Her Forever Hero by Melody Anne

518f5kOqfQL._SY346_Choices made when younger can often greatly affect a person for years and possibly even a lifetime. Bad decisions may have destroyed the budding relationship of Camden Whitman and Grace Sinclair in the latest Unexpected Heroes story, but the couple is given the chance to reconnect if they can once again trust each other. Melody Anne always packs her romances with conflicts that challenge her main characters to look deep within themselves for answers. HER FOREVER HERO is emotionally compelling with insightful reactions.

After being gone from Sterling, Montana for ten years, Grace Sinclair comes back to her hometown with plans to stay. Very few memories of her time there are good, and seeing the man that she never got out of her thoughts is especially difficult. Though the relationship between Camden Whitman and Grace might perhaps have led to marriage, both reacted without talking things out and she thinks it is too late for them to get back together. She definitely does not intend on letting him into her life now that she is back in the area.

When it appears Grace could be accused of illegal dealings linked to a nonprofit organization, Cam is more than willing to help prove her innocence using his knowledge as a lawyer. But their past history makes her want nothing to do with him, even when he insists on aiding her. Cam has started to dream of getting married like his two brothers, and while he thinks Grace is the woman with whom he could have an enjoyable future, she just keeps pushing him away. When her situation becomes more complicated, he hopes working together to clear her name brings the realization that they could be a couple again.

Whether someone is just great friends with another person or if they are part of a family, I can always sense the genuine feelings between these individuals because of Melody Anne’s skillful way of writing. The Unexpected Heroes series often concerns what someone will do for those deeply cared about, and Cam certainly has his work cut out for himself when it comes to Grace. Since his frame of mind is much different now than it was when younger, he knows she is the one that he wants in his life, while his previous betrayal keeps her running away from him when things get too personal. Throughout their complex relationship, I respected Cam for trying so hard to demonstrate he is a changed man. At first, I wondered why Grace was not willing to give him a chance after so many apologizes, but new details do shed light on her behavior. While these two may not always be able to have an enlightening conversation, their sex life is filled with much passion and spontaneity.

Many past characters of the series show up and offer advice, encouragement and their assistance to Cam and Grace. I really like the way in which his family rallies around each other when needed, and their support is certainly necessary more than once in HER FOREVER HERO. The mystery of what is happening to Grace keeps building, and some revelations are very shocking. While most everything in her life is resolved, there is one matter that I hope to discover more about in a future story. The book ends with an issue relating to Cam’s brother, Michael, and I am really eager to learn what takes place next. Melody Anne writes enchantingly romantic stories, and HER FOREVER HERO is truly captivating.

Series:  Unexpected Heroes

Copy received from publisher:  Pocket

Releases:  February 23, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/j2ptqmq

Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:  http://melodyanne.com/

Rating:  4 Stars

Colton Baby Homecoming by Lara Lacombe

51rzSTpNQXL._SX313_BO1,204,203,200_There are a wide range of emotions expressed in the third Coltons of Texas story, and each sentiment is greatly affecting. From sorrow to fear to even joy, the feelings of the main couple were very clear to me and often had my own heart racing or being happy right along with them. Lara Lacombe knows exactly how to make her characters come across as actual people, and her contribution to the Coltons of Texas continuity is filled with realistic situations that pulled me into every riveting moment. COLTON BABY HOMECOMING has heartfelt emotions plus compelling mysteries.

After a long day working at his search and rescue job, Ridge Colton is ready for a peaceful evening spent at home with his canine partner. But upon reaching his remote cabin, he is totally stunned to discover someone had placed an infant on his front porch. Though the little girl looks well, Ridge is clueless when it comes to kids. So a trip to the local hospital is in order to let a doctor make certain nothing is wrong. When Dr. Darcy Marrow turns out to be the temporary emergency room physician, Ridge knows his day just got even worse.

