Sparking the Fire by Kate Meader

518lowrh3elSadly, the Hot in Chicago series featuring one of my all-time favorite families has come to an end. But numerous situations endured by the Dempsey foster siblings will be recalled again and again. Humor can be found throughout the story, most often in the form of sarcastic retorts yet sometimes an event is also very comical. But intermingled amongst the witty moments is an equal amount of drama, where family matters must be sorted out or relationship dilemmas need to be resolved. Kate Meader has given her romantic couples in each book plenty of trials to overcome, and every problem in the last book of the series is once again realistically convincing. I was frequently amazed at how true-to-life the dialogue is during all conversations, while reactions to any circumstances are genuine every time. SPARKING THE FIRE entertains with likable characters that experience one cleverly crafted happening after another.

When Molly Cade hooked up with Wyatt Fox five years ago for several glorious nights, she was hoping to become a famous Hollywood actress while he was thinking about his future as a Marine. Though she did make it big in the film industry, her career went downhill because of some highly publicized personal problems. When the opportunity arises for her to make a movie about firefighters, Molly knows it is an excellent chance to improve how she is perceived, and hopefully make the public want to see her on the big screen once again. They will be shooting in Chicago and need an actual firefighter to be a consultant, and the captain of Engine Company 6 has the perfect candidate.

Wyatt is now a firefighter like his siblings, but was recently injured during a rescue and cannot work as usual. When he is offered the assignment of helping to keep details in a movie accurate, he is not enthused until he realizes Molly will be involved. They definitely shared some special evenings together, and he has never been with anyone as exciting since then. So he is looking forward to possibly reigniting the passion between them. As Wyatt takes Molly and the crew through a short session of what being a firefighter is really like, the two long separated lovers recall every single moment when they were previously together. Given that she wants to accomplish a goal that he opposes, she begins to wonder is rekindling their affair might be rewarding in more ways than one.

Although Wyatt is known as the Dempsey who does not let his inner feelings show, being around Molly changes his behavior. While he still may not be very verbal about what he is thinking, his actions speak loudly. His take charge conduct when it appears she is threatened in some way is swoon worthy, and I would definitely love for a man to feel this protective of me. Since he does not openly convey his opinions like his siblings, I have been very curious about Wyatt and how he actually felt about things. And was I ever surprised by some of his responses. Molly brings out the best in him, and seeing him finally bare his soul at times was repeatedly moving.

These two are exceedingly passionate people, and they express their desire enthusiastically with no holding back. Molly and Wyatt have lived through some tough times, making them vulnerable yet stronger if they can triumph over these issues. There is also a big surprise revealed that I was not expecting. Kate Meader causes uncontrollable laughter plus lots of fanning when scenes turn steamy. SPARKING THE FIRE is imaginative, amusing and touchingly earnest.

Received copy from publisher

Series:  Hot in Chicago

Publisher:  Pocket

Releases:  September 27, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/j3g6nv9

Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:  http://www.katemeader.com/

Rating:  5 Stars

A Soldier’s Second Chance by Lynne Marshall

51xbfvk4iol-_sy346_If Lynne Marshall writes a medical romance, then the love story and health issues are always very believable. All throughout A SOLDIER’S SECOND CHANCE, there is tension linked to hidden secrets and various emergencies at a hospital. While the health dilemmas regularly have satisfactory solutions, many concerns associated with the relationship of two people unexpectedly reconnecting are not so easy to patch up. I was instantly drawn into the lives of the romantic couple, as they are ordinary individuals who are trying to make the best of what life has given them. Ms. Marshall always makes me deeply care about her characters, and A SOLDIER’S SECOND CHANCE is a shining example of a superb medical romance.

When January Ashworth arrived for her evening shift at a Los Angeles hospital, she receives the news that a National Guard medic will be working in the emergency department for a month. He is presently a part of the LAPD SWAT team, but is about to be deployed again and needs to brush up on his medical skills. Jan is agreeable to having the man work alongside her, but when she hears his name is Beck Braxton, she is completely stunned. Luckily, he does not seem to recognize her, but she definitely remembers him and what they once shared.

