Return to peaceful Crossroads, Texas, where community comes first and love thrives in the unlikeliest places…
Yancy Grey is slowly putting his life back together after serving time for petty theft. As he rebuilds an old house, he finally has a sense of stability, but he can't stop thinking of himself as just an ex-con. Until one night, he finds a mysterious dark-haired beauty hiding in his loft. But who is she, and what secret is she protecting?
The art gallery Parker Lacey manages is her life—she has no time for friends, and certainly not lovers. But when her star artist begs Parker for help, she finds herself in a pickup truck, headed for the sleepy town of Crossroads. A truck driven by a strong, silent cowboy…
Gabe Snow has been a drifter since he left Crossroads at seventeen after a violent incident. When he accepts a job in his hometown, he'll have to decide whether he can put the worst night of his life behind him and build a future in the community that raised him.
Such an enjoyable story filled with life, love, friends, and neighbors, a little intrigue, and danger, some heartbreak, and sorrow, and lots of delightful characters in several parallel storylines. My heart was in the story, and at the end, it was filled with joy.
I have been following the series from Crossroads, Texas, and even though this book continues with the loves and lives of the townfolks, it can easily be read as a standalone book, the author gives a great background information to the events before, without making it sound like repetition for those who have read the previous novels.
Yancy has always been one of my favorite characters from the town, from the first moment he stepped out of the bus in the first book, I found his character compelling, his kindness and thoughtfulness admirable, him deserving all the goodness and happiness coming to his way.
The different couples, the different storylines running parallel in the novel, are well built with details and fine points, so well plaited together, they fit seamlessly in-between the same covers. Each story unique, but with the same theme of finding love in the unexpected places and with people from very different walks of life. Yet finding the tune, the connection, the chemistry, and making it work, finding the compromises. There was laughter with the delectable dry humor the author drizzled into the tale, there were tears with the stories of the hard knocks of life, but mainly there was joy and jubilee of finding your place in this world, and tales of the sometimes awkward and amusing, but always thrilling and fascinating moments of falling in love and loving life.
I loved how this tale was flowing off the pages, so well crafted, alluring and delicate, and somehow ageless, pulling me into the world of Crossroads, and holding me there, mesmerized, till the very end of the tale.
~ Five Spoons
Children’s Book / Picture Story Book
Date Published: April 14, 2016
Birdie and his friends are back!
All of Birdie's friends in the town of Ponderville are in for a treat. Someone new is moving to Ponderville!
In this second picture book by Cindy Helms, everyone is curious to see who could possibly be their new neighbor. Part mystery and part matching game, Birdie and his friends track down and reveal “Who's New” with intriguing shapes leading the way.
How well the newcomer will fit in? Will Ponderville be welcoming
Cindy Helms is a visual artist, author and illustrator known for designing unusual projects. For Cindy, art is created from curious and whimsical combinations of shapes, textures and colors. In her unique and simple children’s books, Cindy’s art work comes to life in characters that enchant children and adults alike.
Cindy lives in the Denver, CO area with two artistic boys and two fat black cats. She loves road trips, camping and discovering new places.
#1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Linda Lael Miller— the First Lady of the West—regales readers with ALWAYS A COWBOY (HQN Books, September 2016), the second book in The Carsons of Mustang Creek trilogy. Set just outside the rugged Wyoming town of Mustang Creek, the contemporary romance series features the three sons of a prominent ranching family and the feisty women who show these headstrong cowboys what true grit really is.
There’s nothing that loner Drake Carson enjoys more than the quiet solitude of his family’s sprawling Wyoming ranch— especially when he finds himself closing in on a herd of wild horses, brazenly led by the rogue stallion that’s been wreaking havoc all over the ranch for years.
Drake is determined to settle things with his untamed adversary once and for all. But when a young woman suddenly appears, yelling at Drake, the spooked herd thunders away, leaving a stunned Drake wondering who this reckless intruder is and how soon he can get rid of her.
Grad student Luce Hale has come all the way to Mustang Creek from California, researching interactions between wild horses, domesticated animals and ranchers—and she intends Drake to be her case study. Drake is ready to send her packing until he learns that his mother has granted Luce unlimited access to their entire ranch and as much time shadowing Drake as she wants.
The last thing he needs is an enthusiastic greenhorn getting in his way—haphazardly chasing a herd of wild horses all over his property and unaware of the inherent danger. Unfortunately, he knows it’s up to him to stay close and keep Luce safe, no matter how much trouble she ends up causing him.
