Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Lone Wolfe (The Wolfes) - Kate Hewitt


Who better to write the last book in the series than the magnificent Kate Hewitt.  She didn't disappoint, she gave Jacob Wolfe and the gardener's daughter, Mollie Parker a magical happy ending.

In each book we've learned what a nightmare of a childhood each Wolfe child suffered at the hand of their drunk father.  William Wolfe had been abusive both physically and verbally.  So much so, he had beaten and left scars on their sister  Annabelle.  It was Jacob, the eldest on that fateful night who in the end, defended their sister, hit his father with the ending result, their father's death.  His siblings understood why Jacob put a stop to the beating but they didn't understand why their brother left them.  For over twenty years, he had no contact with them.  It was only until he heard some of his brothers were getting married that he returned home. Jacob also moved back to Wolfe Manor with his goal to restore it. 

Mollie Parker lived in a cottage on Wolfe Manor.  Her father had been the gardener until he passed away.  Annabelle Wolfe and Mollie had been friends and had been in communication and Annabelle told Molly she could live there.  However, Jacob didn't know about the cottage nor about Mollie.  At nights when he couldn't sleep from his bad dreams, he liked to clear his head and take a stroll in the gardens.  Part of his project was to restore them.  However on this particular evening he saw a light, followed it and in the end thought it to be a trespasser and kicked in the door.  When Mollie told him who she was, Jacob remembered how she had followed his family and he also learned some things about her.  Her father had worked at the manor for fifty years and she was a landscape designer.  On the spot, he hired her to design Wolfe Manor grounds.

This was quite interesting Mollie's and Jacob's learning about each other.  Mollie was curious, asked questions but Jacob guarded his answers.  It began somewhat, as an odd friendship and in the end passion. However, not before he presented her with a rose he found in his father's office, a rose from her father's prized rose garden.  It was a sweet gesture but then things turn on both of them, he touched her but she knew she couldn't get involved with this wounded man.  At first she refused the job but in the end after he told her restoring the grounds would have pleased her father and his memory.  He also told her he was an architect, quite a famous one and invited her to London to a design expo which would also feature landscapes.

Oh, oh......London, staying at a Wolfe property with a sexy, handsome man like Jacob and I wondered if this beginning could be the end for Mollie.  Yes everything changed after a series of events beginning with Jacob's nightmares, how he resisted to share, an accident, a birthday and it became extremely complicated.  However, one thing was for sure, Mollie loved him and showed it in so many ways.  Still Jacob couldn't get past the fact that he'd let his brother's and sisters down, even though they had all made peace.  He punished himself for everything that had happened in the past.  How could this man who cared so much for his family, who as a young man had made birthday lists, the cake they wanted and their choice of presents not deserve happiness?  And what about Mollie, the invisible young woman, the woman who had loved her parents and being a landscape designer.  Would Jacob wake up and realize they had a chance at happiness?

First of all, if you haven't read the Mills and Boon Modern Bad Blood/Harlequin Presents The Natorious Wolfes, you need to, each and everyone has been incredible.  Bravo to to Sarah Morgan, Caitlin Crews, Abby Green, Robyn Grady, Lynn Raye Harris, Janette Kenny, Jennie Lucas and especially Kate for tying everything together.  This ending Kate Hewitt gave the series was incredible, it was coming home for both of them and healing the Wolfe family.  Yes, his tortured side was shown but so was his tenderness.  Oh to have that in ones life, the protection, the caring from a sibling.  Jacob and Mollie's happiness came when he could realize they could have something better and he for the most part, could leave the past behind.

Kate Hewitt, this was a lovely story I will long remember!  Thank you Mills and Boon and Harlequin for the series, even though at times it was hard to read the Wolfe siblings stories.  To all of the authors who wrote these incredible books ......you know I'm a fan and you touched my heart xxoo



Kate talks about the book at I(Heart)Presents


Back of the Book

After years lying neglected, the walls of Wolfe Manor tremble as Jacob Wolfe returns—the master is back!

Gardener's daughter Mollie Parker has lived amidst the secret, overgrown garden in her little cottage—waiting…for what, she wasn't sure…until now.

Reputation in tatters, Jacob licks his wounds alone in the shadows. Mollie knows his ferocious bark is worse than his bite and as she takes her tentative steps across the threshold, she brings with her the light missing from his darkened soul. The lone Wolfe will never be tamed—but she knows that once he loves, he loves for life.

Monday, February 27, 2012

How a Cowboy Stole Her Heart - Donna Alward


Donna Alward has written a sweet and romantic romance in "How a Cowboy Stole Her Heart". Megan Briggs, a cancer survivor was home but wasn't feeling whole and who should show up in her barn but the man she had always had a crush on, her next-door neighbor, Clay Gregory. Her brother's best friend and her own child hood friend.

