Mended by Kayla Marie


Mended by Kayla Marie
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (349 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Bougainvillea

he aches for what she lost.
Four years after her husband’s tragic and traumatic end, Ashley remains heartbroken and yearning for the man who left her behind. Desperate for healing and to break her teenage son’s newfound cycle of crime, she leaves the city for a small, sleepy town in southern Alabama hoping for a fresh start. There, she finds Wade, the charming, ever-genuine contractor who’s more than she bargained for.

He is haunted by failure.
Plagued by guilt when his younger brother goes to prison, Wade is consumed by his brother’s bleak future and his own personal demons. There’s no room for love and happiness in his world. That is, until the beautiful widow with sad eyes and a troubled teenage son moves to town.

If only her heart didn’t belong to her past.
If only his past didn’t torment him.

One great love can transform their lives.
They need only to open their hearts.

Witty and heartfelt with just enough suspense and sizzle, Mended is a story of hope amongst tragedy and love’s amazing ability to heal the deepest of wounds.

Ashley is running from her past while trying to save her teenage son from his own. Full of grief from her husband’s untimely death and fear for her son, who just can’t seem to stay out of trouble, Ashley packs up their life as they know it and moves cross country in hopes of finding whatever will make things right again. Ashley is a character I believe we have all met in our lifetimes. Ashley represents the girl who had it all, and then hit rock bottom. I found myself respecting her greatly as you see her fight for her son first, neglecting herself and her own desires in order to make things right for him.

Wade is living in past regret of decisions far beyond his control. An independent contractor with a drunken father and a convict brother, Wade finds himself in a position to repair anything around him, including people. When he failed to keep his brother on the straight and narrow path, due to his addiction, Wade straightened up to prove to himself, and others, that he was capable. That he was worthy. His pursuit of Ashley’s son’s friendship, followed by Ashley’s friendship made him someone I knew I wanted to see win the girl in the end. His sweet, southern, hospitality and romantic attempts towards Ashley showed the heart of gold he had hiding under his rugged exterior.

This story was a relatable romance that kept me in its clutches until the last page. In the small town of Mason, Alabama Ashley and Wade’s world collide in a meant-to-be romance of a man who wishes to right his wrongs and a woman whose heart is waiting for the one to mend the broken pieces. Mended is a sweet story of the redemptive power of love and how it truly can set us free! I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend readers to put it on their “to-read” list!

July Non-Erotic Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ In Mistletoe by Tammy L Bailey


In Mistletoe by Tammy L. Bailey
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (290 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

At twenty-five, Grace Evans is steadily picking up the pieces of everyone else’s life. So, when her younger sister decides to turn into a runaway bride just four weeks before the wedding, Grace, drops everything to chase after her and bring her back home. Only, when the trail leads to Mistletoe, Washington, she finds herself at the mercy of the town’s most handsome and emotionally unavailable bachelor.

Ex-Army officer, Ayden McCabe, has three creeds in life: never make the first move, never fall in love, and never take anyone to Mistletoe’s Christmas Dance. Wanting nothing more than to keep his matchmaking sister from meddling in his personal life, he agrees to help Grace if she agrees to play his girlfriend. Too brunette and meek for his taste, Ayden believes Grace can’t tempt him enough to break any of his creeds. He could not be more wrong.

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!!

Space Dog by Melissa Hosack


Space Dog by Melissa Hosack
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (45 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4.5 stars
Review by: Orchid

Excited to be chosen for the journey of a lifetime, Natalie Inglewood is set for a trip to the moon. She’s been dreaming about this day since she was a little girl. Only once she gets into space, Rory, the other astronaut on board, exhibits a peculiar problem. Unbeknownst to him, it seems Rory has a latent werewolf gene. The closer they get to the moon, the more his beast tries to tear its way out of him. Natalie seems to be the only thing keeping it at bay.

