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text 2015-08-03 16:02
Cats in Contemporary Romance
The Nerd's Pocket Pets (The Morrison Family - Book 4) - D.R. Grady
Sweet Dreams - Kristen Ashley
Geek with the Cat Tattoo - Theresa Weir
Beast - Pepper Pace
Wallbanger - Alice Clayton
Night Magic - Karen Robards
Long Time Gone - Meg Benjamin
Whisper Falls - Toni Blake
Back in Black - Lori Foster
Purrfect Voyage - Ruth J. Hartman

It should come as no surprise that I love cats. 


Cats in romance novels are wonderful too. There should be more of them. I especially love it when the hero has a cat. Real men love cats. 


Here are some wonderful Contemporary Romance Novels with Cats!


My lists are never in any particular order. Enjoy!


1. Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley Hero (big tough biker) has a kitty. 


Lauren Grahame has spent her whole life thinking something special was going to happen. She didn’t know what it was, she just knew it would one day be hers. But she learned the hard way that special wasn’t on offer.

So, after divorcing her cheating husband, Lauren searched for nothing special and she thought she found it when she landed a job as a waitress in a biker bar in Carnal. It was perfect: a nothing job in a nowhere bar in Nowheresville.

Then Tatum Jackson walked in. Part-owner of the bar, he took one look at high-class Lauren and wanted nothing to do with her. And he made this known, loudly.

Tate’s angry insults seared in her brain, Lauren decides the feeling is mutual and she doesn’t want anything to do with the gloriously handsome Tate Jackson. The clash of the bartender and barmaid begins but, even though Tate makes his change of mind clear (in biker-speak, a language Lauren is not fluent in), Lauren is intent on going her own way.

Until a serial killer hits Carnal and Lauren finds out Tate isn’t a bartender, he’s a bounty hunter. He stakes his claim for Lauren before he goes on the hunt for a killer but Laurie doesn’t speak biker nor does she understand bounty hunters and Tate comes back from the hunt to find his old lady has moved on.

Life throws curveball after curveball at Laurie and Tate as secrets are revealed, women are brutally murdered, Tate leads Lauren to special and Laurie tries to find her inner biker babe.


2. The Nerd's Pocket Pets by D.R. Grady Tiny Kitty


Shelby Conroy has always had this thing for Mr. Clean and now she’s met his look-a-like. Sam Welby is an oncology pediatrician, former Navy SEAL, and all around yummy man. Except she’s supposed to be working for him, not drooling over him. Sam has managed to fight his attraction to Shelby so far, but he’s a little confused as to why her lab coat pockets wriggle.


3. Geek with the Cat Tattoo by Theresa Weir 


Beauty and the geek… 

Shy music geek Emerson Foshay breaks into a cold sweat and is rendered speechless whenever Lola Brown, the girl of his dreams, steps into his guitar shop. But once a stray cat named Sam follows him home, everything changes and Emerson becomes the coolest guy in town. 


4. BEAST by Pepper Pace


Interracial fairytale is the story of Beast; 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?' 


5. Wallbanger by Alice Clayton


Caroline Reynolds has a fantastic new apartment in San Francisco, a Kitchen Aid mixer to die for, and no O (and we’re not talking Oprah here, folks). She has a flourishing design career, an office overlooking the bay, a killer zucchini bread recipe, and no O. She has Clive (the best cat ever), great friends, a great rack, and no O. Adding insult to O-less, she also has an oversexed neighbor with the loudest late-night wallbanging she’s ever heard. Every moan, spank, and—was that a meow?—punctuates the fact that not only is she losing sleep, she still has—yep, you guessed it—no O. Enter Simon Parker. When the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. Their late-night hallway encounter has…well…mixed results. Because with walls this thin, the tension’s gonna be thick. A delicious mix of silly and steamy, this is an irresistible tale of exasperation at first sight.


