Review: Fortune’s Hero (Soldiers of Fortune, Book 1) by Jenna Bennett

Fortune's HeroReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Quinn Conlan is attached to a very creepy machine. You can see right away that he is a soldier. Automatically, I thought of Han Solo of “Star Wars” fame. Elsa Brandeis works for the enemy but is she as bad-ass as Quinn thinks she is? Elsa does not remind me of any “Star Wars” character but she is an interesting choice for Quinn.

I grew up in the age of the original “Star Trek” series and the first “Star Wars” series. Just a few paragraphs in, and I was reliving the shows/movies that I loved growing up. Then I had to think that this would fit in perfectly and I could see this as a movie. I would pay to watch this or at the very least see it on the Sci Fi Channel.

This book was listed on Amazon as romantic suspense. I get the suspense part – especially at the end – but I don’t think romance was a major part of Jenna’s story. I found it more of a science fiction action adventure. The action, not the romance, is what held my attention throughout as each chapter went by – and that is not a bad thing.

Jenna shows her readers that sometimes we may not like one another but that if something needs to be accomplished it is going to take team work. When it comes to survival, egos and attitudes have no place in this type of situation – it’s a waste of energy.

For those of you looking for the romance, you will get your sex fix – just relax and enjoy the adventure. Jenna gives you the sex but at just the right time. A good author will not rush it but puts it in just the right spot. She also reminds you how people change when confined for any length of time.

I have two words for the ending – What? No!! I was not expecting it but what a great way to have the reader wanting to read book 2. The next title in this series is titled Fortune’s Honor. But if you go to Jenna’s web site, http://jennabennett.com/Home_Page.html, she doesn’t give you any hints as to what she has in store next for readers. I can’t even tell you when it will be coming out. In the meantime, you can’t go wrong in adding this book to your shelf.

[Rating:4]

Buy: Fortune’s Hero (Soldiers of Fortune)

Review: My Kind of Christmas (Virgin River, Book 20) by Robyn Carr

robyn carr my kind of christmasReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Angela LaCroix is celebrating Thanksgiving dinner with her family. And they’re arguing over what’s good for her. The following day finds her in Virgin River. She’s come to stay with family for a while. At the mini family reunion, she “meets” Patrick Riordan. Paddy is also visiting Virgin River. Just like Angie, he has issues he’s trying to deal with.

Angie gives us a look into her background. You almost have to feel sorry for her – reminds me of what gifted children, or childhood protégées, have to go through. Their aspirations are so much different from most people. Plus having to deal with the expectations of your parents – makes me glad I grew up “normal”.

I love how in every book of the Virgin River Series that I read, I feel as if I’m part of the town. It’s a place that makes everyone feel welcome. It also makes me remember my days growing up and visiting my Aunt and Uncle up in the town of Bethel Maine.

http://www.bethelmaine.com/index.php?page=country-christmas-in-bethel

I never got to enjoy the town around the holidays but I can just imagine that it would be similar to Virgin River. Another town that reminds me of Robyn’s town is a town not too far from where I live. It’s called Stockbridge. They had a famous resident and his name was Norman Rockwell. I’m sure that he would have loved to have visited Virgin River.

http://www.stockbridgechamber.org/christmas.html

These towns, like Virgin River, would not be commercialized – not like a big city like New York. They are quaint towns with an almost old fashioned feel to them. Those are the types of places that I would love to visit around the holidays.

Angie and Paddy remind the reader that our life is not set in stone. There are stops, curves, and things that come along and change our path. But do you follow that new path or do you ignore it and feel like that isn’t for you?

I love the way Robyn writes about the Riordan family – how much they all care about each other. Made me wish I had a family like that. You will also love the scene where the mothers came to town – one word, priceless! Robyn could have made it a time to be serious – parents ya know. But instead it’s more of a comic relief. But being mothers, they are also very wise.

This story may give you the idea of going back through the series and visit, or revisit, some of Robyn’s other characters. You can do that starting in January. Robyn is going to start doing reissues. She’s going to start with the first book titled most appropriately Virgin River. We all know how hectic the holiday season can be so if you’re looking for a read that will get you into the spirit but not take a lot out of your busy schedule this is a book that will fill the bill. I also can’t wait to start catching up on books from the series that I haven’t read yet. Happy Holidays everyone!

