The Duke

Collin “Cole” Talmage, Duke of Trewyth, had been through hell with the war and he had not come out that battle whole. Loosing his hand had harden Cole which made him not be able to see the one woman he had been looking for.

Imogen Pritchard was a nurse at the local hospital and it will be there that she sees the man she had once spent the night with. Imogen had never forgotten Cole but the man that she saw was not the same man she had loved back then.

The Duke is the fourth book to the series Victorian Rebels by Kerrigan  Byrne. I liked this book but it was by no means my favorite. I loved the last three books and couldn’t put them down. This one however was at times a struggle. I only continued to read because of the main character Imogen.

Imogen’s character had been a nurse and barmaid at a brothel, and now a lady thanks to her marriage. I loved her character for her strength and her intelligence. After all she had been through she wanted to help those around her, to make the world a better place. Cole’s character I felt was the complete opposite. He was selfish and cruel. Now the other heroes from the previous books were broken men but there was a strength about them, and there was goodness inside them. With Cole’s character he kept just being cruel and insulting to Imogen. The romance reader in me still wanted Imogen to have that happy ending and in the end Cole showed he loved her but it was a struggle to really like his character.

Kerrigan Byrne is continuing the series with the fifth book which will come out this October.

Outlander

OutlanderClaire Randall was on her second honeymoon in 1945 when she will find herself walking one day along the ancient stone circles transporting her to the past. Claire will find herself in Scotland that is being torn apart by war and were being fought by the Highland clans in 1743. Claire will be in danger during this time that she does not belong but to survive she must. This survival will lead her down the path of many Scots but there will be one that will spark a desire in her, the gallant Scot warrior, James “Jamie” Fraser.

Outlander is the first book to the series Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I was strongly encouraged to try this book several months ago but with my pile of books to read I had too many to get through. Now that my pile is a little less I picked up the book. It was also because there is a series that has been created based on the book/series. It aired right at the end of July. I recorded all the episodes at the time without watching. I wanted to read the first book before I watched the first episode. After I finished the book I pretty much went to watching some of the episodes and will say I was hooked with how they created the series.

Alright now back to the book. I thought it was a good book to read. I was very entertained by this story but there were times that it dragged on which was not as great. Now I know that you have to have that to build the story and to let you know the characters. So that was needed but it did slow down the book for me, but I wanted to stick with it.

Claire was an interesting woman and a survivor. She does adapt well to this new environment but there will still be some bumps in the road with how she handles certain things. I can understand her need to survive which means to go along with the past and find a life there. Jamie I really liked but then I didn’t like him at times as he was a little too harsh with Claire. Then again this is back in 1743 and Jamie is a Scot warrior so it felt like that was how it would have been. I liked at the end Jamie was very understanding with Claire and the secret she was carrying.

What I liked was I felt I was back in that time period in 1743 Scotland with the amount of description Gabaldon writes. The dialogue was done really well with all the characters. I liked that Claire sounded like an outsider.

I finished the book and thought I would be definitely interested in reading more because there is still a lot to figure out. Will she get back? Will Claire ever see Frank again? What about Claire and Jamie, will they be having their own happy ending? Of course with this being a series I am assuming there will be plenty of things that could happen to them.

Smooth Sailing

Smooth SailingJeb Whitcomb was a billionaire trying to find himself to prove to his ex-girlfriend that he can change. Changing from a playboy was difficult when he was tempted left and right with a nurse who worked at his side.

Haley French was a RN and loved her job but it became difficult when she had to deal with Jeb. She resented him for making everything he did a big deal. Haley will resist the man but then one night she will let loose and find herself the next morning stranded on a yacht with the man she wanted to avoid.

Smooth Sailing is the second book from the series Stop the Wedding by Lori Wilde. When I started this series I didn’t know that they would be connecting to the same wedding. I figured it was several different weddings these men were coming to stop. So here in this one it is Jeb who is trying to stop a wedding where his ex-girlfriend is the bride. The ex is Jackie who is Boone’s sister, who was in the first book. I liked that they were connected and it seems they are all happening at the same time.