Clay knew she didn't believe in fairy tails. She believed in hard work. She was the one who stayed strong for her entire family, she had an idea how she could help save the ranch, but no idea who would loan her the money after the bank said "no".

Honestly, I cannot recall reading a romance where the heroine had breast cancer, who survived surgery and chemotherapy. Yes, I've read second chance romances where either the hero or heroine got a second chance at romance but not one like this where the she not only survived but also moved away for surgery and treatment to keep her family and friends at arms length to protect them. Megan Briggs was a strong young woman who felt she had had to protect her family as her dad had a bad back, and her mother was fragile. Therefore, Megan went to Calgary to handle her cancer alone so as not to worry her family.

This disease I recently went through with my own mother and a young woman who went to school with my son and daughter. I've also had friends who are survivors and I've seen how it can tear some families apart.

Reading about this brave young woman and what she went through, how she was feeling about herself and the loss of one breast, tugged at my heartstrings. However, more so was the attraction Meg had for Clay. She probably had loved him, even when she was eight years old and found him crying because his mother had walked away. She told him she would always be there for him. Even though Clay was best friends with her brother Dawson, I would see there was definitely an attraction between them and I think so could her friends. Speaking of which, I loved how Donna brought Clay's and Megan's friends into the mix. Their weekly getting together at a local bar plus she created a girlfriend for Dawson.

Clay's aunt, the woman who raised him and he loved like a mother was getting married so there was no surprise when Clay asked Megan to be his date and go with him to the wedding. They had grown up together, had been friends, so why not? He needed a date and he could always count on Megan. Talk about turmoil for her because she had always had a crush on Clay. Plus the fact she believed thanks to only having one breast she was lesser a woman. Personally, I cannot imagine how I would feel. However, author, Donna Alward did an amazing job addressing the issue. Not only having her friends help her with choosing a dress, Donna also addressed the issue of intimacy when the couple realized they really care for each other.

I cannot say enough about how much I enjoyed reading How a Cowboy Stole Her Heart. It was pure, sweet and such a warm, fuzzy romance. I can only hope this very talented author will write Dawson's story!




On her blog, Donna talks about How a Cowboy Stole Her Heart




Overview

Clay Gregory had known Megan Briggs for her whole life and he had been very worried about her while she had been getting medical treatment. Now she's back home and hiding away on the family ranch.

Knowing the stubborn cowgirl won't accept his help willingly, he invites her to a family wedding to help him avoid his aunt's matchmaking!

He plans to remind Meg she's still the girl who can beat him in a horse race! But as she steps out in her curve-hugging red dress, her skills on a horse are suddenly the furthest thing from his mind

Once a Ferrara Wife... - Sarah Morgan


The wonderful, extraordinary author Sarah Morgan has written a most incredible romance. I just re-read it a second time that is how much I loved it. Actually, it should be a marriage or relationship every couple should read for several reasons. As the hero Cristiano states at the end of the book "life isn't smooth, but it's the bumps that help us find out who we are. And it's handling the bumps that give us courage."

Cristiano was literally the head of the Ferrara family. After his father died and after college, he took over the family business and he had the job of taking care of his family, He literally grew the family business and actually made all of his father's dreams come true and more so. However, that cost him his wife Laurel, caused her to run and it had been over 2 years since he had seen her. Now, Laurel was coming back to Sicily to be the maid of honor at his sister's Dani's wedding and to finalize their divorce.

Laurel Ferrara, the heroine was an extremely delicate woman due to her past. She had been left in a bag as an infant, gone through all sorts of disappointments, did not trust, did not share her thoughts with anyone. Not until she married Cristiano who demanded she open up to him and then when she need him the most, he let her down. She had been pregnant, knew something was wrong, had called him, and because a deal was too important to his corporation and family hadn't answered his cell. In the end, it cost them both; she lost her baby and more. The only way she could deal with it, all was to run. Now she was back for her best friend's wedding and had to face her husband and his family.

I am trying to be careful here because I don't want to ruin your experience but all I can say is you won't want to miss reading this most powerful story. It has so many lessons to learn because the way I see it in today’s society people give up on each other. When the bad comes, it is easier for them to walk away. Actually, I cried and cried both times I read this incredible love story. It was all about the good and the bad, communication, forgiveness and the power of love to see Cristiano and Laurel through their mess of a marriage and in the end, coming out on top. Sarah Morgan this was such an amazing romance and how you gave Laurel her happy ending to her "fairy tale", how Cristiano and Laurel survived the "bumps" in their marriage had me in "happy" tears. Promise your readers you will write more "Ferrara" stories as only you can. On a scale of one to ten, Once a Ferrara Wife was definitely a ten!



