Western Christmas Brides by Lauri Robinson, Lynna Banning, Carol Arens


Western Christmas Brides by Lauri Robinson, Lynna Banning, Carol Arens
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Historical
Length: Full length (288 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

Three heartwarming stories of Christmas in the Wild West.

A Bride and Baby for Christmas by Lauri Robinson

Pregnant Hannah Olsen has made a list of Oak Grove’s eligible men. A list that Teddy White sees—and he’s not on it! Time for him to act so that both their Christmas wishes can come true.

Miss Christina’s Christmas Wish by Lynna Banning

Dedicated new teacher Christina Marnell feels her heart race as she watches Ivan Panovsky chop wood for the school. She had ruled marriage out, but Christmas is a time when miracles can happen…

A Kiss from the Cowboy by Carol Arens

Kitson James and Livy York both have secrets, but can their love overcome the lies they’ve told? A Christmas kiss might help…

There are three heartwarming stories of Christmas in the Wild West in this one book. First is A Bride and Baby for Christmas by Lauri Robinson, next is Miss Christina’s Christmas Wish by Lynna Banning and last is A Kiss from the Cowboy by Carol Arens.

To say I was excited to read A Bride and Baby for Christmas by Lauri Robinson is an understatement. The reason I was eager to read this story is because the heroine, Hannah and the hero, Teddy made an appearance in the book Winning the Mail-Order Bride (Oak Grove series) by Lauri Robinson. I knew they were going to be in A Bride and Baby for Christmas and I couldn’t wait to read their story. It was well worth the wait.

This is my fourth Lauri Robinson book. I became an official fan after reading a third book of hers. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, her flawless writing style is consistent in each of her books. She creates a web of relatable characters that are intertwined in a community that are unforgettable and inspirational. There is plenty of drama, conflict and sweet romance that kept me flipping the pages. Lauri Robinson books are original, genuine, and entertaining. When you finish one of Lauri’s books you walk around for hours/days thinking about the characters.

A Bride and Baby for Christmas was endearing – a perfect book to read during the holiday season to get you into the Christmas spirit. I especially loved how it immediately started with Teddy and Hannah meeting. The situation was precious. Then there’s a touch of comedy with “the list”. That plot thread was hilarious. Teddy’s sister, Abigail, stirs the pot but that is one element that made the book riveting. Abigail kept me wondering what kind of trouble she was going to cause next. I didn’t like the conflict she caused at first but I understand Abigail’s character was necessary to the entire plot of the book.

I do want to rave about the two inspirational stories that were part of A Bride and Baby for Christmas. I was touched by the story Teddy heard from his grandfather when he was ten years old. That is a message that all humans can benefit from, especially in today’s world. Then the message that Brett’s mom told Hannah one day. Both are thought-provoking and heartwarming. So far Western Christmas Brides is on my must read list.

Miss Christina’s Christmas Wish by Lynna Banning was overwhelming for me. The story was ninety two pages in length. I had to stop reading to get a pen and paper. Within twenty eight pages Lynna Banning had introduced twenty two characters. I don’t have a photographic memory and it didn’t help when she referred to one character as Stockett and later as Abraham. Only after re-reading did I figure out that Abraham Stockett was the same person. She did the same thing with Thad MacAllister. I share this information with you so that you are warned and aware to pay attention. You might want to have a paper and pen ready. Ivan, the hero, has a boss named Ike Bruhn. Later it says his boss’s name was Abraham Stockett. It is later revealed that Ivan actually has two jobs and that is why he has two bosses. I found all of this confusing. I like to relate and bond to my characters. It was impossible to do that with so many to remember.

The heroine, Christina, is the town’s new school teacher. The reader was introduced to ten of her students. In the story there is a dance. It felt like all twenty six characters were at the dance taking turns switching partners and it made my head spin. I gave up trying to remember who Vern Forester was. Actually, according to my notes she was the town dress maker. The romance between Ivan and Christina was in all reality, non-existent. Thirty five pages into the story they still hadn’t even had a real conversation and when they did, it was an argument so, as far as the “Christmas Spirit” goes, it’s not much. Christmas wasn’t mentioned until the epilogue. Needless to say I didn’t connect with this story in this anthology. However that’s not to say that someone else won’t. I suggest other readers give it a try.

