Review: Lingerie and Felons by Ros Baxter

9780857991393Summary: Lola is always wearing the wrong underwear at the worse times… like upon arrest. Wait! Let’s back up a minute!

Lola’s parents repeatedly told her she could make a difference growing-up. Lola wants that. She wants to have purpose and be a force of change… The trouble for Lola is that she’s not sure what force of change she wants to be. As she tries to help she slips into and out of tricky legal situations such as the aforementioned arrest.

Along the way Lola meets a handsome Australian broker and a sexy lawyer with Superman tendencies. Her heart is torn and the choice should be easy, but there isn’t a pair of undies to tell a girl what to do and who to be with… Lola will have to figure that out on her own.

Review: I really enjoyed Wayne. When he’s first introduced he’s clearly the opposite of the heroine. They butt heads on a lot of issues. I loved that he switched Lola’s nickname on the first date and started to call her Rocket. That was really cute.

Wayne gets Lola on a level that she’s terrified of because on the surface Wayne is all wrong. She’s hardcore save the planet, hippy, libertarian, democrat and he’s a “heartless” and “soulless” suit, except he isn’t. Wayne is greatly amused by Lola and her passion for making a difference. It changes him throughout the novel. I really felt for him and wanted him to find someone special who loved him and wanted to be with him.

The greatness that is Wayne aside, I do not like Lola, and since the story is from her point of view (POV) that puts me in a predicament. I liked her fine in the beginning of the story, but actions she takes reveals that Lola is narrow-minded and shallow about what is right and what is wrong, and she argues instead of debates. Wayne gets in a really good point about money when she’s on her high horse and it makes her very uncomfortable.

Then there is Lola’s emotional immaturity. She ends her and Wayne’s relationship when it gets to be “too real” and hides her emotions in another relationship because the man is a safe choice. He’s rebound all the way and she uses this other man, who is equally great (but not great for her), to hide. This is perfectly acceptable in the beginning of the novel when she’s younger and a grad student. Everybody needs some time to figure out what they want and who they want.

But, as the years go by, she should have a better grip on what she wants/needs and not face a panic attack every time she and Wayne cross paths. Lola pushes Wayne away at all of their encounters, tells him lies when she’s scared she might fall back into a relationship with him, and misdirects him (regarding her daughter, Eve). She feels that wanting Wayne means being untrue to herself and punishes him for it. I’m honestly surprised he wanted her after all the years apart and all her crazy. And she hurts another in her endeavor to protect herself from what loving Wayne might mean.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Buy: Lingerie For Felons

Review: Happily Ever After by Elizabeth Maxwell

happily ever afterReviewed by Karin

It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed a book so much. It is laugh out loud funny. I really did laugh out loud. This is Maxwell’s first book, but I would definitely read another one, especially if it has the same voice as this one.

The premise of this book sounds silly, and it is impossible, but what the hey! and it combines several genres (romance, erotic and paranormal), which makes it even more clever. Even though you have to suspend reality, it is so easy to do. Finally about halfway through the book I had to mark all the places that were funny, or witty, or poignant.

LRP gave me an uncorrected paperback, but I didn’t see any errors. It was easy to read.

The Story, one of them

Sadie Fuller, a 46 year old divorced mother of an 11 year old daughter, is slightly over weight, living among younger women who are all thin — as Maxwell says of one woman, you’d like to give her a sandwich… She writes erotic romances under a pen name K.T. Briggs. And she is successful. She pays alimony to Roger, her ex, to the tune of $5000 a month. He is still her friend — and gay. Roger has found gorgeous partners, while Sadie has had none.

She places an ad for a sex buddy for her only free time, Friday mornings. It is answered by a sweet guy, Jason, a lawyer, who isn’t chisled. Their sex is funny and sweet as they learn each other. He comes with his own baggage, which makes him endearingly vulnerable, as she is.


Another story

The books starts with almost alternating chapters of Sadie’s story and the new erotic book she is writing, Stolen Secrets.

Things get complicated when she finds she has a greater word count in the morning than how she left it at night. It turns out a witch, Clarissa, has presented the male character, Aiden, with a challenge which he must fulfill in 48 hours.

And Aiden shows up in real life in the Target where Sadie is shopping…it takes a bit before he remembers who he is, and Sadie realizes what is happening.

