Warrior by Elsa Jade


Warrior by Elsa Jade
Wolves of Angels Rest #4

Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Action/Adventure
Length: Short Story (95 pgs)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

After the mating moon sets, the trouble is only beginning…

Thunder Cole may be the last of his kind. He’ll help his distant shapeshifter kindred with their werewolf hunter problem, but then he’s moving on — alone. Until he meets Elizabeth Rowan.

Bets became “Auntie Fate”, a fake psychic tarot reader, to support her orphaned niece, but she doesn’t believe in the woo-woo magical world. Until she meets Thunder Cole.

Both of them think their second chances are long gone. They couldn’t be more wrong. But a bitter enemy on a quest for vengeance against the wolves of Angels Rest may destroy everything they love.

A doubter will believe, a warrior will rise, and passion will rule the day.

Every now and again a book’s character surprises me. This is one of them. Most of the paranormal beings so far have been wolves but in Warrior there’s a new one in town and he’s a first. I’ve never read about his kind before in romance books and I am duly impressed.

Unfortunately for them but not for me, the external conflict continues from the Kingdom Guard. I didn’t expect the way in which it manifested and it was very suspenseful with lots of drama. I liked when the ‘troops’, the werewolves of Angels Rest, come together to try to rescue the heroine. Especially since the heroine is Elizabeth, the hippie, tarot-reading, sweet aunt of Darling from Rogue. She’s not a fighter but that doesn’t mean she’s not brave. She is.

Thunder is truly a yummy hero. It might have a lot to do with how Ms. Jade created his character. I enjoyed all the scenes with his motorcycle because of how they were written. I also felt for the guy because he is so alone. He has honor, loyalty and crazy skills but he’s a loner, a drifter that goes around helping people when they need it without belonging anywhere. I was so pleased that he found an anchor in the community of Angels Rest. That, of course, has a lot to do with the heroine.

Like the previous three in the series, when Thunder and Bets, as he likes to call her, get together physically, it’s detailed, sexy, steamy hot and well written. What I appreciate about the sexy scenes is that the story is not thin as an excuse for sex. Nope, it’s to showcase just how combustible the hero and heroine are together, and to show just how vested they both are to each other’s safety because they are falling in love. It’s a solid romance with a wonderful conflict and challenge to overcome. At one point the emotions inspired by the conflict was intense. I was glued to the pages.

Even though this is a novella, Ms. Jade continues the series with the skill of a master by delivering a full-bodied, thoroughly satisfying solid romance story that reads like a full-sized novel. There are gems of dialogue and descriptions sprinkled all through the tale and many are pure word magic.

At the end of the book there is a tidbit about the next book in the series and I simply have to have it. Why? Because it’s about one of the victims of the Kingdom Guard. What they did to him was heinous. So how and who can heal him is the a very effective hook. Consider the book bought.

Warrior is another winner and a must read. I am loving this series so hard it’s awesome. The quality of the writing remains solid, even in this fourth installment. So far this series has rocked my world and I can’t wait to read the next one.

Watchmakers Heart by Juli D Revezzo


Watchmakers Heart by Juli D Revezzo
Publisher: Raven Queen Publications
Genre: Historical, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (127 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Orchid

For Miss Phoebe Lockswell, fashionable London tea parties and balls aren’t her style. Instead, she prefers to tinker tirelessly with a clockwork diffuser she’s built from scratch. If only she can get the invention to work on command, she might earn her way out of an arranged marriage to a repugnant member of the House of Commons.

London watchmaker Mortimer Kidd was brought up hard in the arms of an infamous London gang. Despite the respectability he strives for now, the gang leader is blackmailing him. When Mortimer sees Phoebe’s diffuser, he thinks he’s found a way to buy himself out of trouble. The brash Phoebe manages to steal his heart, however, before he can purloin her invention.

Will Mortimer’s unsavory past catch up to him before he convinces Phoebe of his devotion? Worse, once Phoebe learns the truth, will she ever trust him again?

Phoebe is the daughter of a well to do lawyer, Mort is a watchmaker. While she had engineered an animated statue to enhance love making, Mort is hiding a past that would threaten his life and friends from his childhood. If he allows Phoebe into his world it will also threaten her reputation and life.

When Phoebe’s father tries to force her into marrying the objectionable Sir Dugard, she resists and Mort comes to her aid.

