Sandy was heartbroken still after several months of Logan leaving. She was not expecting him to be gone so long but will be shocked when he shows up and she is in a Santa suite. She will not welcome him with open arms but Logan will charm her and her defenses will start to crumple. Logan will be determined to not let Sandy go this time.
Under The Mistletoe
Mia was floating on a cloud as life was good. She was doing well in life, was loved by both her parents and was in love with her boyfriend, Nick. She was also excited about going away for her Aunt’s wedding with Nick but he was not excited. Nick was terrified about the idea and will refuse devastating Mia. She will be surprised to find him coming after her and she wonders if they have a chance.
These were two short stories that followed the Lucky Harbor series by Jill Shalvis. They were grouped together in Christmas in Lucky Harbor which is with the first two books of the series. I have long since started this series and have really liked the stories. The newest books I am not as thrilled, still like them, but they do blend together sometimes. These two stories bring us back to the beginning characters who I loved reading about. I thought these two stories were very good at invoking the emotion that Shalvis is very good at creating, love and lust. That was a common theme in both of the books.
The first story is with Sandy and Logan. I couldn’t remember Logan but then Shalvis reminded the reader that he was Tara’s ex-husband. There interaction is explosive. Sandy holds out for as long as she can. Logan you can tell is a changed man and you hope he doesn’t screw it up again.
The second book was with Mia, who was Tara and Ford’s daughter. You met her in The Sweetest Thing. I really liked when Mia came on the scene and was excited to read her story especially it brought me back to the original three sisters of this series. Mia wanted one thing and that was to be picked as she had picked everything in her life. She does not give in but makes Nick fight for what he almost lost. Nick makes good on his mistake by staying and helping, and at the same time convincing Mia that he loves her.
After I finished these stories I always want more from these short stories, and I still do, but I feel that they were left off in the right spot. You knew that they would all have a happy ending.
Lady Isabella left her husband three years ago after enduring the loneliness, love and frustration that followed being Mac’s wife. She reserved herself and went on with her life but each time she saw him it broke her heart a little more. Now she will come to him with a problem that will lead to much more.
Mac MacKenzie was an artist, not a starving one but one who lost his muse for the art. It happened around the same time Isabella left. He will take his brothers advice and find a way to be husband again to his wife.
Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage by Jennifer Ashley is the second book to her series Highland Pleasures. I finally was able to get the second book. At first I wondered if I would like this book, I knew yes I would but wondered if it would be too heartbreaking to read about Isabella and Mac’s story. There were moments throughout the story that had your heartbreaking that they could not trust each other to really be themselves, namely Mac but with the ending there are nothing but smiles.
I found Mac frustrating that he wouldn’t just open up and talk to Isabella but the same can be said about her. It was interesting to read the quick wit and banter they flew at each other and how their tempers got away from them. What I loved was Mac and Isabella were both celibate with their separation and Mac stopped drinking. They still loved each other too much to cheat, which left hope for them.
Now of all the characters I have to say I still really love Ian. He is so different from all of them and I loved the advice or his opinions he gave his brother Mac on how to be happy again which meant to be husband to Isabella once again.
The villain was written well and had some mystery to him. You knew what he was doing but not the name of the person. I did like that Mac got very protective over Isabella when danger was coming too close to her.
The series Highland Pleasures keeps growing with more stories on the MacKenzies and I am interested on where she will go next with the series.
Dev Raines was semi retired but thanks to his friend he was back with a case that was anything but simple. He will be running into a different situation that started unfolding into a nefarious plot.
Lark Delaney needed help for what she thought would be a simple search. With Dev she tagged along hoping to find her niece that was given up for adoption but what she found was a shady adoption agencies.
Against the Law is Kat Martins third book to Raines of Wind Canyon series. So far the books have been very good to read. I loved Dev’s strong take charge attitude and the mystery of this simple case. The case started out as a simple search but was so much more and because of that you are drawn into the story and all the obstacles that stood in the way.
I was pulled into this book almost faster than the others because of the plot and mystery but also how Dev and Lark were written to be. The characters of Dev and Lark were one of the same with their tough exteriors that were built up like an armor but it was appropriate as their past lead them to be this way. I liked that the story kept going but not in a straight line. Nothing heartbreaking but a lot of action and surprises.
At the end of the story we are given a happy ending for these brothers and ending their stories. Kat Martin will be continuing with the series but branching off with characters that were mentioned already in the book, like the men who were working with the brothers.
Pia O’Brian was the mean girl in high school but she grew up a lot in those years and now faced with a giant decision that will change her life forever. She will find herself getting help from an unexpected man in Raoul Moreno who runs a camp for kids and knew little about her. She will take the help but soon will find herself in over her head especially as love blossoms.
Finding Perfect is the third book to Fool’s Gold series from Susan Mallery. Reading about Pia gave a new insight to the character and I found myself liking her more than before. The situation that she was put into because of her friend Crystal gave her more chaos but also a chance at true happiness. I did love the interaction between her and Raoul because it felt real like most of the characters Mallery writes. Once again there are tons of side characters that grab you and I find that I am waiting for their stories especially the triplets who will be next in the fourth, fifth and sixth book which I can wait to find in my library and read.
