***A complimentary copy of this read was furnished by Sourcebooks Casablanca through NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review***
When Houston Legend’s bride was killed at the altar before their vows, he wallowed in agony. As painful rumors and truths came to light, he wallowed in anger moving to adrift as his heart hardened. Unfortunate circumstances left Lara Boone, a damaged mother to a small daughter with no husband and no desire for a man in her life, wallowing in her own anguish.
Over late night cards and too many drinks, Stoker Legend loses half the family holdings to new neighbor Till Boone. The only negotiation Till will entertain is how soon Stoker can convince his son to marry Till’s daughter. An angry Houston’s obliged to do anything to secure his family’s legacy, even if it means marrying a woman he’s never met and claim her babe as his own.
Standing in front of a preacher with a tad of resentment for their fathers neither bride nor groom wanted to celebrate their somber, funeral-like wedding. Afterward, Houston realized the depth of Lara’s personal nightmare and vowed no force on earth would keep him from avenging his new bride or claiming his new daughter as he and Stoker greeted Lara as the new Legend matriarch.
Yuma, the well written villain of the piece was a threat on the page or looming in the distance. The remaining personable and distinct secondary characters supported the story and other characters well. Houston was quite the standout as the swoon-worthy hero women wanted and men wanted to be. Lara was no slouch displaying the type of clarity, grit and steel spine that built a nation.
The broken, damaged leads managed to fall in love as they traversed adventure, danger, deceit, heartbreak, shame and a madman’s revenge to find their way out of the dark to joyful new dreams and a new future as a family. This new to me author pandered to my innate penchant for stoic, protective heroes and weakness for cowboys. It’s a great rainy day read but a tad too intense for the beach.
Few knew the reason Dr. Zoe Hansen changed jobs, apartments and friends was she’d caught the attention of a stalker. She was safe while he was out of the country. But he returned and Zoe became his hobby again. Red Stone Security’s resources, specifically former SEAL Sawyer McCabe step up to guard Zoe’s body…er life. Then her stalker is found dead and Zoe’s arrested of his murder.
Though cleared of the murder charge, it was obvious someone framed Zoe which meant her life could still be in danger. Receiving mystery mail means it’s not over and Sawyer’s not leaving Zoe’s side as the smoldering embers they shared become flames. Being influentially despicable bought Zoe’s stalker many enemies and plenty of false friends as the police uncover suspects galore.
Lively Zoe runs the gamut of emotions and has excellent chemistry with agent du jour, Sawyer in this nicely written and vividly woven tale. The reader is quickly invested in an illusion of a love affair at its most terrifying. It shakes a strong, capable and independent woman to her core first she lives with fear then fights to keep her friends, love and on her terms. Definitely a series favorite!
***A complimentary copy of this read was furnished by Montlake Romance through NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review***
Jim Lawson left Paradise to become an Army Ranger. He left a tearful Hallie in his wake before coming back to be the deputy sheriff. Henry Cavanaugh tried to force broken-hearted Hallie to stay but couldn’t. Now Hallie inherits her wickedly vindictive father’s wealth, but only if she lives in his home and stays out of Jim’s bed. Henry knew love for Jim could bring Hallie back but is Jim worth millions to her?
There could have been a helping hand in Henry’s death and somebody’s not quite as calm as they appear or maybe they’re not happy to see the prodigal daughter return. With Paradise being a small town and all, it doesn’t take long for the conditions of Hallie’s inheritance to become public and less time than that for townsfolk to become interested in the outcome as they sneak peeks at the couple.
Luckily, Hallie’s plans are to collect her money and leave, not settle down in Paradise. But seeing each other again reminded Jim and Hallie the feeling between them was anything but dead. Five years bring changes and in Jim’s case its family. He’s now a widower and a father. But for this reader’s taste the circumstances around Henri’s death and the star couple were a bit frustrating.
There are few things that can always be counted on but some sure things are in this series. One is the story will be well written and the characters have full lives. Another is the flawed hero is definitely older and wiser than twenty-something. He’s learned something from his mistakes and can admit he’s been a jerk. Also, there will be so many suspects they kill the suspense until you just want it to be over.
The previous outing left Vhypher escaping after stealing the Daemon blade that held the vicious Daemon King and his horde, a high level mage switching sides and be-spelling half of Tighe’s soul in a clone leaving only seven Feral Warriors to help their brethren and protect humans from the draden. Things got complicated when Tighe found himself seeing through the clone’s eyes and saw… her.
FBI agent Delaney Randall’s hot on the trail of an elusive serial killer that specializes in women and children. Having been that child, Delaney didn’t want another in that position. Though she escaped the mad man he must’ve done something to her because now she’s glimpsing new murders as he commits them.
It was bad enough Tighe was helpless to stop the murders he saw through the clone’s eyes but somehow Delaney’s hijacked them. His brethren’s sure Delaney’s death will restore the visions to him. Tighe’s too protective to let that happen though Delaney dredges memories he’d rather forget. When they meet, Tighe’s story ensures Delaney thinks he’s the killer on drugs. And woo hoo is he sexy!
This outing had great intrigue and the likeable leads chemistry was explosive in this cat and mouse tale. Delaney’s comfort zone of only black and white threatened the HEA a few times but softness did what softness does. The secondary thread of chasing the blade could’ve been tedious but had a twist or two of its own and was infrequent enough to create its own degree of excitement for its chapters.
While Mina looked at lingerie in preparation for her wedding to Blue, newest Red Stone Security agent, Ivan Mitchell looked at lingerie shop owner Julieta Mederos. Ivan was enchanted by the petite beauty from the moment he saw her and it doesn’t hurt that she’s Lizzy’s best friend. Noticing Jules pale at the bridal shower, Ivan quickly finds out she’s being stalked and assigns himself as her protection.