Although he was a troubled teenager, Beck has dedicated himself to helping others for the past thirteen years. First as a soldier and now a police officer, he focuses on what is currently happening in his life, not the past. One matter that has been difficult to forget is related to the girl whom he had hoped would remain with him when he left to serve his country, but she moved on without him. Strangely, he is assigned to a nurse with a few similar traits to January Stewart, but her personality is certainly not the same as his lost love. Yet it turns out she is actually his ex-girlfriend, someone with secrets that she does not want him to discover.

Since much of the story is set in an emergency department, all types of physical ailments occur. With the author’s knowledge of what can take place during an actual traumatic situation, each event comes across as conceivable. I was put right in the middle of several incidents filled with tense pressure, where I never knew what the outcome would be.  Procedures are accurately described, letting me know exactly what was going on and why.

There were several instances where I was visibly moved by the heartfelt sincerity in comments made by Beck and Jan. Whether they were in the hospital or interacting with each other, I often sensed they were letting me see a side of them not usually exposed to just anyone. Jan has closed herself off from others because of a teenage decision that still haunts her years later. The choices she has made along the way let me see just how vulnerable she is to emotional suffering, and I so wanted her to finally have some long-lasting happiness. While Beck may have been a rather wild boy, he has grown into a man who puts others first and exceeded most people’s expectations. Revealed hidden facts trigger entanglements in their lives, and their reactions to these predicaments are honest while any remarks are spoken from the heart. Lynne Marshall makes Beck and Jan a couple to admire for their thoughtfulness and how much they help others. A SOLDIER’S SECOND CHANCE is an emotional story with dramatic consequences.

Copy received from author

Publisher:  Self

Releases:  October 1, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/z9qep78

Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:  http://lynnemarshall.com/

Rating:  5 Stars

The Best Gift by Ann Jacobs

51ubrp3zklOften, the Christmas season is a time of when unexpected miracles occur. With the Civil War now over, many soldiers found themselves trying to readjust to home life after suffering an injury. Sometimes, the emotional grief is almost as painful as the physical wounds, and this compelling short story conveys the mental anguish one man goes through as he tries to do what he can to provide for his daughter. THE BEST GIFT is a moving holiday story filled with realistic feelings and heartfelt reactions. Ann Jacobs makes every second of the book captivating with insightful honesty.

While Giles Redmond was fighting for the North, he was permanently injured by a Rebel. Now back home in New Hampshire, the widower is greatly concerned about his daughter should he not be around until she grows up. So he has decided to wed Laura Wakefield, a woman whom he has known since they were children, thus supplying her and his child with a more secure future. Giles knows their marriage will be out of concern for a young girl, not love, because Laura could never have deep affection for a man as disfigured as him.

THE BEST GIFT has several surprises in store for its characters, and unanticipated feelings make the situations they are facing truly profound. I was deeply touched quite a few times, as the feelings of Giles and Laura come across as so open. Both believe something is missing in their lives and that the years ahead will more than likely be bleak. But there is a message of hope in the story which seemed so conceivable, as not every person judges someone by appearances. I was definitely smiling when the book ended.

Received copy for a review

Publisher:  Self

Releases:  July 10, 2010

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/h3m9978

Genre:  Historical

Author website:  http://www.annjacobs.net/

Rating:  4 Stars

Holiday in Your Heart by Susan Fox

51uu0dwmgflMany of the delightful residents who live in Caribou Crossing make an appearance in the eighth and final book in the series named for the quaint fictional town in Canada, and the Christmas season makes the story doubly enchanting. With a little background given about each character, the reader will not be lost in case this is the first visit to the unique yet realistic town where dreams often come true. Susan Fox always manages to bring not only her characters to life but also makes the whole setting convincing, and I never doubted that each person in the series could actually exist. For the conclusion of the Caribou Crossing series, two people have very different objectives for what will happen in their futures, but sometimes long-held beliefs need to be reconsidered or happiness will never be within reach HOLIDAY IN YOUR HEART is charmingly believable with down-to-earth characters.

