Weary of Running by Adrienne Morris

The summer was off to such a good start for Buck Crenshaw. Unfortunately, all of that falls apart with the arrival of Milford Streeter to the West Point Military Academy.

What’s it About? 

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When West Point Military Academy opens its doors to black candidate Milford Streeter in 1884, Cadet Buck Crenshaw’s moral ambivalence is tested. Will Buck keep his place in the yearling pecking order or throw it away on a stand for Streeter? After Cadet Streeter sacrifices Buck’s reputation to safeguard his own, Buck escapes to his sister Thankful at Fort Grant, Arizona and meets an old rival, William Weldon. Buck must make a decision about the sort of man he wants to become while witnessing the downward spiral of his favorite sister’s romance with a dashing army lieutenant. Weary of Running is about the dangers of moral ambivalence and the redeeming power of love and friendship in an imperfect world of mixed emotions and foolish decisions.

First Impressions

This book held so much promise in the beginning, but unfortunately things quickly got out of control to the point where it was no longer my cup of tea. I was excited to read about what I thought would be an ensuing friendship between Buck and West Point’s first ever black candidate, perhaps standing up against prejudice in a military establishment so soon after the end of the Civil War. Unfortunately, while Buck is initially open to the idea of a black cadet at West Point, it doesn’t take long before the influence of his brother, fellow cadets, and Streeter’s own actions to turn Buck into, well, a racist. And this sort of brings me to my main issue with this novel; I really could not find any one main character that I liked. Every single character presented in this novel is extremely flawed, and that makes it almost impossible to root for any of them to succeed.

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The Disappearance of Buck

According to Goodreads, this novel is referred to as “A Buck Crenshaw Novel”. Therefore, I assumed that the majority of the novel would be about…Buck Crenshaw. Shockingly enough though, after about 10% of the novel he completely disappears from the story, and doesn’t return until the book is almost finished. Umm, what? I thought this was mainly going to be all about him and Streeter. And while Buck comes back into the tale much later on, we never hear about Streeter again, or even really get a resolution to that part of the story. Definitely a let down.

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The Arrival of Thankful and William

So I would say Buck disappears for a good 60-65% of the book. Not gonna lie though, I wasn’t really sad to see him go. We see how others mistakenly assume he’s being soft on Streeter, and everything just spirals down from there to the point where Buck himself comes to despise Streeter. Buck and his brother, Fred, even go so far as to beat up Streeter and leave him for dead. Yikes! The novel then switches gears to follow Thankful out West, as she’s pursuing a childhood crush, William, who recently moved out there.

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Alright, maybe this is where some romance will come into the story? Unfortunately…not so much. William is a raging alcoholic, which was spurred on by an accident from his childhood that left him with memory problems, headaches, and a crooked leg. But that doesn’t stop people from showing him zero sympathy, and constantly making fun of him for being a cripple. Thankful also turns away from him in the pursuit of another army officer who is good looking and showers her with compliments and trinkets. Man, this is just getting depressing!

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Although these two characters barely spend any time together in the pages of this novel, their situations are quite similar. Basically, we see how they are ostracized from their comrades, supposed friends, and even their family due to a long string of misunderstandings, and a ridiculous amount of over-reacting from others. They become social pariahs, and while you’d think this would garner some sympathy from us as the reader, it’s also pretty hard to do.

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I’ll admit, there were times that I felt somewhat bad for both Buck and William as their lives totally spiraled out of control into dark depression. This was probably more true in my opinion of William rather than Buck though, who at least had some legitimate medical reasons behind his behavior oftentimes getting out of control. The problem though is that as soon as I’d kind of feel bad for them, it wasn’t long before they’d proceed to say something racist, sexist, or just downright rude. Heck, at one point William even hits a woman! While these may have been common actions and opinions in the 1880s, it’s just not something I want my main characters to indulge in.

Supplemental Characters

If I had to pinpoint the main characters of this novel, it would be Buck, William and Thankful. The majority of the supplemental characters are the familial relations of all of these characters, and my God are they a handful. It was almost comical, yet also annoying, how quickly and constantly they would rush to the most outlandish of conclusions, and over-react to every possible scenario without hearing out what would actually be a very simple explanation. It’s like nobody wanted to listen to reason. At one point Buck’s family even wants to put him in an asylum because he keeps getting into trouble. Buck and Thankful’s brother, Fred, is particularly deceitful by always blaming his own crimes on others, and the whole lot is pretty shockingly rude.

