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Search tags: Love-the-hero
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review 2017-04-16 04:42
Stalkery alpha-type... why, yes, I do enjoy reading about those types.
Jumping In - Cardeno C.

3.5 HEARTS--Officer Clint Rivera is having a very, very bad day.




So bad it feels like the universe is against him. Why?

He's being kicked out his apartment, his closeted ex-lover--who he wasted many months on--is suddenly getting married after two weeks of leaving Clint. And this cheating douchcanoe had the audacity to send Clint an invitation to his engagement. After internally raging, he returns to his soon-to-be ex-home to find it destroyed by his lovely dogs.  This would drive a man to drink an ice cold stiff one, but he's out of that too after a clumsy catastrophe that caused all his bottles of beers to break.

He'd had enough. Life keeps taking the piss, so he figures his ex owes him all the alcohol after the last couple of shitty hours he's had.





Enter hunky deputy mayor of Clint's small New Mexico town, Hawk. The 6' 6" blue eyed man seems to always be underfoot whenever Clint least expects it. If only he could get over his crush on the hunky, boner inducing man. The best he can manage around Hawk is be adorably tongued tied. Besides, Clint's pretty sure Hawk's straight. Especially with his luck, the best he could do is keep Hawk in his spank bank.

Enter a boozy night where he's rescued by a patient, possessive stalker of a knight in shining armor: Hawk!

Hawk has changed his entire life waiting for his man to be free of that douchecanoe. And he swoops in just like a Cardeno C. possessive hero can do.

We're talking hot dirty talking, sweet courting and possessive insta-love.

And hot sex all over the place once Hawk gets his hands on his man. *coughs* *hint* An appliance might need to take a pregnancy test after a really rocking time.

I'm still fairly new to this author. Cardeno's contemporary seems to do it for me. I wanted possessive alpha that is intense in getting their man. It's exactly what was delivered. It's short enough not to bore and read in between novels.

Some of it was super quick. I mean the coupling lasted for a weekend before we're plopped into a HEA. Something tells me they're going to stick together forever and ever.

And if Clint ever gets second thoughts... well Hawk is just going to have to show him what his amazing tongue and "eight and half inches" can really do.

Newsflash: A fucking lot.





And I'm not mad at it.

Recommended for smutsters who want to read something possessive, hot and sweet all at the same time. 

You know, when you're in a mood. ;D



A copy provided for an honest review.

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review 2017-02-08 05:50
Gearing up for my fave author's first MM!
Shadow's Claim - Kresley Cole

I think my love for this author's words are well documented. She's definitely one of my faves.

How? I'm still reading a series after how many years now? A decade? Little over, under?

I just open up the wallet and send over my ducats to anything remotely IAD related. I own the series, or the series owns me? Hmm...



So the Dacians...borne from one the best frigging vampires EVER, Lothaire. I will forever <3 this evil, diabolical creature. And the Dacians, his royal family are intriguing.

I finally got to this story so I can be prepared for Shadow's Seduction, Cole's first MM!


(I'm so ready)

So how was book #1? The Dacians, Salem and Lothaire saved this story.

Princess Bettina of demon realm Abbondae, half demon/half Soceri, pines for the unattainable, her childhood best friend, the demon man whore, Caspion the Tracker. They've just become immortal (that's how young these two are which helps explain why they acted so...young for lack of a better word). But Bettina's crush/love for Caspion is not returned nor will it ever be. And you can read between the lines from the start he was not attracted to her. He's the star of book #2 which answered the vibes I got from him. (The hints Cole wrote as well helped. ;P) Bettina is ravaged by a bunch of Vrekners and nearly dies.

Does she avenge her attack? No. She suffers from anxiety and PTSD. (This I had no issue with)

Prince Trehan of Dacia, is a cold blooded assassin that is the 'sword of Dacia'. Due to Caspion's meetup with a royal Dacian cousin, Trehan leaves to hunt the young demon down and finds his Bride who bloods him...Bettina.

Out of the entire Lore, the Soceri are one of my least favorites. Witches aren't normally my fave but my intro to the Soceri was Sabine, who is hands down my least fave heroine from the entire series.

Bettina is a close second.

Two heroines whose mates are too good for them, IMO. The only Soceri female who is worth rereads is Melanthe. I <3 her to pieces. Bettina was a doormat. She whines, rolls over for her guardians and lets everyone else rule her life. She is the next in line to rule the kingdom but she doesn't act like it. So soft.

Cole uses another 'immortal to the death tournament' plot device with virgin Bettina and her kingdom as prize. So it was like reading reused tea bag tea. Because you can read the same kind of tournament in the first bunch of books from Immortals After Dark with stronger female characters.

