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Once and Always

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  618 ratings  ·  145 reviews

Small town cop Sam West certainly doesn't mind a routine traffic stop: speeding ticket, stern warning, and sayonara. With a whopper of a blizzard closing in, that's all he has time for. But the lawbreaker he pulls over is anything but typical. From her mile-long legs to her razor-sharp wit, Maisa Bradley is like nothing Coot Lake, Minnesota, has
Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages
Published February 24th 2015 by Forever
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Average rating 3.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  618 ratings  ·  145 reviews

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Jan 15, 2015 rated it really liked it

Maisa (May) Burnsey and cop, Sam West have known each other two years, since he first caught her speeding. May occasionally pulls into town to visit her uncle George...the uncle with the shady past, knuckle tattoos and Georgian accent.

Throw together a Russian mobster's accountant on the run with his boss's stolen pink diamonds, the mobster and his goons in pursuit, a small town full of eccentric, gun-toting citizens protective of their own and their town, and a mix-up with suitcases, and you've
Extremely disappointing!

I hated the heroine, Maisa. She was stupid!! Her never-ending stubbornness and idiocy drove me crazy over and over again. I would have felt differently toward this book if she hadn't existed in this story. Gosh, I don't even know why I bothered trying to finish it, probably because it was Elizabeth Hoyt's book... I kept lying telling myself while reading this story that it was going to get better, something good would happen, just held on a little longer... Alas, it never
Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a finished copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Clara Diaz and Little Brown Book Group.)

“Then he was striding towards his truck, tall and broad shouldered and brave and every woman’s dream.
No. That wasn’t right. Her dream. Maisa’s dream.
She was so f*cking screwed.”

This was a nice contemporary romance, and I liked the ending.

I felt quite sorry for Maisa, it couldn’t have been easy for her growing up knowing that her family was part of the mafia,
Arc provided by Forever (Grand Central Publishing) through Netgalley
Release Date: February 24 th

This was basically an okay read...
The beginning was great in a, "I don't ever want to stop reading it" that kind of great.

Great chemistry between the two leading characters, plus a great number of secondary characters led me to expect a different kind of story: one that I would have devoured in one sitting.

Unfortunately after a strange and silly situation of exchanged luggages, Sam and May f
Jan 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-releases
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Once and Always by Julia Harper
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley

***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers***

Summary (from Goodreads):


Small town cop Sam West certainly doesn't mind a routine traffic stop: speeding ticket, stern warning, and sayonara. With a whopper of a blizzard closing in, that's all he has time for. But the lawbreak
Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
Dec 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: december-2020
This book started off really cute, intense, and lovely but it quickly fizzled out with the complicated and unbelievable plot that she's linked to the mafia. I got super confused at the audiobook and didn't enjoy it as much. Romantic suspense don't mesh well with me I guess. ...more
Feb 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary
I'm a big fan of Elizabeth Hoyt's historical Maiden Lane series so when I heard she was starting a new contemporary series under the name Julia Harper, I perked up. Unfortunately, I want to go back to Maiden Lane and leave the town of Coot Lake, Minnesota. I love a big snow storm in a romance book. It makes me feel cozy and there is always a cabin involved where the hero and heroine can get warm and naked. However, in this book, Sam and Maisa have the Russian mafia chasing them the entire time, ...more
Karia’s thoughts…
A new title is needed…more like “Running Home” or even “Chase” or “The Chase” and the classic “Catch Me”

Maisa (I didn’t like her name and I didn’t like May either…Dyadya called her Mesha mine…that I loved!) is prickly, stubborn and hopeless in lust with Sam. One hot night last year was all it took to have Sam chasing her…and her leading the chase.

Sam is a broken soldier, who has picked up the pieces of his life and become a small town deputy. One look at the gorgeous niece of on
Once and Always
4.5 Stars

As the grand-niece of a former Russian mobster, Maisa Burnsey is convinced that any future with small town cop Sam West is off the cards despite the intense night they shared. Sam is just as sure that he has no intention of allowing Maisa to get away. May and Sam's non-relationship comes to a head when a group of violent criminals arrive in town in search of their stolen diamonds, which just happen to be in May's possession...

