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review 2018-06-19 14:53
The Hero (Sons of Texas) - Donna Grant

The first book in Donna Grant's Sons of Texas was refreshingly different from her Dark World universe. I enjoyed every second of this spy thriller adventure with the first of the three Loughman boys coming home to find his uncle and aunt murdered, father kidnapped, and his childhood sweetheart, that he left after graduation in order to protect her from his kind of life, neck deep in trouble with the Russians. Natalie has tried so hard to forget Owen the past 14 years since he turned his back on her and their future without explaining why, so when he shows back up to find murder and mayhem, she tries very hard to keep her distance while trying to find his father. Both have a lot to work through and while trying to do that they are dodging bullets, Russian hitmen, ties to the Russian Embassy and government, and dealing with the fact that the boys totally misjudged their father. I enjoyed their story and I look forward to the other two boys having their own adventures while trying find and save their father and keep a bio weapon out of Russian hands.

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quote 2018-06-18 07:20
“Show me a hero, and I'll write you a tragedy.”

 F. Scott Fitzgerald

― F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Show me a hero, and I will write you a tragedy.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald.

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review 2018-06-17 03:42
Unf;nished by J.R. Barten 3.5 Star Review
Unf;nished - J.R. Barten,LA Dimmett

Could a pair of tattoos ignite a passionate romance?

Technical analyst Garrett Jones lives a solitary life. Occasionally, he must venture into the outside world to get what he needs. On one such occasion, he finds himself at a local tattoo shop getting inked for the first time with a semi-colon as a reminder of his past--a past he cannot allow himself to forget.

Fun-loving and outspoken Dev Hemingway is a social worker for a local LGBTQ shelter. He’s covered in tatts, has long hair, and though most people think he belongs on a Harley, he prefers his Venom electric scooter. He’s adding a semi-colon to his tattoo repertoire to mark eight years since his mental health diagnosis. 

Though they start seeing each other casually, Garrett and Dev’s relationship soon deepens into something more than either one could have prepared for. But will the illness that brought them together ultimately be the one to tear them apart? Could this be the end of their story, or is there still too much left unfinished?

 

Review

 

A well told love story where opposites attract. Garret, the introvert and Dev, the extrovert. I like how this difference between got as much time and Dev's mental health and the trigger it is for Garret given his history.

This book takes takes it time and we get to see a loving relationship bloom and a lot of personal healing and growth.

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review 2018-06-16 09:36
Love Held Captive (Lone Star #3) by Shelley Shepard Gray
Love Held Captive (A Lone Star Hero’s Love Story) - Shelley Shepard Gray

Major Ethan Kelly has never been able to absolve himself of the guilt he feels for raiding a woman’s home shortly before he was taken prisoner during the Civil War. He is struggling to get through each day until he once again crosses paths with Lizbeth Barclay—the very woman he is trying to forget. Life after the war is not much different for former Captain Devin Monroe until he meets Julianne VanFleet. He knows she is the woman he’s been waiting for, but he struggles to come to terms with the sacrifices she made to survive the war. When Ethan and Devin discover that their former colonel, Adam Bushnell, is responsible for both Lizbeth’s and Julianne’s pain, they call on their former fellow soldiers to hunt him down. As the men band together to earn the trust of the women they love, Lizbeth and Julianne seek the justice they deserve in a country longing to heal.

Amazon.com

 

 

 

POTENTIAL TRIGGER WARNING: This novel addresses the topic of rape. 

 

 

During the Civil War, Major Ethan Kelly and his men were pushed to do many things they weren't proud of, but did it they did in the name of survival. One regular unsavory task was raiding the homes of innocent people for supplies to help keep the troops alive. Lizbeth Barclay's home was one of the properties raided by Kelly and his men. Unbeknownst to him, prior to his arrival she had not only suffered the deaths of her family members but also a sexual attack and mutilation by another soldier. 

 

Years later, Kelly and Barclay cross paths once again --- he as a hotel guest, she one of the hotel housekeepers. Though they don't immediately remember their past interaction, Major Kelly's memory is jarred when he sees the long scar running down the side of Lizbeth's face, a scar he never forgot even if he and Lizbeth never got on a first name basis the first time around. 

