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review 2017-08-09 21:51
Avalanche (A Stone Mountain Mystery Book 3) - Kristina Stanley

Avalanche (A Stone Mountain Mystery Book 3) by Kristina Stanley
Was looking forward to finding the easter egg so I'd have more books to read and I was able to find it when I read the book Aug 2017. Three more books from other series to read
Book starts out with Roy and he's on his way to the top of the mountain to go skiing. There is an avalanche and we hear his last thoughts...
Story also follows his sister and brother in law, Kalin and Ben who work at the ski resort. There are others in the company who come into play and it's easy to follow along as other major events occur that disrupt everything.
What I liked about this was not only the house Kalin and Bed had built for themselves but the people and lifestyle they surround themselves with.
Enjoy this as it's blazing hot outside in August and just reading about all the snow makes it bearable. Really like the series from just this one book. Lots of twists and turns...
Love the action, adventure, snow and operations of the resort.
Wish I read the other book sin sequence as some secrets are revealed from the earlier books and I hope to be able to read those for review at some point.
Received this review copy from Imajin Books and this is my honest review.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-06-26 07:00
Review: Bluebonnet Bride
Bluebonnet Bride - Caroline Clemmons

Title: Bluebonnet Bride [Men of Stone Mountain Book 3]

Author: Caroline Clemmons

Genre: Historical, Western, Romance

Rating: 3 Stars

buy4._V192207739_goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47

Description/Synopsis: He’s a by-the-book Texas sheriff; she’s on the run from a murder conviction...

 

When a tornado provides Rosalyn with the opportunity to escape the gallows, she collects her daughter Lucy and flees. They travel far enough West that Rosalyn believes she’s gone to the ends of the earth. She hopes she and Lucy will be safe in this remote North Texas town where she embarks on a new life as a dressmaker. If only she could avoid contact with people, especially the handsome sheriff who pops up every time she turns around. She fears either she or her chatterbox daughter may slip and reveal too much.

 

Joel Stone has been content with his life, even if it’s not the one he’d dreamed. His younger brothers are married and living nearby, his aunts have moved to Radford Springs, and he is respected for the efficient job he does as sheriff. When he meets the new widow in town, his instant attraction staggers him. She appears uninterested, but he is determined to win her hand in marriage.

 

But life doesn’t turn out the way either Rosalyn or Joel plan. They overcome temporary obstacles, but what of the secret she protects? Can he save her from the gallows?

 

WARNING - SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT - REVIEW BELOW

 

Once again, let's start with the cover:  it's another cut and paste job, only this time it's super-obvious. The white background behind the model can still be found like a halo around her head. Unfortunately, she's also a completely different model (and much older) than the one represented on the back cover.... and despite the fact that they're supposed to be living in historical times, they both have massive amounts of makeup on. Sigh.

 

That being said, like the book before it, I found this one to be a bit of a mixed bag. It's clear, easy to follow, and interesting... the plot is a good one: woman escapes from nearly being hung for a crime she didn't commit, and finds herself fleeing to the middle of nowhere and falling in love with a member of the law who at any moment may discover her deep dark secret. It's a good premise. Unfortunately, like the other books in the series, the characters lacked a sense of depth, and the events in the book were a little too convenient to be believable.

 

I think my least favorite character was probably Joel. Here's this guy who's a Texas sheriff, seems to have his life pretty much well in order - he takes care of his brothers, he's good in the community, and he has a big ole house he's working on renovating. He obviously had all his ducks in a row and was a responsible, level-headed guy. Right? Except nearly the moment he meets Rosalyn and her daughter Lucy, he's smitten. We're talking full-out puppy-love where he practically invites himself into her company and goes all gooey-eyed. He acted like a 40-yr-old virgin, desperate for affection. It wasn't endearing, and it wasn't sweet, it was roll-your-eyes "are you serious?".

 

Rosalyn, on the other hand, was probably one of my favorite characters, because she looked at Joel pretty much the same way I did "Really? Back off dude." All she wanted to do was raise her daughter in anonymity, and run her struggling dress-shop. She was a hard worker, practical, and cautious. It fit her situation, and I loved her for it.  Unfortunately, circumstances were against her, and it seemed that at every turn, something drastically awful was happening to her. It started with a hurricane that leveled the jail she was waiting in (though didn't harm her), then the fire... that burned her dress shop and endangered her daughter's room, but didn't harm anyone in the family, and she was able to salvage some of her shop-equipment/materials, thereby forcing her to move in with the sheriff. Like I said, it all seemed just a little too convenient.

