Review: Lakota Honor by Kat Flannery

Lakota HonorReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

This story takes place in the 1880’s.

Nora Rushton is a woman who has a secret that she keeps hidden from others. There’s a creep in town and he’s definitely the villain of this piece – I can picture him having a mustache that he twirls the ends of every day – and his name is Elwood Calhoun. Kat does a great job in creating this character because I really disliked him.

I’m happy to say that if he lived today, our judicial system (I would hope) would throw the book at him. He also has a son named Joe. Joe is what would be considered simple back then and you have to feel sorry for him. But at least Nora likes him.

Otakatay is on his way to Willow Creek. Otakatay has a very a painful past that he can’t forget. If you’re a sensitive person, you may find that Otakatay’s flashbacks will bring a tear to your eyes. There are certain things that just seem to touch your heart and this is one of those stories.

You also have to feel sorry for the life that Nora has but she still makes the most of it. She’s stronger than I probably would be in the same situation. The reader will also be reminded about the worth of money back then. Think of all you have now and then imagine if all that was gone and you had to make due with what was available in that time period – would you be able to cope?

I love how Kat has made this story to be what I feel is historically accurate and wondering as to the amount of research that was involved. It’s shameful but we can’t hide from our past – we can only learn from it. But Kat shows that love is possible even when the odds seem to be against you.

The author gives the reader a perfect ending to a great book and it’s done with no sex. Which goes to show you that sex does not always make for a great book. But it’s the author who makes a great storyteller. And it leaves you wanting to know what she has coming out next.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Lakota Honor

A Hero with a Heart!

Guest Blog by Aimee Thurlo, author of Buy: Secrets of the Lynx (Copper Canyon)

David and I have been writing together for most of our married life, yet we’re not at all alike. He grew up on the Navajo Indian Nation on the high desert. I came to the U.S. from Cuba when I was eight years old and have lived in big cities almost all my life. We’re totally different from each other, in backgrounds, and in personality. Yet the ability to merge our unique qualities has become our greatest asset. It’s what enables us to bring readers emotionally charged stories filled with high adventure.

Like it is in our lives, the skills we bring to the table are complementary, but different. David can craft powerful action scenes, but I can do emotions far better than he can. Very right brain/left brain!

Our collaboration really comes together in a romantic suspense novel like Secrets of the Lynx. This is a story about destiny and reaching for a dream. It also delivers one heckuva high action adventure.

Hosteen (Mister) Silver, a Navajo medicine man, fostered Paul Greyhorse, the hero of our novel. It was through Hosteen Silver that Paul learned to respect things that can’t always be explained through logic.

Paul and each of his brothers received a very special gift when they turned sixteen – the fetish of an animal. According to tradition, a fetish is more than just a carving. It’s a symbol that is said to capture the essence of the animal and impart those qualities to its owner. Lynx knows what others try to keep secret, and sees what’s not readily apparent.

Yet the real magic of the story unfolds as the hero and heroine, two emotionally damaged people, come together and realize that they’re stronger together than they are apart – like it is with David and me.

I have to admit that I especially like Paul Grayhorse. He’s a hero among heroes. He doesn’t judge others, though they often judge him. For example, when he questions several streetwalkers, he treats them with great respect. He understands that somewhere in there is a woman who dreamed of bigger and better things – but took a detour. That a “Pretty Woman” (movie with Julia Roberts) is there, just beyond what the eye can readily see.

Romantic Times said, “Thurlo understands the mindset of The People and uses the beautiful legends and myths that define them to add depth to his action packed tale.”

I hope you’ll have a chance to pick it up!

For a signed bookmark please send one stamp to:

Aimée and David Thurlo
P.O. Box 2747
Corrales, NM 87048

We’ll take care of the rest!

Happy reading!

Aimée and David

BIO: David and Aimee Thurlo have been married for forty-two years. Aimee moved in next door to him and it was love at first sight. Three weeks later, they were married.

David was raised on the Navajo Indian Reservation and left Shiprock to complete his education at the University of New Mexico.