Sarah talks about this wonderful romance over at I(Heart)Presents





Back of the Book


Laurel Ferrara wouldn't know a happy ending if she fell over it—of course her whirlwind wedding was always going to end in disaster. But it wasn't as simple as just walking away. From the moment she is summoned back to Sicily, the shivers of unease set in….

The command comes from legendary billionaire Cristiano Ferrara, the husband she can't forget—but it might as well have come from the devil himself. The outrageously gorgeous Cristiano's power is a potent reminder of this Sicilian dynasty's unbreakable rule: once a Ferrara wife, always a Ferrara wife….

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Fiancee for One Night - Trish Morey (21st Century Bosses)

Fiancee for One Night was everything a romance should be.......a past brief encounter in an office, and now years later she worked for him.  She had a secret baby, NOT his! So when would her secret be recvealed?  Why?  Because a few years later she was working from her home as personal PA. Could she keep the secret?  When would he realize who she was and that she's been working for him for the past two years? Let's face it, Trish Morey has a real "winner" with Fiancee for One Night.


I'm not kidding you, this romance is so complicated, full of lies, deceit, betrayal in a sort of a way and all at the expense of a client Leo Zamos wants to seal the deal. When he realizes he needs a "fake" fiance, he offers is PA a ridiculous amount of money to play the part of his finance. However, when he meets her, he realizes he had bedded her years ago and then imagine shock when he sees and learns she had an infant son by another man.

We learned about Eve Carmichael that she had met Leo years ago and shared passion in a storage room. It didn't go any further but it could have. Now when he meets her, again, as his PA he recognized her and then by chance he offered her a job she couldn't refuse, play she was his fiancee to seal a deal.  They share such a night of passion and she thought it was over but it wasn't.

He needed her one last time because Mr. Willis and his wife like this couple and another and demanded they join them at their private island.  He demanded she bring him some papers and realizes she has a son in toe. His deal is important to him, so much so he requests she pose as his fiance and when the other two couples involved in the deal request Eve and Leo accompany them to a private island in Australia and bring her son which all believe is Leo's, the entire game changes. One thing is for sure, Eve enjoys her home which is need of repair while Leo, has no home. He lives on his jet, and in hotels when he's not on his jet. Talk about a very sad situation. What Eve also realized is from a picture of a "lonely man" sitting on a park bench she had seen in his possession that it could be Leo someday.

Trish Morey has done an incredible job with Fiance For One Night. It's intensify emotional, a roller coaster romance, so very sad to read about Leo's interaction with Eve's son and the deception of the Willis. Not only that, Leo had a horrible childhood, had nightmares and was determined not to care for Eve. But for Eve, it wasn't that easy and I new she was going to get hurt and of course she did.
Would their passion win over all of Leo's defences? Could they get their HEA and live happily ever after? An incredible ending to a very beautiful love story, thanks to Trish Morey.



I love behind the book stories and here is Trish's for Fiuancee for One Night her 25th book.  Hard to believe.




Back of the Book


Leo Zamos persuades his virtual PA, Eve Carmichael, to act as his fake fiancĂ©e at a business dinner. Thinking he's never met her before, Leo assumes that Eve's appearance will be as neat and professional as the work she's so efficiently performed for him. But soon he realizes how wrong he's been! With her soft curves, and lips that beg to be kissed, Eve is every bit as tempting as her namesake….

Eve has accepted Leo's commission reluctantly—how can she, a single mom, refuse the fee he's offering her? But will he recognize her as the girl he once briefly met and for whom he felt a simmering attraction? When Eve sees Leo again, she knows that the one-evening masquerade she's signed up for is about to become a whole passionate night…in his bed.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Behind Boardroom Doors (The Kincaid's) - Jennifer Lewis


Jennifer Lewis was the perfect person to write RJ Kincaid's story, RJ the oldest son of the deceased Reginald Kincaid or so they thought until it was revealed their father had lived two lives with two women and children. I could not wait to read RJ's story because just a few weeks ago I read his Brother Matthew's story, loved it, and just knew I would need to read all of the Kincaid's.

The poor family was a mess. Their mother had been arrested for their father's murder and was in jail. Two of his sister's were getting married. The illegitimate son Jack Sinclair was left 45% of the Kincaid Group and was probably going to take the family down. A true scandal and all of Charleston knew about it!

RJ Kincaid headed up the Kincaid Group. However, he was so frustrated and worried about his mother and what would happen when Jack Sinclair finally took over. He counted on his PA, Brooke Nichols and as for Brooke; she had a crush on her boss. She did everything for RJ, so much so when he almost went ballistic in a board meeting she asked him to come with her and plied him with whiskey. Top that off with some hot kissing. What was wrong with him? Why hadn't he noticed how sexy and beautiful she was? He honestly felt he needed to get away and so he asked Brooke to join him at his hunting lodge for the weekend.

