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review 2018-02-23 18:52
Her Counterfeit Husband (Mustang, Montana) (Silhouette Intimate Moments #885) - Carla Cassidy

I think I was halfway through this one when I realized I'd read another book in the series a week or so ago.

 

So our h got worked over by a con artist. She had an inheritance, and some insurance money, and he used his good looks and charmed her into marriage. Then his partner stole her money, and he "disappeared"...after getting her knocked up.

 

His identical twin comes behind to a) figure out what happened and b) clean up his mess if necessary. Poses as him for a bit, before finally revealing himself to her. The accomplice is after him for the money. He figures, based on twin's past history, the trail leads to Vegas so they go, and find the end of the trail for twin.

 

Go back, and with help of local sheriff, and h's retired bounty hunter - brother, set up a trap...that accomplice fails to spring. Instead accomplice walks in an unlocked door and takes them by surprise after everyone has presumably gone home. Fortunately, the bounty hunter was suspicious so didn't.

 

It was a quick read. I couldn't help but wonder if pregnancy hormones didn't help things along. Also thought H maybe a bit too quick to roll over for a PI. Really hard to imagine him being v. effective as beta as he seemed at times.

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review 2018-02-15 16:20
Imminent Danger - Carla Cassidy

It got a 3 because I'm mostly burned out.

 

The girl on the cover does look pregnant. Apparently whoever matched covers with books was asleep at the wheel because the h is NOT.

 

The background is that she's hidden away by US Marshalls outside witless protection as her sister and BIL were cops investigating other cops who killed them while she was hiding in the closet. They figured there was too much risk of her being found going through their normal network. They called upon the H for some unknown reason.

Official story is that she's his fiancee' and nobody knew he was involved (small town). Brilliantly, he lets one of his deputies in on the secret.

 

In the meantime, they have a crimewave of sorts - someone has kidnapped two single women from their homes, taken them to the Kissing Tree (yes, this is a thing), and well, kissed them.

 

Over the course of what...a week or two (not sure there), the original bad guys are arrested, and the Casanova (the kidnapper) has apparently escalated to raping one.

The h gets spooked because she heard someone outside her window...which really should have made the H suspicious of who this person might be as she, while single, is supposedly engaged to HIM, and only one person in town knows otherwise.

 

Of course, an argument later, the stage is set so she can get grabbed and since she's (temporarily) blind and relying on other senses, she figures out who it is.

 

Thoughts - the guy is all kinds of stupid to grab a person he *knows* is being collected in less than a day by US Marshalls. Did the thought never cross his mind that by messing with her, he'd invite all sorts of government attention into his proclivities? And he was rather obvious - a large person, even if you don't notice the smell of mint from his soap, in a town where everyone knows everyone, how many people meeting that description are there? Even the H seemed to be mentally facepalming - everyone knew him, everyone trusted him, he could pick locks, etc.

 

Kicker - h's testimony wasn't needed for original purpose as one of the dirty cops did the canary impression once caught.

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review 2018-01-27 16:24
Scene of the Crime: Bachelor Moon by Carla Cassidy
Scene of the Crime: Bachelor Moon (Mills & Boon Intrigue) - Carla Cassidy

FBI profiler Sam Connelly is on a forced vacation in a Louisiana B&B when someone targets the B&B owner. The secret admirer has been leaving the single mother and her daughter little gifts, but now he's escalating by leaving her a murdered would-be competitor accompanied by a creepy phone call.

Sam knows they're dealing with yet another monster, and he's willing to do anything to keep mother and daughter from harm.


Formulaic and rather predictable with a myriad of coincidences (the admirer escalates right when Sam starts his vacation...show/hide spoiler
). The only thing I didn't see coming was the identity of the crazy admirer, since there were no real clues with red herrings leading everywhere else but there.

This time it was the hero's turn to be scared of loving anyone due to "what was hidden underneath" (eye roll, please), the heroine fell for the guy too quickly, I didn't really buy the love-thing from the hero...
The only remotely decent part of this story was the suspense, which was unfortunately overshadowed by the botched-up and rushed romance.

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review 2018-01-25 14:47
Scene of the Crime: Bridgewater, Texas by Carla Cassidy
Scene of the Crime: Bridgewater, Texas (Mills & Boon Intrigue) (Harlequin Intrigue) - Carla Cassidy

A killer struck in the small town of Bridgewater, Texas. But he made a terrible mistake choosing his victim. Because FBI agent Jenna Taylor will stop at nothing to find the man who killed her best friend and make him pay. She will stop at absolutely nothing, not even stepping on local sheriff’s toes. And it’s clear Matt Buchanan doesn’t want her there. Stepping on his toes.

His wishes and wants soon change, when the killer strikes the second time. Matt knows the third kill will "establish" whether they’re dealing with a serial killer or not, but he doesn’t want to wait until the third strike. He asks Jenna for her profiling help and she says yes…But she is working on something all on her own. She decided to be the lure and the killer has taken the bait.


These Harlequins are very repetitive, the been-there-read-there variety. An emotional-baggage-laden heroine, a widowed hero, that’s decided to let go of his past and take another shot at love and the heroine is just the person he turns to, a lot of angst and drama when she decides a lasting relationship is off limits and he decides to prove her wrong…And a killer gunning for the emotional-baggage-laden heroine who sees what she's missing and what she really wants from life when it's almost too late.

Well, this story was no different, except for the fact the hero, ex-homicide detective turned small-town sheriff has a scar, and the villain's identity came rather out of the left field without any clues and loads of red herrings that didn't lead anywhere.
The heroine was a pill with mommy issues, the hero was as one-dimensional as he could've been, the "romance" felt rushed and unbelievable...And the story lost two stars on this re-read.

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review 2017-11-29 03:48
Full of tongue-in-cheek wit
Beau Crusoe - Carla Kelly

She smiled, and James felt his heart turn.

 

Lt. James Trevenen spent 5yrs marooned on an island.

Susannah Park married below her station, had her husband die before she even gave birth, and has been ostracized ever since.

 

Maybe because I recently read one of her books, this felt like a Balogh with some Milan. Y'all, the tongue-in-cheek humor and wit is top notch here. This is also told mostly from the hero's pov, which helped to give it a fresh spin.

 

"Maybe it's this way, son---when we have no choice, we may as well be brave."

 

James has PTSD from what he had to do to survive and thinks he is haunted by another survivor of the original shipwreck. James' story of survival is spread out throughout the story until we get the ultimate grizzly details of how he became the lone survivor. It's rough, disturbing, and courageous stuff to read and I enjoyed how the author didn't shy away from James' emotions.  He was a hero who was witty, courageous, strong, utterly capable, and kind; he's a sexy one.

 

Susannah plays a little bit of second fiddle to James but her calm, vulnerable, and solid demeanor made her a perfect complement to him. Her family dynamics were a secondary character that wonderfully filled this story with even more emotions and relationship nuances. I'm also not the biggest fan of children in stories but Susannah's son Noah was a fun character and their relationship and the one that develops between Noah and James was delightful.

 

The romance between James and Susannah started off as smoke that slowly but surely was tended into a sparking burning pleasing fire. They were such a lovely engaging couple to follow along with. The wit provides a lighter tone while James feeling haunted and Susannah coming back from scandal with society and her family (Susannah and her sister's relationship brought a tear to my eye at the end) provide the heavier emotional load. The secondary characters here add a lot and show how much a story can be enhanced when giving attention to the details. This was a refreshing, engaging, and just plain lovely story.

 

As she stood watching, he turned and blew her a kiss. You're a rascal, she thought.

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