Texas Homecoming by Leigh Greenwood


Texas Homecoming by Leigh Greenwood
Night Riders Series

Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (419 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

She’s his last chance to find peace…

Cade, Captain of the Night Riders, is determined to lead his men home to Texas to recover from a long and brutal war. But when a fellow Rider betrays the team, Cade sets aside his hopes for peace and swears he will hunt down the traitor no matter what it takes…

He has a foolproof plan to use the feisty Pilar diViere to lure her traitorous brother out of hiding. And yet when he takes the dark-eyed beauty into his arms, Cade can’t help but remember the passionate past they shared. He would do anything for a chance to rekindle that flame…even spare her brother’s life.

The war has changed them all, and each of the Night Riders must decide what is more important: love or revenge?

Leigh Greenwood once again gives the reader an adventure with characters that come alive on the pages as they pull the reader into conflicts, joys, pains, dreams, struggles, and LOVE.

Cade Wheeler’s and the few remaining Night Riders’ lives are in shambles after the Civil War, as are the ranches in Texas that they go back to. They are hoping to build new lives for themselves. But finding the traitor, Laveau diViere, who had caused the death of so many of their comrades, is a number one priority for them all.

They find Pilar, Laveau’s sister, and his grandmother at the Wheeler ranch, routed from their ranch and opulent hacienda by squatters—an explosive situation. Pilar works like a slave, while her aristocratic Grandmother never leaves her room, but beraes Pilar continually and haes Earl Wheeler. Pilar copes with unending hours of hard work, and contends with Earl Wheeler, Cade’s grandfather, a cantankerous, mean old man, who knows no boundaries, emotional or physical. My goodness, how I wanted to throttle that old man and Senora diViere! My anger still bubbles up when I think of how they used people, even their grandchildren to try to gain what they wanted. Leigh Greenwood creates characters that are real beyond words.

The men set in to brand longhorn cattle that have run wild for all the years of the war, all the time keeping an eye out for Laveau and for thieves that would take the cattle they had gathered. As the author weaves in the unique personalities of these hardworking, war-weary men, each of them becomes so alive and adds layers of speculation to the story—who are they and what will become of them.

Neither Pilar nor Cade was reared with love; neither of them is even sure they know what love is. Moreover, the treachery of her brother, Laveau, stands between them. How they work through the tangled mess of life, at that time in history, and find love makes page-turning reading.

Leigh Greenwood is a master story teller who makes the world and the people he writes about come alive for the reader. EXCELLENT READING!

Dangerous Games by Tess Diamond


Dangerous Games by Tess Diamond
Publisher: Avon Books
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (369 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

Maggie Kincaid left the FBI two years ago and didn’t look back . . . until now. A senator’s daughter has been abducted, and the nightmare set in motion isn’t just familiar to Maggie, it’s personal. She’ll need all the help she can get to bring Kayla Thebes home alive—even if that help comes from a hot-as-hell ex-soldier who plays by his own rules. . .

For Jake O’Connor, negotiation equals weakness. But he’s immediately drawn to the sexy former agent who epitomizes strength. It isn’t long before he and Maggie are working together 24/7, learning to read each other’s signals and wanting much more.

But for Maggie and Jake, letting their guard down—even around each other—may be dangerous. Now, as they close in on a kidnapper with nothing to lose, their first mistake could shatter a young girl’s last chance…

“I-got-your-back” secret service story, Dangerous Games, is an adrenaline junkie’s paradise. My anxiety level skyrocketed every whip stitch. The “bad guys” who have power, money, and connections in high places that the “good guys” have to outsmart is mind boggling.

Maggie Kincaid, ex-FBI and overloaded with emotional baggage, is coaxed back to the FBI to negotiate for the release of fourteen-year-old Kayla, Senator Thebes’ daughter. IF you happen to be a woman who has succeeded in a male-dominated profession, you can empathize with Maggie. Many of the male agents that are not as good at their jobs as she is at hers make her life miserable—adding to her load of grief, anger, and guilt that she has lived with for years.