How long can the pair go before things turn dangerous? As Natalie finds herself falling for Rory, she fears what reaching the moon might mean for him. If he shifts while on its surface, he’ll not be able to withstand the moon’s environment. The budding couple has to work together to complete their mission and attempt to somehow make it home safely.

In the future, the space race has been revived. Rory and Natalie are sent into space to repair a drone and the job should take about a week. Natalie is an avid reader and makes sure she has enough books to read on the journey.

The drone is near to the moon, but as their ship approaches, strange things happen to Rory. Hair grows on his hands, his face becomes long and his teeth grow and sharpen. Natalie realizes she is alone in a spacecraft with a werewolf.

This is a lovely story. Although it is mainly about the effect of the moon on Rory, it shows the emotional stress on both of them and how Natalie deals with the unexpected transformation. Their main worry is what happens when they return to earth. Will the wolf lie dormant in Rory or will this be a monthly event? I loved how ​the author dealt with their future concerns and worries about what will happen to them when they return to earth. ​​V​ery captivating and held my interest to the end.

In Mistletoe by Tammy L. Bailey


In Mistletoe by Tammy L. Bailey
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (290 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

At twenty-five, Grace Evans is steadily picking up the pieces of everyone else’s life. So, when her younger sister decides to turn into a runaway bride just four weeks before the wedding, Grace, drops everything to chase after her and bring her back home. Only, when the trail leads to Mistletoe, Washington, she finds herself at the mercy of the town’s most handsome and emotionally unavailable bachelor.

Ex-Army officer, Ayden McCabe, has three creeds in life: never make the first move, never fall in love, and never take anyone to Mistletoe’s Christmas Dance. Wanting nothing more than to keep his matchmaking sister from meddling in his personal life, he agrees to help Grace if she agrees to play his girlfriend. Too brunette and meek for his taste, Ayden believes Grace can’t tempt him enough to break any of his creeds. He could not be more wrong.

In Mistletoe captured my heart from the first page. Has this book been made into a Hallmark Christmas movie yet? I won’t be surprised to find out if it has or if it is going to be made into one eventually. I’m ready to celebrate the Christmas season. Too bad it’s the middle of July. This book really put me in the mood to walk under some mistletoe. LOL

I found the writing style made a well written piece of work that flowed effortlessly. At first I thought the plot wasn’t original as I’ve read several “agree to play his girlfriend” stories but this one had its own unique twist to that age old plot thread which was a surprising and pleasantly entertaining read.

Being careful not to give a spoiler, I need to recap the synopsis when it says that Grace is searching for her sister and the trail leads her to Mistletoe and to the town’s most handsome and emotionally unavailable bachelor. Ayden agrees to help Grace find her sister if she helps him to get his sister to stop meddling in his personal life. I had an issue with the fact that Grace gets so distracted by Ayden that she feels guilty for neglecting to find her sister which is the entire reason that she’s in Mistletoe. All I can say is that I’m glad I was able to look beyond that flaw because it paid off. There is much more to this story than meets the eye.

Grace has several layers to her character. Some layers were annoying but her history justifies those annoyances and I was able to look past them. Same goes for Ayden though his annoying qualities were different than hers and for different reasons. Ayden and Grace were a believable couple because his strengths were her weaknesses. Therefore, as the saying goes, opposites attract. I could feel the tension and chemistry as if I was the character myself.

Having said, I found the hero and heroine to be a bit annoying and that had me finding them completely relatable. They had me cracking up several times with their witty humor. The scene where he finds the particular book that she was reading and the location she had bookmarked had me crying with tears. My husband and I had that exact scene in real life. Hilarious!

I was pleased with the ending of the book. I loved how Grace’s mom was redeemed and Ayden’s parents ended on a positive note. This book was like a Vidalia onion, which by the way is one of my favorite onions. You know, sweet with many layers but still having the ability to make you cry while making everything taste better. This book gave me that feel good feeling on many levels and I’d recommend others to read In Mistletoe without any reservations.

