Saturday, October 16, 2010
STOCK UP SATURDAY REVIEWS
Honky Tonk Series - Book 3
By Carolyn Brown
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: October 1, 2010
Carolyn Brown takes us back to the tiny town of Mingus, Texas where the Honky Tonk beer joint revs up for more country fun, fireworks and, just maybe, another happy ending.
Larissa Morley doesn’t have time for a man in her life. The sassy, straight-talkin’ owner of the Honky Tonk is too busy trying to stop rich Dallas businessman, Hayes Radner from buying up her town and turning it into an amusement park. But Larissa starts to re-think her position when a sweet and sexy rancher moves to town. Yes, ma’am, Hank Wells just may be the cowboy to rope Larissa’s heart for good.
For as long as he can remember, Henry Hayes Radner Wells has spent one month every summer at his father’s ranch near Mingus, Texas but this year he’s there for one reason only: to find the weaknesses that will convince the property owners, especially Honky Tonk owner, Larissa Morley, to sell their property to his mother’s company. But the longer Hank spends with Larissa, the more he likes her and the worse he feels about deceiving her. When the truth comes out, who will he turn out to be? Hank, the charming rancher who touched her heart? Or Hayes, the ruthless and arrogant corporate shark intent on ruining her town? And will either of them have any chance of mending her broken heart and bringing another happy-ever-after to the Honky Tonk?
Pick up a copy of My Give A Damn's Busted for some red-hot lovin' and down home delight!
A Hellion in Her Bed
Hellions of Halstead Hall – Book 2
By Sabrina Jeffries
Publisher: Pocket Star
Release Date: September 21, 2010
Take one strong-willed woman determined to see her grandchildren happily married, equally determined grandchildren dead-set on avoiding marriage plus a slowly unraveling mystery surrounding the tragic and scandalous deaths of their parents nineteen years earlier and you have another fascinating series from one of my favorite historical authors, Sabrina Jeffries.
Lord Jarret Sharpe has a frozen soul. His passion had always been the family brewery that he thought would be his but after the death of his parents when he was thirteen, his grandmother, wanting better for him, shipped him off to school where he was lost, miserable and alone. So Jarret turned his life to cards and, later, to women, becoming indifferent to everything and everyone while his grandmother successfully ran the brewery for the past nineteen years. But now, with his grandmother’s illness, Jarret finds himself exactly where he has always dreamed of being, in charge, even if temporarily, of the family brewery and he’s not about to risk that position, and the family company, by agreeing to Annabell Lake’s crazy proposition.
Annabel Lake has no intention of ever marrying. Her brother may be the head of the family brewery but Annabel is the one in charge. She’s needed to keep the brewery running, to keep her brother’s drinking problem from becoming known and for more important reasons that will be always be a closely held secret. She’s developed an ale that will keep the family brewery from failing but she needs the help of a larger, more successful brewery for distribution which leads her to Jarret Sharpe and, when the man turns her down, to a scandalous wager: a game of cards with the stakes being one night in her bed against his help with her family’s brewery. Jarret has never been able to refuse a wager but will accepting this one be the biggest mistake of his life or will it lead him to more happiness than he could have imagined?
I thoroughly enjoyed Annabel and Jarret’s deeply emotional story and can’t wait for Minerva’s story next. I highly recommend the Hellions of Halstead Hall!
Indulgence In Death
By J.D. Robb
Release Date: November 2, 2010
Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her husband Roarke (yes, he only needs one name) have just returned from a long overdue vacation, but death never takes a holiday, as Eve well knows. She has barely had time to get back in the groove at work when she is called to investigate the death of a limousine driver, which in and of itself is not so unusual. But the fact that the victim has been killed with a crossbow makes this a not-so-run-of-the-mill murder. Other unique murders soon follow: a high-priced escort found in the House of Horrors at Coney Island, killed with a bayonet to the heart; a well-known and uber-exclusive chef killed by a harpoon; an elite event planner hanged with a bullwhip. Eve is now on the trail of a killer who murders strictly for the thrill, and one who appreciates and indulges in the luxurious things that life has to offer. Once again, Eve has to be one step ahead of the killer in order to stop the next murder, which may hit a little too close to home.
With this 31st novel in her In Death series, J.D. Robb continues to find new and unconventional murders for Eve to solve. This is, by far, my favorite ongoing series, for so many reasons: the futuristic setting (so many cool gadgets), the action and suspense, the always interesting cast of secondary characters, and the sizzling passion of Eve and Roarke. Quite simply, I lust after Roarke; he is the epitome of the perfect man. His and Eve’s marriage is not perfect; they argue and disagree like most couples, but it is their soul deep love for one another that touches my heart. This one passage---which had me weeping (on pg. 24 no less!)---defines that love to a tee.
“I can’t thank you enough. There isn’t enough thanks. I can’t say what this means to me, even to you. I don’t have the words for it.” He took her hands, brought them to his lips. “A ghra. You stagger me.”
“So it’s good.”
He framed her face now, touched his lips to her brow. Then looked in her eyes and spoke in Irish.
When he smiled it lit her up. “I said, you’re the beat of my heart, the breath in my body, the light in my soul.”
Moved to melting, she took his wrists. “Even when I’m the pain in your ass?”
“Particularly then.” He turned to study the plaque. “It’s lovely. Simple and lovely.”
Sigh . Is it any wonder I’m crazy about Roarke?? If you’ve never read this series, you are missing out on one of the best there is.