It took Mo Kincaid many months to finally follow through with his wish to atone for his bad behavior in the past. Getting on a bus and returning to Caribou Crossing is a huge step, as no one there will welcome the former citizen who drank too much plus was a terrible husband and father. But Mo has drastically changed since he left two decades ago, and he just wants to show to those whom he wronged that there is actually some decency in him now. With some luck, he will get the opportunity to apologize for his transgressions and not be told to leave.

Though there have been many men in Maribeth Stott’s life, there was never anyone with whom she wanted to have a lasting relationship or start a family. So with forty fast approaching, she has made the decision to have a baby using a doctor. Just as she begins making preparations, she meets Mo and both feel the connection. But they have entirely separate goals to hopefully attain before Christmas, and getting involved with each other is not on the list.

Whenever I get the chance to read about the folks who live in Caribou Crossing, it feels like I am visiting with some longtime friends. A number of individuals living in this small town have some personal issues to overcome, and Susan Fox takes them on a journey of self-discovery. Mo caused much heartache when he was younger, but he has grown wiser with age and wants to take responsibility for his past actions. Although he is not very optimistic about anyone forgiving him, he is still determined to carry out his plan. When he meets the positive thinking Maribeth plus an abandoned dog, his world is altered in ways he never imagined. There were numerous moments where confessions are made, and I waited breathlessly to see how his admissions would be received by her or those who were once close to him. Frequently, the relationship of Mo and Maribeth is joyful and filled with sexual gratification plus emotionally rewarding situations, yet her desire to have a baby is not something he wants. Ms. Fox certainly does not make things easy for them, just like it is in real life. HOLIDAY IN YOUR HEART is extremely candid when it comes to expressing feelings, thus making the story more compelling at all times.

With Christmas festivities taking place and holiday music often playing, the story repeatedly has a cheerful atmosphere. But like circumstances in the lives of actual people, there are also instances where my eyes got misty because a scene had such an emotional impact on me. Even though the series may be over, I will think back on Caribou Crossing with fond memories.

Received copy from author

Series:  Caribou Crossing

Publisher:  Zebra

Releases:  September 27, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/htfrmp4

Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:  http://www.susanlyons.ca/

Rating:  5 Stars

Blood Red Kiss by Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione and Gena Showalter

51lro2-rrolSnarky humor, heartfelt emotions and even some dangerous escapades make BLOOD RED KISS constantly engaging. When I saw three of my all-time favorite authors had stories being released in one book, I was definitely excited that they were in series I devotedly follow. Since it is the tenth anniversary of the Immortals After Dark series, plenty of extra facts are included to give me insight into how Kresley Cole has made these stories so engrossing. The MoonBound Clan series is about a group of vampires with unusual traits, and Larissa Ione makes this novella an enthralling installment packed with innovative details. For the latest Otherworld Assassins story, numerous paranormal imaginings not found anywhere else are dreamed up by Gena Showalter with often surprising results. Even better, each story in the book stands alone.

 

“The Warlord Wants Forever” by Kresley Cole – https://kresleycole.com/

The only reason Nikolai Wroth would now be interested in a woman is because she was actually his Bride, the lone female who could make him breathe once more plus cause his heart to beat. When he comes in contact with Myst the Coveted after a fierce battle, he demands information about the various non-humans of the Lore, but she refuses to divulge anything. But before he can force her to talk, Nikolai is stunned to realize that Myst is his Bride. While she does not want to be a part of his life, he will not let her refusal keep him from seizing what is his.

Whether this is the first time reading the start of the Immortals After Dark series or a revisit with some favorite characters, there will be a sense of pleasure when the story is completed. I have loved the series since this book came out, and I am always entertained by the unique individuals featured in each book. Kresley Cole makes Nikolai and Myst’s very personal story extremely sensual, yet it is also compelling with particularly genuine emotions. When a vampire finds himself surprisingly connected to an imprisoned Valkyrie, the lives of these two enemies become complicated from that moment on. She hates blood drinkers for past offenses against her kind, but the human turned vampire is not like the many others whom she has killed. But she must remain loyal to those that she calls a sister. “The Warlord Wants Forever” is often amusing and definitely fascinating with nonstop creativity.

