When the wrong Santa comes down your chimney…
All Justice “Grey” Greystone wants for the holidays is a juicy rib eye dinner with his girlfriend Sydney Banfield. Well, that, and the 12 Days—or nights, in this case—of Christmas Syd has promised him.
When his Justice Team partners, Mitch Monroe and Caroline Foster, discover a Santa sneaking around behind the restaurant, Grey and Mitch uncover a theft ring that’s leaving kids without toys and families without a reason to celebrate.
But taking down the Santas could put Grey in hot water…especially if it ruins Christmas at Sydney’s shelter for battered women and children. Can Grey pull off the ultimate sting operation and save Christmas for Sydney and the shelter’s residents? Or will giving the bad guys a dose of holiday justice leave him with nothing but coal in his stocking?
What a fun story this was!
If you have read the previous book reviews for Justice series on this blog, you know that I love them. And this was just a bonus, icing on the cake, if you may...
To have all four of them together, Sydney, Grey, Mitch and Caroline in one Christmas novella, you can bet there's conspiracy theories, crooks, fight, shooting, blaming, steak, lots of humor, fun, and steamy looks and intents. And Christmas cheer enough to share.
I enjoyed this story so much. It made me laugh out loud, maybe not wise to read it in a public place like I was, it made me sigh, and completely swoon at the end. For all romantic suspense lovers, this is the holiday novella to read!
~ Five spoons!
Melinda Sweet loved her husband before she learned of his wealth and she loves him still, despite the fact that it’s gone. Unfortunately, while she knows the collapse of his Chicago financial services business had nothing to do with him, he believes otherwise. His upbeat adjustment to their new – and temporary – life on his grandfather’s rundown honey farm is a foil to cover the burden of failure. She wasn’t expecting to throw – in five weeks – the traditional Sweet Christmas Open House, but it’s a good earning opportunity and how hard could it be?
Austin Sweet is determined to make his wife proud of him again. But he also wants to erase the sting of shame he feels from his parents, to whom he owes a debt of gratitude for arranging for this caretaking job. Getting paid to fix up this disaster is better than living in their basement, sure. But what does he know about bees? Or fixing broken plumbing? Or cleaning a chimney?
But when Austin’s grandfather gives him the farm as a Christmas gift, there’s only one response. Accepting the gift will secure a future that will make his wife even more unhappy than he already is. Refusing the gift will finalize the rift between him and his family, but he’d rather lose them than Melinda. Then he discovers she’s spared him the choice. Austin’s not-so-Sweet side rears up as he determines that he’s done trying to make everyone happy. He’ll get his wife back, no matter what. And they’ll decide their future together.
Heartrendingly beautiful story, not really about second chances, but of a new life, with core values, true happiness, and love.
Melinda and Austin had lost everything material in their lives, and they nearly lost each other as well. Now they are trying for this new life, new culture, new opportunity, a new kind of intimacy in their marriage. And it's not easy, or doesn't happen over night. But they talk, they love, they work, and they achieve something very precious, more dear to them than any money can buy.
I loved the hard work they put into the farm and into them selves, and their marriage. And the Christmas pictures the author painted, while somewhat primitive, so adorable, and beautiful. I snuggled up reading this while it was snowing outside, and this story took me straight to the countryside, once again wishing I was in Montana for the holidays
~ Five spoons!
These wilderness firefighters battle more than flames
The elite fire experts of Mount Hood Aviation fly into places even the CIA can't penetrate.
She's just jumped square into the heart of the blaze
When Australian helicopter pilot Jeannie Clark rescues wildfire photographer Cal Jackson from a raging burnover, she doesn't know she's bringing aboard a firebrand. Cal is quickly recruited for MHA's covert operations that reach far beyond the flames. Together Jeannie and Cal are assigned to an overseas operation with a lot more at risk than burning trees. And they'll need all the skill, love, and trust they can muster if they're going to survive the heat of this jungle battle.
I've been fascinated with forest fires ever since I was volunteering in one way back in college days, and got first hand knowledge how dangerous and damaging they can be. This story was fascinating on many levels.
The book paints a picture of firefighting in an honest light. There are no glorious pedestal for them, just the true form of the backbreaking, hard, sweaty work, with itchy gear, and endless hours of fight against the fire.
