Pedal by Louis K. Lowy


Pedal by Louis K. Lowy
Publisher: Panoptic Books, an imprint of Assent Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday, Inspirational
Length: Full Length (301 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Stargazer

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Forty-nine and single. Fired from her lifelong passion: teaching music. Stripped of her self-worth. Can she reclaim her life through bicycle racing?

Joanne Brick’s thirty years as an elementary school music teacher evaporated into the rising sea of layoffs. A lifetime of dedication gone. At forty-nine, single with an ailing mom and bitter divorced sister, the future looked bleak. Family relationships soured as conversations moved to “the lettuce zone”-cold and crisp. Then one day, while cleaning out the garage for a yard sale, inspiration struck as she dusted off an old long-forgotten bicycle. And when she took her first ride she knew it was time to sink or pedal. “Onward! That was the answer that had eluded her earlier. There was dignity in that word. There was hope.” Never a sports fanatic and sorely out of shape, Joanne was barely able to ride straight, but she took up bicycle racing because it added purpose to her life. “Joanne increased her own speed. The wind whipped her face. The whirring of the spinning spokes and chains rose in pitch as she spun faster. She was flying again, beyond failed careers, spurned lovers, regrets, and mistakes. She spun even quicker. Her breath came in swift, hard grunts.” She pedaled past unemployment, failed relationships, family drama, and career loss. Her life began to fill with new friends, an inspirational Desert Storm vet turned cycling coach, and a sleek new physique from all the training. Then she ran into a brick wall in the form of Sheila Dominary, a women’s bike racing adversary. Will Joanne regain her confidence as she pedals toward redemption, romance, adventure, and life beyond unemployment? Pedal is an inspirational journey. It is a contemporary story that deals not only with family relationships, but also with life’s turning points and how ordinary people handle them.

When you lose everything you’ve ever worked for, what is there to push you forward again?

Joanne Brick loses her career as a music teacher after thirty years due to the district budget cuts. What is even worse is “music teacher” was her identity. Joanne finds herself out of a job, without money and at a loss as to who she is any longer. Joanne finds herself in a struggle that she never expected-to identify her inner passion and recollect her life.

Louis K. Lowy does an amazing job of showing how devastating life can be as well as intertwining how amazing life can be. Joanne is focused on the big picture, but like many of us, can miss out on what is happening in the right now. When life shakes her up, Joanne keeps pushing forward towards the goal. When the unthinkable happens and then the unimaginable happens shortly after that, Joanne proves that she is a fighter and refuses to give up.

Louis K. Lowy draws the reader in with a simple plot, to see Joanne put her life back together. Yet, what truly happens is that the reader becomes one in Joanne’s life, feeling her exuberance in training and then the crushing defeats that life hands her. The reader cheers for Joanne’s success and cries when she is down. All of this Louis K. Lowy draws in vivid detail, causing the reader to fully understand and see the life of Joanne Brick being shaped.

The ending of the book is one that many would not have imagined. Yet, when we look back at our own personal lives, we are often astonished to see where we are from where we began. This story is simply that, astonishing. I urge you to pick up a copy of Pedal and see if you have what it takes to make it to across the finish line!

Fallen Men by Brian O’Hare

men
Fallen Men by Brian O’Hare
Publisher: Crimson Cloak Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday, Inspirational
Length: Full Length (299 Pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Stargazer

Fallen Men by Brian O’Hare is a story of three priests. All are good, spiritual men but why does young Father Ray Canavan Ray find himself on trial in a Dublin court for statutory rape of a minor? And why is his equally popular friend, Father Dan Patterson, raucously accused of murder by a member of his congregation as he attempts to celebrate a Requiem Mass? And why does Canon Tony Mulholland so lose sight of his priestly responsibilities that he tries to cover up Ray’s indiscretions by sending him to hide in Italy ?

When one sin destroys not just one life but several others, all the while leading them to a stronger faith.

Father Ray Canavan is a diocesan priest who struggles with a troubling past that he can’t quite remember when he meets beautiful Maria and less than charming Father McGennity. The diocesan priest struggles to come to terms with his vocation, a family tragedy and the desire to do God’s Will.