Jake O’Connor, former Army Ranger, now best at his job of handling sensitive D. C. political issues, becomes part of the mass of people at Senator Thebes” house. He is to see to the senator’s interest. His self concept is in good shape, even though, he too has nightmarish past events in his career that haunt him. He is not threatened by Maggie’s abilities. He can see her expertise in negotiating and gravitates to her. What a team they make!

Tess Diamond does a superb job of outing the “bad guys” one by one. Cold chills made me shudder as she brought their values to light. The kidnapper really surprised me. How Ms. Diamond makes it all so believable is a masterful bit of writing. Even better is the way she reveals Maggie’s dedication and determination to save Kayla, even when the odds are sky high against her.

There are characters one loves to love and many others one loves to hate. Oh, yes, even a sex scene gets worked in amid all the chaos. A gripping story!

Hidden Bloodlines by Karen Van Den Heuvel


Hidden Bloodlines by Karen Van Den Heuvel
J. C. Classified Series
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (296 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

Gutsy Colorado attorney Victoria Bailey has just successfully prosecuted a serial killer—or has she? Betrayed by her college sweetheart, she’s vowed to remain single and dependent on no one but herself. All goes according to plan until her best friend’s wedding rehearsal. A missing groom, a murdered trial assistant, and an unexpected encounter with two men from her past bring her well-controlled life crashing down.

Highly decorated, retired Navy SEAL Christian Van der Kruis has seen much death and is ready to experience a new life. Now part of a global special ops organization, he attends a wedding, never expecting to be brought face-to-face with death and the only woman he ever loved…Victoria.

Victoria, a successful lawyer, is unease about a case she won. Had she prosecuted the right man? She is determined to put business aside when she arrives at the legendary hotel and chapel where she is to be bridesmaid for her friend, Elizabeth. How her case and the wedding party get all mixed up together creates some nail-biting reading.

With all the evil doings going on, getting a wedding worked in seems almost impossible. However Karen Van Den Heuvel weaves together, old grudges held since the settling of Eutis Park, Colorado, a wedding party where the groom goes missing, a haunted hotel and its ties to a building in Denver that Elizabeth bought; the revisiting of an old love gone awry, the blooming of a new love; demonopathy, exorcism, and more. She keeps the reader on edge with strange noises, rooms with secret doors, old hidden tunnels occupied by evil doers, a possessed little boy, a strange acting new law partner, and a freak storm in March.

Victoria’s encounter with David, the man who, without warning, dumped her to become a priest brings back old memories and hurts that shaped her life the past few years. However when she encounters his brother Christian, an ex-Navy SEAL, who now has a search and rescue business, she sees and responds to him differently than she did in college. This is, indeed, a ray of sunshine in a dark, stormy story.

While I felt like I’d come in at the middle of a movie, I was glued to the story, reading like mad so as not to miss important information. I’m not sure I ever got all the characters straight. However, the story is so compelling, I just had to keep reading to see how all things worked out.

Karen Van Den Heuvel has a unique writing style. She does a masterful job of tying up loose ends and finally slips in more than one happy-ever-after that I always love to see.

A Heart Made for Love by Linda Tillis


A Heart Made for Love by Linda Tillis
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (302 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

In rural Florida, 1903, Mae Hinton cares for her father and younger brothers, trying to fill her deceased mother’s shoes. Her life is shattered and her faith tested when her innocence is stolen by roving miscreants. Left unconscious, unable to identify her attackers, she pledges to help other victimized women. She pursues an education and learns to deal with bigoted ministers, well-to-do hypocrites, and men with higher regard for their livestock than their women.

Edward Finch is nearly done with medical studies in England when he comes home for the holidays. Love flourishes, and Mae seems close to achieving her dreams of both true love and a haven for victims, once she can explain to him why she carries a pistol. Then her new-found happiness is upset by a murder as one of her attackers returns. She may settle this herself…or she may find that vengeance truly belongs to God.