 

Kelly's friend and military comrade, Captain Devin Monroe develops an acquaintance with Julianne Van Fleet that, on his end, quickly grows into an honest love for her. But when she reveals her own story of some of the unpopular methods she resorted to to survive the war and care for her ailing grandmother, Devin struggles to make peace with it all. He questions whether he can make a life with someone with such a past. Though he's tempted to walk away at first, with some time to consider he realizes Julianne's actions were no worse than any men he served with who were similarly driven to survive. Devin once again comes to Julianne wanting to offer her a chance at a life rich in love, respect, and fidelity. But before the couple's dreams can take flight, their plans are stalled with the threat of former Army acquaintance Colonel Adam Bushnell.

 

When Devin and Ethan and their ladies all come together to share their stories of struggle, they find one common denominator among all of them: Bushnell. At different times, Bushnell terrorized both Lizbeth and Julianne. Devin and Ethan further reveal that these ladies weren't his only victims, not by a longshot. His face scarred by smallpox and hard living, Bushnell likely got in the habit of assaulting women rather than wooing them because his low self-esteem convinced him women would never give him the time of day otherwise. Determined to put a stop to Bushnell's assaults, the men rally the troops (as in, calling in even more Army buddies) to hunt the man down.

 

In addition to the duel romance stories going on here, as well as the manhunt scenes, this novel, like its two predecessors within this series, includes chapters detailing the mens' experiences in a Civil War POW camp, giving the reader an idea of how those months & years of imprisonment reshaped their spirits, inevitably changing them forever. 

 

I'm just going to say it: This book had the worst title of the series. Get beyond the title though, and Love Held Captive (man, that title gives me hard cringe though -- just screams bodice-ripper) is actually the BEST story in the trilogy IMO.  While the previous two books were enjoyable but, if I'm being honest, a little on the forgettable side, this one came alive with much more real characters full of humor, honesty and depth. Julianne's story really inspires empathy in a reader, making one think on maybe not be so quick to judge someone living life in a way that doesn't line up with how we would do things. Take time to consider the limited options they might be forced to choose from.

 

Bushnell is just the right amount of despicable without becoming cartoonish and Major Kelly and Capt. Monroe are just good solid dudes. Especially Devin. Major Kelly, coming from a privileged background and well-to-do family, can come of as slightly snobbish from time to time, but Devin is quick to set him straight and Kelly is open to learn when he oversteps. Lizbeth was a bit overdramatic for me at times, and though she never became one of my favorite characters (I'm too busy shipping Devin & Julianne!), she did grow on me a little by story's end.

 

So there you go! If you, like me, found the first couple books in this series fun enough but maybe a litle flat, don't duck out just yet! Definitely get into this one because the Lone Star series, at least as I see it, is one where author Shelley Shepard Gray left the best for last! 

 

FTC DISCLAIMER:  TNZ Fiction Guild kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions above are entirely my own. 

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review 2018-06-14 16:49
Holding Out for a Hero - Vicki Lewis Thompson


Guy on cover appears to have a face made of silly putty. I'm supposed to find that appealing?!

 

I liked the kid, and I sortof liked the H. Felt bad for the h's situation but felt mostly impatient with her.

 

Apparently when she was a teen, she caught the eye of the town catch and let him sweep her off her feet. She was ok with this because he was rich. That he was a douchebag, she didn't bother to figure out until after vows were exchanged. A kid was added to this mess because reasons. Then she decided she'd had enough and divorced him. Now, because he's rich, and his father uses his money to make her life miserable, she's decided money is the root of all evil. Reading between the lines, it's *other* people's money.

 

H's age is not given, but he's built his construction company to the point it's big - really big. His attempts at dating have not been successful due to his having money - women want it more than him. So he doesn't tell the h at first. And he continues not telling her because at least once every conversation, she makes some dig about rich people. I didn't much like his deception, but under the circumstances...

 

The kid...was a pawn. His grandparents and father used him to control the h.

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