Aimee, born in Havana, Cuba, has lived in New Mexico for forty-two years. Their popular Ella Clah mystery series, featuring a Navajo woman police officer, won a New Mexico Book Award. Their Lee Nez vampire novels are currently under option to Red Nation Films in Hollywood. They also write romantic suspense novels for Harlequin and have sold more than a million copies worldwide.

Buy: Secrets of the Lynx (Copper Canyon)

Review: Dangerous by Diana Palmer

You can tell why Diana Palmer is counted as one of North America’s top 10 romance writers. It takes all her considerable skill to turn her tragic hero, Kilraven, into a man ready for love and romance, which she does with magnificent aplomb.

When his wife and child were brutally murdered seven years ago, FBI agent Kilraven swore vengeance. It’s been years and the case believed cold, but when he gets a window of great opportunity to talk up the wife of a senator who might be involved, he knows he will do anything, hurt anyone, to seize it. The perfect way to get close is to pretend marriage to young socialite Winnie Sinclair and honeymoon at her Bahamas vacation home. He’s upfront and blunt about his proposed marriage of convenience to Winnie, who’s been not-so-secretly infatuated with him.

Q: Why marriage?
A: Because Kilraven is not a man-slut. Before Winnie, he’s only been with his late wife (who turns out to be manipulative and adulterous.)

Kilraven is a Native American hero who shuns his heritage while his brother embraces it. It’s mentioned bluntly in the novel and examples of his refusal to be Indian include: short hair, going by last name Kilraven instead of Blackhawk, etc.

Winnie is a shy violet and a virgin due to two protective older brothers and a nasty dad, who’s now passed away. She’s known pain herself, having lost her mother who ran off with her uncle when she was younger and her father taking out his anger on her, leaving her with scars on her back. Winnie has a touch of magic about her that gives her eerie insight into things she shouldn’t know about. This frankly bothered me because the story is clearly not a supernatural one. I was bothered more so when others started to have or claim to have this almost psychic supernatural ability.

The love story is slow because the hero needs to grieve, which he’s refused to do until he’s caught the people responsible for his daughter’s murder. Kilraven is constantly holding Winnie back with one hand, trying to protect them both from folly. He knows he can’t give her what she wants and deserves. She just wants him. He’s worried about the ten year age gap and how that looks. It’s clear throughout the novel that he’s slowly falling in love with her against will, which makes for a delicious read.

Rating: 4 Stars

Buy: Dangerous (Long, Tall Texans)

PS – Dangerous is part of the Long, Tall Texans series.

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Guest Review: Dangerous by Diana Palmer

by Aggie S., guest reviewer

Kilraven had lost his wife and daughter a number of years ago and like anyone who loses a loved one it stays with you forever; but in this case it seemed that there was more to her death than just dying in a fire. Kilraven takes a temporary transfer to a small town in Texas to solve the murder of one of the town’s inhabitants. There is also another case from many years before that was never solved; he finds a link between the two.

There is a dispatcher who is infatuated with Kilraven and doesn’t think he knows it, but how he keeps avoiding her is very interesting. For the Christmas party she has drawn his name for a secret gift, and she paints a picture for him, that leaves Kilraven wondering how she knew what to paint…

Kilraven needs to meet with a Senator’s wife in the Bahamas. Kilraven finds out that Winnie’s family is their neighbor down there and he needs her help. He talks Winnie into marrying him to make it look respectable for the townsfolk when they leave on a “honeymoon” together. It was agreed that this marriage would be in name only. Kilraven does not want a wife and he definitely does not want children.

As you start this book it does become hard to put it down as there are so many things going on at one time. Whose daughter is Winnie? Whose son is Matt? Who is responsible for all the deaths, the Senator, his brother or someone else?

Dangerous is a definite must read and very hard to put down!

