Bringing Home the Bad Boy by Jessica Lemmon

Bringing Home the Bad Boy by Jessica Lemmon
Publisher: Forever (Hachette Book Group)
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (278 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Hawthorn

The Bad Boy Is Back

Evan Downey needs a new beginning. Since the death of his wife five years ago, the brilliant tattoo artist has shut himself away in a prison of grief that not even his work can break him out of-and what’s worse, Evan knows his son Lyon is bearing the brunt of his seclusion. Moving back to the lake town of Evergreen Cove where he spent his childhood summers is his last chance for a fresh start.
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Charlotte Harris knows she owes it to her best friend’s memory to help Evan and his son find their way again, but she can’t stop her traitorous heart from skipping a beat every time she looks into Evan’s mesmerizing eyes. Charlotte is determined to stay strictly in the Friend Zone-until a mind-blowing night knocks that plan by the wayside. Now, if they’re brave enough to let it, Charlotte and Evan might just find a love capable of healing their broken hearts . . .

Jessica Lemmon has a knack for character portrayal. The characters in Bringing Home the Bad Boy come to life on the page. Even Rae, who died four years prior to the opening pages of the novel, felt alive and still very present, albeit only in the minds of the other characters. She was like a shadow between Evan and Charlie.

I really liked how Evan, unlike Charlie, had reached an inner peace that allowed him to pursue Charlie. He didn’t obsess over his deceased wife and the fact that she had been Charlie’s best friend. He honored her memory by being the best dad he could be to their son Lyon, but he didn’t let his past stop him from trying to be happy and to create a good, safe family environment for Lyon.

Charlie on the other hand was, understandably to a point, more hesitant and more riddled with guilt. A large part of that, I felt, was due to her having had a crush on Evan back when they were all just teenagers. But her indecisiveness reached a point where her guilt and insecurity bordered on obsession with Rae and how Charlie had no right to be happy. This was a result of how her ex boyfriend Russell had treated her, and it made a lot of sense, but I think the way he and his current wife were portrayed as entirely negative characters was too simplistic.

A very positive aspect of the story was the ending. This portrayed her as a smart and emotionally mature woman. She was also great in her interactions with Lyon. But the truly wonderful scenes were the ones with Lyon and his father. The author presented Evan as a truly great dad: flawed, but well-meaning and wonderfully loving and dedicated. I don’t think I’ve seen such a wonderful father figure in a book in a very long time.

Bringing Home the Bad Boy is an emotional read, with plenty of angst, but also filled with hot romance and tender emotions that grow into a strong, passionate love.

Never Surrender to a Scoundrel by Lily Dalton


Never Surrender to a Scoundrel by Lily Dalton
Publisher: Forever (Hachette Book Group)
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (284 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Hawthorn

A Reckless Desire…

Lady Clarissa Bevington is in trouble. A reckless indiscretion has left her with two choices: ruin her family with the scandal of the Season, or marry Mr. Kincraig, the notorious scoundrel mistaken as her lover. Desperate and disgraced, Clarissa vows to love and cherish a veritable stranger, a man whose eyes smolder with danger—and undeniable desire…
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An Unexpected Arrangement

As an agent for the Crown, Lord Donovan Blackmer has spent the last two years guarding Clarissa’s grandfather from an unknown assassin while disguised as the rakehell Kincraig. His mission may now be over, but his duty has just begun. Salvaging his beautiful, impetuous wife’s virtue will cost him his fortune and his position as an officer—but it might save him from the ghosts that haunt his own past. When their marriage “in name only” leads to exquisite seduction, Donovan must risk the only thing he has left to lose . . . his heart.

An agent of the Crown and a spoiled girl could never work together, could they? They come from two different worlds, right? Wrong. Lily Dalton makes them work, and work beautifully.

The plot is intense and there are a few twists that spice it up along the way. But the main attraction of the novel by far were the two main characters. The way Dominick acts honorably towards Clarissa despite losing everything because of the situation, and how Clarissa grows up into a determined and fair woman after making a huge mistake was a wonderful insight into their personalities. At first it seems they couldn’t be more different, but through mutually deciding to make the marriage work they become far more alike and compatible.

I especially liked the first part of the novel in which Clarissa and Dominick were thrust into an unwanted marriage and the conflict between them is tangible. Unlike in other historical romances, their union started off with no attraction between them and no desire on either of their parts to be married. Clarissa was even portrayed as a rather frivolous, spoiled girl. But as the story developed and their marriage progressed, we got to see a different picture. The fact that their union started off inauspiciously but they were both strong enough to accept it and make it successful told of the strengths of their characters and made me love them so much more.

