Dare to Love

Dare to LoveIan Dare is the big brother of his siblings and the owner of an NFL team. He was a player but when he sees Riley something will change. Instead of wanting all woman he will only want Riley but he doesn’t know if he can open his heart to her.

Riley Taylor loved her job but will find herself jobless that is until Ian hires her. She knows it could cause tension but she will soon find that she loves the job and loves being close to Ian. Though when her past comes back to haunt her there will be problems between her and Ian.

Dare to Love is the first book to the series Dare to Love by Carly Phillips. I really liked this story. I was swept into the story especially when you find out that Ian and his siblings have half siblings. Their father had a completely different family at the same time. I was drawn into this strange family dynamic.

The character of Ian was the strong older sibling of both sets of family. His heart was hardened because of his father and he liked control. I thought that Phillips wrote his character well with how he interacted with Riley and when she wrote the scene with Ian extending an olive branch to his half siblings my heart ached for him when he was rejected. So Riley’s character had her own troubled past but she survived and she had made something for herself. She is guarded and will only let those in she trust completely. I liked that she was able to let Ian in and let herself find someone to love. I also loved it when she stood up to Ian. She wasn’t a pushover which was her mother’s fatal trait.

Ian’s father pissed me off with him having another family at the same time. I had instantly disliked him. I started to like him more as the story went on but still thought what he did was pretty shitty. Though Riley’s father tops Ian’s by a long shot. He is a very bad man that makes the situation very difficult for Riley.

So the Dare to Love series has nine books to it. Each story will feature one of the siblings and I am looking forward to reading their stories. I am reading Dare to Desire next.

Natural Born Charmer

Natural Born CharmerDean Robillard stopped when he saw a woman in a giant beaver costume which lead to him giving her a ride. Though Dean will not be able to get rid of Blue and soon will discover that he might want her to hang around.

Blue Bailey has had a string of bad luck. She will find that maybe her luck is changing when she hitches a ride and lands in Tennessee. Blue will start over once again but will find that maybe she might want to settle down.

Natural Born Charmer is the seventh book to the series Chicago Stars by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. This book is the last book to the series and was another fantastic novel.

Blue’s character was a drifter thanks to her childhood. She shielded herself from those who loved her and from herself loving anyone. You wanted her to let her guard down so that she could love and receive love. Dean’s character was someone who had his own messed up background. I liked that he made something of himself and he became gentler on the ranch, not that he was mean but he also shielded himself. On the surface they looked like they never would be together but they will look beyond and find that there is more than meets the eye.

The other story is with Dean’s mother and estranged father, a groupie and rock and roll singer. I liked this other story as it brought something more to the story. The parents will learn to live with each other again and that will mend hearts but its an up hill journey for them and Dean. The added character of Riley was adorable, Dean’s half sister. I loved how she started out as the insecure girl but grew into a young woman who was becoming her true self.

Alright so I thought that Blue’s mom was good for the work she did for others but she could have been a little more thoughtful to her own daughter. I guess it didn’t matter as Blue finally made peace with it all but it would have been nice for the mother to be there for her daughter.

Well now that I am done with this series I am taking a break from Susan Elizabeth Phillips, but I know I will come back and read more of her books.

Heaven, Texas

Heaven, TexasGracie Snow worked as an associate producer which quickly turned to personal assistant to Bobby Tom. This meant Gracie had to spend a lot of time with him which only led her to want him more, and easier to fall in love with him.

Bobby Tom Denton was used to getting things his way but with a career ending injury he felt stuck. Doing the movie was not what he truly wanted but it was something to do. He will be surprised when his attention starts to drift to Gracie.

Heaven, Texas is the second book to the Chicago Stars series by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I really liked this second book. There is something with how Phillips writes the story that has you wanting to read from start to end. Its funny that I am liking this series because throughout the book I am getting frustrated with how the characters were written especially Bobby Tom. His character was a womanizer to the extreme. He liked woman to look good and not think. I was kind of appalled at his behavior at times and wonder how Gracie could even fall for him. Though Gracie’s character was one of forgiving. She cared a lot and was naive but she had a backbone. I liked how Gracie changed and became a stronger version of herself throughout the book.

This town treated him like a hero to them. He was the celebrity and it was ridicules with the women who wanted to be with Bobby Tom. Towards the end a situation will occur which will show a nasty side of Bobby Tom. I was pissed off at how he was reacting as he was only thinking about himself. At that point you have to wonder if a happy ending would happen but Phillips will give a happy ending. There was a moment that had me thinking that ending was given a little too freely but that was Gracie’s character.