But Drake soon sees that Luce is a lot tougher and more capable than he thought. When he realizes that he actually prefers being with her over solitude, this lone wolf thinks he’s finally met the woman of his dreams.
Luce discovers that she has a weakness for hard-to-resist cowboys like Drake. But she also knows that Drake is an all-or-nothing kind of guy. Being with him means moving to Wyoming and leaving her life in California behind—including the dream job waiting for her there.
Luce and Drake both know the smart thing is for them to stay as detached as possible until she’s finished her research. But when danger threatens in the wild Wyoming country, Drake and Luce soon realize they’re prepared to sacrifice more for each other than they ever thought possible.
This edition of ALWAYS A COWBOY also features a personal essay by Linda Lael Miller—“Growing Up Western”—and an excerpt from FOREVER A HERO, the following book in The Carsons of Mustang Creek trilogy.
A lovely look at the life at the Mustang Creek where family matters, where the townsfolk take care of each other, and where the Carson brothers are finding love while living life to the fullest.
I enjoyed Luce and Drake, the way the interacted together, they way they respected each other and had only honesty and straight talk between them. From the first moment they are real with each other, and talk about issues that rise between them, without any drama and angst in the tale.
And even though the nature around them gives them challenges and fright, the affection between Luce and Drake grow and flourish. The story follows the couple's whirlwind romance from the meet-cute to the married life without any conflict or strife between them. From the big issues of Luce's future education and career, to the smaller ones they find a tune between them, and the normally silent cowboy is sharing ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
The family and life at the ranch are as important part of the story as it is in Carson's lives. The brothers constant bickering, and the housekeeper Harry's tight rules all tells of the love in-between the family members.
The story took me in, and I enjoyed the flow and life at the ranch, with the vivid images the author paints into the reader's mind. And even though many things were told in great detail, the growing of the relationship wasn't one of them. I was left wanting more details, fine points in their lives, more development as characters and as a couple.
So overall a smooth and mellow tale of the Carson family of the Mustang Creek, the rugged life on the ranch in Wyoming, and Drake and Luce finding the right person to do life with.
~ Four Spoons
The daughter of a town marshal, Linda Lael Miller is the #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than 100 historical and contemporary novels, most of which reflect her love of the West. Raised in Northport, Washington, the self-confessed barn goddess pursued her wanderlust, living in London and Arizona and traveling the world before returning to the state of her birth to settle down on a horse property outside Spokane.
Linda traces the beginning of her writing career to the day a Northport teacher told her that the stories she was writing were good, that she just might have a future in writing. Later, when she decided to write novels, she endured her share of rejection before she sold her first title to a publisher in 1983. Linda then
successfully published historicals, contemporaries, paranormals, mysteries and thrillers before coming home, in a literal sense, to concentrate on novels with a Western flavor. For her devotion to her craft, the Romance Writers of America awarded her their prestigious Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. In 2016 Linda will receive a Lifetime Achievement award from RT Book Reviews. Currently the Hallmark Movie Channel is developing a series based on Linda’s Big Sky Country novels.
For more information about Linda and her novels, please visit lindalaelmiller.com.
Meant to be Mine
Lisa Marie Perry
Guilty Pleasures series #1
August 30, 2016
Loving him was hard. Wanting him was so damn easy . . .
Sofia Mercer may have been sick as a teen, but she’s no delicate flower. And she’s proven it by making it on her own and starting a new life away from the town that turned against her, away from the boy who broke her already fragile heart. But when her aunt Luz dies unexpectedly, leaving Sofia with a mountain of regrets and the keys to a quirky boutique, Sofia has no choice but to return to Cape Cod. Only, this new life in her old town comes with complications.
Burke Wolf was Sofia’s first love—a relationship that burned bright and went up in flames. Seeing him again, Sofia can’t help but get caught up in that all-too-familiar tornado of passion and pain. He’s battled his own demons—that much is clear. But Sofia can’t afford to be careless with her heart . . . and loving Burke again might just break it completely.
Life certainly gets real, dire and frightful in this first story of the new series, where tomorrow is not foregone conclusion and every moment lived should be treated as an extra gift.