Many years ago, Darcy was the only person who did not judge him for having a serial killer father, and he had actually thought there was something special between them. But her family did not approve of their relationship, and an incident caused her to forsake Ridge. Now all he can hope for is that they can at least be civil to each other, and both do make an effort. When circumstances put Ridge and Darcy in danger because an individual wants the infant, he is determined to keep those under his protection safe.

In the previous books of the Coltons of Texas continuity, clues have been given as to the possible identity of the Alphabet Killer but nothing has been proven as yet. Immediately from the start of COLTON BABY HOMECOMING, a new mystery begins and adds more uncertainties to the overworked police force. Finding an abandoned child at his home raises all kinds of questions for Ridge, and though he is not a cop, he is someone who knows how to track down answers. I liked watching him work with his siblings who are in law enforcement, and their jovial banter had me laughing at their good-natured ribbing. A strong sense of family is portrayed throughout the story, and it was good to see after the way their father’s actions forced them apart. Any developments related to the baby are riveting and often very surprising, while hints about the killer are slowly coming to light.

Although it has been many years since Ridge and Darcy have seen each other, neither has forgotten the strong connection they once had. All it takes is one meeting, and regrets plus dreams fill their thoughts. I truly felt for this couple because of the way in which they broke up, and how they currently respond to the other also deeply touched me. The emotions depicted by characters created by Lara Lacombe are always believable, and the reactions of Ridge plus Darcy are particularly convincing. I saw Ridge as someone who unselfishly gave of himself to help people in his town though most residents shunned him, and this fact just made him a better man. His devoted dog, Penny, caused many smiles when she was featured, and I loved the way the two got along. His relationship with Darcy is definitely complicated, and how she spoke her mind had me admiring her determination more than once. COLTON BABY HOMECOMING is packed with dangerous peril and lots of sincere feelings.

Copy received from author

Series:  Coltons of Texas

Publisher:  Harlequin Romantic Suspense

Releases:  March 1, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/zj5btmd

Genre:  Suspense

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

Rating:  4.5 Stars

Leaving Yesterday by Zoe Dawson

51kBHuz4HqLThe connection to the many engaging characters introduced in the first Laurel Falls story is immediate because of the genuineness of each person. From the main romantic couple to their relatives to the residents in the quaint town, their distinct personalities are clearly made known through sincere comments and reactions. Zoe Dawson constantly put me right in the middle of the situations where the characters went through a vast number of emotions. In the charming community of Laurel Falls, unexpected love might develop if a couple is willing to take a chance with their hearts. LEAVING YESTERDAY is particularly heartwarming because of compelling realism.

With his love of working on engines, Trace Black runs a garage in his hometown of Laurel Falls, Montana. After serving time as a marine in the Middle East, he enjoys the peaceful mountain setting where the locals are friendly and willing to help when needed. He and his older brother now take care of their two younger siblings, and any family problems that arise are often much more troublesome than those in the garage. When he gets a towing call during one tricky issue related to his sister, Trace feels certain solving the matter of a car that stopped working will be easier than dealing with the latest difficultly bothering the teenager.

Working closely with her father has always made Rafferty Hamilton happy, but all the time away from her husband for business helped to end their marriage and she is now divorced. Her current assignment has her driving a new car from New York to California, where she will be stopping along the way to hopefully locate good places for her family’s company to build a resort. But her search has been temporarily halted because of car trouble in a small Montana town. Rafferty lives in New York City, so being stuck in a town like Laurel Falls does not sound very promising at first. Yet the longer she has to wait in the area for her car to be fixed, the more she discovers to appreciate about the picturesque location. Especially when Trace offers to show her the highlights.

Though many scenes in LEAVING YESTERDAY deeply affected me, the episodes that had the greatest impact were moments involving Trace, Rafferty and his family. Whether it concerned his teenage sister or his brother who suffers with PTSD, each incident always came across as so true-to-life and was filled with honest responses. I wanted to help when they were suffering, and then shared in their joy when happiness was experienced. Although there are many characters featured in the book, their different natures helped me to keep everyone straight and look forward to their appearances. Regardless of their ages, I thought each person was an important addition to the story and enjoyed getting to know them.