Seriously, A Kiss from the Cowboy by Carol Arens gave First a Bride and a Baby for Christmas by Lauri Robinson a run for her money. Wow! I LOVED A Kiss from the Cowboy! Kit, the hero and Livy, the heroine were refreshing. A splash of fresh air. A unique plot with clever threads and fun twists that kept me flipping pages with a smile. The Christmas spirit was alive and thriving in this story. The message of love was loud and clear. If I closed my eyes I could feel myself standing next to Kit and Livy by the town Christmas tree seeing carols. This was a genuine heartwarming feel good story. An entertaining quick read that I would easily recommend to others. The side characters were well developed and enhanced the sense of community in the small town of Sweet Bank. If you’re looking for a sweet quaint enjoyable book then look no further. A Kiss from the Cowboy was delicious!

Overall, I enjoyed Western Christmas Brides. I love Cowboys and Christmas as much as I love Baileys in my coffee. Trust me, that’s a strong love affair. I know I had a hard time with Miss Christina’s Christmas Wish but that’s not to say everyone else who reads that book would. It’s my opinion that the other two stories in this book are definitely worth more than the weight of gold. I definitely recommend Western Christmas Brides to be in stockings all around the world come this Christmas.

Gone in the Night by Anna J. Stewart


Gone in the Night by Anna J. Stewart
3rd book in the Honor bound series
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (288 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

A childhood terror rears its ugly head in USA TODAY bestselling author Anna J. Stewart’s latest Honor Bound romance. Psychologist Allie Hollister is still haunted by the unsolved death of her childhood best friend. She never expects her past to meet her present when a young patient is abducted and the cold case is reopened. Allie knows she shouldn’t get involved, but the child’s uncle, firefighter Max Kellan, needs her as much as she needs him. Once, Max simply wanted to put his past to rest; now he demands nothing short of justice. As he and secretive, sexy Allie track a lethal criminal, their chemistry is an undeniable adrenaline rush. Their attraction will be put to the test when they confront their most dangerous threat yet: the truth.

Aaaaaaaaah!! Thank you Anna J. Stewart for writing yet another spectacular book! I was combusting with excitement as I read Gone in the Night. It was so awesome!!

Gone in the Night is the third book in the Honor bound series written by Anna J. Stewart. The first was More than a Lawman and the second was Reunited with the P.I. All three can be read as standalones however it is much more fun to read them all in consecutive order. I was fortunate to be able to do just that.

Anna J. Stewart is a consistent writer. All three books are riveting! I’m talking about the kind of book that is impossible to put down once you start. Since I knew this I didn’t even start reading Gone in the Night until I had a rainy day so I could just sit and read it all in one sitting. I was not disappointed at all. Reading Gone in the Night was just as unpredictable and complex as the other books in the Honor bound series. Suspense that was thrilling! Romance that was passionate!

More Than a Lawman ended with one case solved and one unresolved. The unresolved one continues to be threaded through out Reunited with the P.I. along with a new case. The new case gets resolved but left the unresolved still unresolved. Gone in the Night finally resolves the unresolved case! Yahoo!! It was worth the wait!!

Aden, Simone and Allie are three best friends that share a childhood trauma that unites them in an unbreakable bond of friendship that has lasted into their adult lives. More Than a Lawman was Aden’s story. Reunited with the P.I. was Simone’s story and Gone in the Night is Allie’s story.

I couldn’t wait to read Allie’s story. All three leading ladies were relatable and I loved all three but Allie was my favorite. I was able to relate to her difficult childhood. I found Allie to be intelligent, strong and witty. She was perfect for Max, the hero. Oh my Gosh, Max. I loved the banter they had going with each other throughout the book. They had this ongoing guessing game that was so much fun to read. I loved Allie and Max! Max was my dream guy and I definitely have a book glow going on.

The final culmination of the unresolved case was epic! I did not see that ending coming. What a lovely final twist. I was left feeling completely satisfied. I am so happy for Allie that she found a happily ever after with Max. I loved how all the plot threads were tied this time. I would encourage anyone who loves suspense/mystery romance to pick up all three books in the Honor Bound series. Heck, I just might read them all again, they were that good!

Her Montana Millionaire by Crystal Green


Her Montana Millionaire by Crystal Green
Publisher: Silhouette/Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (256 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

FROM LIFE IN THE FAST LANE…
New York socialite Jinni Fairchild would take care of her sister, even if that meant sacrificing, temporarily, her jetset lifestyle for the wilds of Rumor, Montana. No limos, no parties, no haute couture — she was barely surviving. Until she met Max Cantrell.