If you want hot, then that's what you're going to get in Behind Boardroom Doors. Not only their weekend at the lodge but their entire affair until everything explodes in their faces when RJ learns it was Brooke's statement that put his mother in jail.

Brooke knew what this meant, she was under no illusion that RJ finally noticed her, wanted her and she was willing and ready to be with RJ and hoped it would not end badly. She had worked hard at the Kincaid Group, like all of his family but really wanted to move up in the company. However, she held a secret, one she knew she should tell RJ but was reluctant. The night of his father's murder she had see his mother come to the office late at night. When she was questioned by the police, she felt she needed to tell the truth. The result, his mother was arrested.

What could possibly go wrong having an affair with your boss? Lots, how people would view her at the office, how his family would view her, would she get hurt? What would happen when her secret was revealed? Trust me, a lot happens, and through into their relationship some twists and turns as only Jennifer Lewis can write. I adored RJ, mainly because he took his responsibilities for his family and the Kincaid Group seriously. However, realizing what it was like without Brooke in his life after he exploded and how they got their happy ending, was amazing. I also loved how this author gave us a glimpse of the family and his father's other family. Makes me want to rush out tomorrow and purchase the rest of the series.

Back of the Book

Boss whisperer Brooke Nichols has never seen RJ Kincaid act like this. True, his mother is in jail for murdering his father, and an illegitimate brother has all but stolen the shipping dynasty RJ's worked so hard to safeguard. However, that's no excuse for bad behavior. Therefore, as a good assistant should, Brooke pulls him aside and pours him a drink. Resulting in a kiss…or two. If only she didn't have a secret that could tear the Kincaid family apart, maybe this fantasy could last forever. If only…….…

Friday, February 24, 2012

What Happens in Charleston.......(The Kincaids) Rachel Bailey

I love Rachel Bailey's writing style and she certainly did not disappoint with What Happen in Charleston. a part of Dynasties: The Kincaid’s.

I have only read a few of the Kincaid's series. It is complicated as Reginald Kincaid; the matriarch of the family has been killed. However, on top of that, Mathew Kincaid's son had been hospitalized with an illness that might require a bone marrow transplant and he was only three years old. The worst part, his mother died so it's up to Mathew to deal with everything. His mother, sisters, and brother's have been supportive but he needs to find a possible donor. The only person he can think of is the surrogate who carried his darling son Flynn and gave him up. Therefore, he calls Susannah Parrish and she immediately came to Charleston to lend a hand.

Complicated does not even describe the situation. Matthew felt an obligation to his dead wife and the promise he made to her never to reveal that Grace was not Flynn's mother. She was an only child and he certainly did not want to harm her memory nor her parents. He also did not want to deceive his family. Most of all, his son was first and foremost. However, what about Susannah? Here she came all this way to help so he asked her to stay in his home instead of taking her to a hotel. Finally, when the little boy was given the ok and released from the hospital, things became even more complicated. Flynn missed his mother, became attached to Susannah and the attraction between Matthew and Susannah was enormous.  What I loved about this couple was Matthew's dedication to his son and his family.  As for Susannah, she went above the call of duty and cared for both Flynn and Matthew.

Between all of the family drama, Flynn's illness and now he had become attached to Susannah. Not to mention the fact that there was definitely something between Matthew and Susannah. She fit into a slot, she cooked, took care of Flynn, went to functions with Matt and now they took everything to the next level. He was tearing her in half. His family's social standing also reminded her of her past and she didn't want anything to do with the elite society of Charleston. However, after learning about Susannah's past, how she had survived I knew she deserved happiness with Flynn and Matthew and Rachel Bailey gave them all their HEA. The Kincaid's are complicated because their father was not only murdered; he led two lives with two different wives and children. This past week I also read Jennifer Lewis Behind Boardroom Doors which has caused me to go out and purchase the entire series thanks to Rachael and Jennifer.


Back of the Book


Money has always given Matthew Kincaid whatever he wanted. Yet now his son needs something even his millions can't buy. The widower's sole recourse is the surrogate who gave birth to his child—for she is also the boy's true biological mother.

Susannah Parrish needs no prodding to offer her assistance—a child's life is at stake. But to their mutual surprise, the minute she's back in Charleston and residing in Matthew's home, passion consumes them. Is this a relationship doomed by deception? Or is it the one chance at a love they both secretly crave?

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Argentinian's Solace - Susan Stephens (The Acosta's)




The Band of Brothers


Book One: The Shameless Life of Ruiz Acosta with shameless Ruiz!