I liked Jeb for the most part as Wilde makes him likeable as he was trying to change from someone who had everything. At times I wanted to hit Jeb over the head and yell at him for being blinded by the idea of his ex-girlfriend when a woman he could love was right there. With Haley’s character I really liked her. She was a little shy, a little broken but she had a fire inside her. I was heartbroken for Haley with what had happened in her past. I wanted her to have that happy ending, and that ending was a struggle but it does happen.

So about the ending, it was once again very very sappy but I loved it. It felt like a movie I have seen which made it corny but great at the same time.

I am reading the last book, Crash Landing, next.

Waiting on You

Waiting on youColleen O’Rourke had been in love only once in her life and he was back in town to say goodbye to his uncle who was dying. She did not want to see him knowing that she would fall back in love but that wasn’t a choice as he was keeping close to her.

Lucas Campbell was here to help his Uncle Joe and to say goodbye. He knew that seeing Colleen would stir up old feelings but he didn’t want to start anything. Staying away from her seemed impossible though in the small town and Lucas knew that with enough time by her side he would want her all over again.

Waiting On You is the third book to Blue Heron series by Kristan Higgins. Once again I really liked this book. Kristan Higgins is a writer that I want to come back for more.

So Colleen was a woman who was unlucky in love. She was a flirt and a very confident woman or so it appeared on the outside. She was fragile and in need of love. I liked that for Colleen does get a second chance at love even though it was a very bumpy ride. Lucas was a man of few words but was a good man who just wanted to have something of his own. Now I think that Lucas was a little on the weak side when he was in his twenties and didn’t fight for Colleen. He makes up for it but he is still hardheaded about how to show Colleen what he wants.

I thought the backgrounds of Colleen and Lucas were written well and placed thoughtfully in the book. They were heartwarming and heartbreaking as you got to know these characters.

Now I really did like these characters as they were dynamic and felt real with real problems, my problem was I was torn. I wanted the happy ending as the romance reader in me and I was thrilled with the ending, then the other side of me was kind of annoyed. I felt that Colleen gave in way too easily. Sure it was her personality but I was disappointed that she didn’t resist more as this was a man who didn’t say that he loved her for all four years of dating. But as I said the romantic in me was thrilled with the outcome because I wanted them to be happy.

I would really like more on this series as there are still characters out there that haven’t had their story told. The fourth book is out this month which I can’t wait to read. Though to keep myself occupied I will have to try one of Higgins many novels as getting the fourth book could take some time with people checking it out.

Hard As It Gets

Hard as It Gets (Hard Ink, #1)Nick Rixey is ex military and is now working part time at his brothers Tattoo shop. The last thing he thought he would be doing was helping his ex-commander’s daughter find her brother. Nick wanted to say no to this woman but the thought of clearing his name and his men was too tempting. He needed to find her brother and whatever information the brother had recovered.

Becca Merritt needed to find her brother. She went to the only man she thought could help, Nick Rixey. She knew of him as a member of her fathers men and knew he would be able to handle anything that would come their way. Becca wasn’t expecting to find out that there were secrets that her father had been holding.

Hard As It Gets is the first book to the series Hard Ink by Laura Kaye. I found myself absolutely enthralled with the book. Laura Kaye is a new author for me and I really like her style of writing. The plot itself is grittier than I had originally thought it would be, which was a pleasant surprise.

Her ex-military characters are hard driven men with muscles and tough attitudes who are driven to clear their names. Nick was a hard man and mistrustful to any Merritt but he takes a chance on Becca. Now Becca was a sweet and wholesome but she was brave when she needed to be and to save her brother she needed to be. In the midst of danger sparks start to fly with Becca and Nick. They will heat of the sheets which will sizzle, but I also liked their interaction that were just with them bantering back and forth on what to do next.

Towards the end of the book I was wondering if the mystery of what Becca’s father had been up to would be solved but it appears this will be an on going mystery. I am guessing that it will be solved and these men will be cleared of any charges at the end of the series. I am sometimes annoyed when that happens but I thought that Kaye unwinds parts of the mystery very well and leaves me intrigued. That intrigue makes me want to read the next one to find the next clue and incidentally I will be reading the second book right after this one.

Kill and Tell

Kill and TellKaren Whitlaw is no stranger to tragedy as her mother passed away three weeks ago.  She will then hear about her fathers murder whom she hadn’t seen in fifteen years. She will go down towards New Orleans to claim the body where she will meet Marc Chastain who was assigned to her fathers case. Trouble will start to happen to Karen when she gets back home to find that someone is after her and now she wonders if it is because of the package her father had sent her mother.