 

“Forsaken by Night” by Larissa Ione – http://larissaione.com/blog/

Though Lobo previously worked for the MoonBound clan in security, an incident forced him to leave. Now the vampire lives alone with only a wolf named Tehya as his constant companion, and they watch over a remote area in the state of Washington. When his beloved pet is severely hurt, Lobo knows of only one way to possibly save her life. His scheme to get medical assistance from those at the MoonBound compound might save Tehya, but the cost to both of them could be exceedingly harsh.

Much imagination goes into each MoonBound Clan story, and “Forsaken by Night” has lots of clever originality in every riveting scene. I simply adore the supernatural beings Larissa Ione has brought to life in this series, as each one has their own distinctive personality and ability. Also, the origin of vampires is particularly captivating. Lobo has faced much hardship since he was born, and I really felt for this vampire who needs someone to love. The explanation given for all that Tehya has lived through is interesting, and the ideas behind what happened are certainly not the typical background of someone who is immortal. What is taking place within the vampire clans is truly intriguing, and I want the next book now.

 

“Dark Swan” by Gena Showalter – http://members.genashowalter.com/

There was always a powerful bond between Lilica Swan and her sisters when they were young, and their connection is just as strong as adults. Worry about one sibling has led the human/ otherworlder hybrid to find Dallas Gutierrez, an agent with the Alien Investigation and Removal organization, as she thinks he might have needed information. There is a very strong physical pull between the couple, and though they do have one common goal, the ending they want is much different. But as private secrets are revealed, Dallas and Lilica come to comprehend they are much more alike than they first thought.

An Otherworld Assassins story contains facts that are highly amazing when it relates to alien beings, and the novella about Dallas is certainly remarkable at times. When it comes to beings from a place outside our world, Gena Showalter is a master at creating the extraordinary. Past characters of the series get to interact with several new individuals, and any conversations are once again overflowing with sarcastic remarks that cause many laughs. Dallas and Lilica are delightful as a couple, and their continuously being at odds added to my enjoyment. With sky-high sexual tension and much hilarity, “Dark Swan” keeps the reading satisfaction high.

Copy received from publisher

Publisher:  Pocket

Releases:  September 20, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/zgc7rj8

Genre:  Paranormal

Rating:  5 Stars

Chasing Dreams by S.L. Carpenter

51m4brbeiglHumor, sincere emotions and lots of steamy passion can be found in CHASING DREAMS. The story is filled with plenty of wit and candid remarks, a familiar feature in a book by S.L. Carpenter. I have always enjoyed the imagination of this talented author, as he writes scenes that I can easily picture happening in real life. With some touching moments tossed in from time to time, I came to really care about the romantic couple, and whether they would end up together or go their separate ways.

In a long-term relationship which has given her little happiness, Michelle knows the time for her to make some changes is overdue. Deciding to leave a self-centered boyfriend behind is easy, but choosing what to do next will take some careful planning. Before moving somewhere else, Michelle is going to visit with her mother and think everything through. She takes a train to get back to her hometown, and it just happens to be February 28 when she heads out. Perhaps with the next day being a Leap Year’s Day, it will be the beginning of a better chapter in her life.

The first night Michelle goes to her compartment, a surprise is waiting for her. It seems a partygoer on the train mistakenly got into her room and fell asleep. Since he is not in the way, she lets him sleep but does watch him closely. Though he is gone the next morning, Michelle runs into Josh again later. With the trip lasting a few days, it gives the couple time to have long conversations and more, where they discover there is much to like.