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Whether it be children berating their parents, or parents being openly hurtful to their children, we are dealing with some characters that I had a really tough time liking. There were definitely some complicated family dynamics at play. To give you just a glimpse of some of the hurtful things these characters would say, one mother yells at her daughter, “I tell you all the time that there’s a great deal of difference between plump and downright fat and you have long since crossed that line.” When speaking of Indians a character states, “The savages should be sent from this earth-every last one of them.” Eventually I realized that practically every female in this novel reminded me of the mother in Pride and Prejudice. We’re talking Colin Firth movie version here; very over-the-top emotional, eccentric, etc.

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*A copy of this book was presented for an honest review*

Series: The Tenafly Road Series, book…? This is listed as book 1 and book 2 in a few different places.

Should you read it? I hate to say it, but I had a tough time finishing this one. It was just one unfortunate event after another, with no real light at the end of the tunnel. Look, I get it. We are dealing with a novel set in the 1880s. It was a different time. But the historical novels that I like are the ones that rise above social prejudice, and highlight characters that go against the social norm to come out on top. Is that perhaps an unrealistic and fairy-tale like hope? Sure! But when I’m reading something in my spare time I’d like at least one happy thing to happen to a character I somewhat like, and unfortunately I found that lacking in this read.

Smut Level: There’s one quick jaunt behind a pile of wood, and another scene or two involving a…lady of the night.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Amazon Digital Services LLC. 327 Pages.

Bad Boy, Big Heart by Andrea Downing

The trickiest thing when it comes to summer romances? There’s always a time limit. Sooner or later, the summer must come to an end.

What’s it About? 

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When New Yorker K.C. Daniels heads to Wyoming for a summer job, she wants nothing more than to fit in with the staff of the Lazy S Ranch. Yearning to be independent of her mom and dad, and have a taste of the west before she starts her Master’s degree, getting involved with a cowboy is the last thing on her mind—especially when she’s greeted with warnings about ‘Bad Boy’ Chay Ridgway.

High school dropout Chay Ridgway sees summer as his time to be a rodeo star and win a girl in his life, while facing the responsibilities he has for his father. Although working to bring in cash to help his dad, he’s never had a problem finding a woman who’s happy to be that summer love—until K.C. Daniels appears on the scene. As two different worlds collide in a season that will end all too soon, is this going to be another summer romance or a love that will last for years?

First Impressions

Upon first meeting Chay, we as the audience have the same assumptions about his character that K.C. does. He’s a player. A bad boy. A high school drop out. He might be a good fling for a summer romance, but for an actual relationship? Probably more work than it’s worth in just the span of the summer. However, as the summer progresses, we learn that underneath Chay’s carefree attitude is a loving man who has his hands full. He had to take on the responsibilities of an adult early on in life. Taking care of both his ailing father and his crumbling homestead proved too difficult to tackle in addition to high school, hence his decision to drop out. Since then he’s had a one track mind of building up his family home to it’s former glory. Having a relationship with a woman beyond just a summer is something he has no interest or time for. Until of course K.C. comes along. We see that his number one priorities start to shift as he gets to know this city girl.

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The Difficulties of a Summer Romance

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As with any summer romance novel, emotions develop rather quickly between Chay and K.C. They recognize early on that something about their attraction to each other is different than anything they’ve experienced before, and they want to take a chance on a relationship. The switch from summer fling to full on relationship is something I wish had been explored just a bit more. As a novella, it’s already a pretty short read, and it seemed like one minute K.C. was debating whether or not to give Chay a chance, and the next she’s willing to change her future plans to accommodate him into her life for the long haul.

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What I particularly liked about this novella is that it wasn’t just a summer romance. It was also a summer for growing up, and this applied to both our lead characters. K.C. has come to Wyoming to get a break from her overbearing parents. She feels she has to do what they say as they paid for her undergraduate education, and will soon be paying for her MA degree and living expenses for graduate school in New York City. Definitely a pretty penny right there! Her time with Chay though shows her that some things are worth fighting for, and she’s willing to break out on her own from her parents if it means a possible future with the cowboy.

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Chay too grows as a person during his summer with K.C. He’s finally willing to give his heart to a woman, and take a chance on love. As the novella progresses it seems damn near impossible that they’ll end up together considering everything standing in their way. Will she give up school to be with him? Will the rugged cowboy take on the skyscrapers of the Big Apple? Can they try a long distance relationship for two whole years? And then you have K.C.’s high class parents who decide to come out West for a little visit with their daughter. What else could possibly happen?

