Monday, November 24, 2014

Tamed by Emma Chase

Tangled #3
This story is running simultaneously to Tangled. Matthew meets Kate's friend Delores and is immediately intrigued. Kate gives him Dee's card and he calls her. He wants to arrange a date she says why not in a hour. Matthew likes that! They have a great time that night. Matthew is hooked. But Dee takes some convincing. She is not good at relationships. But he doesn't give up, until he does! The ball is in her court.
I loved this book.  It has a lot of humor that Tangled did. Matthew and Dee are a perfect couple.

Holy Frigging Matrimony (Tangled #2.5)  is in the back of the print version I read.

From the author:
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: girl meets player, they fall in love, player changes his ways.

It’s a good story. But it’s not our story. Ours is a lot more colorful.

When I met Dee I knew right away that she was special. When she met me, she thought I was anything but special--I was exactly like every other guy who’d screwed her over and let her down. It took some time to convince her otherwise, but turns out I can make a convincing argument when sex is at stake.
You might know where this story’s headed. But the best part isn't where we ended up.

It’s how we got there.

Read an excerpt on Goodreads.

Pages: 221
Published: 2014

Finding Perfect by Susan Mallery

Fool's Gold #3
Crystal left Pia her three frozen embryos. Pia thought she was getting Jake the cat.  Pia is stunned. She doesn't know what to think. It spills over into her meeting with a new to town business owner Raoul Moreno. He is so kind to her. After a couple of meetings where they seem to talk about Pia's dilemma, Raoul realizes that he knew Crystal's husband Keith. He was with Keith in Afghanistan when he died. He held him while he died. Raoul decides that if Pia goes ahead and gets pregnant with the embryos he will be her pregnancy buddy.
She gets implanted and he proposes. She is practical and says yes because she knows that she will need somebody. Is this the right thing to do?? Will Pia regret it?

This is a sweet story.

From the author:
As the Fool’s Gold event planner, Pia O’Brian is a pro at multi-tasking, but this is taking things a little too far. Pia’s best friend has left her with not one, not two, but three frozen embryos. Pia wants to honor her friend’s final wish but is overwhelmed at the thought of being a single mother to triplets. She can’t even keep a plant alive! This is no time to meet a man who makes her stomach do flips.

Former professional quarterback Raoul Moreno grew up in the inner city and has moved to Fool’s Gold to open a camp to give other city kids a taste of nature. Stung by love in the past, Raoul has no interest in settling down, now or ever. But how can he resist a woman like Pia, who’s so honorable that she’s willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of her late best friend? Loyalty like that doesn’t come along every day… especially not wrapped in a package as sexy as Pia!

Chapter One
“What do you mean she left me the embryos? I’m supposed to get the cat.” Pia O’Brian paused long enough to put her hand on her chest. The shock of hearing the details of Crystal’s will had been enough to stop the strongest of hearts and Pia’s was still bruised from the loss of her friend.

She was relieved to find her heart still beating, although the rhythm qualified more as racing than slow.
“It’s the cat,” she repeated, speaking as clearly as possible so the well-dressed attorney sitting across from her would understand. “His name is Jake. I’m not really a pet person, but we’ve made peace with each other. I think he likes me. It’s hard to tell—he keeps to himself. I guess most cats do.”

Pia thought about offering to bring in the cat so the lawyer could see for herself, but wasn’t sure that would help.
“Crystal would never leave me her babies,” Pia added with a whisper. Mostly because it was true. Pia had never had a maternal or nurturing thought in her life. Taking care of the cat had been a big step for her.

“Ms. O’Brian,” the attorney said with a brief smile. “Crystal was very clear in her will. She and I spoke several times as her illness progressed. She wanted you to have her embryos. Only you.”

“But I...” Pia swallowed.

Embryos. Somewhere in a lab-like facility were frozen test tubes or other containers and inside of them were the potential babies her friend had so longed for.

