Wednesday, April 23, 2014

REVIEW: Playing for Keeps by Kelsie Belle

Left broken and bleeding, night club owner and accountant Cassidy Samson did her best to pick up the pieces of her broken self and move on with her life. She vowed never to let anyone get close to her heart again…until the potent force of a pair of green eyes threatens to bring her to her knees.

Hired as the new guitarist in the band at the Escape Lounge, Cameron Chase is intrigued and aroused by Cassidy’s tough-as-nails attitude and sets out to barrel through the formidable wall she has constructed around her heart, to get to the real woman behind the façade. He agrees to play by her rules in a reckless game of lust in hopes of finding love.

But will Cam be able to chase away the demons of Cassidy’s past that threaten to consume her? Will his love be strong enough to make her whole again?



RATING:  5 Stars

I have no idea where to start... This story was unique and a little on the dark side. Raw, edgy and unpredictable. Author Bell Kelsie had me guessing constantly. An awesome story about an imperfect love that despite all the obstacles, it could lead to the most amazing things. The developing romance between the main characters was very well done. Will definitely read more books by Belle Kelsie.
Reviewed by: Cheryl

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REVIEW: COUNTERFEITS: An Art Theft Romantic Suspense, Vol.1 by Kris Bock

Painter Jenny Kinley has spent the last decade struggling in the New York art world. Her grandmother's sudden death brings her home to New Mexico, but inheriting the children's art camp her grandmother ran is more of a burden than a gift. How can she give up her lifelong dreams of showing her work in galleries and museums? Rob Caruso, the camp cook and all-around handyman, would be happy to run the camp with Jenny. Dare he even dream of that, when his past holds dark secrets that he can never share? When Jenny's father reappears after a decade-long absence, only Rob knows where he's been and what danger he's brought with him. Jenny and Rob face midnight break-ins and make desperate escapes, but the biggest danger may come from the secrets that don't want to stay buried. In the end, they must decide whether their dreams will bring them together or force them apart.


RATING:  5 Stars

‘Counterfeits’ is the kind of romantic suspense novel I have enjoyed since I first read Mary Stewart’s ‘Moonspinners’, and Kris Bock used all the things I love about this genre.  Appealing lead characters, careful development of the mysterious danger facing one or both of those characters, a great location that is virtually a character on its own, interesting secondary characters who might or might not be involved or threatened, and many surprises building up to the climax.


Jenny Kinley is a painter building a career as an artist in New York. When she returns to her family’s art camp in New Mexico after her grandmother’s death and learns that most of it has been left to her, she is both touched and disappointed, unwilling at first to give up her New York dreams to run the camp.  Rob Caruso, the chef/handyman Jenny remembers fondly from her last years living there, has inherited the other percentage, much to the angry dismay of Jenny’s father, who was left nothing.


But suspicious events have been occurring ever since Jenny arrived, even before the will was read.  There have been breakins at the camp.  Jenny’s father won’t tell her where he’s staying.  Jenny’s friends Arena and Trisha come to stay with her, and Trisha is escaping an abusive husband.  Jenny begins to suspect that her grandmother’s death wasn’t an accident.  Both Rob and Jenny’s father are worried about things that happened in their past, with a suggestion that they were involved in something unpleasant together.  And there are threats about art work either stolen or faked. The tension grows, the mysteries connect with each other, and although Jenny has her own suspicions about Rob, their romance pulls them closer together.  All the different elements combine for a vivid climax. 


The book leaves a few unanswered questions, but judging from the obvious skill of this author, I suspect this was deliberate, with the possibility that the answers will show up in subsequent volumes of Art Theft Romantic Suspense.  ‘Counterfeits’ was intriguing and fun to read, and I really enjoyed it.  I am pleased to award this book 5 stars.


I am grateful for the free reviewer’s copy I was given.
Reviewed by: Roberta 

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

REVIEW: Little White Lies by R.C. Matthews

When attorney Madalyn Russell dumps her fiancé at the altar, she temporarily escapes the scrutiny of her friends and family on her honeymoon cruise. Too bad she forgot she is assigned to dine at the “newlywed” table on the fully booked cruise. Goodbye exquisite cuisine, hello standard buffet fare. Nothing will tempt her to enter that lion’s den. Or so she thinks.

When the board of directors orders devilishly handsome Royce Spencer to seek rest alone on a cruise, he sets his sights on Madalyn and offers a deliciously indecent proposal to her dining room dilemma. He’ll pose as her husband in exchange for companionship during the cruise. Royce is a gifted liar with a great sense of humor that has everyone at the newlywed table laughing and no one suspecting the truth.

Is the opportunity to enjoy all the ship has to offer worth the little white lies they'll have to tell? What is it about Royce that makes Madalyn want to engage in a fling at the age of thirty for the first time in her life and toss her tightly held beliefs overboard? The whirlwind love affair catches them both by surprise. Is it possible that in the midst of all the little white lies, they will each discover their soul mate? And when Royce is accused of white collar crime with Madalyn as his key witness, will Madalyn finally learn that life is not always as black and white as it seems?

