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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Get into Bed with Linda Miller (Author Interview)

Miller_Linda Lael_09Keira: Do you write every day? Do you have a writing routine?

Linda Miller: Yes, mostly.  I write five days a week, from about 9 am., stopping at 1 or 2 pm because by then my brain starts turning to jelly.  I am definitely a morning person.  Sometimes, when a deadline is pressing hard, I’ll put in longer hours and work weekends, but mostly I avoid that.  I need time to refill the well by reading, doing art, puttering in the yard and playing with the pets.

Keira: If you could go back 15 or 20 years ago and give yourself one piece of writerly advice, what would it be?

Linda: I LOVE this question—I don’t think I’ve ever been asked this one before.  I’d tell myself to chill out, relax, and not take myself so seriously, to go with the flow and to avoid comparing myself to other writers at all costs.

Keira: Big Sky Secrets has a fair share of family drama and a lot of family secrets and family history comes to light throughout the course of the book. Did you set out to write a book like this or did Ria and Landry’s stories just kind of come together?

Linda: I always start with a few characters and a situation.  I have a general idea how the story will play out as I begin, but my stories tend to evolve, often surprising me with the direction they take.  As I’d become acquainted with both Landry and Ria in “Big Sky Wedding”, I had a pretty good idea what they’d do in any given circumstance.

Keira: Big Sky Secrets is the last of the Big Sky novels. Why did you save Ria and Landry for last?

Linda: It just turned out that way.  Each of the Big Sky books grew from the one preceeding it–in essence, what we have here is one long story.  I love to create a community, people it with interesting characters, and just let things unfold as I write along.

Keira: There are some great teenage characters in Big Sky Secrets. How did you get into the teen mindset to write Quinn and Nash?

Linda: It’s been a long time since I was a teenager myself, and since I raised one, but I guess I still have an affinity for them.  They’re not children and not adults, either, and that presents them with specific challenges to meet and overcome.  Good stories are all about overcoming challenges, methinks.

Keira: Quinn’s stray dog Bones is as loveable as any fictional dog ever. You are known for your love of animals and working them into your books. Was there a particular dog that inspired Bones?

Linda: I love ALL dogs (plus cats, horses and every other kind of creature), especially those in need of a loving home.  When I write about animals, I’m hoping, deep down, that folks will be reminded to be kind to them–not that the vast majority of my readers need a reminder, because they love God’s creatures as much as I do.  Still, it’s a good thing to keep in mind–there’s no such thing as too much compassion.

Keira: Readers and reviewers have loved the Big Sky books and we know a lot of them will be sad to see the series come to an end. What’s next that we can be looking forward to?

Linda: I’ve already started a whole new “Marriage” series, set in a fictional Wyoming town called Mustang Creek in the present day–a town that happens to resemble Jackson Hole.    I recently traveled there to get my bearings, so to speak, and see what my characters will see.  The first book is called “The Marriage Pact”, and includes a sexy cowboy hero, Tripp Galloway, a smart, feisty heroine, Hadleigh Stevens, and at least two adopted dogs–Ridley and Muggles.  There’s no telling, though, what other four-leggers might turn up as the story goes on–like human characters, they tend to show up out of nowhere and demand to be part of it all.

BigSkySecrets_CoverBig Sky Secrets:

The “First Lady of the West,” #1 New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael Miller delivers the stunning finale of her acclaimed series set in Parable, Montana—where love awaits

Self-made tycoon Landry Sutton heads to Hangman Bend’s Ranch to sell his land to his brother Zane. Though he’s got cowboy in his blood, Landry plans to return to city life before the dust even settles on his boots. Of course, he didn’t count on falling for Big Sky Country…or Ria Manning.

Ria’s starting to settle into country life herself…until she has a close encounter of the terrifying kind with a buffalo. Turns out the peeping monster belongs to the cowboy next door—and he has her running even more scared than his bison. She wants a home where the buffalo don’t roam, and the men don’t either. Could Landry’s homecoming be her heart’s undoing?

