Monday, December 20, 2010

UNDER THE MILLIONAIRE'S MISTLETOE - Maureen Child and Sandra Hyatt


The Wrong Brother was certainly a holiday hit as only Maureen Child's can pen. It’s sexy, steamy and seriously fun because the tables were turned on both Sam Hale and Anna Cameron.

The title “The Wrong Brother” describes the book to a tee. Why one might ask?  Because for a brief time Sam’s younger brother had been dating Anna Cameron.   A relationship that Sam broke up because he believed Anna Cameron was a gold digger. Cameron Leather was in trouble and it was owned by Anna’s father, a father she loved and adored. And her stepmother wanted the best for her husband and she wanted Anna to get back together with Garrett Hale. So at her father’s holiday party for his employees she hid from her tipsy stepmother until her father coaxed her to quit hiding behind the potted palm. Step mom on the chase, Anna spotted a tall man standing under the mistletoe and asked him to save her life by kissing her. The kiss was magical and explosive, and she didn't want it to end.

Sparks exploded between Anna and the stranger she was  kissing. It was everything she had ever dreamed of and more, until she found out that the very same man was in fact, Sam Hale. Talk about a fun first encounter. She couldn’t get that kiss out of her head but was determined to do so. As her business was also slow, when she received a call from a woman requesting a quote for a mural to be commissioned for her mansion, Anna jumped at the chance. What she didn’t know was that it was Sam’s housekeeper getting her there on false pretenses. To say she was angry was putting it mildly. To get back at him, she doubled the quote and Sam  didn't care, he accepted.

They would be seeing each other daily, because Hales Luxury Autos, who built luxury cars for celebs had their garage on Sam’s property. It was a lucrative business that Sam had built from the ground up. He too was remembering the kiss and so was the entire town who had witnessed it at the party.  They were the hot topic in the small town of Crystal Bay. She knew she should refuse and go but how could she when she recalled the shared kiss that lit her up like the 4th of July? Plus the fact that Sam didn’t trust her and he believed she had used his brother to save her father’s company. All I could think of while reading this fun romance, was would Maureen Child’s sense of humor shine through? Yes, trust me you’ll erupt with laughter every so often while reading this amazing romance. I was just hoping they would repeat that explosive kiss and they did after returning from a motorcycle ride and then some, plus a trip to the bedroom. Wow is all I can say and then Anna fell head over heels in love.

Things became complicated for Sam because he still wasn’t sure he could trust Anna but that didn’t stop him from wanting her day and night. On top of that he wondered what his brother would say and if he would loose him because he was seeing Anna. To complicate things further, Anna’s father paid him a visit due to the town gossip. He wanted to make sure Sam understood he would not use his daughter as a bargaining chip to save his business. And then the day of the mural revealing came upon them and Anna hoped that every day when he looked at his office mural he would think of her. But she knew she had to end her relationship with Sam because he didn’t trust her and it was killing her because she loved him. So when she questioned him and he didn’t answer, they quarreled and she left.

What a Christmas for them both; they were miserable without each other and Anna was extremely worried about her father. After discussions with his brother and telling him everything and several unanswered calls to Anna, Sam made a decision. A most incredible decision that had me bawling because it was so sweet and tender. He finally realized that Anna had integrity and had his heart! The lengths he went to regain her love was amazing, giving them that their holiday magic and happy ending.


Author Sandra Hyatt was a new author for me to read and her Mistletoe Magic was just that, magical! It also made me think to what lengths one would to go if they possibly thought they might not live? Marriage to a woman he barely knew to protect his estate so that his half-brother couldn’t get his hands on it? That’s exactly what to Luke Maitland and Meg Elliott did, got married under unusual circumstances.

After a failed relationship, Meg Elliott had gotten to know Luke’s mother at a fundraiser luncheon and she really respected the woman. She decided to go to work for the Maitland foundation in Indonesia and that’s where she met Luke Maitland who was seriously injured. She was sweet, gentle and he couldn’t keep from thinking about her even though he was in pain. When the thought came up in his mind that what if he should die, he put a crazy plan into motion and asked Meg to marry him. Because his brother had tried to blackmail his mother while she was alive, he didn’t want his brother to inherit his estate. And now months later he returned home to Lake Tahoe without any warning and kissed her under the mistletoe.

Meg wasn’t quite sure what to do because now that Luke was home she needed to leave. However, her car was in the shop so she agreed to stay a few days. Luke didn’t do Christmas and here not only was his home decorated, his friends had become her friends and she had planned a huge fundraiser dinner. It was complicated and uncomfortable and play acting that they were actually married at times was stressful. However, he thought about her voice, her gentle touch while she had nursed him months earlier and remembered their wedding kiss. She shared with him the things she had said and done to his friends concerning their marriage and now that would have to end. And then without warning they were touching and kissing until they were interrupted by the caterers arriving for the fundraiser dinner party.

The touching and looks continued through out the dinner party and then the inevitable, they made love in his study. Walks, making love, talking over their shared past and both knowing that in a few days, they would seek a divorce and Meg would walk away. Meg knew she was in trouble and her heart was going to be broken. Being with Luke was wonderful and she would take what she could get. Things were happening way to fast, their time coming to an end plus for Luke, how was he going to deal with his brother? And then the weather had other ideas, it snowed, so they spent their time watching movies and acting like a married couple. However, Meg felt she should leave but I could tell Luke wasn’t ready to let her go because he told her she eased something in him. Could that mean he was also falling for her?

