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review 2014-08-14 01:51
Mr Awesome!
Trust Me - Caroline Cross

Opening Line: "The shriek of the bolt being drawn in the cell block door shattered the sultry afternoon silence."


TRUST ME will appeal to those looking for a shot of pure romantic junk food to the brain, which lets face it we all crave from time to time. This quick, uncomplicated romantic-suspense is at times clichéd to the point of eye rolling, with descriptions of butterfly soft kisses, manly chests, tight abs, and hot sweaty jungle sex. There’s also plenty of action to keep things moving along and a reunion romance to deal with (complete with flashbacks to our couple’s unrequited young love) As well as every daring rescue scenario you could possibly think of. All of which are performed flawlessly by dark, dangerous and impossible to resist ex-US Navy Seal turned bodyguard for hire and incredibly handsome perfect man with a super cool name, Dominic Steele. Awesome!

Dominic Steele’s latest mission is pretty routine, (for someone as awesome as himself) He’s been hired to extricate a woman wrongly accused and locked up in a third world prison using any means necessary. Just another day on the job until he sets his sights on who the beautiful woman in the cell is. The fates are cruel indeed because the imprisoned woman is none other than the very wealthy and spoiled Lilah Cantrell also known as heartbreaker or the one that got away and he’s never quite been able to forget.

Lilah can’t believe her eyes, she hasn’t seen Dom in 10 years and now he’s come to her rescue, what a friggin relief. All she has to do now is resist his smooth words, rippling muscles and those pesky re-emerging feelings of love long enough to; tunnel through the wall and escape from jail, jump off a cliff into the ocean, evade the bad guys and their dogs while traipsing through the jungle for days on end, survive drowning, engage in car chases, shootouts and a night in a seedy cantina hotel and then finally, escape the island using a stolen sea plane in a death defying, movie worthy take off. (I actually quite liked this scene)

If our girl Lilah can achieve all this without getting so much as one bug bite and still manage to look alluringly fantastic (albeit artfully dishevelled )as well as getting Mr perfect to fall for her and proclaim that he needs her in his life forever. Then I must concede that she is equally as awesome as Dominic and that this couple is perfect for each other right down to the last sentence “And then he lowered his head and kissed her, and all was right in her world.” *sigh* Awesome!

This book is part of the super fun Men of Steele series which means of course that theres more awesome men coming to the rescue. So turn your brain off, and enjoy the ride…

She set about examining him. Careful to keep her touch as light as a kiss of sunlight.”
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review 2014-08-08 00:41
"He'd loved her. Hated her. Craved her. But he'd never forgotten her."
Under the Wire - Cindy Gerard

Opening Line: Manny Ortega awoke from a dead sleep.”


Manny Ortega lost everything because of one woman. She really did a number on him too, taking his heart, and then betraying him to his enemies. Forcing him to become exile in his own country and eventually leave behind everything he knows and loves in Nicaragua and start again in America. 17 years later his heart and demeanor have hardened, years spent in the Special Forces and then as a police detective have taken care of that. Manny is no longer the swaggering, bright eyed Latin lover he once was and while he may be a different person now one thing hasn’t changed, he’s never gotten over his anger or forgiven his first love Lily.

"From the moment he’d seen her that fateful night in Nicaragua she’d been an obsession. Nothing had changed. He’d loved her. Hated her. Craved her. But he’d never forgotten her.”

Lily Camporna spent years believing that her young lover had been killed by Nicaraguan rebels so imagine her surprise when she sees him in a Boston Hospital. He’s aged like a fine wine and still makes her stomach flutter. But what is he doing here and why does he hate her so much? Then Lily’s son is kidnapped while in Sri Lanka, and with no aid from the government she goes to the one person she knows will have to help. Putting aside her questions and his animosity Lily begs Manny to help bring her son home.

Unlike some of the other reviewers I really enjoyed Part 1 which takes place years before the main story. I also didn’t have any problems with the 10 year age gap between our couple; even though when they first meet our hero is only 18. I enjoyed seeing how his personality changed in the years between. As a man he is no longer the swaggering, bright eyed, Latin lover, in fact he’s bitter and a bit of an ass. Holding a grudge for so long will do that to a guy.

