Review: Slow Hand (Hot Cowboy Nights, Book 1) by Victoria Vane

Slow Hand-300Reviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Nicole “Nikki” Powell has some regrets.  And with the way her story starts off you have to feel sorry for her.  And the author does a great job at showing all the emotions that Nikki is feeling.  Wade Knowlton has a soft heart but that doesn’t mean that he’s a pushover.  The author did a great job in showing how seductive or sweet he could be.  Their first real interaction will have you chuckling.  Our couple’s second conversation shows what a great read this is going to be.  You will have to read in order to find out who won the “tug of wills”.

This book is also a great incentive to check out Montana if you’ve never been.  Another suggestion would be to check out those vacations that you could spend your time on a working ranch.  But in both instances you will want to make sure to bring this book with you.  There is tons of steam heat and you can’t blame it on the humidity – just sayin’.  There’s graphic language and some graphic sex scenes so that you will need plenty of ice or a big fan handy.  It may even spice up your love life a little.

Some authors include a character that you just seem to hate – one step above a jerk.  This is one more incentive to grab your own copy of this great book – to learn more about Wade’s brother.  And this author goes one step further and includes a real bitch that has you hoping that she gets what she deserves.

Victoria will give you your HEA ending and this book will also get you ready for Rough Rider that comes out in February.  If I have one disappointment is that I wasn’t able to get to a ranch in order to set the tone while reading this book – but never say never.  And if you would like to read a Christmas novella starring our couple, Slowly Unwrapped can be found at Victoria’s web site.  (http://www.victoriavane.com/free-reads/).

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Slow Hand (Hot Cowboy Nights)

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Review: Rising Assets (Maverick Montana, Book 3) by Rebecca Zanetti

rising assestsReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

I was provided a copy of this book from the publisher and author in exchange for an honest review.
Colton Freeze is a good friend to Melanie Jacobs. Colton is very business minded and Melanie is one very busy lady. Who’s to say that men and women can’t be friends? But when you add a little something extra into the relationship, why not go for it!

This in not just a simple romance – there are parts that will tickle your funny bone. It makes for great visuals. It’s also interesting to watch good friends taking their relationship to the next level. But it’s not a smooth transition and at times it looks to be a little awkward.

Our author has also included some personal conflict and family issues that intervene. How these issues get resolved is what will have the reader turning the page. This is a contemporary story but if you love sexy cowboys then you will want to make sure to pick up a copy for your library.

Life and work sometimes gets in the way while you’re reading a book. In my case, it was very hard to find a place where I wanted to stop. This made it very hard getting to work on time or getting back to work after lunch. I think this book would be perfect on a cold and rainy day – you will want to cuddle in your favorite blanket with something that will heat your blood.

The one disappointment I had was that the ending came up too quickly – I just wasn’t ready for it. But isn’t that a good thing? This is what makes the reader want to continue reading this author’s work. It’s also incentive to go back and read the other two books, Against the Wall and Under the Covers, of this series. Plus it will get you ready if there is a fourth book in the series. This is a book that you can read by itself – didn’t find that you needed to read books one and two in order to understand Colton and Melanie’s story.

Buy: Rising Assets (Entangled Brazen)

Review: The Black Sheep’s Inheritance (Dynasties: The Lassiters, Book 1) by Maureen Child

black sheep's inheritanceHeroine: Colleen Falkner receives an unexpected legacy from her client J.D. Lassiter in his will. Three million dollars is more than enough to help her achieve her dreams and fulfill her mother’s too. Colleen wants to be a nurse practitioner for the remote mountain area in Wyoming around Cheyenne. The money will more than enable her to get her license, buy a cabin, and set up a practice. When Sage, J.D.’s son, appears to have an interest in her, she is flattered and excited. She feels like she knows him from all of the stories she’s heard.

Hero: Sage Lassiter wasn’t close with his adoptive father. In fact, the two were loggerheads most of the time they got together after an incident in college. So he’s not surprised when J.D. pulls something crazy in his will. What he is surprised about is that the person who was screwed-over wasn’t himself, but was his sister. The one person who might know about why J.D. did what he did would’ve been his private nurse. And, the woman, just got a three million dollar legacy, so clearly, she’s up to no good.

Review: I’m not sure who the black sheep is supposed to be in this story. I felt the inheritance most in question was the heroine’s (and the hero’s sister’s), but it was the hero who had conflict with his family. The story is adorable and I particularly enjoyed the scenes where Colleen and Sage go to look at houses and she nearly falls into the ravine… which leads to fun sexy times. I also loved how Sage pulled out all the stops to win her over again after making an ass of himself.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: The Black Sheep’s Inheritance (Dynasties: The Lassiters)

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Review: Mistletoe Cowboy by Carolyn Brown

MistletoeCowboyCVR.inddReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Elizabeth “Sage” Presley is driving in her van on a very nasty night. But she needs to get home, storm or not. Creed Riley bought a ranch in the middle of winter. Seems like a strange time of year to buy a ranch. Then he finds out that he has a couple of house guests. One happens to be a dog they name Noel. It’s a beautiful name for a dog that appears around Christmas.

