Big Win by J. H. Croix

Many scenes in the second Brit Boys Sports Romance story are truly touching, and I was repeatedly affected by the sincerity of numerous characters, whether it was spoken words or acts of compassion. J. H. Croix has a knack for creating very emotional developments, where problems are convincingly handled by realistic individuals. BIG WIN could mean several different things, as it may pertain to the game of soccer, but might also refer to overcoming personal troubles and finding joy. As I lived through some difficult times with the main characters in the book, I got to experience a number of highs and lows in their life to the fullest.

Since he is the Seattle Stars goalkeeper, Alex Gordon has to stay in great shape and often runs in addition to regular practice sessions. One early morning run has him meeting up with Harper Jacobs, whom he knows because of mutual friends yet has never heard anything personal about her. After leaving London and coming to play soccer in Seattle, he has not had any relationships with the local women. However, Alex would really like to become better acquainted with Harper, if he can just get her to open up to him as she always seems so guarded.

An event in Harper’s past has continued to influence her current life for way too long. Being around Alex makes her want to take a chance and let a man into her life once again, especially since the soccer player is so thoughtful to her needs. Harper does not realize how much he wants her to be happy, plus thinks he is the right man to make her smile more often. But first they must triumph over some past issues that are not easily forgotten.

BIG WIN deals with the subject matter of violence against another person. Harper lived through a terrible ordeal four years ago, and though she has moved on, the memories are still with her and can resurface without warning. I thought Ms. Croix managed to bring much realism into the story when her characters cope with challenging emotional topics, and I definitely thought every scene played out with much believability. Conversations are sometimes filled with humor when all the friends get together, and then there are the instances where discussions are exceedingly serious. I really like the group of people Ms. Croix has conceived for this series, as they get along so well and I enjoy when new details about them become known.

Harper and Alex are very attracted to each other, which causes their sexual relationship to be explosively fiery. Yet he is not one for talking about his feelings, and she is unsure where they stand at times. This leads to situations where feelings are confused, and my concern for them continued to grow. Alex is a true hero in the story, and when his protective instincts kick in, I wanted to sigh. BIG WIN is an emotionally rewarding romance.

I voluntarily reviewed the book and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  Brit Boys Sports Romance – Book 2

Publisher:  Amazon Digital Services LLC

Releases:  May 2, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/m3xf995

Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:  http://jhcroixauthor.com/

Rating:  4.5 Stars

Taming the Hunter by Michele Hauf

The vivid imagination of Michele Hauf once again took me on an extraordinary journey into her world of the paranormal, where those beings that supposedly do not exist seem so real. In her new series called Decadent Dames, four witches run a brewery in Anoka, Minnesota, an actual place known for how it celebrates Halloween. TAMING THE HUNTER has plenty of humor for which Ms. Hauf is well known, and her characters come across as particularly genuine every time they make an appearance. I loved the supernatural aspects in the story, while the romance is convincing and often touched me on various levels.

Since he is a scientist, Dane Winthur enjoys his present career choice working for a group called the Agency. The organization collects information about possible paranormal activity, and he uses his scientific knowledge to prove whether certain weapons actually have supernatural capabilities associated with them or if they do not. When the hunt for a dagger with a personal connection to him is located, Dane goes to Anoka, Minnesota to learn the truth about the weapon.

There is a delay in inspecting the dagger, so Dane spends his first free night in the city by attending a winter festival. Some of the liquid refreshment is provided by the Decadent Dames brewery, which is owned by four witches. One of them is Eryss Norling, a woman who is hoping for a good future in this lifetime. She has experienced numerous lives in the past, and the same man has been there with her every time. Eryss begins to think Dane could be the one meant for her in this lifetime, yet worries if they could ever get along because of his beliefs. But she feels he is worth the risk to her heart.

One of the things I enjoy about Michele Hauf’s books is the fact that characters from her previous releases are often featured. It is wonderful to revisit some beloved individuals, and their presence still adds to your reading pleasure if they have not been met before. This story contains two werewolves whom I truly adore. Several details pertaining to the witches make them distinctive, yet their behavior had me thinking they could easily be living next door. What is going on in the lives of Dane and Eryss is also very cleverly conceived and executed. Tension associated with what will happen to them gradually builds as the story progresses, and I became extremely anxious about their fate before all was finally revealed. The dagger’s part in their lives is especially intriguing.

