4.5* 'Wow, this book ended on a high note! Whew!' Stars
ETA: Update - New release date moved up to May 2014
WITHIN TEMPTATION is a solid, well-plotted,...more 4.5* 'Wow, this book ended on a high note! Whew!' Stars
ETA: Update - New release date moved up to May 2014
WITHIN TEMPTATION is a solid, well-plotted, and sexy romance suspense set in Temptation, West Virginia. And it is a DEBUT novel, which seriously blows me away! I have read many veteran authors in this genre who never came close to the writing quality and plot-building of Tanya Holmes. She uses alternating first-person POV of both the hero and heroine, so we get to see the story and romance unfold in real-time from their perspective. I am used to seeing this writing style in new-adult romances, but this is the first time I've seen it in romance-suspense. And it worked great.
The Crime The story circles around the 12-year old murder of Shannon's mother Lilith Bradford, and the release of Trace Dawson from prison. He was found guilty of the murder based on bogus evidence and circumstances that were carefully crafted to pin the murder on him. The town folks nicknamed him the Butcher Boy, and his return home is anything but warm and welcoming.
Shannon Bradford Shannon's testimony was key to convicting Trace of her mother's murder, but she now questions everything she claimed to have witnessed. She has many lost memories, and as some start to return things do not add up. She suspects foul play, and turns to Trace for help tracking down the truth. But is this rich and privileged woman on to something, or are the memories of her childhood crush on Trace just confusing her?
Trace Dawson Trace just wants to lie low and get his probation over with so he can leave this town, but the town folks are making it impossible. His employer and longtime friend Cholly is suffering a back-lash from hiring Trace, and the bane of his existence Shannon is insisting he help her find out the truth of what really happened twelve-years ago.
Trace and Shannon are from opposite worlds; she is from the rich and privileged, and he is from the poor and disadvantaged. They met as kids and formed a special bond of friendship. As different as their worlds were they shared many similarities -- including abusive parents. Now adults, their class difference is even more blaring, but their bond soon returns and it sparks a deep and passionate romance that defies all social expectations of them.
My Thoughts WITHIN TEMPTATION is a multi-layered suspense where nothing is as it seems. As one thing is uncovered more questions arise, a pace that continues until the final reveal which rocks the town. (view spoiler)[I loved how the mystery was done in layers, and how there was more than one person 'guilty' of this or that, yet not everyone understood the connections of what their part meant. Most suspense stories pin all the bad stuff on one person, but in this case 'guilt' was multi-layered based on the different contributions to the whole. That really brought my rating up! There is a 'bad guy', you just have to keep pealing back those layers. (hide spoiler)]
As you can tell, I really enjoyed this one! It started a bit slow and I had some early concerns, but as it picked up the pace I became glued. It really picks up at the halfway point, and the first half lacks much 'romance' or 'suspense'. That part of the book lays down much of the story that will build on the rest of the book.
The romance was sweet, steamy, passionate, and believable. Oh, I have no doubt that these two are going to live the best and most well deserved HEA, even despite the large social class differences between them. This is a definite 'must read' for romance suspense fans.
ARC provided by the author Tanya Holmes in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Tanya!
And thank you to Didi for this awesome book recommendation. I now owe you one. ;-)
Pure fantasy historical romance. This was a great mental escape book to simply fall in love, feel the passion and experience regency London in the 182...morePure fantasy historical romance. This was a great mental escape book to simply fall in love, feel the passion and experience regency London in the 1820s.
Haley finds Stephen wounded on the side of a road unconscious, shot and bleeding. Someone is trying to kill Stephen, so he hides out at Haley's home and pretents to be a tutor. Stephen is actually a wealthy marquess and heir to a dukedome. In the weeks spent recovering with Haley (who is head of the household at 26 due to her parents death) and her lively family and servants, Stephen discovers a side of himself he never knew: that he can care deeply for others. He learns to enjoy life via swimming, fishing and simple conversations. But life is not so simple, as he must return to his real life and face the killer. His deep desires for Haley sets his head spinning, and turns his life upside down.
