Category Archives: Friends to Lovers

Thrill Ride by Julie Ann Walker (Book 4 Black Knights, Inc.)

Thrill Ride

3.25 stars

This is book four in the series.  While I love a book with a hint of danger, romance, and mystery, I just couldn’t seem to relate to the characters in this installment.  For me, this series was enjoyable until the last book.  I am not sure if I will continue with this series or not, but I certainly won’t be in any hurry for the next book.

I had nothing against rock, but I had major issues with Vanessa.  To be on a special ops team, Vanessa came across as immature and pathetic.  Although she is stubborn and refuses to give up on Rock, her character just wasn’t believable.  I did like how other characters from prior installments resurfaced, which did seem to keep the series real.  The narrator also did a good job at holding my interest.  Had I simply read this book the old fashioned way, I may not have given the same rating.  The ending of this book appears to set the stage for the next installment.

Thanks to Tantor Media for supplying this book in exchange for a honest review.  This review and others can be found at https://readingaroundthegenres.com

 

 

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The Protector (Sons of Texas #2) by Donna Grant

The Protector

4 stars

This installment starts right where book 1 left off so I highly suggest that you read that one first.  Marine Force Recon Captain Cullen Loughman receives word that his father has been kidnapped.  Cullen will do whatever it takes to locate is dad and bring him home.  In order to do so, he must team up with ex-Air Force pilot Mia Carter, who happens to be a stunning woman.  Mia was the last person to see Cullen’s dad before he disappeared.  The only problem is that Mia is neck deep in trouble dodging the cartel.  Cullen and Mia take the reader on a wild ride in order to locate Orrin.  Both the hero and the heroine are bad asses, but realize that they must trust the other in order to survive.  This is an excellent portrayal of love, loyalty, and trust.  Kudos to Ms. Grant for an excellent plot and  to Ms. Carly Robins who was an enjoyable narrator.  This reader especially enjoyed this installment and is looking forward to more!  Highly recommended!

Thanks to Tantor for giving me this audio in exchange for a honest review.

 

Hang Tough by Lorelei James (Book 8 Blacktop Cowboys)

Blacktop

 

This is book 8 in the Black Top Cowboys series. I have really enjoyed this series, and this one is one of my favorites of all the installments. I have been waiting on Tobin’s story forever and this was worth the wait! Both Tobin and Jade feel like misfits, which made the storline even sweeter. The characters were portrayed as realistic people, and their backgrounds were fully disclosed. Other characters from

Muddy Gap characters are introduced and other well loved ones returned for a cameo. If you haven’t read the series, that’s ok to read this as a stand-alone. However, reading the series in order will help with whose who!

Garnet Evans wants to protect her granddaughter and has Jade move in with her. Tobin, moves in to protect Mrs. G from being forced by her son into a home. Sparks immediately fly and some hot moments ensure the reader that this is going to be a hot ride! I just love the Mud lilies!

Shadows of the Past (Logan Point #1) by Patricia Bradley

Shadows of the past

3.5 stars

Taylor Martin is a psychology professor and part-time criminal profiler.  The only case that she can’t solve is of her missing father.  For twenty years, she has wondered what happened to him without a trace or any clues.  She is good at her job and knows it.  She does have self-doubt in her personal life where men are concerned.

In walks, or more accurately stalks, Nick Sinclair whose brother is accused of murder.  Nick is in desperate need of Taylor’s help in order to acquit Scott.  Nick’s wife died in an accident years before, and he has absolutely no plans to fall for Taylor.

This was a very slow character build.  Several other characters were introduced so this reader is sure that they will be front and center in future installments.  While the story was very clean (Christian novel), the particular writing style was not for me.   The narrator did an excellent job in switching back and forth between characters.  Thanks to Tantor Media for supplying me this audio in exchange for a honest review.

Morrison by MJ Fields and Chelsea Camaron

morrison

3.5 stars

Morrison Caldwell’s life has had challenges.  He and his brothers were raised by their abusive alcoholic father until Morrison made a life out of playing professional poker.  Known for his one night stands and fast cars, he had no intention of settling down until he met Hadley.  This high roller decided that he needed to protect Hadley from her abusive and savage husband.

Hadley married at 17 to repay a debt.  Her life has been reduced to a slave and does not trust easily due to her situation.  Morrison was very patient with Hadley and wanted to help her and her daughter.  At times, I wanted to shake her so that she could see how well that he was to her.  Slowly, Hadley did begin to trust Morrison.  This reader just had a difficult time seeing the romance between the two, and Morrison’s age was never disclosed.  I also had a difficult time with the return of Hadley’s husband and his compassion after seven years of severe abuse.

Thanks to Tantor Media for giving me this audio in exchange for a honest review.

 

Hidden Summit (#15 Virgin River) by Robyn Carr

hidden-summit

4 stars

Leslie Petruso has accepted a job in Virgin River with Haggerty Construction in order to get away from her ex-husband who just can’t stand that she is avoiding him.  With the help of Brie, Connor Danson is staying in Virgin River until a high profile trial that he is affiliated with is over.  He has changed his identity and is staying at one of the small cabins until his ordeal is over.  Both Leslie and Connor have been burned by love and vow to never fall for anyone again.

