand was hilarious – he was charming indeed! Of course, I adored Terrance and Bianca’s father, David.

All in all, First Frost is a wonderful, all-encompassing modern take on fairy tales.

I received this title from the author in exchange of my honest opinion.

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About the author:

Liz DeJesus5Liz DeJesus was born on the tiny island of Puerto Rico.  She is a novelist and a poet. She has been writing for as long as she was capable of holding a pen. She is the author of the novel Nina (Blu Phi’er Publishing, October 2007), The Jackets (Arte Publico Press, March 31st 2011) First Frost (Musa Publishing, June 22nd 2012) and Glass Frost (Musa Publishing, COMING SOON).
She is also a member of The Written Remains Writers Guild  http://www.writtenremains.org/.
Liz is currently working on a new novel.
Feel free to email her at lizdejesus23@yahoo.com

Lush (Delicious #3) by Lauren Dane

LushRating: 4 stars

Publisher: Berkley Trade (April 2, 2013)

Synopsis: Mary Whaley has her hands full running a successful catering company and overseeing her supper club. She’s got everything she ever wanted—or so she thought. When she meets ridiculously hot and very dirty rock star Damien Hurley at her friend’s engagement party, the attraction she feels is overpowering—and she isn’t about to deny herself.

Damien is used to a hard and fast life. He and two of his brothers started a band when they were all in high school—then they hit the big time and stayed there. He’s also a legendary madman on the stage and in the bedroom. But when he meets Mary, something clicks, and the bad boy starts thinking he may have finally found something good.

What begins as a series of fleeting trysts soon get much more complicated. Damien can’t figure out why Mary doesn’t want more from him. And before long it’s Damien who wants more of Mary. But it turns out Mary is no stranger to the celebrity news and he’s got a very big job ahead of him—proving that he’s worth more than a one-night stand…

Review: Mary has been getting her catering business off the ground, but her social life has been suffering because of it. So when she meets sexy rock star Damien she decides to take advantage of the situation while she can. What ensues is a kind of ‘friends with benefits’ relationship where they get together when their schedules allow it without expectations for more. At least that’s how Mary and Damien started their arrangement, however Damien is the first to admit that he wants more from Mary. Reluctant because of Damien’s reputation, Mary agrees to try to make it work between them convincing herself that they’re just having fun, while slowly but surely falling hard for Damien.

I really liked this story. Having read the previous books in the series, I was eagerly awaiting this installment. I already liked Mary as I got to know her in previous books. I enjoyed her kind heart and her loyalty and it was a treat to see her find a partner of her own. I loved Damien! For all his rock star status, he was an understanding, tender man that fell hard for Mary and was determined to win her heart. How can I resist that?!

As per usual, Lauren Dane did a great job in bringing Mary and Damien together. Their chemistry was undeniable and their first time together was HOT. Needless to say that the sex got hotter as they got more comfortable with each other and started having feelings for one another. But what I enjoyed the most was seeing how their connection grew with every encounter and interaction they shared.

Although Lush is the third book in the Delicious series and it can be read as a stand alone book, the experience is more worthwhile when you have read the previous books because you can truly glimpse Mary’s personality through her previous interactions with her friends and family. I believe that having met Mary previously added to my enjoyment of this story and her journey in finding love with Damien.

I received this title from Berkley through NetGalley in exchange of my honest opinion.

Free Fall (Elite Force #4) by Catherine Mann

Free Fall (Elite Force, #4)Rating: 3.75 stars

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablaca (March 5th 2013)

Synopsis: On This Mission, There Are No Accidents…

Pararescueman Jose “Cuervo” James is the guy they call for the most dangerous assignments. He lives for his job.

On a high-risk rescue deep in the African jungle, Jose encounters sexy, smart Interpol agent Stella Carson. They’d once had an affair that burned hot and fast, but family is everything to Stella, and Jose just can’t go there.

Fate has thrown them into the deadly hot zone together, and sparks will fly…but only if they can live to tell about it.

Review: Jose and Stella reunite after an affair that ended when Jose admitted that he could not give Stella what she dreamed of – a family of her own. It is during the time that follows their reunion that each starts to second-guess their decision to end their relationship. Jose admits that he truly loves Stella and that he can’t lose her this time around, while Stella realizes that maybe she behaved irrationally when she put Jose on the spot about making a decision about their future.

So after reading the previous books in the series and especially loving the last one, I was expecting a lot from this book. Sadly this book didn’t meet all my expectations. I am not saying that I didn’t like the concept behind the story or how the author went about presenting the story as a whole, I just think that the Stella and Jose’s connection felt superficial and their chemistry was subtle. There were no fireworks for me when they got together.