The foreshadowing and the spiritual connection the Hintons have with the dead Ruth Hinton make A Heart Made for Love intriguing. While living, Ruth taught her children to be responsible to family and to love the Lord. After her death, her spirit communes with the children and with Garth, who’d been a loving husband.

When trouble comes and innocent Mae Hinton “pays for the sins of others’ as Dr. Walters, her long-time friend and mentor, says, the Hintons rally together, do what has to be done, and stay strong with the help of Ruth’s spirit.

Mae’s horrific experience sets the whole family on a new course in life, with Dr. Walters help. The doctor’s nephew, Dr. Edward Finch, and Mae fall in love. While this love story adds a special emotion, it is not the major part of the novel. As the story moves along, a lot of characters get involved.

The page-turning part of the story begins when Mae inherits a vast estate where she, with the help of her family, begins her home for abused women and children.

The heir, Langford Hardwick, who had expected to inherit it all and still could have it all under a given condition, becomes an antagonist on a mission. The journey the reader is taken on with Hardwick; add a very different layer to the story with a lot of new characters and some horrible events.

The past and the present get intertwined as good and evil engage in battle.

How Linda Tillis ties up loose ends and creates a happy-ever-after for so many of the characters is captivating. A story that starts with such a shocking event that ends with such promise for so many realizing their dreams coming true, leaves one feeling life, with work and the right attitude, even bad things can be used to bring about good things.

Igniting the Countess by Lisa Torquary


Igniting the Countess by Lisa Torquary
Publisher: New Concept Publishing
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (151 pages)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

Loraine Durant, widowed Countess of Crawford, lives her life for her toddler son, the heir of the late count. But the world seems to go out of its axis when she lays eyes on the new breath-taking footman. She fights arduously the flaming attraction she feels for him, deeming it inappropriate, failing notoriously. With the shadow of scandal looming over her, she had to stay away from him. When she discovers he is much more than a servant, it is too late and he already hates her.

Garth Evans is the bastard son of a Marquis, trying to make his unprivileged way in the world and avoiding trouble with women. Being constantly in the presence of the Countess proves to be a hellish temptation and he can hardly keep his hands off her. After they part, he thinks she is as whimsical and frivolous as any other lady of her rank. Now, he hates her for all she represents. Wrenching passion threatens to break his resolve to keep her at arm’s length, his desire for her about to burst at any moment.

Volatile sexual chemistry between a countess and a footman is not a good idea in early nineteenth century England. To act on it or not to act on it is the driving force in Igniting the Countess.

Loraine, Countess of Crawford, is a widow and the mother of a baby who will one day be the Count of Crawford. She is very circumspect while she stays in society to insure her son’s position in years to come. However, when a new footman comes to work, her body goes haywire longing for something she’d never experienced with her unloving husband.

Garth Evans, the new footman, is the bastard son of Marquis of Warwick. He tries to be strictly business, but he too is beset with an overpowering need to be with the Countess. How the two of them cope with their attraction to each other heats up the pages and keeps the reader turning those pages in haste.

The Dowager Countess, a go-by-the-social-rules hardliner, forces Loraine to make a heart-breaking choice. The footman must be fired and she must continue in the Ton Society where predatory males pursue her for gain and the “ladies” watch her like a hawk looking for a misdeed in her behavior or the consequences would be unthinkable as far as Loraine is concerned.

Garth Evans, well-educated and striving to better his position in life, rages at the unfairness of things, as he wrestles with his emotions and works to prosper. His dismissal without a word from Loraine as to why gives him a “get-even” attitude that changes the tone of the story.

While the theme and characters are pretty much “the usual,” and the love scenes done so often they became a little much, the story is an attention-keeper. Lisa Torquary weaves the story with unique twists and entertains the reader. Her writing style makes for smooth reading, never intruding on the story.