TO SLOW AND EASY.
Tall. Dark. Gorgeous. And rich as Midas. Jinni knew how to handle men like him. With one flirtatious smile, she would have him eating out of her manicured hand. Except Max had his own agenda, one that involved long talks, gentle kisses and an unhurried sensuality that tempted this city girl to stop and smell the roses — with him!

MONTANA MAVERICKS: THE KINGSLEYS
Nothing is as it seems beneath the big skies of Montana

I don’t believe I’ve ever read a story where the heroine is so blatantly stereotypical – on purpose. She knows she’s got the looks, the charm, the style and the attitude and Jinni flaunts it for all she’s worth. She’s also used to having no problems getting men to propose and her saying ‘yes’. The heroine just has this little issue with commitment; the ‘yes’ never turns into ‘I do’ – until Max. He makes her question her sense of self. It’s that process and how Ms. Green wrote the journey that made this novel so engaging and charming. I actually liked Jinni and got the greatest kick out of her internal dialogues. She’s actually pretty funny.

Max is a loner, a man scorned, a single dad with a kid he can’t seem to reach – you know, the perfect tortured hero? Getting into his head allowed me to understand that the strong man people see from outside doesn’t give the whole picture of just who Max is inside.

Being in both their POVs was positively humorous especially when they took turns teasing, seducing, bantering and employing tactile innuendo; they basically drove each other crazy with lust. Even though I tagged this as spicy, I’d call it ‘spicy-lite’ because the culmination, when it finally, FINALLY happened, had just enough description to say the door was open and to assure readers that they were compatible in all the best of ways.

Max has a romantic streak in him a mile wide and I think Ms. Green had quite a ball imagining all kinds of toys, pursuits and eccentricities a millionaire might have if he indulged in flights of fancy. As over the top as some of them were, I give kudos to the author for creativity that invokes the word – FUN.

Max’s son, Michael is a plot/conflict mover. He’s on stage enough to be a pivotal player. As for Max’s brother, I’m not sure what to say about him. Actually, I’m not sure if I should add as a tag a ‘sci-fi’ aspect, or something. Guy is like an absentminded professor and his … discovery is the stuff of those old B movie horror flicks – totally implausible but fun. At least he’s a good guy. I’m disappointed that his loose end wasn’t tied up. I wonder if that means he will have his own story? I’m going to have to do some research because I simply can’t leave him where this book left him.

Her Montana Millionaire was pure, enjoyable escapism that was a pleasure to read. I had fun and I think its charm could be appreciated by many fans of romance.

I think a story that leaves you smiling is a good thing. Her Montana Millionaire does that.

Winning the Mail-Order Bride by Lauri Robinson


Winning the Mail-Order Bride by Lauri Robinson
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (288 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

She was promised to another…

When widow Fiona Goldberg and her two adorable sons arrive in Oak Grove, Kansas, proclaimed bachelor Brett Blackwell is instantly captivated. But when he learns she is promised to the mayor, he tries his best to keep his distance…

Out of desperation, Fiona had agreed to become a mail-order bride to the disagreeable, self-important mayor. But something about her neighbor Brett makes her feel safe. She knows she must fight her growing feelings for the forbidden blacksmith, even while longing for him to rescue her and take her as his bride himself!

I am officially a Lauri Robinson fan. I’ve read Winning the Mail Order Bride (Mail Order Brides of Oak Grove Series), Surprise Bride for the Cowboy (Mail Order Brides of Oak Grove Duet), and The Cowboy’s Orphan Bride, and I’ve loved each one. I’m hooked on the Oak Grove Series. Everyone who knows me knows that I avoid reading series because I honestly am an impatient person and I can’t stand waiting for the next book to come out. Now I have no choice but to wait for A Bride and a Baby for Christmas (Mail Order Brides of Oak Grove Series) to be released in September/October 2017. I feel like a two year old and I want to have a tantrum because I seriously do not want to wait. The good news is that each book can be read as a standalone which means if you feel the way I do about reading a series then don’t worry. You can read just one but I can’t help you pick which one since I recommend them all. The only reason I have to read the next one coming out is because I fell in love with the characters. They are my family now. I have to read about Teddy and Hannah in the A Bride and a Baby for Christmas (Mail Order Brides of Oak Grove Series).