Fallen Men is a phenomenal story of tragedy, redemption, and the amazing Grace of God. The immediate sin and subsequent attempt at cover by the Church is one that the reader may often see in the newspapers and tabloids. Yet, what happens behind the scenes is where the real magic by Brian O’Hare occurs.

The reader learns about the heart of the priest at the center of the scandal, the pain that the media and presses cause as well as the desire to be free from the sin of sexual immorality. The humanness that the author shares with the reader is one that cannot be understated. It is easy enough to believe that the transgression was horrific, but the pain and suffering that the transgressor feels is not one that should be overlooked. When the Church looks to control the future damage that will inevitably come, even more damage is done to both the priest and the victim.

The full impact of the events that occur are not lost on the reader. What I truly enjoyed was the deeper plot of becoming more Christ-like. Father Dan, one of Father Ray’s best friends sees spiritual ethics as black and white; immediately causing a rift in the strong friendship. The initial knee jerk reaction by Father Dan and the impact that the search for redemption has on all of the priests in the diocese are lessons that the reader is drawn into first hand.

This is one book that you do not want to miss if you truly want to know what happens in the heart of a priest!

Three Amazing Things About You by Jill Mansell

three
Three Amazing Things About You by Jill Mansell
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational
Length: Full Length (384 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Stargazer

Hallie has a secret. She’s in love. He’s perfect for her in every way, but he’s seriously out of bounds. And her friends aren’t going to help her because what they do know is that Hallie doesn’t have long to live. Time is running out…

Flo has a dilemma. She really likes Zander. But his scary sister won’t be even faintly amused if she thinks Zander and Flo are becoming friends – let alone anything more.

Tasha has a problem. Her new boyfriend is the adventurous type. And she’s afraid one of his adventures will go badly wrong.

THREE AMAZING THINGS ABOUT YOU begins as Hallie goes on a journey. A donor has been found and she’s about to be given new lungs. But whose?

Imagine a life where you knew you had a short amount of time to live; how would you live those remaining days?

Hallie lives just such a life; without a very rare and risky transplant she faces the certainty of a short life. Yet, Hallie takes every opportunity to change the lives of those around her. Jill Mansell takes the reader on an adventure behind the advice columns. So often we read the columns, deliberate on the advice for better or for worse and then head off on our own lives. Yet, behind each article or column written there is a true to life person with their own hopes, dreams and fears.

From beginning to end, Jill tugs at the heartstrings of the reader and entices them into a world that many of us consider exists but are often thankful that those experiences and fears are not necessarily our own. The cast of characters including the cat which is at the center of a huge family dispute only add to the advanced storytelling that only Jill can weave together.

I especially enjoyed the various situations that Flo and Hallie end up in; especially when the men become involved. Overall the structure and plot layout was great. When beginning the read, there are an almost overwhelming amount of characters to keep track of and the reader and begin to feel a little overwhelmed. As the story moves along, the reader begins see what the author has in store and how everything flows.

This is an amazing read and challenges the reader to look beyond the superficial world that we tend to take for granted. The author challenges each one who reads the book to see more than just daily life but to see the impact that we, as an individual, have on the lives around us.

Broken Survivor by Jennifer Labelle

BROKEN
Broken Survivor by Jennifer Labelle
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational
Length: Full Length (410 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Stargazer

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Holly Hewitt is a survivor…

After witnessing her mother’s murder, Holly was returned to her abusive father. Resorting to drugs and alcohol, she ends up landing herself in foster care, where she is separated from her sister and utterly alone.

Zander Harrison is the light to her darkness…

Zander is young, athletic, and carefree, with the support of a loving family. But when Holly is placed in foster care with his brother’s in-laws, she turns his world upside down.

He’s driven to protect her, and to show her the past has made her strong, life is worth living, and love is worth fighting for. If only he can convince her to trust him and stop resisting their mutual attraction.

But sometimes even love isn’t enough to heal a shattered soul.

And all the hard work in the world can’t save…

A broken survivor.

Tears, heartbreak, sadness, and jubilation are waiting for you in this book!

Broken Survivor is an amazing story of challenges, frustration, of giving up and acceptance. The story follows the life of Holly Hewitt from young teenager to adult. Holly is forced to grow up quickly due to the broken home she lives in which finally culminates into the murder of her mother. Throughout the book Holly deals with the remorse of poor choices and the guilt that she has caused her mother’s death.