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Dangerous

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Review: Where the Rain is Made by Keta Diablo

Hero: Ethan Gray has pledged his life to the People (Cheyenne) and when they need him he goes straightaway to the council where he’s given his orders. Ethan is a time-traveling shifter who can transform into a raven. When he returns to the past to lead the Cheyenne’s Dog Soldiers he melds perfectly into their lives. They never know he’s just a temporary visitor. His Cheyenne name is I Am The Wind or Meko.

Heroine: Francesca Duvall’s life changes in an instant when I Am the Wind appears before her in a clearing during an Indian attack. He captures her and her brother is capture by another. Cesca’s life hangs in the balance and so does Marsh’s. Lucky for her, Meko wants her as his wife. Not so lucky is Marsh’s treatment at the hands of his captor. Saving him, means risking herself, but Cesca will do it nevertheless.

Review: The overall writing quality is excellent and if two initial plot points hadn’t occurred I would have been swept away into the story without a word to the contrary (except for the many Indian names, which sometimes appear only once or twice and never again).

As it was, I found it hard to swallow the instant lust/love on Cesca’s side. Meko’s attraction and love yes, because the author built up that he dreamed about her as Ethan, but for Cesca she’s much too strongly opposed to the Cheyenne and Meko at first to believably fall head long over heels for him. I feel this should have dragged out a little longer, but the author was working a long timeline with many things to fit in and the initial stirrings suffered for it.

The other plot point ties into this one and its Cesca’s initial feelings and prejudices for the Cheyenne seem to disappear rather too quickly for someone who didn’t want to change into their clothes or initial partake in their life. Because of the initial start as a reader I kept pulling out of the story trying to logically figure out the relationship pacing and when the angsty moment came for their temporary breakup (a part I usually love) I just wanted to smack Cesca upside the head. She’s nearly raped and then blames Meko for saving her of all things because it got too messy for her (you know with killing the evil white soldiers.)

I did like the ending and how the time travel was handled… unexpected and fun! This is an epic feeling novel compacted into a few hundred pages. I enjoyed the story and wouldn’t mind following another time traveling shifter Native American back into the past as the world building by Diablo is very well done and likeable. Perhaps Marsh’s tale?

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Buy: Where the Rain is Made

Review: Fierce Eden by Jennifer Blake

Jennifer Blake is one of my new favorite authors. I don’t know I managed to miss her all this time but luckily for me Sourcebooks is reintroducing several of her novels. Blake’s Fierce Eden is just the kind of American (French?) historical romance that I just love to devour.

Elise Laffont, a widow at age 25, is perfectly happy on the French Louisiana frontier. She loves her land on the edge of Natchez Indian territory and has worked hard to build it into a self-sufficient home despite the naysayers in Fort Rosalie who would like to see her remarried. When the Natchez strike back at the settlers, razing the fort to the ground, as a matter of blood vengeance, she and a handful of others know they can’t escape Natchez lands without being captured or killed.

Reynaud Chevalier, a half-breed (part French, part Natchez), desires Elise above all else. When his generosity in leading the survivors of the Indian uprising to Fort Natchitoches is questioned he switches tactics and offers his help for a price, not knowing that his price demands far more than he could have expected. He demands that Elise must share his bed furs and be his companion along the way (something considered a Natchez mark of hospitality) or he will leave them behind to manage on their own.

What he doesn’t know is that Elise’s dead husband sexually and physically abused her leaving her terrified of the male species. When it’s made aware to him on the first night, Reynaud knows above all else that he wants to shelter her and love her and cure her fear of men… so he draws on his Indian background where the men await on the pleasure of the women and commands her to touch and explore him while he remains wholly passive. A feat that nearly undoes him ;) and this is only the beginning.  There is so much more to this story.

Blake is a master of research and description. Her settings are lush, her details into the lives of colonials and natives rich and as accurate as humanly possible with conflicting sources of information, the supporting cast of characters are fully realized, and the romance between Reynaud and Elise is tantalizingly delicious. They must face a lot to be together on both sides of the equation and the results are explosive. This is definitely going on my favorites shelf!

Rating: ★★★★★

buy: Fierce Eden

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