Secrets of Hadley Green, Book 1
By Julia London
Release Date: October 19, 2010
In 1792, the village of Hadley Green executed a man for stealing the Countess of Ashwood’s historic jewels. Fifteen years later, questions still linger. Was it a crime of greed—or of passion?
Keira Hannigan has always longed for a life of adventure and excitement, and she doesn’t think she’ll find it at home in Ireland. When her cousin Lily inherits the Ashwood estate and becomes countess, she asks Keira to go to England in her place and take care of matters while Lily goes to Italy. Keira is more than willing to go, thinking that this is her chance to really live. When she arrives at Ashwood, everyone assumes she’s Lily, and before Keira can correct them, she finds herself playing the role of the Countess of Ashwood. But Keira’s grand adventure is suddenly not as fun as she thought, especially when she fears discovery.
Declan O’Connor, Earl of Donnelly arrives in Hadley Green to purchase a horse for his client, a Danish count. Declan is a renowned horse breeder in both his native Ireland and England, but due to a serious case of wanderlust, he never stays in one place long. Expecting to meet the Countess of Ashwood, Declan is stunned to find himself face to face with Keira Hannigan, the beautiful, impertinent creature he has known all her life. Furious with her impersonation of her cousin, Declan threatens to reveal Keira’s true identity. Keira begs him to keep her secret and help her discover where the missing Ashwood jewels are. The more she learns, Keira fears that the man who was hanged for the theft was, in fact, innocent. The mystery of the jewels is soon overshadowed by Keira’s new neighbor, Lord Eberlin, who knows her true identity and threatens to expose her lies.
Keira and Declan share a painful episode from their past which creates tension and discontent, but their undeniable attraction for one another overrides that. And when they give into passion…it is unbelievably hot and incredibly tender. Ms. London has penned a delightful read for this first installment of her new series. And she leaves readers hanging with a jaw-dropping cliffhanger that will have them waiting with bated breath for the next book. Here’s hoping we won’t have long to wait.
by Maya Banks
Release Date: September 7, 2010
It has been a year since ex-Navy SEAL Ethan Kelly received the news of his wife’s untimely death in a South American plane crash. Ethan has spent the year grieving for his wife and regretting the last conversation they shared. Even the love of his close-knit family, which includes five brothers, hasn’t brought much comfort to Ethan. Hope surges in Ethan when he receives a mysterious package of pictures, including recent pictures of his wife Rachel being held hostage. Determined to rescue his wife, Ethan employs his brothers, who own and operate an elite secret operative group, to assist him. But rescuing Rachel is just the beginning. Addicted to drugs forced on her by the drug cartel, Rachel’s memory is but a blur. Ethan must not only protect Rachel from attempts on her life, but also show her why they are meant to be together. Forever.
This is one action-packed novel, filled with explosives, intrigue and terror. But Maya Banks balances all that testosterone with a healthy dose of love remembered and renewed.
by Sandra Hill
Release Date: October 5, 2010
Ex-stunt woman Rita Sawyer is kicking butt during basic training for WEALS (Navy SEALs for Women), but while on an ocean maneuver, Rita is knocked out cold when she hits her head on jutting rocks. When Rita finally comes through she finds herself transported back in time to the Norselands and surrounded by Viking warriors.
Steven of Norstead has been depressed since the lost of his brother, Thorfinn. In an attempt to lift his spirits, Steven and a good friend go plundering along the coast. During their journey they come upon Rita crumbled upon some rocks along the shore. But these Viking men don’t see a beautiful woman. Nope, they see Rita in her wet suit and fins and immediately assume she is some type of sea monster with webbed feet. And thus the comical interaction (and subsequent love story) between a feminist from 2010 and a Viking warlord begins. Needless to say, quite a few things were lost in translation between Rita and Steven. There are so many funny scenes, including a group of Viking women doing line dancing.
This book is full of humor that will have you laughing out loud and love that will have you sighing with every page you turn. Sandra Hill does a glorious job of showing the read that love has no bounds – including time travel!
Luck Be a Lady
By: Cathie Linz
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Release Date: October 5, 2010
Chicago librarian Megan West is determined that her cousin (and best friend), Faith, will have the perfect wedding, especially after Faith’s last groom ditched her at the altar. The Las Vegas wedding goes off with only a small hitch—Logan Doyle, a Chicago police detective and grandson of the best man, interrupts thinking that his grandfather is the one getting married. The no-nonsense Megan takes the situation in hand and everything turns out well. Until she overhears something her uncle tells her father at the reception: “Trust me, you did the right thing letting Megan think her mother is dead.” This blows Megan’s mind, because she has always thought her mother died when she was two years old. Shaken, Megan runs off wanting to just get away when she bumps into Logan. He sees how upset she is and takes her to a restaurant to calm down. She explains the situation to him (despite her slight aversion to cops) and how she wants to find her mother and Logan immediately jumps into action, as he has always had a weakness for damsels in distress. This leads them on a madcap road trip through Nevada to a brothel (where they get a little information) and then stranded in a small town straight out of the Twilight Zone called Last Resort, population: not many. After a brief (and very weird) stint there, Megan and Logan find their way back to Vegas to catch their flights home. Now that they’re back in Chicago, can they work together to find Megan’s mother . . . and possibly more? Or will they fight their obvious mutual attraction and allow their pasts to hold them back?
Luck Be a Lady is a cute, fun, and fast-paced story featuring two characters that start off at odds, complete with tension-filled banter, and eventually discover that they are what the other needs. Throw in some colorful supporting characters and some devoted family members and you’ve got yourself one enjoyable book!