Although I liked Stella just fine, I found it hard to connect with her. I didn’t approve of the way she went about treating Jose before or after their reunion and I didn’t understand her reluctance to compromise with Jose when she imposed an all or nothing condition on their relationship. On the other hand, my heart went out to Jose after learning his story. But although I could understand where he was coming from, i found it hard to believe that he would find his life partner in Stella. Both of these issues were the reason that I could not truly believe Jose and Stella’s pairing.

Having said that, I do believe that Catherine Mann brought a great story of suspense to the page. I enjoyed the conflict within the story and how it all played out in the end. I especially enjoyed the fast-paced action scenes and figuring it out who was the mole within the agency.

Free Fall in the fourth book in the Elite Force series and it can be read as a stand alone book.

I received this title from Sourcebooks through NetGalley in exchange of my honest opinion.

Elite Force Series (Books 1-3) by Catherine Mann

Cover Me (Elite Force #1)

Cover Me (Elite Force #1)Rating: 3.25 stars

Synopsis: It should have been a simple mission…

Pararescueman Wade Rocha fast ropes from the back of a helicopter into a blizzard to save a climber stranded on an Aleutian Island, but Sunny Foster insists she can take care of herself just fine…

But when it comes to passion, nothing is ever simple…

With the snowstorm kicking into overdrive, Sunny and Wade hunker down in a cave and barely resist the urge to keep each other warm… until they discover the frozen remains of a horrific crime… Unable to trust the local police force, Sunny and Wade investigate, while their irresistible passion for each other gets them more and more dangerously entangled…

Review: Sunny has been living with her family in a tiny settlement in the mountains away from most of civilization. After escorting a couple of friends of of town she finds herself stranded in a snow storm and being rescued by Wade. Sunny doesn’t need rescuing but Wade is not about to leave a woman stranded in the middle of nowhere when his mission is to get her to safety. A series of events develop and Sunny and Wade find themselves in the middle of a murder investigation and more.

Cover Me is a thrilling, engaging read that kept my attention from beginning to end. Catherine Mann did a great job of of bringing together the romance between these two stubborn people while still keeping the reader riveted in the ongoing conflict that was brewing around the main characters.

I liked the fact that the hero and the heroine were both strong minded individuals that knew how to handle themselves in most situations, but that when they got together they truly let go and gave themselves to the attraction between them. I enjoyed the introduction and participation of the secondary characters, especially the other pararescuemen that will star in their own book down the line.

Packed full of action, intrigue and sizzling chemistry, Cover Me is a great first installment in the Elite Force series.

Hot Zone (Elite Force #2)

Hot Zone (Elite Force #2)Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis: HE’LL TAKE ANY MISSION, THE RISKIER THE BETTER…

The haunted eyes of pararescueman Hugh Franco should have been her first clue that deep pain roiled beneath the surface. But if Amelia couldn’t see the damage, how could she be expected to know he’d break her heart?

SHE’LL PROVE TO BE HIS BIGGEST RISK YET…

Amelia Bailey’s not the kind of girl who usually needs rescuing…but there are anything but usual circumstances.

USA Today bestselling author Catherine Mann delivers another hero from the Air Force’s celebrated Pararescue Jumpers-“The PJs”- an ultra-elite force who put themselves at extreme risk in the most dangerous emergencies so that others may live. A sizzling thrill-rise of action and attraction, Hot Zone will leave your pulse pounding.

Review: Hugh Franco lives for his missions – the more dangerous the better. He finds himself in the Bahamas in a mission to help rescue victims after a devastating earthquake left the island in disarray. There he meets Amelia, a young woman who fights to keep her nephew and herself alive after being buried under a pile of debris. He can’t seem to step away from the woman, even when staying with her is a threat to his safety. It is while being stuck underground that Hugh and Amelia develop a common bond that they can’t shake off even after being rescued and going their separate ways.

I enjoyed the story as a whole, but I especially liked the complexity of the characters and the way their connection developed. Catherine Mann managed to capture perfectly the chaos of the town after the earthquake and the conflict within the main characters. I felt like I was a participant in the story, where I could smell the burning building and hear the cries of the people.

I appreciated the way that the author first brought Hugh and Amelia together. To me it felt believable that they would get together sexually, even amongst the mess they were in. It added to my understanding of their feelings during and after the tragedy. This in turn helped me cheer them on when they found themselves questioning their feelings for each other and the viability of a future together.

The concept behind this story and the conflict that was brought to the page was executed well and it added to my overall enjoyment of the story. With a dash of angst, plenty of lust-filled moments and a controversial storyline, Hot Zone is a great addition to the Elite Force series. Although this is the second book in the series, it can also be read as a stand alone book.

