Review: A Soldier’s Honor by Regan Black

a soldier's honorTitle: A Soldier’s Honor

Author: Regan Black

Mills & Boon imprint: Romantic Suspense

Year of publication: Out today! The author kindly gave me a copy to read and review

The heroine: Government contracts officer Bethany Trent

The hero: Army major Matt Riley

The blurb: When a security snafu turns his world upside down, Major Matt Riley reunites with his long-lost son. And fourteen years later, the military man is still captivated by his ex, Bethany Trent. Matt must convince her that their new family bond is for keeps—but first, he must keep them alive…

Standalone or series: This is book one in The Riley Code series, but can be read as a standalone.

The review: This is book one in the Riley Code series, and it’s off to a good start. Matt Riley, the oldest of the Riley children, met Bethany Trent when they were both at West Point as cadets. They were young when Bethany fell pregnant, and instead of having them both thrown out of the academy she chose to move to another school and raise the baby as a solo parent. Matt has known all along about Caleb and has been drip fed information about him as he’s grown, but Bethany has always made it clear that she was putting Matt’s career in the military first and that she would raise Caleb alone.

When a hacker starts sending them both threatening messages about exposing Caleb’s existence, Matt and Bethany know it’s time to tell him about Matt. But Caleb already knows; the hacker clued him in with anonymous photographs. Caleb flees to find Matt, and then Matt realises that all three of them are being targeted by someone.

As Matt and his military colleagues work behind the scenes to find out who this mysterious man is who seems to want to hurt Matt and his family, he tries hard to make a relationship work with not only his son, but Bethany. He still loves her, and she him, but every time he tries to bring it up she pushes him away.

Bethany comes to realise she’s done both Caleb and Matt a huge disservice by not allowing Matt to be a bigger part of Caleb’s life from the beginning. She did what she thought was best for her child, and she was young at the time, but I found myself frustrated with Bethany and her actions. I could understand her not wanting to be a military wife, wanting to protect Matt and his career… but once he graduated, why couldn’t he have been merged into Caleb’s life then? And even when she knows how Matt feels about her, that he’s loved her all these years, she still won’t let him in.

But that all changes when Bethany and Caleb are abducted and they have to pray Matt will find them in time. Will Bethany finally realise she needs to stop hiding her feelings and admit Matt has always been the only man for her? Will Matt finally get the family he’s always wanted? You’ll find out by the end of this book… and there’s clearly more books planned in the series, if the ending is anything to go by! An enjoyable read if you like romantic suspense.

Review: Reunited with the P.I. by Anna J Stewart

reunited with the p i 2Title: Reunited with the P.I.

Author: Anna J Stewart

Mills & Boon imprint: Romantic Suspense

Year of publication: 2017

The heroine: Assistant District Attorney Simone Armstrong

The hero: Private investigator/ex-marine/bar owner Vince Sutton

The blurb: Exactly why should P.I. Vince Sutton take his ex-wife’s case? Because she, assistant district attorney Simone Armstrong, put his brother in jail? Because the ambitious spitfire still drives him crazy? No, he’ll take it because The Avenging Angel makes him a deal he can’t refuse. Sparks fly when Vince works all-too-closely with Simone to locate her missing key witness…but in the process, they are drawn into a cold case. As much as he tries, Vince can’t deny that he’s never gotten over beautiful Simone, but can he admit his feelings to her–and himself? And can he save her from the danger that’s heading their way?

Standalone or series: Book two in the Honor Bound trilogy, but can be read as a standalone

The review: When I started reading this book, there was a subplot that sounded so familiar. When Simone and her childhood friends Eden and Allie were nine, they witnessed a horrific event that would forever change their lives: during a sleepover they were camping in the backyard with their other friend, Chloe. During the night, she left the tent to use the bathroom and was never seen alive again. Her killer was never caught. Chloe’s murder shaped the women they would become: Simone became an attorney known as The Avenging Angel; Eden became an investigative journalist; and Allie a psychologist. It was only after reading for a little while that I realised why I knew the story about Chloe – I read book three (Allie) in this this trilogy last year! In true goober fashion, I’ve gone backwards.

Simone is attempting to bring a man named Paul Denton to justice. He’s an accountant who’s been charged with a slew of naughty things and it’s believed he’s a middle man for a cartel. Simone has a key witness, Mara, who is instrumental in Simone’s case if she’s to win it. Simone has opposition at the DA’s office, men who want her to offer Denton a plea deal, but she refuses.

When Mara suddenly disappears just before the trial starts, Simone doesn’t know who to trust. So she turns to Vince Sutton, a former PI who also happens to be her ex-husband. Their marriage ended because of a lack of communication and Simone’s determination to put her job first. Vince isn’t sure he wants to help, but when Simone makes him an offer he can’t refuse, he’s drawn in.

