Review: Vivian’s Return by Tracy Cooper-Posey

Vivian’s ReturnReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Vivien Galloway has returned to Geraldton. She’s a pilot and also a safety assessor. Paul Levissianos is also a pilot. However, he doesn’t appear happy to see her. He’s the owner of Batavia Coast Air Charter Company.

Paul has an incident when he is out with his helicopter. I thought this would have been the start of the suspense but nothing more came from this incident. I couldn’t tell that this thought was followed through. I think I may have missed something but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book.

I would, however, consider this more of an adventure than suspense. Unless you consider this a “will they or won’t they” tale. I felt that they complimented each other because they both like to take chances. Also they have their love of flying. If I wasn’t afraid of heights, they would even convince me to try my hand at taking flying lessons – but somehow I don’t think planes come with training wheels or wrapped in foam.

This book held my attention from beginning to end. If you like Tracy’s work, you will probably like this one as well. If you haven’t read her work before, this may pique your interest in wanting to read more of her work. Plus, make sure that you read all the way to the end because you get a treat of some excerpts from not one but three other books by Tracy.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Vivian’s Return (Go Get ‘em Women)

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: ★★★½☆

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: ★★★★½

Buy: The Legend of Lady MacLaoch

Review: Only Mine (Fool’s Gold, Book 4) by Susan Mallery

Only Mine is Dakota’s story, the first story of the Hendrix triplets in the Fool’s Gold series.

Heroine: Dakota Hendrix can’t have kids and she wants one so she’s in the process of adopting. Meanwhile there isn’t a guy on her radar (could be because of the man shortage) and she’s doing a favor for the mayor by being the contact person between the town and the new reality TV show being filmed there.

Hero: Finn Anderson is the opposite. He doesn’t want kids after raising his twin brothers for so long. He’s a pilot with a business in Alaska. He’s in town to force his stupid twin brothers back to college and off the dumb reality show they’re trying out for, but of course, as they’re twins they are automatically voted on and once they are they’re not leaving. He’s an overprotective brother, but a solid good guy.

The Twins:

Sasha: In a word – metrosexual. It doesn’t take more than his name to peg him as a character. He wants to be famous and he’s willing to do what it takes to get there including pretending a wild romance with Lani who is also interested in the same thing.

Stephen: He wants out of small town Alaska and the best thing for that is to follow Sasha onto this dating reality show. In the process he’s matched with an older woman (as un-cougar as they get) and he really digs her (can we say hot?).

Review: I wasn’t really into the main romance. It could be because it reads friends-to-lovers, a trope I’ve never been behind. And Dakota getting pregnant was too predictable. I was hoping a miracle pregnancy wouldn’t enter the picture, because it made the story highly unrealistic. It took care of the angst and depth to Dakota’s character in one too neat package.

I also thought it was unrealistic that Finn who didn’t want kids after raising his brothers after their parents’ deaths would jumped back into raising kids again so soon even if he loved Dakota. He’s never had a chance to be a carefree adult and I felt he really deserved it.

As far as the side romance goes, it really upstaged the main romance in my opinion. I loved their first date. The two of them had a lot of depth and were cute. They could easily have had their own stand alone.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Buy: Only Mine

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Review: Virgin by Cheryl Brooks

If you’ve heard of the Cat Star Chronicles before then you know that Zetithians, a feline big cat like alien species, are known for their males’ remarkable sexual prowess. We’ve even gone over some the *ahem* anatomy of these hunky men in The Sexual Prowess of Alien Romance Heroes. Seriously, you should check that out… hot. :D

So what happens when a male of the species is a virgin? He has no experience with the sexual prowess of the other males. How he was allowed to remain a virgin is a mystery! Dax talks about turning down some persistent women with a certain underhanded trick (that eventually lands him in some hot water with a couple of whores…), but I can’t really see him escaping the demand on him by others in his species to procreate.

The Zetithians were wiped out because of their sexual skill you see, and only now that they’ve found the man responsible and got justice are they able to rebuild in relative peace.

Ava is a half-breed. She’s part fish (Aquerei) and part human. She’s had two boyfriends and her current one, Lars, she wants to ditch something fierce, so she can return to her old boyfriend. A problem for Dax because Ava is the first woman he’s been attracted to and stirred by her scent, but he agrees to take her to where the old boyfriend is and does it scandalously cheap. (He charges everyone by what they can afford, not by how much they have on hand… very noble.)