*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Heart of the Boy, book 1. I can’t wait to see what happens next in this series.

Should you read it? I think I would have preferred if this were a full length novel instead of a novella. While I really did love the story and the delightful characters, I also couldn’t help but feel that certain elements were a bit too rushed. From the romance itself to some interesting dramatic moments, I guess I just wanted more! I’m really looking forward to the next book in the series though, which will be full-length and continue on in the romance between our city girl and her cowboy.

Smut Level: Nothing too scandalous.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $0.99 Kindle Price. Amazon Digital Services LLC. 94 Pages.

 

West of Forgotten by Lynda J. Cox

A secluded Wyoming ranch set in the middle of nowhere. Sounds like the ideal place for romance to bloom. I seriously need to take a trip to Wyoming.

What’s it About? 

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Banished from civilization to the Wyoming Territory, U.S. Marshal Harrison Taylor holds a deed to half the Lazy L. He isn’t sure why his beautiful new partner, Rachel Leonard, doesn’t trust him. He has to convince her he is nothing like the man who abused her and must earn her trust before the escalating attacks at the Lazy L turn deadly. For six years, Rachel has worked to repair a shattered life. Caring for her son and invalid father leaves little time to keep the Lazy L profitable. She doesn’t want a business partner simply because her father gambled away half of her beloved ranch and most certainly doesn’t desire a husband. Unfortunately, she’s stuck with the former and can’t trust Harrison as the latter. Unless she can learn to trust Harrison, everything and everyone Rachel loves will be lost.

First Impressions

The first half of this novel is all about Rachel and Harrison developing trust in their relationship. She’s been hurt before, and anyone who comes into both her and her son’s lives needs to earn her trust. Harrison is just the man to exhibit the necessary patience to win her over. Upon meeting the tantalizingly beautiful single mother, Harrison is determined that rather than take over the ranch completely, he wants to help her see it thrive again. To do so he determines their best option is to marry. Not only will it silence the gossips in town to see a man living with Rachel, but it also ensures she’ll get the entire ranch should something ever happen to him.

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Beyond just trusting him from a business partner standpoint, Rachel must also learn to trust him physically. She shies away from his every touch with fear in her eyes over what happened at the hands of his brother years before. Although their trust comes slowly, I must say it was built unbelievably well, with a hint of reality to it. It’s not like one day Rachel is wary of the stranger on her front porch, and the next she simply decides her fate is sealed and she’ll throw caution to the wind by trusting him completely. By developing it slowly over time their relationship is stronger for it, as it is built on something more stable and important than physical desire.

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A Troubled Past

I definitely appreciated this story emphasizing the importance of trust in a relationship, but in my opinion there was something which stood out even more. This is also a tale of survival. Rachel survived a horrific rape and abuse at the hands of a man who had the ability to charm an entire city into believing his version of events over hers. It was truly frightening to see how people treated her in the aftermath, as though she were the one to blame. That she led him on. How nobody believed her save a select few.

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What sickened me even more was to consider that this still happens today. This story might be set in the bygone era of the Wild West, yet it’s underlying horrors are still present. Rachel was ostracized from the community, but the one shining light throughout it all were those select few who believed in her. Although not related by blood, they were her family, and were willing to do anything to protect her and her son from the dangers of the world. Rachel is a strong, admirable lead character who drew on the love of her friends to help raise her son, and she could stand up to anyone who dared cross their path. Including a sexy U.S. Marshal.

*A copy of this novel was provided for an honest review*

Series: Stand-alone

Should you read it? Yes! This novel isn’t just a tale of blossoming love. As Rachel receives threatening notes, and her ranch is plagued by arson, we discover that her abuser has returned. She must face her fears all over again, but this time she has Harrison by her side. An intense finish that will have you holding your breath and clenching your toes in anticipation. At least…that’s what I do when I get anxious reading a book!

Smut Level: Harrison is the ideal. He helps Rachel live her life again. He pushes her, but not too much. Harrison lets her make her own decisions, but helps to nudge her in the right direction. He also helps her explore her sexuality, and learn that there’s no shame in pleasure. They take things slow, but Harrison manages to seduce her with words, and holy hell is that man a smooth talker and sexy grinner extraordinaire!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $4.99 Kindle Price. The Wild Rose Press, Inc. 318 Pages.

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A Road Paved in Copper by Angela Christina Archer

A historical western romance that sets the glimmering city of San Francisco against the harsh desert of Nevada.