From the first meeting of Trace, I adored this man with his winning behavior and gentlemanly traits. While polite and always thoughtful, he also has a spirited side that I saw as endearing. Sadly, he has to be serious much more than playful, and this is why I liked watching him and Rafferty together as she brought some fun into his life. She is a take charge woman who does what needs to be done in any situation, and my admiration kept increasing. The good-natured teasing between Trace and Rafferty had me laughing, and when their actions turned sensual, they expressed their desire with lots of heated passion. The way in which their relationship grew seemed just right, as they gave themselves time to know each other before moving to the next step. Both have much to overcome before things become permanent, and Zoe Dawson took me on a fascinating romantic journey of discovery. LEAVING YESTERDAY has enchanting moments plus a lively cast of characters.

Received copy from NetGalley

Series:  Laurel Falls

Publisher:  Loveswept

Releases:  February 9, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/zcyajru

Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:  http://zoedawson.com/

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Wicked Sexy Liar by Christina Lauren

51O8h-E7zEL (1)Getting to know the characters in a story by Christina Lauren is just like actually meeting someone and then gradually learning their admirable and even flawed traits. All the couples introduced in the Wild Seasons series seem like long-time acquaintances when their stories end, as their thoughts and dreams are experienced through alternating points of view. Though Luke Sutter and London Hughes hookup in San Diego instead of Las Vegas like the other couples in the series, their relationship seems doomed when a significant fact is eventually revealed. But sometimes the heart wants what it desires despite the consequences. Christina Lauren never fails to enchant with convincing realism during every compelling scene. WICKED SEXY LIAR is intensely passionate, amusing and even stirringly emotional.

While her roommate is deliriously happy and very sexually satisfied by her boyfriend who was met during a Las Vegas vacation, London Hughes has no prospect of finding someone special. Though she has graduated from college and lives in San Diego, she has yet to find work in her chosen career so her days are spent surfing and is a bartender at night. Never dating anyone from the bar has always been a steadfast rule for London, yet one man does grab her notice when her day has not been the best. Needing a little distraction, she goes home with Luke Sutter after work and the two have a memorable evening with no promises.

After his relationship ended with a woman for whom Luke really cared, no date since then had been meaningful. When he asks London to come back to his place, his thoughts afterward keep going over what they shared. They both find the other is someone that they enjoy being around, but having sex plus occasionally hanging out together is all either is seeking. When London hears about his prior connection with someone she knows, she thinks it is time for their short affair to end. But surprisingly Luke is not ready for her to disappear from his life.

When Luke and London were met in previous Wild Seasons books, neither got the chance to let their sparkling personalities shine until the chance to tell their own story. It is easy for me to see that London is dedicated to carrying out whatever task she needs to do for someone else, but feels vulnerable in taking a big jump in her life after college. She can be sassy, yet keeps much about herself hidden from others. Luke appears carefree at first, and his initial actions really did show him to be a manwhore. Yet there is just something about his likable nature that made him adorable to me. It only takes one night with London to make Luke start questioning his behavior, and he then must decide whether he is really happy with the way everything is going.

Regardless of whatever situation arises and how Luke plus London react, their responses are always convincing with total genuineness. Christina Lauren never fails in creating characters whose emotions are so honestly conveyed that they truly come across as real people. Conversations are frequently filled with lively banter, yet there are also discussions where feelings are laid bare. I could always tell exactly what was going on in their minds because of the author’s skilled writing. The sexual attraction between Luke and London is powerful from the start, and it only gets stronger with each new encounter. They can have fun together no matter what they are doing, and I often laughed at their candid comments. One particularly hilarious scene in the story is a family dinner involving his grandmother. Most of the charming characters from earlier books make an appearance, and I certainly enjoyed the new insight into Not-Joe. Cannot wait to see what the exceptional two authors known as Christina Lauren come up with next. WICKED SEXY LIAR is entertainingly unforgettable.