There is a parallel story that is being told which is with Wayland and Suzy (Bobby Tom’s mom). This was not a love story between them. There was passion but it was combined with hurt that drifted between them. Phillips makes sure that the couple’s problems will be fixed and get their happy ending, which made me smile.

I am reading the third story next.

It Had to Be You

It Had to be You-PhillipsPhoebe Somerville had just inherited her father’s football team, the Chicago Stars. Her father did not give her the team out of love, but out of hatred. He wanted to teach her a lesson. Phoebe will make sure that she doesn’t get beaten.

Dan Calebow is the head coach for the team and has no desire to take orders from the new team owner. He thinks she is an airhead and will destroy the team. Dan will find out that there is much more to Phoebe.

It Had to Be You is the first book from the series Chicago Stars by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Really, really loved reading this book. I got right into the series the moment I read the first page. It seemed humor filled and outrageous, but there was more. This was not a happy go lucky kind of romance. There were a lot of hurtles that the characters had to go through. I will not lie there were a couple places that felt a little long, but for me it was worth it to get to the end.

Phoebe’s character was all over the place. Her image was a bimbo who had slept with many men. Personally I was happy to find out that wasn’t the case. I really don’t like it when the character is an idiot. So with Phoebe she is actually very smart but damaged thanks to a rape that she survived when she was eighteen years old. Phoebe is still damaged but she has come along way.  So then there is Dan who is overbearing and full of himself at times. At times I didn’t really like him and how he treated Phoebe, he was a jerk a lot of times but he does change. I felt that if he knew earlier about what Phoebe had went through he wouldn’t be so harsh, but like I said he does change more when he finds out about her past.

Throughout the book I found myself getting emotional. I wanted Phoebe to be happy and to find someone that will treat her right. There were plenty of times that Dan was not that guy as he had his own issues to deal with.

So within the book there are several twists and situations that are pretty horrible which involve Phoebe. I was shocked by one twist that was very disturbing.Though there are a couple great things that happen that had me cheering which give her closure.

Personally with all the emotions that I went through with this book I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read the next book. I decided that I wanted to continue the series. I will be reading the second book next.

Love Irresistibly

Love IrresistiblyAssistant U.S. Attorney Cade Morgan had been a prosecutor before and a rising football star before that, but right now he was working with the FBI to bring down a senator. Cade will enlist the help of Brooke Parker and with her help they will be successful. He will keep the work relationship going with Brooke but bring it to a personal causal level. Things will get complicated when he starts to have real feelings for Brooke and when he meets his half brother he never knew.

Brooke Parker was a good businesswoman and knew when it would be good to play ball especially with the Assistant U.S. Attorney and two FBI agent staring back at her. Brooke would do them the favor which would bring her closer with interacting with Cade Morgan. She finds herself wanting more and hoping that this one would work instead of failing like her other relationships.

Love Irresistibly is the fourth book from the series FBI/US Attorney by Julie James. After reading It Happened One Wedding not too long ago I wanted more from Julie James and now I picked up this one and Just the Sexiest Man Alive. I liked this book a lot.

Cade’s character was like a playboy at times and had some humor laced through the book. There was a serious side to the story. One being the investigation and the second with Cade’s past. How his father abandoned him and how his half brother showed up. There is a secret that came out of the end and you wanted to cry for Cade but with how James leaves the story there is hope and a chance for peace between certain characters. I liked Brooke as well. She was a savvy business woman and knew what she wanted and knew what was wrong with her in regards to relationships. When Cade and Brooke finally get together it sizzles but it is also comforting for each other. They are both in the same fields so they know the work schedule but they make it work and into something more. Of course things will get intense and things will get complicated making them weary of each other but James will not disappoint us and give a happy ending.

I will be reading Just the Sexiest Man Alive next.

Sweet Spot

Sweet SpotNicole Keyes has had her world turned upside down with her divorce thanks to her sister Jesse while her other sister, Claire, has returned home. Nicole wants to change and live her life. She will meet Hawk and starts a sexual relationship but life is never that easy. Nicole soon finds herself saddled with a teenager and all the things that come with it.