And Clarissa is a character from an unfinished paranormal book that Sadie set aside a number of years before. Turns out Aiden had been a character in that book under another name and another occupation.

And then…

Jason shows up on the arm of her neighbor (and she shows up with Aiden) at a school fundraiser. Sadie realizes she is jealous, and Jason isn’t too happy either…

The ending (no spoiler)

I loved the ending. Very clever. The end. LOL.

I loved the book. If I could give it 7 * out of 5, I would do it.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Happily Ever After

[phpbay]happily ever after elizabeth maxwell, 10, 377, “”[/phpbay]

Review: What a Wicked Earl Wants (The Sinful Scoundrels, Book 1) by Vicky Dreiling

What a Wicked Earl WantsHero: The Earl of Bellingham, Lord Andrew Carrington, is a rakehell looking for a new mistress to warm his bed. No married ladies or virgins need apply. Widows however would do quite nicely, thank you.

Heroine: Laura Davenport is a young widow and is about to lose her rebellious stepson who is trying to spread his wings in London. Until recently they were very close, and even though she has been raising him for five years, Justin wants to do the sort of things young men in London do and accuses his stepmother of cramping his style. She turns to Andrew to assist her in curbing Justin’s wild impulses.

Review: The trouble I had with What a Wicked Earl Wants was the main characters. I was not invested in either the hero or heroine. Their backgrounds and woes seemed old hat. Lord Andrew for instance isn’t much of a rake and his emotional hang-ups are superstitious and silly. His reputation is overstated and in many respects he’s a very conservative gentleman. Well… until he propositions Laura, but other than that not very rakish. However, since Laura is hearing from all and sundry that he is a rake, why does she think Lord Andrew can curb Justin’s wild behavior? And why would she want him to? I have no idea and it doesn’t make sense to me other than an attempt to get Laura and Andrew together and continue as a team against Monclief, the boy’s uncle and the villain of the piece.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Buy: What a Wicked Earl Wants (The Sinful Scoundrels)

[phpbay]wicked earl wants vicky, 10, 377, “”[/phpbay]

Review: The Hero (Thunder Point, Book 3) by Robyn Carr

The HeroReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Devon McAllister is carrying her three-year-old daughter and then is lucky enough to catch a ride to Thunder Point. I hope if you’re reading this book that you’ve also read the other two in the series. You will continue getting to know about the town and some of its inhabitants. It will also leave you wanting to pack your bags and moving there.

In this story, we finally get to know the character named Rawley Goode. Rawley is a very caring soul and I wish there were more people like him in this world. Robyn makes me wonder if she has fashioned him after someone she knows.

Spencer Lawson is the new Athletic Director at the high school. He and his ten-year-old son, Austin, are staying at Cooper’s old place for now. He also has something in common with Devon.

While reading this book, in the beginning I kept thinking of Devon as a man – I have a nephew of the same name. The difference is that he spells his name with an “I” and she spells her name with an “O”. So now that I have that figured out, I don’t have that problem any more.

Robyn has put an interesting twist in this book – Devon has two men to choose from and both men have children. Scott is a doctor and Spencer is a coach – what an interesting dilemma. What a great reason to keep reading in order to find out who wins her heart.

This isn’t just Devon’s story. We get to see what’s happening with the other characters that we’ve come to love in the first two books. This book will have you smiling – our author knows exactly how to please her readers. She also creates a town where everyone cares about everyone else.

In my opinion this is a series that would be a good fit for the Hallmark Channel. Yes, there’s some violence but that is part of where Devon came from so it needs to be there. It also makes me wonder as to the type of research Robyn needed to do in order for the storyline to at least appear accurate. She also knows when to add something that will have the reader on the edge of their seats and holding our breaths until we know that everything is all right.

A great author knows how to create believable characters. It makes me wonder if she questioned any males to find out how they would behave during certain situations – this would include both civilians and men in the military. Or does she just instinctively know how to get these characters right? You will be happy to know that the next book in the series, titled The Chance, is due out in March 2014.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: The Hero (Thunder Point)

[phpbay]robyn carr the hero, 10, 377, “”[/phpbay]

Review: Gabriel (Secrets and Sins Series, Book 1) by Naima Simone

gabrielReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Gabriel Devlin is listening to Christmas music in his car. And then his life changed in an instant. Naima lets us know that this is a reoccurring dream. Leah Bannon is a good friend of Gabe’s and her day job is that of a private investigator. Then a mystery that hits home comes into the office. And somehow Gabriel and his friends are involved – let the intrigue begin.