Buy: Big Sky Secrets

Review: Big Sky Wedding (Parable, Montana, Book 5) by Linda Lael Miller

big sky weddingReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Zane Sutton has come home to his ranch. And it’s not long after that he meets Brylee Parrish. I’m impressed with Brylee she’s a self-starter businesswoman. And she’s not impressed with Zane. This is one thing that held my attention – make the man work at catching the female’s interest.

You can almost sense that this is a story about family and all the different kinds of family that there are. As you read, you may even be able to relate to a few. But it also had me wanting to get on a plane and go check out Parable, Montana. Now that Fall is in the air, this would be a perfect time to get away. We have a local fair going on – I’ll have to go over and check out the cowboy boots and hats.

Having realized that this was the fifth book in the series, I was glad that this book could be read as a stand-alone (since I haven’t read the other four books). But if you loved this book as much as I did, you may just want to go back and read the others. If you don’t want to add them to your personal library, remember that you can go visit your public library to see what they have available.

Linda knows how to lasso the reader and not let go until the story is over. There are certain books that I feel are better to read in their original form (paperback) instead of e-book and this fits in that category. You can always tell when a paperback is well loved – an e-book, not so much. Got to love a bookshelf showing off some well-loved books. If you’re a fan of Linda’s than this is a series that you will most certainly want to follow. Yeehaw!

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Big Sky Wedding

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Review: Dead Again by Tracy Cooper-Posey

by Susan S., guest reviewer

Dead Again is a high adrenaline read. Get ready to run because when the line between right and wrong blurs-you won’t know who to trust.

Recommendations: This is an action-packed read that doesn’t quit. It reminds me of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels, of which I’m a big fan of. It will also appeal to readers who generally buy Harlequin Intrigue and Silhouette Romantic Suspense. If you enjoy watching action-packed movies, or more specifically, if you liked Absolute Power with Clint Eastwood then this novel’s for you.

She heard the words, they gave her the news, he was dead. The tall, dark-haired, kind man with a strong spirit. The one who’d helped her survive five days in the Northern Colorado Mountains after the plane crash. Jack Laubreaux, hero, who provided her with food, with hope. Attending her needs, caring for her broken femur, and all the while disregarding his own injuries, and now he’s gone.

Sophie Rosemary Kingston, heroine, has tried to be strong and independent. To forget him, but like a boomerang the memories never fail to return. Almost a decade has gone by. She’s now a single mother of two, with one failed marriage under her belt, and a café to call her own. Life in Montana’s not going to get better; it just is. Well…Sophie has just undergone a severe shock to her system. She’s just seen a vagrant with an uncanny resemblance to Jack, but his name is Martin Stride.

Her meeting with Martin, is about to propel her into a world where those in power corrupt it, and those who uncover it; die. Someone dubbed the Silent Knight is protecting the Irish mafia leader. When all’s said and done, will Sophie and Martin live to tell the tale?

What I loved: This was a fun read for me, since romantic suspense is one of my favorite sub-genres. The announcements at the end were a nice touch; an update of the key players. I also burst out laughing when I read what the hero studied in the University of Chicago. You’ll laugh too! Especially, if you’re following along with the story.

My favorite scene: This scene made my breath hitch. (Sophie walks into a bar, no, that’s not an intro to a joke.) She follows Martin in, unbeknownst to him, of course. Then there’s a moment when their gazes meet in the mirrored wall behind the bar; the scene was nicely written.

What I would’ve changed: I would’ve wanted a different end for the antagonist.

Dead Again was first published as Silent Knight in Nov. 2004, under a different publisher. Now being published as Dead Again by Cerridwen Press, releasing in April 2010. It’s currently unavailable in print, available as an eARC only at this time.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Buy: Dead Again

eARC, Cerridwen Press, Romantic Suspense, 199 Pages. ISBN# 978 141 992 1483.