How did I fall in love with the characters? It just happens with Lauri Robinson’s novels. Her flawless writing style is consistent in each of her books. She creates a web of characters that are intertwined in a community that hooked me in and made me care about them. I find them to be unforgettable. I think about them after I finish reading the books. I think I love them more than my own family. LOL. I’d go so far as to say it’s like watching Little House in the Prairie but better.

In fact the hero, Brett, in Winning the Mail-Order Bride reminded me so much of the character, Mr. Edwards, in Little House in the Prairie. Brett was gentle, kind, generous and fun with a great sense of humor, just like Mr. Edwards. He’s the ideal man you’d want to marry and be the father of your children. Everyone in Oak Grove thought highly of Brett. Fiona the heroine, had a rough life and I was happy to see her and Brett fall in love. She deserved to be cherished after all the horrible tragedies she’d suffered in her life. She was a wonderful mother with two adorable boys in need of a new life. Arriving in Oak Grove was her blessing. Brett and Fiona were a heartwarming romance story. They demonstrated sweet chemistry with strong values that made it easy for a reader to love and respect the couple.

There was plenty of drama and conflict in this sweet romance to keep you flipping the pages. The mayor was deplorable. I’d consider him the villain in the plot, so what eventually happens to him was unexpected. There are plenty of surprises in the plot that either made me gasp, worry, laugh and cry but mostly made me feel satisfied. Every time I considered putting the book down to go do something that needed to be done something would happen that made it impossible to put the book down.

Lauri Robinson writes genuine love stories that inspire me to be a better wife, mother, friend, sister, neighbor, etc. I wish I lived in a small town such as Oak Grove where everyone felt welcomed. I loved the happily ever after ending that undoubtedly left me with a book glow. I strongly urge readers to pick this book up and get comfortable for a few hours. Winning the Mail Order Bride was an entertaining read.

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


Reunited with the P.I. by Anna J. Stewart
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Suspense/Mystery, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (364 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

In this Honor Bound romance, a perilous change of heart looms for two former lovers…

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

My first review that I ever wrote for LASR was More Than a Lawman which was the first book in Anna J. Stewart’s HONOR BOUND ministries. I can’t believe I was the fortunate reviewer who was picked to read the next book in the series, Reunited with the P.I..

More Than a Lawman ended with one case solved and one unresolved. The unresolved one continues to be threaded through out Reunited with the P.I. along with a new case. This new case gets resolved but leaves the unresolved still unresolved, thus the hook to read the third book in the series. You can read Reunited with the P.I. without reading the first book in the series. Anna did a nice job reviewing the past for the new reader and previous ones who might have forgotten some details, like me. However, it was nice to read both books in the series because it’s always nice to get reacquainted with old friends.

Aden, Simone and Allie are three best friends that share a childhood trauma that unites them in an unbreakable bond of friendship that has lasted into their adult lives. More Than a Lawman was Aden’s story. Reunited with the P.I.is Simone’s story. Simone is a strong leading heroine who rivals Vince, the hero, in leading capabilities. Together, Simone and Vince make a spicy suspense/mystery romance. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the leading man and leading lady being ex-wife/husband but the author made it work in a way that it was not only believable but unforgettable.

Anna J. Stewart definitely knows how to write a book that grabs the reader’s attention. I could not put the book down. Once again she wrote an unpredictable complex plot that is filled with twists and unexpected surprises. The suspense made me feel stressed out but I loved every minute since I knew there was a plan. Even if that plan didn’t work, I knew Simone and Vince would come up with another plan, sometimes with the help of their friends. I never gave up faith.

I really hope I get to read the third book in the series that is coming out in October 2017. I can’t wait to finally solve the mystery that has been threaded throughout the first two books. I typically don’t read series because I hate waiting for the next book. However, this series is the exception to my rule. I wholeheartedly recommend this book and the HONOR BOUND series.

Blackwolf’s Redemption by Sandra Marton


Blackwolf’s Redemption by Sandra Marton
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (184 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Jesse Blackwolf–uncompromising, determined and an undeniable success. He has no desire to deal with the outspoken bundle of femininity he’s found trespassing on his land!When Sienna Cummings awakes to find herself pressed against a muscled chest, she’s shocked and stunned! Where is she? Who is this man who holds her so possessively with passion glinting in his eyes? It’s more than confusion that makes Sienna’s heart beat faster–she suspects his untamed wildness hides something that maybe only she can set free….