Under Fire (Elite Force #3)

Under Fire (Elite Force, #3)Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis: A decorated hero, pararescueman Liam McCabe lives to serve. Six months ago, he and Rachel Flores met in the horrific aftermath of an earthquake in the Bahamas. They were tempted by an explosive attraction, yet parted ways. Still, Liam has thought about Rachel every day—and night—since.

Now, after ignoring all his phone calls for six months, Rachel has turned up on base with a wild story about a high-ranking military traitor. She claims no one but Liam can help her—and she won’t trust anyone else.

With nothing but her word and the testimony of a discharged military cop to go on, Liam would be insane to risk his career—even his life—to help this woman who left him in the dust.

Review: Liam is thinking about giving up his missions because he feels like his body is not up to the grueling treatment it gets with training and on the job. But what bothers him the most is the fact that he can’t stop thinking about Rachel Flores, a woman he met while on a mission in the Bahamas. Although he has been married and divorced three times and admits that he falls in love easily, this time around he is certain that what he is feeling for Rachel is the real deal. Just as he determines that he needs to stop thinking about Rachel, she shows up asking for his help.

I loved, loved, loved this story. Catherine Mann perfectly combined the suspense and the romance, bringing to the page a riveting mystery starring two strong minded individuals whose sexual chemistry added another level of excitement to the story. I enjoyed how Liam questioned his feelings towards Rachel and kept trying to not make the same mistakes he made in his previous relationships. However, it was Rachel’s journey in opening to Liam and accepting what was developing between her and Liam that I enjoyed the most. It was a treat to see how she went from a woman reluctant to try her hand at another relationship and see her embrace not only her attraction to Liam but the feelings she was developing for him.

Needless to say that Liam and Rachel’s chemistry was off the charts HOT! When these two were in the same room together you could feel the sexual tension between them and the strain it was having on both of them – physically and emotionally. Their first kiss alone (in this book) was everything I was expecting and then some!

With strong main characters, meaningful and revealing dialogue, an exciting plot and sweet side story, Under Fire is an awesome addition to the Elite Force series.

Giving an Inch (The Professor’s Rule #1) by Heidi Belleau, Amelia C. Gormley

Giving an InchRating: 4 stars

Publisher: Riptide Publishing (April 15, 2013)

Synopsis: School is back in session.

History grad James Sheridan thinks his biggest problem in life is trying to find a suitable outfit for his upcoming Ph.D. candidacy exam. That is, until he accidentally texts a changing-room selfie meant for his fashionable sister to his ex, the domineering Professor Carson.

James and Carson haven’t seen each since James fled their power games two years ago. Back in his undergrad days, Carson was his Professor, and not just in the academic sense: a man of unusual tastes and extreme sexual demands, James had been happy to sate Carson’s savage appetites. Too happy, in fact. He never could trust himself not to let Carson push too far.

Now James is older and wiser, and sharing some seriously flirtatious vibes with a cute menswear rep. When Carson replies to James’s errant text, ready to pick up where they left off, James can’t help being drawn back into Carson’s control. It’s only when Carson suggests involving the salesman that James has to ask himself how far is too far, and whether he’s willing to go there with Carson again.

Review: James ended his relationship with Carson, a former professor of his, because he didn’t trust himself to set boundaries as to what lengths he would go to please the man. Although he recognizes that Carson helped him not only in getting his life under control but with his academic discipline as well, James is still afraid of how far he can be pushed. These struggles come back to him once he acknowledges Carson’s response to his text and engages in a text conversation with Carson.

Oh my, never I have read such HOT text messages!

I loved how Amelia Gormley and Heidi Belleau went about setting up this encounter. It really gave James the opportunity to inform the reader about his past with Carson and gave insight into why he was having doubts that caused him to hesitate when Carson made demands.

Even though James did participate and complied with most of Carson’s demands I was glad to see that he did set some boundaries and analyzed his responses before acting out Carson’s demands. This showed that although he held a great deal of respect towards Carson and owed him a lot for all he’d done for him, James had indeed matured and was not going into this blind.

I am not even going to talk about what went on in that changing room, that is something that should be experienced by the reader first-hand. I’ll just say that my shopping expeditions are seriously lacking!

Giving an Inch is a great first installment in The Professor’s Rule series and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The concept behind the story was interesting and the mix of sexting, humor, sexy man-love and a domineering Professor helped the collaboration between these two authors to go off without a glitch. I can’t wait to read more.

I received this title from Riptide Publishing through NetGalley in exchange of my honest opinion.