The author does an amazing job at chronicling the life of Holly and bringing her emotions to the forefront. Whereas Holly sometimes makes poor decisions and has to face the consequences, the reader is placed in a position to understand the thoughts that have caused Holly to take the actions which she has taken.

The internal struggles, disappointment and fears that Holly feels are feelings that resonate with the reader. The lack of a support system, a broken family circle and the ever consuming feelings of worthlessness and abandonment from being forced from home to home tear at the heart of the reader. Jace, the appointed School Social Worker tries to walk Holly through the grief and rebuilding processes but even Jace is forced to back down when Holly is unwilling to change her actions.

The relationship between Holly and her boyfriend Zander is one that goes beyond physical attraction. When Holly and Zander first spend time together, the reader begins to understand that Zander can see the beauty that Holly hides from the world. Holly holds back, fearing the destructive cycle of abuse that she has so often witnessed her mother being pulled into. The author is remarkable in portraying the sexual attraction and the internal struggle that Holly finds herself facing.

The author vividly reinforces the ever strong tide of emotions within Holly. The constant nightmares become more and more real, the memories that Holly struggles to repress come flooding back with a vengeance. The letters that Holly writes to her mother show her inward struggles and growing feelings of depression. These all add to the outward constant struggle that the reader is made keenly aware of through Holly’s interactions. One of the greatest quotes that I found which describe Holly’s feelings is: “it felt like I was trapped in the bad memories and couldn’t escape.”

Holly is a very likable character and for those who have gone through struggles similar to hers will find that the feelings, choices and struggles presented by the author are very real and approached in a very strong way. Several times throughout the book Holly struggles to understand her own emotions which have come to torment her.

If you want to read a story where you feel you grow as much as the characters grow and you wish to feel the raw emotions stir within you just like the author describes, I highly recommend this book! I could not put it down!

Finding the Upside of Down by Dionie McNair

FINDING
Finding the Upside of Down by Dionie McNair
Publisher: Finch Books
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational
Length: Full length (161 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Stargazer

Broken by bullying, Tabitha volunteers and finds just what she needs to mend her life.

Being bullied has always been part of Tabitha Cockell’s life. Since first grade her tormentor, Amelia, has hounded her with cruel taunts, name-calling and nasty rumors both face to face and online. She attempts suicide, but is saved in the nick of time by the guy she has just started dating after he reads her suicide note on Facebook.

Survival means she has to face life, but she doesn’t know how until she sees a crew of State Emergency Service volunteers at work. She finds the courage to join, and her decision soon has her seeing and understanding life from a whole new perspective.

When everyone has an idea about what you should do, but no one goes out of their way to stand with you, what do you do? Tabitha Cockell has been harassed and bullied since first grade. Her tormentor has always been there, lurking in the shadows and assaulting her verbally and physically whenever the chance arises.

Finding the Upside of Down is a story of hope and inspiration, of fear, distance and the struggle that pushing forward each day brings. Tabitha is a character that resonates with the reader. After years of torment and years of adult intervention which have failed to change the situation, Tabitha is tired and emotionally exhausted. When her childhood bully returns to torment her further in college and at her work, Tabitha feels she cannot continue on.

The author is amazing at portraying the painful suffering that Tabitha endures. The constant frustration of failed interventions, the constant worry that something will happen and the frustrating feeling that “if something did not happen this time, it will be twice as bad next time,” always weighs in the reader’s mind. The author realistically lays out a support network for Tabitha, one that is real in every sense of the word, yet seems to crumble when put to the test.

Finding the Upside of Down will be difficult for some readers who have experienced severe bulling harassment in the past. The realistic descriptions, the painful struggle and the constant checking over the shoulder fear that victims have felt in the past come to the forefront while reading this book.

Finding the Upside of Down is just that, finding positivity in the harrowing darkness of feeling as though you have failed everyone. I believe that every reader can identify with the struggles that Tabitha has encountered. Finding the Upside of Down is one book that can engage the reader and help break the feeling of isolation that is so common in victims of bullying.

Wanted by Shelley Shepard Gray

WANTED
Wanted by Shelley Shepard Gray
Sisters of the Heart, Book Two
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational
Length: Full Length (166 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

For a split second, Katie feels certain she’s about to receive everything she’s ever wanted. . .