This is the first time travel that goes back in time but during a time when I was still a kid. I don’t know if my heart can take the realization that I could conceivably be considered an historical figure, you know, like an antique? When this book was written, it was a contemporary, so it seems I discovered this little gem a few years too late. So, I’m not sure how this book classifies as a genre but there is a mystical element that sends the heroine back in time and I enjoyed it.

The hero is a combination of an ancient warrior and a present day type of warrior – and his reaction to Sienna is very much like the time travels that take place in much earlier societies, when men rule and women obeyed. Jesse is a guy who is straddling the period of time when men’s John Wayne/ Rhett Butler personas were not frowned upon, yet at the same time accepting, slowly, that women can be as confident, accomplished and knowledgeable as a man and acknowledged as such. It was very interesting to see Sienna butt heads with other women in the story that perpetuated the ‘traditional’ view of women. To Jesse, the challenge that Sienna presented was refreshing, stimulating and I believe that her perspective on her own view of history helped her deal with Jesse as she found him – tormented, resigned and a lot resentful. I would say that it’s Jesse’s character that grows, changes, heals and takes an interest in life again. I loved the way the author described the hero – sexy, very alpha and … sexy. Can you tell I really liked the hero?

As this is a romance, of course the goal is to get them together, and they do, delightfully so, however, at times it was a bit too fast. I think it’s because Jesse is an old fashioned take charge kind of guy. He wants to kiss the heroine? He kisses her. He wants to drag her out of a building? Sienna gives him a piece of her mind but it makes no difference. The visuals in that chapter reminded me SO much of those scenes with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara in The Quiet Man., that all I could do was grin. For a reader who likes men who act like men, with honor, strength, respect and a lusty, strong libido with sexy muscles to back it up, then Blackwolf’s Redemption is titillating and fun.

I liked the ending especially since the author included Jesse’s buddy. That point was a major plus. I enjoyed the technique Ms. Marton used to facilitate the happy ever after and I thought the hero very clever to grab the mail before he makes his fateful decision. Overall, Blackwolf’s Redemption is the perfect read for a quick romantic escape and I’m glad I read it.

Mail Order Brides of Oak Grove by Lauri Robinson and Kathryn Albright


Mail Order Brides of Oak Grove by Lauri Robinson and Kathryn Albright
Publisher: Harlequin Historical
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (288 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Mistflower

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Twin sisters say “I do” in the Wild West!

SURPRISE BRIDE FOR THE COWBOY by Lauri Robinson

Mary McCary never wanted to be a mail-order bride, but falling off the Oak Grove train into Steve Putnam’s lap changes everything… Could he be the cowboy to tempt her down the aisle?

TAMING THE RUNAWAY BRIDE by Kathryn Albright

Running from trouble, Maggie McCary signs up to be a mail-order bride. She doesn’t intend to actually marry…until she shares one sensational kiss with Jackson Miller!

Mail Order Brides of Oak Grove was awesome! Twin sisters say “I do” in the Wild West. Mary and Maggie each have their own love story to tell in this one book. This is two books in one yet they are connected. The flawless writing style of each book was brilliantly blended for the reader as I got to read the same scene twice, but from the other twin’s perspective. I actually nanny for a family with three year old twin girls. There is something special about twins. They have a bond that can’t be explained and this book captured that.

The first book, “Surprise Bride for the Cowboy” by Lauri Robinson was my ideal romance book. I love when I suffer from a book hangover; the inability to start a new book because I’m still living in the last book’s world. That to me is the sign of a great love story.

The original plots were beautifully written and had me laughing numerous times. Immediately I felt I was hooked and transported into the book’s world and I couldn’t read the pages fast enough.

I fell in love with Steve, the hero and Mary the heroine. Gosh, they were perfect together. I enjoyed the situation in how they met. Mary was a spitfire with determination who does what needs to be done, yet demonstrated compassion and empathy towards others at the appropriate times. I loved how Steve was patient, thankful and forgiving. Of course he was gorgeous, strong and thoughtful. He didn’t possess any unlikable qualities. The perfect book boyfriend. Together their romance was sweet and irresistible. I must add that the description details of Mary’s cooking had my mouth watering. Do NOT read this book while hungry! LOL…

All the characters were well developed in both books and I was able to easily relate to them. The doctor was a plot twist in the end of the first book that just had me grinning like a goober. The author got me on that one. Well done, Lauri Robinson.

