4.5 stars. This might be the best freebie I’ve read all year. Score!
Thoroughbreds and Trailer Trash (love that name!) was a great heartfelt contempo 4.5 stars. This might be the best freebie I’ve read all year. Score!
Thoroughbreds and Trailer Trash (love that name!) was a great heartfelt contemporary romance with some suspense, humor, and fun banter between the H/h. I loved how the steamy tension kept growing from a slow burn to a hot sizzle as the relationship between the H/h could no longer be denied. Oh, this was my kind of romance. The writing was top notch, the pacing kept me glued, and the characters all felt so real. I would have loved an epilogue, but that is because I felt so invested in their journey. I am hoping the author will write another story in this town (maybe Colin’s story?) so we get more about Derek Burke and Jenna Murphy.
The story is set in a small town of West Virginia, where newcomer wealthy businessman Derek Burke has taken over the Three Brooks Equine Center, a facility for horses to heal and get long term treatment. The facility has been poorly managed and employees are taking advantage of the center left and right. He immediately has a rough start with his new staff, but finds himself oddly intrigued with the local horse masseuse Jenna Murphy. She just stole a bag full of horse vitamins from his facility! But he soon realizes she is an expert at her job, loyal to the bone, and an asset to help him smooth the way with other employees. He finds himself drawn to this beautiful lady, who happens to live in a broken down trailer just down the road from his new digs -- the large estate owned by Three Brooks. What he doesn't know is she keeps a lot of secrets, including fudging her college training as a masseuse. New management requires a college degree, so her 11th grade education needed to be fudged in order to keep her job.
When Burke begins shaking up things at the facility, including not allowing locals to receive free or reduced price treatment, Jenna takes matters into her own hands. Her aging old pony Peanut needs treatment that only Three Brothers can provide, but since he is a two buck mangy steed without proper vaccinations Burke doesn’t want Peanut mingling with the clients horses. At first she could justify going against Burke, but as their relationship heats up she finds her loyalties splitting.
I loved this story so much, and I will read more by this author. I had a hard time guessing how they were going to get their HEA, but I was pleasantly surprised how the author wraps it up. And while the setting might be around a horse training and healing facility, the author doesn’t bash the readers over the head with endless and useless information about horses. If you love a good heartfelt contemporary romance with a light suspense twist, a believable romance, and some good dialogue this is a great book to try. ...more
A light and quirky “Cowboy meets City Girl” kind of romance that I got free from the Amazon.
Laci Dalton, a sassy and sexy reporter from Denver, landsA light and quirky “Cowboy meets City Girl” kind of romance that I got free from the Amazon.
Laci Dalton, a sassy and sexy reporter from Denver, lands a chance to interview the handsome widower Cade Tyler, ex-Rodeo star and owner of the Flying T ranch in Deep Creek, Colorado. Cade is trying to make a go of his business, but he is burdened with heavy debts brought on by many odd accidents around the ranch. So despite his hatred of reporters, he agrees to let Laci have her story if she agrees to work as a ranch hand for a few weeks to help him out.
Laci is out of her element working on a ranch. Her clothing is more suited for a call girl than a cow girl, she has no interest in rising at the crack of dawn, and she can’t tell the difference between a cow from a bull.
Cade and Laci do not start off well. He is still dealing with the loss of his career and the sudden death of his wife Karen two years ago, and he has turned into a bitter and cantankerous person. His doesn’t trust Laci because she is a reporter, but in time he sees how hard she is trying.
There are some funny and silly moments to the story. It even had some emotional moments too. We learn more about Laci's grandmother, Cade's first wife, and why the ranch keeps having accidents.
Overall, I thought this was a fun quick romance read, albeit predictable in many places. Cade’s mood swings didn’t always ring true, and Laci was such a mess at times I had trouble understanding what he saw in her. Well, besides her hot body. For much of the book I felt the relationship was more focused on the physical and not so much the emotional, but that isn’t to say they didn’t have some great interaction scenes. I just had a bit of trouble believing a man like Cade could change his ways and fall for a nutty lady like Laci in only a few weeks. Still, if you can stretch your beliefs and are in the mood for some sexy fluff reading about a hot cow boy, this could be a winner. The steam level picks up in the last half to a nice warm sizzle, and didn’t disappoint. ...more
Great freebie read! I love it when a novella reads more like a full size story, and the writing is so good you can't help but get sucked in. This wasGreat freebie read! I love it when a novella reads more like a full size story, and the writing is so good you can't help but get sucked in. This was NOT a fluffy cowboy romance. It was an emotionally charged, gritty American-historical romance that painted a vivid landscape of the hard-times faced during the deep winter months of late 1800's America.
Did I mention that the writing was seriously GOOD?! Ms Marks is an author-to-watch. I'll need to check her out. Written in first-person POV (point of view) by a 15 y/o girl named Rose, we see how life unfolds for her mother, older sister and herself after her drunkard father abandons them to their own survival just as winter sets in. There is a realistic tone to the story, and I don't doubt that this scenario could and did happen. Beware that the author doesn't sugarcoat the time period, but she doesn't get overly graphic either (which I appreciated!)