Twenty-year-old Katie Brenneman has always quietly fancied Jonathan Lundy. So when the brokenhearted widower asks her to help him take care of his two young girls, Katie knows it will be a trying time—yet she cannot pass up a golden opportunity to get to know this man better.

Just as she’s settling into her new life, a message arrives from Katie’s past, threatening to expose her darkest secrets. During her Rumspringa, her running-around years, she experimented with activities forbidden in the Amish way of life. Frightened by how far she’d strayed from her values, Katie ran back home, vowing to cut all ties with the outside world. Now her transgressions are coming back to haunt her, just as Jonathan seems willing to welcome her into his heart.

Will the past destroy Katie’s chances for love? Or will Katie allow herself to accept God’s love, forgive her past, and receive everything she’s ever wanted?

Sometimes, a book just speaks to you. You read it at the right time in your life and it holds a deeper meaning than it probably was written to do, yet, that’s what Wanted did for me. Katie, the heroine, made mistakes and like her friend Anna, in Hidden, the past must be dealt with. The doing of it, facing and reconciling with the past in order to have a better, brighter future is a hard thing to do. It’s the main conflict in this book and I think it will resonate with many readers. The best thing though is the message; forgiveness is healing and freeing. A person just has to take those brave, courageous and difficult first steps to get the ball rolling. It’s that kind of journey that Katie takes which makes this book worth reading.

What made this story so special to me were the inspirational words and prayers written within. It’s not preachy or trite. They’re heartfelt and earnest and key to the spiritual nature that is integral to the Amish community that’s being written about. And yet, as divergent as I am, being an Englisher and all, some of the passages in this book eerily echoed the message in my own pastor’s recent homily. To be able to stare at the words, and see how Ms. Gray incorporated them into living life, in a seamlessly believable and honest way, spoke volumes to my heart. This is a romance story, pure and simple and it’s a good one. But it’s also filled with a simple joy, a humble view on life without all the discord and confusion that the pursuit of materialism can bring. Ms. Gray boils it down to respect of a man for a woman and a woman’s pride in doing her best to show how she cares for those she loves. It’s not the words; it’s her actions, her grace and her willingness to do these things without expectation of reward. Doing the right thing does not always end up being its own reward, but sometimes, it is and does.

The external conflict comes from a past that Katie must face. It is actually sad and poignant and full of emotion. It’s an aspect that gave this novel depth and significance. How the author made it come full circle was well done Ms. Gray wrapped it up with a warm and satisfying happy ever after to come. I say ‘to come’ because every step of a romance in Katie’s Amish community seems cherished and respected and never rushed. It’s a given that Katie and Jonathan have found their way to each other and the courtship will be done according to the Amish way, but by doing so did not leave me unsatisfied. If anything, it gave me a gentle pleasure, a warm smile and confidence that all is as it should be. I found Wanted to be an emotionally fulfilling read with characters, both main and secondary that touched my heart. It’s a solid romance.

Amish Baby Snatched by Diane Craver

BABY
Amish Baby Snatched by Diane Craver
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational
Length: Full Length (202 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Orchid

When the two young women from completely different worlds forge a friendship, they don’t realize what tragic events will alter their bond.

Instead of going backpacking in Europe for the summer, pregnant eighteen-year-old Chloe Parrish ends up in Fields Corner. Her parents send her there to work in her aunt’s restaurant. Chloe’s parents and her boyfriend Logan want her to consider adoption.

Amish and happily married, Beth Byler is pregnant with her first baby. When she sees how sad Chloe seems at the doctor’s office, Beth asks if everything is okay. Although they come from different backgrounds, their pregnancies give them something to share and they become friends.

During their prenatal visits, Chloe and Beth meet a new obstetrician, Dr. Tony Cunningham. He becomes interested in the lovely Chloe. Tony and Chloe find themselves at crossroads in their lives—she’s torn about what to do about her baby, and Tony isn’t sure he wants to do Amish home births.

After a baby is kidnapped, anger explodes between Beth and Chloe.

Can both women recover from a heartbreaking situation, and trust God still knows what is best for them?