In Pursuit of Paradise by Kate Randle


In Pursuit of Paradise by Kate Randle
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (186 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rate: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

Ship captain Nicholas Becket knows he needs to change his playboy ways. And when he discovers beautiful divorcee Lily Kingston at a job fair for his cruise line, he thinks he has found someone who can reform him. Lily is looking for a change of her own but she isn’t prepared for Nick and all of his baggage. Not to mention her own scars from the recent past. Although she is fiercely attracted to the handsome and dashing millionaire, an unexpected event threatens to tear them apart forever. Can this pair of lost souls overcome the stormy waters of life’s ups and downs in order to find their true paradise?

I’ve been waiting my whole adult life to read a romance book whose setting was on a cruise ship. Finally, I found one and it was amazingly accurate. The writing style was excellent. I could visualize the ship and it felt like I was there. It’s been six months since my last cruise and now I want to go on another one to find my own man just like the hero, Nicholas Becket. I refuse to accept that a man like the character Nicholas Becket doesn’t exist somewhere and I need him to come take me away.

Nicholas Becket is a blonde haired, blue eyed, physically fit, humble millionaire. He also just happens to be the ship’s captain. I love a man in uniform and Nicholas Becket was described as a fine looking gentleman. Did I mention he was the captain of a cruise ship?

Lily was looking for a change in her life and she deserved some happiness after what she’s gone through. I really liked Lily and I liked her more when she was with Nicholas. They brought out the good in each other. I respected that she was a hard worker and not interested in Nicholas’s money or what he could do for her. Lily had pride and self-respect, qualities I admire in a heroine. I was envious of all her good fortune. Perhaps she could have been a bit more hard to get but let’s be real, we’re talking about Nicholas. It’s easy to judge someone when we’re not in their shoes. I let that quality flaw in Lilly slide since we’re talking about my ideal book boyfriend.

Honestly, the plot was fairly predictable but I didn’t care. I thoroughly enjoyed the blossoming romance between Lily and Nicholas. I genuinely was concerned when the unexpected event happened that almost tore them apart. You’ll have to read for yourself to find out what that event was and how they found their way to their happily ever after.

I definitely have no qualms about recommending this book. It’s a perfect, quick read – all the better if you’re going on a cruise.

Christmas 911 by Lori Leger


Christmas 911 by Lori Leger
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Full Length (270 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

Corinne Ritter’s life changes drastically after she loses her husband twice in the same night. Several months later, the Texas native is en route to a family gathering early on Christmas Eve when an emergency shopping trip lands her in the middle of a robbery turned hostage situation. As circumstances deteriorate, she receives a shred of hope in the faceless presence of the 911 dispatcher she only “knows” by the soothing sound of his voice.

Luke Oliver is counting down to the end of his dispatch shift, anxious to begin his chillaxing tropical vacation. When a frantic caller asks for him, he has no idea it’s the faceless Cori he’s assisted on two prior occasions. He remains with her throughout the crisis, becoming her calming influence throughout the storm.

But will Luke be able to walk away when the time comes, or will this single 911 call change his life forever?

“911…What’s your emergency?” “Oh, I’m sorry. I just read a smoking hot romance book and I think I’m on fire.” I’m totally, burning for the hero, Luke Oliver. Joking aside, I’ve had to call 911 a few times in my life and I’ve never had an operator that sounded sexy. My life is so unfair. LOL!

I almost didn’t pick this book to read when I read the synopsis and it stated, “Corinne Ritter’s life changes drastically after she loses her husband twice in the same night.” It just didn’t make sense to me but after I read the story it totally makes sense. In fact, it’s the beginning of an ingenious plot. I’m not sure how realistic it is but anything is possible, I found Christmas 911 to be one hundred percent entertaining.