The second book was “Taming the Runaway Bride” by Kathryn Albright and was also a lot of fun to read. The entire book was the best reading experience and words won’t do justice to as why I would recommend this book to all my friends and family. I didn’t think the romance story between Steve and Mary in the first book could be matched but not only did the story between Maggie and Jackson in the second book match the first but it surpassed it. I fell in love with Jackson and Maggie and experienced another book hangover!

I could see Jackson and Steve becoming best friends and everyone living happily ever after as one big adventure-filled family. I can only imagine the stories they will have to tell their grandchildren.

I laughed so hard when Maggie entered Jackson’s workshop and, well, you just have to read it. I couldn’t stop re-reading that part because I love laughing so hard that I cry tears of joy and get a cramp in my side.

Mail Order Brides of Oak Grove was excellent! I don’t understand how two authors could write a book sharing some of the characters and yet I didn’t feel like I was reading a book written by two authors. I highly recommend this book for a pleasurable entertainment.

Married for His Convenience by Eleanor Webster


Married for His Convenience by Eleanor Webster
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (288 pgs)
Heat: Sweet
Rated: 4 stars
Reviewed by Snapdragon

A plain countess…

Tainted by illegitimacy, plain Sarah Martin has no illusions of a grand marriage. So when the Earl of Langford makes her a proposal that will take her one step closer to finding her half sister, she can’t refuse!

Sebastian’s dreams of romance died with his late wife’s affair, so now he needs a convenient wife to act as governess for his silent daughter. Yet Sarah continues to surprise and challenge him, and soon Sebastian can’t deny the joy his new bride could bring to his life—and into his bed!

France, in the time when the guillotine ruled…the reality seems a harsh world for the nobility, and for Earls like Sebastien Hastings. He’s caught in a terrible, but secret, predicament.

Sarah Martin’s life is more a matter of dreams and hopes than reality. She dreams of London, of fashion and, as she says herself, she is not ‘of hysterical disposition.’ She acts on what she believes, which can cause her to plop into the most unlikely of places. The earl finds himself telling her that he finds her peculiar…which seems to delight this odd gal! He certainly needs some help…and she certainly needs direction…but marriage?

Married for His Convenience (which seems like it should be entirely predictable, given the title) is entirely unpredictable and a delight to read, besides.

Clever conversations and unpredictable situations make this novel a bit of a standout and fun to read. The characters keep us reading: the earl is unexpectedly compassionate, and Miss Martin’s take on life is quite unexpected in every way. In fact her life and actions are not always entirely believable, but this is a small matter in what is largely a great read.

Descriptions, especially of the English countryside, are just-right; never overdone or intrusive: “His mount stopped at its summit and he found himself looking into a picturesque valley, interrupted by a silver stream threading through its base…” One can almost see the valley.

Intriguing yet heartfelt, Married for His Convenience is also quirky and fun. Do put it right on top of your reading list.

The Cowboy’s Orphan Bride by Lauri Robinson


The Cowboy’s Orphan Bride by Lauri Robinson
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (288 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

Reunited with the cowboy!

Long ago, orphans Bridgette Banks and Garth McCain made a promise to stay together. But it’s been years since they were parted, and Bridgette’s almost given up hope! So when Garth’s cattle trail passes her town, she won’t let him leave her behind again

Sparks fly as they’re reunited especially when the cowboy catches Bridgette telling everyone she’s his bride! Faced with a past he thought he’d lost forever, Garth realizes this impulsive beauty might be the future he never thought he deserved.

Lauri Robinson created a genuine love story between Garth, the hero and Bridgette, the heroine. Garth possessed all the qualities I admire in a hero; strong yet sensitive, smart, thoughtful, honest, hard worker, brave and very handsome. Bridgette complemented Garth quite well. She was his equal in the ways that mattered. I was pleasantly surprised by her skills and talents. The banter between the couple had me cracking up. The chemistry between the two was obvious and on the shy side of being spicy. The fact that they knew each other in the past and have been reunited only leads me to believe that they were truly meant for each other.