Unfortunately where I did have a problem was when the story went to modern day, things just fell apart for me once all the action started in Sri Lanka, and I found it all kinda dumb. This was surprising to me because those are usually my favourite Cindy Gerard scenes. But when the hero and heroine are swinging from jungle vines, riding around on a klepto elephant and having sex in prehistoric caves with useable beds (?) its heading into OTT territory for me. I also found some of the long Sri Lankan names very awkward, like the host family ‘Muhandiramalas’ my brain was tripping over the pronunciation and I was taken out of the story. My thought there though, is that they’re authentic and I’m just being a lazy reader. 

Similarly to the beginning I enjoyed the last few chapters after all the action was done with, as Lily awaits the return of her son and tries to figure out how and if Manny will fit into their life in Boston. As always CG includes several other EDEN members in her story and the ever eventful closing chapter crochet game.

This is Book #5 in the Bodyguard series and while Cindy Gerard remains an auto-buy author this was not my favourite book of hers. It is however hugely popular so don’t take my word for it. Cheers

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review 2014-07-20 23:24
Loved parts, struggled with others but a good Romantic susp and great tortured hero
The Darkest Hour - Maya Banks

Opening Line: " He'd hoped if he drank enough the night before he'd sleep right through today."

Ex-Navy SEAL Ethan Kelly is hangover again, it's been a year since his wife Rachael was killed in a plane crash in South America and he can't seem to move on, the pain as fresh as the day she died. Ethan has cut himself off from his large family and refuses to have anything to do with his brother's top secret business, that of KGI (Kelly Group International) With their expensive military backgrounds the Kelly brother's are essentially guns for hire taking the tricky jobs the government can't and specializing in intelligence recovery and hostage/kidnap victim extractions.

On the anniversary of Rachael's death Ethan receives an unmarked package containing surveillance pictures and maps of a drug cartel base camp in Columbia. The photos show something else too, a woman who looks very much like his late wife. Ethan doesn't think anyone will believe him but of course he now has to try and find her. Good thing most of his family is in the victim recovery business and handy with a gun because he's heading into the jungle and getting his wife back.

But Rachael's not the woman he knew a year ago; forcibly addicted to drugs, and suffering from memory loss and PTSD she may never fully recover and just because he's got her back Stateside doesn't mean she's safe either, the bad guys still want her dead. And then there's that little matter of the divorce papers.

There were parts of this book that I loved and others that I struggled with but all in all this was a really good romantic suspense. Banks writes an awesome tortured hero and although I did get tired of Ethan constantly "dropping to his knees" in front of Rachael and thanking or apologizing to everyone now that he's stopped self medicating, I loved that he was man enough to shed a few tears (that bathtub scene killed me)

One of my biggest issues here however was Rachael's extreme closeness to the brothers; it was just a little too intimate. They were forever enfolding her in their arms and cooing "Baby" and "Sweet Pea" and I guess because I've read some of Banks erotica I kept waiting for her to get it on with at least 3 of the 6 Kelly boys which distracted me from Ethan and Rachael's rekindled love story as well as creating several weird, ick moments. There was also the issue of Rachael having been adopted and brought up by the Kelly parents in the same house as her husband to be. Why was that little bit of info necessary? Wouldn't that kind of make everyone related? Another ick moment.

I also found that there were just too many Kelly brothers to keep track of properly and before long stopped even trying. Except for Garrett and Sam (who I'm sure were just trying to get lucky) they all sort of blended together along with the Kelly parents and a side story involving a runaway girl named Rusty that I can only assume we'll see more from in later books. I'll be continuing on with the series of course :)

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review 2014-07-11 01:10
A silly girl hikes the PCT
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail - Cheryl Strayed

Opening Line: “The trees were tall but I was taller, standing above them on a steep mountain slope in northern California.”


Wild was a very frustrating reading experience and I’m having a hard time understanding how this book received such high praise? Based on all those rave reviews I’d been expecting a “soul-enhancing, inspiring story” not an infuriating exercise on what not to do. I mean what kind of idiot decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail alone with zero backpacking experience and almost no money set aside for emergencies?

