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review 2013-11-22 01:37
Worth re-reading
The Rescue - Nicholas Sparks

Opening Line: "Why had this happened? Why, of all the children was Kyle the one?"


I first read THE RESCUE in 2003 and enjoyed it just as much with it's rediscovery. As soon as I opened the first page I was lost, reading continuously for the next 24 hours. Thinking to myself, damn that Nicholas Sparks' he's done it again, sucking me right back into one of the best love stories I've ever read.


Due to a horrific childhood trauma volunteer firefighter Taylor McAden is driven to take disturbing heroic risks while on the job, trying to somehow put his world right. He has few friends and all of his past relationships have resulted from rescuing troubled women in one way or another. All of whom he inevitably leaves as soon as they want more from him then he can give. It seems that there's just one leap Taylor can't make; that of allowing himself to fall in love. 


Denise Holden is a single mother of a handicapped child. Due to a lack of finances she has been forced to move back to her mother's hometown and live in the inherited home. At the moment she's barely scraping by, her son Kyle taking up most of her time, energy and resources. Love is the last thing on Denise's mind as she drives home from her job at the local diner. As fate would have it though a terrible storm hit's the small southern town that night, contriving to bring our couple together. As the storm rages Denise crashes her car and upon regaining consciousness finds herself staring into the handsome face of risk taker extraordinaire Taylor. Before she can acknowledge him as her potential life partner though panic takes over as she realizes that her son is no longer in the car and is feared to be lost in the nearby swamp.


I won't be giving anything away by telling you that Taylor rescues both Denise and her son and together they forge into a relationship. But as wonderful as the relationship seems in the beginning it doesn't take long for the cracks to show and the harder Denise tries to help Taylor the more he pulls away. Shutting down emotionally and taking greater and greater risks with the fire department (For a small town they sure have a lot of fires.)


As with every Nicholas Sparks' novel we are never guaranteed a HEA which aids in a degree of tension throughout this story. For me the relationship and its sudden decline is so well written that it seemed a page from my own past, tugging at my heart with its familiarity. Taylor is a mystery throughout and the whys of this aren't revealed until the very end. THE RESCUE contains some fabulous secondary characters and you will fall in love with every one of them. It's also full of action, suspense and melodrama. There were a couple of moments when I actually gasped, unable to believe what I'd just read. Have some Kleenex handy, this is great yet as always with Sparks bittersweet love story. Cheers!

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review 2013-11-04 01:02
Heartbreaking and amazing -one of all time fave's
Faith & Fidelity (Faith, Love and Devotion, #1) - Tere Michaels

Opening Line: "Matt Haight sat in his car, watching the entrance of the Stag Bar with butterflies in his stomach."


I don’t even know how to put into words how much I loved this story and I’m having trouble writing a review that will do it any form of justice. I can tell you that author Tere Michaels has so hooked me with her unforgettable characters, heart wrenching love story and poignant writing that I bought the following three books in the series.


I think what struck me most about FAITH AND FIDELITY was the fact that this is about two men is completely incidental to the story. This is so much more than just a gay romance and truthfully all the same sex issue does here is add another degree of difficulty to Matt and Evan’s already complicated struggle to find happiness. This could be the story of any couple that’s taken a few hard knocks from life then along with their skeletons managed to find their soul mate. I should warn you that if you’re looking for graphic and gratuitous sex scenes every second page with a cheesy plotline to carry them along you’ll be disappointed. What you will find however is an emotional journey between two men that never expected to find love with anyone much less another man. This story is heart wrenching, beautiful, funny, compassionate, intimate, sad, realistic, tender and ultimately unputdownable. Honestly one of the best romances I’ve ever read.




As you can guess this isn’t a light-hearted read however I was immediately drawn in, starting with the tragic death of Evan’s high school sweetheart wife. Sherri’s the only person Evan’s ever loved or slept with and with her gone he’s now somehow got to find the strength to get up each day, continue with his job as a New York City Vice Detective and raise four children. Within the first chapter we’re also introduced to Matt; a 40 something former homicide detective and ladies man who’s having a minor mid life crisis of his own. Lonely and depressed Matt quickly becomes the perfect non-judgemental drinking buddy for Evan, each finding a form of solace in the others despair.