Sofia and Burke have a history, not just between them, but they both have overcome something spectacularly huge in their lives, more than once, more than one way and they are still just fighting for the survival, to make it for another day. And it is, or could be, heartbreaking and devastating, but for some reason, I had a hard time understanding the reasons behind their actions, thoughts, and reasoning. I kept going back and forth, trying to understand, but all the way to the end, the came of love-you-love-you-not kept me wondering, without never getting the answers or reasons I needed.
There are serious issues dealt with, drug abuse, domestic violence, child abuse, failing organs, just to mention some. Maybe there was too much tried to put into one story since it felt so out of focus at times.
The story does build a picture of the town and its inhabitants, with great details and many points of view, and unique characters, the set and the scene for the series is well set. Maybe a little too wide picture was painted, maybe the focus was a little spread out, but for those who loves rambling stories of small towns, and more than one storyline in one book, this might e a direct hit.
As I was reading the story, I was aware of the fact that 'it's not you, it's me' was happening. There were moments that I am sure some will find hilarious, but the humor didn't just connect with me. There was angst in the relationships and lives or the characters, but I didn't feel the connection to their anguish. So after I finished the story, I was aware that it was well written, and most likely will be loved by many yet I wasn't the correct target audience for this tale, as it didn't connect with me with anything deeper than being a good story with too much happening.
~ Three Spoons
She hid her scar behind her clothes, hid her sexual hunger behind mannequins in a window, but eventually, he would bring Sofia Mercer out of hiding.
Their lips parted and he traced a finger between her breasts, up the jagged trail of thick, knotted scar tissue. He wanted to see it, assure her it wasn’t ugly, but he’d given his word that he wouldn’t look, and he would kick his own ass before he violated that trust.
“It doesn’t feel ugly,” he said plainly. “I’ve got scars, too.”
“From fighting. This is different.”
What had she been imagining, all these years? Schoolyard brawls? A teenage fight club? Did she define him as someone so out of control that he’d gone searching for split lips, black eyes, and fractured ribs?
Yeah, it was different. Her scar was a result of a lifesaving medical procedure . . . not violence.
Laying his hand flat, he felt her heart pound quick and strong. Caught up in the moment, caught up in her, he whispered, “Losing you would’ve killed me.”
He felt her slip away from him before she moved a single muscle. When she did retreat, sliding off his lap, fixing her clothes, and raking an arm across her mouth, she said, “I told Abram we weren’t together. Was that a lie? Can we be together, Burke?”
“Casually, yeah. As friends, of course. But don’t rope me into more. It wouldn’t be good for you.”
“That’s not your call.”
“It is, though. Tell me something and be truthful about it. How many panic attacks have you had since coming back to town?”
“Uh-huh. And how many came on when I wasn’t near you?”
“Uh . . .”
“That’s my point. Think it’s a coincidence that your health teeters when I’m around? I’m harmful to you. I’ve known for a long time that I’m no good.” She didn’t know all the hell he carried. He’d do anything to spare her heart the burden of his skeletons.
“Stop it,” she whispered, getting to her feet. “You’d never hurt me.”
“Not intentionally, but the fact is I trigger something in you that you can’t physically handle. I meant what I said earlier—it would kill me to lose you. As much as I want you, and damn it, you know I do, I can’t keep putting you at risk.”
“Are you sure my health isn’t your excuse to justify walking away?” she challenged. “Hold me off, resist what’s good and real and permanent, then take off on your boat. That’s your plan, right?”
“It’s worked out nicely for years. You wouldn’t be the first woman to step back because she can’t handle my career. It’s dangerous, the hours can be shitty, and sometimes I can be on the water for weeks. I’d never ask you or anyone else to shut up and like it. If you want to bail now, I won’t hold it against you.”
“That does terrify me, but I’m not bailing. A career is one thing. Escape is something else altogether. I don’t think I can love you halfway—either I’m all in or I fold.”
Excerpted from MEANT TO BE MINE by Lisa Marie Perry. Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marie Perry. Used with permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.
Lisa Marie Perry encounters difficult fictional men and women on a daily basis. She writes sizzling, deep fiction featuring flawed heroes brought to their knees by the love of complicated women. She has received high praise from USA Today and has been nominated for an RT Book Reviews literary award. She lives in America's heartland, drives a truck, enjoys indie rock, collects Medieval literature, watches too many comedies, has a not-so-secret love for lace and adores rugged men with a little bit of nerd.
For laughs, randomness and occasional inappropriateness, visit LMP at www.perrytalebooks.com.