The rescue and firefighting missions the MHA fly, the planning, the rules, the stories of the different fires captured my mind. The constant knowledge of the fact, that they might lose the battle, gave the story high tension. And the covert ops for CIA an interesting twist of events.
The romance in the story was as well sweet as it was passionate. Jeannie and Cal are drawn together from the first moment they meet. The attraction is strong, the connection immediate. Their insecurities are standing in the way, and Cal is doing his best to fight the unknown feelings he's having. The romance and love, or acceptance of it, is growing slowly, as old wounds are healing, and the acceptance of each others importance in their lives comes more and more clear.
The author has done his research, or had prior knowledge of, every aspect of the story, the fire fighting, the helicopters, the cameras... The book is lavished with details of the technical aspects, of everything. So much so, that at times I felt it might drown the story of itself.
But the author finishes with a high note towards the end of the story, with nail biting action, and fear, and tension, it was just breathtaking! So with that note, and high recommendations for a bit different kind of suspense story,
~ Four spoons
To safely raise her daughter, Samantha Hollister must join wounded U.S. Army veteran Morgan Lawrence in rediscovering an old love that never truly disappeared.
Samantha Hollister is done relying on other people to take care of—or abuse—her. Her ex-husband is out of the picture now…like her family home, the haven she intended to seek. Her father just sold it to her high-school sweetheart, the man who abandoned her many years ago for the army. The man who still makes her heart flutter. But Samantha has vowed to never be led astray again. She has a daughter.
Despite being injured in action, Morgan Lawrence lives life to the fullest. Each day is a gift, and after five years he is finally one step away from opening a resort for wounded veterans like himself. Unfortunately, a woman stands in his way. And while she has changed, Samantha remains everything he’s ever wanted. Now it’s a matter of helping her see which promises are meant to be broken, and that being strong doesn’t mean one has to fight alone.
Poignant story of survival.
Samantha has survived so much: her mother's death, her father's alcoholism, abusive husband, divorce from a loveless marriage... Yes, she has lots to be sad, bitter, and cautious about. She called herself ornery, and that fits well in every sense of the word. But that is just the circumstances of her past, she now has the chance to build her life anew.
Morgan is a war hero. Everyone looks up to him in the small town, and he deserves it. He is kind, considerate, affectionate, and loving. There's absolutely nothing not to love about Morgan. And the way he is with Olivia, Samantha's daughter, is just swoon worthy, wow!
But when Samantha and Morgan are together, he calms her, brings out the best in her, just like Olivia does as well. Together they are earnest, passionate, and adorable. Morgan smooths away all Samantha's insecurities caused by her past, and she can be herself again, the woman she grew up to be.
I loved the family connections, the togetherness and fellowship. The small town was welcoming and charming.
The story is engaging, alluring, and likable. I found myself cheering for the characters, and wishing for peace and happiness for their lives, very captivating.
~ Four spoons
Beth Rhodes is a woman, imperfect yet trying—a wife, mother, friend, and lover.
She lives with her army husband and their six children at the base of the mountains in Colorado. She loves the cold, coffee, camping, and sunshine. Her stories are full of life, family, and love. You can find her reading just about any genre of romance, but her favorite books are fast-paced suspense, where life is on the line and love is the only saving grace. She wants a story that makes her heart pound and her pulse race.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
She Needs a Hero...
Abby Thompson didn't sign up to be the daughter of the President of the United States. The position was forced on her by the small matter of her birth. Preferring a quiet life of study, she's content to leave the politics and the international intrigue to her father. Unfortunately, the most powerful man on the planet is sure to make enemies. When a group of armed thugs takes her hostage half a world away, demanding the U.S. government release prisoners in exchange for her safe return, she fears her father's policy of "not negotiating with terrorists" means she'll never see the shores of the Potomac again. Luckily, there's one glimmer of hope. His name is Carlos Soto. And though she abruptly ended things with him years ago, she knows now he's the only man who can save her…
Black Knights, Inc. to the Rescue...