[Rating:4.5]

Buy: My Kind of Christmas (A Virgin River Novel)

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Audio Review: Animal Magnetism (Animal Magnetism Series, Book 1) by Jill Shalvis

animal magnetism jill shavisReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Read by Karen White

Brady Miller is at a 7-Eleven getting breakfast and a coffee. The clerk sounds like a typical young lady who has other things she wants to do than to work behind a counter. It’s a Saturday in June in Idaho. Brady is a pilot for hire and he’s on his way through Sunshine. He’s there to do a favor for Dell and Adam.

Lilah Young rear-ended Brady’s truck. She’s the owner of a Kennel. In the jeep with her are two puppies, one mallard, and a potbelly piglet. One funny thing about audiobooks is when the reader makes animal sounds. I haven’t heard an audiobook in a long time and would have thought that audiobooks would have evolved by now.

Brady’s concerned about Lilah after the accident and it was funny to hear Karen let us know that Abigail, the duck, is trying to escape. One good thing about the accident is that Lilah has found things that were previously lost. Since her jeep is incapacitated, Brady is giving them all a ride. She admits that her secret love of chocolate – a lady after my own heart.

I found as I listen to Karen read that it made me very relaxed. Which can be a good thing – you can sit back and just imagine everything that she’s reading. And a bad thing – I kept falling asleep. No offense to Karen but I just wasn’t impressed with her reading this book. As I stated before, after all this time I would think that audiobooks would have evolved. She didn’t do anything for me while reading the male parts.

Brady and Lilah’s connection happens quickly. He takes her home and the kissing has already started. This is nice for our couple but in listening to Karen read, I just didn’t really feel the connection. I would have loved to have this been a “duet” – Karen reads the female part and an actor reads the male part. A woman just doesn’t have the voice to read the deep parts that a male can. There is swearing that goes on in this story as well. When a woman reads it, it’s just not the same.

My favorite quote is when Lilah describes Brady, Dell, and Adam. She calls them “Three magnificent peas in a pod”. Jill also has me wanting to know more about the receptionist Jade. I was glad to find out that Jade’s story is book two in the “Animal Magnetism” series. Jade’s book is called “Animal Attraction” and it came out in October.

I could go on and on about this audiobook but I don’t want to spoil your listening experience. I personally, would prefer to read the book. It was just too hard for me to picture Brady, Dell, or Adam with Karen speaking the part. An upside to this experience was that I enjoyed it a lot more when I was at the beach. So, if you’re going to the beach this summer this may be an option for you.

This audiobook has nine disks and it is 10.5 hours long. Because of my problem of constantly falling asleep, I limited myself to listening to only two disks a day. I’m not giving up on audiobooks, I will give another one a try. As far as Jill’s series go, I want to finish reading this series. My rating was for the audiobook and not the book itself. At some point I will go back and read the book.

[Rating:3.5]

Buy: Animal Magnetism

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Review: The Legend of Lady MacLaoch by Becky Banks

The Legend of Lady MacLaochReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

This story was written in the first person.

The action starts right from chapter one. Rowan is a fighter pilot whose luck has run out. Then it jumps to the present. Cole, Nicole Ransome Baker, is our narrator. She’s home from college to attend a family member’s funeral. She then starts to think about the family’s heritage.

How many of you have ever wondered about your ancestors? Have you looked at your family tree? Have you ever wanted to trace your roots back as far as they could go? Have you ever traveled to find out the answers?

Cole has arrived in Glentree Scotland to get some answers. There she meets some very interesting characters. Becky paints quite the picture – makes me want to travel to Scotland to see what I would find. But in a way the author is a travel agent – their story telling takes us to places that we may never visit except in our mind.

Cole’s on a walk to find Castle Laoch and whom should she come upon but Rowan. And it’s certainly a memorable meeting. They are both a force to be reckoned with. Becky has me hooked into the story and wondering what will happen between Rowan and Cole. I couldn’t put the book down – I kept saying “one more page” and then “one more chapter”.

Rowan seems to be a man with issues – can Cole help with those? There’s one scene where Rowan asks Cole to accompany him to the gardens. I could almost picture a different era and him all decked out in his kilt. There’s also a clan gala – I somehow missed my invitation in the mail.