Book Two: The Argentineans Solace with brooding, injured Diego

Book Three: title to be announced with the Acosta boy’s sister, Lucia, and Luke Forster, the muscle-bound son of Princeton Lucia has tormented since they were children

Book Four: title to be announced with the oldest brother, Nacho, and a blind sommelier called Grace

Book Five: title to be announced with bad-boy Kruz and a penniless princess


This is one series I am sincerely looking forward to reading. I've read Ruiz and Holly's story and now in the wonderful The


Argentinian's Solace written by one of my favorite authors, Susan Stephens we learn of the sultry and sexy Diego as only Susan can pen.

These proud Argentinean Polo players and brother's are amazing and this is Diego's story that had been injured in a polo match. He's "snarly" and angry most of the time. He was trying to get back his strength and heal his leg thanks to be injured during a match. How dare this lovely and outspoken wedding planner invade his island, the island where Holly and his brother Rio are getting married. Maxie Parrish was quite the woman and her last name conjured up all sort of unpleased memories, memories of his dearest friend who had committed suicide due to a deal gone bad at the hands of a swindler with the last name of "Parrish". Could it be a coincidence?

Diego and Maxie definitely had chemistry. She was not like most of the supplicated women he dated. She had spirit, sass, and spunk. However, most of all, she was outspoken, organized and drove him crazy. As for Diego, I think Maxie fell in love with him at first sight when she disembarked the boat and took one look at this sexy man who reminded her of a pirate. It was also Diego's job his future sister-in-law assigned him, to show her around. Then without any notice, Diego offered Maxie another job, to organize the charity event in Argentina at his family's estancia. The bride to be had stayed there and now Maxie was going as well. However, as attracted, they were to each other, Diego felt Maxie was keeping a secret about her past and she definitely was, her father was in medical care at a secluded and private care facility. Even though he had hurt her and her mother, she felt obligated to provide care for him and her wedding planning business due to its success allowed Maxie to afford it.

Would they act on their shared and mutual attraction? Of course, they did but not before Diego offered to take her to the family estancia and offered Maxie a job arranging a charity event in conjunction with a polo match. Its here one learns more about the brother's and their sister Lucia. They all realize how much Maxie has done for Diego. However, her secret concerning her father still lurks in the background.

The ending chapters were enjoyable in the sense one learns to understand the Acosta family. However, when Maxie fled back home to the UK, those pages were extremely difficult. The way this author portrays Maxie and her relationship with her father, had me choked up and wanting a happy ending for Diego and Maxie. Trust me, the Acosta men, sister and their friends were again, another fabulous romance thanks to Susan Stephens talent.




More about the Acosta's and Thbe Argentinian's Solace from the author, Susan Stephens.




Back Blurb:

Diego Acosta's polo-playing days are over. Living in self-imposed exile on his idyllic island, he finds his nights are now filled with tormenting memories rather than the beautiful women who once graced his king-size bed.

When Maxie Parrish crashes into his solitude, radiating exuberance and a love of life, she burns so brightly he can't take his eyes off her! He'll seduce her and conquer her with the same single-minded determination that saw him rise to the top of the world polo circuit.

This time he wants to walk away unharmed, because the scars that can't be seen take longer to heal….

The Petrov Proposal - Maisey Yates



First book in the duo, A Marriage Made on Paper is where we met Maddy, Gage Forrester's sister, the sister who was emotionally abused by her wealthy parents,  who left her for three days without food because their new nanny never arrived.  Her brother removed her from their parents and raised her.  He was a young man himself and as we learned  in A Marriage Made on Paper, he was very protective of his sister.   This story was emotional enough.  However, hold on to your hat, The Petrov  Proposal will "knock your socks off".  Powerful, dangerous and emotion taking all of it to a new level.  And their intimacy off the charts.

Madeline Forrester was corporate event planner.  At the moment, she was employed by Petrov's to showcase the owner/designer's new jewelry collection.  Taste, class, security, presentation was important to Aleksei Petrov.  He would not accept anything less.  He was relentless, stern, focused, and only wanted the best.   He had loved and lost his beautiful young wife.  So as far as "forever" that would never be in his plans.  But, Maddy intrigued him and he was determined to bed her.

Maddy didn't like the press.   Yes she loved to be recognized for her event planning ability but feared the press thanks to a past experience.  All she ever wanted was to be loved.  Yes her brother Gage loved her.  However, years ago, she had believed her boss had loved her.  In the end, it all blew up in her face when his wife exposed Maddy and her husband's affair.  Of course, the media had a field day with the piece of information about the affair.  So much so, her brother sent her to Europe until everything died down.