While Simone and Vince are trying to locate Mara before the trial starts, she’s also dealing with something painful – Chloe’s killer has been reaching out to the trio of friends and taunting them. With Simone being threatened, time running out and her job on the line, she’s going to have to rely on her ex and her friends to stay alive and stay sane.

I really enjoyed this book. I adored Vince, who clearly was still in love with his ex-wife. Simone was an interesting character with lots of layers; sometimes I wanted to hug her, other times just shake her (as did Vince!). If she had just communicated with Vince more their marriage would never have ended. Will they decide to try the whole marriage thing again? You’ll just have to read and find out. But don’t read them backwards, like I did!

And check out that cover – the model for Vince is fierce! I wouldn’t want to meet him in a dark alley….

Review: Braving the Heat by Regan Black

braving the heatTitle: Braving the Heat

Author: Regan Black

Mills & Boon imprint: Romantic Suspense

Year of publication: Out today! The author kindly provided me a copy to read and review

The heroine: Firefighter (Mac)Kenzie Hughes

The hero: Mechanic Stephen Galway

The blurb: One man wants her dead. Another will do anything to protect her. Firefighter Kenzie Hughes never thought saving lives would make her a target. When someone rigs her car and sexy Stephen Galway offers to be her bodyguard, the flames of danger burn red-hot. Stephen lost his fianc’e to violence years ago, but he can’t resist Kenzie. Can he keep Kenzie safe and out of his arms when they’re forced to confront what they fear most?

Standalone or series: Book four of the Escape Club Heroes series, but can be read as a standalone

The review: Kenzie Hughes’s life has been turned upside down ever since she rescued a man name Murtagh from a fire. A former firefighter himself, he seems to have a bee in his bonnet about female firefighters and sues Kenzie for the minor injuries he received during the rescue. As a result, she’s been placed on administrative leave. Forced to leave her apartment because of other issues, she has to rely on friends for help, something an independent spirit like herself is reluctant to do.

Stephen Galway is mired in grief. Three years ago, his fiancee was murdered because of her job at the local community centre. Stephen is wracked with guilt that he couldn’t save her. He’s angry that the man who pulled the trigger was found not guilty of the murder. He’s determined, despite the best efforts of his family, not to give his heart to another woman. Ever.

When Kenzie’s old car seemingly falls apart, she’s had enough. She works with Stephen’s brother, Mitch, who offers Stephen’s services to look at the car. When Stephen finds out about Kenzie’s predicament with no current roof over her head, he offers her the camper he lives in on the garage premises.

Kenzie’s good with cars, thanks to her father, and she helps Stephen in the garage where she can. Meanwhile, someone is targeting Kenzie – her car has been sabotaged and someone is slandering her on the internet, determined to get her fired. Despite it all, Kenzie refuses to bow and her fierce determination not to give in means that she can still find things to laugh about.

It’s that determination and that laugh that draws Stephen in, as much as he doesn’t want it to. He can’t help his attraction to Kenzie, and it’s obvious she feels the same way. Will they find out who’s behind the attacks on Kenzie? Will Murtagh get his way and have her fired, and why does he want that so badly? Will Kenzie and Stephen act on their desire for each other? Will Stephen finally open his heart again? If you want the answers, you’re just going to have to read the book and find out 🙂

 

 

 

Upcoming release – Braving the Heat by Regan Black

Mark your calendars, folks! On July 1st, there are books by at least three amazing authors being released and you know I’m going to read them 😀 Braving the Heat by Regan Black will be out and you won’t want to miss it. What’s it about?

One man wants her dead.  Another will do anything to protect her.

Firefighter Kenzie Hughes never thought saving lives would make her a target. When someone rigs her car and sexy Stephen Galway offers to be her bodyguard, the flames of danger burn red-hot. Stephen lost his fiancée to violence years ago, but he can’t resist Kenzie. Can he keep Kenzie safe and out of his arms when they’re forced to confront what they fear most?

Read an excerpt here.

BtH teaser 2

Review: Her Mission with a SEAL by Cindy Dees

her mission with a sealTitle: Her Mission with a SEAL

Author: Cindy Dees

Mills & Boon imprint: Romantic Suspense

Year of publication: 2018

The heroine: CIA analyst Nissa Beck

The hero: Navy SEAL Cole Perriman

The blurb: Their mission: deliver a ruthless spy to justice. But can they outlast a storm as dangerous as their target?

Tracking an elusive Russian operative, CIA agent Nissa Beck has no choice but to ask for help as a hurricane descends on New Orleans. She turns to alpha navy SEAL Cole Perriman. Used to conquering impossible odds, now he must protect beautiful Nissa. But as unstoppable storms and passions rage, there’s more at stake for them than survival.