This book held my interest right from the beginning. Once finished, I found that I needed to know if the mystery in this book is going to be carried through the rest of the series. If you read carefully, you will get a hint about the four men in this series – this means that if you read too fast you may miss it. The only part I hated was having to put the book down either to go to bed or go to work.

I applaud our author in the amount of research that must have been involved in order for the villain in this piece to be so evil. Plus, the story revolves around issues that are current today. If you are a person who is very sensitive about certain subjects, this story may not be for you. But if you really enjoy a great suspense, that has some great romance, and which shows that anyone can overcome atrocities then this story is for you. And you’ll be happy to know that book two is just as good. Malachim comes out September 23.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Secrets and Sins: Gabriel (A Secrets and Sins Novel) (Entangled Suspense)

Review: Rumours Among the Heather by Amanda Balfour

rumors among the heatherReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: Juliana Hastings is in a dire situation after being left destitute from her unfortunate father’s death. She is still in mourning, but has to get her life together, and wonders how she will be able to cope when her fiancé decides to jilt her. Her only hope is to become a governess for Matthew McDonald.

Matthew McDonald is in a dire situation as he becomes a fugitive when the Jacobite Rebellion ends. When he turns to Juliana who he has come to know as a great friend, confidante and lover, she gives him all he needs – yet when he is caught, he thinks she has betrayed him and continues to hate her even though she still loves him. When he is set free later, he wants to find Juliana and get his revenge.

Review: Matthew has the aid of his friend to get him safe passage to freedom at the beginning, but events soon change for the worst. Amanda brings the characters together under the worst of circumstances, while Matthew is busy trying to get away from his attackers; Juliana wants to get closer to him to be work for him. Matthew has a nephew, Ian whose mother died who doesn’t talk for long periods of time, leaving him with a boy who doesn’t want to learn through stubbornness. Juliana likes the challenge though and accepts his terms even though she is perceived to be too young for the position of governess.

He is surprised at her bluntness and temper, but intrigued that she had been brought up to be a genteel lady. The further into the story I got, I felt Matthew became more and more intrigued by her even though she says she doesn’t want to flirt with him, and just wants to get her job done. Her actions seem to betray her thoughts, leading her down a path she can’t come back from.

Good bits:

  • Matthew’s altercation with a footpad in the street – daring to say the least!
  • Having a pub called the Pig and Whistle.
  • Matthew notices Juliana tries to hide her beauty, but he knows a pretty girl when he sees one.

Bad bits:

  • The story takes a while to get really interesting.

Last thought: Amanda has gone to a lot of trouble to portray a beautifully ‘bonnie Scotland’ that can be loved by all, especially the characters that enrich the entire novel.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Rumors Among the Heather

[phpbay]rumors among heather amanda balfour, 10, 377, “”[/phpbay]

Review: Breaking the Rules by Melinda Dozier

Breaking the Rules by Melinda DozierReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: After an accident keeps Hope Robinson in a cast hobbling around at work, she has time to think about what she has done in her life, and whether she has made the right decisions in the past. She is the sort of woman who keeps to the rules and plays it safe in work matters as she is a middle school principal in Harbor Bay, Florida.

Her reason for being this way is that a previous love affair didn’t go the way she had hoped, and it left her feeling bad about what she had done. She vowed she would never let her heart rule her head, and never let her passions for men come before her work, at least that was before she met Dr. Colin Calaway, a widower and father who wants to be her lover, friend and confidante, but she has to think long and hard on what she is doing, and whether her job is worth the risk.

Review: The story starts where the two of them meet as Colin’s son has been sent for detention for fighting again, and she wonders how it is that someone who is a professional can have such a difficult child, especially when he is such a nice guy. Colin on the other hand wonders why it is that other guys in his profession get all the hot patients as Dr Patel is Hope’s doctor, and wishes she were his.

Though there is a definite chemistry between them, she finds it hard to accept that a principle should never have relations with a parent, but as their son’s misbehaviour is what brought them together, maybe it was fate that decided their life for them.

Good bits:

  • Colin and Hope meet straight away – but under difficult circumstances.
  • They are opposites, but after they get talking, he feels that she is a hotter woman than she first appears.
  • The fact that Hope has fractured or broken her leg ten times – she’s a bit reckless, or clumsy!