Carlos "Steady" Soto has taken part in his fair share of dangerous missions working at the covert government defense firm of Black Knights Inc. But nothing prepared him for the emotional roller-coaster he faces when he's tasked with rescuing the only woman he ever loved-who also broke his heart. Racing against time and outmaneuvering a group of trained terrorists will take everything he's got. Plus there's the heat simmering between them which is threatening to ignite into an inferno. While ruthless enemies stalk them, they must learn to trust each other again. Even if they do make it out alive, will Abby turn her back on him... for the second time?
Black Knights, Inc. series continues with Carlos "Steady" Soto story. This is one of the first series that I reviewed on my blog, and what a delight to get a chance to be on the publishing day spotlight with this series!
And what a H.O.T. story Steady's book is, but I really didn't expect anything else from the Latin lover! Abby and Carlos have a history, with good, lustful, and joyful memories, as well as heartbreaking sorrow, and surprising secret. The attraction between Abby and Carlos is wanton, palpable. But the feelings go so much deeper, has a steady foundation. Together they are sweet, funny, adorable, and yes, sexy as can be! The heat level is high, the love scenes detailed, and certainly make your heart beat faster, if the action didn't already do it!
And the constant, super heroic, intense action will keep you on the edge of your seat.
The story is told from several points of view, giving it depth, and making it intriguing.
As has always been the case with the series, there's another love interest introduced, this time Dan and Penni. It did my heart good, to see Dan back on his feet, and I am looking forward to read more about him, and his recovery and new life in the future.
Another trademark of this series is the long, humorous - pie on your face, cartoon type of humor - inner thoughts of the characters. At times they make you laugh, and at times, in the middle of the cut throat action, can be a bit destructive.
Delightful and engaging continues with the captivating series
~ Four spoons!
Julie Ann Walker is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of award-winning romantic suspense. She has won the Book Buyers Best Award, been nominated for the National Readers Choice Award, the Australian Romance Reader Awards, and the Romance Writers of America's prestigious RITA award. Her latest release was named a Top Ten Romance of 2014 by Booklist. Her books have been described as "alpha, edgy, and downright hot." Most days you can find her on her bicycle along the lake shore in Chicago or blasting away at her keyboard, trying to wrangle her capricious imagination into submission.
Pro football publicist Martha Blue has something to prove. To protect the image of the Las Vegas Slayers—and stay employed—she has to shed her party-girl reputation. Fast! So no more mistakes. No further scandals. And absolutely no falling for the one man who can give her everything she wants…and nothing of what she needs.
Danger and desire never mixed well for undefeated prizefighter Joaquin Ryder. A friend of the Blue family, he's a man who knows his boundaries…boundaries he has secretly crossed only once before. Now that he's back in Sin City to train for the biggest fight of his career, he can't afford to let a sexy distraction like Martha put him against the ropes. Revisiting their sizzling past is something he isn't willing to risk—until a steamy Yuletide encounter, where for just one night, they'll surrender completely….
Edgy, shadowy tone in this novel pulls you right into the storyline, and keeps the hold.
Both Joaquin and Martha want to prove something with their lives, and are willing to go for it.
Joaquin is a true alpha male, who hold on to the promises made, loyalty, and integrity.
Martha has an attitude, that is aggressive and forward. She knows what she wants, her goals are determinate, and she is willing to take a reputation to achieve them, even if in secrecy. Together they are hot, sensual, and intense. Their feelings for each other are raw, true, and passionate.
There are many layers to the story, and the Blue family keeps you on your toes. The parents are dominant, at times seemingly running over their children with presumptions and judgement. The surprises, and turns in the plot are intriguing.
Engaging and fascinating story
~ Four Spoons
Lisa Marie Perry encounters difficult fictional men and women on a daily basis. She writes contemporary romance fiction with plenty of sizzle, energy and depth. Flawed, problematic, damaged characters are welcome. Her tales feature exciting multicultural mash-ups, sexy guy-next-door heroes and powerful larger-than-life alphas who are brought to their knees by the love of complicated women.
According to Lisa Marie, an imagination is a terrible thing to ignore. So is a good cappuccino. After years of college, customer service gigs and a career in caregiving, she at last gave in to buying an espresso machine and writing to her imagination’s desire. She lives in America’s heartland and she has every intention of making the Colorado Mountains her new stomping grounds. She 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.