The cast of characters were brilliantly developed and implemented throughout the story. They all had a relevant impact on Garth and Bridgette’s relationship as well as on me. I felt a connection with many of the secondary players. There were too many to name but Jo Jo was probably my favorite supporting cast member. I loved his tender heart and willingness to help. My least favorite secondary character was Cecil; however he was nicely redeemed before the story was over.

The plot was captivating and well written. I enjoyed reading a romance that took place in the west during the cattle drives. It’s an era I’ve always been intrigued by. I thoroughly enjoyed the little bits of suspense that was woven throughout the plot in regards to the selling of the cows, the possible dangers involved in cattle drives and the consequences of Bridgette’s not well thought out plans. Some of those not well thought out plans were hilarious. The plot flowed very smooth and made it impossible to put the book down.

I thought The Cowboy’s Orphan Bride was an amazing love story and I highly recommend this book!

Half Wolf by Linda Thomas-Sundstrom


Half Wolf by Linda Thomas-Sundstrom
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (304 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

His Secret…or Her Salvation?

When he stumbled upon a beautiful woman who’d been the victim of a vampire attack, Alpha wolf Michael Hunter faced an impossible choice. His honor dictated that he save her life. But the only way he knew to accomplish that was to make her one of his own. Now Kaitlin Davies was half Lycan and his responsibility as she underwent a dangerous transformation to full wolf.

Something within Kaitlin called to Michael’s inner wolf with an intensity he’d never felt. He wanted her. But as he witnessed the changes occurring in her body, he wasn’t sure what she was becoming. Had Michael created something that could destroy them both…or was her transformation as preordained as their passion?

Half Wolf has such a unique concept I couldn’t pass this book up. I thought for sure when I saw the title, and I read the first couple of chapters, that I knew what Kaitlin’s other ‘half’ was going to be. Wow, was I wrong! And, I was delighted with the author’s choice.

There is quite the cast of characters in this novel to support, guide, assist and complicate the growing relationship between Kaitlin and Michael. I get the sense that a few of them were from past books somewhere along the line and based upon how they’re described in this story, they must have been humdingers. I’ll be checking them out for sure. Anyway, back to this tale. At one point I felt two of the ‘visitors’ were more a distraction than a help. They acted like mavericks. Sure, one of their decisions garnered some extra help but it was how it was delivered that annoyed me. And when I envision the meaning of the word ‘pack’, I have a different picture in mind than what was delivered.

Then there are the mysterious visitors to Kaitlin. Who exactly are they? At one point I got the sense that she knew them, like really ‘knew’ them, and then, not. Then I got the impression that she was 100% something other than human, yet could come across as human and if she wasn’t human, I have to ask how in the world no tells or weirdness happened before in her life to clue her in that she was different? What was offered didn’t convince me. Especially since there was a reference to her parents, which then begs the question based upon how these people treated her, did her parents hide her because they were nicer people and didn’t want their daughter to develop a personality like those others? So many questions and too little time to explore fully the world that Thomas-Sundstrom created, that 304 pages just isn’t enough. It may sound like I had a negative reaction to all of this oddness but in actuality I want to learn more because the potential dynamics seem fascinating.

As for the villain of the piece, Kaitlin, Michael and their pack have their hands full dealing with the results of the evil guy’s dastardly machinations but he never battles the hero and heroine directly. At least not until the end, and even then it was fleeting. And, it’s not the end. Because there are two vile threads threatening their little sleepy hamlet and Half Wolf could only resolve one which must mean that there will be a second book. I’m good with that but it better get published soon because I want to read it. I hope a few of the ‘helper characters’ get to stay for that party as well.

Half Wolf left me with a lot of questions but the one thing it didn’t do was bore me. It was a fast, easy read because the concept intrigued me, the main characters were likable, the paranormal aspect had unique twists that delighted me and I enjoyed watching Kaitlin and Michael fall in love. There are a lot of positives to appreciate not the least of which are the love scenes between the hero and heroine.

I have no problem recommending Half Wolf to fellow paranormal romance readers but just be aware that it might whet your appetite for more of their story. And maybe like me, will want to continue reading about this engaging couple with their unusual paranormal challenges and their growing love. I get the strongest feeling that there is so much more left to discover and I’m vested enough in Michael and Kaitlin’s relationship, I hope to visit Clement again, soon.