Standalone or series: Book three of the Code: Warrior SEALs series, but can be read as a standalone.

The review: I really enjoyed this book. The action starts on the first page and never lets up! Nissa Beck has come to New Orleans in the middle of a hurricane on assignment to help a team of SEALs locate a Russian spy named Petrov, whom they believe is hiding in the city. Nissa needs to be there because she is one of the few people on the planet who knows what this guy looks like, even though she’s only got twenty year old photos of him.

Cole Perriman is a few months from retiring as a SEAL. He’s known as Frosty to his teammates for his ability to hide his emotions and get the job done. He doesn’t need a distraction like Nissa Beck in his life, but he is unable to fight his attraction to her. There’s something about the analyst that gets to him. His teammates all like her; even though she’s not trained like them and shows her fear, she does what she has to anyway.

Their first attempt to capture Petrov fails, and Nissa vows to stay with the SEALs until they succeed in capturing him. In the meantime, Petrov manages to put a hit out on Nissa after he discovers his attempt to fake his own death failed and she knows what he looks like, and Cole and Nissa manage to locate previously unknown ties he has to the city.

They’re getting desperate to catch Petrov, as they believe he’s about to flee the country, so Nissa does something crazy – she offers herself as bait by hacking into one of Petrov’s overseas accounts and stealing thirty million dollars. She’s betting it will draw Petrov out, and she’s right. Cole is terrified of losing Nissa, and he’s initially opposed to her plan but is eventually persuaded to dangle her in front of Petrov.

You can guess what happens – they eventually track him down, but not before one of them is hurt. While at the hospital, Cole asks Nissa a question she can’t say no to, and they get their happily ever after. And how awesome is that cover?

Review: The Rancher Bodyguard by Carla Cassidy

the rancher bodyguardTitle: The Rancher Bodyguard

Author: Carla Cassidy

Mills & Boon imprint: Romantic Suspense

Year of publication: 2009

The heroine: Shop owner Grace Covington

The hero: Lawyer/Rancher Charlie Black

The blurb: Grace Covington vowed never again to lay eyes on the arrogant, hotshot defense attorney who’d broken her heart. But everything changed when her stepfather was murdered, her sister found holding the bloody knife. Charlie Black was the only one who could help.

Accepting the case would shatter the simple life Charlie established after taking charge of the family ranch in Cotter Creek, but he couldn’t deny Grace’s pleas. Discovering who was bent on destroying the Covington clan might be the only way to prove he was a changed man capable of protecting her–body and soul.

Standalone or series: Book eight in the Wild West Bodyguards series, but can be read as a standalone

The review: Grace and Charlie dated for six months and broke up eighteen months before the book starts. They apparently had different ideas about the relationship at the time – she was in love with him and serious about it, he thought it was a just a casual thing (but was secretly in love with her) – and while the relationship was intense and the sex was amazing, they lived in different places so they only saw each other two weekends a month. Grace decided to surprise him one weekend when she said she couldn’t make it and caught him in bed with some redhead he’d drunkenly picked up at a bar. Cue end of the relationship.

When Grace’s stepfather, William, is found murdered and her teenage sister, Hope, is accused of the crime, Grace turns to Charlie because he used to be a successful defense attorney. She makes it clear she’s only interested in him helping Hope clear her name… over and over and over. Their mother, Elizabeth, disappeared without a trace just before Grace started dating Charlie, but she never told him what had happened. It seems they didn’t communicate a whole lot while they were together, and that’s a big reason why they crashed and burned.

While Hope is in hospital, because she has been drugged (but the popo still think she’s guilty of the crime), someone tries to take out Grace as well. Charlie becomes her bodyguard and tries his best to prove he’s not the same man he was when they split, but Grace insists on bringing up his cheating time and again. I get it. He cheated on her and she was devastated, but if she really felt that strongly she could have found another attorney – Charlie couldn’t have been the only one in the state. The constant catty remarks from Grace became grating, and when he finally called her on it I cheered.

There’s a whole subplot involving the missing mother, which I correctly guessed, as I did the identity of the killer and why they did it. Grace finally decided she could let go of her anger, so they got their happily ever after. This book was okay. Would I read it again? No. Would I recommend it? No.

 

 

 

Review: Bodyguard Reunion by Beverly Long

bodyguard reunionTitle: Bodyguard Reunion

Author: Beverly Long

Mills & Boon imprint: Romantic Suspense

Year of publication: 2017

The heroine: Pharmaceutical CEO Juliana Cambridge

The hero: Former Air Force/Security expert Royce Morgan

The blurb: Security expert Royce Morgan has fought like hell to change his ways. Since Jules Cambridge left him and married someone else eight years ago, he’s not the man he once was. But he casts the past aside once death threats propel Jules back into his life again, this time in need of his protection.