6. Night Magic by Karen Robards Hero is allergic and they are on the run. 


Romance writer Clara Winston dedicates her newest book to her cat, Puff, without knowing what havoc she is about to unloose on her placid (boring?) life. Because there’s a rogue CIA agent out there whose code name is Puff, and some very bad guys want to kill him. When the bad guys show up at mild-mannered Clara’s house, thinking that she can lead them to the man they’re hunting, she is rescued by that man, disgraced CIA agent Jack McClain. Jack is green-eyed, black-haired, infuriatingly macho—and every bit as sexy as the romantic heroes she’s always writing about. Clara hates him on sight, but if she wants to survive he is the only game in town. With Puff very reluctantly in tow, they go on the run for their lives, battling each other until the sizzling chemistry between them explodes into red-hot passion.


7. Long Time Gone by Meg Benjamin


Erik Toleffson wasn’t looking to become Chief of Police. He’s got enough trouble trying to rebuild his relationship with his three brothers who, until just recently, ran the other way when he approached. He’s not the bully they grew up with, but bad memories are tough to overcome. 


Morgan Barrett is as worn out as a vat full of crushed grape skins. She never planned to run Cedar Creek Winery, but there’s no one else to shoulder the load as her father recovers from an injury. All she needs is a little sleep. Just a five-minute nap in the booth at the Dew Drop Inn…if that guy across the bar would stop staring at her as if putting her head down on the table is a crime.


After Morgan yawns in Erik’s face, there’s nowhere to go but up. With time, though, their relationship warms like a perfectly blended Bordeaux. Until the shady mayor digs into Erik’s past and dredges up information that could drive a permanent wedge between him and his brothers—and sour any chance of a future with Morgan.


8. Whisper Falls by Toni Blake


Tessa Sheridan came crawling back to her quaint hometown of Destiny after her big-city interior design career crumbled. Now not only must she struggle to make ends meet, but she has to contend with a biker next door and the roar of Harleys shattering the serenity of her cabin in the woods by Whisper Falls.


Worse still, her sexy, bad boy neighbor makes her feel breathless and weak—and shy, petite Tessa knows what a major mistake it would be to get involved with someone so . . . dangerous. 


They say that former teen rebel Lucky Romo has a dark, secret past—that he’s trouble with a capital "T." Still, Tessa feels all tingly when she sees how well he fills out a pair of tight jeans. And when Lucky invites her into his world, she knows the intense heat sparking between them could lead her somewhere wild and wonderful . . . and, yes, dangerous!


9. Back in Black by Lori Foster


Gillian is a PR expert hired to smooth out the rough edges on hot- headed sports club president Drew Black. He's rough, raw and ready for any challenge Gillian throws his way. But which one's going to end up on top?


10. Purrfect Voyage by Ruth J. Hartman


Kitty Carter is used to getting into strange situations when she chases her cat, Arthur. But this latest escapade is just too much! When Arthur chases a mouse at the marina while she's doing research for her book, she follows him down the dock and onto a yacht. Not entirely her plan, since she falls down some stairs and hits her head, and wakes to find herself out to sea. And she and Arthur aren’t the only ones on board!


Did I miss your favorite? Let me know! Vote for the best kitty in Contemporary Romance on my Goodreads list: Cats in Contemporary Romance 

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text 2015-02-05 07:24
Power bars and Persuasion.
Whisper Falls - Elizabeth Langston

Eighteenth century Susanna is an indentured servant whose master is cruel and miserly;  corporal punishment and scant portions are the norm.  Twenty-first century Mark has made it a habit to bring food with him to their meetings.


I wouldn’t go to the falls empty-handed. Susanna was getting protein bars. The Whole Foods store was crazy on Monday, as if everyone on this side of Raleigh had stopped in for heat-and-serve vegan meals. I walked past the deli and headed to the section devoted to energy bars. I liked to keep a stash on hand for those times when my parents forgot to get food I liked while grocery shopping. After today, Susanna would have a stash, too.