This book has it all: great characters, a fun storyline, deep passion, and enough heat to satisfy those who like a spicy read. And best of all, I love what the book didn't have: there are no TSTLs or big misunderstandings, he is not a brooding sour alpha jerk (OK, he does have his moments, but nothing too aweful), and the ending was not rushed with a phony climatic conclusion. It was sweet, wonderful and romantic fun perfect for a mental escape break. (less)
AMAZING! Wow, I highly recommend this one, especially to fans of NA romances or anyone who just wants to read an emotionally deep and romantic story o...moreAMAZING! Wow, I highly recommend this one, especially to fans of NA romances or anyone who just wants to read an emotionally deep and romantic story of first love (not the insta-luv formula).
This was such an emotionally charged story told over a three year period. Brent and MacKenna first meet at a dude ranch in Montana and form an odd but solid friendship. At just under 18 years old, MacKenna is too young for Brent. He is 5 years older, and dismisses her schoolgirl crush. But the friendship they form means everything to him, as he has quite a bit to cope with at home.
The book takes readers on a three + year journey with these two, and OMG it just tugged at my heart! It blew me away, and I couldn't put it down. I loved watching them form a deep friendship that turned into a bone deep love. It broke my heart in places, and I cried a few times too. Oh, they were so deserving of their HEA!
I saw the book posted in a group I help moderate, and after reading the sample I bought the book as I couldn't put it down. Brent and MacKenna were such a great couple, the days on the ranch to their days apart because of school kept me glued to the book. What a fantastic love story of friends-to-lovers.
I am absolutely blown away that this is a debut book too. The writing is great, the editing solid, and the character development was unbelievable for a debut author. The steamy parts come late, but they were down right steamy too!
While they are young, this is very much an adult love story not a silly teenage love story. So I fully believed their HEA, which I normally don't in an NA book.
Loved it!! I can always count on a Molly Harper book to make me laugh, especially with her cheeky dialogue. I rarely read vampires and shape-shifter b...more Loved it!! I can always count on a Molly Harper book to make me laugh, especially with her cheeky dialogue. I rarely read vampires and shape-shifter books, but her books will always be among my exceptions.
Tina, aka Anna Moder, has been on the run from an abusive ex-husband for several years now, changing identities often. After she rescues Caleb from a attack, they end up on a road trip through Alaska. They both have a lot of secrets, as well as deep trust issues.
This was such a fun read! The road trip opened up a lot of fun scenarios, from strip bars to seedy motels. Caleb's efforts at hiding his 'werewolf' identity was pretty funny at times too. And it was my kind of sexy steamy. Loved Caleb!
It can be read as a stand-alone, but I would recommend starting from the beginning of this series. They are all super fun books, and there are some overlapping characters.
I listened to this one on audio, and the narrator was fantastic.
4.5! Wow, really enjoyed it. A kind of deja vu of 'Beautiful Disaster', but improved on all levels and without all the WTFery. Better writing, more li...more 4.5! Wow, really enjoyed it. A kind of deja vu of 'Beautiful Disaster', but improved on all levels and without all the WTFery. Better writing, more likable H/h, smarter story line, a hero who uses his fighting skills for good, and a far more fitting ending, IMHO.
Easy was such an emotionally deep story, realistic in nature, and had a wonderful steamy romance between a tortured hero who is obsessed/possessive over Jacqueline, and a heroine who must now come to terms with the choices she made.
Lucas was AWESOME. A hot tortured guy who was obsessed and possessive of Jacqueline, but in a way that never crosses the line. He defends and protects her from a violent sexual rapist on campus, and gives her reason to believe that her decision to attend the college that her now ex-boyfriend chose might not have been a bad decision after all. If you like a hero with some tats, a small lip piercing, and rides a motorcycle, you'll love Lucas.
After the altercation,Jacqueline finds herself drawn to Lucas. He is a student in her economics class, and oddly one of a few she truly trusts. Because she is so drawn to him, she lets her girlfriends convince her to play hard to get with him in hopes he could be a rebound man from her ex-boyfriend. Too bad he didn't take class very serious, he spends his time sketching images instead of listening and taking notes.