TAMING THE HUNTER is believable at all times. Whether something paranormal is going on or the relationship between Dane and Eryss is being explored, I felt as though the situation could really take place.  Ms. Hauf has a way of making her paranormal stories seem like fact instead of fiction, and her first Decadent Dames story is entertainingly realistic. I really liked Dane and Eryss from the moment each was met, and how these two interacted with one another had me wanting them to find happiness together. Both are very appealing, and they are witty yet sensitive to the needs of the other. When a new challenge came into their lives, I got insight into their personalities. I am counting down the days until the next book comes out.

I voluntarily reviewed the book and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  Decadent Dames

Publisher:  Harlequin Nocturne

Releases:  May 1, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/lhllzfu

Genre:  Paranormal

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

Rating:  5 Stars

Pregnant by the Colton Cowboy by Lara Lacombe

The Coltons of Shadow Creek continuity series is about a group of siblings and how the actions of their mother could perhaps bring danger into their lives. In the third book, a man has been deeply affected by circumstances surrounding his birth, and he does not see his life ever improving. But when a chance encounter with a woman has lasting consequences, their lives are forever changed. I found this story to be packed with lots of genuine emotions and unforeseen jeopardy, where a person could be joyously happy one moment and then facing death in the next instant. Lara Lacombe has several harrowing difficulties cropping up in the lives of her main couple, and I never knew how everything would ultimately work out for the likable characters until all was resolved. PREGNANT BY THE COLTON COWBOY has numerous mysteries, tender passion, and heartfelt emotions.

Since his father was much more involved in how Thorne Colton was raised, he became a man with strong convictions and a calm nature. Dating is not a regular pursuit, but that does not keep him from fantasizing about Maggie Lowell, the woman who does his father’s bookkeeping. She also secretly longs to grab his attention, and an unplanned incident lets them fulfill what each had only dreamed about doing. To keep Maggie from being shunned like him, Thorne thinks they should never be in a relationship because of how his mother’s criminal activities have tainted his own life.

When Maggie’s car blows up and she is hurt, it leads to the revelation that she is pregnant. Thorne is stunned to learn he is going to be a dad, but nothing will keep him from watching over the mother of his child and keeping them safe from any further peril. As the days go by with Maggie living at the ranch with him, he wonders if his future could possibly turn out differently than he has always expected.

Although Thorne is a cowboy who works hard and has dedicated much of his life to raising horses, he still has a soft side when it comes to those for whom he cares. I really enjoyed seeing his reactions to learning about his impending fatherhood, and his decisions afterward showed his true personality. A talk with his father is very touching, and any conversations in the story are definitely lifelike. Thorne has a hard time communicating what he actually feels, but his deeds did convey how he felt when the words were not spoken. Maggie is a delight, as she is strong and does not give up easily, even when things seem rather hopeless. I especially liked the scenes where she and Thorne talked about important details, as their inner thoughts and strengths were demonstrated to me.

How the ongoing troubles dealing with mother of Thorne are handled is cleverly portrayed by the author, as Lara Lacombe gave clues but nothing concrete until near the end. I like being given hints as to what is going on, but must keep an open mind as all is not known. PREGNANT BY THE COLTON COWBOY keeps you guessing with realistic and compelling developments. Many of Thorne’s siblings do make an appearance, and I liked knowing what was taking place in the lives of the characters already met as well as those whose stories are yet to come.

I voluntarily reviewed the book and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  The Coltons of Shadow Creek

Publisher:  Harlequin Romantic Suspense

Releases:  May 1, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/mxwo46n

Genre:  Suspense

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

Rating:  4 Stars

Under a Sardinian Sky by Sara Alexander

Thoroughly detailed scenes and a vast assortment of distinctive characters makes UNDER A SARDINIAN SKY highly engaging. Sara Alexander has created a story filled with emotional issues that are very true-to-life, and I was deeply drawn into the lives of individuals who came alive because of the author’s perceptive writing. I may not have ever been anywhere like the island of Sardinia, but after reading Ms. Alexander’s debut story, I certainly feel as though I am well acquainted with its past citizens plus many of their local traditions.

After her aunt died, Mina decides it is time to learn about a part of her family’s history that has always remained unspoken. Since she writes travel articles for a newspaper, she is going to use some of her skills to hopefully discover the truth concerning Carmela Chirigoni, another aunt who was Italian and lived on the island of Sardinia. Mina knows little about her relative except for the fact the woman went missing back in the 1950’s.