In Las Vegas for a conference–and on a quest to untangle the chilling secrets in her mother’s diary–Jules might not make it out of Sin City alive. Every step toward the truth brings her closer to danger. And every moment with Royce brings back passion that could destroy or save their future.

Standalone or series: Book one of the Wingman Security series, but can be read as a standalone

The review: Juliana Cambridge – known as Jules to Royce and JC to everyone else – was in love with Royce Morgan eight years before the book begins, but her rich, interfering father made Royce feel he would never be good enough for his daughter and, coupled with an enormous lie he told Jules, made sure she married another man instead.

When Jules gets threatening letters, the board of the pharmaceutical company she is CEO of insists she gets a bodyguard. In Las Vegas for an important conference, they hire Wingman Security. Royce is assigned the case, not realising who it is he’ll be protecting. They’re both shocked to see each other again, and Royce even more so when he finds out that Jules has been divorced for six years.

Jules has another reason for wanting to be in Vegas; she found out recently that her father sired a child with another woman, something her mother had discovered several months before her death in a car accident when Jules was fourteen. Being an only child, she wants to meet her half-sister.

A few attempts are made on Jules’s life and there’s a whole sub-plot involving the sister which I found dragged a bit. The sister goes to stay with Jules at her hotel and brings her cat, and then when the sister is kidnapped, the cat suddenly disappears from the story, never to be seen again. Jules is also taken, and when her father arrives in Vegas a secret he’s been hiding comes out. I won’t reveal what it is, but I was surprised.

By this stage, Royce and Jules have slept together and he’s determined to get her back safely because he’s not letting her go a second time. They’d cleared the air about why he walked away eight years ago and found they’d both had misconceptions about the other because of her father. Royce tracks the missing sisters down, you find out who’s behind the threatening letters, and Jules finally marries the right guy. I love a happy ending! I’m also loving that cover.

The one thing I did find annoying was the constant going back and forth with Jules and her name. In the scenes from Royce’s POV, she was Jules. In hers, she was JC. I wish the author had just picked one name and stuck to it, because it really took me out of the story in some parts with the constant name change.

Protecting His Brother’s Bride by Jan Schliesman

protecting his brother's brideTitle: Protecting His Brother’s Bride

Author: Jan Schliesman

Mills & Boon imprint: Romantic Suspense

Year of publication: 2015

The heroine: Insurance investigator Kira Kincaid

The hero: Coffee chain CEO Dalton Matthews

The blurb: Framed for embezzling, investigator Kira Kincaid must clear her name. So she’ll team up with Dalton Matthews, her estranged and deceased husband’s brother. But the reclusive mogul isn’t what she expected: he’s an alpha male who evokes an unwelcome yearning. And now, she is a target for a killer.

Dalton will protect Kira. He plans to walk away at the end but her green eyes melt his defences. When a family secret is exposed, Dalton must choose between his brother’s betrayal and the one woman he should deny.

Standalone or series: Standalone

The review: I’ve spent three days reading this book, far longer than it would normally take, and I find myself asking just one question: what was the author smoking when she wrote this? Because I want some! 🙂

The best thing about this book is the cover. I love, love, love the cover. It’s deliciously hot and I love the rain all around them. So let me see if I can make some sort of sense of this book: Kira Kincaid was married to a man named Josh, and they got married essentially because she was pregnant. He was a starving artist who wanted to be the next Rembrandt, so Kira supported them both while he painted. She knew nothing of his family, didn’t know he had one.

When she’s framed for embezzling a large sum of money, she knows that a man named Geoff Griffin is behind it because she was close to busting him and his shady dealings wide open. Then somewhere along the line, she finds a link to Josh, from whom she’s been estranged for three years after their son, Brandon, was stillborn. So she goes to the cabin where he proposed, hoping to find something there that might lead her to Josh.

What she finds there is Dalton Matthews, CEO of Buckshot, the world’s largest coffee chain. Dalton has been a recluse for the last eighteen months after the death of his music superstar wife, Lauren, who committed suicide. Dalton also happens to be Josh’s half-brother (they share a mother). He’s never heard of this woman who’s in his house, and he sure doesn’t believe she was ever married to his brother, who died in a car accident two months previously.

Kira is struggling to believe Dalton is who he says he is – Josh never mentioned having a family, let alone any money. Josh owns 10% of the company, so he has always had access to money. Dalton agrees to help Kira when the cabin retreat they meet up in is blown up. Dalton is presumed dead by Kira’s hand, so they go on the run.

