3.5 StarsRight now... Though a YA, it was lacking the heart-pounding romance I have come to expect from this author. The overall story line was intens3.5 StarsRight now... Though a YA, it was lacking the heart-pounding romance I have come to expect from this author. The overall story line was intense and well-done. ...more
This was my first read from Cristin Harber and I was impressed! I accidentally picked this book up thinking it was the first in the Titan series and fThis was my first read from Cristin Harber and I was impressed! I accidentally picked this book up thinking it was the first in the Titan series and found out after I started reading that it was a prequel to Garrison's Creed. Reading out of order in no way affected the story as this really has nothing to do with Titan yet. Nicola, the heroine of the story, was a wee bit aggravating at first with her inability to communicate her feelings out loud. Just when she overcame that hurdle though shit hit the fan! Cash was great, besides the tag team twins, I really liked his character and empathized with him. All in all , this was a sweet story that I really loved and I can't wait to see where Garrison's Creed leads - the continuation of Cash and Nicola's story. ...more
After reading Sweet Girl, the prequel to Garrison's Creed, I was exciting to pick up the first Titan book. I really enjoyed Colby and Mia's story butAfter reading Sweet Girl, the prequel to Garrison's Creed, I was exciting to pick up the first Titan book. I really enjoyed Colby and Mia's story but it did seem a bit disjointed at times. I would be reading and then have to pause for a minute to figure out how the characters got to where they were all of a sudden. There was plenty of tension, non-stop action, and sizzling heat in the book, and I was on the edge of my seat for most of the story. I would have appreciated a little more background information on the Titan group and Winters himself but all in all, this was a good read and I can't wait to read Cash's story next! ...more
4.5 Stars Rosanne Bittner's Outlaw Hearts is set in the old west and you won't find a more complete and satisfying story out there right now!
A true ro4.5 Stars Rosanne Bittner's Outlaw Hearts is set in the old west and you won't find a more complete and satisfying story out there right now!
A true romance that spans about twenty five years, Outlaw Hearts follows Jake Harkner and Miranda Hayes, as they navigate the perils of traveling through the old west of the 1800's. Randy Hayes is making her way across the Oregon Trail to Nevada after the death of her husband and father, in search of her long-lost brother. Despite the rumblings of others, she has no apprehensions about setting out on her own to make a new start. The last thing she expected when coming to town for supplies was to get between a shoot-out, but when she runs across the notorious outlaw Jake Harkner passion ignites and the dust flies! Together, these two unlikely companions set out on a journey that changes their lives. From zealots to bank-robbers, murderers, and friends turned foes, their road is hampered with hurdles, but the biggest obstacles are the ones they find within. Can Randy teach this lonely gunslinger that he is more then the sum of his past and worthy of love? Or will Jake's past catch up with him first?
Rife with passion and peril, heartache and adventure, Outlaw Hearts was a touching tale that I fell in love with. If you loved the passion-filled romances of the nineties, with their detailed story building, innovative plots, and vivid characters, then you'll want to pick up this re-issue today.
Jake and Randy's path to a happily-ever-after is full of twists and turns that was incredibly moving. I mentioned that this was a filling tale, beginning when Randy is barely out of her teens and ending while in her forties. The author delivers a plenary story that revolves around these two characters; a blossoming romance, finding your soul-mate, starting anew, beginning a family in these perilous times, escaping a regretful but unavoidable past, just to do it all over again when that past catches up with them. Now, that may sound repetitive to some, but I found it to be strengthening to Randy and Jake's love. Speaking of Randy, our heroine of the story, I haven't read about such an independent and strong woman in a long time. I think that is the draw to romances set in this time period. Woman had to be strong and full of heart to survive and Randy is an exemplary example of this. She never gave up on Jake or the love they shared, she never gave up on the man she knew he could be, and she never gave up on the family and home they found together. No matter how many people and circumstances tried to tear them apart. She was a heroine to admire. Her love and loyalty was the reason Jake turned his life around and survived, and it is also one of the reasons he was so endearing as a hero. Jake and Randy were perfect together. If you are a long-time reader of this blog you know how rare it is that I glorify a heroine over a hero! ☺Jake, though he was stubborn and unable to find the goodness in himself, was an honorable leading man. He is the dark and quiet type that you find yourself itching to get into his head just to find out what he is thinking. Luckily, thanks to books, we can!
This was my first time reading a book from Rosanne Bittner but I found the writing to be captivating and the plot well-paced, with stirring world-building. Some of the outcomes with the character's choices were predictable but I think that was the author's intent. It just made me that more anxious to find out how that situation would be revealed and the effect it would have on the story and it's characters. The ending was also a little abrupt for such an in-depth story but I loved it non-the-less. I also just found out that there will be a sequel coming next month, Do Not Forsake Me, so perhaps that is the reason. Either way, I look forward to reading that book. Bottom line; Outlaw Hearts was a heart-breaking, toe-curling, action-packed story that stuck with me and I would recommend it to all romance readers who enjoy a comprehensive jaunt into the old west. Happy reading! ...more
Lexi: This month’s wine club pick introduced a new author for me, I love that! Ashley surprised me with her abiWine Club Review from Crystal and Lexi:
Lexi: This month’s wine club pick introduced a new author for me, I love that! Ashley surprised me with her ability to paint a vivid picture with her words. From the opening chapter of Vicious Cycle I was pulled into this dark world of violence and strong characters. Regardless of what anyone thinks of the plot and characters there is no denying Katie Ashley can write. What was your first impression, Crystal?