Website Facebook Twitter Pinterest Goodreads
A Calling It Novel
By: Jennifer Doyle
Releasing August 29, 2016
There are two things Max “Deke” Deacon can always count on: his old high school teammates and Fitz Hawkins. But no matter how much Deke might secretly fantasize otherwise, a relationship with one of his best friends is off limits. Until one unexpectedly smoldering encounter has Deke and Fitz looking at each other in a whole new way.
Angelica “Fitz” Hawkins knows for a fact that it is not better to have loved and lost. After losing her parents, she’d rather lock up her heart and throw away the key than endure that kind of pain again. If that means giving up any hope of a lasting relationship, then so be it.
With Deke, Fitz finally feels like she's back in the land of the living. But she won’t risk another broken heart—even if it means saying good-bye to Deke for good. It’s up to Deke to convince her that the safest place she could ever be is right here with him.
What a fun, adorable, and sexy story that had me from the first page, and left me swooning with the last scene. The characters captured my heart, there's a lot of them, all with their quirks, and I mixed them up for some time until they all started to line up correctly for me. But they are charming and likable, families of heart and blood, and they look out for each other and have each other's backs.
Deke and Fitz, they were just delightful! Best friends, the connection, the trust, the loyalty, the honesty, the adoration, the attraction, I loved every moment of it. And I understand the fear Fitz had about the possibility to lose their friendship if they messed up the burning attraction, so the back and forth they did for a considerable time was fine with me, since there was so much on the line, so much they could mess up and lose. And they have to work for it to find the peace and balance, and the courage to take the leap, but the wait is worth it.
Fitz's past, her family history, has always been something she felt the need to hide to survive. The bullies of the town were after her from the moment she arrived and seemed to be at it still years later. All those are issues Fitz has to deal with and solve, until she can move forward in life and live fully, love freely.
A small town with its charismatic folks, friends for life and families living and loving together, facing life's ups and downs together, little baseball, lot of blazing attraction, alluring secret affair, and love that makes you smile, sigh, and melts your heart. What a luscious tale, indeed!
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
“Hey, Dorie,” she heard from above her. “Do you know where Fitz wants these bottles of water?”
Speak of the devil. Fitz brought her head up a little too suddenly, banging it on the underside of the table. “Ouch!” Her hand going to the back of her head, she came up frowning, and...
Oh, God, was he this gorgeous before? Had he always smelled amazing?
Doing everything she could to keep herself immune from his physical charms, she spun on her heel. “Back here.”
Very specifically not looking in Deke’s direction so that she didn’t give anything away, she forced herself to act exactly as she always did around him. Except she suddenly couldn’t quite remember how that was. Did she flirt with him? Did she flat-out ignore him? Did she generally just go around in a state of low-level irritation? Because right now she had absolutely no clue.
She had even less of a clue as she bent down to open up the lid to the cooler and he crouched down next to her, his head so close all he’d need to do was turn it slightly to the left and his mouth would be on her breast.
And was that…?
Oh, hell, no, her nipples had not just hardened. She slapped her arms over her chest.
Because they had. And Deke, with his superhero sex god extra sensory perception, had definitely noticed. He at least had the decency to look down at the ground as he grinned.
“It’s the cold,” Fitz snapped. “From the cooler.”
Pushing the bottles down into the ice, Deke just answered, “You’d be amazed at all the bits and pieces I can warm up with my tongue.”
A big believer in happily ever afters, Jen Doyle decided it was high time she started creating some. Jen is a member of the Romance Writers of America, as well as a member of the New England, New Jersey Romance Writers and Music City Romance Writer chapters of RWA. She is represented by Sarah E. Younger of the Nancy Yost Literary Agency. She has an M.S. in Library and Information Science and, in addition to her work as a librarian, has worked as a conference and events planner as well as a Communications and Enrollment administrator in both preschool and higher education environments (although some might say that there is very little difference between the two; Jen has no comment regarding whether she is one of the “some”).
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter |GoodReads
By: Ada Frost
Releasing August 29, 2016.
This is my world, my kingdom. I sit on the throne and control the empire I created.
My skill? Providing illicit pleasure to thousands. If there is a fantasy to fulfil, my company will provide it.
I am the Porn Prince.
The cold hearted producer at Stone Industries who creates the hottest porn in the business.
But every ruler has an Achilles heel, and mine is chaos.
Abigail Warner is chaos.