If I am reading a book by S.L. Carpenter, then I know there will always be some hilarity sprinkled throughout the story. I could not keep the chuckles contained during several scenes, as the author had the characters making comments that perfectly fit the situation. Then there were the visuals I pictured in my mind, and more laughs erupted. Josh and Michelle have not been very lucky when it comes to relationships, so I enjoyed seeing them share some very genuine experiences with each other. A few of the interactions between Michelle and her mother were also openly frank and seemed believable. While much of Mr. Carpenter’s book is centered on amusement, there are numerous instances where heartfelt feelings are expressed with much honesty. When it comes to sexual encounters, Michelle and Josh know what they want and do not hold back, resulting in many scenes where fantasies are fulfilled and satisfaction is guaranteed. Though not a long story, CHASING DREAMS has all the right ingredients to make it delightfully entertaining.

Received copy to review

Series:  Leap Year

Publisher:  SK Private Label Publications

Releases:  February 29, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/gwzotum

Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:  http://www.slcarpenter.net/

Rating:  4 Stars

High-Stakes Colton by Karen Anders

51izpbrgpll-_sx314_bo1204203200_The ninth installment in the Coltons of Texas miniseries deals with the continuing search for a very rich man who mysteriously vanished. One of his children could perhaps be responsible for his disappearance, and it is up to a Texas Ranger to rule out a certain daughter. Going undercover on a ranch to work with horses is much easier for Jake McCord than having to closely interact with Alanna Colton, but he always carries out any assignment to the best of his ability. Even when keeping his emotions under control is exceedingly difficult. HIGH-STAKES COLTON is filled with lots of uncertainties and plenty of challenging emotional issues, where every compelling moment is made very believable by Karen Anders.

With his knowledge of horses, Jake McCord was a good choice to go undercover on the ranch of Eldridge Colton. The wealthy businessman and owner of a vast amount of land has gone missing, and some new clues need to be found. So the Texas Ranger is being sent to work with an unruly horse, but he will also be covertly checking out the large blended family. One of the adult children is of particular interest, as it appears Alanna Colton and her father had some differences.

When Jake arrives to start his job, he comes in contact with Alanna. She is an excellent trainer of horses, and does not think the man just hired can actually work some kind of miracle. As Jake sets out to prove his competency with animals, he secretly looks for anything that might be related to why Mr. Colton was more than likely abducted. Getting Alanna to intimately trust him may get some needed answers, but his pretend seduction starts to feel very real. When additional problems arise, the question of whether she is innocent or guilty must be answered.

HIGH-STAKES COLTON is equally intriguing and emotional. What happened to the Texas tycoon has his relatives plus those enforcing the law diligently looking for answers. With no actual evidence having been found, it is up to Jake to try and expose even a tiny clue. He also has to discover if Alanna is to blame in any way, doing whatever is necessary. After being around her for just a short spell, he wants to believe in her innocence, but needs hard facts. I really felt for Jake, because he hated lying to Alanna. Having to keep up the deception is tough on him, especially when his feelings become more personal. I saw Alanna as someone who only wants to do good, but those around her always seem to dismiss her ideas because she is a woman. I kept hoping the people who should love her would finally realize the worth of her opinions. Some of the more entertaining scenes contain conversations where Jake and Alanna come up with sharp-witted retorts. He certainly had some clever comebacks. These two are definitely passionate individuals, and they demonstrate just how much on numerous occasions.

As more is learned about several characters, I became caught up in what these details could ultimately mean. Karen Anders kept increasing the suspense with every new danger, where unknown elements added to the peril. There are a few more books in the Coltons of Texas miniseries, and with a plenty of suspects still left, my thoughts are all over the place when it comes to picking out the guilty party.

Received copy from author

Series:  Coltons of Texas

Publisher:  Harlequin Romantic Suspense

Releases:  September 1, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/z9a486k

Genre:  Suspense

Author website:  http://www.karenanders.com/

Rating:  4.5 Stars

The Governess Was Wicked by Julia Kelly

51Z8Rvd1ybLThe Governess series is about three women who watch over the children of their wealthy English employers. During the mid-1800’s in England, the rich still thought of those not in their social class as much beneath them, and frequently anyone taking on the responsibilities of a governesses was to dedicate her whole life to the children. In the first book of the series, a woman who is committed to following all her duties as specified cannot stop from imagining a different life for herself. When a local doctor pays this particular governess a little extra attention, her thoughts become filled with potential what-ifs. Julia Kelly has written an enchanting romantic story, where emotions are conflicted because of future possibilities. THE GOVERNESS WAS WICKED delights with charming characters and an engaging storyline.