There definitely was chemistry between Maddy and Aleksei,   Maddy fought it, but in the end agreed to one night so they could both get it out of their system.  Well, one night wasn't enough nor Aleksei putting distance between them by returning to Russia.  However, I kept waiting for the shoe to fall so to speak because I just knew in the end, it would be Maddy who would get hurt because she was fragile where Aleksei was determined.  He was so determined not to fall in love and what started as an affair ended up a disaster.

Do you ever wonder how an author, especially a romance author comes up with a happy ending?  I couldn't see how Maisey Yates was going to give one to Maddy.  Obviously her alpha, Aleksei believed in love because he had loved his wife.  He had been devastated when she died.  As for Maddy, the only person who had loved her had been her brother Gage, so what would she know of it?  Their HEA was brilliant and very emotional thanks to Maisey's talent.



Behind the Book with author Maisey Yates





Overview

The first time Maddy Forrester heard her boss's mesmerizing voice barking orders down the phone, she knew he was a force to be reckoned with. But nothing prepared her for the sight of Aleksei Petrov. He is the last thing Maddy needs, but the first thing she wants!

Aleksei is determined not to mix business with pleasure, but he struggles with the irresistible sparks his feisty secretary ignites in him—she's a problem he does not want.

The proposed solution? One unforgettable night to fulfill their every wicked desire.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Temporary Mrs. King (Kings of California) Maureen Child



What a pleasant surprise.  A man on a mission, willing to do anything to secure a hotel and land for his family, the King's.  Again, Maureen Child has entertained me with her marvelous Kings of California Series. Talk about some twists and turns, a few lies, attraction.....ending in a magnificent romance.

This particular book had some deep family drama and secrets on both sides.  I found it interesting how the author played the hero and heroine against each other and how strong their motives were for each of them to reach their own personal goals.  For Sean King, the land and hotel from Melinda Stanford's grandfather.  And for Melinda a "crazy" marriage to get her hands on her trust fund.

What a crazy mess.  Her grandfather had an agenda, Melinda also had one and for Sean he was going to take one for the "team", the Kings so they could have island and all of it to make another King success!  What neither of them counted on was the attraction, the pull, the tension and actually liking each other.  After their marriage, so many things happened, they got to know each other, respect each other, Sean developed a relationship with her grandfather, it became complicated.   Add to the mix, Melinda's relationship; with her ex-fiance , his death and what was revealed.

Great secondary characters, the Kings,  Melinda's grandfather Stanford, Melinda's best friend and the towns residents.  So many lovely layers to this exceptional love story.  Let's not forget the Melinda's deceased fiance and his deceit.

I can't say enough about The Temporary Mrs. King and I'm looking forward to reading many more

To Kiss a King (Kings of California) Maureen Child



What can one say about the talented story teller Maureen Child?  Her writing style and romances are most amazing.  Her Kings of California series have been fabulous, with her strong alpha's and sweet heroines.  This is definitely a bodyguard meets royalty with a few obstacles.and hurdles to conquer before they could get their happy ending.

From the time she was a little girl, Princess Alexia Morgan Wells from a small European country remembered hearing her mother's and father's love story.  How the King met his love (her mother) at Disneyland.  Alex was tired of being under guard by palace security, so she fled and went to California with Disneyland being her final destination.  That was where she met Garrett King who was spending the day with his cousins and their children.   It was lust at first sight for the both of them.  Garrett rescued Alex from an unwanted man who kept pestering her and eventually, he invited her to spend the day with his family.

Garrett and his twin Griffin ran a security/bodyguard business.  Earlier, Garrett had worked for the King of Cadria so when he recognized Alex he felt a duty to call the King and tell him his daughter was in California.  Both the King and  Queen were concerned so out of loyalty, Garret agreed to watch over Alex and fought his passion for her. Their attraction was very strong and Alex didn't shy away from telling Garrett she enjoyed his kisses.  However, Garrett held back due to losing a young woman years earlier, one he loved, one he blamed for her death.  He was scared if he took his and Alex relationship to a sexual one, letting down his guard, the same thing could happen to Alex.

Let just say their two weeks together was a roller coaster ride, full of sass, passion and ups and downs.  In the end, Garrett told her there was no chance for a permanent relationship and so Alex returned home to the palace and her duties broken hearted.  Maureen Child states in her "Dear Reader" that she has a love for old Hollywood movies and mentioned "Roman Holiday".  This was the authors' version and trust  me, it's enchanting and a winner in my book!

Back of the Book:

For security expert Garrett King, rescuing a damsel in distress is routine—even if she is a runaway princess. And especially if she's a sexy, desirable woman he intends to keep very, very close.

Garrett knows Princess Alexis escaped her castle to look for independence and true love—and she thinks she's found it in him. But he's no white knight. As a bodyguard, he's been covertly hired to protect her during her adventure. As a confirmed bachelor, he doesn't do happily ever after…but one kiss from a princess could change everything.