Crystal: This was my first read from author, Katie Ashley, as well. I've heard wonderful things about her writing and was excited to finally pick up a book from her. Vicious Cycle was well written, with a centralized plot that moved at a steady pace, characters that grew throughout the story, and a voice that drew me in to the character's surroundings. Whether I liked the plot or characters themselves...well, we'll get to that soon.
Lexi: Reading Vicious Cycle I felt like I had stepped into an episode of Sons of Anarchy, which I loved. So the violence and misogyny didn’t surprise me, but it did make it difficult to like the MC Deacon. He is everything a leader of a motorcycle gang should be, protective of those who are his, smart, and tough as nails. Did you struggle connecting with Deacon too or did he hit a sweet spot?
Crystal: When you step into the MC world you should definitely expect violence and mayhem, besides the alpha sexiness of MC men with their hot bikes, this is why we read it. Deacon Malloy easily fit the bill but he almost fit it too well for being the story's hero. The anger, violence, and childish stubbornness was a little over the top for a grown man which made him difficult to like. Especially when it came to his attitude towards his young daughter, Willow. Which immediately put me off him.
Lexi: The character that I connected with was Willow, another surprise because I typically don’t enjoy having children in the romances I read. Willow really stuck with me from that first chapter. I think with a slightly different twist the story could have been told from her point of view but that would have changed it from romance into more of a commercial thriller. What’s your take on Willow in Vicious Cycle, Crystal?
Crystal: When I first started reading, I actually thought that this might turn into Willow's story. Several years following the first chapter, of course. I think I might have enjoyed that more. Willow definitely made the story for me though. She brought forth the trust, the emotion, and the character connection that I found lacking in the rest of the book.
Lexi: Despite all the violence and having the core of the story revolving around a child this story is a romance. Deacon and Alex were hot together, no complaints there. But beyond their sexy times I had a hard time accepting these two MC’s relationship and not envisioning an emotional blowup a few years down the road. Which would then lead me to thinking, what about Willow?! Were the hot scenes enough for you?
Crystal: Deacon and Alex had chemistry from the get-go, no matter how much they tried to deny it. My opinion of the characters did a total 180 though as their romance progressed. I really liked Alex's character at the beginning of the book. She was strong, independent, sweet and fought tooth and nail for Willow and what was best for her. But as she fell deeper and deeper into Deacon and the MC life the story and Alex's actions became pretty unbelievable and overblown. By the end of the book I no longer liked her. Deacon, as I mentioned above started the story as a complete @$$. But as the plot progressed he grew on me. Yes, he still had a nasty attitude, but it was understandable in that world. You expect these type of men to be gruff. And by the end his affection for his daughter was super sweet. But all in all, no, the chemistry wasn't enough for me. I need something more tangible between them then just a few hot sex scenes.
Lexi: I don’t expect that I will continue with this series even though I liked Rev and was curious about his love story. I am very interested to check out some of Ashley’s backlist and explore her writing. Anyone out there have a good recommendation on which one to start with? And what about you, Crystal, are you going to keep up with the Vicious Cycle series to the gritty end?
Crystal: Unfortunately, I feel that Ashley missed the mark with this series and have no interest in reading further into it. Rev did seem like a sweet character, but then again, Alex seemed sweet at first too. I'd rather bow out now and keep my current opinion of him. ☺
I do have the first book in Ashley's Runaway Train series, Music of the Heart, on my shelf and look forward to reading it.
Lexi: Thanks for stopping by to share another wine club selection with us! Cheers to a summer full of books!
Katee Robert's has a new series out with Forever Romance and if the first book is any indication, you are not going to want to miss a second of it!
FoKatee Robert's has a new series out with Forever Romance and if the first book is any indication, you are not going to want to miss a second of it!
Following the death of her brother, Callista Sheridan is now the Sheridan heir, and she has big plans to make the family, and it's many business, legit. When an arrange marriage ends in murder though, Callie will do anything she can to prevent the coming war - even if that means marrying a brutish O'Malley. Teague O'Malley doesn't like his last name and the reputation that comes with it any better then Callie. When he meets his beautiful fiance though, he is grateful for it for the first time in his life. Only together can they stop the coming massacre, but Callie is hiding a secret that not only threatens their growing bond, but their lives as well.
The Marriage Contract was a captivating story from beginning to end set in the seedy world of the Boston mafia and centering around three powerful families. The story itself was vastly different then what I was expecting after reading the book's synopsis and I couldn't have enjoyed it more. Katee Robert painted a vivid picture of the dark underworld that surrounds Boston's mob families, easily pulling me into the violence and corruption. The plot was brimming with secrets, passion and danger!
I fell in love with these characters right away. Teague was not only sexy but strong, protective, and selfless when it came to those he loves. I empathized with his need to keep his siblings safe and away from the violence of his father's making, and the despair he felt when that wasn't possible. Callie was a strong leading lady whose actions endeared me to her more with each page. Robert's created a perfect balance between romance and suspense. I couldn't help but root for Callie and Tegue while frantically turning the pages to find out what would happen next! There were some gut-wrenching moments in the story that had me on the brink of tears, as well as many tender scenes and sizzling ones as well. I am definitely looking forward to the next story in this heart-pounding series!
Ever since I first discovered Rachel Van Dyken I have been itching to get my hands on more well-written mafia romances and Katee Robert's The Marriage Contract fit that bill to a T! A must-read for contemporary romance fans who like an edge of danger and suspense in their stories. ...more