Though Jules had been noticing Ivan she wasn’t certain they were looking at each other the same way or for the same reason. Now that they’re seeing things eye to eye she’s grateful for his help. Ivan’s sure the explicit texts and vandalism incidents at Jules’ shop are connected and attaches himself to her side.
Distracted by everything, Jules brings Ivan into the bosom of her family. They’re charmed, especially when they find out about his Ranger background and how seriously he’s taking the threats to Jules’ life. Meanwhile, her stalker is more than a little upset that there’s now a man in Jules’ life and steps up his elaborate plans to solidify his own future with her.
Though he ignored her and resented his neglectful father who seemed to dote on his adoptive daughter, Sophie Nash crushed on stepbrother Special Ops soldier Chase “Fiddler” Daniels during his annual visits when she was a pre-teen. A dozen years later he doesn’t recognize the just his type woman when she wakes him from a much needed sleep.
Dear old dad sent Sophie to Chase for protection against her problem. No sooner does Sophie get her tale of fear, possible murder and a threat by Androv, a threat on the HOT watch list, than Chase’s apartment explodes with them in it. They barely escape to the nearby forested area with their lives and pursuers that won’t give up since Maggie took proof and needs Chase to help her retrieve it. In Paris!
With Androv’s best assassin on their trail with knowledge of their destination and no official help from HOT, Chase is mostly on his own in protecting Sophie as the flames between them become blazes. Beautiful, innocent, self-conscious Sophie has no idea of the explosive secrets on the flash drive she stole or how far Androv would go to get it and her back in his possession where they both belonged.
Unable to officially assist or investigate or not, the Hostile Operations Team isn’t sitting on the sidelines when there’s a damsel in distress that means anything to one of their own, even if it means giving up much needed vacation. Especially if the threat is already on their radar and Androv most definitely is. Mostly because now that they know what he’s up to.
Skirting the edge of taboo may never have been this exciting as the outing fits the series mold and doesn’t stint on romance, action, intrigue or the lusciously delicious and intoxicatingly dangerous Ian Black in addition to the usual sexy alpha warriors of HOT!
A dozen years ago Pacific pack enforcer Josh Neelan was turned and didn’t know how to cope so he left Roseburg and Michelle Slattery without a word. Before Josh left, Michelle planned to tell him how she felt and that she was a witch. Now a police officer with a personal stake in a missing person’s case, Michellle has to ask the pack to help track down the victim while resisting Josh’s charms.
Michelle refuses Josh’s offer to let the pack handle it but learns Mages are suspected of being behind a rash of kidnappings and deaths of witches and weres across the continent. With Michelle calm about the otherness of the wolf lifestyle, she and Josh found time to mate as the mystery of the kidnappings and murders deepened.
With the Cascadia pack ruling family mated off, this outing spins to its allies and connected pack, Pacifica by introducing a new threat. Leads Josh does well in the spotlight and his lady choice, Michelle is strong and independent without being irritating. Cameos from Cascadia Wolves and (presumably) De La Vega fan favorites and new characters fanned the all hands on deck urgency of the read.
The city is blanketed by council coyotes with one goal. They’re to capture Mica Toler, best friend of the heavily protected wolf/coyote breed, Cassie Sinclair. Mica’s security is breached and she’s escaped her kidnapped but hasn’t reached safety by the time wolf breed Navarro Blaine ditches his assignment and gets to her side for protection until transport’s arranged or mete out punishment.
Safety is a temporary illusion as the coyotes are resolute and single-minded in locating Mica, interrupting the interlude with Navarro. The coyotes are successful in separating the elite breed force from their principal but Mica has Navarro and his recessed genes do nothing to stop his determination to protect his woman. The coyotes are just as determined to get the upper hand at the expense of the human.
For the reader it’s been more than a dozen outings since Mica interacted with breeds so this outing with Navarro, supposedly rekindling a desire they’ve been fighting comes across as false. Snippets of remembering childhood antics, glimpses of teen-aged crushes and a stolen kiss before sex gave the read a pedophilic vibe for my taste. An insta-lust relationship would have felt more honest.
Youngest Warden sibling, Tracy, is over her mom bringing wolves over as potential mates. Eager to stem that tide, Tracy agrees to help with Cascadia’s part in the mediation set near Pacifica pack territory. While guy watching with her sister and sister-in-law, Tracy’s taken with the Pacifica second, Nick as well as the mediator, Gabe. Both males scent Tracy as a potential mate.
A rare tri-mate bond is formed when Nick and Tracy mate and Gabe acts as her anchor, making the trio mates. Tracy isn’t welcomed into Pacifica pack leading to confrontations with her new alphas and aggravated when the tri-mate bond is recognized. Pellini’s insidious claws have reached the National leadership pack giving remote packs few alternatives.
This messy outing didn’t hold together very well for my taste, the pieces were present but abruptly sacrificed to accommodate the next sex scene. The contrast of Nick, Gabe and Tracy’s styles and personalities was a great touch. This reader’s favorites updated the overall arc of Pellini, the ‘wolf mafia’ and the formula, also the conflict with the Pacifica alphas spiced up their characters.
It’s been a year but former Marine and new Red Stone Security agent Alexander Blue is still feeling things out. After wrapping the case that brought him to Key West, staying over a few extra days felt right. Going out to grab a bite to combat the loneliness, Blue goes to the rescue of local artist Mina Hollingsworth from three thugs during a not so simple mugging.
Mina tried to disguise the effect Blue had on her as she tended Blue at her apartment, she’s convinced he’s ex-military and there was more to the mugging since she was from a prominent family but refuses to call the police. Blue doesn’t understand why but doesn’t push as he tries to tamp down his feeling. As Mina’s kidnappers get new orders and watch them, Mina and Blue sort their feelings.