This is the kind of person that first-responders (i.e search & rescue) hate. Unprepared, inexperienced, naïve, a danger to themselves and just plain stupid. Getting into situations that require those first responders to risk their own lives in rescuing them because they didn’t do a little research and preparation. Granted Cheryl Strayed didn’t actually need rescuing but that was just dumb luck on her part.

I also almost lost my mind with the overuse of the word PCT. I get it you’re hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, I don’t need to see the acronym in every sentence, an average of 4-6 times a page, every page for the entire book. She also plugs “her bible” The Pacific Crest Trail volume 1 (and 2) writing the complete name of the book every couple of pages in case we forget what got her where she is.

“Was I on the PCT? All the while, I’d been searching for the small diamond-shaped PCT markers that were occasionally tacked to trees, but I hadn’t seen any. This wasn’t necessarily reason for alarm. I’d learned that the PCT markers weren’t to be relied upon. An hour later I saw a metal diamond that said PACIFIC CREST TRAIL tacked to a snowbound tree, and my body flooded with relief. I still didn’t know precisely where I was, but at least I knew I was on the PCT.”

Ultimately I had zero sympathy for this girl, in fact all she did was make me angry with her stupid decisions and (in the beginning chapters) depress me with the death of her mother, scattering of family members and dissolution of her marriage because she was sleeping around. Don’t even get me started on her lackadaisical, I’ve never tried it before decision to do heroin. I mean what could possibly go wrong there?

So after an abortion and with a fresh track mark on her leg from her last little experiment with H she decides to spend 3 months hiking from the Mojave Desert in California to Oregon in Washington State by herself.

This is still a hell of an adventure and I do have to give her full credit for finishing what she started and persevering through extreme conditions. I will also admit to actually enjoying the last 50 pages or so as Cheryl neared the end of her time on the PCT and seemed to come to terms with herself and find a sort of peace. The writing also improves in these chapters, becoming less repetitive or maybe I just got so used to seeing the word PCT I just didn’t see it anymore. PCT.
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review 2014-05-19 01:18
Not the best from the Wingman Warrior series
The Captive's Return - Catherine Mann

Opening Line: “Lieutenant Colonel Lucas Quade refused to allow himself hope he would see his dead wife again.”


Lt Colonel Lucas Quade’s wife died moments after saying their vows, leaving him in charge of getting her younger brother out of the war torn South American country. Forced to leave his wife’s body behind Lucas has never gotten over the guilt. Now five years later a mission has brought him back to the very place his heart was shattered. He's to rescue a woman that somehow resembles his wife, it couldn’t be could it?



Sarafina Quade’s death had of course been faked and she’s been living under the 'protection' of her uncle. Unable to leave his compound or apparently contact the outside world Sara has only stayed for the sake of her and Lucas’ baby. However that baby is now five years old and the day has finally come. Sara and her daughter are busting out.


As Sara makes her way through the jungle foliage towards freedom she comes face-to-face with the man of her dreams, and then stabs him. What are the chances that Lucas would be coming to rescue her on the very day she escapes? The time for figuring out fate will have to wait because first they’ve got to face a dangerous trek through the jungle, “bad guys” chasing them, poisonous spiders, and Sara’s medical condition which for whatever reason she chooses to keep to herself. At some point she’s also going to have to tell him that he’s a daddy and if she can break through his tough-guy veneer they might actually have a chance at becoming a real family.



This was a struggle to get through, which was surprising and unfortunate. I usually really like Catherine Mann and I have a definite thing for the dark, tortured, standoffish hero (I’ve given up trying to figure out what that says about me) I also love a good reunited lovers story. So, in theory this had it all and started out with some serious action and heartache. Regrettably it then fell into utter ridiculousness interspaced with blah. I just couldn’t get into it and after a while couldn’t over look the many faults either


Our hero was mean not sexy-alpha as I think was intended and the heroine (oh jeez) what with her bubble blowing (really?!) and secrets she personified TSTL. And their child was, lets just say beyond annoying. Even the bumble through the jungle which should have been exciting and filled with sexual tension came across as silly. And then there’s the bad guy. I never did figure out his motives, he just seemed to want Sara back and was, well… ”bad.”


I have heard that this is the weakest in the series through so I will be giving the Wingman Warriors another shot, one day. Cheers

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