What follows is one of the most bizarre tales ever. One minute they’re arguing, the next they’re all over each other or thinking about it. I found it hard to keep up with what the heck was going on. SPOILER ALERT: It turns out that Geoff Griffin is Josh, who’s obviously not dead. He’s the one who framed Kira after stealing all her passwords and information from work, and stealing the missing money. Not only that, but Brandon was not stillborn – Josh changed his name (to Rembrandt, no less!) and spirited him away to be raised by a nanny. When Kira finds Lauren’s diary on her laptop, she discovers that Lauren and Josh were also having an affair. Lauren was pregnant at the time of her death, so which brother is the father is now unknown.

What made absolutely no sense was Josh and all of his actions. He claims he only married Kira because she was pregnant – why bother? Why make her think their son was stillborn? Why not just divorce Kira and let her keep the kid, or fight for custody if he was that set on having the child? Why was he so pissed at Dalton taking over the company Dalton’s father founded? Dalton was groomed for the job and Josh was not the father’s son, so why would he think he’d get the company over Dalton? Why steal money when he had access to millions anyway? He owned a share of the company. If he was really in love with Lauren (and it’s hard to know whether he was or not) then why didn’t they just leave their spouses and be in a relationship? I mean, I had so many questions about this book that weren’t answered. Josh just seemed to be like a child throwing his toys out of the sandpit.

Having said all that, however, I did like Dalton and Kira’s sometimes odd relationship, especially at the end. Both were grieving spouses they thought they knew and both were hurting over their deaths. I like that they found each other; they seemed a much better match than their previous pairings. Kira was reunited with her son, and she agreed to marry Dalton and raise Brandon together. They got their happily ever after, which I love reading about even though I know all of these books end the same way…

Capturing The Huntsman by C. J. Miller

capturing the huntsmanTitle: Capturing The Huntsman

Author: C. J. Miller

Mills & Boon imprint: Romantic Suspense

Year of publication: 2015

The heroine: Campground owner Autumn Reed

The hero: FBI agent Nathan Bradshaw

The blurb: Autumn Reed is shaken when the latest victim of ‘The Huntsman’ is found near her campgrounds. When FBI agent Nathan Bradshaw rents a cabin, they share a fierce attraction but past betrayals make Autumn wary.

Nathan won’t be distracted by his growing feelings for Autumn. The Huntsman killed his sister, catching him is a sacred mission. Autumn’s profile fits The Huntsman’s victims and Nathan’s torn between protecting her and using her. The idea of losing her is turning him into a desperate man…

Standalone or series: Standalone

The review: Autumn’s campground near the Appalachian trial is not doing so well since The Huntsman, a serial killer, has been picking off victims hiking on the trail. After being cheated on by her ex-fiancé, who also happens to be the town’s sheriff, losing her father, being estranged from her mother and having her uncle disappear, Autumn has become somewhat of a recluse. Her brother, Blaine, has been hiking the trial and she’s desperate to get in contact with him and make sure she’s okay.

Nathan’s twin sister, Colleen, was one of The Huntsman’s victims, so his interest in the case is personal. He’s not allowed to work it, so he takes leave to do so privately. Strangely, his former brother-in-law is the agent in charge. At first, I thought Roger Ford was Colleen’s husband, but it turns out Nathan was married to his sister. This subplot really made no sense; apart from being confusing, it was unnecessary. Ford is cold and antagonistic towards Nathan because of his failed marriage and warns him away from the case, but I felt this was strange because you’d think that even though Nathan’s marriage to Ford’s sister ended, Ford would be a bit more sympathetic, given that Colleen was one of the victims.

Anyway, Nathan enlists Autumn’s help because she knows her section of the trail backwards and she’s skilled in hiking and outdoor activity. They fall into a pattern throughout the book: they go out hiking to find clues about The Huntsman, go back to the cabins and have sex, and then Autumn acts all weird around Nathan because she’s been burned and doesn’t trust men. While I can understand that, given her history, Nathan never does anything to earn her distrust and she keeps pushing him away, but then continues to have sex with him. The book seemed to drag a little, to be honest, with the same thing happening over and over. Blaine eventually turns up and is promptly arrested for the murders, and even though Nathan has proven he can be trusted time and again, Autumn refuses to let him help and won’t tell him what she knows that could help solve the case.

Blaine is not the killer, although I won’t say who is, and the latter is eventually caught. Nathan declares his love for Autumn and ends up wanting to stay. I wanted to like this book a whole lot more than I did, because the mystery was interesting, but Autumn was a little too wishy washy for my liking.