What’s it About?

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Armed with her six-shooter, Ava De La Vega dips the pen into the inkwell and etches her name on the Esmeralda County tax record book. A formidable force, that’s what her peers have called her. The woman in a man’s world, what did she know of mining ore, silver, and copper? Plenty. And it’s this knowledge that makes her of the richest miners in Nevada in 1903. Of course, it also makes her a target.

Traveling back and forth from Tonopah, Nevada and San Francisco, Ava blazes the trail from the dirt and grime of her mines to the fanciest hotel rooms, enjoying the finest wines, the most decadent meals, and the company of attractive young men. Unfortunately, for Ava, she doesn’t see Craig Harrison coming.

A miner from the snowy Klondike, Craig has traveled from the harsh Canadian mountains down to city streets of San Francisco. Not looking for work, he’s happy with the comfortable life away from the deep mines, the dirt, and the ever sought-after gold. Unfortunately, for Craig, he doesn’t see Ava coming.

First Impressions

This female lead is a bad ass! LOVE her!! Ava has distinguished herself in the male dominated world of mining. She’s more successful than her male counterparts, and not afraid to stand up for herself. Unlike most historical romances, Ava admits very early on in our tale that she’s no virgin. Although she works in the dirt and grime of Nevada’s desert mines, Ava also delights in her trips to San Francisco, where she can indulge in the company of a new man every time. No attachments, no expectations. However, upon first meeting Craig she immediately recognizes that there’s something different about him. He’s no one night stand. Rather than treat him as such, they actually refrain from intercourse for quite some time, even though they are both brimming with sexual need. Talk about willpower!

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From Harsh Desert to Glimmering City

A particular feature of this novel which was rather clever was that it managed to twist your initial assumptions and expectations of both the main character, and even the setting of the book itself. Ava embodies this perfectly, as she herself appears to be a contradiction in terms. She is one of the only women in this small mining Nevada town who can hold her own, and is in no way a damsel in distress. She can shoot a gun and kick a man where it counts, so you sort of have this initial impression that she’ll be kind of a tomboy.

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However, that all changes when she leaves the harsh desert of Nevada behind for the bright lights and busy streets of San Francisco. While she loves getting her hands dirty in Nevada, she loves to indulge herself in luxuries and feminine clothing when in the city. It almost seems like we are dealing with two different personalities in one woman, but we find that she manages to maintain her moxie whether surrounded by the elegance of the city or the ruffians of the mining town. The ability of the author to provide us a glimpse into two such distinct worlds is truly commendable.

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The Allure of the Land

Certain passages within this book were utterly poetic. One section which particularly resonated was when Craig describes both the allure and dangers of mining. How the earth holds such wondrous secrets and wealth, but it’s just out of reach from those who are searching for it. The bounty of the land can dry up at any time. At one point, the mines are even compared to a woman who makes you work for her pleasures; playing a teasing game with her suitor before giving up her secrets. Phenomenal metaphor!! It really made me wish part of the story could have been told from Craig’s point of view, so that we could better understand the intricacies of his own character.

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Another eloquent passage presents us with Ava as she contemplates whether or not to reveal the secret details of her troubled past to Craig. On the one hand, she wishes to keep some of her foolish girlhood decisions a secret from this man she has come to love. Senseless choices which she realizes she would never commit now as an informed adult. On the other hand, the grown woman in her wants to tell him, to admit the mistakes of her past and move on. Unfortunately Ava’s built up so many walls around herself in the attempt to keep herself safe, and ensure that only she will know the errors of her ways. This is probably a debate which many of us have faced at some point in our lives, and makes her character even more relatable.

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*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: I would actually love to read some kind of short story or sequel to this one, but it looks like a stand-alone.

Should you read it? This book definitely starts with a bang! Ava’s enemies are trying to steal her land claims through force, and she finds herself in the cross hairs of a wild west shootout. After that initial drama the middle section was pretty mellow. If the suspense had carried more throughout the entirety of the book it could have made a positive difference. It all comes together though for an unbelievably intense ending that left me a mess of tears.

Smut Level: Craig has an appetite for this headstrong woman, so he enjoys her on the kitchen table. Hint hint, wink wink. Nothing too explicit or detailed as far as smut.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Long Valley Press. 238 Pages.