My Fair Duchess by Megan Frampton


My Fair Duchess by Megan Frampton
Publisher: Avon Books
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (274 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

The unexpected duchess

Archibald Salisbury, son of a viscount, war hero, and proficient in the proper ways of aristocratic society, has received orders for his most challenging mission: Genevieve, Duchess of Blakesley. How she inherited a duchy isn’t his problem. Turning her into a perfect duchess is. But how can he keep his mind on business when her beauty entices him toward pleasure?

It was impossible, unprecedented…and undeniably true. Genevieve is now a “duke”, or, rather, a duchess. So what is she to do when the ton eyes her every move, hoping she’ll make a mistake? Genevieve knows she has brains and has sometimes been told she has beauty, but, out of her depth, she calls on an expert. And what an expert, with shoulders broad enough to lean on, and a wit that matches her own. Archie is supposed to teach her to be a lady and run her estate, but what she really wants to do is unladylike—run into his arms.

“Trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear” is how Genevieve feels when she inherits a neglected duchy and becomes Duchess of Blakesley.

She is the neglected daughter of a wastrel duke. She has been raised by servants. She’s had no training in how to be a duchess much less in how to tend to the business of the duchy that has been shamefully neglected. However, because of a special dispensation granted generations earlier, the direct heir, regardless of gender, inherits the duchy of Blakesley.

Though neglected by her father, she has a grandmother who has confidence in Genevieve, and she also has a godmother who sends her own steward to help Genevieve maneuver through the quagmire of the ton and the business of owning and managing of the duchy.

The steward, retired army captain Archibald Salisbury, estranged third son of a viscount, is not all that happy about having to go where his family might see him, but he arrives in London to do the task Genevieve’s godmother sent him to do.

Straight away, he sees a strategy is needed. His army training kicks in. He sees Genevieve as a raw recruit with no ammunition–she has no suitable wardrobe; she does not know how to be haughty, act grandiose, or give terse orders to the servants; she has no clue about how to do duchy business, last, but not least, she draws him like a magnet. She’s beautiful, sensible, kind, honest, direct, sensitive, resilient, and has a delightful sense of humor. Consequently, even though they are in the same house, he communicates with her by letter if possible rather than be in her company—great way for the author to move the story along.

He guides her through all the social and business hazards of mid-nineteenth century England. She learns well, but her faux pas in her personal relationship with him throws a spanner in the works that creates a conflict that sends him running. Now she’s very capable, titled, wealthy, but so alone—calls herself an idiot.

How Megan Frampton weaves a love story throughout the story and how she resolves the conflicts to give Archie and Genevieve their happy-ever-after is a work of art. Good reading!

Perfect for You by Candis Terry

perfect
Perfect for You by Candis Terry
Publisher: Avon Books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full length (239 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

Declan Kincade has spent so much time chasing success he’s almost forgotten how to just live. Lately though, his all-business routine has been thrown into disarray. Brooke Hastings is the best employee Dec’s ever had: polished, capable, and intelligent. After four years, he’s just realized that she’s also smoking hot. But their working relationship is too valuable to stake on a fling, no matter how mind-bendingly pleasurable it promises to be.

What’s worse than never meeting the right man? Finding him, and then working side-by-side every day while he remains absolutely blind to your existence. That is, until one temptation-packed road-trip changes everything. Teaching her gorgeous, driven boss how to cut loose and have fun is the toughest challenge Brooke’s ever faced. But it’s one that could give both of them exactly what they need, if Dec will take a chance on a perfect—and perfectly unexpected—love.

Bucket lists, family-love-in-action, and delightful humor are attention-keeping threads running through this love story that sparkles.

Feeling his mortality after the death of his parents, Declan Kincade, now wealthy at age thirty-three, realizes he is lacking in matters of the heart, and he has forgotten how to have fun. His single-minded focus on his career has made him oblivious to too many things. He did get a wakeup call when his twin brother Jordan mentioned Declan’s executive assistant was “hot as hell.”