Strategically Wed by Pamela Dalton

strategically wedTitle: Strategically Wed

Author: Pamela Dalton

Mills & Boon imprint: My copy is Romantic Suspense, but the only cover I could find online was Silhouette Intimate Moments

Year of publication: 2002

The heroine: Detective Maggie Bennington

The hero: Detective Griff Murdock

The blurb: A fake marriage between Maggie Bennington and Detective Griff Murdock to catch the thieves who were robbing wedding parties didn’t quite go as planned.

The weeks of forced seclusion, trying to figure out who wanted them dead, did nothing to alleviate the growing sexual tension between them. They found the vows to love, honour and cherish easy to obey – in bed!

Standalone or series: Standalone.

The review: I find it curious that in the blurb, it’s only mentioned that Griff is a detective, not Maggie as well. Griff and Maggie have a long history; Maggie’s late father, BJ, was Griff’s partner. Maggie has long resented Griff, because she felt starved of her father’s affection at Griff’s expense. Griff, in turn, was betrayed by his wife, who was cheating on him, and when she died in a car accident he discovered she was pregnant… but he’s not sure if he was the father. Griff has abandonment issues, because his mother dumped his as a child and he grew up in the foster system, and he resents Maggie because she left the force three years previously and her father was never the same.

Maggie is lured back to help with a case – thieves are raiding churches while wedding ceremonies are happening and stealing from the wedding party. In order to catch them, Griff and Maggie pose as newlyweds. Because they don’t know how the victims are being selected, they go through the motions of a real wedding – not even those they work with know the engagement is fake. At the ceremony, they bust the thieves, and as Griff and Maggie are leaving the church, shots ring out. Griff is rushed to hospital, and Maggie is persuaded by her godfather/father’s best friend/fellow cop Wylie to sign the marriage certificate and make the marriage legal, since they don’t know who shot at them and which one of them was the target.

Griff survives the surgery and they agree to annul the marriage when the shooter is caught. However, to continue on with the cover, they retreat to Wylie’s cabin, ostensibly to have their honeymoon, but in reality to keep them safe while Griff recovers.

Most of the book takes place at the cabin, and to be honest, it dragged a bit. They’re both attracted to each other sexually, but keep making excuses as to why they can’t have sex. They try to convince each other that the marriage being real would be a bad idea, but I never really got why. Yes, they have history, but they were obviously a good match and using her father as an excuse wore thin.

They had sex twice at the cabin, and there’s a scene where Maggie realises she wants to be pregnant with Griff’s baby, and has a thought about how the first time they had sex, she was safe because of the time of the month. Do women really still believe that you can’t fall pregnant at certain times in your cycle? Surely not. I think this line shows the book’s age. Overall, I enjoyed it, and I’m glad they stopped using excuses as to why they couldn’t be together and made the marriage real. And yes, they had a baby 🙂

I love the cover. Not sure if you can tell, but Maggie’s hair is extremely red – love it!

Protecting Her Secret Son by Regan Black

protecting her secret sonTitle: Protecting Her Secret Son

Author: Regan Black

Mills & Boon imprint: Romantic Suspense

Year of publication: 2017

The heroine: Jennings Construction employee Shannon Nolan

The hero: Firefighter/Jennings Construction manager Daniel Jennings

The blurb: After escaping a world of ruthless crime, Shannon Nolan finally thought she’d left her nightmares in the past. Then the worst thing she could imagine happens: her son is kidnapped! With nowhere else to run and no one else to trust but her boss, she puts her life in Daniel Jennings’ hands.

Firefighter Daniel knows Shannon is safe under his protection, but the one threat he doesn’t want to face is his growing passion for her. But as they put everything on the line to rescue her son, that very connection might just be what saves them all…

Standalone or series: Part of the Escape Club Heroes series, but can be read as a standalone.

The review: Shannon Nolan has been attracted to her boss for a long time, but having come out of a violent marriage and fleeing NYC to get away from her domineering ex-husband with mob connections, she’s afraid to trust another man. She also didn’t tell the ex she was pregnant, and when he finds out there’s a child involved, he’s determined to get revenge.

Daniel was planning on asking Shannon on a date, but the day he finally works up the courage to do so Shannon’s four-year-old son, Aiden, is kidnapped from his babysitter’s house. Thanks to Daniel’s connections, Shannon has help in trying to find her son and she has to trust Daniel and his friends to bring Aiden home safely.

The ex turns out to be a nutcase who was led to believe Shannon cheated on him, resulting in her pregnancy, and he kidnaps the boy to exact revenge. Aiden is safely brought home and he quickly becomes attached to Daniel, as does Shannon. Daniel realises he’s ready to settle down and wants to be a husband and father, and his wish is granted.