Granted, the tournament was entertaining with Bettina's guardians/ godparents as side characters. There is something about Morgana, the Queen of Sorceri that is funny to read.

And Salem, the foul-mouthed, cockney speaking, invisible phantom? I could read him all by himself, he was so entertaining. What a crass pervert! Loved him

We do get more of the vampire realm, Dacia. Their history is interesting. Trehan was a great hero - patient, calculating, confident and in love with an obstinate woman who thinks a crush with her uninterested friend is the best thing since sliced bread.

And Caspion was a dick and not worth the infatuation. I understand why Bettina was infatuated in the beginning, first crush, etc But c'mon...

he's sleeping with other people --they never made any promises

(spoiler show)



So the impossible becomes possible, hot near sex (and actual sex happens), Nix shows makes a cameo--doesn't say a thing but my Valkyrie loving heart was ecstatic for the bit role she played, and LOTHAIRE shows why he's KANG for like 5 minutes.

The story ends with a HEA, an obvious send off as to who will be the players in book #2.

I'm wavering between a 3 and 4, so I'll rate 3.5 stars

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review 2017-01-03 04:25
The Loyal Heart (Lone Star Heroes #1) by Shelley Shepard Gray
The Loyal Heart (A Lone Star Hero's Love Story) - Shelley Shepard Gray

Robert Truax, former Second Lieutenant and Confederate officer in the Civil War, made a promise to his comrade Phillip Markham. If anything happened to Phillip, Robert would look after his beloved wife, Miranda. She was his life, his world, his everything. After the war, Robert is left to pick up the pieces and fulfill his pact. When he arrives at Miranda’s home in Galveston, Texas, things are worse than he imagined. Phillip’s name has been dragged through the mud, everyone in town believes him to be a traitor, and his widow is treated as an outcast. Even more disturbing is her emotional well-being. Miranda seems hopeless, lost, and so very alone. Robert had thought his duty would be simple. He would help Miranda as quickly as possible in order to honor a promise. But the moment Robert laid eyes on her, his plans changed. He’s mesmerized by her beauty and yearns to help her in any way he can. He makes it his duty to protect Miranda, turn her reputation around, and to find some way to help her smile again. But it doesn’t prove to be an easy task—Robert knows something about Phillip that could shake Miranda to the core and alter her view of the man she thought she knew so well.

Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

Three years after the close of the Civil War, widow Miranda Markham is still trying to adjust to life as an independent woman in Galveston, Texas, continuing to mourn the husband she lost in a prison camp. Struggling to make ends meet, she decides to turn her home into a boarding house, renaming it the Iron Rail. However, it seems no amount of hard work and up & up business practices will be able to repair her tarnished reputation. Shortly after her husband Phillip's death, gossip spread that Phillip was a traitor, spilling valuable information to the enemy while he was imprisoned.

 

Captain Monroe exhaled. "Don't forget...no matter what, we need to continue to stress that Phillip Markham was nothing more than one of my lieutenants who happened to have a very good seat on a horse."

 

"Yes, sir. And, uh, let us not forget he was a gentleman who really loved his wife."

 

Captain Monroe smiled. "That will probably be the truest thing we've ever said during our time here. Phillip seems to be fairly sure that the sun rises and falls on his Miranda. The man is still smitten after several years of marriage."

 

"Do you think any woman can be that wonderful?"

 

Monroe looked at him sadly. "I would like to think there is at least one woman who is. If Miranda Markham loves Phillip even half as much as he loves her, I shudder to think how she is going to receive the news of his death."

 

 

 

Guilty by association, Phillip's wife got her own share of whispers, most suggesting that her business was a front for illicit activity. Miranda's employee, Belle, suspects most of the gossip is coming from those wanting to keep fingers pointed away from their activities. Additionally, Miranda continues to periodically receive anonymous letters, threatening that she needs to leave town "or else".

 

Just about the time Miranda is stressed and scared to her limit, in to town walks former Second Lieutenant of the Confederate Army Robert Truax. What Miranda doesn't know is that Robert was imprisoned with her husband and in fact made a vow to the dying Phillip that he would look after Miranda... just took him a few years to get around to keeping that promise! All Miranda knows is she has a customer in front of her and she definitely needs the business. While Robert's initial intention may have only been to keep a vow, it doesn't take long for him to be pulled in by Miranda's beauty and her blend of quiet strength and vulnerability. Robert then makes a renewed promise to stay by her side and protect her until her good name has been rightfully restored. But about that reputation... well, turns out there might in fact really be a secret lurking within Phillip's story. 