“I know this is a shock,” the lawyer, a forty-something elegant woman in a tailored suit, said. “Crystal debated telling you what she’d done. Apparently she decided against letting you know in advance.”

“Probably because she knew I’d try to talk her out of it,” Pia muttered.

“For now, you don’t have to do anything. The storage fees are paid for the next three years. There’s some paperwork to be filled out, but we can take care of it later.”

Pia nodded. “Thank you,” she said and rose. A quick glance at her watch told her she was going to have to hurry or she would be late for her ten-thirty appointment back at her office.

“Crystal picked you for a reason,” the attorney said as Pia walked toward the door.

Pia gave the older woman a tight smile and headed for the stairs. Seconds later, she was outside, breathing deeply, wondering when the world was going to stop spinning.

This was not happening, she told herself as she started walking. It couldn’t be. What had Crystal been thinking? There were dozens of other women she could have left the embryos to. Hundreds, probably. Women who were good with kids, who knew how to bake and comfort and test for a fever with the back of their hands.

Pia couldn’t even keep a house plant alive. She was a lousy hugger. Her last boyfriend had complained she always let go first. Probably because being held too long made her feel trapped. Not exactly a sterling quality for a potential parent.

Her stomach felt more than a little queasy. What had Crystal been thinking and why? Why her? That’s what she couldn’t get over. The fact that her friend had made such a crazy decision. And without ever mentioning it.

Fool’s Gold was the kind of town where everyone knew everyone else and secrets were hard to keep. Apparently Crystal had managed to break with convention and keep some huge information to herself.

Pia reached her office building. The first floor of the structure held several retail businesses. A card store, a gift shop with the most amazing fudge, and Morgan’s Bookstore. Her office was upstairs.

She went through the plain wooden door off the side street and climbed to the second story. She could see a tall man standing by her locked office door.

“Hi,” she called. “Sorry I’m late.”

The man turned.

Read more here.

Pages: 346
Published: 2010

Sunday, November 23, 2014

It's In His Kiss by Jill Shalvis

Lucky Harbor #10
Becca is new to Lucky Harbor. On her first day she meets a guy she calls Sexy Surfer Guy.  She finds out his name is Sam. Eventually she gets a job working for him but it's after she has had her way with him. He doesn't want to hire her but she gets under his skin. They both have things to get over - his is his bad childhood -  hers, a bad relationship and a family that never seemed to care for her. Once again Lucky Harbor spins it's love magic for another couple.

From the author:
Becca Thorpe has uprooted her life and escaped to the beach. Now’s her chance to get away from city living, throw caution to the ocean winds, and live in the moment. Especially if the moment includes the deliciously sexy surfer she meets shortly after arriving in Lucky Harbor. Something about the dark intensity of Sam’s eyes and the thrill she gets at his touch convinces her to stay awhile.
Boatbuilder and investment genius Sam Brody is a self-made man who knows how dangerous it can be to mix business and pleasure. But he can’t resist offering Becca a job just to hear her laugh and have her near. Yet when her brother comes to town asking for help, will he tempt her back to her glamorous life in the city? Or do Sam and little Lucky Harbor have a chance to win Becca’s heart?