PURCHASE FROM: Barnes & Noble | Amazon


RATING:       4.5 Stars
‘Little White Lies’ is a fun, relaxing love story.  Most of the book takes place on a cruise, which adds to the fun. The characters are likeable, and on this ship, romance is all around.
This was supposed to be Madalyn’s honeymoon cruise, but she’s taking it by herself.  No, she wasn’t dumped – she’s the one who bolted from the church, finally realizing that she and her fiancé just weren’t compatible.  She hopes going on the cruise alone will give her a chance to recover from the embarrassment.  Everything is looking good, until she heads for her reserved dinner table – only to get a painful reminder that when she made the reservations, she asked for the Newlywed Table.
Madalyn requests a new reservation, but there aren’t any available. She has already made a few shipboard friends, including a very attractive man named Royce.  So that she can actually enjoy the elaborate dining room, rather than have all of her meals at the informal buffet, Royce ‘proposes’ that he pose as her new husband.  Thus starts a vacation full of lies, large and small, and they both turn out to be skilled performers. Neither one wants to admit that not everything is just a performance, but there are happy surprises yet to come.
I really enjoyed reading this book.  The cruise was very believable; the characters were fun; and all those little (and some not-so-little) lies were very amusing.  There’s a good amount of heat, both physical and emotional, but the romance itself takes precedence over the sex, which always pleases me. The conclusion is truly beautiful, true romance without forgetting the humor.
I recommend ‘Little White Lies’ to all fans of straight romance; no suspense, no scary threats, no physical pain and suffering, no over-long sex scenes: just a fun love story, well told.  I give this book 4.5 stars.
I am grateful for the free reviewer’s copy I was given.
Reviewed by: Roberta 

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

REVIEW: Saving His Love by Margaret Taylor

Jake Reeves has spent the last five years helping women Aliens have kidnapped from Earth, find their lives again. It’s been a peaceful time. But he’s deeply missed Janel Canton even though she’s the one that shattered everything he thought he knew. And just like five years ago, his life is once again about to be turned on its ear. His first trip into the great and grand Universe only touched the tip of the Iceberg. This time around, he’ll have to get his act together and not only rescue Janel but face things he never dreamed could exist.

Janel Canton has spent the last five years continuing to ferry women back to Earth and it’s been a good life. She’s missed Jake, thought about him more than she should but is mostly happy with the way things turned out. When Moren leaves for the birth of his own child back on Alcantia, things go horribly wrong and she’s suddenly faced with decisions that will change everything.

Will Jake be able to get it together and Save His Love, or will he once again return to Earth, alone…

Come along and Explore the Universe, One Book At A Time…to find out what happens in the continuation of the Spi-Corp Series...

Purchase from Smashwords and Amazon

4.5 Stars
It’s been five years since Jack Reeves last saw Janel Canton, his old high school acquaintance who now commands her own space craft, pursuing the sex-trafficking aliens who kidnapped her when she was just out of high school.  Jack met her again at their twentieth high school reunion, and unexpectedly found himself, and his son, thrown into space with her.  After that adventure, Jack and Jonathon returned to Earth, where most people have absolutely no idea that such things are happening, and Jack began helping Earth women that Janel rescued from the sex ring find their way back into their home planet’s society.
Time passes differently on Earth than it does in space, so for Janel it’s been considerably more than five years.  In fact, the daughter Jack fathered is now closer to thirteen, and she’s an incredible surprise to Jack when he is brought back into space to learn that Janel was captured by the slavers and his help is needed to rescue her.  So Jack and Jon find themselves once again involved in the politics and warfare surrounding the alien efforts to put a stop to the sex trafficking.  Then, things get even more complicated after they successfully rescue Janel, due to some drastic action she took to exact revenge upon her captors.  The result finds Janel, Jack, and their allies engaged in a life-and-death struggle against a new enemy they never anticipated.
I absolutely loved the first book in this series, ‘First Love Never Dies’, and was very eager to read book two.  Overall, I was not disappointed.  There is a lot more science fiction/action in ‘Saving His Love’ – most of it against an unexpected enemy that any fan of the old British TV series ‘Blake’s 7’ will find fascinating (and I am one such fan).  More is revealed about the different alien races and alliances, and how they interact with each other, and readers also learn a great deal more about the functions of the alien spaceships and space stations.  Things move very rapidly, and I was pulled in deeper all the time.  I finished the book in one session, and the next day I went at it again.
There were a few things in this book that I found difficult to understand, including the details of the time differences.  Also, as the action grew more intense, the movements between settings, ship to space station to another ship to a different section of that ship, etc.. were occasionally confusing to me.  As with a fair amount of science fiction, these things could possibly be easier to keep straight for those readers who have actually studied real science and/or engineering, but by and large, I didn’t find that it lowered my enjoyment all that much.  The politics, the characters and their relationships with each other, once again watching how Jack and Jon interact with and contribute to their alien associates, the intense action, and, always at the core, the romance between Janel and Jack – these grabbed my interest and kept it, all the way through.  This series has great possibilities, and Taylor is a good enough author to continue building for however long she chooses.
I rate ‘Saving His Love’ worth 4.5 stars, and I am very grateful for the free reviewer’s copy I was given. 

Reviewed by: Roberta 

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