Meanwhile there’s a subplot where a bunch of Aquerei are looking for Ava, not that she’s aware, in order to prevent a reordering of the Aquerei’s home world, which Ava is a key player (again something unknown to her.) I wonder how that works out?

I love Dax’s fumbling ineptitude in pursuing Ava. If you like virgin heroes, you will too!

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Virgin

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My Muse and I: A Complicated Relationship

by Marie Force, guest blogger and author of Everyone Loves a Hero

My muse chooses the damndest times to show up. For instance, I’m sitting in an airport bar with my husband a couple of years ago, killing some time before our flight home. Out on the concourse I watch a striking blonde woman rush into the arms of an arriving pilot. Riveted by their reunion, I watch them walk arm-in-arm into the same restaurant we were in and find a table. From there, I found my eyes darting repeatedly to them, wishing I had the nerve to go over, pull up a chair and ask for their story.

That’s where the idea for Everyone Loves a Hero originated. See how my muse shows up out of the blue? One minute I’m minding my own business, and the next minute I’m, well, not… Some people might use the word “nosy” to describe this character trait. I prefer the word “observant.” I’m asked all the time about where the ideas for books come from. I find that when you’re looking for them, ideas are everywhere. It then becomes a matter of figuring out which ones make for viable story ideas, which ones can support a full-length book and which ones are interesting enough to hold my attention for the two or three months it will take me to write the book.

In this case the muse gave me an idea that led to this:

“Everyone loves a hero. That’s the problem.

Hero pilot Cole Langston is learning to live with—and enjoy—his newfound fame and the rabid female attention that comes with it until a lucky punch knocks some sense into him and opens his eyes to true love.

When his copilot suffers a heart attack in flight, Cole lands the jetliner in a blizzard and revives the stricken captain. Catapulted to national hero status, Cole has more women vying for his attention than he knows what to do with. They all have one thing in common: they try without success to bring this happy-go-lucky pilot down to earth. Then comes an airport altercation, a punch to the face, and the lovely Olivia—a shy, timid artist who does what no other woman has ever managed to do: steal Cole’s well-protected heart. With women coming on to him everywhere they go, Olivia struggles to believe that Cole is ready for a committed relationship. His biggest problem is getting rid of all his extra ladies before the only one he wants figures out that she’s one of many.”

I was immediately intrigued by the idea of a pilot connecting in some way to a woman who works in the airport. I’ve done the long-distance romance thing myself, so that part interested me as well. The “national hero” part of the story came later. I wrote Cole and Olivia’s romance, but it needed something extra, something more. Enter Captain Sullenburger. I watched a news conference in which the “Hero on the Hudson” announced he was returning to work, and that gave me the idea to give Cole the national hero back story that’s included in Everyone Loves a Hero. The muse came to me in stages with this book. She’s fickle that way!

To the writers out there, where do you find your story ideas and is your muse as fickle as mine? To the readers, do you ever wonder where your favorite authors get their story ideas? Do you have an idea that you think would make for a good book? I’d love to hear it!

EVERYONE LOVES A HERO BY MARIE FORCE – IN STORES FEBRUARY 2011

Fame has its perks…

Reluctantly famous, First Officer Cole Langston finds being in the spotlight has its advantages—until he meets Olivia. Having women throw themselves at him everywhere he goes becomes a serious problem when he’s trying to convince her she’s the one…

And its price…

Olivia has trouble trusting a guy like Cole, and everywhere she turns she sees reasons to run. But he’s the only man who’s ever seemed to understand her as an artist and as a woman…

Cole is working overtime to prove to Olivia that he’s serious, but her deep seated mistrust and his entourage of unwelcomed fans may be more than they can overcome…

Buy: Everyone Loves a Hero

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Marie Force is a communications director and editor-in-chief as well as the author of Line of Scrimmage, Love at First Flight, Fatal Affair and Fatal Justice, as well as True North and The Fall (available as ebooks through Amazon.com). She is a member of RWA’s New England, From the Heart and Published Authors Special Interest Chapters. Marie lives in Portsmouth, Rhode Island with her husband, two children and their feisty dog named Brandy. To find out more information about Marie’s upcoming releases, please visit www.mariesullivanforce.com.

GIVEAWAY: I have 2 copies of Everyone Loves a Hero. Open to US and Canada only. Enter by leaving Marie a relevant comment. Multiple entries allowed! Last day to Enter: February 11, 2011.