Darksider by Erin Kellison – Review

darksider

“…intriguing, super hot and very fast-paced…”

Reviewed by Zara B.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

SPECIAL NOTE: This is a series/serial. The main characters change but the plot does not. And these are short stories that intertwine. Small snippets of different couples dealing with the world they live in now. Reviewer notes that you should start at book 1 because they are not exactly ‘stand-alone’.

Zara’s Review…

While reading Darksider by Erin Kellison was intriguing, super hot and very fast-paced, it left me a little baffled. You see, I had no idea from the cover blurb that this short story was actually part of a larger serial set of stories. Set in a ‘series’ called Revelers, this is story number 3. The entire set of short stories are based on one ongoing large plot, but each have their own couple and immediate situation while keeping an ongoing ‘saga’ type situation in the background. I’ll admit I’m not overly fond of these types of books. I like resolution in the book I’m reading (or at least in a shorter set of books). The catch here is because I didn’t know what was going on and this story does not really delve into much explanation about the world these two live in I felt baffled and lost at times. Though written well, I felt like everyone knew things I didn’t. Terminology that would be important to the overall theme if I knew what it meant. So I’m making a special request to WeReadRomance.com to put in a note saying you should start at the beginning of this series if you really want to know what’s going on.

But…if you can ignore all the extraneous and focus on the couple and their emotional journey back to one another, you will love this story. The hero is strong, yet vulnerable. The heroine is also strong, but vulnerable. The two have a history that ended in a bad breakup but they still have feelings even after all the time apart. The need for the two to take care of each other and their attraction is strong. Sweet, hot and romantic it stuck with me. It also made me want to go to book 1 in the Revelers series and read to see if I can figure out how this new dreamer world works so I can have hope for Harlan and Sera.  Plus, it left me needing to know what’s will happen and why another Chimera agent would be tormenting Sera. How did he pick her, etc.? All these questions were left open. Though I’m not sure how well they will be addressed in future books it does make you want to read more to see.

So while I only rated this book 3 stars, it is one I’d recommend. The reason for the lower rating is simple: I felt mislead by the blurb. I also felt a little cheated out of more of a resolution. Short stories are great but I wanted some of the issues raised in this one—that dealt with these two characters—to be addressed more. So if you’re into Sci-Fi/fantasy, you’ll enjoy this one. Just start at the beginning!

About the book…

SHE HAS ALWAYS BEEN HIS DREAM…

Chef Serafina Rochan believes her recurring nightmares of pursuit are a symptom of her anxiety about opening her second restaurant. But when the stalker appears in the waking world, she swallows her pride and calls the one man she trusts to go into her dreams, even if it means risking her heart.

When Marshal Harlen Fawkes receives Sera’s call, nothing else matters. Time has not eroded the power of his feelings for her. After years apart, they go Darkside together and cannot resist the longing and desire their connection evokes. The past and present collide, and Sera abandons all reservations to embrace Harlen again, if even for one night.

In order to protect her, Harlen aligns himself with disavowed friends, and in so doing is drawn deeper into the secrets and perils of the dreamwaters. As the tide of darkness rises, Harlen faces his demons…but not without Sera, who fights just as fiercely for the dream of a life together.

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Fast Track by Julie Garwood – Review

“…interesting, suspenseful, intriguing, heart-wrenching, heart-warming and oh, so sensual.”

Rating: ★★★★★

Fans of Julie Garwood’s contemporary series romances are in for a real treat with her recent release of Fast Track! The long awaited story of Aiden Hamilton Madison—oldest brother and ultimately the family patriarch—and the sweet, uber smart Cordelia Kane—best friend to Aiden’s sister Regan (see her fall for Alec Buchanan in Murder List)!

I’d like to start this review by saying I’m a huge fan of Julie Garwood. Pretty much anything she’s written from her historical romances to the latest contemporaries I’ve never been let down…or led astray. But the back cover copy for this one was a little misleading. I imagined a whole different book from what I received. Now, I’m not complaining. Not in the least. This one was SO much better than what I’d imagined. But there was something of a little disappointment as I imagined a whole push/pull scenario where Aiden was concerned for Cordie’s safety because of something to do with him. And an admission from Cordie about how she’d been in love with him for years. But what I received was interesting, suspenseful, intriguing, heart-wrenching, heart-warming and oh, so sensual. The two have been meant for each other from the beginning. Though I had some issues with parts of how this one played out, those issues were my personal failing as I’ve had way too much time to imagine this one since it’s been so long since Fire and Ice was released and the stories in between weren’t really involving the three friends or the Madison brothers.

Ultimately, though, I fell in love with this romance. From Aiden, who’s the perfect hero. He’s the alpha and always has been so responsible. Maybe a little too involved in everyone’s life but we see he’s changed some over time and is willing to spread the responsibilities around and doesn’t shy away from stepping back to enjoy life some. To Cordelia, who despite being smart is just a shade naive in a good way. The whole story—from the characters to the plot—played out really well. From Cordie making up her mind (with a little advice from her dying father) to move on and forget the childhood infatuation she had with Aiden, to Aiden realizing he wanted Cordie in his life forever. The two had a few obstacles from the outside, but not a whole lot of angst or struggle internally. Might have liked a little more there and Cordie sticking up for how she feels/has felt, but overall not disappointed with how it worked itself out. The supporting characters were wonderful as always. I enjoy visiting old characters to see what they’re up to. And since that is one of my favorite things about all Garwood romances—how the book stays centered on the main couple—I know this is one I’ll keep and re-read over and over.