The ending was magical for both Meg and Luke because Meg made a bold decision while Luke was privately meeting with his friend and attorney. She acted on her decision, only to find out in the end that Luke had actually fallen in love with her,giving them both holiday magic.

Book Description:

Pucker up for two irresistible millionaires who are about to meet their matches…under the mistletoe!


Well, she'd asked to be kissed. Who was Sam Hale to deny a beauty such a request? But when the businessman discovered she was Anna Cameron, the woman he'd made his brother stop dating, Sam knew trouble was brewing. Especially since his mistletoe lady was driving this noncommittal bachelor to distraction….


He never expected to be kissing his "wife" under the mistletoe. Millionaire Luke Maitland had married Meg Elliot under extreme circumstances…certain they'd never be reunited. Yet even as he planned to end their temporary union, he could not ignore the intense passion between them. Was this magnate meant to be married?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

NICOLO: THE POWERFUL SICILIAN (Orsini Brothers) - Sandra Marton

Nicolo: The Powerful Sicilian like all of Sandra Marton’s Orsini Brother series was a marvelous and stunning romance

Their mobster father, Cesare Orsini as he did with his other three sons, summoned his son Nick to go on a mission. There was no love loss between this son and his father but when the mob boss said he wanted to invest in the Antoninni vineyard in Tuscany for Nick’s mother, Nick agreed to go and check it out. However, he told his father he only had two days to spend in Italy. Nick and his other three brothers had founded an investment firm and were as wealthy and powerful as their father without being a part of their father’s life. Like his brother’s he adored his mother and sisters. Of course, his other brother’s had gone on similar missions for their father and had ended up meeting and marrying lovely women. As for Nick, he was a love ‘em and leave them sort of guy. However, I secretly wondered would he also meet his match?

As another reviewer described him, Prince Vittorio Antoninni was a “royal rat”. His wife was still alive but was living in a sanatorium and he had a mistress. The Prince had run his vineyard into the ground. He needed cash and he demanded of his daughter Alessia that she meet with Nicolo Orsini. Of course, she was aware of Cesare Orsini reputation to be the head of a New York crime organization so she assumed Nick was involved in his father’s organization. She lived a separate life from her father, resided in Rome and was an events planner. However, without the loan what would become of her mother? So she agreed to meet Nick, entertain him and give him a guided tour of the vineyard.

Nick and Alessia’s first meeting got off to a bad start because she waited hours for him to arrive at the airport. On top of that, Nick thought she was looking down her nose at him and of course, she didn’t know what he did for a living. Anger got the best of this princess and Nick knew of only one way to silence her and that was to kiss her! She was furious to put it mildly and she almost killed them both while driving back to her family villa. The sparks few between them and they were constantly arguing and the two days Nick agreed to, he now demanded two weeks. I knew that kiss intrigued him and this princess intrigued and challenged him. On top of it all, she was livid.

Per her father, Alessia was to wine and dine Nicolo Orsini, and invite important guests from the region also to attend a dinner. Nick didn’t know what it was that attracted him to Alessia because she wasn’t his type and he couldn’t imagine her wanting to please a man. However, insane as it was Nick and Alessia realized there was something brewing between them. He was always touching and kissing her and then he decided that he would personally invest in her father’s vineyard, however, he wanted controlling interest. For Alessia it was her mother who was important and her care and the Orsini money would guarantee her care. Without bailing out her father, what would happen to her mother? So, as Nick’s tour guide, she took him on a tour of the vineyard and it ended up with more touching and kissing, confusing them both. Insanity took over and they agreed that Nick would get them a place away from the villa and watchful eyes. A place where they could explore and be together and leave the ghosts of both of their father’s behind.

Their time together was magical! Nick realized that time with Alessia was more than he had anticipated and more than a man could find in a lifetime. She had told him she was on the pill and that was a relief because he had no protection. And then Nick realized he would lend her father the money with no restrictions. Meeting the prince face to face, he could see the man was uncaring, he had gone to a crime boss for a loan but that didn’t matter, only Alessia mattered. He wanted more time with her, didn’t want to return to New York and so they took a little trip to Florence where the light bulb went on for Alessia. She realized she could be pregnant. Early on in their relationship, Nick he made it very clear to her, never to lie to him. So I wondered how or if she would tell him? It was an extremely emotional time for both of them. There was one thing was for sure, Alessia was NOT going to be any man’s problem. Think about it, two Italian’s arguing about the fate of their child and then coming to the conclusion marriage was the answer. It was quite an argument.

After a civil ceremony, and an overheard conversation with her father, Nick exploded. His future wife was a liar and she and her father had cheated him. However, he married her anyway for the sake of their child. After that, Nicolo Orsini became an entirely different man. I so loved this man but his behaviour was completely unacceptable and I wanted to strangle him. Was there any hope for this couple because Alessia definitely loved her husband but how much could and would she endure?

During the final chapters this couple’s journey was one huge roller coaster, including meeting the Orsini sisters, an emergency trip to the hospital and a family Sicilian wedding. Nick and Alessia’s story was a brilliant ending to this series. I only wish there were more Orsini brother for Sandra Marton to write about. However, I’m patiently waiting for the sister’s stories because they both professed never to tie themselves to a man.