Chapter 1
“Oh, yeah,” Becca Thorpe murmured with a sigh of pleasure as she wriggled her toes in the wet sand. The sensation was better than splurging on a rare pedicure. Better than finding the perfect dress on sale. Better than…well, she’d say orgasms, but it’d been a while and she couldn’t remember for sure.
“You’re perfect,” she said to the Pacific Ocean, munching on the ranch-flavored popcorn she’d bought from the pier. “So perfect that I’d marry you and have your babies, if I hadn’t just promised myself to this popcorn.”
“Not even going to ask.”
At the sound of the deep male voice behind her, Becca squeaked and whipped around.
She’d thought she was alone on the rocky beach. Alone with her thoughts, her hopes, her fears, and all her worldly possessions stuffed into her car parked in the lot behind her.
But she wasn’t alone at all, because not ten feet away, between her and the pier, stood a man. He wore a rash-guard T-shirt and loose board shorts, both dripping wet and clinging to his very hot bod. He had a surfboard tucked under a biceps, and just looking at him had her pulse doing a little tap dance.
Maybe it was his unruly sun-kissed brown hair, the strands more than a little wild and blowing in his face. Maybe it was the face itself, which was striking for the features carved in granite and a set of mossy-green eyes that held her prisoner. Or maybe it was that he carried himself like he knew he was at the top of the food chain.
She took a few steps back because the wary city girl in her didn’t trust anyone, not even a sexy-looking surfer dude.
The man didn’t seem bothered by her retreat at all. He just gave her a short nod and left her alone.
Becca watched him stride up the pier steps. Or more correctly, she watched his very fine backside and long legs stride up the pier steps, carrying that board like it weighed nothing.
Then he vanished from sight before she turned her attention back to the ocean.
Whitecaps flashed from the last of the day’s sun, and a salty breeze blew over her as the waves crashed onto the shore. Big waves. And Sexy Surfer had just been out in that. Crazy.
Actually, she was the crazy one, and she let out a long, purposeful breath, and with it a lot of her tension.
But not all…
She wriggled her toes some more, waiting for the next wave. There were a million things running through her mind, most of them floating like dust motes through an open, sun-filled window, never quite landing. Still, a few managed to hit with surprising emphasis—such as the realization that she’d done it. She’d packed up and left home.
Her destination had been the Pacific Ocean. She’d always wanted to see it, and she could now say with one hundred percent certainty it met her expectations. The knowledge that she’d fulfilled one of her dreams felt good, even if there were worries clouding her mind. The mess she’d left behind, for one. Staying out of the rut she’d just climbed out of, for another. And a life. She wanted—needed—a life. Employment would be good, too, since she was fond of eating.
But standing in this little Washington State town she’d yet to explore, those worries receded slightly. She’d get through this; she always did. After all, the name of this place nearly guaranteed it.

To read more, click here.

Pages: 334
Published: 2014

The Best Man by Kristan Higgins

Blue Heron #1
Faith Holland had the perfect fiancee. But on their wedding day he called it off. He was gay and not admitting it to himself. But she loved Jeremy! Her grandmother convinced her to take their honeymoon to San Francisco. She did and did not return to New York state for three years until her sister called and said their dad was hooking up with a woman that wanted him for his money.

Faith comes back and gets a speeding ticket. It was given to her by Luke, the best man from her botched wedding. Luke has never liked her. It has bothered her for years. He was the reason Jeremy called off the wedding. He always knew Jeremy was gay even though he could not admit it to himself.

Luke keeps showing up when Faith puts herself in embarrassing situations. Then he kisses her. It was a great kiss. Eventually, he start to date until his ex-wife shows up. Will they make it through a visit from the ex? Or will it be over?

I liked this story. Faith is adorable. I really liked her friend Colleen, who is the focus of the third book in the series.

From the author:
Sometimes the best man is the one you least expect...
Faith Holland left her hometown after being jilted at the altar. Now a little older and wiser, she’s ready to return to the Blue Heron Winery, her family’s vineyard, to confront the ghosts of her past, and maybe enjoy a glass of red. After all, there’s some great scenery there....
Like Levi Cooper, the local police chief—and best friend of her former fiancĂ©. There’s a lot about Levi that Faith never noticed, and it’s not just those deep green eyes. The only catch is she’s having a hard time forgetting that he helped ruin her wedding all those years ago. If she can find a minute amidst all her family drama to stop and smell the rosĂ©, she just might find a reason to stay at Blue Heron, and finish that walk down the aisle.

Excerpt from CHAPTER 1, in which Faith returns to her hometown and is greeted
by a not-so-friendly acquaintance from her past.