With World War II having been over for several years, those living on the picturesque island are looking forward to better times. Carmela is from a farming family plus she makes fashionable clothing for others. She has been asked to wed a man who could one day be very rich, but she is not too fond of behavior at times. During a big fiesta in her hometown, she comes in contact with an American soldier from a nearby base. They keep meeting at different places, and she ends up becoming an interpreter for Lt. Joe Kavanagh as she speaks some English. This decision will change many lives forever.

While reading UNDER A SARDINIAN SKY, I got a glimpse into what could have easily occurred to someone living in a region once greatly affected by war. Carmela is a spirited yet respectful daughter who plans to obey the wishes of her family, but she dreams of seeing other places and having a rewarding marriage. Her life may be shaped by the wishes of someone else, but it does not stop her thinking about improbable possibilities. People trying to get back to normal after a huge war can find themselves still being influenced by outside forces for years, and Carmela meeting American soldiers deeply changes how she envisions her future. There are many times when her inner feelings battle, as she knows what path should be followed but often would rather not. Her thoughts about her intended husband causes many worries, while sentiments connected to a particular American soldier double her uncertainties. Sara Alexander gives much insight into what leads to the reactions of her characters, thus letting me come to really know these individuals.

The story is told because Mina wants to uncover what actually happened to her aunt, and the author skillfully let me know all the facts through colorful historical descriptions. Italian customs are depicted with much fanfare, while the daily lives of the island inhabitants are also vividly portrayed. From meals to parties to work, I got a sense of what various people experienced while living through these events. Food preparation is especially interesting and often lively.  The images visually conveyed throughout UNDER A SARDINIAN SKY cause enthrallment and pure delight.

I voluntarily reviewed the book via NetGalley, and all comments are my honest opinion

Publisher:  Kensington

Releases:  April 25, 2017

Purchase:   http://tinyurl.com/kar2u2k

Genre:  Historical

Rating:  4 Stars

Snared by Jennifer Estep

There is never a shortage of bad guys in the city of Ashland, and Gin Blanco does not plan on letting any of them continue their ruthless ways if at all possible. In the sixteenth Elemental Assassin book, evil intentions take a horrific turn, and all the beloved characters previously met are ready to bring this reign of terror to a halt. Whether Gin was fighting for her life or trading quips with Finn, I was completely caught up the engaging situations taking place. Jennifer Estep consistently captures my interest in her latest urban fantasy story, where the quest to finding answers about ongoing mysteries continues and evildoers are combated. SNARED has surprising incidents and numerous death-defying battles.

While sneaking around and spying on certain Ashland residents is not a favorite activity of Gin Blanco, it is necessary if she wants to learn about the group known as the Circle. Its members are responsible for much of the wrongdoing in her city, and the woman who is often called the Spider also has a personal reason for wanting their merciless schemes brought to a standstill. Though Gin does uncover some relevant facts from time to time, way too much remains a mystery and she is tired of waiting for answers.

When a young woman disappears one night, Gin immediately stops focusing on the Circle until the fate of the individual is discovered. What is gradually revealed just proves that Ashland has more than its share of corruption, and she is somehow linked to what is currently happening. But one thing Gin is extremely good at doing is stopping evil, and she is not about to let it win.

Regardless of the events going on in the life of Gin and her friends, I equally enjoyed their downtime and the many colorful entanglements in which they became involved. The conversations that she has with anyone who supports her are repeatedly comical when cheerfulness is needed. Yet each person can turn deadly when a situation calls for it. I have come to know those around her very well over the course of so many stories, and it feels like I am visiting with people who could easily be my friends.

Danger is definitely real in the story, and Gin quickly becomes immersed in stopping it from escalating. As she searches for evidence as to whom is responsible for a current problem in Ashland, looking for any hints about the Circle are still simmering in the back of her mind because of how this group is connected to her tragic past. Her intensely vivid dreams give her and the reader some additional facts, and I can tell there are more important truths just waiting to be exposed.

SNARED is entertaining from the start, and the enjoyment only increases with each new development. Scenes where Gin is fighting to stay alive are a big highlight of the Elemental Assassin series, and she once again uses her Ice and/or Stone abilities to put a big hurt on others. There are several instances where she and Owen get to express their feelings for each other, and I found the moments to be believably heartwarming. Whatever Jennifer Estep imagines for the next Elemental Assassin book is guaranteed to be enthralling.

