Review: To Wed an Heiress by Karen Ranney

EBOOK:   400 pages                         Publication: March 26th 2019 by Avon

ISBN 13:  9780062841070                                          Series   All for Love #2

Rating:   5*

In an attempt to escape what was seeming like a forced marriage, Mercy Rutherford  traveled to Scotland to escape the possessive grip of her fiancé. Unfortunately, on the last leg of her trip to see her grandmother a monster flew out of the sky and landed on her carriage.  Well, not really a monster but some kind of flying machine and a very abrupt and man who was more worried about his machine than the condition of she and her maid.  However, after introductions were made Ross Caithart brought her to his castle and set her maids broken arm and stitched Mercy’s gash in her head.

To all intents and purposes Ross Caithart most certainly was mad. Handsome beyond words, he’s also causing an irresistible flutter in Mercy’s stomach beyond reason. But as soon as Mercy mentioned her grandmother – Ross made the connection and made haste to get her out of his castle and up to Mercy’s kin.  However, if Mercy was expecting loving arms happy to see her, she was sadly mistaken and her arrival was met with contempt and derision.  All because of arriving in the Caithart carriage?   

When Mercy’s fiancé Gregory arrives to see their arranged marriage to its bitter end, Mercy desperately turns to Ross with an offer of her fortune—and her hand in marriage.  The Earl of Morton has a reputation for being an eccentric, but even he is hesitant to engage in such a rash proposition—no matter how utterly beguiled he is by the wildly independent American heiress. And yet, with so much at stake, how can he possibly say no?

Bottom line I truly enjoyed this novel as much as the rest of the titles this author has put out over the years.  This has just the right amount of action, adventure, sensualness, and rivalry making for a fascinating read. 

Marilyn Rondeau

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Review: The Last Woman in the Forest by Diane Les Besquets

  • Publisher: Berkley (March 5, 2019)  ISBN-13: 978-0399587047
  • Rating:   4-1/2*

After so many years of trying to jumping from one job to the next Marian Engstrom finally discovered her true calling: working with rescue dogs to help protect endangered wildlife.  Somewhat of a loner she was content and happy with the dogs and her first assignment took her to Alberta, where her love for the dogs seemed to cross over to her mentor Tate.   Eventually the assignments seperated them and shortly thereafter Marian heard the devastating news of Tate’s death.  

Bad enough how horrendous the news which had splintered her soul, but some of the stories and information he had given her were coming back to her and the inconsistencies were beginning to show her a completely different person than the one man she had taken on as a lover.   There had been several unsolved murders that had occurred in the surrounding area and Marian was beginning to believe that possibly Tate had been responsible.

In an effort to clear Tate’s name, Marian reaches out to a retired forensic profiler who’s haunted by the open cases. But as Marian relives her relationship with Tate and circles ever closer to the truth, evil stalks her every move.…

***  This was both an interesting novel in the content of discovering how the people lived and studied to help endangered wildlife.  The lonely life alone and learning to survive in the wild was extremely interesting.  The investigation into Tate and discovering whether he was or wasn’t the murderer was filled with suspense right through to the end.   While the use of  Nick, her forensic investigator was another interesting character as he did all he could to help Marian keep herself on track and ultimately helped save her life.    Extremely good read and very much recommended.

Marilyn Rondeau 

Review: Jagged Ink by author Carrie Ann Ryan

Jagged Ink

 

By Carrie Ann Ryan

In Jagged Ink, author Carrie Ann Ryan, reminds her readers that sometimes happily ever after is hard work. The fairy tale offered by many authors is a fantastic escape, but Ms. Ryan hits us with real life.

This is a bit of a reverse read. The fairy tale starts with the couple, Roxie and Carter, as a married couple who expected to exchange their vows and move on in a haze of perfection. Life got in the way and this book hit every emotional soft spot possible.

Jagged Ink also gives a lot of really good advice on marriage. It really takes communication and love. I have to admit that there were a few times I wanted to yell at them to sit down and talk! So much should have been said but in Roxie’s case, I can understand her internalizing her thoughts and fears. Sorry, but you will have to read to find out why she feels what she does.

Ms. Ryan has an amazing talent for knowing what people think and feel and putting on paper all the fears, anger and misunderstandings and bring about a true HEA.

 

Review: SAY YOU’RE SORRY by by Karen Rose

Kindle Edition, 608 pages

Publication: February 21st 2019 by Headline    ASIN: B07CG6QP5P

Series  Sacramento #1                                     Rating 5*

I have recently become a great fan of Ms. Robards and know without reading a review what to expect.  Fabulous intelligent writing, awesome character building, fast action, and truly bad-ass villains, whom you simply cannot wait for them be found out and dealt with!  Often times as in SAY YOUR SORRY, you may even feel some compassion for the villain based upon what factors led them to conduct such heinous crimes. 