As the governess for the Norton family, Elizabeth Porter oversees the welfare of their two young daughters. It is her duty to make certain their educational needs are met along with setting a perfect example of a proper lady. Though she occasionally dreams of having a family, she knows there will never be a husband or any children for her. The girls in her care are usually well-behaved, but lately they are insistent some type of illness is making them feel bad. But most of the time when Dr. Edward Fellows makes a house call, he finds they are in fact not sick.

Though Elizabeth hates summoning the doctor for every little ache, she must make sure there is nothing really wrong. Also, a visit from the friendly doctor always makes her feel better, as he takes time to actually talk to her and shares personal information. What neither realizes is that each of them has fantasizes about the other which they would like to become a reality.

While not a long story, THE GOVERNESS WAS WICKED manages to convey plenty of emotion during its many compelling scenes along with a touch of humor. From heartfelt longing to painful grief to enthusiastic joy, I got to experience the wide range of sentiments that Elizabeth and Edward felt as they faced various circumstances. Life for Elizabeth was very difficult, as she had few options available to her. I really sympathized with how life turned out for her, as she did not wish for grand things, just to be happy with a loving family. While she would really like for Edward to be in her life, she knows about his yearning to do research and does not want to keep him from his goal. I respected her for putting his hopes before her own. Although he would very much like to have an intimate relationship with her, he has never made a move in all the years they have been interacting. When the desire this couple feels for each other finally takes control of their actions, the moment is steamy because of pent-up sexual craving. I liked how they had come to know one another over time, thus the timing of their encounter was not unexpected.

There were several other likable characters in the book, especially the two closest friends of Elizabeth who have their own stories to tell. I am looking forward to seeing what Julia Kelly has in store for them.

Copy received from NetGalley

Series:  The Governess – Book 1

Publisher:  Pocket Star

Releases:  September 12, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/zjcfeaj

Genre:  Historical

Author website:  http://www.juliakellywrites.com/

Rating:  4 Stars

Reunited with His Runaway Bride by Robin Gianna

515qann-hilThe countless raw emotions in REUNITED WITH HIS RUNAWAY BRIDE are very realistic, and how two people try to hide their actual feelings is challenging. There was never a moment where I did not believe the characters were responding in a genuine manner, as their reactions are always spot-on for whatever situation they were facing. Deciding whether an individual is someone with whom you would look forward to being with every day for the rest of your life often comes with some tough choices, and Robin Gianna definitely puts her romantic couple through the wringer more than once as they are subjected to numerous stressful circumstances.

Although her relationship with another doctor had seemed like it would perhaps last forever, Dr. Bree Donovan came to realize several of her important objectives were not shared by Dr. Sean Latham. It has been six months since they parted, and though she would not admit it, he is repeatedly in her thoughts. She just hopes taking a new job far away will help her to get over the past and start looking forward. But an unforeseen incident puts Bree back in the life of Sean before she can escape the area.

When her pregnant best friend who is also Sean’s sister ends up having the baby early because of an accident and will have a long recovery, Bree finds herself taking care of the child along with her ex-fiancé. Being thrust into the lives of the man that she has never forgotten plus his nephew shows how her future might turn out if she is willing to change her long-held views about not having her own kids. What started out as a necessary reconnection could lead to another opportunity for Sean and Bree to be together, but first she will have to acknowledge their bond is still powerful.