Behind the book:

“Nick reluctantly agrees to see if a Tuscan vineyard is a worthwhile investment. Princess Alicia Antoninni, the daughter of the vineyard’s owner, thinks Nick is a thug like his father. A handsome, rich, heart-stoppingly sexy thug but still, a thug. Nick doesn’t like the lady’s disdainful attitude but so what? He’s going home in a couple of days. The only thing he and Alicia have in common is their mutual dislike… unless you factor in a sexual attraction that’s hot enough to start a fire! The commoner and the princess have a sizzling affair and just when it’s almost over, Alicia discovers that she’s pregnant. Has she played Nick for a fool? He has good reason to think so, but he’s going to do the right thing even as he breaks both their hearts.

As with all of my mini-series, you can read and enjoy each Orsini book on its own.

And, oh, one last thing. Falco: the Dark Guardian is a nominee for Best Presents of 2010. Yay!” Sandra Marton post at ((Heart)Presents

Book Description:

Nicolo Orsini has better things to do than visit some ancient Tuscan vineyard! Yet, when family and business mix, he has little choice. Then he meets Alessia Antoninni—a spoiled little princess, with a smart mouth and pert figure—and the trip instantly becomes more interesting!

Alessia's been told that the Orsini name spells danger. But she wasn't expecting Nick's potent masculinity. With her heart and her business at risk, soon she is giving in to all his demands….

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


No one can create a stubborn and arrogant hero like author Lynne Graham. In Book1 of her new trilogy, one will meet the extremely proud Spaniard, Alejandro Navarro Vasquez. Stubborn doesn’t even describe this man who takes the word of his half brother that he was having an affair with Jemima, Alejandro’s wife.

Now two years later, Jemima is living back in her native England with her two year old son Alfie, the son she thought she had miscarried when she left her husband after a bitter argument, However, her doctor confirmed she was definitely pregnant and had probably lost a twin. Still married to Alejandro, she was running a florist shop and raising her son. What she didn’t count on was for her ex to make an appearance and demand a divorce.

What this proud man didn’t count on was to find out he had a young son. Of course there was a DNA test and which proved Alejandro was the father. Demands, more demands and finally they agreed that they would give their marriage a three month trial, for their son’s sake. And so, the three of them returned to Spain and the Castle where Alejandro’s wicked stepmother and sweet sister resided.

Accusation, after accusation kept being sent Jemima’s way. Her husband wouldn’t believe her concerning her relationship with his brother. However, the physical attraction and sensual awareness for both of them was still strong. What had always good between them was their love making, and so they resumed their relationship in the bedroom.. While reading this romance, I wondered how much Jemima would endure for the sake of her son? It was obvious his statements hurt her and that he would believe his brother over her. However, he did get rid of his stepmother when he finally realized all of the things his wife told him about her were true. Each of them, in their own way tried to get along, make the marriage work but they both were keeping secrets. Jemima about her abusive upbringing and about all of the money she had been blackmailed into given her father shortly after they were married.

It was obvious to me that Jemima still loved her husband and was hoping he would believe her. I sincerely thought he loved her from the time they met because he finally agreed for their relationship to be exclusive. Then when he asked this young woman to marry him. But I also felt for her living in a strange country, being treated so poorly by her in-law, having her husband working long hours and not paying attention to her. So I could understand why she sought out the friendship with his step-brother Marco. But as the three month period came to a close, there was a chain of events that set in motion suffering and pain for them both. However, when both of their secrets were revealed and Alejandro finally learned the truth about his brother and let down his guard, this couple got their amazing happy ending.

About Secretly Pregnant Trilogy:

“This trilogy is set in the charming and pretty English village of Charlbury St.Helens is home to three young women whose Cinderella lives are about to be turned upside down….by three of the wealthiest, most handsome and impossibly arrogant men in Europe!

Jemima, Flora and Jess aren’t looking for love, but all have babies very much in mind. As you will learn in Book 1, Jemima has Alfie. Flora is hoping to adopt her late half-sister’s little daughter and Jess just longs to be a mom.

But whether they have or want a baby, all the girls must marry ultimate alpha males to keep their dreams….And Alejandro, Angelo and Cesario are not about to be tamed!”

Book Description::

She had run away…and her husband wanted revenge!

Alejandro Navarro Vasquez, the Conde Olivares, has long desired vengeance… His wife betrayed him with an act that by the proud Spaniard’s code was unforgivable. What’s more, the breakdown of their marriage is a bitter truth which undermines Alejandro’s every achievement.

Alejandro’s opportunity for justice comes when the private detective he’s hired pinpoints Jemima’s whereabouts…and delivers the news that she has a two-year-old son. Clearly her wanton ways have led to an illegitimate birth… But no matter: Alejandro is determined to settle the score with his runaway wife… SECRETLY PREGNANT… CONVENIENTLY WED With this ring, I claim my baby!


Her Last Night of Innocence by the award winning author India Grey was absolutely without a doubt a spectacular read. It will also appear on my top ten list for 2010. However, you most definitely will want to allow enough time to read this romance in one sitting!

Personally, I’ve visited Monte Carlo and it’s magical. Can you imagine being there with the rich and famous watching one of the world’s most successful playboy billionaire’s and the sought after handsome driver Christiano crash and burn? The very same man you interviewed and slept with the night before? The sexy Italian who bared his soul and told you “last night was just the beginning, wait for me”. To make it even more emotional, he suffered from memory loss and couldn’t remember the night you spent together nor did he know he had fathered a son!

