When Detective Logan Riske goes undercover to find Pepper Yates, a potential link to his best friend’s unsolved murder, he vows to gain her cooperation by any means necessary. But the elusive beauty is more suspicious—and in far more danger—than he expected. And the last thing Logan needs is to start caring for her .
Pepper has spent years dodging the corrupt club owner who will stop at nothing to keep her silenced. She can trust no one, not even the handsome new “construction worker” who’s moved in next door. The heat between them is undeniable. But will surrendering to passion bring her the safety she so desires—or will her feelings for Logan draw them both into a killer’s crosshairs?
You can’t help but love Lori Foster’s sense of humor once you meet her latest pair of sheet burners. Logan and Pepper are the most unconventional couple, him being an undercover cop posing as a construction worker, her being a shewolf disguised behind sheep’s clothing. But boy, were these two a hoot to hang out with, especially considering how awkward yet erotic their first few smexy times scenes were. Each believes they are deceiving the other in an unforgivable way. For Logan, the depiction can not be helped if he plans to catch his best friend’s killer; for Pepper, she’s protecting the only family she has left, her brother. But even though Logan uses Pepper to get to her brother, he plans to win her back, no matter the risk.
I’ve been reading Foster for a long time now, and I’ve always enjoyed the mind tricks she plays on me. She’s fantastic at developing multidimensional characters. There were a few I was rooting for but I wasn’t entirely sure if I could trust them or not. That alone was enough to keep me glued to the story. I also really liked how romance took center stage Run the Risk, and not just the one between Logan and Pepper. Foster also took the time to develop romantic tension among various pairs of secondary characters for the future installments in this series, which added a welcomed anticipation.
The crime boss nemesis bit was somewhat predictable, but it was still edgy and it helped moved the story along. Overall, Run the Risk was a fun, fast read that ended with a promise of more sizzling romances to come.
With his rugged good looks, vast wealth and family name, hell-raiser Hutch Carmody is still the golden boy of Parable, Montana. But he’s done some growing up-making peace with his illegitimate half brother and inheriting half of Whisper Creek Ranch, which should have been all his. These days, Hutch knows there are some things money can’t buy: like the heart of loving, ladylike divorcé e Kendra Shepherd.
Kendra’s quiet mansion reminds her of what she wants most-a devoted husband and the pitter-patter of little feet. She can’t get Hutch Carmody out of her mind. But a rough-and-tumble cowboy like Hutch, coming home for family dinner? Seems crazy! Then again, crazier dreams have become reality under the vast Montana sky.
I didn’t discover Linda Lael Miller for myself until last year when I read her Creed Cowyboys series. And her stubborn but well mannered cowboys made me an instant fan of her work.
Big Sky Mountain is the second book in her newest series, Swoon-Worthy Cowboys, and after checking it out, I can say her Western Romances about country living, kind hearted folks, and the good ol’ days are sweet and offer a nice change of pace for me when I’ve been reading too many contemporary and paranormal romances. But I do think that her stories tend to be too much on the cookie cutter side.
Much like it’s predecessor, Big Sky Country, the first book in the Swoon-Worthy Cowboys series, Big Sky Mountain tells the tale of a hot headed cowboy and the woman he means to make his wife. Along the way, they will adopt a couple of stray pets and maybe even some stray kids, then manage to cure their stubbornness with some kisses and a much talked about showdown.
It’s a nice little formula, but if you read the books back to back, as I have done, you might find yourself a bit bored. And even though all the characters were nice enough, I did find myself rolling my eyes in annoyance a few times at them because I didn’t feel like they were entirely believable, especially because Miller tends to make their pets a big part of them. I’m not saying this is a bad thing. I’ve got a dog whom I adore, but I’m not one to get excited about reading that the heroine took her dog for a walk and had a poop bag at the ready.
Still, I think the conflict Hutch and Kendra faced as a couple was a bit more complicated than the one between the couple in the first book, so it was more interesting to discover what the solution would be. And Miller once again built a strong foundation for her series by linking the secondary characters to the main but leaving room for them to have their own coming tale.
Big Sky Mountain was, like all of the books I’ve read by Miller, a heart-warming story with a good old fashion Happily Ever After, even if the the style was a bit too repetitive for my taste.
“I don’t know if I can handle it,” she confessed, very softly. “Seeing Hutch again right away, I mean. I was counting on having some time to adjust to being back—”
Joslyn reached out, took her hand. Squeezed. “You can handle it,” she said with quiet certainty. “Trust yourself, Kendra. Nothing is going to happen between you and Hutch unless you want it to.”