The good folks of Virgin River, however, can easily see the chemistry between the two.  Leslie and Connor begin to have deep feelings at the early onset of their relationship.  This reader was rooting for both with the hopes of a smooth transition between being Danny and now Connor.  Being in the wrong place totally uprooted Danny – aka Connor, and he is ready to put his life back together and be reunited with his sister and her twin boys.

This book was more emotional than the others.  While Ms. Carr has been introducing newbies to Virgin River, this one was the most dramatic.  The ended drew to a climax too quickly for this reader – thus the 4 stars.  Connor’s sister’s love issue was left wide open; thus, moving the reader into the next installment.

Nowhere to Hide by Lindsay McKenna (Delos #1)

nowhere-to-hide

3 Stars

This is the first book in the series, which this reader feels has potential.  Lia was brutally attacked five years ago while serving in the military.  Her distrust of men is warranted due to the attack.  Delos is an international organization formed and run by General Robert Culver and his wife Dilara.  This organization protects their employees and offers security.  Lia is currently working at a school in Costa Rica when a drug lord (Dante Medina aka ‘La Arana – The Spider) demolishes the school and kills teachers and students.  Cav is assigned from the Delos group to protect Lia, who is in imminent danger.  Upon first glance, Lia does not want Cav around her.  However, she quickly decides that she is in dire need of protection since Dante has a bounty on her head.

While Lia is still recovering emotionally from the brutal attack, Cav also has baggage from his childhood.  Understanding the reasoning’s behind both holding back from accepting each other was a requirement in flushing out both characters.  However, their past kept creeping up until this reader was tired of hearing about their issues.  Getting to know and trust each other was an extremely slow process and slowed the pace of the book.  Both of the characters definitely deserved their HEA, but there was less action and little romance.  I will continue with the series and see where the next couple of books takes me.

Thanks to Tantor Media for supplying this book in exchange for a honest review.

No Limit by L.P. Dover (Armed and Dangerous #1)

lp-dover

5 Stars

This is my first read by this author but certainly not my last.  This book can be read as a stand alone but also as part of the series.  Jason Avery is an undercover agent who prefers to work alone.  He can be an arrogant and jealous man at times but his very loyal.  Jason has never failed a case and puts everything he has into solving murders.  Jason is assigned to a case in Los Vegas  where a madam is found dead. Now, Jason has a serial killer on his hands who is killing prostitutes.  So far, there are no leads and he must deal with the ladies that worked for the madam.

Aylee McFadden is a FBI agent but doesn’t look the part.  Jason and Aylee were asked to team up to help solve the case of the missing and now murdered madam.  Both Jason and Aylee are not happy to be working together and are constantly showing their dislike towards each other.  However, both agree that in order to solve this case they must work together.  Being in close proximity for so long, they begin to show feelings towards each other.  Jason is the first to speak up and tell Aylee that he does care for her. Because of Jason’s new found love for Aylee, he becomes extremely protective.

Once I started this book, I was not able to put it down.  I love a good mystery, and I kept trying to decide who the murderer was.  I didn’t know until the end of the book, which also came with a twist.  Aylee and Jason were incredible characters, and the chemistry between the two was extremely hot.  I will definitely continue with this series!

Thanks to Tantor for giving me this book in exchange for a honest review.

 

Slightly Married by Mary Balogh

slightly-married

3 Stars

This storyline is nothing new but is sweet nonetheless.  This is the first installment of the Bedwyn series. Colonel Lord Aidan Bedwyn made a promise to a dying captail in the French Army that he would take care of the solder’s spinster sister.  However, Eve Morris refuses any help from Aidan even though her world is crashing down on her.  Eve’s repulsive cousin Cecil, is about to throw her and her unusual “house guests” out in the streets without some assistance.  Aidan vows to honor his promise to Captain Morris and weds Eve as a matter of convenience.  Even though Eve is in love with a missing neighbor, she agrees to the marriage in order to save her home.  In the process, both Eve and Aiden realize that the marriage may not simply be one of convenience.

This is a well written and beautiful story of love surrendered.  I have read several of Ms. Balogh’s books and really enjoy how she not only fleshes out the characters but allows the reader to make up their own mind if the characters are worthy or not.

Thanks to Tantor for sending me this audio in exchange for a honest review.

 

From This Moment by Elizabeth Camden

from-this-moment

4.50 Stars

I always enjoy reading historical romances, and this one certainly did not disappoint.  A major difference in “From This Moment” is the location.  The backdrop is the building of the first subway system in Boston.  Romulus White has wanted Stella West to work for his magazine for three years.  Stella is an artist, but her mind is distracted looking for the person who killed her sister Gwendolyn.  Evelyn, who is Romulus’ cousin and co-owner of the magazine reunites with her estranged husband Clyde. When Clyde shows up working on the subway, Evelyn is determined to stay away from him.  When an accident occurs, Clyde and Evelyn come back together.

I loved all of the characters.   Romulus and Stella were both stubborn, and the author did an excellent job in using this to her advantage.  Gwendolyn’s spirit was well played, and her parents as secondary characters really brought out the personalities of both Stella and Gwendolyn.   The suspense began building up from the beginning of the book until the end.  I also didn’t realize that this was book 2 of a series.  Obviously, this could be read as a stand-alone.  I am definitely going to read more from this author and narrator.

Thanks to Tantor for giving me this audio in exchange for a honest review.

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