Brooke Hastings, the beautiful executive assistant with her high IQ and bubbly personality, is a buffer between him and any disgruntled client; so by the time Declan sees the client everything is pleasant.

In spite of growing up under horrible conditions, Brooke knows how to have fun. Not only that, but she fantasizes about her gorgeous boss. Her passion for life is infectious; so, when they take a fifteen hour road trip to his family’s Sunshine Creek vineyard and stay in a cabin together, she makes it her mission to help Declan learn how to have fun—my goodness, the sparkle she adds to a their working trip sweeps the reader along from one adventure to another and some of them sizzle.

As they work with his brothers to put the vineyard back in the black, emotions race along at a fever pitch, with everyone in Declan’s family offering advice and “help” on all issues from love life to business.

How Brooke and the stranger Lili MacKay influence the Kincade family includes both business and emotions in a BIG way. The changes in Declan, as he and Brooke find their way to happy-ever-after, make one smile—“gotta” love that man.

Candis Terry’s insightful development of the characters is a joy to read. The dialogue shows personalities in most unique ways.

Perfect for You is a pleasure to read!

Christmas in the Highlands by Madelyn Hill


Christmas in the Highlands by Madelyn Hill
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (201 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

A FAMILY FOR CHRISTMAS
CHRISTMAS IN THE HIGHLANDS, BOOK ONE

Laird Malcolm Sutherland needs a bride. He has few requirements of his new wife; demands he should have insisted with his former betrothed—namely, honesty, loyalty, and resources.

Lady Rossalyn Gordon will do anything to be rid of her tyrant father, even if that means deceiving the man who offers her an escape. If revealed, those secrets will either bring her mercy, or thrust her back into the hands of the devil who sired her.

When Rossalyn’s bastard of a father arrives at Sutherland Keep, going back on his word and ordering her return, Malcolm must decide if he can forgive his wife enough to listen to his heart and have a family for Christmas.

HIS BY CHRISTMAS
CHRISTMAS IN THE HIGHLANDS, BOOK TWO

Fiona Sutherland longs for love with the man she has pined after since she was a lass. When he weds another she is devastated, and questions why the man she pledged her heart to has forsaken a vow made in their youth. Could loving her be so hard?

Cameron Munro adores Fiona from afar, knowing her heart has been set on another. She is everything he desires—strong, loyal, and fiery in spirit.

Determined, he pledges to prove his love to her and win Fiona’s heart by Christmas.

Book One: A Family for Christmas

In order to feed his ever growing clan, Malcolm Sutherland needs an alliance with the untrustworthy, neighboring Gordon Clan. If a wife has to be part of the bargain, he can handle it—just so long as she is chaste. He’ll not love her, but if she is loyal, honest, and can dote on his clan it would be a boon, and he does need an heir.

Rossalyn Gordon agrees to be silent about her father’s perfidy—anything to escape her father’s filthy, stinking household with its leering, filthy, lazy, ‘more-threatening-everyday’ men. She prays Malcolm is not a vengeful man.

Once Gordon’s deceit is discovered, Malcolm is angry and informs Rossalyn, she will be by his side for all things and function as his wife, but he will not seek her counsel or her bed. Her heart breaks, but she and her secret are in a clean, happy keep, and safe.

The woman who had expected to marry Malcolm makes an antagonist to be reckoned with. Malcolm’s Sergeant-at-arms and life-long friend has his hands full trying to keep the peace .What I really enjoyed was the author giving this young woman some redeeming qualities along with an intriguing back-story that touched my heart.

Madelyn Hill’s writing skill makes the story sparkle. Very believably the despicable Gordon gets his comeuppance, the conflicts abate, Malcolm and Rossalyn’s love sizzles heating the pages, and Rossalyn gets a wonderful Christmas for the first time since her mother’s death.

