Secret Child by Ann Major

There are lots of dramatic scenes in SECRET CHILD, and each one is packed with emotion. From situations where honest feelings are displayed to moments filled with uncontrollable reactions, the story constantly shows how two people react to the same event. A romantic couple who think happiness will never be in their lives again has been imaginatively created by Ann Major. What they have to face is often moving, and any decision could drastically alter what happens to them. The many unknowns in the book kept me reading to discover what would ultimately be disclosed, and there are several shocking surprises as the story progressed. I was stunned more than once, as Ann Major has written a compelling romance where secrets cause much chaos.

Since the past life of Bronte Devlin as well as her present one has been filled with heartache, she feels there will be little joy in her future. Yet when she is hit by a car and her face is severely injured, she wants to live and consents to a doctor’s strange proposal. The offer leads to her taking on the identity of a Texas woman who has much to hide. With the other woman being married, Bronte is eventually confronted by Jack West as he thinks she is his wife.

After way too many years locked up in prison for an offence that was not committed by him, Jack is finally once again free. But his time in jail has hardened him, and he blames his wife for her part in letting him be accused. When the two met, Jack notices the behavior of Bronte is much different from what he remembers, so questions keep mounting up.

The author certainly does not make it easy for Jack and Bronte, as they have one heated confrontation after another. Both feel they are very alone in the world, and sometimes this belief has them reacting with anger because of their hurtful pasts. It also has them craving kindness from another person, and this causes some impulsive choices. Lots of insight into the reasons for their current way of thinking let me come to understand this couple much better, and though I did not always agree with their actions, I could empathize with them. Plenty of uncertainties add confusion to the lives of Jack and Bronte, and I really felt for them and all they had to experience. SECRET CHILD is the eighth book in the thrilling Texas: Children of Destiny series, and the intriguing details kept me captivated.

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

Series:  Texas: Children of Destiny – Book 8

Publisher:  Major Press LLC

Releases:  August 19, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/ycua2po8

Genre:  Contemporary

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

Rating:  4 Stars

Play Me by J.H. Croix

The Brit Boys Sports series is about four British men who now play soccer in the United States, and three of them have unexpectedly found love. Tristan Wells enjoys talking with women and he definitely has a rewarding sex life, but he has no desire to be in a lasting relationship. Any sexual encounters bring him pleasure, and he makes certain his partner is also satisfied but there is never any emotional connection. But the one time he kissed Daisy Knight has never been forgotten, and Tristan thinks they could have a very gratifying time together if he can just get her to agree. How the lives of this couple are changed following one conversation is expertly handled by J.H. Croix, where feelings and pleasurable fulfillment become entangled. I have adored Tristan since he was first met, and Daisy’s outspoken conduct has caused lots of smiles. Their own story is one I have been greatly anticipating, and PLAY ME never disappoints.

Even though Tristan Wells is a professional soccer player for the Seattle Stars, he still made time to get a medical degree. When he hurt his knee and had to quit playing for a season, he took over the task of managing a clinic which does research. A new study is ready to start, and Tristan is delighted upon realizing Daisy Knight will be working with him. The two met because of shared friends, and he definitely remembers their long-ago heated kisses.

While Daisy appears to ignore the strong attraction between them, Tristan wants to discover if her feelings are the same as his. During a conversation, he learns she wishes for two things in the future, and he is more than willing to be the first man who helps her attain an orgasm. But the idea of being in a committed relationship is certainly not for Tristan, or at least it was not until more time is spent with Daisy.

There is something about a man who does not show much emotion that makes me wants to see him lose control, and I got my wish multiple times in PLAY ME. Whenever Tristan is around Daisy, his normal mindset is overruled by lust, and I so enjoyed watching how he could not think clearly when around her. Both are intelligent people, but they could certainly become rattled when near each other. There is a wide range of emotions expressed in the story, and the intensity of every sentiment let me also experience the moment along with the characters. Whether Tristan and Daisy are blissfully happy or feeling confused and even upset, I was able to sense their inner thoughts and hopes. Since he has something to prove to her, sex between them is off-the-charts scorching all throughout PLAY ME.

It was also wonderful to catch up with all the past couples in the series, and any time these individuals got into discussions with Tristan or Daisy, their comments could be hilarious or very insightful. I have been thoroughly entertained by all the situations that have been compellingly brought to life by J.H. Croix in the Brit Boys Sports series, and I loved how everything played out in the fourth book.

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

Series:  Brit Boys Sports Romance – Book 4

Publisher:  Amazon Digital Services LLC

Releases:  August 17. 2017

Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:  http://jhcroixauthor.com/

Rating:  5 Stars

Changing the Play by Julia Blake

Professional athletes can bring in the big bucks, and they want someone who is very clever to help their careers advance. Rachel Pollard has been interested in sports since she was young, and becoming a manager for up-and-coming players is rewarding when she gets them a profitable deal. Though he had wanted to actually play a sport and not report on the action, Nick Ruben is happy with how his life has turned out working on TV. But when the paths of these two crosses after having not been in contact for years, the situation immediately becomes heated when none of their wishes are the same. The first book in the Game Changer series is about a sports agent repeatedly squaring off against a television reporter who is just as determined as she to get his objective accomplished. Julia Blake brings much realism to CHANGING THE PLAY because reactions are so candidly honest. I definitely felt the issues this couple faced could really happen, as the predicaments seemed so believable.