I liked the romance between Daniel and Shannon. I’m glad the kidnapping wasn’t drawn out for the entire book. Shannon was tempted many times to take Aiden and run, but I’m glad she didn’t. Daniel is a good guy who made them happy 🙂

The Billionaire’s Colton Threat by Geri Krotow

the billionaire's colton threatTitle: The Billionaire’s Colton Threat

Author: Geri Krotow

Mills & Boon imprint: Romantic Suspense

Year of publication: 2017

The heroine: CPA/Rancher Halle Ford

The hero: Whiskey tycoon Alastair Buchanan

The blurb: Single, pregnant and nearly bankrupt, Halle Ford makes a deal with a sexy Scottish devil. She’ll marry billionaire Alastair Buchanan for the sake of their baby—conceived after one night of passion—and to save her beloved Bluewood Ranch. They plan to divorce after one year, but their blossoming love might just surprise them!

But no sooner do they say “I do” than their very livelihoods are threatened. Someone begins sabotaging Halle’s ranch, while Alastair’s family whiskey empire comes under siege. Drawn together by passion and danger, can the newlyweds protect the family they’ve both come to cherish?

Standalone or series: Part of the Coltons of Shadow Creek series, but can be read as a standalone.

The review: I’m finding it hard to know what to say about this book. Halle Ford is one of the most dislikeable protagonists I’ve read in a long time. I found absolutely nothing redeemable about her whatsoever. Halle’s father was killed in a car accident six months before the book opens and the other driver was infamous Livia Colton, the Colton matriarch turned criminal whose family have turned their backs on her. She’s presumed dead after the car accident (but it crops up in one of the many, many other books in this series that she’s still alive) and Halle gives up her corporate job in Austin to take over her family ranch, Bluewood.

She’d planned to do so anyway, but not for many years. It’s been six months and she’s gone through all the money she has; the ranch is just not making money. So she is doing camping tours on the property to make money, and her friend and neighbour, Jeremy (his story is in another book), asks her to do a private tour for his Scottish billionaire friend, Alastair.

Halle and Alastair hit the trail and their attraction is instant and mutual. By the third night, they’re using the condoms Halle packed in the first aid kit. Despite the protection, she finds out she’s pregnant.

So here’s where it all went wrong for me: Halle and Alastair’s interaction was so hot and cold I got a headache. One minute, Halle’s being nice as pie, the next, she’s just plain rude to him. I honestly couldn’t understand why he didn’t just cut the tour short and head back to Glasgow. Her snarky, contrary comments and behaviour just made her seem like a huge bitch. Apparently Alastair didn’t agree with me, and he spent months after leaving Texas trying to contact Halle, but she blew him off. Until she found out she was pregnant, and then she made the effort to pick up her phone and call him. Not that she breaks the news to him easily, oh no. I’m pregnant. It’s yours. Deal with it.

Alastair hops back on a plane to Texas and offers to marry her, for the sake of their child and so he can share his wealth with her to restore Bluewood and stop it from going under. Not that she appreciates it, if her behaviour is anything to go by. So they marry, and find out someone is trying to not only sabotage the ranch but do a hostile takeover of Alastair’s family business.

Long story short, Livia’s behind it all (although I really don’t get why – why would she really give a shit about Halle and Alastair, the latter of whom she doesn’t know and has never met? In all the other books, it’s been more about getting revenge on the children who abandoned her) and gets stopped. They admit they love each other and won’t end the marriage after the agreed one year.

I found a line in the book which I think sums Halle up: “She knew she shouldn’t trust a man who, despite billions of dollars, impregnated her the very first time they were together.” Excuse moi, but WTF? It takes two people to make a baby and she was a very willing participant. Alastair didn’t knock her up out of spite or on purpose – they used protection which failed. Jesus. What is wrong with this woman? Alastair tried to do the right thing by Halle over and over, and she just kept flinging it into his face and treating him like shit.

Some of Alastair’s language was very American, too – I don’t know any Scottish people who would say ‘gal’ or ‘ass’. There was a ‘lass’ and an ‘aye’, but there was no consistency. I also found the various descriptions of Alastair’s eye colour to be odd, too – sometimes he had ‘North Sea blue’ eyes and sometimes they were ‘stormy grey’. The characters, especially the hero and heroine, said each other’s names far too much in conversation – so much it was annoying.

It pains me to say it, but I would give this book a miss if I were you.

 

Cowboy’s Texas Rescue by Beth Cornelison

cowboy's texas rescue

Title: Cowboy’s Texas Rescue

Author: Beth Cornelison

Mills & Boon imprint: Romantic Suspense

Year of publication: 2013

The heroine: Phlebotomist Chelsea Harris

The hero: Black ops soldier Jake Connelly

The blurb: Taking out bad guys is in Jake Connelly’s DNA, so is rescuing women like Chelsea Harris, who was kidnapped by a brutal escaped convict. What isn’t in the cowboy hunk’s DNA, Chelsea fears, is an interest in relationships – especially with a jilted size-fourteen plain Jane like herself.

