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review 2018-12-05 14:13
ARC REVIEW The Last True Cowboy by Laura Drake

 

The Last True Cowboy (Chestnut Creek, #1)Chestnut Creek #1, This is a new author for me and I am so glad I picked this one up. It amazed me how real this book seemed to me, how emotionally this book pulled me in and the citizens of Unforgiven are right Carly and Austin are better than T.V. I also loved that this book took place in New Mexico, as much as I love my home state of Texas it's nice to see NM get some attention. 


Carly and Austin have been together since Kindergarten and shared the same dreams through it all until Carly didn't any more. At twenty-nine Carly figured she'd be married already with babies already but Austin first love is the rodeo and his "one more year" got to be one year too many. Unfortunately for Carly no one believes that she's serious that she had it with Austin, so in a fit of rebelliousness she buys a motorcycle, and then she goes of to Albuquerque to let off some steam. Austin has a hard time reconciling the fact that Carly means business and after he realizes it he's left at a loss and this time there is no more "one more year" he leaves the rodeo and now he left floundering, wondering if he can achieve his dream without Carly.

Overall, this is probably one of the best second chance books I've read in awhile. The old adage, If you love something let it go, fits in nicely with this story. I love that Carly and Austin had to grow up apart from each other to find out who they really were as adults and not just love sick kidds. This is a sweet and sexy story that plays with your heartstrings. First person that switches between Carly and Austin mostly Carly at the beginning but as the book goes on you see more and more of Austin's POV. Carly's past of self discovery is quite amusing and I love Nevada, I'm glad she's getting her own book.         

 
 

 

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url 2018-09-11 20:44
Catch a Cowboy: $1.99 ebook sale from publisher Hachette
Cowboy Take Me Away - Jane Graves
Flirting with Texas - Katie Lane
The Sweet Spot - Laura Drake
Source: mailchi.mp/hbgusa/romantic-ebook-cowboys?e=9e1d0fa22b
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text 2015-05-13 16:07
Scarred Heroes or Heroines in Contemporary Romance
Beyond Repair - Charlotte Stein
Skin Deep (I-Team, #5.5) - Pamela Clare
Nobody (Men of the White Sandy Book 3) - Mary Dieterich,Sarah M. Anderson
Lingerie Wars (Invertary #1) - Janet Elizabeth Henderson
After Hours: (InterMix) - Cara McKenna
The Chocolate Touch (Amour et Chocolat #4) - Laura Florand
Beast - Pepper Pace
Tall, Dark and Fearless - Suzanne Brockmann
Nothing Sweeter - Laura Drake
Fire Inside: A Chaos Novel - Kristen Ashley

They say the scars you bear inside and out make you who you are. I don't know who they are but they say that. LOL 

 

Scarring or disfigurement is a huge Romanceland theme. What happens when we are altered? How do we find love as less than perfect or having survived something that left a mark upon us- fire, abuse, torture, surgery, assult, catastrophic accident. 

 

Sometimes the scars are small eteched phyiscal memory in skn. 

 

Here are some wonderful Contemporary Romanes that play with this theme.

 

My lists are never in any particular order. Happy Reading! 

 

1. Beyond Repair by Charlotte Stein

 

When Alice Evans finds a bona fide movie star on the floor of her living room, she has no idea what to do. Ordinary men are frightening enough, never mind someone as famous and frankly gorgeous as Holden Stark.


However, once she realizes that Holden is suffering behind that famous facade, she knows she has to help. He needs someone like her to give him a taste of sweetness and desire and love. He needs normality. The only problem—Alice is hiding a secret that is far from normal. In fact, her name isn’t even Alice at all.


And once Holden finds out, the intense connection they are just beginning to build may well be torn apart.

 

2. Skin Deep by Pamela Clare

 

Broken on the inside



Megan Hunter has worked hard to get back on her feet, leaving the nightmare of her teenage years behind. The last thing she wants or needs in her life is a man. But when she is attacked by someone from her past, a scarred stranger intervenes, saving her life and that of her little girl. Looks can be deceiving, for despite the man's rough appearance, she feels safe with him. And for the first time in her life, she knows the stirrings of desire.



Broken on the outside



Nathaniel West paid a high price serving with the Marines in Afghanistan. He returned to his family's ranch in the Colorado mountains to heal--and be alone. Disfigured as he is, he has put all thoughts of sex and romance aside. But something about Megan brings him back to life, heats his blood, makes him feel like a man again. As danger pursues her, and the truth about her past is revealed, he vows to protect her -- and to heal her wounded spirit. 

But confronting the past is never easy -- especially when it's carrying a gun. Megan will have to learn to trust Nate to survive and to claim a passion that is much more than ... Skin Deep.