The story was heartwarming with some heartbreaking things that happened giving more to the story. Now even with all that happening I found myself not as pulled into the story as the last one. This of course will not stop me from reading more on the series especially because I did like the story just not as much as the previous one. I will have to go out and find more on the series especially as more men are now moving to Fool’s Gold.
The Southern Bell meets her match. Tara is back in Lucky Harbor for six months and avoiding Ford gets harder and harder to do. Finally they are pushed to the edge and stop denying what they have been longing to do since they were seventeen. Tara knows this is going to end bad for her as it did seventeen years ago but something is different with Ford this time. Tara and Ford will fight their true emotions but not desire that is until a couple road blocks are put in their path.
The second book, The Sweetest Thing, to the Lucky Harbor series was excellent. Like the first book from Jill Shalvis she goes there with the sexual desire and need of the characters. Ford and Tara will melt the words off the pages with their stares and scenes. I like also how Shalvis puts in the past to give the characters history in which they can connect with.
And of course a secret from their past shows up, their daughter a seventeen year old girl. I love her character and how she is really a lot like her parents. I also liked how Shalvis did not make having the baby a big tragedy to both characters. They were able to handle the situation and it wasn’t bad blood between them. If anything she pulled them closer together.
The added character of Logan, Tara’s ex husband, was comical. I liked how Tara did not really give him the time of day because she was not the same woman she was with him two years ago. Shalvis made it clear that Ford is the main man in Tara’s life and she kept it true throughout the book.
I can’t wait for Chloe and her turn at love with the bad boy sheriff in the third story of Lucky Harbor series.
Waiting after reading the third book I went in search for the others. I found that I had already read the fourth book of the series with Gabriel even if I didn’t know it at the time. Gabriel is in his own series called the Fortune Hunters but is also in Lost Texas Heart. So now I only had the first two to actually read. I got the first book, Just the Way You Are with Hope who was the eldest sibling.
Hope Prescott is the eldest sibling and sister. They were a family but then tragedy struck and they were left without parents. They had only each other and then that was taken away. At sixteen Hope had to grow up and over the years it has taken its toll. Hope does everything she can to survive but things change when she finds a steady job at an answering service. Hope is doing well but then her world starts to shift when she meets a man who is everything she wants expect she’ll find out he wasn’t being entirely honest.
Zack Givens is a very wealthy man and expects things to go his way. He makes people tremble and that’s how he likes it but things change when he hears a husky voice over the phone. Zack is compelled by that voice and wants to know more. He pretends to be the butler so she will talk to him and once he meets her he continues the charade. He knew it would be better to tell her the truth but he didn’t want to loose her. Zack will also have to realize what this relationship is doing to him, will he realize it before he ruins it?
This story was entertaining to the last page. Hope’s character you wanted her to succeed, to come on top and to find her siblings. She was strong and determined and knew what she wanted.
Zack you wanted to hit over the head. He was the typical rich boy who thought he could get everything he wanted. Dodd keeps the characters together but you know all hell will break loose when the truth is revealed. I like that the relationship is not easy and it is a struggle. You kept reading hoping things will come out well for the characters.
Dodd adds in family for both characters who steer them to where they should be. Just the Way You Are was a fantastic beginning and can’t wait to find out what happened to the wild child, Pepper.
Only till recently have I come across Linda Howard and decided to try one book. This time I made some inquiries and went for a book that was not part of a series, and one that would drive me to read. I found that book in Cry No More. This was a book that I didn’t want to put down. From the very start of the first page to the last I was hooked.
Millia Boone has had a tragedy. Ten years ago her son was taken from her, an infant, and she was left for dead. Millia did not give up like her ex-husband told her. Millia divorced and became Millia Edge once again and started Finders. She would find other lost children while still searching for her own. She gets close to the men and with the help of the dangerous James Diaz they find the clues to bring her closer to her son’s kidnappers, but Millia will find out they are closer to her than she knows.
Linda Howard has a gift of storytelling like so many accomplished writers but through this book it was full of grit. There was no happy plot, it was adventure, mystery and betrayal, all things that make a fascinating thriller.
I liked that it had started out with the one perspective of the client but then you started to get into everyone else’s. By doing this you found out who were the villains fairly quickly but what Howard does not reveal is the why. Throughout the book I kept guessing why the villains would do this to Millia and of course the answer was simple once you found out.
Millia Edge’s character was fantastic! She was strong, a fighter who did not back down but she was vulnerable at the same time. Then there was James Diaz who you were not sure of but the more he was around the better you liked him. He was that character who always stayed in the background. Howard did an impressive job giving those two characters that attraction and mistrust at the same time.
This book was bittersweet at times and how Howard gave Millia those challenges you would have begged for the character to have the happy ending. No ultimate happy ending comes until the very end but still sad. The last chapter Howard writes gives the read hope for what the future will come. Of course as the reader we are left to our own imagination.
Cry No More was a stellar book and one that needs to be read. This will not be the last book I will read from Linda Howard.