Kate Edwards couldn’t believe she had spent the most amazing night with the famous Christiano Marseca. They had not just shared passion, they talked about their pasts, something this Italian playboy never did and it was special for both of them. However, thinking about her while racing his car ended in a crash and he suffered a memory loss. When Kate returned home to England, she found out she was pregnant and wrote to him several times sending letters to his villa in Monte Carlo but never heard back from him. However, as fate would have it, four years later, Christiano had somewhat recovered and had returned to race for his mentor and friend. Kate’s company, one of the sponsors, which had originally sent her years earlier were sending her again. Her boss and friend, agreed she needed closure, needed to tell Christiano he had a son and that he and his wife would babysit her little boy.

There was something familiar about her, Christiano could sense it but he couldn’t put his finger on it. He could also sense she was nervous being at the party and he followed her. He experienced some flashbacks due to his retrograde amnesia and remembered she had interviewed him the evening before the race. Could she be the key to him remembering those hours before the crash? Because he was sure he had slept with her, even though she was so different from the women he usually bedded. So he ran after her and that’s when the intensity began in the storyline in Her Last Night of Innocence.

Kate couldn’t believe he was in her hotel room as she was packing to return home to England. Christiano didn’t remember her so she would leave the envelope for him with the message to contact her solicitor and that he had a son or would she? Christiano made an abrupt decision, as he was going to take up his physician on using her chalet in Switzerland, he was going to take Kate with him and get down to the bottom of things. He was sure she was the key to his memory loss. What he didn’t count on was her fear of driving fast. Kate had lost both her father and brother to fatal car accidents.

Bittersweet is how I would describe their time together, making love, sharing, laughing, loving. During their time at the chalet, pivotal things happened. Kate realized she never stopped loving him, she learned he never wanted to marry nor have children, and then the most horrible thing happened, her son became extremely ill and she need to get home to England fast! Her heart was broken, in tatters because she knew she would never see her lover again. She also realized that because he told her he never wanted children, he had released her from the burden of telling him about Alexander.

Talk about a sorrowful love story! Just when I thought nothing more could happen to Kate, low and behold Christiano found her evening bag with the letter that told him he had a son! Talk about a roller coaster romance by the clever India Grey. Could it just get anymore intense? Trust me, it does and talk about raw emotion because their son was seriously ill, Christiano was determined to have his son, with or without Kate and poor Kate’s emotions because she loved them both so very much. All I can say is that that this author gave Christiano, Alexander and Kate the most amazing happy ending. It took getting over her fear of fast cars and it took Christiano getting his memory back and realizing what Kate had meant to him back in Monte Carlo and now in the present. As I said at the beginning, this is a must read, a perfect fast paced romance with the most perfect beginning and ending!

Book Description:

World-famous racing driver Cristiano Maresca always spent the night before a race in the arms of a beautiful woman...Three years ago that woman was Kate Edwards, and her time with Cristiano awakened her to unimaginable pleasure. But the following day the untameable Cristiano had a near-fatal crash...and then Kate discovered she was expecting his baby...

Now Monte Carlo is set to celebrate Cristiano's return to the track. Shivering with nerves, Kate braves the paparazzi to find the man who set her body aflame - and tell him her scandalous secret...That Italy's most notorious playboy has a surprise love-child!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Inheriting His Secret Christmas Baby by Heidi Betts was the perfect ending to a perfect series, The Jarrods. This family of brothers and sisters who after their father died had to relocate back home to Aspen and run the Jarrod Resort or they would loose their inheritance.

This was Trevor and Haylie's story, a moving and complicated one, full of passion that neither of them counted on, plus the fact that Haylie had traveled from Denver to Aspen to tell Trevor he had an infant son and the mother was her sister who had died. Her irresponsible sister who never took the time to let Trevor know of the baby and who had let her sister literally raise him, even when she had been alive.

When Trevor set eyes on Haylie and baby Bradley sitting in his office he had no idea what she wanted and then when she dropped the bomb he thought could this beautiful young woman be a gold digger? Well, he was no dummy and he would make sure there would be a DNA test. However, what to do about the press until they got the test results because the press loved to expose anything they could about his family.

So Trevor came to a decision. For two weeks he would move Haylie and Bradley into his home and he would make sure the baby had everything he needed and in the meantime, he would get to know this supposed child of his and learn about the duties he would need to perform as father. What he didn’t count on was having Haylie say no because she owned and ran an events business back in Denver. She wasn’t like anything he expected plus the sexual attraction sparked between them.

Haylie couldn’t believe how hands on Trevor wanted to be, it tugged at her heart strings, plus the fact that he had made arrangements with his sister to meet with Haylie about her upcoming Christmas Eve wedding. He sincerely wanted her to stay in Aspen and plan her events from Jarrod Manor and she did. He had also gone so far as to get her everything she needed from make-up, lingerie, shoes, evening wear, to smart and casual clothes because she had only packed for one night. The attraction arched between them and from there they entered into a full blown affair. I wondered when they got the DNA results what would happen because Haylie adored Bradley and she didn’t want to have to give him up. However, Trevor was firm. If the baby was his, then he would assume full custody, she could visit but he would raise his son. Of course Bradley was his and then he did the most unexpected thing, he proposed marriage so they could both raise Bradley. No words of love, he just said the sex was good between them, and they could both live together and raise Bradley. In the middle of the night Haylie took the baby and fled back to Denver because what was marriage without love?

This handsome millionaire playboy got more than he bargained for but he needed a wake up call and that came in the form of his brother. When he had some time alone to think things through the light bulb came on, giving the three of them their happy ending and a happy ending for this incredible series thanks to Heidi Betts. It’s a six book series you won’t want to miss.