I voluntarily reviewed the book from the publisher, and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  Elemental Assassin – Book 16

Publisher:  Pocket Books

Releases:  April 25, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/khh5c35

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

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

Rating:  4.5 Stars

Lost Rider by Harper Sloan

The Coming Home series introduced me to Harper Sloan, and I will not soon forget the reading experience. LOST RIDER is a romance about second chances and filled with extremely poignant emotional circumstances. I became caught up in Maverick and Leighton’s personal dilemmas from the very first incident, and my concern for these two likable individuals continued to mount as their relationship went through countless highs and lows. The focus of the story is about the feelings of this couple, and whether they can ever work out the many issues that have plagued them since they were much younger. I am just glad I was able to take the journey with Maverick and Leighton.

Being a champion bull rider was the dream of Maverick Davis even when he was a child, and for ten years he had lots of success on the rodeo circuit. But being thrown from a particularly ornery bull had huge consequences for him, as the danger of riding again is too great for him to continue. So now Maverick is returning to his family’s ranch in Texas which raises horses, where a new career awaits him along with numerous painful memories and one huge regret.

When he had left the town of Pine Oak, he knew his sister and brother would be missed by him, but not his cruel father. There was also a certain girl who was a friend of his sister, and he would miss their private talks as he could actually feel at peace for a little while afterward. But there was no way Maverick was going to remain in the area for Leighton James, and she clearly understood his thoughts before he left. When he gets back home, both have changed over the years, and they now see each other in a different light.

While there are a number of scenes in LOST RIDER that I will recall over and over, discussions between different characters are some of my most vivid recollections. A chat featuring Maverick and an elderly resident of Pine Oak still causes me to laugh, and an exchange Leighton had with her coworker was packed with hilarious comments. There was also a memorable episode in a restaurant. Many of the talks in which the Davis siblings took part are packed with so much heartache, and I felt their inner anguish because of the author’s skilled writing. When Maverick and Leighton had a conversation, the moment could be intensely heated from sexual tension or hurt feelings. Since the story is told from alternating points of view, I was always able to know exactly what these two were thinking.

It is often said there is a fine line between love and hate, and the saying has never been truer than throughout much of LOST RIDER. Though Maverick and Leighton desire each other with an almost overwhelming desperation, neither wants to admit the fact out loud because of what happened in the past. The stress of their unfulfilled longing is frequently evident in how this couple reacts, and I repeatedly worried over how they would respond to a new situation. Sexual encounters are fiery and often fueled by lust, but tender caring is also evident. The Coming Home series is off to an outstanding start, and I am very eager to read the second book. LOST RIDER is captivatingly realistic at all times.

I voluntarily reviewed the book via NetGalley, and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  Coming Home – Book 1

Publisher:  Pocket

Releases:  April 25, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/nxqj8v4

Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:  http://authorharpersloan.com/

Rating:  5 Stars

Miracle for the Neurosurgeon by Lynne Marshall

While all the stories Lynne Marshall writes that contain some medical references have been positive plus convincing, MIRACLE FOR THE NEUROSURGEON is her most heartwarming yet. So many factors dealing with having a spinal cord injury are explored, from physical complications to emotional issues, and each matter not only made the two main characters come across as realistic but also very likable. When I start a book by Lynne Marshall, I know the main couple will be facing several difficulties, but most of the time there are not so many added dilemmas for them to triumph over. I was totally drawn into MIRACLE FOR THE NEUROSURGEON from the first chapter, and my interest never waned until I had devoured every compelling word.

When Mary Harris unexpectedly showed up at the home of Wesley Van Allen, she intended to make him realize that he could use her help. A waterskiing mishap had severely damaged his spinal cord, and now the successful neurosurgeon will never walk again. Since Mary is a physical therapist, she has come to offer her useful knowledge in the hope it will make his days better. But Wes is a proud man and is not at all receptive to letting someone see him as weak, and he quickly refuses her proposal.

However, Mary is not about to give up, as she comprehends the man whom she has known for years needs her assistance regardless of what he says. When Wes finally relents, she is overjoyed and looks forward to making him healthier and productive. She has always respected him as a person, and even secretly likes her best friend’s brother more than either of them knows. His days actually become enjoyable having Mary work with him, and Wes cannot keep from dreaming of things that he thinks will never happen because of how his whole life has now changed.