 

3. Nobody by Sarah M. Anderson

 

Nobody Bodine is a nobody who came from a nobody and will always be a nobody.  

He disappears into the shadows—no one sees him if he doesn’t want them to. He exists in neither the white man’s world nor the tribe’s, dispensing vigilante justice when he sees fit. There’s no other place for a man like him in this world. 

Until Melinda Mitchell shows up on the rez. From the first moment he lays eyes on her, he can tell there’s something different about her. For starters, she’s not afraid of him. She asks where his scars came from, and why he has so many. But more than that, she sees him. For the first time in his life, Nobody feels like a somebody in her eyes. 

Melinda has come west to run the new day care on the White Sandy Reservation. She’s intrigued by this strange man and his tattered skin, and when she discovers that he’s a self-appointed guardian angel for the boy in her care, she realizes that there’s more to Nobody than meets the eyes. But how far will he go to keep the boy safe? And will she be able to draw him into the light

 

4. Lingerie Wars by Janet Elzabeth Henderson

 

Englishman Lake Benson loaned his life savings to his dippy sister so that she could buy a shop. It was a big mistake. His sister has been steadily flushing his money down the drain – and now he wants it back. Years in the special forces taught Lake that if you want a job done, do it yourself. So he steps in to make the shop profitable, sell it and get his money back. The only problem is, the business is an underwear shop. And all Lake knows about underwear can be summed up in how fast he can unsnap a bra. To make matters worse, the tiny highland town already has a lingerie shop. A successful one, run by an ex-lingerie model. A very gorgeous ex-lingerie model, who’s distracting him from his mission more than he’d like to admit. If Lake wants to get his savings back, and get out of Scotland, he only has one option – wipe out the competition. 

Kirsty Campbell has spent years rebuilding her life after she woke up in hospital in Spain to find her body scarred, and her ex-fiance had run off with all her money. The last thing she needs is a cocky, English soldier-boy trying to ruin all she has left. Her home town is only too happy to help her fight the latest English invasion, although Lake is beginning to sway them with his sex appeal and cut price knickers. With the help of her mother, and the retired ladies of Knit or Die, Kirsty sets about making sure that her shop is the last one standing in Invertary. 

 

5. After Hours  by Cara McKenna


Erin Coffey has been a nurse for years, but nothing’s prepared her for the physical and emotional demands of her new position. Needing to move closer to her dysfunctional family, she takes a dangerous job at Larkhaven Psychiatric Hospital, where she quickly learns that she needs protection—and she meets the strong, over-confident coworker who’s more than willing to provide it.  

Kelly Robak is the type of guy that Erin has sworn she’d never get involved with. She’s seen firsthand, via her mess of a sister, what chaos guys like him can bring into a woman’s life. But she finds herself drawn to him anyway, even when he shows up at her door, not eager to take no for an answer. 

What Erin finds even more shocking than Kelly’s indecent proposal is how much she enjoys submitting to his every command. But he can’t play the tough guy indefinitely. If they want to have more than just an affair, both will have to open up and reveal what they truly need. 

 

6. The Chocolate Touch by Laura Florand

 

Dominique Richard's reputation says it all--wild past, wilder flavors, black leather and smoldering heat. Jaime Corey is hardly the first woman to be drawn to all that dark, delicious danger. Sitting in Dom's opulent chocolaterie in Paris day after day, she lets his decadent creations restore her weary body and spirit, understanding that the man himself is entirely beyond her grasp.

 

Until he touches her. . .

 

Chocolate, Dominique understands--from the biting tang of lime-caramel to the most complex infusions of jasmine, lemon-thyme, and cayenne. But this shy, freckled American who sits alone in his salon, quietly sampling his exquisite confections as if she can't get enough of them--enough of him--is something else. She has secrets too, he can tell. Of course if she really knew him, she would run. 

 

Yet once you have spotted your heart's true craving, simply looking is no longer enough. . 

 

7. BEAST by Pepper Pace

 

A marine with a destroyed face and a plus sized beauty who has identity issues. A lesson learned is that beauty is not what is on the outside...In this romance that is taken from the Beauty and the Beasts' fairytale, it will leave you questioning 'who is the beauty and who is the Beast?' 

 

8. Tall, Dark and Fearless: Frisco's Kid by Suzanne Brockmann


Being a Navy SEAL is more than a career to Alan "Frisco" Francisco—it is his whole world. So when a bullet wound threatens his future in the Navy, he is determined to achieve a full recovery…all on his own. But his lovely neighbor Mia Summerton has other plans for him. She can't mend his wounded body, but can she heal his heart?

 

9. Nothing Sweeter by Laura Drake


Aubrey Madison is starting over. Leaving Los Angeles and everything behind except the scars of her ruined past, Bree sets out for cowboy country. Now she has a new home, a new job-and a new worry: the ruggedly sexy rancher who makes her long for things she shouldn't . . . 