Book Description::

This wasn't the type of Christmas present he'd been expecting. Trevor Jarrod—a daddy? Yet the enticing woman seated in his office claimed the Aspen businessman was the father of her baby nephew. Quick as he could say paternity test, Trevor discovered she was telling the truth. But just what did this revelation mean? The confirmed bachelor knew nothing about being a parent. And Haylie Smith wasn't about to hand off the precious infant to a complete stranger.

If Trevor really wanted to claim his unexpected heir, he had an important choice—head to court…or head to the altar!

Heidi Betts Website

Friday, December 10, 2010

Do you have an appetite for suspense—and cookies?? Author Mary Burton

Not only can Mary Burton feed your appetite for suspense, but also for sweets! Once again she is happy to share with you her annual holiday recipe, this time with her original recipe, “Old Town Holiday Cookies” inspired by her upcoming release of SENSELESS (February) and MERCILESS (January), both set in and around Alexandria, VA, including the city’s famous Old Town section.

Mary takes a classic oatmeal cookie recipe and throws in a new twist, corn flakes—which means, for all you cookie fanatics out there, you have the perfect excuse to have cookies for breakfast! Whether you’re sharing them with loved ones, leaving them for Santa, or savoring them with your morning coffee, we hope you’ll enjoy Mary Burton’s "Old Town Holiday Cookies."

Old Town Holiday Cookies

2 sticks of butter
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups of All Purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
4 cups corn flakes
1 cup chocolate chips
White Chocolate

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cream softened butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Mix in eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Slowly blend dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture. Fold in corn flakes and chocolate chips. Drop rounded tablespoons onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

When cooled, drizzle with melted white chocolate.
A Mary Burton video


“Steig Larsson fans will find a lot to like in Burton’s taut, well-paced novel…Burton (Dead Ringer) surrounds her appealing protagonist with a strong supporting cast.” –Publishers Weekly on Senseless

After keeping the murder rate soaring in her hometown of Richmond, Virginia with Dying Scream, Dead Ringer, and I’m Watching You, Mary Burton has Alexandria on her radar and the homicide rate is about to climb. In SENSELESS and MERCILESS, Detectives Deacon Garrison and Kier Malcom, convicted felon Eva Rayburn, and Angie Carlson, Eva’s half-sister and a high-profile, high priced criminal attorney, are thrust center stage in Burton’s stories of murder and secret obsessions. Long buried secrets lie at the heart of the suspense as both Eva and Angie struggle with deception and a shared legacy to find the strength needed to survive.

I couldn’t put it down!”—Lisa Jackson on Dying Scream

“Keep the lights on for this one.”—RT Book Reviews (4 ½ stars) on Dying Scream

“Mary Burton never ceases to amaze me…anything written by Burton is a winner.”

—Book Reviews R Us on Dying Scream

“A taut race… enhanced with a dash of sexual tension.”—Publishers Weekly on Dead Ringer “Compelling, compulsive reading.”—Charlottesville Daily Progress (VA) on Dead Ringer

“I’m Watching You gives readers plenty of action and intrigue.”—The Free Lance-Star


When an explosion and fire destroys Hannah’s House, the homeless shelter where Eva Rayburn works as a night attendant the body of a tortured woman is discovered in the yard. She has been branded. Four pointed stars encircle her navel, a hallmark dating from the Sorority House Murder, a decade-old case that ended Eva’s life as she knew it. Charged for the killing of Josiah Cross, the man who raped her, she bears a star branded on her shoulder, as well as a memory that fails to recall what happened that fateful night, and the legacy of a ten year prison sentence.

Detective Deacon Garrison is sure the murder at Hannah’s House has something to do with Eva, who, is not only under scrutiny by the Alexandria police force, she is also back in the media spotlight, thanks to journalist James Dillon who branded her as a jealous and enraged ex-girlfriend when he wrote about the Sorority House Murders. After another killing, Garrison isn’t the only one who wants answers, Eva does too. She’s ready to do whatever it takes. She’s ready to fight—even die, to find out what happened that night ten years ago.


Detective Kier Malcolm and high-profile criminal attorney Angie Carlson come up against a brutal and brilliant psychopath who leaves behind only the gleaming white and perfectly preserved bones of his victims. Kier—and most of the Alexandria law enforcement—believe the murderer is Dr. James Dixon. Angie recently defended Dr. Dixon in an earlier murder trial—and won. With the entire police force blaming her for Dixon’s freedom, she too has doubts as to whether he was in fact innocent, and is becoming more and more convinced that the police may be right—she helped let loose a killer.

As lead after lead dead-ends, a young man claiming to be Eva Rayburn’s half-brother shows up, bringing with him the diary of her dead father. Suddenly, two things become shockingly clear—the killer has always intended to make Angie his ultimate victim, and the madness has roots going back to the Sorority House Murder over a decade ago.


A Virginia native whose family’s Richmond roots run as deep as the nation’s, New Your Times and USA Today bestselling author Mary Burton has only resided in one other place—Alexandria, Virginia, where she lived for a few years and which is now the setting for her novels SENSELESS (January 2011) and MERCILESS (February 2011). She graduated from Virginia’s Hollins University and began a career in marketing. After a decade she left her job and began writing. Her first novel, a romance, was published in 2000. It was also the first manuscript she completed.

Following that book, Burton wrote several novels for Harlequin and Silhouette before entering the dark world of multiple murderers and their motives with Senseless, Merciless, Dying Scream, Dead Ringer and I’m Watching You, as well as her novella Christmas Past, which appears in the 2008 New York Times best selling holiday anthology Silver Bells.