This is not a paranormal read, but I liked how the sisters got a reputation among the local mining men for being ice witches, and some even claimed to have seen their ghosts at night walking the mines and causing havoc. It made for some great thought provoking moments in the story.
The romance is slow coming and quite tender when it does evolve, which make sense in such hard times. Don't expect a bunch of horny sex-minded characters, the romance was much more of a love story with an happy-ever-after ending.
I highly recommend it to fans of American historicals that don't mind the steam level turned down to low. It's only 80-100 pages, and the heat is only kisses, but it does read like a full size story. I got this for free in December, so if you didn't get it back then I am sure many (including me) would be happy to Kindle lend it to you. ...more
3.5 stars. I may clean this review up, but for now here are my initial thoughts.
I thought it was pretty good overall. It ended with a really good fini3.5 stars. I may clean this review up, but for now here are my initial thoughts.
I thought it was pretty good overall. It ended with a really good finish, and the narrative voice that was bugging me early on in the book was greatly toned down during the last third of the book. (The first half or so of the book felt like I was watching a movie where the actors rarely spoke, instead it was mostly narrated from the authors POV. It was frustrating and pulled me out of the story repeatedly.) But the core story between H/h was the better part of this book, and for that I can see why many enjoyed this story.
The story centers around the struggles and troubles of a half-Indian man married to a white woman in the late 1800s, and opens with a heart wrenching scene that sets the tone for the rest of the book. You can't help but want Cord and Anne to find peace and happiness despite the obvious struggles they will face. The author does a great job of developing these two and making the reader believe in their relationship, I just wish she would have done the same for the secondary characters.
Besides the heavy use of narrative voice to tell this story, the development of some of the secondary characters and their role in the story felt off in places. When it came to Cord and Anne's relationships with their family members, I never fully understood any of the relationships so I had trouble understanding many of their actions. His brothers didn't seem to walk their talk and support Cord or give him the benefit of the doubt when it was painstakingly obvious they would and should. And her family was portrayed so one dimensional it was hard to get a read on where she stood with them much of the time. She should hate them but didn't, yet when she did hate them it seemed for much less offenses.
Still, it really was an enjoyable book and I don't regret reading it. Anyone who loves western romances with some grit and a slow-but-steady pace should enjoy it. ...more
Whew! Really good, and such heart pounding adventure! Much more paranormal than the previous books too, and it worked. A lot of twists to the story thWhew! Really good, and such heart pounding adventure! Much more paranormal than the previous books too, and it worked. A lot of twists to the story that I just didn't see coming. And I loved the steamy romance between Nathan and Astrid, and can't wait for Catullus and Gemma's story next. ...more
‘Sunrise Over Texas’ is one of those emotionally rich romance stories that will put a lump in your throat, if not a tear in your eye. Set in 1826 at a‘Sunrise Over Texas’ is one of those emotionally rich romance stories that will put a lump in your throat, if not a tear in your eye. Set in 1826 at an abandoned garrison military fort in the Texas wilderness during deep winter, the widow Katherine (Kit) Barclay, along with her mother-in-law and sister-in-law, are struggling to survive on meager rations in an abandoned cabin. The garrison walls are their only protection from the Indians, but the walls also keep them from obtaining more food and a passage to safety. Then one day a man riding a horse makes his way near the gates and collapses on the ground. Kit brings him into the fort to nurse him back to health, meanwhile working herself to the bone keeping everyone fed and safe. As Trace Watson heals, Kit becomes his lifeline to sanity. A recent widower himself, he left New Orleans months earlier to escape the memories of losing a wife and child. Slowly these two find comfort in each other’s arms, and they form a deeply passionate relationship. But their journey to safety and a happy ending are far from easy. As their pasts meet up with the present, both Kit and Trace discover that life outside of the garrison may change everything between them.
I absolutely enjoyed this short ebook, and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good cabin romance or a heartfelt American historical. While it started a bit slow for me, once Trace began mending and his relationship with Kit started to build steam, the story just grabbed me. I love a good cabin romance too, and on that level this book delivered. The relationship between Kit and Trace was passionate – and at times steamy hot – but it was the tenderness between them that really stood out for me. I did feel the ending (at least the last few pages) may have been a bit rushed and the dialog a bit too sugary sweet, but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment.
I got this book as an ARC copy from Netgalley, but it is a book I would have paid for and read regardless as it is the kind of romance book I enjoy. ...more
3.5 stars. A cute campy western historical. Reminds me of those old 1950's comedy westerns with over the top action and some bad dialog, but still a f3.5 stars. A cute campy western historical. Reminds me of those old 1950's comedy westerns with over the top action and some bad dialog, but still a fun ride. ...more