I’m not sure where Ms. Garwood will go next but I can say I’ll have it on auto-buy!

Get your copy of Fast Track by Julie Garwood now!!!!

The Hearts of Christmas by Brenda Novak

theheartofchristmas-brendanovak Just call her Christmas Eve…

Eve Harmon has always enjoyed Christmas, but this year it reminds her of everything she doesn’t have. Almost all her friends are married now, and that’s what Eve wants, too. Love. A husband and kids of her own. But the B and B she manages, and even Whiskey Creek, the small Gold Country town where she was born and raised, suddenly seem…confining.

Eve’s worried that her future will simply be a reflection of her past. There’s no one in the area she could even imagine as a husband—until a handsome stranger comes to town. Eve’s definitely attracted to him, and he seems to have the same reaction to her. But his darkly mysterious past could ruin Eve’s happily ever after—just when it finally seems within reach. And just when she’s counting on the best Christmas of her life!

Get your copy of The Heart of Christmas on order now!

A Secret Design by Heather Reed

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Life in Rock Valley is nothing like Paris, with its fashion shoots and runway shows, and that’s just how Angela Kensington wants it. Five years after she left to become a famous clothing designer, Angela can’t wait to come home and relax. She’s made enough money in Europe to buy her dream home near her family’s ranch and go into business with her sister. But her past catches up to her in the form of ranch foreman Marcus Leary.

Struggling to fulfill his grandfather’s last wish–to find his family’s buried treasure–Marc doesn’t have time to deal with this new-and-improved Angela, or his reawakened feelings for her. He’d once been strong enough to turn her away, but he’s not sure he’ll be able to do it a second time.

But they have to work together to find the legendary Leary treasure before a crazy cowhand beats them to it. And what they’ll discover between them is more precious than gold.

Buy A Secret Design now!

It’s on sale at Amazon for $1.99 Kindle Version!!! (-;

And yes, it’s mine so I’d love it if someone bought it… LOL! :)

Before We Kiss by Susan Mallery – Review

Review by Cara M.

Rating: ★★★★☆

A sweet, fun adventure, Before We Kiss is the second book in Ms. Mallery’s 2014 Summer Fool’s Gold Trilogy. While all her books can be read stand-alone, once you start the series you’ll be eager to read the next installment and that was the case for me with former pro-football Sam Ridge and event planner Dellina Hopkins’ story. Set in Fool’s Gold, their journey into love is one of hilarious misunderstandings and sweet attraction. Ms. Mallery outdid herself with this one as it’s filled to the brim with the characters we love, the festivals, the friends and the situations that force the residents to look for love even when they may not be ready for it.

Dellina Hopkins is the responsible older sister, she’s raised her sisters and is now ready to start living her life more for her. But who would have guessed storing some bridal gowns for a friend would cause her ‘fling’ to race out the door? And why would he? Because said ‘fling’ has had extremely bad luck with females. From cheaters to those who seek the spotlight, Sam has seen it all. And he’s more than gun shy because of it. In the end, love will prevail and two uncertain hearts will find their way!

If you’ve read any of my other Mallery reviews, you’ll know I’m a fan. I find her writing to be fresh even when you often recognize that you’re reading the same situation over and over. It’s her characters and their development, the interactions of the friends and support of the community. Her knack for pulling out the stops to get two unlikely pairings together and the twists and turns getting there that make reading each of her novels a must for me. And finding a bit skeptical, a bit leery Sam Ridge falling for the normally responsible and cautious Dellina Hopkins was a joy. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series!

Order your copy of Before We Kiss now!

Until We Touch by Susan Mallery – Review

Review by Larissa M.
Rating: ★★★★☆

Romantic and sweet, Susan Mallery never fails to make my heart sigh…while throwing in a touch of irony and humor to make the story feel like real life. In Until We Touch, Larissa and Jack find they can’t ignore their attraction…especially if Larissa’s mom has anything to do with it!

The Fool’s Gold series is romantic, engaging and often times predictable. Each of the stories from this series (generally separated into smaller sets of three or so) are unique in some ways but often have such a familiar tone that they feel like you’re reading the same story but with different characters. In this installment, though, I didn’t feel that. While reading I often had a smile on my face. The two are so cute working their way through the working relationship/friendship on to love that you are routing for them. Even when you want to tell them their decisions aren’t wise…

Larissa Owens is the heroine who believes in charity and causes, she’s Jack McGarry’s assistant and the two have a great working relationship. All that changes, though, when Larissa’s mom steps in to lay it all out there. But Can Jack put his past behind him enough to focus on the future with Larissa? If you’re a Mallery fan you won’t want to miss this one!

Order your copy of Until We Touch now!