FBI Special Agent Gideon Reynolds has tried to put his past behind him. He escaped the violence of a cult upbringing when he was just thirteen, and since then routine and discipline have been his way of making sense of the world. But when a friend calls to show him a piece of evidence from a young woman who fought off an attacker. With that Gideon’s  world was about to come to a screeching halt!

Daisy Dawson has had more than her fair share of pain – but she’s done being a victim and a prisoner. Brave and determined, Daisy is not going to let anyone take away her independence again. However her newly appointed intensely dark FBI investigator and bodyguard is certainly appealing to her passionate side.

Soon it appears clear that Daisy’s attack was just the beginning when bloodied bodies of young women are showing up all over California.  As Gideon and friends work to find the killer, it’s clear that Daisy is in more danger than they ever realized.

***  As an introduction to Ms. Robards newest series opener, you are introduced to a whole new plethora of family which I am sure will play central roles in this new series.  I love how Ms, Robards invites you into loving family scenario’s to a place to feel safe, when all around you the villains are spreading horror and hatred.   As the intro to her new series SACRAMENTO – I personally cannot wait for her to hurry up with the next books in this run.   Love and highly recommend!

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: The Military Wife by Laura Trentham

Published:  Feb 5, 2019  by  St. Martin’s Griffin

SBN13: 9781250145536         Series: A Heart of a Hero #1     Rating: 5*

Harper Lee Wilcox’s life has been more or less at a standstill since the death five years ago of her beloved husband Noah.  Noah was the only person she ever dated, and loved – a true soul mate.  He was a Navy SEAL killed in the line of duty and never met, his son Ben born after he passed and named after his best friend and SEAL team mate Bennett Caldwell.  

While Harper is feeling a growing restlessness of needing a new direction, a call from her best friend Allison helped to make her act.   Allison was dealing with her husband, another Navy SEAL struggling with PTSD, and Harper drove to Fort Bragg to help her out. 

Two things occurred during the visit.  One, not every widow of a fallen SEAL received a very generous monetary award given to the wife.   Two, she discovered most of the other military wives struggled with husbands deployed for months at a time and felt as lonely and discouraged as Harper was feeling now.  At last a purpose! 

Harper came up with an idea of starting a business for military wives that would finally use her two degrees of business and marketing.  And be good for the other military wives to give them back purpose while waiting for their husbands return.  

Additionally and central to the read was discovering and finally meeting Bennett Caldwell, her husband’s very best friend and team mate whom Harper had never met.  Bennett was a man who held secrets and the truth behind what really happened to Noah on the field of battle. But most of all he was a man whom Harper felt an emotional pull towards that bothered both of them because of the love they both had felt towards Noah.  Could they find happiness together and put feelings of guilt to rest behind them…. 

All I can say is THE MILITARY WIFE packs an emotional punch to heart and soul and brought tears to my eyes (in a good way) and a lump in my throat! Sweet, sensual and a very highly recommended read!

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: The Wrong Highlander by Lynsay Sands

Avon Publishing – Jan 29, 2019

Series:  Highland Brides #7         Rating: 4*

Lady Evina MacLean had heard all the stories describing Rory Buchanan’s skill as a healer. Now, with her father so near death she had no choice but to go and beg him to come and save her father’s life!  However, when she came upon the Buchanan washing up in a waterfall, she couldn’t believe how handsome he was all naked and wet.  Evina sent in her man to bring him out from under the falls when a fight ensued with Buchanan not knowing who was dragging him from the falls assumed he was a  bandit.  The Buchanan put up quite a struggle and rather than see her man hurt Lady Evina  knocked him out with the hilt of her sword.  Granted she did hit him pretty hard – but time was of the essence! Evina had to get him home before her father perished, so while still naked, he was strapped over his horse and raced back home to Evina’s castle. 

Unfortunately, what Evina did not know was that she had not taken Rory Buchanan but his brother Conran.  While he was not the healer Rory was, Conran did have some healing skills learned from his brother.  But rather than explain the mistake, Conran just did what he knew to do and tended to her his patient and after a few hours, he had discovered the cause and proceeded to bring the man’s fever down.

***  In Lynsay Sands’ novels you will always find some feisty heroines, hunky heroes, and lots of laugh out loud moments and THE WRONG HIGHLANDER is no exception!  From the ride back with Conran’s naked butt and Evina’s hand hanging on to his cheek to keep him from falling off, to the miscommunication involving her marital state and the picnic in the tall grasses the reader will experience a whole range of emotions!   Adding in a plethora of lovely secondary characters also added to the total enjoyment of the read.