With the killer on the loose and a Texas-size blizzard raging, Jake and Chelsea take refuge in an icy farmhouse. Sudden sparks between them turn on plenty of heat! But Jake needs to stay focused to stop the convict’s reign of terror – and protect Chelsea from the danger of falling for him…

Standalone or series: This is part of the Black Ops Rescues series, but can be read as a standalone.

The review: First, and most importantly – let’s hear it for Ms Cornelison and her size fourteen, kickass heroine. How refreshing to have a woman with curves, love handles and cellulite. And how normal for her to struggle with her weight, especially since her douchbag ex dumped her for putting on weight while dealing with her mother’s cancer. I also cheered at our hero, who wasn’t the least bit fazed by Chelsea’s weight and instead enjoyed her curves.

Chelsea is kidnapped by an escaped inmate while stopping for gas on the way to her parents’ house, which she’s looking after while they’re on holidays. Jake is on his way to Amarillo to see his father, hospitalised after a heart attack. Jake sees Chelsea’s car on the side of the road and notices the strange man in the car (the car ran out of gas because Chelsea never got a chance to fill it up before being kidnapped), so he finds himself stopping, unable to leave anyone stranded with the coming snowstorm. Once he gets closer, all hell breaks loose and the killer manages to escape.

Jake and Chelsea hole up in her neighbour’s farmhouse when the snowstorm hits, and sparks fly. Eventually, they track the killer to her parents’ house, and in the ensuing battle Jake is shot. They hide in the basement where they make sweet love, and then Chelsea makes a run for it to get help. Jake’s buddies, Daniel Lacroix and Alec Kincaid, come to the rescue after Daniel hears Jake being shot on the phone, and eventually Jake and Chelsea are rescued.

Jake became a soldier to make a difference, and for redemption after his mother was murdered when he was a teenager (he should have been with her, but decided not to go on the trip because he had a new girlfriend). His guilt has meant he doesn’t allow himself to think about settling down and having a family, not while there’s evil in the world to fight. But when he meets Chelsea, who thinks she’s too fat to ever attract a man like Jake, everything changes for him.

Here’s what didn’t work for me: after falling in love in two days (I’m not saying that couldn’t happen, especially given what they went through) they are separated for nine months. Nine whole months, and they’re still desperately in love with each other. I understand they were separated for a reason (he had to recuperate and then went on a six month mission), but that seemed like such a long time when they’d only been together for two days.

It was good to see Alec and Daniel pop up, as did Alec’s wife Erin and their baby. But right at the end, Jake commits what I think is a cardinal sin: he proposes at Daniel’s wedding after Chelsea finds the ring box in his pocket. It’s a personal quirk, I know, but I hate people who do that – the day should always be about the bride and groom, unless they’ve given express permission for it to happen.

All things considered, I enjoyed the book 🙂

Soldier’s Pregnancy Protocol by Beth Cornelison

soldier's pregnancy protocol

Title: Soldier’s Pregnancy Protocol

Author: Beth Cornelison

Mills & Boon imprint: Romantic Suspense

Year of publication: 2012

The heroine: Teacher Erin Bauer

The hero: Black Ops soldier Alec Kincaid

The blurb: Survival. Danger. Living on the edge. It’s what Alec Kincaid is all about. But crawling on his belly through the South American jungle is child’s play next to babysitting a mother-to-be. But safeguarding Erin Bauer and her baby is Alec’s top priority. Only, now the Special Ops soldier is falling for this brave, vulnerable woman with the melting mahogany eyes…

Alone with Alec in a remote mountain hideaway, Erin knows her life depends on the rugged, enigmatic stranger. Alex makes her feel protected. Cherished. Complete. But how much is she willing to risk for a love that could give them both what they desire most?

Standalone or series: This is part of the Black Ops Rescues series, but can be read as a standalone.

The review: I really enjoyed this book. There’s a lot to like about Erin and Alec, and the way they meet is quite clever – Erin buys Alec’s old house and gets embroiled in his quest to find his special ops partner and best friend, Daniel, who disappeared nine months previously while they were in South America on a mission.

Erin is fourteen weeks pregnant to the adrenaline junkie husband who died two years previously, thanks to the miracle of modern science. As Erin spends more time with Alec, she can’t help but compare him to her dead husband, whom she comes to realise cared more about himself than her. Bradley never put her first, as Alec continues to do, and so when Alec needs her help the most, Erin faces her greatest fear to save him.

Meanwhile Alec comes to realise that the more time he spends with Erin, the lonelier he feels and the more he wants what he’s never had – someone who loves him and cares for him, a family.

As for the title? Bad Mills & Boon. No biscuit.