Marc Chastain was assigned the case of a shooting. When he gets there something doesn’t feel right as it looked as if the scene had been compromised. He will investigate the truth which will lead him to the last remaining family Dex Whitlaw had, his daughter. He will have an instant connection to this woman and want her but trouble will interrupt their happy ending and Marc will have to protect her from someone who wants to kill her.

Kill and Tell is the first book to the series CIA’s Spies by Linda Howard. I only have read a couple books from this author and I have been very entertained by her plots and characters that she writes. This book got me from the very beginning with the mysterious package that Dexter was sending to his wife back in Ohio. I wanted to know what was in the package and found it interesting that so many people were after it. You do find out what it is, a kill book. It is how Dex kept track of the enemies he killed as a sniper but there was one that was done solely for murder. This is the reason for everyone trying to find him and the book.

Karen is a good daughter but only to the one parent who didn’t desert her. She took care of her mother and was horrified when she died which all started with a simple cold. She was strong and stubborn but she does do the right thing. She will claim her father’s body but that will lead her into so much more trouble. The trouble comes in two forms, the men chasing her and the man, Marc, whose attraction scares her. That is because she likes to control what is happening and Marc was upsetting that control. Now Marc’s character is a man who is very good at his job. He is dedicated to his work and is a lady’s man but when he meets Karen something changes. He wants this woman more than he has ever wanted. There is a very intense scene on the balcony which leads straight to the bedroom and everything about them sizzle. Aside from the sex that happens their relationship is very high strung because of the accidents which are happening to Karen. Marc will protect her at all cost by keeping her by his side and to help solve why these men would be after Karen’s father.

The bad guys are pretty clear as they take center stage at certain points of the book. The ultimate bad guy is clear as he is the one really running the show. He needs this package destroyed as it is evidence to a bigger crime that would incriminate and ruin him, and this time the bad guys wouldn’t get away with what has happened.

I know that I will want to finish up the series at least with the second book because that will have John Medina as the main character. I am interested in what will happen to him now that his father’s murder was avenged.

Me Before You

Me Before YouLouisa Clark was let go of her job and needed a new one quick to help support her family. Knowing nothing about caregiving she is given the job and will find out that this was not the average job. She will learn to live her life and try to save Will.

Will Traynor was an adventurer, he never thought he would be stuck in a wheelchair as a quadriplegic. He doesn’t want to live and for the next six months his caregiver will try to change his mind.

I have liked going to my book club because its a good way to read books I would never have thought to pick up. Once again a book I never would have picked up peaked my interest. I truly wasn’t sure I would like Me Before You and not because of the writing or characters which were both done well. It was the plot where you were wondering the entire time if a sad ending was coming. I didn’t wonder the whole time. I actually was being optimistic about the situation but had a feeling that optimism would be for nothing.

Now even though the ending was sad there was an uplifting part to the story. It was sad and funny at the same time and Moyes really stayed in tuned with her characters especially of Louisa and Will. Neither of them were acting out of character and did everything they did because it was who they were. I really liked that consistency.

I loved Louisa’s character with her fashion sense, saying what she thinks, feeling things too deeply and giving adventure a chance. You wanted her to live the life that Will was trying to get her to experience. Now Will’s character was not an easy man to handle. He was hard and bitter but you liked him. He was a good man who went through a horrible ordeal. You know what his plan is at the end of the six months, but hope that is not the end.

The one character I disliked was Patrick. He wasn’t the man for Louisa as he didn’t really care for her until it was too late and I was not sure he truly cared even then.

The story itself is very good and you are brought into the story pretty quickly as you learn about each character. There is some great banter that happens between Louisa and Will and of course some sparks but it is not really a romance novel. There is compassion, friendship, letting go, finding yourself, and yes love but it is not the focal part of the story. There is also sadness throughout the story obviously and it gets sadder as you go further. The story is a heartbreaker and I definitely felt the tears slipping down my face in several parts of the book, I couldn’t help it. So yes the ending is sad but worth the read because there is an underlining happiness in the book that brought a smile to my face even through the tears.