I felt the long epilogue was redundant and it spoiled the whole effect by tying up all loose ends rather too neatly. Other than that, the narrative was engaging, the characters as well, even though I haven’t read the previous two novels in the series and I didn’t know anything about them and their histories. But now I want to know all about them and I’ll be sure to read their stories too.

Never Surrender to a Scoundrel was a delightful read with lovable characters and an inventive storyline. The narrative will grip you and pull you into the story until you will sigh with satisfaction at the sweet ending.

For Keeps by Rachel Lacey

For Keeps by Rachel Lacey
Love to the Rescue #2
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (261 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel


Mast Mood oil: This herbal massage oil helps to viagra on prescription get rid of premature ejaculation naturally. It kick-starts those with low energy and hormone imbalance. cialis vs viagra Users may have to depend cheapest cheap viagra on their app builders for detecting prospective security susceptibilities. President George Washington was among the guests observing the spectacle. tadalafil side effects Merry Atwater would do just about anything to save her dog rescue – even if it means working with the most stubborn man on the planet. It’s hard to avoid the sparks that fly with TJ Jameson, the ruggedly sexy cowboy in charge of the children’s camp where she’s just taken an animal therapy job. But commitment is not Merry’s style, and TJ clearly wants more than just a roll in the hay.

TJ Jameson isn’t looking for anything complicated-just a peaceful life on his family’s ranch with a wife and kids. “No-strings” Merry Atwater doesn’t fit that bill, no matter how irresistible she is. But when he sees how Merry gets through to his autistic nephew and the other kids at Camp Blue Sky, TJ’s a goner. If he doesn’t give in to the now, he might just lose his shot at forever . . .

It all starts with a camp for children with special needs.

TJ Jameson with his autistic nephew in mind sets up a camp especially for children with special needs. He is looking for an animal trainer who could bring a couple a couple of trusted and trained dogs to help the kids, including his nephew Noah. However, things become heated when he meets Merry Atwater, the owner of a volunteer dog rescue service.

I loved the fact For Keeps includes dogs because they played such a big role in this. This story was not only about TJ and Merry. It was about forgiveness and taking chances.

After the first initial connection between TJ and Merry, the relationship between them grew slowly. The spark that flies between them is entertaining enough that the slow growth is not apparent. I think the eventual build-up was needed not only for Merry’s past but for other characters’ as well. Each character was entwined within the plot so well that even the slightest change would have brought a huge change to the climax. Every character had an important part to play.

The story that was woven caught my attention and kept it through out until the end.  Recommended!

The Rebel of Copper Creek by R. C. Ryan

The Rebel of Copper Creek by R. C. Ryan
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (272 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

A love worth fighting for . . .

The last thing widow Juliet Grayson needs is a man in her life. Between caring for her two young sons and maintaining her husband’s ranch, her hands are more than full. Then she meets Griff Warren. With his quiet strength and his easy way with her boys, she’s tempted to trust him. But if there’s anything she’s learned, it’s that love only leads to heartbreak.

Former Marine Griff Warren never thought he’d settle down. Rebellious and proud, he’s always been on his own . . . until the father he never knew he had died, leaving him with land that is his legacy and brothers to share the load. He doesn’t need more than that. But Juliet touches something deep inside him-and he wants nothing more than to protect her and her sons. Now if only he can convince her to take a second chance at true love.

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Juliet Grayson, at first, seems ineffectual. However, as the story progresses, she has surprises for the reader. Her mission in life proves to be a monumental task. How she copes, and how she and Griff relate to each other kept me turning pages.

“Success can be the sweetest revenge of all” was advice from a coach when Griff was twelve years old and a hot temper ruled his actions. He took this advice to heart. Now, at age thirty, out of the military after serving in Afghanistan, and trying to find his place with a family he never knew he had, Griff no longer feels a need for revenge, but to succeed is still a driving force in him.

His family is a story in itself, especially, the grandfather. Their togetherness, generosity, support for each other, and work ethic are not to be missed.

Juliet Grayson, owner of a ranch that is next to Griff’s family’s ranch, is out of her depth. She’s a city girl, but she made a promise to her now dead husband. She is determined to raise their two little boys on the old Grayson ranch so they can experience a childhood like their father’s. She, also, is trying to help wounded warriors like her husband had been before he died. It seems she’s losing the battle on both fronts.

The antagonists in the story make one shudder. Their actions rev up the suspense and create some breath-holding moments.

The story would have been even better if the ranching elements had been better researched. However, the people part of the story leaves the reader with a good feeling about family relationships and love making a way for two deserving people to find their happy-ever-after.