This is a fascinating Victorian era love story. It travels from the affluent house of Phoebe’s family to the slums of Whitechapel. In the background is the mysterious Doggett who holds Mort’s life and future in his hands. A lot of the story is shrouded in mystery and the couple find their budding romance is fraught with problems, and even Phoebe’s best friend turns against her.

Murder, theft, blackmail all these are present at one stage or other of the story. It also shows a view of the stews of the east end of London. This is one of those books I couldn’t put down. I read it in one day as I wanted to know what happened.

Joker by Elsa Jade


Joker by Elsa Jade
Wolves of Angels Rest #2

Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Action/Adventure
Length: Short Story (78 pgs)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

A ‘Mating Season’ novella.

Leela Jones had a mission: kill a werewolf. Instead, she was captured by one. Now Bastian Villalobos, bad boy of the Mesa Diablo pack, has a werewolf hunter on his hands. Wolf shifters and hunters have always been mortal enemies. But under the hungry light of the mating moon, they might be lovers too.

I hoped that this next story in the series after Hero was going to be good and all my hopes were realized. This novella is just as powerful, well written and entertaining as the first book. Joker picks up where the first book left off – with the captured assassin. The suspense and drama is more prevalent in this one and I enjoyed every surprise, shock and revelation.

Once again, there is a strong hero, Bastien, and a heroine worthy of him, Leela. In this story the emotional factor is through the roof. I guess I refer to the brave stand towards the end that had unexpected consequences. My heart was in my throat. Everything that happened in the novella built up to that final climactic and intense chapter that had me biting a nail, or two.

Before the serious wrap up there was all the turmoil of a werewolf falling in love with the hunter that had set out to kill him and his kind. I enjoyed how Ms. Jade made it all work out. Once again there is the mysticism of Mesa Diablo that enhances the believability factor that love can happen that fast if it’s meant to be. The romance is strong and wonderful.

Ms. Jade continues to wow me with her choice of descriptives. They provide a flavor and presence unique to the main characters and their romance. I enjoyed their dialogue, their interaction between family members and townsfolk and their pack. It all worked for me.

Joker is a wonderful romance. This short story is rich in substance and brilliant in its ability to embrace all the aspects a reader seeks in a great romance story. Yes, the sexual build up between Bas and Leela was hot, their coming together was hotter, but what I found incredibly sexy was what the hero revealed to Leela. Joker is delightful and not to be missed.

Hero by Elsa Jade


Hero by Elsa Jade
Wolves of Angels Rest #1

Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (73 pgs)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

A wandering werewolf returns to town during the mating season to become pack leader and reunites for one last fling with the high school crush he left behind, unaware of how short their time together might be…
________________________________

Maddie Joplin left the high desert town of Angels Rest with the searing memory of her one night in the arms of the local golden boy nipping at her heels. Now, years later, she’s back, haunted by a need she couldn’t outrun and determined to finally set herself free from wishes that can never come true.

In the army, Kane Villalobos traveled the world, seeking other shapeshifters who’d learned to live in harmony with human, only to find secrecy and death. He’s destined to become alpha of the Mesa Diablo pack, but he can’t forget the lush curves and quick mouth of the girl he had to leave behind. Seeing her again arouses his wolf in dangerous ways, and keeping her safe—from himself and the perils of the werewolf world—might mean letting her go forever.

I’ve discovered a new addiction. The way Ms. Jade presented this world was immediately engaging with the first chapter. It’s always daunting when any author has to present to a reader their world building without sounding like it’s telling and not showing. What Ms. Jade showed me is that her heroine is strong and a good match for an equally strong hero and I enjoyed the aspect of second chances. There’s a mysticism that is woven throughout in addition to the paranormal aspect that together created a heady mix of perfection. I liked learning about their customs, beliefs, history and the secrets they keep. I learned all of that as Maddie, the heroine, put all the clues together to discover the impossible.

Kane is hunky, hard-bodied, willing and able to protect those he loves and he’s all alpha. Maddie is a good match for him and I really enjoyed watching them peel away the past to uncover their potential future. They just have to survive being hunted. The external conflict worked very well too.

The heat of their attraction and passion, and the figurative fireworks that erupts when they are skin to skin is so sexy it’s swoon-worthy. The bedroom door is wide open for those few times they explore each other in great detail but the bulk of the novella is their growing relationship, the plot that provided some drama and suspense, and the wonderful cast of characters that populate the town of Angels Rest.