As I reflected on the heroine, Cori, I experienced many emotions. There are many thoughts I’d like to share but I can’t without spoiling the numerous plot twists. It’s safe to say that I was happy for Cori, sad for her, scared for her, worried for her and even laughed with her. She was by far one of the most relatable heroines that I’ve read in a long time.

Luke was calm, stable and had unwavering strength when necessary. He was very sensitive and attentive to Cori’s needs which I found endearing. If I was going through a crisis I’d like to have Luke by my side. I also enjoyed Luke and Cori’s relationship because together they were quick-witted and quite funny. It was easy to see where Luke and Cori got their sense of humor. Both of their families were comical.

The synopsis tells you that Cori stops for a last minute shopping trip on Christmas Eve that lands her in the middle of a robbery turned hostage situation. That single event was a pivotal moment that had me on the edge of my seat. It was a riveting storyline that added suspense throughout the plot.

There are a few things I’d like to mention that earned my respect towards the author. I loved how she addressed the importance of family, camaraderie among police officers/military and the support of breast feeding. I especially respected the argument in the elevator regarding the “education person.”

I can’t say this book was predictable. I did not see that ending coming at all. Wow! I’m feeling frustrated that I can’t speak about it. It was a Wow! ending. A fishing enthusiast will love it way more than I did. 🙂

This was a very good book. I’m glad that I was the one that got to review it. This book would make a great Christmas present for my friends. I definitely recommend this book for those looking for a unique heartwarming love story and/or a reader that believes in true love and that anything is possible.

Blood of Angels by Amber Morgan


Blood of Angels by Amber Morgan
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (39 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Orchid

Thea Clayton knows her life isn’t normal. But even she wasn’t prepared for an angel to fall through her roof.

Turiel gave up his place in Heaven to experience true sensations for the first time in his immortal life. He didn’t realize that meant pain as well as pleasure.

Thea isn’t the only person who knows Turiel has fallen. The blood of angels is a precious thing. And some people will do anything to steal it.

A lonely woman, a bad storm and a fallen angel – all these things go to make a good story.

Folks in Milton thought Thea slightly strange. She lived all alone in her family’s house and a nasty storm sends her outside in time to watch a bolt of lightning crash through the roof of her bedroom.

I thought this an intriguing way for Turiel, the wingless angel to arrive. This also seems to give Thea a purpose in life. An interesting story of angels, a lonely woman and how their meeting changes life for both of them. I particularly liked the part where Thea has to fight for Turiel against those who would use him for profit.

An unusual story with emotional impact. I had no problem in wanting to read to the end.

The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka


The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (321 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Stargazer

Nobody knows what happened to Sarah Cook. The beautiful blonde teenager disappeared fifteen years ago, the same night her parents were brutally murdered in their suburban Ohio home. Her boyfriend Brad Stockton―black and from the wrong side of the tracks―was convicted of the murders and is now on death row. Though he’s maintained his innocence all along, the clock is running out. His execution is only weeks away when his devoted sister insists she spied Sarah at an area gas station. Willing to try anything, she hires PI Roxane Weary to look at the case and see if she can locate Sarah.

Brad might be in a bad way, but private investigator Roxane Weary isn’t doing so hot herself. Still reeling from the recent death of her cop father in the line of duty, her main way of dealing with her grief has been working as little and drinking as much as possible. But Roxane finds herself drawn in to the story of Sarah’s vanishing act, especially when she links the disappearance to one of her father’s unsolved murder cases involving another teen girl.

The stakes get higher as Roxane discovers that the two girls may not be the only beautiful blonde teenagers who’ve turned up missing or dead. As her investigation gets darker and darker, Roxane will have to risk everything to find the truth. Lives depend on her cracking this case―hers included.

Everyone has baggage, even those that we ask to help us.

Roxane Weary knows this better than anyone else. Working as a private investigator, jobs come and go, and she feels that she does okay, even well at her line of work. When Roxane is hired to complete one last ditch effort to save a man from his execution date, Roxane’s bank account and liquor cabinet are running low. When she begins the investigation, she has no idea of where it will lead.