From the moment she entered my office my world was turned upside down. She is my passion, my fantasy and everything I never wanted in life. The chaotic infuriating mess of a woman is everything I hate and avoid.
So why can’t I stop watching her.
Why do I crave her?
One taste and I know she will destroy me.
So a little bit about myself. I love to read, and create stories for others to enjoy. I've always been told I have a vivid imagination, I just lacked the confidence to pursue putting it onto the written page. But finally I embarked on making a single dream come true.
I love to read, and write. I only read romance, any in that genre really. But it has to have a beautiful happy ending, I know reality isn't like that, but I read to excape real life not re-live it. Reality is too broken and jaded without having to live through the trauma and angst in a book for it to end unhappily.
I live in Yorkshire, England with my family, and many pets. When I'm not writing I am a very busy mummy and wife. My family is my world, my purpose and I am proud to be a part of their lives.
Author Links Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
A covert ops specialist, a cyber-surveillance expert, and an unmatched international security and recovery pro. These are the men of Fortis. When money is no object, discretion is essential, and the police are not an option, the wealthy and powerful call on this trio of former government agents with elite military training—not to mention charm and good looks…
Samuel Mackenzie has his hands full with Fortis’ latest assignment. Their client is a European real estate investor who is trying to close a multi-million dollar acquisition. But a competitor is attempting to block the deal by any means necessary, including threats and vandalism that quickly escalate to life threatening assault. For Samuel it’s all in a day’s work—except for one unexpected twist…
The mission requires protective detail for the client and his mistress, who is also his personal assistant. But the mistress is Mikayla Cummings—the only woman Samuel has ever loved, and who always seems out of his reach. Yet things aren't what they seem. Because Mikayla has a hidden agenda of her own, one that puts her directly in the crossfire. Now Samuel will have one chance to save her life…and make her his forever.
Considering how much I usually enjoy romantic suspense, it is a surprise to myself that I didn't get into this story.
The suspense part of the story is well mapped out, the characters plan they steps ahead and those steps are constantly shared with the reader. Also, the recoup after doing research on the case, and those are shared as well. So you are constantly very much aware what is happening but it didn't draw my interest much.
The romance started in a way that I didn't like, she was cheating on his fiance and Sam had no idea she was engaged to be married - to his business partner. Also when they reconnect there is an assumption of having an affair with a married man. I tried not to let these facts cloud my mind, and it wasn't easy since the relationship lack trust, and without trust, you just don't have much of a relationship, just a physical attraction you are acting upon. It does develop during the last part of the story, giving it a little bit more foundation to built upon, but only after they start to be completely honest with each other, and that takes time.
Multi-layered deception and fraud nearly destroy a family, and foolheartedly Mikayla sets her eyes on getting the truth out by any means necessary, resorting to Sam's help when things get too hot to handle. I wish I could have enjoyed the story more, found the plot more interesting, and understood the reasoning behind the characters behavior better, but sometimes it just doesn't work that way.
~ Three Spoons
Welcome to Mountain Meadow, Virginia, where love is worth waiting for…
The town bad girl is back, and this time, Erin Richardson is in need of protection. Years ago, her youthful crush on handsome older man Sam Barnes nearly led to scandal. Now she’s on the run from an entirely different kind of trouble: a criminal intent on eliminating his witnesses—including Erin. As the local sheriff, Sam’s duty-bound to provide a safe haven. Though tongues will surely wag once Erin is sharing a house with the sexy lawman….
Erin is still too young, too vulnerable, and too irresistibly beautiful. But when Sam lays eyes on her again, all he wants to do is shelter her in his arms. It won’t be easy keeping her out of harm’s way. But it’ll be even harder keeping the woman he never forgot out of his bed—and his heart…
I don't know if a story has ever had me so conflicted about it as Erin's Way has managed to do. I have been thinking about it for awhile now, and I don't know what to say, so I am trying to just list what worked for me and what didn't.
I understand that the drug use was part of the story to show how low Erin had gotten in her life, to highlight the development she did through the story (that was admirable, by the way). I wish it would have been colored a little bit more on the negative side. Or maybe I should just say, I didn't like it.
The characters, all of them, really made me work to like them, to tolerate them, to understand them. Nothing in this story comes easily, you really have to work for it as a reader. There's nothing light and fluffy about this story, it goes deep, it opens up infected sores in the characters (and readers) minds and relationships, and it stinks at times, badly.