One thing that surprised me about Hero was that for a short novella, the impact it made on me was as effective as a full 150 page novel. Everything balanced, everything worked, I got all the character building I needed to feel connected, engaged and vested in their happiness and safety. I am impressed.

Here’s something else that I have to mention – Ms. Jades’ word choice in dialogue and/or descriptions. I am simply astonished and delighted with so many turns of phrases and how she ‘showed’ me certain things, whether it be a person or a place or an event, in such a way that I could get a clear picture in my head of what she was trying to convey. Some authors show with words, Ms. Jade paints. Her canvas is ablaze with imagery that jumps off of the pages in Hero.

I do love me some great secondary characters and this novella gave me more than I expected. In fact, I was so completely hooked on Kane’s cousins that even before I ended this first book in the series I went book shopping and automatically ordered the next two. I am convinced that if the others are as good as this first introduction to Ms. Jade’s writing, I am going to be in reader nirvana. I’m a very happy, excited and tickled-pink reader. If you have never read this book, you are missing out. Hero is a short book that reads like a full length adventure and I highly recommend it to fans of hot paranormal romantic suspense readers, or just regular fans of paranormal romances. Can you tell I’m enamored?

Highland Hope by Madelyn Hill


Highland Hope by Madelyn Hill
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (241 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

“Remember, lasses. Through Hope, Faith, and Honor, ye can rule,” were the last words Lady Hope MacAlister’s father spoke before dying. Those very words direct her every action and thought. Sword fighting and leading the men of her clan was second nature to Hope and she has little time for herself or any thoughts of love. Until Aidan MacKerry is captured spying on the clan.

She is beautiful, strong, and quick to pull a sword. But when he kisses her, all thoughts of the lairdship Aidan MacKerry seeks flee his mind. When the enemy continues to undermine Hope, Aidan is determined to aid her—only he didn’t think he’d lose his heart to the Laird of Wild Thistle Keep. When the enemy reveals Aidan’s secret, he must fight for his right to be laird and prove, despite their differences, he loves Hope.

The enemy refuses to back down and continues to threaten not only Hope, but the security of the entire clan. Only together will they be able to save the clan and save their love.

Aye, ’twas a splendid book, you ken? The hero, Aidan MacKerry was a brawn of a man. I found Highland Hope to be quite irresistible. Hope MacAlister, the heroine, didn’t stand a chance. At least I couldn’t resist the chemistry that flowed between these two characters. Unfortunately, their relationship was plagued with trials and tribulations as a result of Hope’s lairdship responsibilities to her clan and Aidan’s determination to keep his pledge to his father, mixed with secrets, and a lurking enemy.

Madelyn Hill wrote a wonderful romance book. The plot was not like one I’ve ever read before which was pleasing to me. Thumbs up for originality. I was thoroughly intrigued to keep reading to find out how it was going to end for everyone involved. The pace was a steady rhythm without any hiccups.

I want to assure readers that the ending of Highland Hope was perfect. I really loved the message, or at least the message I got out of it which was to compromise. It was a brilliant solution to ensure that Hope and Aidan could save the clan and their love.

I would definitely recommend this book for a fun, interesting and spicy romance.

The Heart You Need by Diane R Jewkes


The Heart You Need by Diane R Jewkes
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Genre: Historical, Action/Adventure
Length: Short Story (95 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Orchid

When society reporter Adeline Ellsworth’s cousin, a police inspector, is murdered in 1896 San Francisco, she immediately sets out to uncover the truth. This could be her chance to leave frivolous fashion gossip behind for a career reporting on important issues. But her investigation leads to danger—and she wakes up tied to Alec McCairn, Lord Peyton.

In California to set up a new office, the Scottish peer definitely wasn’t looking for a romantic entanglement, especially with an independent, opinionated reporter. But he suspects the beguiling Adeline is in over her head and too proud to ask for help. He vows to protect her, no matter how hard she balks.

A widow, Adeline guards her heart carefully and doesn’t want Alec ruining her chance to expose this corruption, no matter how attractive or charming he is. But then the main suspect kidnaps her younger brother and demands Adeline’s research as ransom. To save him and crack the case, they must work together. But the biggest mystery they end up solving might just be how to capture each other’s heart.