Rough and tumble cattleman Max Jameson has broken wild stallions and faced angry bulls. Yet the redheaded city cupcake who turned up at the High Heather Ranch might be his undoing. Bree has a plan to rescue the ranch from foreclosure that's just crazy enough to work. But will Max gamble his future on a beautiful stranger?

 

10. Fire Inside by Kristen Ashley

 

Lanie Heron isn’t looking for love—no surprise, considering her last serious relationship nearly got her killed. So when Lanie propositions Hop Kincaid, all she wants is one wild night with the hot-as-hell biker who patrols with the Chaos Motorcycle Club...

For Hop, Lanie has always been untouchable. She’s too polished and too classy for his tastes. But when she gives Hop the once-over with her bedroom eyes and offers him a night in paradise, he can’t say no. And he doesn’t regret it when he finds that Lanie is the best thing that’s ever happened to him—in or out of bed. Now the trick will be to convince her of that.

 

Do you have a great scarred hero or heroine in Contemporary Romance to recommend? Please do!

 

Vote for the best of the best on my Goodreads list: Scarred Heroes or Heroines in Contemporary Romance

 

 

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text 2014-07-29 16:05
Congratulations to the 2014 RITA Award Winners!
The Sweet Spot - Laura Drake
Why Resist a Rebel? (Harlequin Kiss) - Leah Ashton
No Good Duke Goes Unpunished - Sarah MacLean
Off the Edge (The Associates) - Carolyn Crane
Five Days in Skye - Carla Laureano
Crazy Thing Called Love - Molly O'Keefe
The Firebird - Susanna Kearsley
Claim Me - J. Kenner
Take Me, Cowboy - Jane Porter

This weekend San Antonio, Texas overflowed with Romance and its writers at the annual Romance Writers of America Conference. 

 

The Rita Award is recognizes excellence in published romance fiction.

 

I love to go over the results and see which books I have read and which of my favorite authors have been honored. I also find new writers. Good stuff. 

 

Congratulations to the 2014 RITA Award Winners! 

 

Best First Book Winner

 

The Sweet Spot by Laura Drake 

 

Charla Rae Denny was the perfect wife with a perfect life, content to keep the home fires burning while her husband, JB, competed as a champion bull rider. Then their son died in a tragic accident-and everything fell apart. Divorced and saddled with a hill of bills and a failing ranch, Charla must now cowboy up to put her life back together.

James "JB" Denny doesn't stay where he isn't welcome. So when Charla shut him out of her grieving heart-and their home-a year ago, he took comfort where he could find it. Now after seeing beautiful Charla again, he wants it all back. She can't work the ranch alone, and deep in his heart he knows he can be the man she needs. But after so much history and heartbreak, can JB convince Charla to take a risk and give their love a second chance?

 

Short Contemporary Romance Winner

 

Why Resist a Rebel? by Leah Ashton 

 

Ruby Bell has put scandal and relationships behind her to forge a successful career in film. Then the talk of Hollywood himself, actor Devlin Cooper, strolls onto her Outback set—fired from his two previous movies, and looking decidedly tempting! The last thing Ruby needs is Dev making outrageous demands and causing her to question her "no romance at work" rule….But what's a girl to do when Dev's taking her on a lavish date one moment, then calling "cut" on their growing closeness the next? What exactly does he want with her—and what's causing the shadows behind those famous blue eyes? Now she's too intrigued to walk away…

 

Historical Romance Winner

 

No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean

 

A rogue ruined . . .He is the Killer Duke, accused of murdering Mara Lowe on the eve of her wedding. With no memory of that fateful night, Temple has reigned over the darkest of London’s corners for twelve years, wealthy and powerful, but beyond redemption. Until one night, Mara resurfaces, offering the one thing he’s dreamed of . . . absolution. A lady returned . . .Mara planned never to return to the world from which she’d run, but when her brother falls deep into debt at Temple’s exclusive casino, she has no choice but to offer Temple a trade that ends in her returning to society and proving to the world what only she knows...that he is no killer.A scandal revealed . . .It’s a fine trade, until Temple realizes that the lady—and her past—are more than they seem. It will take every bit of his strength to resist the pull of this mysterious, maddening woman who seems willing to risk everything for honor . . . and to keep from putting himself on the line for love.

 

Romantic Suspense Winner

 

Off the Edge by Carolyn Crane 

 

SHE MAY BE HIS WORST ENEMY… 
For deadly secret agent Peter Macmillan, language is a weapon—one he uses to hunt criminals, destroy plots, and charm enemies. Seducing information out of a beautiful singer in a Bangkok hotel should be easy…except this particular singer has the power to destroy his cool façade, and with it, his last defense against a dark past. 