Levi Cooper, chief of police of the entire Manningsport Police Department, all two and a half of them, tried to give people a break. He did. Even the tourists with the lead feet, Red Sox stickers on their bumpers and complete disregard for speed limits. He parked the cruiser in plain sight, the radar gun clearly visible—Hi there, welcome to Manningsport, you’re going way too fast and here I am, about to pull you over, so slow down, pal. The town depended on visitors, and September was prime tourism season; the leaves were starting to turn, buses had been rolling in and out of town all week, and every vineyard in the area had some special event going on.
But the law was the law.
Plus, he’d just let Colleen O’Rourke off with a stern lecture and a warning while she tried to look remorseful.
So another speeder just wasn’t going to be tolerated today. This one, for example. Seventeen miles an hour over the limit, more than enough. Also, an out-of-towner; he could see the rental plates from here. The car was a painfully bright yellow Honda Civic, currently clocking in at forty-two miles per hour in a twenty-five mile-an-hour zone. What if Carol Robinson and her merry band of geriatric power-walkers were out? What if the Nebbins kid was riding his bike? There hadn’t been a fatal crash in Manningsport since he’d been chief, and Levi planned on keeping it that way.
The yellow car sailed past him, not even a tap on the brakes. The driver wore a baseball cap and big sunglasses. Female. With a sigh, Levi put on the lights, gave the siren a blip and pulled onto the road. She didn’t seem to notice. He hit the siren again, and the driver seemed to realize that yes, he was talking to her, and pulled over.
Grabbing his ticket pad, Levi got out of the cruiser. Wrote down the license plate number, then went over to the driver’s side, where the window was lowering. “Welcome to Manningsport,” he said, not smiling.

Read more here.

Pages: 426
Published: 2013

Airs Above the Ground by Mary Stewart

Vanessa's husband is spotted in a newsreel. He is supposed to be in Sweden but the newsreel shows him in Austria, connected with a circus fire. A family friend's son wants to visit his father. Tim is 17 but his mother does not want him to travel alone. So Vanessa and Tim go to Austria. Tim's father is too busy and doesn't really want him around. (Some men have not changed in 50 years!) So they set off in search of the circus. They find a mystery and try to set things right.

This book was ok.  It was probably very exciting for it's time. The story got much better about 2/3 of the way through and was action packed until the end.

From goodreads:
Lovely Vanessa March, two years married and very much in love, did not think it was a strange for her husband to take a business trip to Stockholm. What was strange was the silence that followed. She never thought to look for her missing husband in Vienna -- until she saw him in a newsreel shot there at the scene of a deadly fire. Then she caught a glimpse of him in a newsreel shot of a crowd near a mysterious circus fire and knew it was more than strange. It was downright sinister.

Vanessa is propelled to Vienna by the shocking discovery. In her charge is young Timothy Lacy, who also has urgent problems to solve. But her hunt for answers only leads to more sinister questions in a mysterious world of white stallions of Vienna. But what promises to be no more than a delicate personal mission turns out to involve the security forces of three countries, two dead men, a circus and its colorful personnel. And what waits for Vanessa in the shadows is more terrifying than anything she has ever encountered.


Pages: 286
Published: 1965

Sweet Seduction by Maya Banks

Sweet Series #3

This is Julie and Nathan's story. If you have read the first two books, you already know that Julie has a thing for Nathan.  I was excited to know that he likes her back. But she is getting no where with him. So after his last massage, Julie decides that is enough. No more spending time going after a man that is not interested. She has a sexual fantasy that she needs Damon's help with. Damon sets up what Julie wants. She does not know Nathan will be a participant. Will they finally get it together?

From the author:
He was the stuff erotic dreams are made of…
Salon owner Julie Stanford wanted Nathan Tucker ever since she gave him his first massage. Getting paid to feel every inch of his body, stripped, oiled, and spread out in front of her? Stuff dreams are made of. But the sexy lug was oblivious to the signals she was sending—until she finished off his final rub-down with something extra. In fact, the best extra he ever had. Unfortunately, he came around too late. Now Julie’s moving on…
She was everything he’d dreamed of…
The woman was driving him crazy. She lit fire to his insides then ran like a scalded cat. And now she’s going to someone else to have all her fantasies fulfilled? Over his dead body… He’s more than willing to give her what she wants, and as soon as he pins the little minx down, he’d show her his own brand of sweet seduction.