Little Red by Caroline Lee

Alright, before we even get started with the review, I think we all need to take a moment to fully appreciate the sheer beauty of this cover art. Seriously, just look at it! The juxtaposition of the red cape against the white backdrop; the flow of the cape that makes you want to reach out and touch it. I wonder if I could get away with wearing a cape like that?

What’s it About?

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She’s gone over the river and through the woods, but who will protect her from the Big Bad Wolf? Rojita is in trouble; all she needs to do is get to her grandmother in Everland, but she’s being chased by El Lobo, one of the West’s most notorious gunslingers. It isn’t until she’s thrown herself head-long into danger that she realizes the old adage about frying pans and fires applies. She’s in desperate need of a protector, and hires the first man who comes along to get her safely to Everland.

Bounty hunter Hank Cutter is more than ready to retire to a lonely little cabin in Arizona, to hang up his gun and find peace. He’ll begrudgingly help the reckless young woman get to the nearest train station, because he figures she’d get into even more trouble on her own. But when El Lobo struts back into his life—Hank still has the scars from their last encounter—he knows that he can’t leave Rojita at the gunslinger’s mercy. Maybe he’s nobler than he’d thought, because he’s soon setting a trap to save the lovely, impetuous Red. The only problem is that she’s still keeping a secret that could destroy his trust.

First Impressions

I’ll admit, I really do love a fairy-tale adaptation. I grew up reading fairy-tales. Looking back I can’t really say I was drawn to the princess finding her happily ever after with Prince Charming per se. Rather, I loved the locations. The adventure! Growing up in suburban Ohio, basically any story that took me to another part of the world was a plus. When it came to this adaptation of the classic “Little Red Riding Hood” tale, there was an added unique feature of the story being transported to the Wild West. Gunslingers and all! It was such fun to see the mention of other classic fairy-tale characters as well, from Aurora to Snow White! Then when our main characters arrive in the small town of Everland, we see classic elements drawn into the names of streets and houses too. So cute!

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Classic Western and a Classic Tale

I will say I thought it was extremely unique to adapt a fairy-tale into a good ole’ western romance, with a bounty hunter, gunslinger, not to mention an orphanage that needs saving! I also enjoyed the interesting twist to catching our wolf. In this adaptation we see grandma is the one who dons the disguise instead of the other way around. That being said, I do feel that unfortunately some of the essential elements of the original story were lost in the adaptation.

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When I think of the original “Little Red Riding Hood” tale I think of two primary characters: Red and the Wolf. If I put more thought into it I remember the grandma. If I reaaaally push it I remember in some variations you have like, a huntsman, who helps Red kill the wolf and rescue grandma. In this version you have Rojita as Red, Hank as our manly hero, and grandma is, well…grandma. One character was noticeably absent though for a rather large portion of the book. The wolf!! Infamous gunslinger, El Lobo, is our villain, but he’s only in a few scenes and doesn’t actually appear until a large portion of the book is already finished. Kind of disappointing.

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Series: Everland Ever After, book 2.

Should you read it? Not a whole lot of action until the very end. We also don’t really understand the full connection of the characters and the villain until pretty late in the game. I did enjoy the unique take on this fairy-tale, but I wish it had drawn a few more elements from the classic telling.

Smut Level: Clean read. No sex, yet still full of passion!

Get it on Amazon:  Click Here. FREE. Amazon Digital Services LLC. 164 Pages.

Seize the Flame by Lynda J. Cox

Alright, I’m gonna try my best to stay reserved with this review, and keep my emotions in check. I loved it, I loved it, I LOVED IT!!! Wow. Didn’t really succeed in that attempt, did I?

What’s it About?

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Jessica Depre’s life is in tatters. She’s on the run, thanks to her abusive husband Robert, who needs to silence her about his criminal escapades and the part he forced her to play in them. When bounty hunter Drake Adams walks into the boarding house where she works, Jessica slips away into the night. Her only hope of surviving and protecting those she loves from her husband’s rage is to vanish forever.

Unable to accept that the only woman he ever loved left him standing at the altar and married another, Drake Adams has given up a good law practice in the Wyoming Territory. If he’s not hunting down bounties, he’s pursuing the bottom of a bottle of bourbon. When Drake learns his former fiancée, Jessica Majors-Depre, has a price on her head, he decides he will collect the reward.

Can the bounty hunter and the bank robber ignite a future from the ashes of their past when they are trapped by a blizzard in a mountain shack or will playing with fire burn them both?