Her commitment to realism has led to eye-opening interviews with local law enforcement, to forensic seminars and to the firing range. She is a graduate of the Henrico County Citizens Police Academy and the Richmond FBI Citizen’s Academy, and has participated in the Sisters in Crime’s Forensic University program and, recently, the Writers Police Academy in Jamestown, North Carolina. There she attended seminars on autopsies, undercover work and why people kill.

To read a Q&A about Mary Burton and for a chance to win a book, stop over at Romance Author Buzz.

Thursday, December 09, 2010


Talk about a punch straight to my heart! Natalie Anderson and her Unbuttoned by Her Maverick Boss took my breath away thanks to this amazing author. The socialite and the tormented and wounded warrior was extraordinary.

Immediately there was an attraction between both of them. He was the billionaire playboy and out of her league. However, Lorenzo Hall intrigued her and she was here at his office to do what she did best, bail him out of a jam. His charity volunteer had a premature birth and the Whistle Fund needed administrative help, something the beautiful Sophy Braithwaite was used to providing. The word “no” wasn’t in her vocabulary when it came to her family and friends.

Their entire time together to put it simply was complicated. Sophy had dated a few people and had even been engaged and was used by her fiancée. For the most part, she played life safe. Her father was an accomplished judge and her siblings were lawyers. Sophy was just sweet Sophy, always trying to please her family so much so, at times they took advantage without meaning to do so. She wasn't an academic like her sisters and brothers. She was always running errands for her family, planning events, etc. It was her dream to be a jewelry designer but she was afraid her family wouldn't approve. However, Lorenzo made her feel prickly, made her desire, made her want to walk on the wild side. They taunted each other, they played games and then she stepped out of the box and went for it and the brass ring, Lorenzo.

Lorenzo Hall had a past and it wasn’t pretty. He had been abused by his father, his mother never came to his defense and he acted out with anger. All of it ended up with Lorenzo appearing before a judge. He was sent from one foster home to another, never belonged, and was never loved. The one good thing that happened was he was sent on a scholarship to boarding school. He became friends with a wealthy school chum, Alex Carlisle. (Alex’s story is Caught on Camera with the CEO). Throughout school and later, they became more than friends, they were more like brothers!

However, Lorenzo knew he would never marry, have children, he would just live, see selected women but never commit. However his desire for Sophy was strong. He’d never felt desire like this before with the women he dated. Sophy, the buttoned up rich girl turned him on. He wanted her messy and in his bed! Let’s just say, every step of the way Lorenzo fought his feelings for her and it seemed he couldn't get enough of her. A one night stand turned into weeks of intensity, weeks of getting to know each other. Between getting Lorenzo’s charity organized, spending time with him it all became overwhelming.

Sophy wanted her dream to come true. She wanted to become a successful jewelry designer. She had the opportunity to show her pieces and she so wanted to make her family proud. What few people could see besides her best friend and Lorenzo, Sophy was frightened she would fail For a big mean playboy, Lorenzo had a soft side. He could actually see who and what Sophy was when it came to her family and her insecurities about her talent. As much as he would never admit it, he was somewhat putty in her hands. He did special things for her so that she would have a successful show and it will melt your heart what this beautiful man and the lengths he goes to make sure she’s a success.

Magical is all I can say about Lorenzo and Sophy. She knew they had something special but he couldn’t and wouldn’t acknowledge it. When it became personal, he pushed her away. So much so, that everything about their relationship exploded and ended in an extremely emotional way. Sophy finally demanded Lorenzo at least share why they couldn’t be together. I just have to say, this tormented and wounded warrior broke my heart, as he will yours. When Lorenzo finally comes clean about his past and how it’s somewhat linked to hers it was pure agony to read. I wondered how would it be possible for them to have a future? I couldn’t believe it.

His friend Alex had his happy ending and I so wanted one for Lorenzo. This closed off alpha surely surprised me not only with how much he accomplished in his lifetime but how he gave the woman he adored her happy ending. That’s what it’s about, isn’t it…….the happy ending? Thanks to the lovely Natalie Anderson for writing this beautiful and most amazing love story and for the two sexy rogues and best friends.

Behind the Book:

A themed duo about a couple of gorgeous best friends (and rogues) with
Book 1 Caught on Camera with the CEO

Book Description::

Office gossip...

It's well known that rugged tycoon Lorenzo Hall comes from the wrong side of the tracks, and that opposites attract... Apparently one glimpse of his pristine new assistant Sophy Braithwaite had Lorenzo itching to undress her - we wonder if she's as prim and proper as she looks!

Of course, to Sophy, her smouldering boss should be off-limits, but it's easy to see how Lorenzo's criminally hot body and the dangerous twinkle in his eyes could tempt her to break all the rules...

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

December Recipe of the Month - White House Soft Rolled Sugar Cookie

The White House Chef shared his recipe on Good Morning America.  If these are good enough for the Oval Office, why not bake them for family and friends?

Ingredients - Dough

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter, soft, unsalted

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder


2 egg whites (from large eggs)

4-6 cups powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp lemon juice

liquid food color, as desired

Cooking Directions - Cookies

Combine sugar and butter and beat until light and fluffy, about 8-10 minutes with an electric mixer and paddle attachment.

Add eggs and vanilla and blend.

Sift flour, salt and baking powder and add. Mix until a dough forms.

Wrap dough in plastic and chill for at least two hours or overnight before using.