HE MAY BE HER ONLY HOPE… 
He tricked her. He helped himself to her body and her secrets. He has enemies everywhere. Laney Lancaster should hate Peter, but when she discovers him shirtless, sweaty, and chained up in the hotel’s dungeon, all she can think about is freeing him. Because she knows what it’s like to be trapped and alone. And she could use a dangerous friend. 

They might be wrong for each other, but the instant they join forces, Laney and Peter are plunged into an odyssey of hot sex and dark danger. To survive, they must trust each other with their lives—and their hearts. 

 

 

Inspirational Romance Winner

 

Five Days in Skye: A Novel by Carla Laureano

 

 

Hospitality consultant Andrea Sullivan has one last chance to snag a high-profile client or she'll have to kiss her dreams of promotion good-bye. When she's sent to meet Scottish celebrity chef James MacDonald on the Isle of Skye, she just wants to finish her work as efficiently as possible. Yet her client is not the opportunistic womanizer he portrays himself to be, and her attraction to him soon dredges up memories she'd rather leave buried. For James, renovating the family hotel is a fulfillment of his late father's dreams. When his hired consultant turns out to be beautiful, intelligent, and completely unimpressed by his public persona, he makes it his mission to win her over. He just never expects to fall under her spell.

Soon, both Andrea and James must face the reality that God may have a far different purpose for their lives—and that five days in Skye will forever change their outlook on life and love.

 

Contemporary Romance Winner

 

Crazy Thing Called Love by Molly O'Keefe

 

Dallas TV morning show host Madelyn Cornish is poised, perfect, and unflappable, from her glossy smile to her sleek professionalism. No one knows that her iron will guards a shattered heart and memories of a man she’s determined to lock out. Until that man shows up at a morning meeting like a bad dream: Billy Wilkins, sexy hockey superstar in a tailspin—still skating, still fighting, and still her ex-husband.
 
Now the producers want this poster child for bad behavior to undergo an on-air makeover, and Billy, who has nothing to lose, agrees to the project. It’s his only chance to get near Maddy again, and to fight for the right things this time around. He believes in the fire in Maddy’s whiskey eyes and the passion that ignites the air between them. This bad-boy heartbreaker wants a last shot to be redeemed by the only thing that matters: Maddy’s love.

 

Paranormal Romance Winner

 

The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley 

 

Nicola Marter was born with a gift so rare and dangerous, she kept it buried deep. When she encounters a desperate woman trying to sell a small wooden carving called "The Firebird," claiming it belonged to Russia's Empress Catherine, it's a problem. There's no proof.

But Nicola's held the object. She knows the woman is telling the truth.

 

Erotic Romance Winner

 

Claim Me by J. Kenner 

 

Damien Stark’s need is palpable—his need for pleasure, his need for control, his need for me. Beautiful and brilliant yet tortured at his core, he is in every way my match.
 
I have agreed to be his alone, and now I want him to be fully mine. I want us to possess each other beyond the sweetest edge of our ecstasy, into the deepest desires of our souls. To let the fire that burns between us consume us both.
 
But there are dark places within Damien that not even our wildest passion can touch. I yearn to know his secrets, yearn for him to surrender to me as I have surrendered to him. But our troubled pasts will either bind us close . . . or shatter us completely.
 

 

Romance Novella Winner

 

Take Me, Cowboy by Jane Porter

 

When Jenny Wright’s fiancé leaves her standing at the altar in a Vera Wang bridal gown she can’t afford, she’s humiliated and heartbroken. To have Marietta hero bull riding champ Colton Thorpe witness her shame – makes the rejection even more devastating. 


Jenny and Colton grew up in the same rough neighborhood and they both left home right after school to pursue big dreams. Now they’re both back, with Colton as the celebrity chair for the 75th Copper Mountain Rodeo, and Jenny in disgrace. 

Sexy, rugged Colton didn’t get to be a national champion by chance. He’s a man that takes risks and goes after what he wants. During the rodeo weekend, Colton makes it clear he wants Jenny. Flustered but flattered, Jenny finds it difficult to resist his charm. But what happens when the rodeo ends and Colton leaves town? Will she dare to dream again?

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review 2013-07-24 00:00
The Sweet Spot
The Sweet Spot - Laura Drake The Sweet Spot is such a heart wrenching book. There has to be no greater pain in the world than the loss of a child. Charla and JB's marriage fell apart after their sin died tragically. Both blame themselves and sought out different ways to deal with the pain. JB in the arms of another woman and Charla in pain killers. The story is a wonderful journey of healing and forgiveness. I found myself rooting for Charla and JB to not only find their way back to each other, but back to themselves. I really enjoyed the book. Any book that can choke me up a bit is a great one!
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