First Impressions

In case you didn’t catch on earlier, I absolutely loved this book. From start to finish, prologue to epilogue, the entire book comes full circle and holds your interest throughout. It has everything you could possibly hope for in an exciting western romance: a brooding bounty hunter, a brave woman on the run from an abusive husband, and the two of them trapped together in an isolated cabin during a snow storm. Well hello sexual temptation, so nice to see you again!

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A Connection Through History

Good God the connection between these two characters is phenomenal. They have a history together, one that met with an unfortunate end due to a devastating misunderstanding. When Drake discovers that Jessie is wanted for murder, he is determined to bring in the woman who ran away from him on their wedding day. But when he hears her own telling of events, he realizes that things might not be as simple as they seem, and that the two of them have some unfinished business to attend to. And clothing to remove.

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A Hateful Villain

Another great aspect of this novel is that it contains a villain you’ll hate with every fiber of your being. Jessica’s husband is a disgusting piece of work who is just pure evil. The author does an amazing job at creating such a despicable character with absolutely zero redeeming qualities. We know it’s just a matter of time before this scum bucket catches up with our lead characters, and when he does the novel is thrust into a whole new level of intensity! You just don’t know who will come out of it alive.

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*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Nope

Should you read it? If you’re looking for an engaging historical romance with a great blend of intrigue and sexiness, then you should definitely pick it up.

Smut Level: A fire isn’t the only thing keeping these two warm during a Wyoming snow storm.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $0.99 Kindle Price. The Wild Rose Press, Inc. 182 Pages.

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Over the Top by Rebecca Zanetti

The sexual tension between these two has been simmering throughout the entire series, and it has finally boiled over the top!

What’s it About? 

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Dawn Freeze had a huge crush on Hawk Rain for years, and the entire town knows it. It’s understandable―the man is total hotness. That tall, lean body. Intense dark eyes. And always one foot out the door. Now he’s on leave for exactly one week. And this time, he’s made it crystal clear that he only wants one thing. Her.

Hawk’s been fighting his attraction to Dawn for as long as he can remember. She’s his best friend’s little sister, and that means hands-off. Except now she’s all grown up, and her sweet sexiness is exactly what he craves. But just as Hawk allows himself one mindblowingly intense night with Dawn, he learns that everyone he loves is in danger. Especially her. And the only way to protect Dawn is to push her away…

First Impressions

I have been waiting for this story of forbidden love since book one, and I am beyond thrilled that I finally got to read it! Overall this entire series was funny, sexy, full of lovable characters, and this last book was no exception. The drama was probably the most far-fetched of the bunch, and kind of hard to believe. Hawk is determined to bring a person from his military team to justice for selling drugs, but his continued involvement in the whole ordeal and determination to always catch the bad guy was kind of frustrating after a while. Mainly because it meant he would have to put his relationship with Dawn on hold, and he’s been doing that for years already.

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No Point in Hiding

I adored the fact that Hawk and Dawn initially wanted to keep their new sexual relationship a secret since Dawn’s brothers have always disapproved of her getting involved with the troubled soldier. However, they quickly admit to themselves that trying to keep a secret in their small town is impossible. Dawn immediately confesses to her group of girlfriends that the plethora of rumors about Hawk’s sexual prowess were all true, and Hawk can’t lie to Dawn’s brothers who have treated him like a brother of their own since childhood. After a quick punch to his face, all is well, and they accept the fact that their friend is dating their little sister.

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Dawn and Hawk’s close friends aren’t the only ones who are aware that something is going on of a sexual nature behind closed doors. Two of the local towns ladies, Mrs. Hudson and Mrs. Poppins, take a particular interest in their relationship, and are so inappropriate and adorable I can’t even handle it. The scene where they present a bag of “goodies”, aka sex toys, for Dawn to use with Hawk is particularly hilarious. You can’t help but love their imposition into the goings on between Dawn and Hawk in the bedroom.

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Series: Maverick Montana, book 4. A delightful end to the series.

Should you read it? I would recommend this series if you are looking for a contemporary romance between a man who can ride a horse, and a woman who can ride that man. Books 1 and 2 were probably my favorites, but each one is full of sexy fun times, and great characters.

Smut Level: Hawk is a kinky son of a gun. He’s more than happy to give Dawn a spanking, and tie her up with a silk scarf. This man’s got skills.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. Entangled: Brazen. 214 Pages.

Rising Assets by Rebecca Zanetti

I’d have to say this was probably my least favorite of the Maverick Montana series so far. That being said, I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

What’s it About? 