The Broken by Shelley Coriell

The Broken by Shelley Coriell
The Apostles Series
Publisher: Forever-Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full Length (375 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Stephanotis

He took her life, but left her alive.

Three years ago, reporter Kate Johnson was the first victim—and only survivor—of the Broadcast Butcher. Scarred both physically and psychologically by the brutal serial killer, Kate lives life on the run, knowing that one day, he will find her and finish what he started.

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Agent Hayden Reed spends his life chasing monsters. The only way to stay sane is to detach, but the second the Broadcast Butcher case crosses his desk, Hayden knows this is the case that might just cost him his soul. To catch this vicious murderer before he strikes again, Hayden must find Kate and earn her trust. For it’s her darkest secrets that hold the key to stopping this madman once and for all . . .

No matter what genre you enjoy, romance, mystery or suspense, I think you’ll find something to enjoy in The Broken. The opening chapter drew me in, threw me off course a little too, but we’re quickly introduced to Kate Johnson, the serial killer’s only surviving victim, and Smokey Joe, a blind Vietnam war veteran who was actually my favorite character in the book. Both his and Kate’s survival seemed bound together and when you cheered for one you cheered for the other.

As much as she’s been able to, Kate’s run away from the horror and begun a new life as Smokey’s minder, but like all good stories there has to be conflict, and in The Broken that’s in the form of the discovery of another woman killed by The Butcher, the serial killer who attacked Kate. Also, into Kate’s world walks FBI Agent Hayden Reed, who has issues of his own.

Kate thinks her brother is the killer but as the story unfolds, you along with Kate realize all is not what it seems. Bodies start turning up and also body parts, and there are lots of twists and turns that keep you reading. While the identity of the true killer wasn’t a sure thing, I had a pretty good idea who it was and was intrigued to see if I was right.

And there’s the relationship between Kate and Hayden. Both come to it with huge issues but you feel that they’re right for another and the only person who can heal each other’s wounds.

All the secondary characters were fun too. The pacing is fast and towards the end you find yourself just wanting to finish reading the story to figure out if your inclinations were right.

I’m not sure if the author is intending to write more about Kate and Hayden and yes, of course Smokey Joe, but I’d like to see where their next adventure takes them.

Inn at Last Chance by Hope Ramsay

Inn at Last Chance by Hope Ramsay
Publisher: Forever (Hachette Book Group)
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (328 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Peppermint

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Jenny Carpenter is the unrivaled pie-baking champion of Last Chance, South Carolina’s annual Watermelon Festival and the town’s unofficial spinster. With her dream of marriage and children on hold, she focuses on another dream, turning the local haunted house into a charming bed-and-breakfast. But her plans go off course when the home’s former owner shows up on her doorstep on a dark and stormy night . . .
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Mega-bestselling horror writer Gabriel Raintree is as mysterious and tortured as his heroes. His family’s long-deserted mansion is just the inspiration he needs to finish his latest twisted tale, or so he thinks until he learns it’s been sold. The new innkeeper proves to be as determined as she is kind, and soon Gabriel finds himself a paying guest in his own home. As Jenny and Gabe bring new passion to the old house, can she convince him to leave the ghosts of his past behind-and make Last Chance their first choice for a future together?

Jenny is a practical woman who is satisfied living her life as a single inn keeper, even if everyone around her tries to force her to find a husband. Until Gabriel enters her world, and flips her world upside down.

One thing I immediately noticed in this story is while it is based in modern day it has a historical feeling to it. Both Jenny and Gabe seem to be trying to get back something from their childhood by filling their surroundings with items that remind them if their childhood. I actually enjoyed this concept because the author was able to reflect the characters emotional issues by what they surrounded themselves with. At times I pictured the inn as my grandmother’s home, since it remained the same no matter how much the world around it changed.

Jenny is truly a woman I can relate to. She knows what she wants in life, and she is going to get it for herself. She enjoys the company of others, but does not rely on them to provide for her emotionally, physically, or financially. I see myself a lot in this and it immediately made me grow fond of her.

Gabe on the other hand is a pushy man who seems to always want is own way. He may not realize it, but he is very much like the grandfather whose expectations he can never seem to meet. While at times, I questioned if he was capable of growing into the man I knew Jenny deserved, I did see a lot of growth in him, and enjoyed every bit of it. He was a changed man at the end of the story, and showed me that everything is not always what it seems.