Nathan roared up into the parking lot of Malone and Sons Security and cut the engine. With an irritated yank of his keys, he got out and slammed his door.
He strode to the door, glowering the entire way. That damn hellcat Julie. After giving him a blow job that rivaled Mt. Vesuvius, she’d had the nerve to blow him off.
What the fuck point was she trying to prove? If she wanted his attention, she’d certainly gotten it in a big way. After weeks and weeks of endless sexual frustration, his prayers had been answered. Julie’s mouth around his c^*k, her hands on his body, a vixen bent on seduction.
Yeah, well then she’d turned into a friggin’ iceberg. Not only had she fired his ass—could a customer be fired?—but he’d seen neither hide nor hair of her in a week. A week! When before he couldn’t damn well turn around without her being in his face, now she’d disappeared off the face of the earth.
He’d gone into her salon, determined that she, and nobody else, was going to give him a massage. Only this time he was going to have her down on the table under his mouth and hands. Imagine his surprise when a woman he’d never seen before introduced herself as Julie’s new massage therapist.
Oh, hell no.
He’d turned around and walked out, ready to strangle Julie. Right after he fucked her brains out.
He swung open the door to the building and stalked in, making a beeline for Faith’s office. He almost ran into Micah Hudson in the hallway. Micah started to say something but took a look at Nathan’s face and held his hands up.
Micah backed away, an amused grin on his face. “I’ll catch you later, dude. After you’ve worked the knot out of your panties.”

Read more here.

Pages: 297
Published: 2009

Friday, November 21, 2014

Some Nerve by Jane Heller

Ann Ross works for a magazine that deals with celebrities. Her boss insists that she get an interview with Malcolm Goddard. Malcolm hates the media. He calls them parasites. But Ann finds a way to him. But it blows up in her face, literally. Then she gets a chance to interview him but she has to go up in his plane. Ann hates flying.  It is one of her phobias. She could not make herself get on the plane. She loses out on the interview and gets fired. So she goes home to Missouri.

Ann gets a volunteer position at the hospital when she learns that Malcolm is coming to have his heart checked out. What a small world. Ann decides to get even with him for everything he did to her in LA. But she gets something she does not bargain for!

I really enjoyed this book. The characters were well written and very entertaining.

From the author:
Thirty-year-old celebrity journalist Ann Roth has one last chance to prove to her boss that she's the right woman for the job.
She's different from the other reporters at Famous, the L.A. magazine where she has her dream career interviewing stars like Britney Spears and Angelina Jolie. She values her ethics - she doesn't pick through people's garbage, doesn't print rumor and gossip, doesn't try to pervert the truth. But when her editor tells her she's too nice, that what he needs is a killer journalist who'll do whatever it takes to get a story, she realizes that she must do something drastic.
Of course, her plan backfires. Not only does she fail to score an interview with the notoriously media averse actor Malcolm Goddard (he'll only do the interview while piloting his Cessna and she has a terrible fear of flying), she gets fired. Her disappointment turns to rage when she learns that Malcolm knew about her phobia all along. He insisted on doing the interview on his plane just to get her off his back.
Hurt, disappointed, not to mention unemployed, she trudges home to her tiny town in Missouri to try to regroup, vowing to cure herself of her fears and reclaim her career. And then a surprising twist: she hears that the great Malcolm himself is in Middletown as a patient at the local hospital - under an alias. Opportunity knocks. Ann sees him as her ticket out of Missouri as well as a chance for payback. She volunteers at the hospital with the sole intention of pretending to befriend Malcolm and worm the story of a lifetime out of him. If she writes it, she'll have her career back and prove she's the killer journalist her editor had wanted her to be. But after facing her fear of falling in love, how much is she willing to risk for her job?