This is my first contemporary romance written

As a long time fan of Elizabeth Hoyt’s Historical Romances, it thrilled me to learn that she would be revisiting her previous work as Julia Harper and rereleasing her older contemporaries.

Maisa met her unforgettable one night stand again in the form of a sexy cop Sam West. That night with him is one she’d likely wish to forget because as much as she enjoyed it at the time, the last thing she needs is a relationship. Sam and Maisa’s banter infuses charm into this book. However, Maisa starts
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fv, hoyt
Maisa and Sam
2.5 stars

This was like a siege at the Coot Lake corral. Totally unbelievable and silly. Full review to come on Fiction Vixen Book Reviews
Rachel- Goodbye Borders
May 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2020
This was a fun read. Maisa had a habit of speeding when she's driving through Coot Lake MN to visit her uncle. Sam is the one who always pulls her over. This worked because Sam and Maisa had a bit of a prior relationship before the book started. This doesn't rate higher because there were a few continuity errors, Maisa takes some time to warm up to (and she had a TSTL moment). The secondary characters were hilarious too.
I read this for Romance-opoly Lady Lane moon track square.
Sep 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars. I hope that EH continues to write contemporary, because she had a real talent for it.
Originally Reviewed For: Bodice Rippers, Femme Fatales and Fantasy

So I saw Once and Always on Netgalley and thought.. Oh a modern romance by Elizabeth Hoyt (writing as Julia Harper) that should be sweet.. What was I thinking? Hello? Elizabeth Hoyt can't write a sweet regency romance. She writes dark and dangerous.. so her contemporary?? Yeah not so sweet.. But oh what a ride!

Maisa is just your tipical American girl. Raised in Minnesota, got her college degree, has her own business.. pretty norm
Heather andrews
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I knew from page one that I was going to like Maisa or 'May' as Sam calls her for her smart whit and humor, "he stopped by her car door, his pelvis framed by her window exactly at eye level, as if he was showing off the bulge of his package. Not that she was looking." The chemistry between Sam and May is undeniable and the humor that comes with their interactions is well funny:
"Too bad," he whispered, his hips brushing against hers. "I'd like to see more of you."
"What for? Sex?"
For some reas
Heather andrews
Mar 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I knew from page one that I was going to like Maisa or 'May' as Sam calls her for her smart whit and humor, "he stopped by her car door, his pelvis framed by her window exactly at eye level, as if he was showing off the bulge of his package. Not that she was looking." The chemistry between Sam and May is undeniable and the humor that comes with their interactions is well funny:
"Too bad," he whispered, his hips brushing against hers. "I'd like to see more of you."
"What for? Sex?"
For some reas
Mar 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Personally i do not relish heroines of stories that are stubborn, overly prickly and contary in nature. But i guess she is the perfect foil to the goody-goody yet macho hero in this story. The "i want to but i don't want to" gets a bit annoying. The dilemma in this story is very much the indecisiveness of the heroine as to how she feels towards the hero. The fight between the good guys and the mafiyas were more like a side show.

Enjoyed the previous book more.

Aug 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance
This one got off to a great, playful start and plummeted quickly. Hoyt's trademark in contemporaries is love at first sight (or sound of voice) tossed with a lot of quirk, but this time it all felt contrived and cliche. ...more
Lissy Liz
Dec 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Sam's and Maisa's story is full of action.
Some of the characters had me laughing!!!
Apr 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I mostly liked this book, but it wasn't what I expected and kept changing.