I find it interesting that Carolyn has given Sage and Creed some things in common. But it does raise the question; will this bring them together or pull them apart? Will the holiday work some magic on the couple?

Sage is an artist and Carolyn had me wishing that she had some illustrations in this book. I would have loved to have seen some of Sage’s work. I will just have to use Carolyn’s words to paint the pictures in my mind.

There are several things in Carolyn’s book that I can connect with. One thing is that Sage’s grandmother, Ada, plays my favorite card game. It was a game that my grandparents taught me and it brings back great memories. If you like to play cards, you may have played it or like to learn.

Music plays a part in this book. I hope you will put on some holiday music as you read. If you are a country fan, there is some great country Christmas tunes out there. One song that you may wish to listen to is “Mary Did You Know”. My favorite rendition of this tune was by Kenny Rogers and Wynonna Judd. Another song that you may want to listen to is “On This Winter’s Night” by Lady Antebellum..

If you are looking for any holiday themed romance books, I hope you will add this to your list. It’s a very sweet story with some scenes that will heat things up. If you love animals, you will even get that fix here. If you have your own animals, and they love to cuddle with you, what better way then while you are reading Carolyn’s book. Happy Holidays!

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Mistletoe Cowboy

Review: Courting a Cowboy by Patricia McLinn

Courting a CowboyReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Sophie Vandercook works as an instructor at Mrs. Forestell’s Academy. She tells friends about having an absent husband and plans to convince them by trip to Wyoming. She’s actually using the trip to go visit her brother.

Nate Abbott has been corresponding with Sophie. But when she walks into the store he’s in, he doesn’t recognize her. Then eventually the light bulb clicks on for us, as we read their interaction. But something is amiss. The ranch hands will have you chuckling. They remind me of the male version of the ladies of River City from “The Music Man”.

The ranch hands think of Sophie as part of their family. How the ranch hands feel about Sophie is like how the lost boys felt about Wendy. And yet everything they know about Sophie, up until now, was based on letters that they received. But Sophie doesn’t realize what a flim-flam her brother was. The ranch hands respect her and don’t want to let her know the truth.

Nate seems to be a man that keeps his feelings close to the chest – makes me wonder if it was because of a woman. Sophie is as stubborn as they come. It will be interesting to see who wins this war.

I love the character named Doughy. I grew up watch Bonanza and thinking that Doughy would fit right in. He would be just like Hop Sing. My family watched the show religiously and I could picture Doughy cooking up a storm for the Cartwright family.

I love how Patricia describes the surrounding landscape. She’s like an artist putting bold colors on a canvas – but her canvas is paper. She also has a way with words. Sophie, at times, uses some pretty big words. I have to wonder if Patricia had to keep a dictionary or thesaurus handy. It also has me wondering if Sophie uses the big words so that people won’t get too close. I also get the impression that Patricia knows quite a bit about ranch life.

I fell in love with everyone at the OS. Sophie has a couple of women that she writes to at the Academy where she works. I wonder if Patricia will continue the adventures of the OS and have the story revolve around Alice. It will be interesting to see if she gets her own story.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Courting a Cowboy

Review + Giveaway: Big Sky Country (Parable, Book 1) by Linda Lael Miller

big sky countryHero: Divorced Sheriff Slade Barlow’s father is the richest rancher in Parable, Montana, but illegitimate Slade was never acknowledged… until his passing. Slade is claimed for the first time in John Carmody’s will and given half of the Whisper Creek Ranch. Hutch, his half-brother and the legitimate heir, is not thrilled. He is not inclined to share – the ranch or the girl.

Heroine: Joslyn Kirk used to live as a spoiled popular rich girl, until her stepfather cheated many in town of their life savings. After his death in prison, Joslyn returns to Parable hoping to make amends for his actions. She sells her software company and quietly pays back those who were defrauded. Her return to town is not an easy one, many are suspicious of her.

Romance is complicated by life – Joslyn is Hutch’s high school sweetheart and Slade’s teenage stepdaughter, Shae, wants to come live with him.

Review: Two feuding cowboys? I’m in! The competitive give and take, back and forth, between Hutch and Slade really make the book. Nicer still is the positive turn to the rivalry later in the story.

I never really understood why Joslyn wouldn’t continue making computer software as she could always start another business for it. It seemed strange to waste her college education by switching over to work as a receptionist in a small town real estate agency.

I love Slade – strong, quiet, muscles, gentleman, dreamer, a good stepfather, a hot lover, a sense of humor, plus he’s a sheriff!

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Big Sky Country

Excerpt from Linda Lael Miller’s Big Sky Country:

John Carmody had never once acknowledged him, in all Slade’s thirty-five years of life, and it wasn’t likely that he’d had a deathbed change of heart and altered his will to include the product of his long-ago affair with Callie.

No, Slade thought, Carmody hadn’t had a heart, not where he and his mother were concerned, anyway. He’d never so much as spoken to Slade in all those years; looked right through him, when they did come into contact, as if he was invisible. If that stiff-necked son of a bitch had instructed Maggie to make sure Slade was there for the reading of the will, it was probably so he’d know what he was missing out on, when all that land and money went to Hutch.