Chapter One
Things weren't going so well for the country that winter-the stock market was slumping and gas prices were rising and our soldiers were still at war-but they were going very well for Britney Spears, who was pregnant with her first child. She described the experience as "freaking awesome" during the two hours we spent together at her recently purchased nine-thousand-square-foot Malibu beach getaway, and she confided that sex with her husband, despite her swollen belly, was "crazy good."
No, the Britster and I weren't girlfriends sitting around having an afternoon gabfest, although there were moments when it felt like that. I was a thirty-year-old reporter for Famous, an entertainment magazine in Hollywood, and my beat was interviewing celebrities. Britney was an assignment for a cover story. She's generally viewed as a product rather than a talent, but she had a sweetness about her, I found, a giggly openness, and I enjoyed my time with her.
I enjoyed my time with all of them. I loved the feeling of gaining access to their private realms, loved trying to figure out for myself what it was that made them special. I'd been fascinated with famous people since I was a kid in Middletown, Missouri, a tiny place in the general vicinity of Kansas City. They were royalty to me-the beautiful ones with the beautiful clothes and the beautiful houses and the beautiful companions-and they were my escape from what was a dull and dispiriting childhood. I dreamed nonstop of fleeing Middletown and landing a job in L.A., and I'd made the dream come true. I'd really done it. So you could say that things were going very well for me too.
Well, you wouldn't say it if you're one of those snobs who thinks it's only news if it's on PBS or NPR. In fact, you're probably rolling your eyes right now as you picture Britney telling me about her morning sickness, her fluctuating hormones, and her cravings for pickles and ice cream, but I considered myself the luckiest woman on earth to be doing what I was doing. I could have been stuck in Middletown, where people get their kicks experimenting with different brands of snowblowers, eating casseroles made with cream of mushroom soup, and needlepointing pillows with bumper-sticker-type sayings on them, and where the biggest celebrity for a while was the guy who was cleaning his rifle and accidentally shot himself in the balls. I was bored out of my skull there, logy with the sameness of it all, convinced that if I stayed I would end up like my father, who died a slow and agonizing death, or like my mother, aunt, and grandmother, a trio of phobics who were too afraid of life to take risks and live it.
By contrast, I felt healthy in L.A., empowered, energized by the constant whirl of activity and by the people I met, most of whom were colorful and creative and the opposite of dull. I mean, I was attending movie premieres, film festivals, and Oscar parties, mingling with Clint Eastwood and marveling at the merry band of women who bear his children, waving at Penelope Cruz and admiring her ongoing battle with English, exchanging friendly glances with Meg Ryan and wondering why she looks so much like Michelle Pfeiffer now. It all seemed so glamorous to me, so Technicolor, especially in comparison with the grayness I'd left behind. Rubbing shoulders with exceptional people made me feel exceptional by osmosis.
Yes, the city was my oyster or, to be more L.A.-ish about it, my sushi. I had Leonardo DiCaprio's cell phone number, for God's sake. (Okay, his publicist's cell phone number.) It doesn't get much better than that, does it?
Not for me. Not then. When you grow up yearning to be in the orbit of movie stars and then actually hang out with them, albeit in the service of helping them promote their latest project, it's, well, freaking awesome.
And as far as I was concerned, there was nothing cheesy or demeaning about my career. I mean, I wasn't one of those tabloid creeps who picks through people's garbage. My methods weren't exploitative or intrusive. I had scruples. I didn't resort to underhanded tactics to score an interview. I didn't have to. I was a hard worker and a good reporter. The new and notoriously temperamental editor of Famous, fifty-year-old Harvey Krass, had been expected to clean house and bring in his own writers when he'd taken charge the previous month, and though he did fire some staff, he'd kept me on. I assumed it was because of my straight-forward approach to the job, my integrity. He hadn't said as much-he wasn't big on compliments-but the fact that he'd asked me to stay at the magazine spoke volumes.
So, yes, things were going very well for me, I was living my dream, as I said.
And then, suddenly, a jolt.

To read more, click here.

Pages: 328
Published: 2006