She soon finds herself a bit torn between Lucas and her online tutor Landon. Landon and her have never met, but he is smart, motivated and interesting. They exchange a ton of emails, and he becomes an invaluable resource and help so she doesn't flunk out of economics.
Campus Party Life
The author did a great job portraying the reality of college life. Partying, studying, flirting as well as the risks and how to protect oneself. As much as I didn't agree with Jacqueline's decision early in the story, I do realize (sadly) how common that is.
The story has quite a few twists and kept me fully engaged all the way through. While the subject matter is rather dark at times, it never gets bogged down with the drama. The main focus remains on Jacqueline and her building attraction and relationship with Lucas. The romance story was the best part, and it never goes overboard on angst and self inflicted drama, as BD was notorious for.
In a nutshell, this story really is about Jacqueline's journey after making her rash decision to follow her boyfriend(now ex) to his college. Wonderful things happen for her too, including meeting some great friends and the oh-so-hot Lucas. She was a very likable character, smart and deserving of good things. Her chemistry with Lucas felt real.
I rarely read YA, but this one is actually considered more adult in nature, and I agree. Think of this as a blend of YA with more adult material and some steamy sexual scenes mixed with some fade-to-black moments. The make out scenes get super steamy hot, but when it is more than that it will fade to black. The relationship is right for their age and maturity, too. I am so glad I took the chance on this one, I highly recommend it.
wow, what a great book this turned out to be! It's one of the few 'hyped' books I've read lately that really live up to the...more Awesome, awesome, awesome!
wow, what a great book this turned out to be! It's one of the few 'hyped' books I've read lately that really live up to the hype.
At first I really wasn't sure about it. The book description didn't sound like my cuppa, and in a way it wasn't, but the author really made this one work and made me a believer.
Seriously, don't shy away from this one! Yes, there is a whopping age difference between the H/h, with the heroine being the older of the two. 13 1/2 years actually, but by the time the romance happens they were both equal in all ways important: two fully grown adults living alone with the barest resources for their creature comfort and survival, and no longer believing in ever joining the real world again. Under those circumstances, the romance really worked.
The author never cheapens the romance either, it is of the heart and not meant to just titillate the reader. Nothing smutty or milf'y about it. Just an odd but beautiful love.
This story is a self published indie book, so yes it has some rough spots. But the author will quickly suck you into the story with her writing. This entire story is told from both the hero and heroine's POV. It switches off from her first-person accounts, to his first-person accounts, and back and forth. LOVED IT!!
There was so much to enjoy in this book. Great chemistry and characters, loved the survival aspect, and no sugar coating their dire situation. It made an emotional and gripping read. Oh boy did I cry in a few places too!
4.5 stars. A great chilling romantic suspense, and an author to watch.
Edge of Midnight is for romance fans who like their stories with a good dose of...more4.5 stars. A great chilling romantic suspense, and an author to watch.
Edge of Midnight is for romance fans who like their stories with a good dose of nail biting suspense, a strong emotionally charged romance between the H/h, and a great deal of attention to the details.
Crime reporter Mia Hale escaped the evil hands of a serial killer, but she has no memory of what happened. Special agent Eric Macfarlane with the FBI enlists her help to find the man that is kidnapping and torturing women before dumping their dead bodies.
This is the kind of story that just sucks you in as you try to figure out what happened to Mia, what will she remember, and how are they ever going to find enough clues to bring down the serial killer? Nail biting stuff! The story spends a lot of time piecing together the evidence as well as building a profile for the killer. We also learn that Eric has deep personal ties to the serial killer, and that Mia’s abduction may not have been random at all.
Edge of Midnight was a great balance of romance and suspense. Eric and Mia’s attraction and eventual relationship was well blended into the suspense part of the story. This is the best kind of romance suspense (IMHO). It is a multilayer story where more and more stuff gets revealed as we read on, has a believable romance with passion and steam, plus a great ending that wasn’t overly predictable. I read this one out of order, and had no problem what so ever. This is a great author, I can't wait to read what she writes next.