Bad bits:

  • The story is good, but only if you are impressed with doctor and patient romances.

Summary: Breaking the Rules isn’t short on comedy, or fun moments, but as the title suggests, Hope breaks the rules as a school principle, and it is up to her to make their loving relationship work even though it does have its ups and downs.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Breaking the Rules

Excerpt: The Switched Baby Scandal by Theresa Meyers

Switched Baby ScandalGuest Blog by Theresa Meyers, author of The Switched Baby Scandal

When it comes to trying something new, it’s always fun to get a sample taste. I don’t know about you, but I do it almost every time I go and get ice cream just because I’m never sure when I might discover a new favorite flavor (like the Dulce de Leche salted caramel cream ice cream from a local creamery…but I digress).

My latest story is both sweet and soulful. Normally I don’t make readers cry. Laugh, yes, cry no. But this book is an exception just because it is a pair of truly broken people trying to figure out how to navigate an uncertain time when they both want to protect the child they love. At first they are enemies, both seeking custody, but that changes when the media begins to cover the unusual circumstances of how the children were switched at birth in the hospital. Kind of like that salted caramel ice cream, it’s both sweet and salty (because of the tears…).

In keeping with that spirit of getting a taste of something new before you commit, I figured you might like a taste too! So here’s just a small sample of The Switched Baby Scandal.

Emily scampered off to the miniature merry-go-round with an assortment of jungle animals and selected a fat ostrich to ride. From the pint-sized roller coaster to the jump-the-alligator pit, the trio covered the noisy terrain of Jungle Jane’s.

When Emily ducked into the air-filled bounce-o-rama, he decided that now was as good a time as any to reach through
Taylor’s protective shell and see if he could get her to relax a little. Placing a hand on her shoulder, he turned Taylor to the air hockey tables next to the bounce-o-rama. “Don’t suppose you know how to play do you? I could use a good challenge.”

Taylor instantly brightened. “You picked the wrong opponent, buster,” she taunted. “I rock at air hockey.”
He leaned close and could instantly feel the crackle of energy between them. Reece gave her one of his best smiles and said in a low, teasing voice, “Prove it.”

They walked over and took opposing sides of the table. Reece slipped in four quarters and the table roared to life, blowing an invisible stream of air across the top of the slick, white surface to fl oat the black, plastic puck.

Reece held the slider in his hand close to his goal. “Ladies first,” he said as he slid the puck gently across the table to Taylor.

The corner of Taylor’s mouth lifted in a lopsided smirk and her eyes, sparkling with challenge, narrowed. “You’re
underestimating me. First mistake.”

She grasped the puck, laid it down in front of her on the table, and gave it a vicious whack with her slider. The puck zinged across the table. Reece reached out to block it and instead heard the black blur clatter into his goal slot. Reece retrieved the puck.

“Not into playing nice, I see.”

“Nope. I play for keeps. Did I mention that?”

Taylor’s smug smile and confident air made his heart beat faster, but it was the enticing view of her cleavage every time she leaned over the table that sent him over the edge. And what exactly are we playing for, Taylor? Reece hit the puck with enough force to send it skipping over the surface of the table. Taylor easily blocked it, slid it off to one side, and whacked it back.

Whack! Ping. Whack! The racket grew louder and louder as they hit the puck back and forth. Reece’s arm was
feeling the workout and the adrenaline rush of the game felt good. Taylor was radiant with energy, making her even
more beautiful. Every crack of her slider sent a curtain of blond hair swinging around her neck. Reece realized he was
breathing harder, which he knew he couldn’t attribute to the game alone.

Taylor was up by two points when the air on the table stopped flowing and the puck came to a sluggish stop in the
middle of the table. She glanced over at Emily from the corner of her eye and saw she was rolling happily doing somersaults in the bounce-o-rama.

“Want to play some more?”

Taylor’s gaze intensified. “We probably better call it a game.”

“Like to win, don’t you?” He was baiting her, and he could tell she knew it.

“Absolutely.”

Taylor brushed back the swing of her hair and smoothed her shirt. The action was subtle, but Reece had an instant
vision of moving around the table, grabbing her, and kissing her senseless.

Theresa Meyers
www.theresameyers.com

Buy: The Switched Baby Scandal (A Scandals of San Sebastian Novel) (Entangled Bliss)