Set in the latter part of the Victorian era, this romance has danger, excitement and mystery all wrapped into one. In a time when women are emerging as independent from the men in their lives, Linnie is a widow and a journalist with a leading San Francisco newspaper. Although she only deals with social and fashion issues, she longs to be an investigative reporter and her efforts in this regard lead her into danger. They also lead her into love when she meets Lord Alec MacCairn.

This book has it all. Spicy love scenes, dangerous adventures and even a kidnapping. Threaded through the story is a hint of humor which makes it believable and enjoyable to read. For most of the story I was wondering how on earth their love could survive when he lives on one side of the Atlantic and she lives on the shores of the Pacific. Linnie obviously wouldn’t leave her widowed mother and young brother, but Alec had responsibilities as the heir to a dukedom in Scotland. Very intriguing storyline with the two main characters accepting their love for each other, but wondering how they can make their love continue across the distance of two oceans.

The Sweet Spot by Elley Arden


The Sweet Spot by Elley Arden
Arlington Aces Book 2
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (116 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Orchid

Once a Mets draft pick, Arlington Aces outfielder Giovanni Caceres never thought he’d be stuck playing in an independent league in small-town Pennsylvania. If he works hard and steers clear of trouble, he has a good shot of making it back to the majors. Until the team owner recruits him to give her niece hitting lessons and her repressed sister dance lessons…

Helen Anne Reed is being pulled in a million different directions, dealing with a struggling bookstore, her father’s Alzheimer’s, a controlling ex-husband, PTA madness, and now her daughter Macy’s desire to play baseball with the boys. Helen Anne is far more comfortable with pearls and aprons than cleats and gloves, but then sexy ballroom dancer-turned-baller Giovanni unexpectedly comes to her rescue.

When he reluctantly agrees to be Helen Anne’s dance partner for a school fundraising event, things heat up quickly between them, much to their surprise. Amid salsa lessons and ballpark bonding, can this vibrant charmer teach Helen Anne how to quit worrying and just let go? Or will Giovanni’s big league dreams bench this relationship before it even begins?

A divorced mother of one, Helen Anne runs a failing bookstore. Her sister Rachel has taken over the baseball team and her daughter Macy has decided to switch from softball to baseball. When Helen Anne needs a partner for a fundraiser for the school, her sister sets her up with one of the baseball players, Giovanni Caceres. Giovanni is desperately trying to return to big time baseball, but Rachel has other ideas for him.

This is a time of discovery for Helen Anne. Not only does she learn to dance the salsa, but she learns more about her daughter’s inner feelings and also how to love again. In fact she realizes she’s never really been in love before. I liked how Helen Anne went from a timid mother and bookseller, to a strong woman who was not afraid to stand up for herself. The development had its ups and downs, but the story flowed and developed in a totally believable, but also exciting way.

I won’t spoil the end for future readers, but I will say I enjoyed how the ending made me feel satisfied with the whole book.

The Marshal’s Pursuit by Micki Miller


The Marshal’s Pursuit by Micki Miller
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (212 pgs)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

Penny Wills is devastated after the murder of her father. Things get worse when she learns he arranged a marriage for her to a man she doesn’t love. Her only way out is to catch the villain who killed him and collect the reward money.

Marshal Garrett Kincaid can’t believe Penny has followed him for three days without his knowledge. Now he has no choice but to take the prim little hellion with him on a manhunt.

They track the killer together until their attraction to each other pushes their passion to the limit. Anger and embarrassment send Penny sneaking off in the middle of the night. By dawn she’s riding, pursued by an outlaw, a spurned fiancé, and one irate marshal.

Oh, my goodness, this was a very good book. From start to finish The Marshal’s Pursuit was a delight.

Penny, the heroine, was an admirable character as she was forced to adjust to life without her father there to support her after he was murdered before her eyes. Circumstances went from bad to worse before she met Marshal Garrett Kincaid, the hero.

With a big smile on my face I can tell you that Garrett was hilarious but deadly serious when necessary. I completely understand why Penny fell in love with Garrett because I did too! Together their passion for each other made this book irresistible to put down. I grin every time I think of Garrett and experience a bit of a book glow.

The author, Micki Miller, did an outstanding job of writing scenes that had me on the edge of my seat or laughing my head off. At one point Penny was being pursued by a dangerous outlaw, an angry finance, and a madder-than-a-hornet Garrett. There was a scene where Penny was suddenly surrounded by a “melding of trees”. I won’t spoil the story for you by telling you what that means. Let’s just say that I could barely read what happened next. The suspense was unbearable and yet, nothing could prevent me from turning the pages. The plot was definitely clever, unpredictable and fun. I especially enjoyed the scene where Garrett and Penny were checking into a hotel. I couldn’t stop laughing, it was absolutely hysterical.