Matt and Evan’s relationship starts out as honest friendship. Somewhere along the way though the lines begin to blur and a mutual physically attraction takes hold, shocking confusing and exciting both men. There are some very sweet scenes here as each tries to deal with these new feelings of desire and learns how to be with another man, because as much as they want each other neither of them knows how to scratch the itch. The sex scenes here are explosive and sexy without being explicit and I enjoyed their path to discovery. On some level I could even relate because we’ve all faced the exciting and unknown at one time or another.




Before long Matt and Evan have fallen in love and must face the reality of what effect their relationship is going to have on children, friends and coworkers, however its Evan’s still palpable grief that causes the most damage during this time and brings in a third party. Damn if this part of the book didn’t read like a suspense and brought me to tears as events moved forward, backed off and went forward again. All with this white knuckled reader saying no, no, no, don’t do it. I just didn’t foresee this happening.


I also just have to mention how awesome all the secondary characters are here, adding realistic levels of depth to an already incredible story that I can‘t recommend enough. Cheers.


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review 2013-10-21 01:41
Except for the "limo ride" Brockmann is just average here
Ladies' Man - Suzanne Brockmann

Opening line:"Ellen Layne knew it was a mistake to leave the house without a book."

Originally published in 1997 and at just 215 pages LADIES MAN is your average stand alone romance. Not my favourite of Brockman’s however it’s a quick read and holds up fine today. I enjoyed all the characters and while the plots quite basic it is helped along by a plausible enough stalker mystery and some hot older woman-younger man lovin. Of course I should mention that the first 5 chapters (1/4 of the book) is taken up exclusively by ‘the limo ride’ and that’s reason in itself to read this book. Yum.



Ellen Layne is in the airport newsstand glancing over the bestsellers when she see’s him: “From the back he was a living breathing advertisement for Buns of steel”


All faded jeans, blond hair and impossibly handsome. According to Ellen he looks even better from the front too. Unfortunately for Ellen he’s also at least 10 years younger then she is. But what, oh he’s seen her looking, checking him out. He’s coming over now, flirting with her with those blue eyes, dimples and perfect teeth. Damn even his voice is sexy. I wonder how old he really is?  

So I absolutely loved the beginning of this book. It is just the perfect fantasy, older woman meets younger gorgeous man and through mistaken identity and happenstance they wind up sharing a limo together. Sam the ‘ladies man’ puts the moves on Ellen as they tour around New York drinking champagne and taking in the sights. Ellen in a moment of recklessness allows herself to give in to the fantasy and experience a night of unbridled passion. A little something to remember because surely this player won’t want anything more then that? Sam however in an uncharacteristic move phones her the very next day hoping to see her again and in a ‘this is how the other side must feel’ move Ellen turns him down cold.



Unfortunately after chapter five the whole feel of the book changes and it’s no longer great --it’s okay. As it turns out Ellen is recovering from a divorce, has 2 precocious (see annoying) children and although a professor wants to try her luck at acting over the summer. She’s staying with her Uncle Bob, a famous talk show host when the phone calls start. They are soon accompanied by hate mail and then of course the police get involved. Fate intervenes here because who do you think is a member of the NYPD? Well it’s Sam the ladies man of course and he’s got some unfinished business with Ellen but first he’s got to figure out who the increasingly violent stalker is and possibly step in front of a bullet in the name of love.

So the ending is pretty exciting, oooh who’s the stalker? Who is the intended victim? And the beginning…sigh. But the middle part as well as being so different from the beginning floundered to me. And as much as I liked Sam, he was supposed to be a ‘ladies man’ (hell that’s what the books called) yet as much as I was told this I never saw it from him. He was just a nice guy who seemed to be searching for someone to settle down with. Maybe if his character had been flushed out a bit more. Cheers!         

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review 2013-10-18 01:35
Great story premise, weird world building
Master of Wolves - Angela Knight

Opening line: "Faith Watsons new partner was big, muscular and covered in fur, and he didn't give her any crap."

Wow, okay so in Angela Knight’s weird, out there ‘Mageverse’ world King Arthur is a vampire, Camelot’s Merlin is an alien, and everyone is searching for the black grail. There’s a fairy king, some witches, Guinevere (also a vampire) shows up and she‘s horny, we visit the round table, Avalon, and watch an entire police department get taken over by magic while officer Faith Weston gets it on with her K-9 partner Rambo who also happens to be a werewolf-shifter posing as a German shepherd. All this takes place in the alternate universe known as Angela Knight’s acid trip.