Book Two: His by Christmas

Her dreams shattered, Fiona does a vile thing, totally against her true nature. The Sutherland clan sergeant-at-arms, Cameron Munro, her friend since childhood, calls her hand on it. She’s sick at heart about her actions, but tries to hide it. Determine to make amends; she goes back to helping the old of the clan who live in their small crofters, not longer going to the keep for meals and social life. She loves these old ones, tended them for years. They love her and know her well.

Cameron wants the stubborn, tart-tongued, beautiful, strong, and intelligent Fiona for his wife. But how to get her is a mystery to him. Women have always sought him, not the other way around.

The people, who rally around to help Cameron, make this story an absolute delight to read. The courtship has its hurt, bumps, and bruises. She hurts him, but Cameron perseveres. He’s been in love with her for as long as he can remember.

As Fiona comes to terms with her hurt, she see Cameron as he truly is, wants to make things right between them, wants HIM—his hugs and kisses. But duty calls him to the border—he comes home more dead than alive.

How Madelyn Hill creates a soul mate love out of all the hurt and chaos is not to be missed. Not only does she give the reader a beautiful love story that heats the blood, she also weaves together the diverse personalities so a sound, happy, clan emerges and the Christmas celebration is one to remember.

Christmas in the Highlands is a JOY to read any time of the year.

Promises in the Dark by Karen Wiesner


Promises in the Dark by Karen Wiesner
Angelfire II Quartet, Book 4
Publisher: Writers Exchange E-Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (191 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

Heaven’s promise, desire’s flame…

Return to Karen Wiesner’s award-winning Angelfire Trilogy. There are no scars like those inflicted in childhood, and no love like your first. Timeless couples Diane Hoffmann and Mikey Lund, Roxanne Hart and Jamie Dubois, Cherish Stephenson and Ty Foxx, and Sapphire Stephenson and William Decker seek out the unconditional love and healing of an angel and the scorching heat of unending passion.

William Decker has lived his life on the principle of ‘Better to not love what you never had to begin with’ and ‘You can’t be hurt by anything you haven’t invested yourself in’…and he can’t deny his life mottos have done little beyond keep him lonely.

Sapphire Stephenson married, had a child—and divorced—before she was out of her teens. Her entire life is wrapped up in being a good role model for her daughter and not trusting any man, living or dead. Decker seems to be the one exception. But is even he capable of more than promises in the dark?

William Decker, an orphan who grew up without warmth or companionship from those around him, has been a loner all his life, preferring solitude, loneliness and dark corners to friends, anything resembling a spotlight, and even love. When he met Roxanne Hart his first and only year of college, he’d found a center he’d unconsciously looked for all his life. Though Rox loved him deeply as a friend, she was in love with another man and he’d never really had a shot there, despite his relentless, decades-long loyalty. When she announces her wedding, William knows it’s past time for him to stop wishing for the moon, but, more than that, he realizes for the first time that he’d set his heart on an unavailable woman purposely. He’s lived his life on the principle of ‘Better to not love and lose what you never had to begin with’ and ‘You can’t be hurt by anything you haven’t invested yourself in.’ He can’t deny his life mottos have done little beyond keep him lonely…

Sapphire Stephenson married, had a child—and divorced—before she was out of her teens. But starting out life with a newborn and a mother who refused to understand why she couldn’t forgive her cheating, abusive husband, she’d taken the only jobs she’d been able to get, ending up as a bartender in a rough biker joint on Staten Island. Sapphire is certain of two things: That being a good role model for her daughter is the most important thing in her life…and that there isn’t a man alive worth any loyalty. The dudes who come through the bar have no respect for–let alone interest in– anything that isn’t transitory with the women around them. William Decker, long-time patron of the bar, close friend of its owner and now head of security, is the one exception to the rule she’s observed. He intrigues her the way no other man ever has. But is even he capable of more than promises in the dark that he’ll break without regret by the morning light?

“You’re a hypocrite” rattles around in Sapphire Stephenson’s head. Guilt plagues her.