It was hard to know what she would like. Not peanut butter or chocolate. They might be too intense. Fruit might be good. Strawberry, apricot, or fig? I got all three. She could toss them if she didn’t like them.


After checking out, I walked out to the bike rack and stowed the stuff in my pack. As I was preparing to unlock the bike, I noticed a SALE sign on my mom’s favorite store, Meredith Ridge Books. A bookstore— where people bought novels. The devil’s missives. Oh, yeah. Tonight, Susanna would have food and fiction. [Susanna can read, but even if she had time, the household doesn't allow novels.]


 . . . I skimmed the titles, hoping for inspiration. It was a bust. Susanna wasn’t likely to appreciate demons, cheerleaders, or zombies. . . . [a clerk steps in and offers suggestions]


“Jane Austen? We have new copies, plus a few antique volumes.”


I felt like smacking my head. “Perfect. Thanks.” I waited to survey my options until the woman wandered away. The bookcase had six shelves, one for each Austen title. There were dozens of copies of each book, organized from newest to most beat-up. I read the blurbs. Persuasion won.  


[he purchases the book, a used leather-bound copy (the clerk approves), and he takes his power bars and the book to the Waterfall.  Susanna isn't there yet.]


I found a fallen log to sit on with a clear view of the falls. Two minutes passed— two minutes of nothing occupying my attention except kamikaze mosquitoes and decaying leaves. Okay, I was bored.


I flipped open Persuasion and turned to the first page. The first sentence was incredibly long, one hundred words or more, with commas and semi-colons all over the place. English teachers today had to be upset over that sentence. I read on. Jane Austen might’ve put a lot of words in the first sentence, but those words were doing their job. The dad was a total jerk.




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text 2015-02-05 06:33
The meaning of words
Whisper Falls - Elizabeth Langston

It's the summer between his junior and senior year of high school, and Mark is using the time to earn money at his yard care business and to train for two important mountain bike races.  At the waterfall in the state park near his home, he's attacking an incline at top speed when his tire hits a rock on the path, and he crashes, thankful that the area was carpeted with compost.


From the other side of the falls, Susanna witnesses the accident.  She's curious about the young man because she has never seen such clothes as he is wearing, and has no idea what the contraption is that he fell from.  After a rocky start to their conversation, they finally come to the realization that she is from the 18th century and he is from the 21st.


They each have many questions for the other.




“How many girlfriends have you had?”


“Alexis was my first.”


“How many more girlfriends will you be dating before marriage?”


“I don’t know. Ten. Twenty.”


“Do you pick unwisely so very often?”


He laughed. “I guess so.” The lightness of his tone bewildered me. Choosing one’s husband or wife should be treated with gravity and respect.


“Why did you choose this girlfriend?”


“Alexis picked me.”


“Why did you agree?”


His brow creased in concentration. “At our school, everyone thinks she’s amazing. When she asked me out, I was seriously flattered.”


“I do understand. It is indeed flattering for someone to want you, even if you don’t want them back.” . . . “What makes her amazing?”


“She’s smart. And she’s hot.”


I frowned. “Does hot mean feverish?”


“No, it means pretty.”


“Why does hot mean pretty?”


“I’m not sure.” His face flushed crimson. He brushed at the laces of his shoes. “Can we talk about something else?”






It was most perplexing, the number of words he used that made no sense. “If hot means pretty, does cool mean ugly?”


He laughed. “No, sorry. Cool means very good.” . . .“How long have you been indentured?”


“Since I was ten.”


“That sucks.”


“Sucks?” He had used this word before, almost as if it were a curse.


“Sucks is slang in my world.”




“Yeah. Slang is where you take a word that means one thing and use it to mean something else. Sometimes the opposite.”


“A word can mean something different than what it means?”


“Sure.” A corner of his mouth twitched. “Like when we say something is fine, it probably isn’t fine at all.”


“Can a slang word retain its original meaning?”