In my area of the country, we have the Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival (http://www.glasgowlands.org/info.html). This is their 19th year and it will be held in Florence, Massachusetts. If you are in my neck of the woods on Saturday, July 21 you may want to check out the festival. I just may make it there myself this year.

I would love to see this book made into a movie so that I could see the book play out before my eyes. Rowan is the perfect hero – he’s a strong man that protects the woman character. I also love that Becky hasn’t filled the book with lots of sex.

There is sex in the book but it’s done at a point in time where our couple realizes what they mean to each other. I think if she had more than she did, it would have ruined the story for me. We also get to see how crazy some people will become when they think a family curse is involved.

If you love this book as much as I did, you will want to keep your eyes open for Becky’s newest book, “Forced”, it will be coming out this summer. She also spices up her story with a little mystery and intrigue which just makes it that much harder to put the book down.

[Rating:4.5]

Buy: The Legend of Lady MacLaoch

Review: Redwood Bend by Robyn Carr

Reviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Redwood Bend is book 18 of the “Virgin River” series.

Katie Malone is seen leaving her Vermont home with a set of 5-year-old twins, Andy and Mitch. She’s packing them up and moving to California. She’ll be moving closer to her brother Conner. You will find Conner’s story in Book 17 of the “Virgin River” series (Hidden Summit). Her husband passed away fighting in Afghanistan.

Katie has decided to take the boys on a little vacation down to Florida before traveling to Virgin River. When she’s just outside the town, her car ends up with a flat. She then hears a rumble and what comes up behind her but four guys on motorcycles. One of the guys, Dylan, really revs her engines. I think if it weren’t raining at the time, Dylan would know that she was drooling. This is one time when you wish you had a picture.

Dylan Childress has come to Virgin River, with his four friends, to enjoy some time together. They certainly don’t expect to see a damsel in distress as they’re on the road to Virgin River. Dylan needs some down time. He, and his partner, own and operate a charter air service.

Katie, and the boys, are starting to settle in. She gets to meet Conner’s financee, Leslie. They seem to hit it off right away. Also, Katie has her own place to stay – a nice little cottage that is surrounded by nature. She’s seen sitting out on her porch, enjoying the scenery, when Dylan pulls up on his motorcycle – don’t you just love a man on a motorcycle! It was a very interesting visit.

Fate seems to be pushing the two of them together because they seem to keep meeting. At one point Dylan ask Katie and her boys out – does he realize what he’s getting himself into? And once you read the scene, you will have it admit it was pretty funny.

Dylan has been trying to go a little further in the relationship but Katie’s not ready. Of course he acts just like a little kid who doesn’t get his own way. We all have to make decisions but Katie is questioning hers. The jury’s still out for Conner but of course he’s playing big brother.

Dylan’s business is feeling the pressure of the current economy. While he’s trying to find ways to bolster his business, his family members start coming out of the woodwork. They’re hoping to ride on his coattails.

Because of Dylan’s business problems, he’s had to leave. While Dylan is gone, Katie’s in Jack’s bar and meets Tom Cavanaugh. You’ll definitely want to see who shows up. And Dylan doesn’t seem to be happy about Katie knowing Tom – can we say territorial?

While Dylan was gone, Katie gets a surprise and when he returns she finally shares that surprise with him. It’s left him with some serious thinking to do. Conner goes from being big brother to father and they both act like they’re back in high school. Over time, they finally put their differences aside and try to get along.

One thing I love so far about Robyn’s “Virgin River” series is that the characters from the book before don’t overtake the current book – they just blend right in. You don’t have to read each book in order to understand the series. It’s like reading about family.
You get to love the characters and the town and you just can’t wait until the next book comes out. But if you’re a fan, like I am, at some point you’ll go back and catch up on the books you missed. Robyn’s next book “Sunrise Point” (Tom’s story) will be out in April.

Verdict: This is a book that you’ll not want to put down until you finish it. You are going to want to go out and get this book or at least put it at the top of your TBR list. Robyn does not disappoint her fans. And since the next book comes out in a couple of months you have some time to read so that you’ll be ready to read about Tom.

[Rating:4.5]

Buy: Redwood Bend (Virgin River)

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