Did Yasmine know about William “Deck” Decker, the bouncer at bar, the man who’d saved her from being raped and now takes her breath away with the steamy sex they enjoy in the bar’s office after her bartending duties and his bouncer duties are over for the night?

Being a good example for Yasmine, her sixteen-year-old daughter, had been Sapphire’s mission in life. She hadn’t brought a man home in ten years.

On the run for most of Yasmine’s life, with only each other to cling to, they’d been more than just mother and daughter; they’d been best friends until recently.

Beautiful, responsible, industrious, intelligent Yasmine, seemingly overnight, had become a rebellious teenager with a boyfriend too old for her. When Sapphire set rules, the angry “You’re a hypocrite” spewed out of Yasmine’s mouth.

Deck, tough, handsome, mysterious, and long-time customer, had stopped his heavy drinking and turned bouncer after Sapphire’s near rape. He’d know her for years and used her for a shrink as he sat at the bar drinking himself to numbness night after night. Rejection, he couldn’t come to terms with, had shredded his self esteem—for some reason he’d been deemed unworthy to be loved by his own mother and the women he’d protected and loved–still loves.

Deck’s “Whatever you want, honey,” sounds like a promise. But are promises made in the dark meant to be kept?

Once burned, twice shy, Sapphire questions her own actions, but being with Deck feels so right.

They all have emotional miles to go before they can find their happy-ever-after—making captivating reading.

Karen Wiesner does a super job of making a book that is in a series very readable as a standalone story. Her characters, with all their flaws, come alive and reach right in and touch the reader’s heart. As she weaves their back stories in, one’s heart grieves for the hurts they’ve suffered.

She makes Promises in the Dark a memorable vicarious experience for the reader.

The Marriage Ultimatum by Charlotte O’Shay


The Marriage Ultimatum by Charlotte O’Shay
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (239 pages)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

Dead-end job? Dreary apartment? Disastrous love life? Check, check, and check. Toddler who makes it all worthwhile? Absolutely. Juggling work, college, and the care of young Alex was never Sabrina’s plan. But Sabrina’s dreams are bigger than any curve ball life can throw at her. Her top priority is keeping her small family together, no matter what the cost.

Vladimir Grigory doesn’t believe in dreams. He earned his position at the top of New York’s corporate ladder with his own sweat. His empire is his baby, and he’ll destroy anyone who threatens it. Even the sexy employee who challenges him on every level. When the New York tabloids and the world call him the baby daddy of Sabrina’s son, Vlad believes Sabrina is part of a plot to expose the secrets of his past. He threatens to destroy her future. But since Sabrina has secrets of her own, she has no choice but to agree to Vlad’s marriage ultimatum.

Instant chemistry and sex sets this story racing along, titillate and heat the blood. However, the deep undercurrent of what truly drives twenty-three year old Sabrina Boyd and billionaire mogul Vladimir Grigory, is the gripping element of the story—want to cry for both of them.

Life had not dealt kindly with either of them, but each had taken what was there to work with and built a life.

When Vladimir’s actions threatened to wreck Sabrina’s efforts to make a better life for her and three-year-old Alex, she lashes out in the only way she knows how. In doing so, she, unknowingly, sets off the tabloids and gossip columns around the world. What people saw and assumed, in reality, had no truth in it. But the tabloids didn’t care.

The fall out of the gossip threatened things near and dear to Vladimir—nobody did that to him—he had power and used it. His damage control plan set Sabrina and baby Alex’s lives on a path that astonishes.

The hurricane that battered Sabrina and Vladimir at the onset of his scheme to defuse the damaging gossip seemed symbolic of the storm to come in their relationship. How caring, protective, all-consuming love wiggled its way into the mix and brought joy, contentment, and a happy-ever-after for Sabrina, Vladimir and baby Alex, makes captivating reading, kept me up WAY passed my bedtime.

Charlotte O’Shay uses back-story in a remarkable way to give the reader insight into the characters, to create empathy, and to build characters that meet and beat the odds with determination. She has a smooth, very readable writing style.