As the agent for numerous individuals who play professional sports, Rachel Pollard has a reputation for making certain the best interest of her clients is met as long as they follow her rules. When a reporter for a local NYC television station calls, she wonders about his reason. She remembers Nick Ruben from high school, and though she secretly liked him then, he will get no special treatment from her now because protecting her athletes is a priority.

When Rachel hears that Nick wants an interview with Kevin Loder, she firmly refuses. The NFL hopeful is a young man whose attention needs to stay on getting picked in the upcoming draft, and she is not letting anyone break his concentration. But Nick needs to do this interview, as it is imperative to his career. Yet he also soon wants Rachel to realize they could be good together if she will just give them a chance.

Since Rachel and Nick express their feelings during any challenging dilemma with such heartfelt sentiments, I quickly became caught up in their complicated relationship. Both are very confident when it comes to fulfilling their professional responsibilities, but they feel doubts when exploring the gradual change in how each think about the other. Though they did go to school together, their current awareness is that of an adult so their perception is much different. I liked how their feelings still need a big push because their way of thinking is usually poles apart, so it often takes some newly revealed insight to change their minds. Julia Blake knows when to make things easy for Rachel and Nick, but she also can throw in a struggle when least unexpected to increase the tension.

CHANGING THE PLAY is a fascinating entanglement of romance and sports. Much research must have been done by Julia Blake, as I felt as though any of the circumstances related to sports came across as very conceivable. Whether it had to do with being an agent or a reporter, her characters seemed to know exactly what needed to be done. Conflicts between these two professions could be numerous, and I thought each one imagined by the author was shrewdly written.

I voluntarily reviewed the book from the publisher via NetGalley, and all thoughts are my honest opinion

Series:  Game Changer – Book 1

Publisher:  Pocket Star

Releases:  August 21, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/yas6kmsd

Genre:  Contemporary

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

Rating:  4 Stars

Irresistible You by Kate Meader

With its compelling sports theme and engaging romance, the first book in the Chicago Rebels series is off to a fabulous start. While hockey does play a very important part in the story, many additional topics become the focus from time to time. From family drama to secret desires to commitment, the book explores these issues with much depth. Kate Meader has the ability to make me a believer when it comes to each situation created, as characters are convincing while events are always true-to-life. Every development in IRRESISTIBLE YOU is realistic, heartfelt, and profoundly affecting.

Although Harper Chase had been the vice president of the Chicago Rebels, her father had always made any decisions related to the professional hockey team. But when her parent recently passed away, she took over the general manager duties while trying to work with her two sisters as stated in the will. Unfortunately, the team seldom wins, which makes it in desperate need of an overhauling. Harper has already implemented one big change by acquiring a player from another team. Yet the man appears to have no intention of abiding by all of her rules.

When Remy “Jinx” DuPre heard he had been traded, the long-time player was upset as he thought his current team might win the Stanley Cup this year, and he really wants a championship before he retires. Assisting Harper in making the Rebels a better team is certainly not how he wants to finish his career. When Remy makes his demands known to his new boss, she has some requirements of her own, and being in full agreement could possibly change both of their futures.

From the very beginning of IRRESISTIBLE YOU, I was totally captivated by the clever circumstances imagined by Kate Meader. Having three women manage a hockey team is definitely not the norm in this league, and the hidden demands of their father’s will double the pressure these sisters must face. Harper is the oldest and is trying to prove she is just as capable as a man in leading a pro team to victory. I really felt for her, as her troubled past is exposed in numerous ways. There were occasions when I cheered her on, and then other instances where I was moved because her feelings are laid bare. The sexual tension between Harper and Remy is intense from their first meeting, and it gradually becomes sky-high after further interaction. This is one time I can honestly say their yearning for each another was also experienced by me because details associated with their lusty cravings are vividly portrayed. How this couple expresses their emotions is always genuine, and I really enjoyed seeing this strong man come across as so compassionate. Remy is truly an ideal hero, as he is understanding, can carry on a thoughtful conversation, yet is extremely sensual and even intelligently witty.

The consequences of a hockey team player becoming romantically entangled with his female boss are expertly handled by Kate Meader, and my anxiety kept increasing over what Harper and Remy would ultimately end up doing. So many scenarios could take place, and I never knew how any situation would turn out. There are several hints about the following story in the series, and I am very eager to discover what happens.

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

Series:  Chicago Rebels – Book 1

Publisher:  Pocket Star

Releases:  August 14, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/ya2kknmu

Genre:  Contemporary

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

Rating:  5 Stars

Traitor in Her Arms by Shana Galen

When a book can expertly interweave actual facts into a fictional love story, I am always delighted when the result has me feeling as though I am witnessing history in the making. The horrific reality of the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution is brought to life in such a way that I had to look up this historical period, and I discovered Shana Galen had definitely done much research in making her book come across as accurate. Though filled with frightening episodes at times, there are also moments where emotions take over a scene and cause a connection to be formed with the characters. From start to finish, I was constantly anticipating the next risky escapade. TRAITOR IN HER ARMS is an adventurous story of secret activities and unexpected romance.