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Melanie Jacobs is in trouble. With three jobs—including running her ranch—and dwindling funds, she’s exhausted. Not to mention desperately trying to hide a secret. Unfortunately, her best friend Colton Freeze knows all too well that’s something is going on, and he won’t give up until he knows exactly what he needs to fix.

Then Colton learns the truth—that Melanie’s future happiness rests in the fickle hands of fate, and her chances for having a family are shrinking with every passing day. Her only comfort is Colton, but when a heated argument between them turns into an even hotter kiss, the boundaries of their friendship are erased, leaving only a scorching-hot hunger for more. Every kiss—every touch—is a stolen pleasure. But will their new friends-with-sexy-benefits arrangement bring them closer together, or destroy everything they once shared?

First Impressions

Colton and Melanie have been friends forever. Everyone else thinks they should be more, but they simply haven’t had that “aha” moment yet. All it really takes is for Colton to see Mel working behind a bar in a short skirt, and he has his “aha” moment. Well, that and thinking she’s pregnant with another man’s baby. As with the previous novels, the townspeople of Maverick are an absolute hoot, and they really go above and beyond in this one. They all have a town pool going as to when Mel and Colt will finally profess their love for one another, and throughout the whole book you wonder who is collecting the bets. Such dastardly fun.

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Running in Circles

Melanie actually isn’t pregnant with another man’s child. Unfortunately she has endometriosis, and her window to have a child of her own is getting smaller and smaller every day. Initially, Colton is going to take her to a sperm bank, then he offers to impregnate her himself, then she says no, then yes, and there was so much back and forth I wanted to scream, “Oh just do it already!” So about half-way through the book they finally do it. On the floor.

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Another argument they constantly dance circles around is their friend Hawk. The three of them have always been the best of friends, and both Melanie and Colton use their relationship with Hawk as a reason to not get involved. Honestly, I had some difficulty following their line of reasoning. Hawk is constantly out of town on lengthy missions for the military, so it’s not like they are all together 24/7, or that they would somehow spend less time together were Mel and Colt to get together. That being said, I must say I enjoyed all of the threesome jokes that Hawk made about the whole situation.

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Series: Maverick Montana, book 3.

Should you read it? Still a good read even though it wasn’t my favorite. I think the dramatic side story wasn’t as interesting as the other books, and wasn’t fully explored or explained. Basically Colt made some bad investments with the family’s money, but they all still support him.

Smut Level: Colt definitely has a rising asset in his jeans, if you know what I mean!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. Entangled: Brazen. 212 Pages.

Under the Covers by Rebecca Zanetti

The first book in this series was called Against the Wall. Which makes sense. They did it against the wall. This one is called Under the Covers, but I can’t say for sure that our lovebirds actually ever had sex under the covers. They do it on the porch, the dining room table, against his truck in the rain, etc. Not that I’m complaining or anything.

What’s it About? 

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The small Montana town near the Kooskia reserve seemed like the perfect place for Juliet Montgomery to hide from her not-so-law-abiding family. But when her peace is shattered by a break-in and threatening phone calls, it’s clear someone back in New York knows where she is. It’s time to plan her getaway, and fast—but first, she needs to tie up a few loose ends. Namely, finding out exactly what the town’s sexy cowboy sheriff is hiding in his holster…

Sheriff Quinn Lodge has enough demons of his own to know when someone’s hiding something. Clearly, he needs to do a thorough investigation to uncover what’s beneath Juliet’s uptight, city-girl exterior—preferably one piece of clothing at a time. But when their chemistry goes from fizzy to full-on explosive, things start getting complicated. How can Juliet stay beneath the covers with Quinn, when doing so means blowing her cover?

First Impressions

This book was even steamier than the first one! As Sheriff, Quinn has a commanding presence, strong muscles, and isn’t afraid to give orders, both in and out of the bedroom. He also has a pair of handcuffs that he can use at a moment’s notice if he wanted to. The passion between Juliet and Quinn is literally bursting at the seams. Or maybe that’s just a special weapon that Quinn keeps hidden in his pants. That’s right, I made a penis joke.

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Similarities and Differences

I love that we get to see some of the same characters from book one, including the kooky townsfolk who aren’t afraid to “interfere” in bringing our couple together. The concept of living in a small town where you know just about everybody can be such a charming concept at first, but this book shows you the comedic ramifications to that small town feel.