The Last Place You Look is a wild ride from start to finish. The demons that Roxane faces are only compounded by the loss of her father and the frustrating family dynamics that are set into motion. While trying to remedy her past and understand her own future, Roxane struggles with keeping up with each day-although some days get away from her.

The character development, deep plot lines, and dynamic conversations all add to the depth of this wonderful read. The story is smooth flowing, full of energy and never a dull moment. Yet, the story flows and does not feel rushed or forced. As a reader, we experience life from Roxane’s eyes, we see how she analyzes the case, the developments and interestingly, when things go wrong, they go horribly wrong! Roxane is a person, a real character that the reader can fully comprehend. The ups and downs of the story do not feel like they were set to create a plot, but feel like a natural reaction to the world of the characters.

The story comes to a pivotal point when Roxane realizes that she cannot keep going on like she has, she must either back down or push forward-but there is no stagnation. This is a resolution for the reader-our lives will change and we can choose to have a direction of the flow or we can back down and crash with the waves-this is illustrated deeply by Roxane’s choices and the shaping of her development throughout the story.

The Last Place You Look is an amazing suspense story with a strong amount of action/adventure and an awesome amount of human character development-make sure you don’t miss this amazing read!

One Truth Revealed by Robena Grant


One Truth Revealed by Robena Grant
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (268 pgs)
Heat: Spicy
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Poppy

At thirty-five-years of age, and with pressure from her adoptive mother, Lina Bright is ten days away from undergoing Artificial Insemination in London. She doesn’t need a husband. She travels to Oldcastle to meet her biological mother, a spinster who runs a village teashop. To keep her mother’s secret, but determine her father’s identity, she creates the cover of scouting for property to start a new school.

A bachelor at forty, Drew Compton is an English Professor in Oxford. Diagnosed with “poor swimmers” his fiancée left him. He plans to live out his life alone, with his books. Disliking his mother’s secrets and controlling ways, he seldom returns to Oldcastle. But a chance meeting has him intrigued. Who is this chic Londoner?

As Lina’s plans for a school become a reality, romance blossoms, but roadblocks ensue.

Will Lina and Drew trust in each other to overcome the difficulties and create a future together?

With a passel of adorable characters to drive this story, One Truth Revealed was both entertaining and enchanting.

I have to admit first off that I didn’t love the start of this book. Lina felt vaguely “stalkerish” when she saw a cute guy in a car and follows him to his destination, then positions herself in a manner to meet with him. I don’t think he realized what was going on, but I was a little icked out by her behavior. Drew, however, was absolutely charming and I could see why Lina was intrigued by him. Conveniently, he was on his way to the same small town she was. And once I got to know Lina better, I was definitely on her side.

Once they reached Oldcastle, things really got fun and busy. I really adore small town stories, because everyone is always all up in everyone else’s business and it’s just a hoot. While not laugh-out-loud funny, I did have a smile on my face quite often while reading. I just adored so many of the folks there!

I appreciated Lina’s attempts to figure out who her father was and I loved how she integrated herself into the townspeople’s lives. She was as charmed as I was–most of the time. But there are so many secrets and lies, some generations old, that it causes problems with her goals, and with her relationship with Drew. I appreciated the somewhat slower pace of the book as it felt exactly right with the setting and characters as well.

If you like a character driven story, with a romance between somewhat more mature characters (Lina is 35, Drew is 40) I can definitely recommend this. My quibbles were few and my enjoyment was high.

