Review: Strength Enduring

Strength Enduring

 

Review: Strength Enduring

Carrie Ann Ryan

I thoroughly enjoyed this return to author Carrie Ann Ryan’s Talon Pack. The characters, the action, the secret that almost destroys a family, and add to that a mated pair that one mate wants to deny – for her safety, of course, it all rolls into an amazing read.

Kam Brentwood is an enforcer, he knows how to defeat the enemy, he’s tough, he’s fierce, but when it comes to one little human woman, he turns into an idiot with his foot in his mouth constantly. Dhanielle Coburn is the human who is hired to teach the children of the pack, after being fired from her human school because of her friendship with the pack members, she begins to feel closer to the pack members. Too bad Kam is such an idiot.

They are just starting to get some communication going when they are forced into a “mating” to prove that she hadn’t been kidnapped and held by the pack members. The action is due in part to a secret that happened at her birth, one she doesn’t know anything about and the shenanigans of the packs enemy, Blade, who is still determined to rule all packs. Fate has a way of doing what she wants and watching the couple struggle with the truth that they are meant to be together. It is a really good look at communication, right and wrong ways to work things out and gaining trust through secrets and setbacks on an emotional level.

I enjoy this series and can’t wait to see is next in this author’s wicked mind.

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Review: Somebody’s Daughter by David Bell

Somebody's Daughter

Hardcover, 432 pages                      Publication: July 10th 2018 by Berkley Books

ISBN13: 9780399584466                 Rating 4-1/2*

Michael Frazier and his wife Angela were happily married and trying everything to get pregnant which would make their life complete.  The strains of trying for this one important element for complete happiness was only made all the more tenuous when Michael’s ex-wife Erica showed up on his doorstep pleading for his help… She then dropped a bombshell that her nine-year old daughter Felicity was missing – and the bigger shocker he – Michael was her father!  

Naturally, even though Michael was finding his new fatherhood was hard to believe there was a niggling fact that it might also be true.  Against his wife’s objections, Michael had no choice but to try and follow the trail of crumbs that Erica’s story left behind.  Could it be true and could the bond he had with his soul-mate Angela withhold the stretch to the limit suspense as more and more facts came to life?

This truly was an amazing suspense thriller with a plethora of characters all having this or that in common and fingers pointing all over the place as to who had kidnapped the child.   The only reason this didn’t earn a coveted FIVE star review is that I felt that the end was a bit rushed and there were threads that seemed hastily brushed away or forgotten.   However, don’t let this dissuade you from picking this up as SOMEBODY’S DAUGHTER was a truly great and rapidly paced read!

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: The Fashion Designer by Nancy Moser

FashionDesigner#2

Paperback, 320 pages                          Published July 1st 2018 by Shiloh Run Press

ISBN13: 9781683226017                      Series:  The Pattern Artist #2

Rating 5*

In this second book of the Pattern Artist series, author Nancy Moser has let a little time pass for Annie Wood, a housemaid-turned-pattern designer who is now making a another leap of faith at the chance of designing her own clothing line with the help of a wealthy New York couple who offered to finance her endeavor.   Included in the project are Annie’s new husband, Sean Culver, her best friend at Butterwick, Maude Nascato, and a mother figure, Edna Holmquist (all introduced before in the PATTERN ARTIST)

This now is an even bigger leap of faith when Annie and her colleagues give up their careers, risking all to follow a shared passion of making ready to wear clothes for the working woman which would be both fashionable and functional for the modern, busy woman in 1912.  

While the main characters Annie, her husband and good friends, struggle with planning the designs for a 12 dress fashion show with their financier, they discover that the dream they had for designs was not that of their backers and as a result their backers pulled out.  It was tough going with many ups and downs and their many prayers to the Almighty to “show them the way”.   Each step forward sometimes left them back at the starting plate, but through their unsurmountable faith and incredible hard work they strove forward.  

The story really tested the mettle of so many of the engaging characters found in this story and the meeting between Annie and the famous Lane Bryant was truly a treat along with all the other historical glimpses of that time.   This is truly a most engaging and lovely read that leaves the reader with that ahhhhh…… feeling of true contentment.