While many books keep my feelings engaged from time to time, seldom does a contemporary story grab my thoughts from the very start and not let go until the last scene is read. REUNITED WITH HIS RUNAWAY BRIDE is a rare exception, as I eagerly devoured every word of this exceptionally well-written romance. Sean and Bree are in love yet cannot agree on some crucial issues, so she decides splitting up is best before they commit to each other. Yet Robin Gianna has an unexpected event comes into their lives, one which could possibly change their future plans. Though Bree had come to the conclusion there was no way for her and Sean to ever have a lasting relationship, being forced to spend time with him again for the sake of the lovable newborn often leaves her confused. I really enjoyed watching this goal oriented woman question her next step. Being privy to so many of Sean’s inner feelings had me wanting to give this caring man a big hug. I sighed when these two were happy and experiencing much contentment when together, and I wanted to cry when a situation went unbearably wrong.

There are plenty of moments which I will long remember, and some of the more joyous instances were when Sean and Bree had conversations packed with amusing banter. A few events involving the baby were also exactly as I recalled and certainly humorous, making me smile with fond memories. Several medical crises made the story a perfect read for this Harlequin line, and each episode came across as accurately compelling. Robin Gianna has created extraordinary characters for REUNITED WITH HIS RUNAWAY BRIDE.

Copy received from author

Publisher:  Harlequin Medical Romance

Releases:  September 1, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/jgtc4vs

Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:  http://www.robingianna.com/

Rating:  5 Stars

A Selkie’s Magic by Lana Lea Short

51qkjacw05lThe first book in the Selkies Heart series is entertaining and very sensual. With characters that have engaging personalities and a plot filled with a wide range of diverse situations, there is never a dull moment as the story progresses. Selkies have always intrigued me, and Lana Lea Short certainly makes these supernatural beings come across as totally convincing at all times. A seal having the ability to shed its pelt and become human is truly fascinating, and the author adds her own inventive ideas to the folklore surrounding these wondrous creatures. By the time the story ended, I wished for the chance to actually meet a Selkie. A SELKIE’S MAGIC is captivatingly original.

Although Aileana Sutherland enjoyed living in Southern California when she was a teenager and doing lots of surfing, it was the trips made to see her grandmother in the Scottish Highlands that were the most memorable. During one summer visit, she even made friends with a local boy named Kendrick Morgan because they both loved anything having to do with the sea. Years later, Aileana has decided to stay for an extended period in Scotland. A bad ending to her relationship with a man in the states has her wanting to enjoy the peaceful environment around her grandmother’s cottage and only concentrate on the future. She wants to complete an article for a magazine while also taking advantage of the nearby ocean waters.

Kendrick still lives in the area and comes in contact with Aileana, but she has no idea about their encounter. He was in his seal form, but hopes they soon get to meet up as two humans. With him being the Selkie Prince, he would love to find a female who would make him a good partner, and he thinks their long-ago friendship could turn into something even more rewarding. But if one particularly wicked Finman gets his way, Kendrick will never have an opportunity to make Aileana his mate.

With many of the same scenes being shown through the alternating views of Kendrick and Aileana in third person, I got insight into how they each felt at a certain time. I could tell if they were happy, worried or fearful, as the author gave good reasons for their behavior during that occurrence. The couple definitely goes through a large number of emotions during the story, and Lana Lea Short had me experiencing each one along with them. Kendrick and Aileana are extremely passionate when it comes to expressing their desire for the other, and sex between them is often very lusty yet also caringly tender. There are other individuals to love in A SELKIE’S MAGIC along with the spirited main couple, and two of them are the delightful grandmother of Aileana plus the carefree brother of Kendrick. Their conduct and remarks fit them perfectly. There is even a villain to despise. I am glad this is a series, as I am eager to read more about the interesting Selkies.

The Scottish setting for the story is very well described with accurate facts. Some history is included, and several delicious meals that I wanted to try for myself are prepared. Anything pertaining to the Selkie legend is well-handled, and the more pages I read, the more I wanted to believe. A SELKIE’S MAGIC is enchantingly imaginative.

Received copy for a review

Series:  Selkies Heart – Book 1

Publisher:  Liquid Silver Books

Releases: January 24, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/zahfmj6

Genre:  Fantasy

Rating:  4.5 Stars