“That’s just the trouble,” Kendra reflected miserably, careful to keep her voice down so Madison wouldn’t overhear. “Wanting a man—wanting Hutch—and knowing better the whole time—well, you know—”
“I do know,” Joslyn said, smiling.
“I have a daughter now,” Kendra reminded her friend. “I want Madison to grow up in Parable, go to the same schools from kindergarten through high school. I want to give her security, a real sense of community, the whole works.
Thanks to BookTrib, I have a new paperback of Big Sky Mountain to giveaway. Open to US/Canada mailing addresses only.
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When Lexie Marshall places an ad for a cycling companion, she hopes to find someone friendly and fun to cross the TransAmerica Trail with. Instead, she gets Tom Geiger—a lean, sexy loner whose bad attitude threatens to spoil the adventure she’s spent years planning.
Roped into the cycling equivalent of a blind date by his sister, Tom doesn’t want to ride with a chatty, go-by-the-map kind of woman, and he certainly doesn’t want to want her. Too bad the sight of Lexie with a bike between her thighs really turns his crank.
Even Tom’s stubborn determination to keep Lexie at a distance can’t stop a kiss from leading to endless nights of hotter-than-hot sex. But when the wild ride ends, where will they go next?
I can’t even begin to describe how much I loved this book! It was AHHHHMAAAA—-ZING!!! Seriously, how do some girls get so lucky? I’m honestly not sure whether I should curse Lexie Marshall or congratulate her, either way, I can’t say that I’ve ever been more jealous of a fictional female character. Why? Well, when you meet Tom Geiger, Lexie’s sexy riding partner, you’ll find out.
Straight laced Lexie is determined to go on an adventure of a lifetime. She plans to ride her bike across the U.S., but she’s no fool. She knows it’s important to take precautions, and that’s exactly what she thinks she’s doing when she posts an ad for a riding companion.
Unbeknownst to Tom, his sister replies to Lexie’s ad and arranges for them to be partners. And although Tom is antisocial and prefers to ride alone, even he can’t deny that there is safety in numbers. But, Lexie isn’t who he expected, and from the moment they meet, they instantly dislike each other, even if secretly they’re desperately attracted to one another.
Cue the completely disastrous but deliciously intense coupling of complete opposites, which has always created my favorite form of romantic tension. As Tom and Lexie begin their journey together, they have many obstacles to overcome, the most obvious being their forced partnership.
Even though Ride with Me is a quick, easy read, I still felt that Tom and Lexie’s romance was slow building and perfectly paced. They were both stubborn and hot tempered, so it took them a while to realize what was right in front of them all along.
And Tom! Oh, Tom! He was a multifaceted, beautifully crafted character, layered with closely guarded sorrows he’d only reveal to a select few. He was more than words; he was action and passion and devotion of the most coveted kind. Needless to say, I fell head over wheels in love with him.
I also really enjoyed how Knox expertly included a lot of cycling jargon. Her knowledge of the sport was vast and evident. Sure, it may be a bit off putting to those who are not familiar with the technical terms, but I thought it was great. The only fault I could find with the story was that it ended rather abruptly. I’m one that usually hates epilogues, but in this instance, I wished there would have been one because I wanted more.
Ride with Me is a fun, sexy romance. And best of all, it’s bountiful in smexy times and swoony moments. I loved every minute of it!
And check out my new tattoo! I got it during my trip to New Orleans, at the Authors After Dark conference. I blame Tom! He’s such a bad influence.
When a lonely woman has lost all trust, it takes an otherworldly creature to restore her faith in mankind.
River is still recovering from the attack by an ex-boyfriend a year ago that left him dead, and her grievously injured. Damaged emotionally and physically, she is continually tormented by her attacker’s brother, who blames her for it all. Worse than his blame, though, is her own—River believes she was at fault for letting the attack happen.
Fen can sense River’s emotional pain like a beacon in the night. A selkie, he is compelled to help her on her path to healing, both emotionally and physically. Leading her on a journey to claim her own strength, he also helps her draw closer to Leo, the paramedic who saved her life that dark day…and who has never forgotten her.
Product Warnings: This book features an abused woman, a man who wants desperately to help, and a sexy selkie who knows just how to heal what ails them all.
Guest Review: Tradermare here with a guest review. Many thanks to Missie for inviting me to post here! I got hooked on Denise Townsend’s sexy selkies when I read Ocean’s Touch back in the spring, and I was thrilled to receive an ARC for her second release, Ocean’s Surrender.