Beth and Chloe’s pregnancies draw them into a friendship despite Beth being Amish and Chloe being Christian. Both are respectful of the other’s religion and they find help and support from one another.

Beth is happily married with a strong family support. Chloe is an unwed teenager abandoned by her boyfriend and with a family too busy to care. Uncertainty, tragedy, love – all of these emotions take a place in this story, sometimes from unexpected avenues.

The romance is well written with a different twist on love and family. It shows different aspects of Amish and Christian life and how the two can mix. It not only shows the existing love of characters from previous books in this series, but new love blossoming. Despite being part of a series, this book stands alone and is the type I like to curl up in front of the fire with on a cold winters day.

I enjoyed reading Amish Baby Snatched and found it written in the style of romance books of a few decades ago, although the content is totally present day. At the end of the book I felt satisfied with the story and the conclusion.

Hidden by Shelley Shepard Gray

HIDDEN
Hidden by Shelley Shepard Gray
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational
Length: Full Length (161 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

When Anna decides it’s time to leave her abusive boyfriend, she doesn’t know where to turn. Rob has completely won over her parents, and the entire community, with his good looks and smooth charm. Only Anna has seen his dark side.

Desperate, she runs to the only place she’s ever felt completely safe—the Amish Brenneman Bed and Breakfast, where Anna met life-long friend Katie Brenneman. The family welcomes her in, and with few questions asked allows her to stay, dressed in Plain clothing, and help around the inn.

Katie’s older brother Henry is the only one who doesn’t take too kindly to the intrusion. He tries to ignore Anna, knowing no good would ever come from caring for an Englisher like her. But as he gets to know Anna, he discovers her good heart and is surprised with her readiness to accept their lifestyle.

The more time Anna spends with the Amish, the more she feels she’s found a true home. But how can she deny the life she left behind? And will her chance for happiness be stolen away by the man from her past?

I remember the 80s movie Witness and after I started reading Hidden I found it easy to make a few parallel observations. The difference is that in this novel the romance bears fruit and there’s an HEA. I enjoyed the simple, profound and gentle romance between two very divergent people.

Henry and Anna are the main protagonists who at first don’t get along well – oil and water. As with all good romance stories, as circumstances affect them, as they get to know each other and see each other as they really are, feelings start to grow, respect is nurtured and understanding develops.

The character with the most to gain, lose, grow and change is Anna. She’s running for safety; she’s felt lost in her own world for a long time and someone does not want her to leave it. Time is running out. There’s a guy hot on her tail and he’s not very nice. Where can she turn? Who will help her? It turns out the least obvious is the best bet, but can she leave all that she knew behind? Surprisingly it’s her faith in religion that slowly guides her to make the choices that lead her to what her heart had been searching for and never found in all that she’s done in her life so far. It takes the calm and focused lifestyle of the Amish to give Anna the time to slow down, to think, to feel, and most importantly, listen to what God was trying to tell her. There’s so much Englisher static from her background it takes a while for Anna to finally hear.

The story is told mostly from Anna’s point of view, then Henry’s. The villain gets his say and he’s a sad specimen of humanity. The author made it very clear as the plot unfolded that something really isn’t right with that guy. He was an effective antagonist.

The one thing that saddened me about this novel was Anna’s mother. Her dad was written quite well and I liked him. The mother was a head case. Where there should have been redemption, she just didn’t get it, not truly, and I was disappointed in her final act on stage. Didn’t she learn anything?

I liked the dramatic conclusion and found it showcased all the main characters’ strengths. I liked the secondary characters and found them helpful as Anna and Henry navigated their growing attraction. The happy ever after was sweet and full of spirituality and love. It was tender and brought a smile to my face.

Hidden is a delightful change of pace from the many frenetic, violent or over the top sexy stories out there. Sometimes, a reader just wants a story of the heart, about two people overcoming seemingly unsurmountable odds to find love, happiness and fulfillment in a deeper way than most can comprehend. There are times where I need to be reminded that love isn’t proved by material things or boisterous gestures, but by trust in another person and the faith, love and respect they have for their God and each other. It can be beautiful and Ms. Gray did a wonderful job of capturing that with her story.