 

Also, I think the secondary characters were a bit too much like props and too little like actual people. They all either seemed to love Rosalyn and Lucy or they hated their guts and wanted them crushed. They showed up for brief mentions here and there, but really didn't have much impact on the story (even when it was obvious the author was using them to drive the plot... like the angry school teacher that burned down Rosalyn's house). I found their hatred of her to be very manufactured.  It was a convenient way to make events happen, but the attempt at tension fell flat for me.

 

So did I like the story? Yah. I did. It was a fun afternoon read, and while it wasn't "great writing", it did hold my interest, and there's something to be said for that. Would I recommend it to other people? Maybe if they needed a book to read at the doctor's office... but I don't think I'd be shoving the book in their hands shouting "READ THIS!". If you like sweet, happy ending historical romances, then give this a try. It's cute, and it's a great afternoon read.

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review 2015-06-25 07:00
Review: High Stakes Bride
High Stakes Bride - Caroline Clemmons

Title: High Stakes Bride [Men of Stone Mountain 2]

Author: Caroline Clemmons

Genre: Historical, Western, Romance

Rating: 3 Stars

buy4._V192207739_goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47

Description/Synopsis: Mary Alice Price is on the run from dangerous men. She had known that when her stepfather died, she would have to hurriedly escape her stepbrothers. Hadn’t she heard them promise her to the meanest man in Texas as payment for high stakes gambling losses?


One misfortune after another devils her until she links up with Zach Stone. He looks sturdy as his last name and invites her to his ranch where his two aunts will chaperone them. She figures life finally dealt her a winning hand.

 

Zach Stone has the sweetest ranch in all of Texas, at least he thinks he does. All he needs is a wife to build his family of boys and girls to carry on his ranch and name. He’s been jilted and vows he will never even speak to a woman again unless she's a relative.


Then he comes across Alice Price and comes up with a crazy plan. He’s figured everything out, and is sure nothing can go wrong with his plan.


But life holds many surprises for Alice and Zach...

 

WARNING - SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT - REVIEW BELOW

 

First off, let's start with the cover: It's not that the cover was bad--considering the multitude of really awful covers I've seen on self-published book this past year, this one was actually decent (other than the huge amount of text)... that is until I got to the back cover. Someone had the ingenious idea to copy and paste completely unrelated photos of a model and a little boy dressed up in a cowboy costume, and his little dog. I know that as a writer, we all need our little "headshots" of models to use as reference for our characters. I love the practice, but it'd be nice if those random photos weren't used in lieu of an actually planned cover. It came across as cheap and home-made. I would have preferred a blank back cover with only a synopsis to what amounted to clipart.

 

As for the story...it was a mixed bag--and don't get me wrong, this isn't a bad book. Like the previous of the series that I read, the writing was clear, fast-flowing, and engaging. Unfortunately, it was also convenient.

 

 Things just seemed too easy for the characters, and it lacked a lot of the tension that I loved about the first book in the series. Here's this man who need a bride, and poof! There's one available (though the author did try to make it seem as if the main male lead wasn't ever going to consider her). He wants a family? Poof! There was a orphaned boy who needs a home and just happened to be living on his property. 

 

Do you see where I'm going with this? The characters didn't seem to have to work hard to get to any of the main points of the story. Things just fell into place around them, and while that was cute and endearing at times, it lacked the active punch and draw of having struggled to get those things. Also, the use of the term "forever home" really irritated me. It's a very modern, fluffy way of saying "permanent home" that I'm 100% sure wasn't used in historical times. To hear the characters use it... well, it stuck out as sloppy. If you're going to write a historical story, I honestly believe the lingo of the day and age (however non-politically correct we find it now) should be used. It adds a level of depth to the storytelling that is sorely needed in this type of book and was absent in this one.