Ocean’s Surrender is a lovely adult paranormal fairy tale, with a supernatural seal shapeshifter instead of a white knight in shining armor coming to the rescue. This is a feel-good, romantic story of how a young woman comes back to life with the help of the people around her and a little special magic from a prince of the sea.
The place is Eastport, Maine and at the center of the story is River. She’s suffering the after-effects of an abduction and harboring guilt over the manner in which she was freed from her attacker, not to mention dealing with continued aggression from her attacker’s brother. Her emotional wounds are serious and complicated by a past full of responsibility brought about by her family situation. And River isn’t the only one in pain. Her brother Jason also carries an emotional burden from the events of the previous year, too.
All of that emotional pain acts like a beacon calling to the magical selkie, Fen. He’s an empath, drawn to the troubled heroine by the intense quality of her pain. He is compelled to help her “for to do otherwise would be like leaving a wounded animal bleeding in the forest.” Here’s how Fen describes her emotional state:
“Loneliness vied with guilt, which was currently slap-fighting anger, which had sadness in a rough headlock.”
Fen knows he faces the difficult task of convincing River to trust him, as well as getting her to trust Leo, the paramedic in love with her. River has feelings for Leo too, but the scars from her trauma leave her unable to open herself to that relationship. It’s not going to be easy, but in one of the loveliest scenes in the book, Fen uses both his animal and human forms to break through River’s considerable barriers so the healing can begin. Even then, these four characters face additional challenges on the road to recovery.
No offense to the incredibly sexy selkie, Fen, but the real star for me in this book was Jason. His interactions with Fen, River and Leo are so touching and heartwarming. In many respects, he is responsible for River’s healing just as much as Fen.
I loved the characters in this story and my only comment is that the majority of the book is so emotionally charged, the erotic scenes in this book seem mechanical rather than sensually romantic in contrast. I think I would have liked this book just as much without them, although I do love that sex was part of the healing process for River.
Ocean’s Surrender pulled me in during the first chapter, held my interest throughout, and left me with a smile on my face. It’s a perfect summer read, whether you are at the beach or only get to experience the sand and surf vicariously through the pages of this book. Ocean’s Surrender will take you there, and if you are like me, you’ll be wishing for your own sexy selkie.
3.5 out of 5 stars
Many thanks to Tradermare for her wonderful guest review today!
No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.
I’ve tried avoiding reading reviews of Pushing the Limits because I really wanted to make sure my thoughts about it were completely my own. But reviews of this book have been hard to avoid. They’re everywhere! The good news is, from the few reviews I’ve skimmed through, I seem to (more or less) feel the same about this book as a lot of my reading buddies.
Still, I haven’t really been able to think of what to say about Pushing the Limits, which has been a bit baffling for me since I finished the book back in June.
I do know I liked it. But I can’t really decide if I liked it because it reminded me of Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles, which I loved, or because it was a romance about a couple who found their way to each other against the odds.
Either way, Pushing the Limits is an engaging, emotional, and intense story. It mixes gritty and raw emotions with a bit of hope and happiness as the main couple, Noah and Echo, try to figure their shit out – which is not an easy task considering that they both have their share of secrets and scars.
Still, even though I enjoyed Pushing the Limits, I can’t praise it as highly as other readers, mostly because I felt that some part of the interactions between characters felt artificial and some of the conflicts seemed a bit too contrived.
I understand the notion to make sure it’s clear that Noah and Echo haven’t had it easy. Aside from having been essentially abandoned, both of them also have to face situations that most teens their age don’t have to worry about. Noah tries to prepare himself for responsibilities he isn’t really ready for while Echo tries to remember a past her mind can’t handle. That in itself should be enough to tell a great story. But things are never that simple. They also have to deal with dysfunctional families, deaths, opposing social cliques, ex-boyfriends and ex-best friends, and, of course, misunderstandings due to a lack of communication. My preference has always been to not have so much going on because it’s overwhelming and always makes me feel forced sympathy for the characters. The whole time while reading, I kept thinking to myself, enough already! But it’s a personal preference and other readers might really enjoy as much as possible crammed in.
Though, I could have done without the extra melodrama, the underlining story resonated with the optimist in me. My heart raced for Noah and Echo as I waited for their love to solidify. It came slowly, but the build up was great because it took into consideration the healing and mistake mending they had to do as individuals first.
If you love romance, you’ll enjoy this opposites attract love story. I know I did. And, make sure to check out the Pushing the Limits read-along! The prizes for it are fantastic!