There were numerous times when I cheered on Wes as he tried to accomplish a deed that was once easy but not anymore. The sudden loss of mobility would certainly be devastating for me, and adjusting would be hard. Ms. Marshall’s knowledge as a nurse plus her thorough research let me see what a person would have to do after such a terrible accident, and whether there are any workable solutions which would make it possible to resume various activities. Wes knows his world will never be the same, and he thinks his wishes for more normalcy will never be achieved. But when the optimistic Mary comes into his life, a spark of hope tries to flare up. MIRACLE FOR THE NEUROSURGEON is truly stirring because of inspiring moments.

Wes and Mary are one of my all-time favorite couples. They are both extremely genuine, and this made them all the more appealing. What each of them feels is very conceivable, especially when past sentiments affect the present, leaving them often mystified as to how they should react to one another. As desire builds between them, so does the determination to do their best for the other. I never felt like these two were not responding in a true-to-life manner, and this had me believing each scene as depicted. Their love story is really romantic at times, and I felt their joy at being so happy. I also could tell when they were experiencing distress, as the author’s writing gave me insight into their every thought.

I voluntarily reviewed the book and all comments are my honest opinion

Publisher:  Harlequin Medical Romance

Releases:  April 18, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/mjgxerd

Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:  http://lynnemarshall.com/

Rating:  5 Stars

The Fairy Tale Girl by Ann Major

The Men of the West series has stories taking place in the western part of the United States, and the second book has a strong hero who knows what he wants and gives it his all in order to achieve his goal. The heroine of the story has never felt truly loved, and some personal troubles have made her life very complicated. After these two characters meet, the scenes that follow are often explosively tense because their passionate natures dictate how they will react. Whether they are at odds about a subject or yearning for one another, I was kept guessing as to what would be their next response. Ann Major may have written THE FAIRY TALE GIRL many years ago, but relationships can still be just as confusing at times yet also rewarding today.

Since Amber Johnson felt deprived in several areas while growing up, she married a man with much wealth and they enjoyed living a lavish lifestyle. But all that changed when she learned their future together had turned bleak. There is also the problem of threats from people who are not happy with her husband’s business dealings. Now Amber is getting a divorce and moving from an island paradise to Colorado, where she can hopefully learn to make it on her own and not depend on others. This is definitely no time to be in another relationship, even when there is a man residing near her whom has grabbed her full attention.

When Amber vowed that she would make much better choices from here on out, she certainly was not planning to get involved with someone rich again. While Jake Kassidy, a successful rancher, made a lasting impression on her when she saw him in town, he will only star in her fantasies and not any real situations. Though both Amber and Jake feel a powerful longing to each other, their pasts may keep them apart.

Desire keeps mounting along with plenty of complex emotional issues in THE FAIRY TALE GIRL. Ann Major definitely gave Jake and Amber a long list of obstacles to overcome before they could ever be together, and I ached right along with this couple when things went terribly wrong. So many unpredictable situations keep cropping up in the story, causing the relationship of these two individuals to hit a snag. There were times when I could not see a good solution to a setback, and the author kept me wondering if Jake and Amber could actually work out their differences. Theirs is a connection which is filled with numerous challenges, and I never knew if their passion for one another could eliminate the hardships they faced.

Ann Major let me experience many of the moments right along with the characters because of detailed descriptions, and I got to visit a tropical island along with the rugged Colorado terrain. There are a few suspenseful incidents in THE FAIRY TALE GIRL, and I anxiously kept reading to learn the outcome. I am glad Ms. Major is making her older releases available once again, in case I missed one.

I voluntarily reviewed the book and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  Men of the West – Book 2

Publisher:  Major Press LLC

Releases:  September 8, 2015

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/mvxz5jg

Genre:  Contemporary

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

Rating:  4 Stars

The Thief by Michele Hauf

Unique paranormal stories created by Michele Hauf have kept me entertained for years, and I was excited to discover that she had written a suspenseful series. The Elite Crimes Unit solves white-collar offences, and the first book concerns two individuals whose lives take a drastic turn when they end up working together for the good of others. Though both once stole jewelry, neither did it to make a huge profit, and whatever they lifted often ended up helping someone less fortunate. Ms. Hauf always manages to bring her characters to life with distinctive personalities and often nonconforming behavior, and I found her two main characters to definitely be original. THE THIEF is imaginative and packed with surprising incidents.

After Josephine Deveraux gave up her career of being a jewel thief, she came to live in a rural area far away from Paris. Now the current thrill in her life is what vegetables will be ready to pick next. While she may miss the excitement of pulling off a successful heist, the tranquil existence she enjoys on a daily basis is definitely less stressful. When someone breaks into her home and insists she steal a certain object, Josephine realizes the past that she thought was buried has resurfaced.