The main plot in this story was really the mystery behind the ghost of The Jonquil House, as well as the mysterious happenings around the characters. The suspense and mystery behind it all keep me on the edge of my seat. I just could not put this book down, and while I have not read the other stories by author Hope Ramsey I would love to learn more about Last Chance and its residence.

The Edge of Always J. A. Redmerski

The Edge of Always J. A. Redmerski
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (464 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Gardenia

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Camryn and Andrew are back! After that life changing bus ride from The Edge of Never, their lives continue to evolve around the fear of Andrew’s health deteriorating, Camryn’s pregnancy, and all the loses they have experienced.

This is a new journey for them. This journey is based on their love, which keeps on growing. Andrew’s love for Camryn goes beyond devotion. He is very protective of her, which sometimes leads him into more trouble than he can handle. Reading this book made me sigh and wonder if such could possibly exist. The author makes believers out of us as Andrew tries every possible scenario to bring Camryn out of her depression … even when the situation is not to his liking.

Trust and belief in a future is at the heart of this story. So is acceptance that tomorrow is not promised to anyone and our time on Earth is undetermined. Accepting death as part of life, Camryn and Andrew come to the decision to live for today and make few plans for tomorrow. Their pact is to live their lives true to their beliefs and without regrets. This book made me think. Too many lives are spent on working and daily drudgeries and not enough are spent appreciating life and loved ones. This is a lesson not easily learned. I could relate to this story because of the years it took me to understand that first of all you have to love and trust yourself, then you can love and trust your loved one and do what is right for both of you.

Just like in The Edge of Never, they take us with them in their journey through life and we are transformed. Priorities shift, life is appreciated, and zest is infused in all of us who are trapped in the perennial “rate race”. Great conclusion to a heartfelt story!

Guilty as Sin by Jami Alden

Guilty as Sin by Jami Alden
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (430 pgs)
Heat: Hot
Rated: 4 Stars
Review by Poppy

For over a decade, a killer has been waiting, silent as death and . . .

Fourteen years ago, Kate Beckett was a teenager more interested in summer romance than babysitting. Then the unthinkable happened: her younger brother was kidnapped and murdered on her watch. Now she is an advocate for missing children, and her newest case brings her back to the small town where she lost her brother-and where she left behind the first boy she ever loved.

Tommy Ibarra’s world fell apart after Kate broke his heart, and he’s spent his adult life making sure that he’ll never be vulnerable again. When a teenage girl vanishes, he offers his expertise as a high tech security expert to help find her. Although he’s determined to keep his distance from Kate, it isn’t long before he’s falling under her spell all over again.

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This was one smoking hot suspense. I’ve seen it called “erotic romance” in a few places, but I wouldn’t go that far. Yes, there was sex and a whole lot of it, described in great detail, but it’s pretty vanilla and doesn’t stray into the territories the majority of erotic romance does these days.

Now let’s talk plot… first off, the beginning of this book which takes place fourteen years prior to the rest about broke my heart. The heroine’s father is a complete jerk and even up to the end of this book, I struggled to forgive him. He went out of his way to tear down his daughter and fill her with guilt, and also to destroy our hero before he was old enough to defend himself.

I had some issues with Tommy’s hatred of Kate — as if it were somehow her fault that her father was a creep. Yes, she didn’t defend Tommy when they were teens, but they were both very young and traumatized. I loved, LOVED, Tommy’s mother. What an amazing lady.

Ms. Alden really created some solid characters that I came to care about. Her writing is polished and flows nicely as well. The plot was good, though I wasn’t honestly surprised at the villain, it was still interesting to read through and follow our protagonists as they followed clues to rescue the kidnapped girl.

I admit that sometimes Kate and Tommy’s sex scenes seemed a bit out of place, almost as if they were able to forget there was a girl out there being held against her will and just give into their screaming hormones. I wish, too, that there had been just a little more tension and build up to the actual deed. Still, for folks who crave heat in their books, this one will certainly fit the bill.

This was my first foray into a story by Jami Alden. I was impressed by her skill, her creative ability and her fantastically real characters. Although the sex was a bit overwhelming at times, I still very much enjoyed the story and will be certain to check out more books from her in the future.

Darkness Bred by Stella Cameron

Darkness Bred by Stella Cameron
Chimney Rock book 2
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (384 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Peppermint


Ever since shapeshifter Elin escaped to Whidbey Island, danger has stalked her every move. Her human traits, combined with her unique supernatural gifts, make her a prized being to be possessed . . . or destroyed. It is only the passionate attraction she shares with werehound Sean Black that gives her hope for her future-if she can elude the lethal predators who are hot on her scent.