I enjoyed this book very much. So much so that I was sad when it came to an end, but it sure was a sweet ending. All the threads where nicely wrapped up with a happy ever after. I absolutely recommend this book for a fun, and easy read.

Second Chance Romance by Jill Weatherholt


Second Chance Romance by Jill Weatherholt
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (224 Pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Myrtle

Small-Town Daddy

Jackson Daughtry’s jobs as a paramedic and part-owner of a local café keep him busy—but the single dad’s number one priority is raising his little girl with love and small-town values. And when his business partner’s hotshot lawyer niece comes to town planning to disrupt their lives by moving her aunt away, Jackson has to set Melanie Harper straight. When circumstances force them to work side by side in the coffee shop, Jackson slowly discovers what put the sadness in Melanie’s pretty brown eyes. Now it’ll take all his faith—and a hopeful five-year-old—to show the city gal that she’s already home.

Love has a way of working its way into life, sometimes slow and easy, other times by crashing in head-on. Either way, a sensible seatbelt for your heart is a must!

Melanie Harper is a Washington D.C. big city lawyer who knows how to get things done. She’s smart, pretty, hardworking, and she loves her aunt Phoebe enough to drive all the way to the small town of Sweet Gum to convince her she would be better off living with her in D.C. Aunt Phoebe, however, is perfectly happy in Sweet Gum no matter what her loving niece believes.

When Melanie, who “never takes a vacation,” decides to visit, Aunt Phoebe is delighted. Phoebe co-owns The Coffee Bean, a breakfast and lunch diner, with Jackson Daughtry, a local paramedic. Jackson is a single father who dotes on his little daughter, Rebecca. He is the kind of dad every little girl deserves. His faith is strong, both in the Lord and in people, but the story is never preachy.

Lovely Melanie has strong values, too, but her past could shake a person to their very core, perhaps beyond repair. When Melanie has a car crash, Jackson has to make the call to Phoebe.

Author Jill Weatherholt has created a cast of characters every reader will appreciate. They are each very different with their own strong beliefs and opinions—they are each very real people. I expected this story to be a run-of-the-mill romance, and when I first started reading, I wasn’t bowled over by any uniqueness, although the writing was good. But before long, I found myself over-the-moon surprised by the strength of its wonderful characters and its fabulous storyline, which shanghaied me for the duration.

Second Chance Romance is a story that allows you to settle in and get comfortable before it consumes you in the most wonderful way. This is a must-read for real-life romance lovers!

Meet Me on the Ice by Laura Jardine


Meet Me on the Ice by Laura Jardine
Publisher: Hartwood Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (131 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

Elise Campbell wants to learn how to ice skate. It’s one of the many things—like biking and swimming—she never learned how to do in her screwed up childhood.

When she goes to the outdoor rink one brutally cold morning in January, she hopes no one will be there to see her fall all over the ice. Instead she meets Zach, who’s so sexy that looking at him makes her fall even more.

Zach Adams is trying to work off his anger over the tragic death of his best friend. He’s tired of punishing his body at the gym, so he goes to the rink instead, where he ends up helping a cute woman who’s never been skating before.

He continues to meet her every Sunday to teach her how to skate, even though he knows he’s no good for her. His best friend was the relationship man, the family man. Zach never wanted anything serious, and his lone relationship was a disaster. But he can’t ignore the way things have been heating up on the ice with Elise.

The synopsis for Meet Me on the Ice intrigued me and piqued my interest, particularly because Elise Campbell, the heroine, sounded like a woman that I could relate to. A beautiful, courageous woman who chose to not to let her past define her future.

The synopsis further appealed to my curiosity when it mentioned how Elise was going to meet the hero, Zach Adams – a sexy man overcoming his own obstacles in life. I thought it was a brilliant hook and I was caught.

I was very pleased to find an original plot that was well written and flowed at a consistent moderate pace. The love story between Elise and Zach was sweet and spicy at the same time. Both characters were well developed and lovable. I was cheering for Zach and Elise to reach their happy ever ending and I wasn’t disappointed.

I definitely recommend this book if you want to enjoy reading a love story full of romance with a hero that will give you spicy dreams for many future nights.