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Search tags: Harlequin-Silhouette
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review 2018-02-04 17:20
Untamed by Nora Roberts
Untamed - Nora Roberts
Jovilette "Jo" Wilder has spent her entire life in the circus. She knows no other life, and she wants no other life...Until the new owner shows up after inheriting the circus from the father he's never met.


This story sure didn't age well. The story itself could work in any time setting, but the characters and their actions and reactions don't fare well in this day and age.

First of all, the story is written in third person, but from the heroine's perspective. Since said heroine, despite being twenty-two (or so we're told) comes across as childish, immature and rather self-absorbed, so we don't glean much about the hero or his possible inner workings from the narrator.
Because we're not privy to the hero's inner voice, his character and his intentions remain (mostly) a mystery, and the final revelation about his true feelings doesn't really work and seems rather unbelievable or implausible.
 
 
 
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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 2018-01-04 13:39
Detective Defender by Marilyn Pappano
Detective Defender (Harlequin Romantic Suspense) - Marilyn Pappano

After twenty-four years of radio silence, Martine Broussard once more sees Pauline, one of the four friends who'd abandoned their home town after a night gone awry. That same night Pauline is killed, her heart removed. The primary detectives on the case are Jack Murphy and his partner James "Jimmy" DiBiase, the man Martine loathes most.

But it's that same man who brings her comfort, offers his shoulder for her to lean and cry on, and vows to keep her safe no matter what, especially after they learn one other friend out of the four had ended up like Pauline.



I loved this one. As it happened with her short story A Family for Christmas, this one also had a mature, adult feel. There was no juvenile behavior (unless you count the hero's nonchalant, womanizing mask—which the heroine learns is really just a façade), the "misunderstanding" (if you want to call it that) was put to rest without much ado, the two communicated...The hero and heroine actually acted like adults, appropriate to their age.
And their romance was a real treat to behold. It progressed slowly, realistically, and as they got to know one another (well, as Martine got to know the depths of Jimmy's character) so the reader got to know them, root for them, and wish them the best.

The second big thumbs-up goes to the suspense angle of the plot. The mystery was intriguing, the red-herrings perfectly placed to keep the reader guessing and playing detective...The final reveal was quite a surprise, yet the motive was a bit of a let-down. I expected more than just a crazy person's crazy motivation.
Speaking of let-downs...The heroine's dipping her toes into the TSTL ocean was the second blemish on this otherwise great story.

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text 2017-12-17 17:28
Christmas on Crimson Mountain by Michelle Major
Christmas on Crimson Mountain - Michelle Major

***book available free for a limited amount of time on eHarlequin***

April Sanders is a temporary guardian for her dead friend's two daughters, but the man she's supposed to cater to, an author on a deadline, doesn't want children around. His wife and little son died in a car crash and Connor Pierce had removed himself from all feeling.

Unfortunately for him, the two girls and their temporary guardian soon get under his skin, and he finds himself unable to push them away.


DNF @ 35%

Maybe it was just me, or maybe there were some problems with the editing in this story, because it felt like there were some scenes missing. And the jumps from scene to scene without those missing pieces gave me whiplash.

But hey, maybe it was just me...Because I didn't like what was there either. The heroine came across as a doormat, the hero was a jerk, the oldest kid was a pill, with the only likeable character being little, five-year-old Shay.

The whole un-Scrooging of the hero came across as too rushed, and the rest wasn't really inspiring, so I threw in the towel.

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