You can stick it all where the sun never shines, old man. Slade thought angrily. He’d never expected—or wanted—to inherit a damn thing from John Carmody—bad enough that he’d gotten the bastard’s looks, his dark hair, lean and muscular build, and blue eyes—and it galled him that Maggie, his mother’s friend, would be a party to wasting his time like this.

Buy: Big Sky Country

Follow along on the blog tour: http://booktrib.com/blog-tour-big-sky-country-by-nyt-bestselling-author-linda-lael-miller/.

GIVEAWAY: I have 1 print copy of Big Sky Country up for grabs. Open to readers living within US or Canada. Enter by leaving a comment. Last day to enter is June 8, 2012. Good luck!

Review: One Hot Cowboy Wedding (Spikes & Spurs, Book 4) by Carolyn Brown

Reviewed by Susan S.

Summary: Spikes & Spurs Series, Book Four

One Problem

If Ace Riley (hero) isn’t married within two years of his grandfather’s death, his distant cousin, Cole, will inherit the Double Deuce.

With a Simple Solution

Marrying his friend, Jasmine King, in a quickie Vegas chapel should ensure Ace’s ownership of the ranch.

Creates the Devil of an Aftermath

As the 5,000th couple to get married at the Cupid’s Wedding Chapel their nuptials were broadcast over national television. Not a good thing if the bride and groom hadn’t told anyone they were getting married. Not friends. Not co-workers. Not even family. So when everyone sees it, guess how their friends take the news? Now imagine how Ace’s parents feel. Well…multiply their shock times three trillion and now you have Kelly (Jasmine’s madder-than-hell mother) King’s reaction. It isn’t pretty! And it’s about to get a whole lot uglier!

Review: Carolyn Brown writes these truly wonderful Western Romances that always leave me feeling like love really can conquer all. When you close the book you feel happy. Let me explain. Picture yourself with ten people you feel completely at ease with. It’s summer time and you’re outside in this big backyard. There’s food, beer, and laughter. And you’re listening to “Home Sweet Home” by The Farm. Now that’s a Brown novel for you!

I loved the scene where everyone’s calling them after the 10 o’clock news. Imagine all those ringtones. Too funny! Then there’s room# 112…steamy. But what I really enjoyed was the way these friends fell in love with each other. When Ace and Jasmine go fishing and he tells her that she’s the only woman that’s ever mattered, well, that’s exactly what romance readers crave.

Updates and Thought Bubbles: If you’re following this series here’s the scoop without the spoilers. Pearl from Red’s Hot Cowboy has one of those life defining moments. And Jasmine’s friend, Lucy, who is also from Red’s Hot Cowboy, goes from a timid battered wife to a gunpowder and lead gal. I simply mean her confidence has grown. Good for her! Another biggie happens to one of the gals’ place of employ, but you’ll have to read the novel to find out the whom, what, and where.

Others in the Series:

What’s Next?

Disclaimer: I received this novel free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

Review-O-Meter Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: One Hot Cowboy Wedding (Spikes & Spurs)

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Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc., Copyright April 2012, Contemporary Western Romance, Mass Market Paperback, Print Pages 355. ISBN# 978-1-4022-5364-5.

Review: Dylan by C. H. Admirand

Reviewed by Susan S.

Summary: The Secret Life of Cowboys Trilogy, Book Two

Her Plan

Veronica (Ronnie) DelVecchio is determined to thwart Dylan Garahan’s advances and avoid the family curse. The one about DelVecchio women falling for Irishmen only to end up carrying not one, but “two” buns in the oven. Nuh-uh! No way. She will remain strong! Even if he is the sexiest tall drink of water in all of Texas.

Is Not Working

What with Dylan repairing her shop and her cooking at his ranch, Ronnie’s resolve is fading faster than the paint on the cars at a junkyard. Who is she kidding, though? The man dances/strips at the Lucky Star. Hello! His body can’t be resisted. By anyone. Will Ronnie be quick enough to duck when he tries to lasso her heart, or will she realize that you can’t outrun a family curse?

Review: With Dylan I felt the characters’ emotional shifts happened too quickly and too often; throwing me out of the story. One second there’s pure rage, the next-there’s laughter. And I’ll admit, the humor was lost on me.

Too much testosterone is not necessarily a plus. The Garahan brothers (Tyler, Dylan and Jesse) have trouble verbalizing their feelings. That’s understandable. Some men aren’t very wordy or expressive. But the fact that they physically go to blows all the time? That was unappealing. To me.

The second half did seem more comfortable in its skin. And I did enjoy the idea of three brothers working hard to maintain the family ranch.

What I enjoyed: Dylan’s one-armed push-ups. Yum.

My Favorite Character: An elderly widow named Mavis. She’s a wonderful friend.

Disclaimer: I received this novel via NetGalley and free of charge by Sourcebooks Casablanca (in exchange for my honest review).

What’s Next? Jesse. The story of the youngest Garahan brother releases in July of 2012.

Rating: ★★½☆☆

Buy: Dylan

Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc., Copyright 2012, ISBN-13# 978-1402258077.

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