An Innocent in Paradise - Kate Carlisle

I loved Kate Carlisle's Duke Brother series and An Innocent in Paradise is a continuation of the series, we're now meeting their cousins and oh what "hot" men they are going to prove to be, especially Logan Sutherland.  Kate has yet again, written a dynamic romance and this was fun for me to read as I adored the Duke's, plus their adoptive mother Sally and their wives who all again, in this book, make an appearance.  Trust me on this, you'll want to read the entire series and learn about their "high class" resorts.

 Logan Sutherland and his twin brother Aidan like their cousins the Duke's owned and designed fabulous hotels/resorts.  They were getting ready to host the Duke's  and  their father because they were all going to collaborate together on a business deal.  What Logan didn't expect while strolling through the resort with his brother was to meet a beautiful redhead posing as a waitress by the name of Grace Farrell, who didn't know a "fig" about waiting tables.  After taking her aside and investigating her background, he finds out she lied and threatens to fire her.

Talk about opposites......Logan an ex-surfer, now millionaire.  Grace actually a scientist, who has devoted her life to saving lives through "spores" which the Island of Alleria has an abundance.  Grace has led a sheltered life and has spent it most in a laboratory.  Actually Grace was a genius, her parents hadn't been able to deal with her as a child and had sent her to university.  She didn't have many friends, so working at the resort and being accepted by the wait staff meant a lot to her.  She not only wanted to to be able to do her research she wanted to make sure the "rat" she had worked with in her lab, who had stolen her reports was "outed" as he deserved.

The Dukes came and I loved reading about them all again.  They discussed the future of the new sports center and the resort on the other side of the island.  The family connections were incredible to read.  All Logan could think of was Grace while his twin didn't trust her one bit.  In fact, his twin Aidan suggested they do the "switch" routine to see just how much Grace cared for his brother because now it was obvious that Logan and Grace had become intimately involved.  Aidan couldn't believe it, his brother in love.  But Grace knew her man and the plan went to dust.  What chemistry this couple had, they were so good together and I wondered if Sally Duke, had something to do with their relationship because she had been the matchmaker for her three sons.

Like all relationships, complications to say the least which had Grace leaving Logan due to a misunderstanding concerning her spores.  The frosting on the cake for me was that Logan actually cared  for Grace where for the most part, nobody had ever understood Grace.  It was a perfect ending for these "opposites", thanks to Kate Carlisle.











Back of the Book


Grace Farrell is a genius scientist first, a woman a distant second—until she meets Logan Sutherland. The self-made millionaire is wickedly sexy, and with him, Grace learns a new lesson—how it feels to want a man.

Logan has his roving eye on Grace from the moment she steps onto his tropical island. But when he discovers she's there under false pretenses, he orders her to leave. Faced with her refusal, the cynical bachelor works it all to his advantage. He'll let her stay—in his bed! But will one night be enough?

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Flirting with Italian - Liz Fielding


Flirting With Italian was the perfect book to brighten my day.  It was exceptional thanks to Liz Fielding.  This beautiful crafted romance will warm your heart and soul with a few twists and turns.  In the end, there was one thing for sure.  Sarah Gratton and the Italian "hunk" she met at the vineyard by the name of Matteo di Serrone were perfect for each other with some some English and past Italian history which would, in the end, affect them both.

Sarah Gratton left her home in England, a position teaching history at a high school and moved Rome to teach at an international school.  She also had reason to want to travel to not only see the historical sights in Rome and also wanted to travel to the countryside.  Her great-grandfather had told her a secret, one that I found most interesting.  When he was a pilot in the 1940's his plane had been shot down.  A lovely woman came to his aid and hid him from the enemy and the villagers.  Their time spent together however, like all love stories, Lex returned back home to England, to his wife and a son he had never met.  Now in his 80's with a picture of Lucia in hand, he shared the secret with Sarah.  Along with Lucia's picture and the secret, Sarah decided to seek out the details of what happened to Lucia sometime while she was in Italy.

Sarah had been through a lot.  She had been engaged to a fellow teacher at the high school where she taught.  However, her ex (Tom) cheated on her and now was going to be a father.  Between her education, teaching and now a broken heart, Rome was just the ticket.  Maybe she would get the courage to seek out the small village where her grandfather and his lover Lucia had spent their special time.  Just to see if she was still alive, taken care of but she would keep their secret.  She could only assume that that Lucia's husband who was hold up the mountains returned safety to her.  Lex's and Lucia's would remain  a secret but she was curious so she set out on her adventure only to run into the sexy Italian Matteo.  Not only was she trespassing on his property, she ignited something in Matteo.  However, he had trusting issues as the last woman he had loved had sold pictures to the tabloids of Bella and and her husband's wedding.  His family seemed to be hounded by the press.  His father's death and his affairs, his mother's decline.  Sarah was asking too many questions but she intrigued, fascinated and sexually drew him so he invited her to lunch and was hoping she would show her hand.