Clumsy Girl’s Guide to Having a Baby by Karen Wiesner

CLUMSY
Clumsy Girl’s Guide to Having a Baby by Karen Wiesner
Friendship Heirlooms Series Book 6
Publisher: Writers Exchange E-Publishing
Genre: Inspirational, Contemporary, Chick Lit, Comedy
Length: Full Length (193 Pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel

Clumsy girl Zoe Rossdale is back, married to the love of her life, Curt Bertoletti, and setting off on another crazy adventure–maybe the most fun and dangerous of all. Having a baby!

“I limped up the hill, glaring at the evil, innocent looking stool…”

This was a first for me, I’ve heard about people who are this clumsy, but never really met them. This book brought me into the mind and life of a clumsy married woman.

Clumsy Girl’s Guide to Having a Baby does not start at or before the wedding. It starts five years into the marriage. This was a simple love story, but a love story that does a fantastic job of depicting married life. As the much anticipated follow up to Clumsy Girl’s Guide to Falling in Love, it was a neat way to see what happens when the honeymoon is over.

I loved reading about Zoe’s clumsy “accidents”. They were hilarious to the point of being almost unbelievable.

It was so easy to visualize this young woman who trips over blades of grass or air. A young woman who gets into a lot of clumsy accidents and then she gets pregnant. Gets big and can’t see her feet. If for nothing else this book should be read for the hilarity of it all.

That being said, Zoe’s clumsiness is not the only story here and that is a good thing. The book has some serious parts which made it all the more real because a marriage is sometimes serious. Couples don’t always communicate well and sometimes they disagree. It’s real life. The romance is hot but the bedroom door is firmly closed.

A clever story told mostly from Zoe’s POV but with insight into Curt’s take on it all. A very entertaining read.

Duty Bound Guardian by Terri Reed

FUTY
Duty Bound Guardian by Terri Reed
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Inspirational, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (171 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

FRAMED

When a priceless artifact is stolen, museum curator Lana Gomez becomes the prime suspect. How can she hope to adopt her orphaned nephew if she’s a person of interest in a crime? Cooperating with Capitol K-9 Unit officer Adam Donovan doesn’t get her very far—the handsome cop thinks she’s hiding something. But when the real thief returns set on silencing Lana, it is Adam and his Doberman pinscher, Ace, who become her only defense against a madman who wants nothing more than to see Lana eliminated.

Capitol K-9 Unit: These lawmen solve the toughest cases with the help of their brave canine partners.

A mystery wrapped in a mystery but which one leads to the HEA? That’s what I found most intriguing about this novel. The one that involved Lana and Adam is all over the place in the beginning but towards the end, I could see which way it was heading. I didn’t mind the other one not being resolved because I clearly got the picture that there was another case, another hero, who was going to have to deal with it. Adam and Lana had enough to deal with in Duty Bound Guardian.

The interesting thing about this book was set up. The author took time for a reader to understand the demons that drove both the hero and heroine and it was easy to see how both their pasts affected their present. I liked how the author showed Adam and Lana, in turn, seeing the strengths of the other person as they battle to stay alive and solve the case. I saw their trust grow, the attraction simmer and the best part is how Ace, the K-9 officer and Adam’s partner, played a major role, like an equal character, in the novel. I’ve seen K-9 officers in action and they truly are an amazing team in real life and I could relate. A police officer and his canine partner really are inseparable. That loyalty comes in handy many times throughout the story.

The most Adam and Lana do that physically shows when their extreme attraction for each other combusts and passion overcomes them, is kiss. It was enough to satisfy me that the chemistry is smoking hot but they toed the line because of the seriousness of their situation. It was realistic in that regard. Then again, they both have a strong sense of faith in God and quite a few times they ask/pray for strength and guidance, and a little saving especially when the bullets fly. It’s not overdone at all, instead it provides a healthy dose of grounding, which reminds me, that even when things are at their worst, comfort can come from a higher source, and it can see a person through.

I think I might have guessed as to whom the bad guy was, but I wasn’t sure because the author, through use of her characters, kept throwing me off of the scent. In the end, the heroine was just as shocked as I was. I liked that.

Duty Bound Guardian is a clever read with heart pounding action. It was entertaining, exciting and I really enjoyed myself. I’d recommend this to all romance suspense readers who don’t want to read a huge tome but want a quick edgy read that affects their breathing in all the best ways. It’s a solid recommend.