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Running has seemed to become a regular part of Elin and Sean’s life. Both of them have been running from a past that they cannot change. What they can change is their future, but first they have to realize that they are stronger when standing together.

The beginning of this story seemed a bit overwhelming to me. I had not read the previous story, therefore, I had a bit of a learning curve I needed to overcome. Once I became familiar with the characters and the storyline I was able to follow along and even become enthralled in the storyline and characters.

Elin’s past is something that captured my attention almost immediately. I enjoyed being able to discover more about the heroine at the same time she learns about herself. It made me feel as if I was part of the story. Elin also had a spit fire personality that had me smiling at times, because I just never knew what she was going to do next. She certainly was able to keep me and Sean on our toes as well as some of the supporting characters within the story.

Sean’s character was definitely all alpha male wanting to protect those he cares about. I liked that while this characteristic was a driving force behind his actions, it also at times proved to be his Achilles heel. This was especially true when it came to getting help from others, especially Elin. His willingness to do whatever necessary to protect her was endearing, yet it was clear that it sometimes got in the way of what needed to be done. Especially when Elin refused to be a weakling who cowers in the corner.

The story line in this book was extremely dynamic, since it featured a variety of plot conflicts. Both Elin and Sean had individual conflicts they needed to resolve as well as the main conflict from the evil that threatened them and their friends. This mystery antagonist helped to enhance the story line as well as allowed me to meet some other interesting characters such as Sally, Leigh and Niles.

This novel incorporated everything that I look for an a paranormal story with its variety of creatures, from vampires, fae and shifters, to a budding romantic interest and a diabolical antagonist (or two). I truly enjoyed the world the author created, and would love to read about more characters in the Chimney Rock series.

Haven Creek by Rochelle Alers

Haven Creek by Rochelle Alers
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (392 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

Home is where the heart is.

Architect Morgan Dane has always lived according to a plan, crossing off her achievements one by one. But when she’s offered her dream job-the restoration of historic Angels Landing Plantation on beautiful Cavanaugh Island-Morgan’s life takes an unexpected turn.

Carpenter Nathaniel Shaw once took a big chance on commitment-and lost. Needing the healing comforts of home, he returns to Haven Creek to join the family business. Nothing in the small town has changed-except for Morgan Dane. The wallflower he knew in high school has grown into a beautiful woman . . . and stirs feelings Nate isn’t sure he’s ready for.

Together Nate and Morgan find a happiness neither could have predicted. But when secrets from the past come to light, their budding relationship is threatened. Will they play it safe, or risk their hearts to build a life together?

Enticing and a pleasure to read, Haven Creek invites the reader in and entertains so well one doesn’t want to leave.
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A unique Gullah culture steeped in generations of nurturing makes Haven Creek on Cavanaugh Island a captivating place. As the reader is immersed in the juicy gossip, scrumptious food, old-south environment, and daily living along with the hopes and desires of the characters the rest of the world recedes.

Morgan Dane is a strong heroine who wants to give and receive love but is able to stand on her own. She knows her own self-worth without a man in her life. The love in her heart that has nestled down inside since she was fourteen-years-old bides its time while all kinds of events in life deny its coming into its own. “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” Morgan declares marriage and children must be postponed until she’s well established in her career. When Nathaniel Shaw (Nate) returns to Haven Creek devastated from a high profile marriage and divorce, Morgan has to reevaluate and decide what is possible for her future. Old hurts from school years still fuel her inhibitions with men and have led her to say she will never marry a boy from Cavanaugh Island.

The talented Nathaniel Shaw comes home a wealthy man with a strong, reliable work ethic, but he is emotionally crippled by his distrust of women. His step-mother and his ex-wife did a real number on him. He makes no secret of his intentions to never marry again. But Morgan stirs “licentious fantasies” in Nate. His loyalty and generosity are strong threads in this tapestry of a tale.

The side stories abound letting the reader see into the lives of the many secondary characters. They enrich the lives of Nate and Morgan. But, Rochelle Alers’ special writing style helps the reader enjoy the secondary characters and to relate to them in compelling ways. Some of the short back stories about them help the reader recall events in previous books in this series.

Haven Creek is a part of a series but stands alone beautifully. It lures the reader and invites in to stay a while with intriguing characters. It is a gentle moving story that lets love find its way through the tangles and troubles of life and the flaws of characters. It is a celebration of the unique Gullah culture.

Haven Creek is set in the low country of South Carolina with an ambience that Ms. Alers shows the reader in exquisite fashion with her realistic descriptions. It gives the reader a warm welcome and entertains with subtle, ever-changing, ever-maturing emotions that lead to a happy-ever-after.