 

"Jesus, why?" she whispered. "I thought you suffered so much so I wouldn't have to. Why do I have to keep being reminded of how hard life is and how fleeting the feeling of security is?"

 

When I first started reading this novel, I somehow missed the connection that the author is the same Shelley Shepard Gray who wrote the Chicago World Fair series I reviewed in mid-2016. As it turns out though, even though we're talking about completely different time periods, there were some notable similarities between this book and that series! The initial scene between Belle and Sheriff Kern in this novel I found strangely echoed (almost movement for movement at times) that of the first conversation in the police station between Katie Ryan and Detective Owen Ryan in Deception On Sable Hill (Chicago World's Fair Mystery #2). Likewise, the parlor scene involving Viola & Ruth Markham (Miranda's sister in law and mother in law), Robert Truax and Captain Monroe -- the way it was staged, the dialogue, everything -- reminded me of the "big reveal" scene between the police and the Sloane family at the end of Secrets of Sloane House (Chicago World's Fair Mystery #1). Thirdly, there was the scene with Miranda being nabbed and taken to the abandoned fishery, similar to that of Rosalind being held against her will in one of the abandoned fair buildings, also in Secrets of Sloane House. I don't mean these observations as knocks against the writing of Shelley Gray at all, simply stating similarities I noticed. 

 

While the general premise of this story -- friend looks after pal's grieving widow, falls in love with the girl -- has been done dozens of times over, Gray does bring her own unique touches to the idea. First off, you don't often get to see characters killed off by gangrene!  But then again, we are talking Civil War era. Then there was the overall tone... this novel got waaay darker in parts than I was expecting! Both Miranda and Robert admit to battling bouts of deep, dark depression... to the point of actually attempting suicide. Again, given the time period this story is written around, you expect some post-war emotional trauma but I honestly wasn't expecting the topic of suicide to come up within a Christian-based historical novel. But I appreciate the layer of realness it brought to the characters and the overall story. I was also touched at Miranda's rememberances of her last moments with Phillip before he went off to war. Gray writes those scenes with a respectable, unvarnished honesty. 

 

At story's end, I didn't necessarily find myself strongly, deeply moved or disturbed by the lives of these characters -- as I said earlier, this story idea has been played out a bit by previous authors -- but there was enough here that left me curious to see how the next installment of this series turns out. 

 

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 2016-12-19 12:32
The Loyal Heart (A Lone Star Hero's Love Story) - Shelley Shepard Gray

I loved that this one was set in Galveston. I got a little history lesson as well as being entertained. I had no idea that the Tremont and the Strand had been a part of the Island that long. Although I'm sure it all had been rebuilt after the storm of 1900 or was it 1906? Whenever it was, I know there was a huge storm that no one knew along this time period. This was also the first book that I had read that was set in the America's during this time period. It was kind of shocking to me that the whole town had turned against the widow Miranda just because of some rumor.

I won't spoil it for any other readers, but it was pretty much obvious who was behind the letters. One reason was apparent, but the other reason was a much deep, darker, creepier one.

I loved that Miranda's war unit soldiers were there for her and helped her to alleviate a lot of her problems. Namely the big one that her husband was a traitor before he was killed in the war. While this book was rife with helpless women, the main ones stood up and held their ground in a time when it was not becoming. That was another source of the rumors that Miranda had to deal with.

I felt this was a very entertaining read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned one major basic thing. I would not have wanted to live on Galveston Island during these times. HA!

Huge thanks to Thomas, Nelson, Zondervan for my big box of books. I know you said I didn't have to read them all. However, I have most of them very interest and enjoyable. A big plus when your sending out presents for people you don't know. As usual, I have posted my reviews on all my major sites.

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review 2016-09-22 16:57
The Loyal Heart by Shelley Shepard Gray
The Loyal Heart (A Lone Star Hero's Love Story) - Shelley Shepard Gray

A bit of mystery, peril, a widow in need and men of honor, along with an interesting secondary cast of characters.  This romance is lovely and heart-felt, and I loved every minute of this story, surprisingly even the POW camp flash-back scenes. What stood out most for me, though, was how well Miranda's depression was portrayed, along with the way the story highlighted the continued importance of reputation in the post-Civil War Reconstruction years.

 

I am so looking forward to An Uncommon Protector, the second Lone Star Hero's Love Story, in early 2017 and I highly recommend The Loyal Heart for those who enjoy a story of regained hope, faith, and love.

 

This review refers to a free review copy received from Thomas Nelson and Zondervan's Fiction Guild.  All opinions expressed are my own. My full, unedited review can be read at http://wp.me/p5Tcfi-1AE

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