Tori’s Mini Reviews:
Caught For Christmas by Skye Warren
Series: Stripped, #3.5 (Novella)
Grade: B (Currently only $.99 on AMZ)
Skye Warren takes us back into The Grande with this sexy steamy holiday novella where she gives a lost soul a chance at redemption in the arms of a man who will do anything to save her. Drenched in sexual tension and suspense, fans will cheer the hero’s determination to save the young woman he has grown to love from the worst possible danger-her parents. Hints of the darkness that cloaks this series is present but the general overall premise is softer and deliciously tender. Each installment is set up in the same world with bleed over of characters and previous scenes though they can be read as standalone.
Written in the Scars by Adriana Locke
Adriana Locke tells a compelling story about a couple whose marriage falls to the wayside when an accident at the local mine sets a series of actions in play that leaves them unable to cope. Locke gives us an intimate view of a small town struggling to stay afloat and the effects it has on this married couple. Locke lets us see when it all began to go wrong, the consequences, and finally the steps they take to try to repair it. I was a little dismayed to find that the bulk of the issues were laid at the husband’s feet. While I can see his need to be the man of the house and his actions he takes when he thinks he’s a burden were wrong, I did feel the wife got off a little too easy as Locke paints her firmly in the victim corner. Regardless, engaging dialogue and an inclusion of well-meaning friends help to make their journey a little easier. I will admit I was surprised by the dichotomy of the faint inspiration tone and the explicit dirty talk and sexual scenes. Warning: keep your tissues handy.
Train’s Clash by Jamie Begley
Series: Last Riders, #9
Fans have been waiting for this couple’s story since their first whiff of attraction. Two strong personalities and a situation that seems to have no hope of compromise give readers a story that tests everything we have learned about the Last Riders and the two protagonists. These stories are over the top in melodrama and sexual escapades but it works. Heavy sexual tension is fueled by antagonism, jealousy, and tremulous history. Multiple storylines are in play, digging deeper into this couple’s backgrounds, allowing us to see their similarities. One particular story line digs deep into the past and literally left me with my mouth hanging wide open in shock. I give kudos for Begley for not only going there but making it a seamless transition. My enjoyment of this story was intensified because the heroine is not only a member of a “rival” MC with a strong posse at her back but she also doesn’t see the Last Riders as her endgame. She wants the hero but she isn’t willing to set aside her own feelings or modify her personality to try to fit in. I also enjoyed the slow but steady way the author teaches the couple that they won’t get what they want unless they both makes some changes. Readers get epilogue that assures us everyone is happy and we get a tiny glimpse of the next generation of Last Riders.
Campbell’s Redemption is a book most readers have been waiting on. From the beginning of the series, Ian Campbell has been an enigma whose loyalties and actions remained suspect. Seemingly working in tandem with the English to secure their providence over Scotland, it’s in here we learn the truth of his duplicity. I wish I could say it was all worth the wait but then I would be lying. The story revolves mainly around his burgeoning romance with the clan’s healer, Cait Campbell, a widow with a few secrets of her own. The storyline reads flat and anti-climatic. Ian isn’t a huge, dark, complicated mystery-he’s rather emo and his reasons are sound yet uninspiring. The resolution wasn’t up to par with the huge build up over the last two books. Various plot lines come and go with very little action or suspense. Once we hit the middle mark, everything seems to grind to a halt and then a massive rush towards the end. While I enjoyed the first 2 books, this one left me bored and unsatisfied.
Mandi’s Mini Reviews:
Sure Thing By Marie Harte
Series: The Donngans, #1
Starts really cute with a big hero who meets the heroine at the gym. The heroine only wants to date smaller men, and she finds the her super intimidating. He can’t stand the man she is dating and they have some nice banter. But the heroine really started rubbing me the wrong way. Actually, the hero too. They said things that made me feel more awkward than into them as a couple. Their chemistry just missed the mark for me. I did enjoy the hero’s brother – but his family is large and in the book a lot.