Series:  Wild Seasons

Copy received from publisher:  Gallery

Releases:  February 2, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/ozlb3rt

Genre:  Contemporary

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

Rating:  5 Stars

Scoring Position by V.K. Sykes

51+sIShp5iLThe world of baseball and romance is once again entertainingly connected in the latest Philadelphia Patriots story. Stakes are high as a multimillion dollar contract is being negotiated, and there definitely should not be any emotional involvement during the discussions. But the sexual attraction between a catcher for the Patriots and his new female agent cannot be denied forever. V.K. Sykes has this couple reacting with such genuineness that they just have to be real. SCORING POSITION puts the reader right in the heart of each compelling moment.

There have been many highlights for Nick Rome being on the Philadelphia Patriots baseball team, and his talent as their catcher has made him an important member. While he thoroughly enjoys his time actually playing the game, all the business dealings off the field are certainly not a fun part. Sadly, he is yet again without an agent because he often disagrees with their methods, but must find one quickly as his current contract will be up at the end of the season and negotiating on his own is not going well. When another player suggests Nick talk with a sports agent who has few clients, he wonders if the woman can get what he requires.

Though Kate Berlin has never worked with a baseball player before, she plans to get Nick the best offer possible when he hires her. Since he would be her most famous client, she knows pulling off a successful deal would prove she is able to help any athlete. Kate wants to satisfy the goal Nick demands, but she thinks his reputation as a hothead may hurt his chances. As the two work together, the spark of awareness between them grows with every new interaction.

Total enjoyment is how I felt while reading SCORING POSITION. The characters are very true-to-life, especially Nick and Kate, and what happens in their lives is also conceivable. Two strangers working together for business reasons often has them learning details about each other, and what is discovered can sometimes lead to interest for personal reasons. Nick may be confrontational when he feels wronged, but it just shows how passionate he is about things. Though rich, he still cares about others and I found his humble ways to be endearing. Kate is a very loving mother to her young son, and she is also a dedicated agent who is concerned about her clients. Her integrity had me respecting her quite often. Nick and Kate are a charming pair, and I found them to be particularly honorable.

I always felt as though scenes could take place as described, because lifelike events occur in the bedroom plus in any circumstances related to baseball. Kate and Nick certainly have no trouble expressing their desire for the other, as any sexual encounters are very pleasurable for them. V.K. Sykes truly hits a homerun when depicting any baseball plays or contract negotiations, as I could always understand exactly what is happening. Plenty of past characters make an appearance to my delight, and I hope the Philadelphia Patriots series continues for a long time, thus giving more players their own story. SCORING POSITION has romantic challenges and lots of heartfelt emotions.

Copy received from author

Series:  Philadelphia Patriots – Book 6

Publisher:  self

Releases:  January 28, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/jv7nlfy

Genre:  Contemporary

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

Rating:  5 Stars

Charmed and Dangerous by Debbie Herbert

51I4vEDcDrLThe Dark Seas series from Harlequin is one of my all-time favorites in the Nocturne line, and the talent of Debbie Herbert to create enthralling paranormal stories makes her Appalachian Magic series equally fascinating. A New Adult romance, the first book has a witch with a complicated background becoming involved with an immortal who is very wary of her kind. Throughout their complicated relationship, difficult choices must be made when futures are at stake. CHARMED AND DANGEROUS is magically enchanting.

When Callie Bradford was twelve, she and a friend decided to use a hidden Ouija board in her home for fun. But right after the event which had a scary ending, the witch was sent away for seven years and had little contact with anyone back in Alabama. Now Callie has been summoned to come home but not told why. During a morning walk, she encounters another hiker, James MacLauren, and is delighted to hear both will be attending the same college next semester. While she enjoys being around the young man, she knows any of her capabilities as a witch must be kept secret.

Callie does not realize James is an immortal with his own distinctive skills that few know about. When he accidently discovers she is a witch, he thinks being around one of her kind could be disastrous if she turns on him. After finally told the reason for being called back to the area is for her protection, Callie has a hard time thinking the danger is real. Yet upon learning her supposedly long dead father is a powerful warlock who practices dark magic, Callie starts to believe the peril may be genuine. When several disturbing incidents seem to be connected to her upcoming birthday with its special significance, the relationship she has with James is truly tested.