The way the family dysfunctioned, the way they treated Erin, was frustrating, annoying, and yet understandable. It was real, and it hurt with the rawness of it, to the bare bones it got, to the honest truth about family problems, not getting along, not liking someone or their behavior. At times I rooted for the family, at times for Erin, and at times I wanted to just walk away from the drama and angst because it got a little too real and authentic.
The attraction between Erin and Sam was difficult to accept. And yes, it is palpable, deep, amazing, special connection and understanding they have. BUT it started when she was 14 and he is 12 years older. So how do I rejoice in their newfound happiness, that they both so deserve and that took so much work to find when in the back of my mind is constantly the picture of the memory of their meeting when she was only 14? Not easy, I tell you.
Even though there're hints of the possible danger through the story, the emotional turmoil had me so in check, the action still took me by surprise. It is well played, and I think it was well dispensed as well compared to the rest of the story. It is heartbreaking, and turns the emotions towards the characters, for them instead of against them. So, well played by the author, and most likely the reason why I sit here so conflicted right now.
Did I enjoy the story, like it, was I entertained? Parts of it I couldn't stand, parts of it broke my heart, parts of it made me annoyed, parts of it got too close to home, parts of it was beautiful, touching, and parts of it sensual, and all of it made me think, and ponder, and evaluate, and wonder my own reactions, my own feelings, my own connection to the story, and why was it as it was. It certainly made an impact, it made an emotional connection, it most likely will stay with me for a long time, and the lessons the characters learned will be something I have to myself consider and speculate. Because it is the tough lessons that are worth the learning, I'll have to admit, this story is rather amazing in its brunt effect
~ Five Spoons
Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance
Date Published: May 15, 2016
Publisher: Fifth Ink Publishing
Jensen was the perfect boyfriend - or so Morgan thought. Left as collateral for his gambling debts, Morgan finds herself held captive by a group of "Rabid" werewolves and their overly eccentric leader, Greg. As if things couldn’t get any worse, she finds herself accidentally turned into one of them!
Enter Braedon. Tall, dark, devastatingly handsome. Braedon is the Alpha of his own pack of wolves who are determined to make Morgan one of their own. After saving her from the Rabids he takes it upon himself to train and prepare her for his pack’s mission, Plan A.
As a new pup, will Morgan be able to hold her own alongside the Alpha pack? Will her feelings for Braedon get in the way? Better yet, what the heck is Plan A?
The warmth of a fire warmed my body. It relaxed my muscles, for a brief moment made me forget all the horror I had experienced in the last week and a half…
“Where am I?!” I gasped, sitting straight up. I frantically scanned the room. It was a large apartment, decked in Modern Décor. In fact, the fire wasn’t a real fire after all. It was some sort of televised wall decoration with heat radiating from it. Beside the virtual fireplace, I was perched on a black leather couch, with my leg hung up in a makeshift leg suspension. Quickly, I propped myself up on my elbows. I looked around to make sure I was alone and once satisfied, I began fidgeting with my leg sling.
“I wouldn’t touch that if I were you.”
My hands immediately froze in place. “Who’s there?” I called out, attempting to hide the fear in my voice. When no one answered I reached for the sling. “Where are you?” I demanded, still struggling to free my foot from its new prison. “Great, finally escaped that stupid room and now I’m tied up in this place,” I muttered under my breath.
“You’re not exactly tied up,” the same voice chuckled.
At that moment I unclasped the sling. “Got it!” I exclaimed. My foot was freed and fell onto the couch. I yelped in pain and grasped my calf.
“Told you not to touch the sling.”
Still in pain, I pushed myself into a standing position. I scanned around, but once again saw that I was alone. Spotting the door, I limped my way towards the far end of the room. The smell of musky cologne tickled my nostrils, I feared my new captor was nearby. As painful as it was, I broke into a run. I reached the door in basically no time at all. I was so focused on the task at hand that I failed to question my newfound speed. Instead, I hurriedly reached for the knob only to find a hand around my wrist.
“Now, why must you insist on running after I did everything in my power to save you?”
Still facing the door, I opened my mouth to scream, but felt another hand placed over my mouth.
“Just promise not to bite,” the deep voice instructed.
Thanks to her Mom’s unwavering devotion to read a childhood bedtime story to her every single night, S. BRIONES LIM’s love for books began before she could even speak.