Roll on a lightly floured surface to 1/4" thick. Cut out desired Chirstmas shapes like, bells, santas, snowmen, stars, candy canes and etc.

Place cookies on a baking tray that has been lined with baking paper or grease baking tray if no paper is avaliable.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10-12 minutes until lightly browned. Baking times depend on the oven. Rotate baking tray halfway through the baking time. Do not over-bake or cookies will get too hard. These cookies should be soft.

Let cookies cool completely before decorating.

Makes about 2-3 dozen cookies (depending on size of cutters).


Place egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer.

Sift powdered sugar. Gradually add sugar as mixer is running on low speed. May require a little more or less sugar depending on size of egg whites used.

Add lemon juice and vanilla and blend well.

Divide icing into small bowls and color as desired.

Decorate cookies as you wish.

Note: For a quick way to decorate cookies without using the icing, brush cookies with a slightly beaten egg white and sprinkle cookies with colored sugar(s) before baking.

Saturday, December 04, 2010


Natalie Anderson has written one sensual and exciting romance with Caught On Camera With the CEO!

He was the boss and he was hot and Dani couldn’t take her eyes off of him! She usually took the stairs, because being confined in small spaces upset her. However, on this particular day, she took the elevator and who should enter it but Alex Carlisle, her sexy boss. Alex could see she was scared, didn’t know what to do, so he kissed her. He more than kissed her. What neither of them counted on was the “elevator tape” of them both would end up on UTube, with Dani’s legs wrapped around her boss. What a mess and then she was fired.

Dani Russo was on a mission, to find her brother because she promised her mother on her death bed she would find him. With little money, she left Australia for New Zealand, was staying at a hostel. Then she was fired and destitute. Finally when she realized all was lost she approached the man responsible for her being sacked. Guilt, lust, all of it caused him to offer her a room at his home. However, it all turned complicated when they acted on their mutual passion. On top of providing her a home, he provided her with a job at his and his best friends charity, a paying job when usually it’s a volunteer position.

I wondered what caused him to go soft and want to help her? And then it became obvious……the pull and the attraction. On top of everything else, he also offered to hire a private investigator to help find her brother. Alex wanted exclusive, he wanted to take her to parties and he wanted to spend time with her in and out of bed. He also needed the distraction because he found out that the man he believed to be his father was not……his mother had an affair. After his parents died, his biological father, Patrick contacted him, wanted to be a part of his life, and all of it was very unsettling. So many personal emotions for both of them. However, in the end they shared their hurts with each other. Love making, intense emotions which they both had problems dealing with, hiding from it, putting their feelings on the back burner.

The more intense their love making, the more it created problems for them both. Alex wanted to see Dani happy, especially after he learned of her childhood and why she hated being confined in small spaces. With her, everything felt right and he wanted to give her everything. Was it love at first sight or lust at first sight. It didn’t really matter, because they couldn’t get enough of each other. Then Alex dropped the bomb and Dani found out the truth about her brother. It tore them apart, and she was determined to return to Australia.

Thank God for Lorenzo, Alex’s best friend because he helped Dani to see the light before she left to return home. The point being that Alex was miserable without her, that he needed her. This silent man, Lorenzo will receive his own story in Unbuttoned by Her Maverick Boss and honestly, I can’t wait. Caught On Camera With the CEO was a amazing romance and this duo I believe will prove to be incredible as only Natalie Anderson can write.

Behind the Book:

Natalie talks about her first release in this duo, at IHeartPresents

Book Description:

TO: All staff - Is this the hottest kiss you've ever seen?

Finally our playboy boss plays around at work! Watch this steamy clip of Alex Carlisle getting down and dirty in the lift with the brand-new temp...

Heart-throb Alex has recently been spotted prowling the office floor - is brunette bombshell Dani Russo the reason? From this sizzling encounter, we think so!

Now Dani's lost her job, and the office grapevine says our bad-boy boss has moved her into his bachelor pad and found her a job - but is an X-rated action replay on the cards?! Watch this space...

Thursday, December 02, 2010

CAPTURED AND CROWNED (Bride on Approval) - Janette Kenny

Years ago, the King of Angrya made a marriage contract/agreement for his first born son, Crown Prince Gregor. This arranged marriage would be with the lovely Demetria Andreaou who was ten years younger than Demi. From a very young age, she had been groomed to be their future queen. She was not looking forward to this marriage because it was not a love match and she wanted to pursue her fashion design career. So much so, that she mentioned it time and time again to her father.

She was magnificent with her beauty and she was also a very talented fashion designer. She so wanted to be a success and she had only a year to do so before she married the Crown Prince. She tried to encourage her father to speak with the King to see if after she married, she could continue her career. Of course, he refused. On one particular day while in Angrya, Demi went for a walk on a deserted beach and came across the most handsome man she had ever met in her life. Neither of them recognized each other from their childhood, they just sat watching the sea turtles and then somehow it ended in kissing and touching. One can well imagine when they again saw each other later that night at the palace how they both reacted. Prince Kristo was furious because he thought Demi had betrayed his brother.

As second son, Kristo and his younger brother had been sent away to school, while Gregor had been groomed for being the future King. Kristo was some sort of ambassador and rarely returned home. What neither he nor his younger brother counted on a year later was their father dying. Later on they would both learn from Gregor, that he too dying. Kristo would assume the duty as King; he would also need to marry Demi as his father had originally wanted her as Angrya’s Queen. Can you imagine how this prince must have felt not only loosing his beloved brother but also having the same woman who had betrayed his dying brother? The very same woman he lusted after?