Hawk saw Nicole in the bakery and knew he wanted her. Hawk was good at getting women to notice him but he never went into relationships. With Nicole it will be different but he will keep her from reaching that point especially when he has his daughter and star quarterback to worry about.

Sweet Spot is the second book to Keyes Sisters series by Susan Mallery. The first one was an onslaught of emotion at least in the first half but it was really enjoyable. The second book had the emotional onslaught in the second half when things started to unravel for Nicole and Hawk as well as Brittney and Raoul. I liked that Nicole and Hawk walked into this sort of relationship with their eyes wide opened. What changes is when Nicole finds herself seeing that she wants more. She changes more and more thanks to her kind of foster kid, Raoul. The kid Raoul I really liked. The parts where he interacted with Drew was comical and very sweet. I thought he was a great character who was thoughtful and was too good for Brittney but I guess it was young love. I hope that Brittney changes and becomes mature.

Back to Hawk and Nicole I did really like their dynamic together as they are both hard headed people but love those around them at least most of the time in Nicole’s case. Mallery does a good job at the ending when all the spoiling Hawk did for his daughter will come back to bite him in the ass. Brittney is not a bad daughter just spoiled. I like that Nicole doesn’t fall for his apologize the first time around. Hawk has to work at it which he was not used to.

I have to say that this is a very enjoyable series to read so far and I am itching to read the third and final book. I was happy that Nicole did not hate Jesse as much but I was unsure if she knew her ex husband and her sister did not sleep together. I guess I will find out in the third book with Jesse’s story which I am reading next.

The Rana Look by Sandra Brown

They called it the Rana Look…the exotic, one-of-a kind allure that only supermodel Rana Ramsey could deliver.  Now her beautiful eyes are shielded behind tinted glasses, her famous figure hidden under shapeless dresses, her trademark wild hair falling straight down her back.  Rana knows she’ll never attract a man this way, and that’s just fine with her-until she meets Trent Gamblin.

Ruggedly handsome, charming, and undeniably charismatic, Trent is the kind of man Rana finds irresistable…the kind she’s certain would never look twice at the “new” Rana.  But to her surprise, Trent seems unfazed by her Plain Jane look.  For he is drawn to a beauty that Rana can’t hide.  But the outside world cannot be kept at bay forever.  And when tragedy strikes, Rana and Trent will learn whether theirs is just an impossibly erotic dream-or the kind of love that lasts forever.

The secret identity is great and brings some fun for the characters.  There was wit and intrigue to the plot and characters.

But the fact that you get to read about models was interesting.  It makes me sick knowing what models go through.  What the public expects to see out of them.  All it is skin and bone but it is all fake.  Nowadays it is getting better but we are not there yet.  I liked that Brown dove into that topic.

Brown creates this sexy, fun and sensuous romance that you will dive right into.

Play Dirty by Sandra Brown

Brown is known for her romance.  Play Dirty brings that intrigue and thriller aspect to the plot and characters.

After five long years in federal prison, Griff Burkett is a free man.  But the disgraced Cowboys quarterback can never return to life as he knows it before he was caught cheating.  In a place where football is practically a religion, Griff committed a cardinal sin, and no one is forgiving.

Foster Speakman, owner and CEO of SunSouth Airlines, and his wife, Laura are a golden couple.  Successful and weatlhy, they lived a charmed life before fate cruelly intervened and denied them the one thing they wanted most-a child.  It’s said that money can’t buy everything.  But it can buy a disgraced football player fresh out of prison and out of prospects.

The job Griff agrees to do for the Speakmans demands secrecy.  But he soon finds himself once again in the spotlight of suspicion.  An unsolved murder comes back to haunt him in teh form of his nemesis, Stanly Rodarte, who has made Griff destruction his life’s mission.  While safeguarding his new enterprise, Griff must also protect those around him, especially Laura Speakman, from Rodarte’s ruthlessness.  Griff stands to gain the highest payoff he could ever imagain, but cashing in on it will require him to forfeit his only chance for redemption…and love.

Griff is now playing a high-stakes game, and at the final whistle, one player will be dead.

I was impressed with Play Dirty it grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go.  At first when I was reading I got to the middle and seemed like it should be done.  But then something big happens and the action takes over.

The plot is intense to read.  When one of the characters is killed you suspect the other one of murder but did they do it.  It was intriguing to see how the plot panned out.  You didn’t know the murderer then you found out but it didn’t make sense.

Play Dirty brings many surprises, tragedy, and romance to the pages.