The chemistry, a short kiss, holding hands, sharing a meal, I knew this would be trouble because even though Sarah had left her ex and what happened in England, was it too soon to get involved in another relationship?  However, he grandfather's story touch her heart and in fifty or sixty years, she wanted the same memories.  They talked about her ex, he made her laugh, made her dream, made her want.  In the end, she sent him a thank you note, thanking him and invited him to dinner!  Would she step out of the box, take this Italian as a love, learn the truth about her grandfather's long ago Italian lover?

You won't want to miss Matteo and Sarah's journey, meeting and learning about his family, the piazza, the winery and the small Italian village.  Such an remarkable love story.  What I loved so much about Flirting with Italian was Matteo's story touched me.  Because he had been betrayed by a woman he loved, Sarah reached out to him like no other.  While she was able to move past betrayal, Matteo couldn't.  She made him laugh, she touched him somewhere deep inside and he liked her.  But don't think their relationship was all warm and fuzzy.  In the end, thanks to external forces, everything exploded in both family's faces, causing some pain.  It's how they all dealt with it that only added perfection to this wonderful romance, thanks to Liz Fielding.


More about Flirting With Italian from Liz Fielding






Back of the Book


Bag: packed. Flight: booked. Soon I'll be in Rome and experiencing life in a foreign language! Watch this space…

Newly single Sarah Gratton is determined to enjoy her holiday—could a just-for-fun romance with dark-eyed Matteo di Serrone be the answer? This Italian count is ideal flirting material—if Sarah's brave enough to make a move!

Well, she might not be—but luckily Matteo is! Matteo decides to keep this mysterious woman close—no hardship at all, given their spine-tingling awareness of each other…

It's like something out of a fairy tale—until Sarah realizes she's made the most rookie mistake of all: falling in love with her holiday fling….

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Playing His Dangerous Game - Tina Duncan


This was my first Tuna Duncan read and I absolutely adored Playing His Dangerous Game.  It's an Heiress and a body guard story which was orchestrated by Shara Atwood's father.   (Atwood) one of Royce's clients had asked him to protect his daughter from her "stalking" ex-husband while he was out of the country.  Atwood had used Royce several times and knew Shara would be safe.

When she opened her eyes to the sound of his voice on a dance floor, Shara was shocked at how well built and handsome the man before her stood.  What did this man want from her?  Why was he here?  She'd had enough of possessive men, her very own father and her "sicko" ex, making threats, following her, calling her, she just wanted to be left alone.  Now this "force" was here, thanks to her father and she only wanted to be alone.  However, this larger than life, sexy male had other ideas.  At any cost, he was going to move in with her and keep her safe.  All I could think of was what an interesting plot for a romance and how would Shara survive being locked in with this sexy man?  Under his scrutiny, with her husband stalking her, calling her, breathing on the phone, making threats, how would she survive the intensity of being alone with Royce?

From the beginning I realized they were made for each other.  He was a man of honor, a man who believed in right and wrong.  A big guy who had been bullied for being tall in his youth, a man who believed in giving back, who championed bullied youth.  As for Shara, she was confusing to me at first until I learned her story about her relationship with her father and her ex-husband.  It was amazing to read to read about her personal growth and that happened thanks to Royce teaching her how to survive by self defense which made her stronger personally.  So much so she was able in the end to not only stand up to her ex she was a stronger person thanks to her relationship with Royce.   Thank you Tina Duncan for an incredible love story

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

February Recipe of the Month - Buttery Crab Bread Pudding Contributed by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall



In this recipe from the River Cottage Fish Book, chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall layers baguette and lump crabmeat, then pours custard on top.

10 ounces lump crabmeat, picked over
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 1 stick unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing the dish
One 24-inch day-old baguette—ends trimmed, bread cut into 3/4-inch slices
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup half-and-half

1.Preheat the oven to 350° and butter a 9-by-13-inch ceramic baking dish. In a medium bowl, toss the crabmeat with the parsley, chives, lemon juice and cayenne. Season with salt and black pepper.

2.Butter each baguette slice and stand up the slices in the prepared baking dish. Using a spoon, tuck the crab mixture evenly between the slices of bread.

3.In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk, half-and-half, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Pour the custard evenly over the bread and let stand for 10 minutes.

4.Bake the bread pudding for 30 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and the custard is set. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
 
Serves 8
 
 

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