Our hero, Sam West, is a small town cop. In the first scene, he pulls over our heroine, Maisa (May) Bradley on her way to visit her uncle, George, for speeding. Immediately, I'm thinking this is a standard, cozy contemporary because as TropeHeroine would say, "I'm wild and free which is why I always drive too fast. I can't be tamed, except by the gorgeous cop who pulls me over for speeding in the same spot every time!" Sor
Feb 19, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
It is my first book by this author. Julia Harper is probably better known as Elizabeth Hoyt, who writes historical romances, but as I haven't read any of her books, I didn't know what to expect from her writing. Nevertheless, the premise was absolutely promising and hilarious, I mean, who doesn't like romance, handsome police officers and a little Russian mobster thrown to the mix! How could I resist such a story?

Well, I couldn't, and quickly found myself deep into the novel.

Sam is head over h
My review cross-posted from Wit and Sin:

A sexy, determined deputy who’s head over heels in love with a gun-shy dress designer – how could I resist? Author Julia Harper drew me in from the start with Sam and Maisa and I was ready for a fun ride. The two of them have a history, one I wish we’d seen in flashbacks because it serves as a solid foundation for their love story. Maisa, whose family isn’t all on the up-and-up, has abandonment issues thanks to her
SOS Aloha
Nov 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. - Thomas A. Edison

Deputy Sam West keeps trying one more time to win over Maisa Bradley. Each time she visits her uncle in Coot Lake, Minnesota, he pulls her over. Sam tries to charm her and even remind her of the passion they shared one hot summer night ... but Maisa keeps her distance. She's content with her budding custom dress business in St. Paul ... and she knows they would mix like oil and water. Her uncle is a retired Ru
Mar 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a real surprise to me. I like Hoyt, she's a great, detailed writer. But I have never been able to finish one of her historical romances. They often strike me as dense, requiring my full concentration and sometimes a tad dry to start off with. So I somehow always trail off into another author's book before getting very far past chapter two. I keep getting her books though because I know they are great stories, I'm just never in the staid mood to get to the meaty part of the tale. This mo ...more
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: pre-pub
ARC courtesy of Edelweiss

I requested Elizabeth Hoyt's contemporary title for a couple of reasons. First, she set it in western Minnesota, and being a Minnesotan I wished to see how well she did with her characters and place and two, the plot hinged on the unlikely appearance of Russian mafia in western Minnesota. In the first respect, Hoyt did quite well. She properly used the local lingo (hotdish, the 'U'), acknowledged the sexiness of long underwear and made her local characters seem like real
I enjoyed reading this book, but I think I would have liked it better if it were billed as romantic suspense. I was expecting contemporary romance, so I was real surprised when the Russian mob showed up and was all villainous. The setting and secondary characters absolutely shine, providing some lighter moments to balance the angst of the romance and all that suspense. I definitely wanted more from the romance itself. (It was a tad episodic, and there was much of the romance's development relied ...more
Nov 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
This one was not as fun for me as her other two. The mafia angle was kind of weird, and a LOT of people (granted, bad guys only) died in a really cavalier way. Also lots of graphic sex once they got together. So I think it was just more over the top sex and violence than I expected, instead of just straight vanilla romance. I did enjoy some of the side stories and the sled dogs were a lot of fun.
Michelle the Romance Witch
3 stars... very strange story, with odd characters, slightly unbelievable plot lines and some weird dialogue, not to mention the romance was kinda weird. overall not my favorite Hoyt project, but a cute contemporary romance for easy reading. full review to hit my blog soon
Aug 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book! The action was great (and I rarely read shoot-em-up novels), the characters were well drawn, (aka not perfect) and the love scenes were h.o.t.

I'm off to find another Harper novel :)
Oct 10, 2014 marked it as to-read
Elizabeth Hoyt doing small town contemporaries? Uhhhh, HELL YES!
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Julia Harper is a pseudonym of Elizabeth Hoyt.

The author of the New York Times bestselling Maiden Lane series and the Legend of the Four Soldiers series as well as the Princes trilogy, Elizabeth Hoyt writes "mesmerizing" (Publishers Weekly) historical romances. She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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