Kristo didn’t trust Demi one bit, in fact he locked her in her room in the place. Demi knew his feelings for her but she couldn’t change the fact that she too lusted after him. She was furious she was a prisoner, that she was expected to wear a wedding dress she had no say in and I died laughing because she literally tore it apart with her bare hands. She finally convinced Kristo to allow her to design and make her own dress, with his approval, of course. On every level, they battled, they argued, they agreed to disagree. She was strong, beautiful and not to be trusted, yet Kristo desired her away.

All Demi ever wanted was to be loved and to marry for love. She hoped after sharing some of her life with Kristo, he would understand, especially since he and his younger brother had been passed over and ignored by their parents. They had a lot to face……first the death of their King, the death of Gregor and then of all things, her sister fed a scandal to the press concerning her betrayal of Gregor. On top of that, their royal wedding. However, there was one thing for sure, Kristo was not waiting until their wedding night and he was shocked to find out his future wife and queen was a virgin. I can well imagine he was more like stunned? He realized she was not a schemer, not a flirt and that he had wronged her.

They had the state funeral for his brother to get through, so they postponed their wedding for a month. Demi fully knew she loved Kristo but for him she knew he didn’t and it caused her heart ache. Due to his duties of now being King and with the wedding delay, he suggested Demi return to work with her partner and get involved in the runway shows she had mentioned to him. She was desolate because he also told her being King he could dissolve the arranged marriage contract. However, if she was pregnant, of course, they would marry. King Kristo realized his feelings way too late but this stubborn King learned a valuable lesson. He remembered seeing her that day on the beach and realized she was perfect for him. How he got her back and convinced her he loved her was amazing to read.

Captured and Crowned was part of the Bride On Approval series and a perfect royal romance by author, Janette Kenny!

Behind the Book:

Janette talks about second sons and this book at I(Heart)Presents

Book Description:

Demetria Andreou has only a few hours of freedom left! Playboy prince Kristo Stanrakis must take his brother's place as King of Angyra—and he's planning to take Demetria, his brother's fiancée, for his queen!

Only Kristo realizes innocent Demetria was his for the taking a year ago when, as strangers, they nearly made love on sun-baked white sand. The arrogant king's contempt for his reluctant bride is only matched by his burning desire to finish what they started….

A STORMY GREEK MARRIAGE (The Drakos Baby) - Lynne Graham

Secrets, lies and they are married? Will their marriage last or explode? Lynne Graham has written the most amazing and explosive love story. As I mentioned in my review of The Pregnancy Shock, book one in this duet, Alexei is quite the arrogant and “naughty” alpha and he’s still suffering from slight amnesia. He doesn’t remember making love to his virgin PA on the eve of he’s parents funeral. He’s expecting his wife to be a virgin on their wedding night and he’s not aware that he has a son.

In a Stormy Greek Marriage even though her aunt and mother urged Billie to tell Alexei before she married him that they had a son, she didn’t. Her mother in her drunken state almost spilled the beans at their wedding reception. However, when Alexei realizes Billie is not a virgin, he demands to know who here first lover was but she feels he doesn’t deserve the right because of his jaded past. Being the proud Greek husband, he demands to know so she told him the truth. Of course, he didn’t believe her and he told her she disgusted him! How dare he say those words to her while she stood by and watched him make love to his former-lover Calisto? She went away and gave birth to his child because she thought Alexei would marry Calisto. She put her love for him aside instead of telling him and possibly ruining his future. And when she revealed to him that the had a son, what did he do? He left her and was photographed in Paris with his ex and then he sent representatives to gather DNA samples. Talk about a mess and trust me, it continued for most of the book.

Alexei came back to Greece for Billie and then there were damning picture of her and an old friend, so again he left her and went to England until the DNA results were confirmed. However, she didn’t wait, she took her baby and a friend along to care for Nicky. However, what greeted her was not pleasant, a man full of accusations as to why she kept everything a secret. A man who felt cheated with the months his missed not being with his son and everything continued to be full of turmoil, so much so that Alexei took the baby, the nanny and left Billie behind and went to the countryside in France.

Meanwhile, Billie found out about her father, visited with him and then decided to check up on Calisto because she was sure she was residing in Alexei’s townhouse. She was determined to find out if she was her husband’s mistress. Could things get any worse? Of course they could and did. However, Billie developed a backbone. She was sure her marriage was over but the time had come to take care of herself and to stand up to this arrogant Greek.

Other things added to their unhappiness besides Alexei taking her baby. Calisto, Billing finding out that the prenup she signed gave Alexei sole rights to his son and her mother giving personal information to the tabloids. You can’t be faint of heart while reading A Stormy Greek Marriage. You’ll experience love/hate feelings for this Greek alpha and you’ll absolutely cheer Billie on. Would they get their happy ending? Just when I thought not, Alexei remembered the first time he made love to Billie at his Greek villa after his parents funeral. He remembered what she meant to him and that she was the woman he wanted in his life, not his ex-lover, only Billie. And for Billie she learned a lesson as well, to trust her husband and his love for her.

(From the Drakos Baby linked-story duet.  This book is part two of a linked story. See Part One: The Pregnancy Shock)

Book Description:

Billie’s baby has been born but she hasn’t told Alexei about his son’s existence. Yet when she returns to Greece and he proposes a marriage of convenience, she knows she just has to take her chance to be with the man she loves. But Alexei is amazed to find his wife isn’t a virgin on their wedding night – and that’s just the first shocking revelation in this stormy marriage...

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