“So if I say ‘fine,’ it can mean ‘fine’ or ‘not fine.’”




I shuddered. How difficult that must be— never to trust the meaning of words.  “I should think your conversations become quite treacherous.”

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review 2015-01-31 15:04
Review: "Whisper" (Aidan Falls #0.5) by Crystal Green
Whisper (Novella) (Aidan Falls) - Crystal Green

Quick review for a quick read. This is a prequel story for Crystal Green's "Aidan Falls" series, and it falls squarely within the realm of a new adult novella. The book revolves around Carley, a college dropout (who flunked her classes) returning home and feeling like an outcast, but suddenly realizing she has a secret admirer locally who connects with her online. Carley thinks it might be a guy she's currently setting her sights on, but the stranger may possibly be someone else who watches her from afar...

My problem with this narrative was that in conjunction with its brevity, it was just too shallow and cliche, skimming the surface on what could've felt like a fuller experience of the characters meeting and subsequently beginning a relationship. At the very least, I did like the idea(s) this narrative put forward, from Carley trying to adjust to coming home to interacting on a social media app for the tech age. I didn't really get a sense of who any of these characters were other than their cardboard, cookie cutter constructions though, and the scene transitions were not only mostly telling (not showing) details, but they were very awkward. Not to mention that I wasn't sure how I felt about the superfluous "pleasure" scene that was kind of thrown in here at the mention of Carley thinking about her mysterious admirer. I didn't get any sense of who this dude was, plus fantasizing about someone you don't even really know but think you do can have all kinds of repercussions. Was Carley even remotely creeped out about the fact that she didn't know who this dude was? I didn't get that impression at all.

I'm going to read the full novel "Honeytrap" to see how or if characterization improves there, but overall, I was underwhelmed with this read, but it was a quick one to peruse.

Overall score: 1.5/5 stars

Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher InterMix.

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text 2014-06-14 20:30
Doorstep Baby: Best Romance Hero Discovers He has a Child
The Taming of Billy Jones - Christine Rimmer
Whisper Falls - Toni Blake
Just for Fun (Escape to New Zealand) - Rosalind James
His Tattooed Virgin [Divine Creek Ranch 12] (Siren Publishing Everlasting Classic) - Heather Rainier
Trying to Score - Toni Aleo
The Soldier's Homecoming (Romance) - Donna Alward
Hard Mated - Jennifer Ashley
The Pirate's Secret Baby - Darlene Marshall
Baby Bonanza - Maureen Child
Tied Up, Tied Down - Lorelei James

Father's Day Week Romance List Party!


I am not a huge fan of the secret baby trope because it is rare that I can forgive the heroine for keeping such knowledge from the hero. There are always exceptions though! 


My brother actually had the secret baby thing happened to him. Crazy. His daughter contacted him when she was 19. He found out he was a grandfather to a 3 month baby boy on the same day. My brother was so heartbroken to learn about this little girl growing up without him. He is working hard to build a relationship with her and his grandchild now. 


As from Romance Novels, I tend to like it better when the hero discovers he has a child and the heroine of the story isn't the mother of the child. 


Here are some great reads with the heroes who have just discovered they are fathers! 


1. The Taming of Billy Jones by Christine Rimmer 

2. Whisper Falls: A Destiny Novel by Toni Blake 

3. Just for Fun by Rosalind James 

4. His Tattooed Virgin by Heather Rainier 

5. Trying to Score  by Toni Aleo

6. The Soldier's Homecoming by Donna Alward 

7. Hard Mated by Jennifer Ashley 

8. The Pirate's Secret Baby by Darlene Marshall 

9. Baby Bonanza by Maureen Child 

10. Tied Up, Tied Down by Lorelei James 


To vote for the best of the best of these new Dads, go to my Goodreads list: Doorstep Baby: Best Romance Hero Discovers He has a Child.


To gaze upon so lovely father and child moments, check out my Pinterest Board: Father Love: Best Father Heroes in Romance. 


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