Raised in Southern California, Lim initially dreamt of becoming an artist. After a Psychology Degree (Summa cum Laude), a stint in Art School, and a career in Advertising/Media she is finally diving back into her first love – books. As a self-renowned bookworm, Lim’s love for reading has inspired her to pen her own novels and hopes her readers will fall in love with her stories as much as she enjoys writing them.
Her obsessions include time with family, Cherry Coke, popcorn with jalapeños, watching movies and her dogs, Tobi and Roscoe. She currently lives in Virginia with her husband.
Website Facebook Twitter Blog Pinterest: @sbrioneslim Goodreads
She’s strictly off limits.
Carmela Cruz has wanted the same man for over a year, and now that he’s finally free, he’s fair game. But just when it seems like everything is about to click into place for them, he puts on the brakes. For her, the decision is simple. He either wants her or he doesn’t. She’s tired of his mixed messages and done with waiting for him to make up his mind. An unexpected, all-expenses-paid luxury cruise to get over her broken heart sounds like just what she needs—until her vacation turns deadly.
But some rules were made to be broken…
HRT member Sawyer Vance wants Carmela more than anything. There’s only one problem—she’s his best friend’s sister, and that makes her officially off limits. He’s already learned the hard way the disastrous consequences that come from breaking that rule. But when she’s caught up in the biggest terrorist attack to hit the West Coast and her life is in imminent danger, the truth hits home hard. He realizes too late that nothing should have kept him away from her. When the terrorists begin killing hostages, Sawyer and his team must take the ship back at all costs. Now they’re in a fight for their lives against an enemy willing to die for its cause, and time is running out to save the surviving passengers.
Including Carmela…if she’s still alive.
A riveting and enthralling story, filled with high emotions, danger, and such an irresistibly compelling love story it had me glued to my kindle until 'the end'. What a beautifully crafted tale, I am still in awe.
And no, this wasn't my first book by the author, far from it. I have them all and I'm catching up on these couple last books of this series. Yet every story Ms. Cross writes is so fresh, authentic, and real they always manage to pull me in and give me the wow effect at the end.
Carmela and Sawyer, I met them in the previous stories, and I was looking forward to their HEA, they so deserve it. Yet the depth of the emotions, the raw feelings, the honesty and strong, basic attraction between them left me breathless. The first time they are intimate together, it is a scorching hot scene, seductive and sexy, yet so sweet, tender, and loving, so delicate, it is just beautiful, and I couldn't help but fall in love with these two.
I also love that the author has put multi-racial main characters into the story, I have wondered it before, how 'white' the romantic suspense books are, and Ms. Cross just made my day with a black man as a cowboy and a Puerto Rican heroine. The way Sawyer's childhood struggle with the bullies was told just broke my heart with the reality of it, the truth behind the scene.
The danger and action are acute and eerily real, repeatedly giving nail-biting moments, where I was holding my breath, with fear and despair, hoping for survival. The scare and concern in the life and death situations while facing the terror was actual and true. The moments when Sawyer is praying for Carmela to be alive just broke me down in tears. Yes, the story brings all the emotions to the front and center and kept me captivated throughout the book, making it impossible to put it down.
I also enjoyed the teasers to Adam and Summer's story coming up, I hope. I can't wait to get to read more about them, and see if they can salvage the marriage.
When a story is a mix of seamless teamwork, the brotherhood that comes when serving together, the importance and meaning of family and friends, undeniably dazzling love story, and suspense that has you on the edge holding your breath, fearing for the life of the characters, it definitely deserves
~ Five Spoons
MY GRADING SCALE:
5 Spoons - Amazing, memorable story that I loved, and want to read again.
4 Spoons - Fantastic, entertaining story
3 Spoons - Good story, but not much that stood out
2 Spoons - A story with some issues, that were a problem to me
1 Spoon - Not for me
Books & Spoons does not purchase all the books reviewed on this blog. The website receives review copies of books from publishers, authors or their representatives, or third party services, such a NetGalley or Edelweiss. The source of a book has no bearing on the outcome of the reviews. Books & Spoons is not monetarily compensated to provide an opinion/review on the books. The reviews and opinions expressed on this website are purely an honest, personal opinions of the reviewer.
Posts may include links to my affiliate accounts at Amazon and Kobo, and Books & Spoons earn a few cents on the dollar, if readers purchase the books through the links. Thank you for supporting Books & Spoons when shopping at Amazon and Kobo!