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Wildfire by Ilona Andrews


Wildfire by Ilona Andrews
Publisher: Avon Books
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (400 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 stars
Revieeed by Xeranthemum

Just when Nevada Baylor has finally come to accept the depths of her magical powers, she also realizes she’s fallen in love. Connor “Mad” Rogan is in many ways her equal when it comes to magic, but she’s completely out of her elements when it comes to her feelings for him. To make matters more complicated, an old flame comes back into Rogan’s life…

Rogan knows there’s nothing between him and his ex-fiance, Rynda Sherwood. But as Nevada begins to learn more about her past, her power, and her potential future, he knows she will be faced with choices she never dreamed of and the promise of a life spent without him.

As Nevada and Rogan race to discover the whereabouts of Rynda’s kidnapped husband and are forced to confront Nevada’s grandmother, who may or may not have evil motives, these two people must decide if they can trust in each other or allow everything to go up in smoke.

Wildfire is an exhilarating ride that left me breathless, excited and bowled over. I have been waiting for this final book in the story arc and it was even better than I imagined. Actually, there was no way I could ever, not in my wildest dreams, have guessed what was in store for me when I jumped back into the world that Ms. Andrews has created.

There were so many elements that made this novel the blockbuster that it is. It was like reading about an adventure that included the X-Men, Godzilla vs. Ghidorah, and Anita Blake & Edward (the early books).

The one thing that stood out for me is that I felt I was there, in the thick of battle, wild-eyed with adrenaline coursing through my veins. So much so, that I read this until I reached the very last page. So what if it took me until 1 AM. It was worth it.

One thing is for sure, this is not a standalone read. Not really. I mean, Ms. Andrews does do a light recapping of main points as a refresher but nothing can effectively prepare a reader for the shocking conclusion of Wildfire like reading the first two books, Burn For Me and White Hot can. No, a reader simply has to be absorbed into the world of Rogan (Connor) and Nevada from the get-go. A reader must understand the man Rogan was before he met the heroine because throughout the novels his character grows more human, reachable, and even lovable, in a guns/ammo/wild magic kind of way. I met Nevada when she was small potatoes in the investigative businesses and one decision, one job, changed not only her life but the lives of her entire family. Wildfire brings everything they’ve learned, everything they are and pushes them into being something they never thought they’d be.

A very strong plus for this novel is family, Nevada’s family. I enjoyed meeting every single brother and sister, her mother and maternal grandmother. I can’t say I enjoyed meeting her paternal grandmother because there is absolutely nothing about that woman to like. There is, however, a lot to fear and with good reason. The revelation of what that woman did in the past and how it affected Nevada and her siblings has to be read to be believed. Someone needs to crack her like a nut and I hope Nevada is the one to do it. Payback.

I got the biggest kick out of the blue kitty and Sergeant Teddy. I never guessed how important they’d eventually be but I was certainly not surprised. Not when a reader knows where they came from and just how adorable Matilda is.

Even though I chose spicy as the heat level in this book, it’s more spicy-light. There was just enough to make me happy because I really, really love how Ms. Andrews wrote Rogan when he’s fixated on Nevada. It’s sexy, it’s sultry and oh, so VERY romantic! His passion is so contained and yet it’s powerful and the author made me FEEL it. Wow. Nevada is one satisfied woman, many times over. 🙂

I could go on and on about this novel. The writing, the dialogue, the descriptions, the atmosphere, all of it worked, but the action scenes? They were so well done; all of them were significant, rousing, exciting, provoking, thrilling and dramatic. The tension, the suspense and the edge-of-your-seat need to read page after page is compulsive and addicting. I enjoyed the planning and execution of the final showdown. I was hoping for an ending that fit the couple that Rogan and Nevada have become. I was not disappointed.

I adore this series, love most of the characters and I want to thank Ms. Andrews for creating people in a world that I crave to re-visit. The closest I can get is to re-read all three books. I think Rogan is hot, sexy and sort of scary. Nevada is formidable in her own right and is the perfect balance for Mad Rogan. There is not one thing about this novel, or indeed this series, that I didn’t like. All three are on my keeper shelf and there they shall remain. Wildfire pushed all my happy buttons