With lots of original details, CHARMED AND DANGEROUS is constantly entertaining. I really liked how Debbie Herbert included plenty of unique aspects in the story, such as the Dismals Canyon, an actual place in Alabama. How crystals and other practices used by witches are depicted all through the book is certainly intriguing, and it made scenes seem much more convincing to me. Facts about rituals and spells added even more credibility, making me think the events actually could have happened as portrayed.

There are many likable characters in the story, from the main couple to her good friends, and I enjoyed seeing how these college age individuals reacted to each other and any situations featuring the paranormal. I really loved how the author gave James and Callie normal problems teenagers must face along with many challenging consequences of having supernatural abilities. James is a great hero, as he often listens to his heart instead of what his mind recommends. Though Callie is often puzzled over what is taking place in her life, I liked how she tried to find solutions without bringing any true harm to others, even though she could. Any sexual interaction between Callie and James is understated yet perfectly fit their budding relationship. I am thrilled more characters in the Appalachian Magic series get their own book. CHARMED AND DANGEROUS is cleverly imaginative.

Series:  Appalachian Magic

Publisher:  Secret Quills Press

Releases: January 28, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/hmvgalx

Genre:  Paranormal

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

Rating:  4.5 Stars

Colton’s Surprise Heir by Addison Fox

Colton's SupriseThe Coltons of Texas series has a large family suffering through years of personal torment related to a past tragedy, and none have been more affected than Ethan Colton. Having a father who murdered innocent people would be bad enough, but the cold-blooded man also killed his own wife. Ethan was only seven when he told information that put his dad in prison, and being the son of a killer still influences many of his current choices. Lizzie Conner challenges him from the moment she comes back into his life, and neither are ever the same because of one memorable night. Addison Fox makes her contribution to the Coltons of Texas series not only intriguing but very heartfelt. COLTON’S SURPRISE HEIR has numerous mysteries and profound emotional issues.

When Elizabeth Conner came to see Ethan Colton, the Texas rancher definitely did not expect the news his childhood friend delivered. It seems their one passionate night together after meeting at a rodeo resulted in her being pregnant. Though he never wanted to have kids because of his inherited background, it looks like he and Lizzie are going to be parents in three months. Ethan just hopes whatever made his own father a serial killer will not be passed on to the child.

Although Lizzie had not planned to inform Ethan about the baby just yet because she knew his views on having children, some disturbing incidents drove her to seek his assistance for the safety of their baby. Not knowing who is actually behind the threats has her fearful of what might happen next. While Ethan had no desire to ever be a dad, he does not hesitate in taking measures to keep Lizzie and his child from being harmed.

There is a powerful connection between family members in the Coltons of Texas series, and Addison Fox proves this point during several scenes where the love between the siblings comes through loud and clear. I could easily see these discussions taking place, where disagreements are often debated yet backed by much concern. While Ethan had thought he was happy living his solitary life on his successful ranch, the presence of Lizzie makes him realize what he has been missing. I really felt for him and all the problems that he has lived with for so long, especially since he had such a difficult time expressing his real feelings. Lizzie also had much to overcome by growing up without parents, and I respected her ability to be so self-sufficient. These two make a wonderful couple, as the passion and trust between them is honestly genuine.

Who is once again killing people in their town is certainly a big mystery, and I was left baffled though clues are scattered throughout. This is an ongoing subject matter in the series, and it is interesting to see how details are handled in each book. I am very eager to discover what will occur in the upcoming Coltons of Texas story because of facts given in this novel. The possible danger to Lizzie is also mystifying, and I never knew when a threat was going to pop up or how alarming it might be. Danger and emotions are equally balanced in COLTON’S SURPRISE HEIR.

Received copy from author

Publisher:  Harlequin Romantic Suspense

Series:  The Coltons of Texas

Releases:  February 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/zw2sl79

Genre:   Suspense

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

Rating:  4 Stars