Yet all was not right and someone was trying to kill Lady Evina. Just when you think you know what’s going on there will be red herrings tossed in to make you think otherwise.  And you can always remember  that what you think is obvious is not going to be the answer.  However, what you can count on is a simply terrific and engaging sensual novel that will allow a whole range of emotions to be let loose with dynamic and creative writing.

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: Ashes to Ink

ashes to ink

By Carrie Ann Ryan

ASHES TO INK had me in tears a number of times. Abby had lost the “love of her life” but had her daughter to care for. Now living in Colorado Springs next to the Montgomery family she is starting over.

Ryan is the new tattoo artist but he has secrets he is trying to keep to himself. He has a twin, who is a mess and causes him troubles every once in awhile. But he isn’t ready to talk about him or the problems he has caused. Until Abby … until the brother threatens the one woman Ryan is starting to feel close to.

Friends to lovers is always a great read and ASHES TO INK is filled with this emotional driven scenario. Abby has her child and thought she lost her heart until Ryan and when she thinks she can move on, still with a piece of her heart belonging to the father of her child, the brother makes Ryan feel he doesn’t deserve her. This is where I had a problem with this book. Ryan had tried to help the brother but to no avail. To my mind, if you have done all you can to help someone, for your own sanity, ties must be cut. Tough love is tough.

I have to say this one really tugged at my heartstrings, with loss of love, fear of the future, worry about the past – all things that friends and lovers are suppose to help you with and the Montgomery clan is amazingly helpful in all the books that Ms. Ryan gives us.

Just a note of warning . . . keep the tissues handy, but know this is another keeper.

Review: Tempt Me With Diamonds by Jane Feather

Expected publication: January 29th 2019 by Zebra         ISBN13: 9781420143607

Series:   London Jewels #1                                            Rating:  4*

Wealthy heiress, Diana Sommerville, both beautiful and intelligent has finally returned home after overseeing her family’s diamond mines and taking care of her beloved brothers remains who had been killed in the Boar Wars in Africa.  She wanted peace and solitude when she arrived at her family home, but instead she found to her horror that Rupert Lacey, the man she once loved and now loathed had moved in before her return and intended to stay!

Rupert Lacey had grown up with Diana and her brother.  They were best friends and Diana was going to marry Rupert until she discovered that he had been unfaithful.  However, her brother, unbeknownst to her, had left a will naming Rupert his beneficiary to share Diana’s wealth and home.  

*** One can imagine the scenario’s that commenced when Diana was faced with the fact that her beloved brother had left his shares of diamond mines, a prize race horse, and her family home and properties to her former fiance!   Try as she might, legally there was nothing Diana could do to wrest control from Rupert! Worse, most people assumed they had married while abroad and to keep herself from utter ruin while living in the same house, Diana had to pretend they were man and wife.

Try as she might, Diana was not immune to Rupert and the passion that existed between them sizzled. It would take honesty and truth to set them free to love again which is exactly what they each wanted should these two stubborn souls admit to themselves.  

Great story – fast read and paced well!

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: Katies Highlander by Maeve Grayson

Book 3 of 3 in Highland Protectors (3 Book Series)

Publisher: Loveswept (January 22, 2019) Sold by: Random House LLC

ASIN: B07CR5Z599 Rating 4*

This is truly one of my favorite series by this author of the MacDara Clan who were magically whisked   from the tenth century Scottish Highlands to current day North Carolina where Goddesses reigned and  had tasked the family to preserve and safeguard a relic which kept humanity on an even keel.  Most of the family had adjusted to the new modern world and circumstances. Only Ramsey MacDara wasn’t too thrilled and wished he were back in the old world having had a bad relationship with a “golddigger” whom he had almost married.

Archaeologist Katie Jenson happened to be traveling through North Carolina when her car went off the road and lo and behold a kilted sex god happened by to help pull her out of her wrecked car, carrying a spear, and riding a horse.  Try as she might to dissuade him, Ramsay was not going to leave her so he brought her back to his family’s Highland Theme Park home.  However the archaeologist in Kate couldn’t get the sight of his spear out of her mind knowing it was an impressive piece of historical significance.  

***  Well as the story progressed with a wee bit of help from some family members who recognized Katie to be the chosen mate by the goddesses for Ramsay, they set off on a supposed picnic to get to know one another when Katie chose to veer from the path they were supposed to take and they found themselves hurled back into tenth century Scotland!  

Being back made Ramsay pretty happy, convincing Katie that this was real and not a staged re-enactment of Medieval Scotland and they were stuck there until the ‘goddesses’ decided to bring them back was not so easy.  And that was also something that Katie was not prepared to or wanted to do.  Leave behind modern conveniences, plumbing and coffee – phew! This was not going to be easy for Ramsay to convince Katie that his love for her could conquer all her fears.  

Bottom line, this was just a marvelous and wholly entertaining story for this series which has been so very intriguing from the very first!  Highly recommended!

Marilyn Rondeau