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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 2014-07-31 01:00
Alaskan location, pararescueman hero, meh romance
Cover Me (Elite Force: That Others May Live) - Catherine Mann

Opening Line:" It was a cold day in hell for Tech Sergeant Wade Rocha--standard ops for a mission in Alaska."

 I struggled through this and ultimately gave up about half way in. It's not that it was that terrible, it was just so, average on all accounts and I couldn't have cared less about the romance between Sunny & Wade, honestly I just I couldn't be bothered to finish, very meh.  I've read lots of Catherine Mann stuff before and she always seems to hook me in with a great beginning before settling into mediocre-ville.
It should have been a simple mission. Pararescueman Wade Rocha fast ropes from the back of a helicopter into a blizzard to save a climber stranded on an Aleutian Island, but Sunny Foster insists she can take care of herself just fine...

But when it comes to passion, nothing is ever simple. With the snowstorm kicking into overdrive, Sunny and Wade hunker down in a cave and barely resist the urge to keep each other warm... until they discover the frozen remains of a horrific crime. Unable to trust the local police force, Sunny and Wade investigate, while their irresistible passion for each other gets them more and more dangerously entangled...
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review 2014-07-30 00:51
Reunited lovers, amnesia and Navy SEAL's this seires opener has it all
Forget Me Not - Marliss Melton

Opening Line:"Gunfire rained down on the four-man SEAL squad, ricocheting off the concrete floor and metal walls of the warehouse in Pyongyang Harbour, North Korea.”

Navy SEAL Gabe Renault has no memory of the last three years. He doesn’t remember the mission that went wrong landing him in a North Korean prison camp and he certainly doesn’t remember having a wife and teenage daughter. And while the scars on his body tell a tale of torture he has no idea what they did to him or if he eventually broke, betraying his country. The doctors tell him he has PTSD and that given time his memories will return, but he knows the brass are also thinking the amnesia may just be a convenient way to cover up his disgrace at giving up government secrets. Meanwhile he’s been placed on disability leave, given a cocktail of drugs, and told to go home to his family, a family he doesn’t remember.

After Gabe was presumed dead Helen Renault did her best to pull the pieces of her and her daughters life back together. It wasn’t really all the that difficult, Gabe had never been home, always off on some mission and then even when he was he was he’d been distant, secretive and abrupt. Now she’s standing on her own two feet, with friends, a job she loves and a life. When the call comes in telling her Gabe is alive Helen decides that she’ll help him through his recovery but then she wants a divorce. What she hadn’t counted on was that the man returning is nothing like the Gabe she remembers, this is a man she could lose her heart to and spend the rest of her life loving.

With Gabe’s memories coming back Helen puts her heart under lock and key fearing it will only be a matter of time before the “old Gabe” re-emerges and breaks it again. Of course the men trying to kill him and his returning knowledge of government treason may put an end to their second chance at love before it begins anyways.

This is the first book from Marliss Melton’s SEAL team 12 series and also my first from this author. As a whole this was a great read, kinda Suzanne Brockmann-ish as it's more romantic then suspenseful but well written with a slowly unravelling storyline, lots of great secondary characters and a reunited lovers theme which is one of my fav’s. I did have a problem with some of the dialogue being stilted or age inappropriate, as was the case with the teenage daughter and unfortunately the ending went off into silly land but I will definitely be continuing on with the series. Hoo-yah, another SEAL team to get to know. 

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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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