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: Inked Nights

InInked Nightsked Nights: 1001 Dark Nights series – Carrie Ann Ryan

reviewed by Annetta Sweetko

Derek Hawkins and Olivia Madison have spent four years meeting once a month, known only to each other by their first initial. No other information is allowed. Everything seems just fine until D doesn’t want to be D anymore, he wants to be Derek and he wants to share his growing feelings for O. Olivia’s past just won’t let her go, won’t let her fall for Derek, won’t let her tell him the truth.

Wow! If you have read any of author Carrie Ann Ryan’s Montgomery books then you have met Derek who works as a tattoo artist for Austin Montgomery. I was hoping for his book and this one is perfect for him. Olivia is a woman who had a traumatic event in her life and seemed to be only living a half life, holding herself back. So the once a month anonymous affair was perfect. Derek felt otherwise and for awhile I worried that his heart would get broken, but I should have known Ms. Ryan would make it all work out.

Interesting set up, wonderful dialogue, steamy that will have you fanning yourself, yet there is a sweetness that will have you sighing. Another great offering from this author.

Review: One for the Rogue by Manda Collins

One for athe Rogue

Series: Studies in Scandal #4        June 26, 2018

Rating 4*

Geologist Gemma Hastings has no interest in pursuing Lord Cameron Lisle, an esteemed fossil hunter who has a way of raising her hackles.   Handsome as can be, even related by marriage and Gemma couldn’t name the reason he somehow made her tingle. When a shocking attack puts Gemma in very real danger, she may have to accept Lisle’s offer of protection, even if that means entering into a dangerous flirtation. 

Cam was amused by Gemma’s dedication to her work although realizes how much he’s underestimated her—a woman whose beauty is matched only by her intelligence!  Cam is now desperate to prove his respect and his regard for Gemma, but a bitter rival, desperate to steal Gemma’s scientific findings, is still at-large. Can Cam help uncover the culprit and keep her safe—forever, in his loving arms?

***  This has been a delightful series and with ONE FOR THE ROGUE it completes the four heiresses series who all seemed to have gotten into a bit of scandal in each book.   This one featured the last heiress, Gemma who excelled in geology and locating new fossils was left a letter from their benefactor only it was never finished giving her the clues to find a most remarkable and rare fossil.

Gemma was extremely independent and stubborn and the romance between her and Cam was extremely lively as well as sensual.   Bottom line – I loved and thoroughly enjoyed the book from cover to cover!

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: Dreams of Falling by Karen White

Dreams of Falling

Karen White is an enormous talent and as such I tend to form an opinion before I even start a book by her.  I know it will be good – just not to what degree.  

Nine years ago Larkin fled Georgetown, South Carolina, vowing never to go back. But when she finds out that her mother has disappeared, she knows she has no choice but to return to the place that she both loves and dreads–and to the family and friends who never stopped wishing for her to come home.  Larkin’s relationship with her mother Ivy has never been easy but soon Ivy is discovered in the burned-out wreckage of her family’s ancestral rice plantation, badly injured and unconscious. 

No one knows why Ivy was there, but as Larkin digs for answers, she uncovers secrets which were kept for nearly 50 years. Secrets that lead back to the past, to the friendship between three girls on the brink of womanhood who swore that they would be friends forever, but who found that vow tested in heartbreaking ways.

*** Well as to the degree of how good the story was – It was awesome!  Heartbreakingly, lovingly, soul-searching fabulous!   The three friends were inseparable, all with dreams of the future and how wonderful life was, but unfortunately life was not always wonderful, wars interrupted dreams and casualties interrupted and changed lives.   But hadn’t they all promised “friends forever”?  Were the tests to come things they could overcome?  

Over the 50 years, who would survive the deaths, the births, the challenges and keep the friendships strong.  Read on and find out!   You’ll be amazed!