A quickly made plan to keep from once again becoming a thief does not go as hoped, and she ends up agreeing to snatch a valuable necklace. When Josephine goes to a gala in order to swipe the jewelry, it appears someone else is also after the piece. Xavier Lambert is also a former thief who presently works for the Elite Crimes Unit because he was given little choice after being caught. Now his talent is only used for good. But when there is competition to obtain an extravagant diamond necklace, the stakes of whom will come out on top is significantly raised with each new development.

When I read a story from Michele Hauf, I know there will be lots of amusement sprinkled throughout the many compelling scenes. From bantering comments to comical thoughts, various characters caused me to laugh in THE THIEF, as the author’s unique brand of humor is evident in how they conducted themselves at times. There is an adorable cat which had me smiling, and some bad guys who made me want to boo them, especially when they worked against what Josephine and Xavier wanted. A French setting is enchantingly realistic, whether the story is taking place out in the country or the streets of Paris. Ms. Hauf likes to set a book in this country, and it always amazes me in how she makes locations occurring anywhere in France seem so genuine.

THE THIEF is suspenseful plus emotional. There are several situations that are rather nerve-racking, and I was not exactly sure what would happen to Xavier and Josephine. These two are delightfully fun to watch interact with one another, as it is very difficult for either to trust easily. This makes for plenty of scenes where they disagree and even sometimes argue about a particular detail. While I do not condone thievery, Ms. Hauf had me really liking Josephine and Xavier despite their backgrounds, and I am looking forward to seeing what the next book in the series will involve.

I voluntarily reviewed the book and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  The Elite Crimes Unit

Publisher:   Lyrical Press

Releases:  April 11, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/l4em279

Genre:  Suspense

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

Rating:  4.5 Stars

Bound by Their Secret Passion by Diane Gaston

When gossip is spread about someone, whether it is true or false, it can affect that person’s life for years to come. The Scandalous Summerfields is about four siblings who suffered because of the actions of their parents, and one of the sisters is still greatly feeling the effects in the fourth and final book in the series. While this woman was a thoughtful individual, and she did her best to help those for whom she cared, her own future is bleak. But when circumstances change in an instant, she finds herself facing a multitude of obstacles before being truly happy. Diane Gaston makes BOUND BY THEIR SECRET PASSION a realistic Regency story, as so many outside factors influenced lives during this period when social status was so important.

To help make the future better for her two sisters and half-brother, Lorene Summerfield married a much older man. She has been a respectful wife to her husband, but there was never any love between them. Thankfully, her siblings have found partners whom they adore, so she is gratified in knowing her sacrifice paid off. One night, there is a confrontation at her home that has a tragic ending. Lorene’s husband is now dead, and the Earl of Penford may possibly be blamed for his death.

Although Lorene has secretly been attracted to Dell, she had never let anyone know of her fascination. But with her callous husband now gone, perhaps the days ahead will actually be much more pleasurable for her. Unfortunately, suspicions about what took place on that fateful night bring trouble for Dell, and Lorene worries he may suffer because of their friendship, a connection which she wants to be closer yet knows it never can be.

The number of challenges Lorene and Dell must face throughout the story just keep adding up, and it certainly seemed like they would never be able to have a relationship that lasted. I so wanted these two to get together, but the time in which they lived kept them apart because of society’s rules. Though Lorene had never done anything wrong, her reputation was tarnished because of what others did in the past. I am definitely glad to not have lived in a time where many people judged someone so harshly, as these opinions often led to needless misery. Dell has his own personal troubles, and he lives his life in memory of his family, not his goals. Neither he or Lorene are really happy, and they fear the consequences of them appearing to be in a relationship. Diane Gaston made their feelings very evident, and I ached right along with them on numerous occasions when things did not go as they wished. BOUND BY THEIR SECRET PASSION is an emotional romance packed with heartache yet also hopeful longing.

With this being the last book in the series, I was delighted to see all the past couples featured, thus letting me get caught up with their current lives. There are also plenty of other secondary characters in the story that I came to know well, as their personalities were brought to life with colorful behavior. The author inserted historical facts into quite a few scenes, and I enjoyed these moments of reality.

I voluntarily reviewed the book and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  The Scandalous Summerfields

Publisher:  Harlequin Historical

Releases:  March 21, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/kg2h7b6

Genre:  Historical

Author website:  http://dianegaston.com/

Rating:  4 Stars