 

The romance, at least, was much better in this book, I felt than the previous book. There was a definite attraction to the main characters, and it was fun watching them struggle to fit together despite their circumstances. In the end, was it my favorite western historical romance? Not by a long shot, but it was a good one, and I'd still recommend it to anyone looking for a light afternoon read with loveable characters.

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review 2013-09-29 05:55
The Mountain Man's Mate (Wolves of Stone Ridge 20) - Charlie Richards


Ok, it's my own fault, really. I know what I'm getting with these stories and as a rule I like them.
It's a light, predictable fluffy read and and 'inbetween' snack kind of series.
I don't mind the mate-mine-growl, the instant love. I don't even mind the minimal to no conflict, that's ok and actually what I'm looking for in these kind of stories. BUT when the blurb leads me to believe it's going to have one kind of conflict and that's just not it at all, the 'real' conflict is a stupid misunderstanding and the 300+ year old shifter doesn't just get his shit together and clear it up? Even I lose patience. 
Then the thing with the evil scientist? YOU have got to be kidding me? THAT was it? He evades and tortured, kidnapped and inflicts great harm, murders and that was the showdown? WTF? 
And on a totally unimportant side note, I am really getting sick of these caricature-throw-away-stupid-neglectful-waste-of-space mothers authors like putting into these stories. Seriously, it was going to get 3 full stars despite my issues! because like I said! I know what I'm getting. BUT WHY does the mother always have to be either this kind of bitch of a pride flag farting one? 
Sorry, rant over.

 

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review 2013-09-12 00:00
The Mountain Man's Mate (Wolves of Stone Ridge 20) - Charlie Richards 2 1/2 - 3 Hearts

Review written for MM Good Book Reviews

This story is part of a series and must be read in order. Jason leaves home and sets off for his uncles when his step-father goes too far and hits him, he has put up with verbal abuse but the violence is too much. When Jason arrives at his uncle Raul's he is pleased when Raul welcomes him with open arms and discovers that Raul has a male partner and that most of his friends are gay, it makes him feel safe. Michel is living up in the mountains putting distance between himself and the town. Visit his packmate Raul he discovers his mate, and as he gets to know Jason disaster strikes and Michel has a lot of explaining to do.

This is a good addition to the Wolves of Stone Ridge series but was a bit of a let down as well. Michel has been around for a long time and is happy to have found his mate, but his mate Jason is a lot younger than him and he isn't sure how Jason will react to being his mate. Jason is hoping to be welcomed by his uncle Raul ([b:Choosing his Christmas Miracle|16199005|Choosing his Christmas Miracle (Wolves of Stone Ridge, #15)|Charlie Richards|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1354404564s/16199005.jpg|22130111]) but fears rejection, but meeting his uncle and his friends eases him and he jumps at the chance of a date with the sexy mountain man. Just as things seem to get interesting between them, strange visitors drag Jason into a world Michel hasn't had a chance to inform him about. Just as Jason seems to have wrapped his head around it all a misunderstanding happens that nearly drives them apart.

While I did enjoy this story I found it to be a little strained, as though everything that could happen has happened and it was a strain to come up with something new. Jason's predicament with his step-father seemed a convenient excuse for Jason to visit his uncle, I mean suddenly after years of knowing that Jason is gay his step-father starts to verbally abuse him and then hits him, it was pushing the boundaries of reality a bit. When I first started reading the story I thought Jason must be around eighteen but he was twenty-two, but really came off as younger. Another thing that was a bit unbelievable was when Michel was thinking about how he had removed himself from the human society so he can reappear in the future with a new name, living a long time can cause problems and the only hope is that he will be forgotten, but ten years really isn't that long and unless all the town members have really bad memories then someone would recognize him.

But, saying all that, I have a soft spot for [a:Charlie Richards|386699|Charlie Richards|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1303770987p2/386699.jpg] wolves. Jason and Michel are one hot couple, and while they have misunderstandings and a bit of danger it is a nice little story for them. The conclusion to the mad scientist plot was a fizzle which really surprised me, after all the effort that has gone into that storyline both with Wolves of Stone Ridge and Kontra's Menagerie I was expecting something a lot more explosive. I still enjoyed this story though but not as much as I have the previous books.

I recommend this to those who love shifters, hot sex, new characters, a touch of shock and danger, misunderstandings, hot making up and a very happy ending.
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