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: Only Seduction Will Do by Jenna Jaxon

OnlySeduction Will do

Expected publication: June 5th 2018 by Lyrical Press

ASIN:  B075HY5WPW

Series:   House of Pleasure #4 Rating: 4*

At a ball a comment sent crushed and heartbroken, Alethea Forsythe running.  She was followed into the stable where a smooth talking peer came to offer comfort – before the slime-ball  seduced and forced himself on her. Unfortunately, the results of that act would be appearing in nine months.  With her reputation soon be in tatters Alethea will be forced to wed a stranger—unless she takes matters into her own hands.

When Jack Fitzwilliam, the Earl of Manning, received a summons from the House of Pleasure on a matter of importance, he was more than shocked by the unusual request  he was asked to consider.  Jack has long been aware of Alethea’s infatuation with him, marriage at twenty-three to an expectant bride was certainly not in his plans. However, despite her appearance which reminded him of his sister, the desperation in Alethea’s eyes overrides his misgivings.

It was Alethea’s heart’s desire to be married to Jack and she couldn’t be more anxious to have him take her to the wedded bed!  EXCEPT he was too chivalrous and explained that they should begin to learn about each other before consumption.  Lord Almighty ! Alethea couldn’t believe it that Jack could be so amicable in public but maintained his own quarters.   Alethea began a campaign to do all she could to seduce her husband – the love of her life!

Throughout the story the author takes you on a journey of frustrations and some hilarious scenario’s where both parties were trying their hardest to achieve the inevitable!   Great scenarios, wonderful pacing and fun dialogs!   Both had secrets and both needed to divulge and get on with it!  Pretty good story and loved the characterizations.  

Marilyn Rondeau

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillerman

Jar of Hearts

June 12, 2018                   RATING 4-1/2*

One would have to give this a wow just by reading a brief description of what the story entailed.  It is the story of three best friends – one who was murdered; one who went to prison; and one who’s been searching for the truth all these years. 

Angela Wong was beautiful, popular, and accomplished then disappeared without a trace.  No one ever suspected that Georgina Shaw, her best friend had been involved in any way.   It’s fourteen years later and Georgina is a fast rising star at a pharmaceutical company where she will soon be marrying the CEO’s son!  Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was part of their threesome of inseparable best friends!

However, Angela’s remains have finally turned up and it looks to be the handiwork of Calvin James, a known rapist and serial killer and a young man that Georgina dated back at the time of Angela’s disappearance.

*** And here it is – WOW! This was one very suspenseful and exciting story.  Twists and turns and all the things I like in a suspense story.  The pace was quick and the story really engrossing as to what seemed an open and shut case and having a really quirky ending I wasn’t expecting.  

Georgina – love her or hate her, I’m not really quite sure where I stand at the moment, other than on the fence one week after finishing the story. Guess you’ll have to decide that one for yourself.

Marilyn Rondeau

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Griffin

All we ever wanted

June 26, 2018                           Rating:  4-1/2*

After marrying into the “Nashville elite” Nina browning was living the good life after her husband made a fortune selling his tech business.  High society and a busy social life, a son she adored doing well in his private school who has just been accepted into Princeton, and life never looked so good… – So good, in fact, that when a photo showed up with a racist comment on it Nina was devastated when she learned that her precious child was identified as the person who took it!  

On the other hand, Tom Volpe is a struggling single dad doing his best to be a good dad and positive influence on his headstrong intelligent daughter who had won a scholarship to the ultra private and very expensive private school of Windsor Academy.   For Lyla it was a miracle that some of the wealthiest students had befriended her and she might have taken it over the line to be accepted.  

***. I guess this really was a story of values and how some folks let the change in their financial position change them from what they were into someone they no longer recognized as themselves, or to be perfectly blunt – a wake up call to discover they really didn’t like the person they’d become.  In the case of Nina, she saw that the values she wanted to teach her son were not what he was practicing.   Rather she took a good look at her life and didn’t like what was happening to her husband and what he in turn was beginning to teach their son.  

It was also a story of a rebellious young girl who was caught up short in first love and discovered that the rules her dad imposed on her life were definitely not laid out to hurt her but were set down in order to protect her.   

Bottom line:   This was a short but inspired story of coming of age, and reflections of a life that needed some adjustments made to get a person back on track to what was right for them!   Very, very good. 

Marilyn Rondeau