The thing is though Master Of Wolves has a great premise and the writing is really good; peppered with comedy, action and smoking hot love scenes (although they do breathe “Oh god” into each others mouth every single time they get it on, which annoyed me.) If it weren’t for all the magic and bizarre world building this would have been a pretty good read, as it was I did enjoy parts of it, the parts that had nothing to do with 'Mageverse' that is, skimming over almost all of the King Arthur scenes and just concentrating on Jim and Faith in the ‘real’ world.

Jim London is a werewolf/shifter, when his best friend Tony gets killed while in police custody he goes undercover as a K-9 drug dog to find out the real story behind his murder. Partnered up with officer Faith Weston the sparks fly immediately but Jim has to keep his paws to himself. When Jim and Faith get caught up in the vampires and magic wreaking havoc on Clarkson police department this brings out the animal in Faith and changes her forever. Unfortunately this fairly cool idea gets way overshadowed by too much magic and fantasy. I mean come on King Arthur, the Holy Grail, Excalibur it was actually funny at times.

One of my biggest problems with fantasy is that the author writes the world rules as they go along, or for convenience to the plotline wherein there are no rules. This was a big issue for me here as explained in the following quote;

"What the grail did was genetically alter the people who drank from it." "Genetically? How the hell did a cup do that?" “PFM” “Which is?” “Pure fucking magic. It turned the men into vampires, and the women into witches. Collectively they’re the magekind.” “Wait a minute-- the chick that wants to sacrifice us is connected to King Arthur?” Faith opened her beer and took a sip. “Hell no, different bunch of vampires all together. She’s one of the bad vamps. Arthur and his bunch are the good vamps who are trying to catch them.” “And we’re werewolves?”  She rolled her eyes “Do you ever have trouble believing all this shit?”

-No, no trouble at all. Cheers         
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review 2013-10-08 18:06
Another drool-worthy hero from (my hero) Pamela Clare
Naked Edge - Pamela Clare

Opening Line: Gabriel Rossiter unzipped his pants only far enough to free his…"


Well, what can I say? Another fantastic addition to the I-Team series (#4) I’ve come to the conclusion that Pamela Clare can do no wrong, as each book in this series is unputdownable. Just excellent romantic suspense that never dumbs down the reader. Actually I think that’s what I appreciate most about her writing (besides the smoking hot love scenes) the fact that Clare writes a clever story with characters you can believe in, faults and all. I never catch myself going yeah right, that’s ridiculous with one of her books and I usually learn a thing or two as well.

And DAMN, let’s just get this out of the way, can she ever write a drool worthy hero. Gabe… oh my god do they get much yummier than him (acknowledging all her past heroes of course.) But Gabe, the climber, the descriptions of him scaling rock faces, hanging on by his fingertips while his muscles bulge and tense just about did me in. These men of Pamela’s truly are in a league of their own. How could a girl ever choose a favourite?
Wearing only his dark green uniform trousers he was climbing on the underside of an overhanging lip of rock perhaps thirty feet above the ground. She couldn’t see any ropes…”    .

“His body moved like she’d never seen a body move before, powerful arms reaching for handholds, fingers gripping holds she couldn’t see, his feet finding their own invisible purchase. His body seemed weightless, muscles bunching and shifting in their own rhythms as he worked his way along the length of the overhang, his motions strong and beautiful. Oh. My.”

So yeah now that I’ve got that out of my system. Naked Edge is actually a very sweet love story in amongst all the bullets and danger, revolving around journalist and Navajo nation member Katherine James and “Rock Jock” Park Ranger/adrenaline junkie Gabriel Rossiter. I won’t go into the plot as there are already so many fabulous reviews out there but I will say that there was a shocking event towards the end that I had to read twice because I just couldn’t believe it and add a couple of things I loved.

-Loved that Marc Hunter and Darkangelo had significant page space here, so that as well as giving us updates on their lives we get to see that their new bromance is progressing well (Dorkangelo) these guys are hilarious together. I can easily see Gabe joining their ranks.

-Loved all the Navajo nation, Diné history and language and have to compliment Pamela Clare on her extensive research and the time and love she puts into every one of her stories. It is noticed and appreciated.

-Loved, loved, loved the epilogue. 10 months later which really gives you an insight into their HEA and how their new life together is progressing. Very well I might add!
Cheers 381jb4    
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