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Although we are presented with many of the same characters from the first novel, the story line is very distinct. I really did enjoy this book, but I think I liked the dramatic aspect from the first book better. Call me crazy, but I felt it was more believable to have a possible golf course threaten the peace and serenity of this small town in book 1, rather than Juliet being on the run from her mob family in book 2.

Series: Maverick Montana, book 2. This is the kind of series where technically you don’t have to read them in order, but I think you’ll connect more with the characters if you do.

Should you read it? I’m finding myself mildly addicted to this series. And by “mildly addicted” of course I mean I’m considering reading this on my computer at work.

Smut Level: Quinn is a full on alpha male. He’s nothing but truthful when he tells Juliet that he’ll have her begging for it, and that she’ll like every minute of it. Heaven’s to Betsy!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. Entangled: Brazen. 218 Pages.


Have a Little Faith by Michele Solano

This book made me want to visit Wyoming. That’s saying something! Up until now I’ve always thought of Wyoming as one of those square-shaped states somewhere in the middle of the US. Also, can we all just sit and appreciate the cover art for a moment. Ah. Okay, thanks, moving on.

What’s it About? 

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Alexandra Orsini loved her life in Seattle. Owner of her own financial advisory firm, enjoying all of the spoils the city has to offer, the last place she expected to be was on a ranch in the middle of Wyoming. But when her mentor calls in a favor to ask her to help out his oldest friends save their ranch called Michaels Mob, she simply can’t say no. Alex was ready to help a failing business, was ready for the challenge of the mid-western countryside, but she was not ready for Clayton Michaels. An angry cowboy, and father of two, seems hellbent on saving his ranch on his own. He got his family into this mess, and he’s too proud to let anyone help him, let alone some big city accountant who knows nothing of life on a ranch. Urban passion meets country pride in this story of family, devotion, and love. Can the cowboy get out of his own way to let the city girl help him? Will the fire that ignites between these two burn bright enough to save the Michaels Mob, or will it burn it to the ground?

First Impressions

Alright, Clay is almost too talented. He used to be a well-known bull rider, he can sing, play the guitar, sculpt with metal, and is an amazing lover. He’s also a loving father, and a cowboy. However, he isn’t perfect! He might just be one of the moodiest male characters I’ve ever come across. He has a crazy temper, pouts like a 6-year-old, doesn’t share his feelings, and either wants to fight or have sex when he gets all riled up. That’s a recipe for some intense sex scenes right there, that’s what that is.

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How About…

The absolute best part of this book was Clay’s kids, Colt and Cam. They are so freakin’ adorable I think my biological clock actually thought about ticking. Cam especially was a delight with his constant negotiating to get his way by employing the phrase, “Okay, but how about…”, you sing one more song, she stays just a bit longer, etc.

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Clay’s kids may have been adorable, but his relationship with Alex was pretty frustrating. They really butted heads at first, and he’s so stubborn in not wanting to accept any of her help after he made such a stupid mistake to get the family’s ranch in trouble. Not only did his moods fluctuate, but so did Alex’s strength. At first she shied away from Clay’s temper, but then she decided to stand up to him; she’d have a panic attack over a corrupt businessman foiling her attempts to save the ranch in one scene, but then call the Feds on him in the next. Towards the end of the novel she even broke down and begged on her knees for Clay not to leave her. Come on woman! Channel your inner Amazonian, and be someone we can all look up to.

A Fizzling Intensity

The arrival of city-girl Alex on a Wyoming ranch was pretty interesting, and the end of the novel was quite dramatic to the point where I got fidgety wondering what was going to happen. The middle though was a bit boring at times. Probably had something to do with Alex and Clay having the exact same repetitive and rambling arguments over and over again. Let’s move on people! The end does get pretty intense as outside forces meddle with Alex and Clay’s attempts to save the ranch. Everything sort of builds up to a point where you wonder whether good or evil will prevail, and then things just kind of fizzle out into nothing. I was expecting some kind of big final climax or confrontation, but it never really comes.

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*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Michaels’ Mob series, book 1. If book 2 follows Clay’s best friend Jace I will definitely give it a try. I have a feeling that man is a walking sex fiend.

Should you read it? It was definitely an interesting story, as you wonder how they’ll be able to save the ranch, and if Alex will give up her city life for Clay and his boys. It was frustrating at times though when Clay kept trying to push Alex away.

Smut Level: Their 1st sex scene was by far the best. They are in the middle of a heated argument, screaming at each other, when their passion ignites. After that they have some mild love scenes which aren’t described in too much detail.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. Self-Published. 358 Pages.