Her decision of whom to marry turned out to not be the best choice, as Lady Gabrielle McCullough now owes much more money than was left by her deceased husband. To pay off those who are determined to collect what is due them, she has turned to thievery and has become quite adept. No one has caught Gabrielle until a man who was friends with her husband attempts to steal a particular item at the exact same time. Though he is the Earl of Sedgwick, Ramsey Barnes hides many secrets and she feels he cannot be relied upon.

It also seems another man has learned about her being a thief, because the legendary person called the Scarlet Pimpernel asks Gabrielle to assist in saving innocent French citizens from being killed. To carry out this request, she agrees to go from England to France and carry out a dangerous assignment. Gabrielle is shocked when she learns Ramsey is also going to Paris, as he has his own task to accomplish. As they both try to make sure their goals are achieved, the many tricky situations they have to face are made even more complicated when their hearts become involved.

Uncertainties keep TRAITOR IN HER ARMS suspenseful, while genuine emotions make the novel engaging. Gabrielle and Ramsey have found themselves in a challenging predicament, and both must make several very difficult choices. Though she has her own troubles, saving someone else is important to her. I really admired her determination to help others, even when the cost to her could be great. The quandaries in Ramsey’s life just keep mounting, and I worried over whether what he chooses to do would be the best for everyone. He is living with a terrible secret, and I had no idea what he would finally think is his best course of action. The honest emotions expressed by Ramsey and Gabrielle are certainly touching, and they convey their longing for one another with lots of passionate desire.

The way in which Shana Galen presents her compelling storyline made me believe the scenes could really have happened. During the Reign of Terror in France, many individuals were persecuted without a valid reason, and the author had me experiencing this fact through skilled writing. Numerous secondary characters play crucial roles in the book, and since some of these people did in fact live, the story seems even more realistic. I am eager to learn how the Scarlet Pimpernel will be included in the next installment of The Scarlet Chronicles series.

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

Series:  The Scarlet Chronicles – Book 1

Publisher:  Random House – Loveswept

Releases:  August 22, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/ycbcst3w

Genre:  Historical

Author website:  http://shanagalen.com/

Rating:  4.5 Stars

The Lady of Royale Street by Thea de Salle

The NOLA Nights series has been packed with sultry sexual encounters and lots of profound emotions. In the third release, part of the spotlight is on the imminent marriage of Sol and Arianna from the first story, but the main focus is on Alex DuMont and Theresa Ivarson, two individuals who would seem to have nothing in common except for their connection to the bride and groom. Being forced to work together to pull off the grand wedding lets the couple understand what the other is really like, and what they discover makes them want to know more. I laughed, then sighed, and then laughed some more. But I will also recall the extremely heartfelt emotions conveyed by Alex and Theresa because every sentiment was so genuine. Thea de Salle draws you into each developing situation with attention-grabbing details, and there is no way not to remain hooked until the final word is read. THE LADY OF ROYALE STREET has honest reactions, particularly likable characters, and very original happenings.

Although Alex DuMont loves his brother Sol, he was not thrilled to be chosen as his best man. His sibling is marrying a woman whose life is constantly followed by reporters, and when their disloyal wedding planner is killed in an accident, getting ready for the event has become doubly hectic. In order to help make certain everything goes without additional problems, the hotel manager of another family property has traveled from Dallas to New Orleans. Now Alex is going to do what he does best by bringing some control to a chaotic situation.

Upon arriving at the hotel where she will be staying, the expensive camera used by photojournalist Theresa Ivarson is broken by a man at the front desk. Learning she will have to work closely with this person because he is the groom’s best man does not set well, but she is determined to do her part as the maid of honor for her good friend, Arianna. As she and Alex try to salvage what they can of the original wedding plans, they realize their vastly different personalities might not be so incompatible after all.

Realism is never lacking in THE LADY OF ROYALE STREET. If a scene contains some lively sexual adventures, then every moment is conceivable. When only discussions are taking place and truthful words are spoken, I eagerly awaited the next response. While many of the activities portrayed in the story can be rather outrageous, I could see them happening because the behavior of several characters is unique. Alex likes order in his life and has followed the same routine for years. But being around Theresa has him concentrating more on them as a couple than sticking to his strict routine. Both are religious, and any aspects linked to their beliefs had me coming to know them even better. I never felt as though them discussing their faith took anything away from the story, as religion can be a very important part of a relationship, especially when two people are thinking of making it last more than a few days. As they explore the strong feelings between them, sex becomes steamier while conversations turn candidly sincere. I came to truly adore this couple.

Since a wedding is being celebrated, numerous engaging characters created by Thea de Salle make an appearance, and I thoroughly enjoyed many of their antics and witty words. I really hope more of the individuals in the series get their own books, as I am not ready to stop reading about them.

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

Series:  NOLA Nights – Book 3

Publisher:  Pocket Star

Releases:  August 21, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/y7x9zb8a

Genre:  Contemporary

Rating:  4.5 Stars