Bad Way Out by Paul Carr


Bad Way Out by Paul Carr
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (324 pgs)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

In a case of corporate espionage, a Key West businessman hires Sam Mackenzie to retrieve technical information stolen from his company. He’s told that confidence man Jack Craft recommended him. Sam has been burned by Jack before but this looks like easy money.

The job turns out to be anything but easy, as a caper flush with government agents, assassins, and conspiracy ensues. Not to mention a beautiful CIA agent with questionable motives has her eye on Sam, and mob thugs are after him for fallout from a previous job.

As the fireworks fly, Sam turns to his partner and a computer expert for help. The deeper they probe, the more they risk becoming collateral damage in a secret operation worth millions.

There’s no good way out of this one.

Bad Way Out is comparable to riding a thrilling rollercoaster in the dark! Sit down, buckle up and hang on for your life because you have no idea which way the plot will turn. I didn’t want to get off this ride. When the story was over I wanted to either ride it again or read another one of Paul Carr’s books. Fortunately for me, Bad Way Out is the newest release in the latest Sam Mackenzie thrillers by Paul Carr. The novel was easily a standalone book and I, for one, can’t help but relate this book to a James Bond movie.

Sam, the main character, was courageous, clever and gave me a case of hero worship. I wouldn’t classify this as a romance book by any means. However, Sam does show interest in a woman named Simone but there isn’t any developing romance relationship like you’d expect in a romance story.

There are other characters that made an impression on me that were pivotal to the plot of the story that I’d like to read more about in another Sam Mackenzie thriller.

If you’re interested in the other Sam Mackenzie thrillers after you read Bad Way Out then here they are, Long Way Down, The Cayman Switch, and The Black Palmetto. I am definitely going to look into reading another Sam Mackenzie thriller!

Bad Way Out was fast paced, unpredictable and highly entertaining! Paul Carr has just become my new favorite thriller/suspense author! I appreciate reading an intriguing story by a skilled writer! Well done!

The Trouble with Love by Cheri Champagne


The Trouble with Love by Cheri Champagne
Mason Siblings Series, Book two
Publisher: Pandamoon Publishing
Genre: Historical, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (312 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

The heartbroken heroine…

Lady Bridget Mason is hopelessly in love with her best friend, Major Charles Bradley. Since his return from war, however, something has changed him. He has stopped returning her letters, he gives her the cut direct, and when forced to interact with her, he is rude and downright unconscionable. Her hopes for a marriage with Charles have been heartbreakingly dashed.

The troubled hero…

Major Charles Bradley is in a fix. The very same men that kidnapped his sister and her new husband a few months past have given him a warning. They are coming after Bridget. He’d done his best to keep his two identities separate, but they are determined to clash. Despite doing his utmost to push Bridget away for her protection, his love for her has been discovered by his unnervingly indomitable enemy.

Their perilous love…

Charles must face his greatest challenge; he must protect Bridget at any cost. But, will his love’s big secret and Charles’ horrid treatment of her prove the task impossible?

After reading and adoring Book one, in the Mason Sibling Series, Love’s Misadventure I eagerly awaited the release of book two, The Trouble with Love. At times, the wait was unbearable especially as the release date got closer. It is important to know that you can read book two without reading book one.

My anticipation and curiosity to read about Charles, the hero, and Bridget ,the heroine, in The Trouble with Love was astronomical. My hope and expectations were not disappointed. Once again Cheri Champagne demonstrates her ability to write an outstanding love story with intriguing suspense/mystery threaded throughout the story.

The suspense plot was riveting, exciting, and totally unpredictable. The ending left me with my mouth hanging open wondering how I never saw that as a possible outcome. I had plenty theories of my own but none of my theories came close the mark. What an excellent twist!

Let’s talk about Charles and Bridget. I loved them! Why? Charles was always putting Bridget’s safety first above his own life. If I was a swooning gal I’d have fainted several times throughout this story. Charles was brave, strong and no doubt loved Bridget. I knew I’d love Bridget from when she briefly appeared in book one. Let’s just say that Bridget has some amazing skills that you’d not expect from a heroine. Together they are steamy, entertaining and meant for each other.

Now, for anyone who has read book one, I’m happy to mention that Lane and Anna do have a couple of appearances in book two and I expect fans will really enjoy the epilogue in book two. 🙂

It’s safe to say that I highly recommend The Mason Siblings Series by Cheri Champagne. I love reading fast paced, on-the-edge-of-my-seat spicy romance stories! In fact, I read that there is going to be a book three released Spring 2017! I can hardly wait!

Smoke and Mirrors by Taylor Anne


Smoke and Mirrors by Taylor Anne
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (228 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

Drug deal and Murder: In her fight for justice, Abby Monroe is forced to flee to protect herself and her family, seeking out the only man she’s ever fully trusted. Seeing him again threatens not only her safety, but her heart as well.

Injuries and Betrayal: After a close call with death, Graeme Tucker made some changes. No women, no danger. Just him and his beach bar. Until Abby shows up asking for his help and twisting his heart.

Lies and Deception: As Graeme and Abby struggle to stop a gang of ruthless criminals, old flames are rekindled. But all is not as it seems. Will Graeme stand by his word to protect Abby, or does he have a sinister agenda of his own?

Smoke and Mirrors literally caught my interest with the first sentence. I love when that happens. In fact I had to stop and make a decision – do I continue reading knowing it might be one of those books I’m not going to want to put down and I didn’t have much time at that moment? Or wait until I can sit uninterrupted? I chose to continue reading as fast as I could.

The heroine, Abby Monroe, is an average everyday woman who happens to find herself in a not so average predicament. The hero, Graeme, isn’t the average everyday man. In fact he has such an interesting history that when Abby and Graeme are together they are anything but typical. In fact the suspense/mystery surrounding them was spellbinding. When you consider the combination of suspense/mystery and their chemistry, it was a miracle I was able to put the book down when I had to.

It was a thrill to pick it back up the next chance I had. The pace was consistently swift and smooth, and the writing style was excellent.

So why the three point five star? I had a small issue with part of the plot. Without spoiling anything I will only say that I do not think Abby took the reality of her predicament serious enough. I felt she was selfish and irresponsible. In the real world when put in that type of situation, I’d hope the individual would heed the advice that was given by a professional and not act or think like they knew better. I do understand it’s a story and that the plot had to be written that way so she could meet Graeme, but I would rather have seen her meeting him with a different course of action. I have an issue when one person puts others at risk because of their own selfish thoughtlessness. Abby actually did this again later in the book and I will admit that it definitely resulted in more suspense. Perhaps that is what made it a great book. However, that hiccup over the heroine’s decisions didn’t set well with me. Thank God, Graeme was man enough to ensure a happy ever after ending!

I will say the plot twist at the end was a surprise that I didn’t see coming and was well played out. I am curious to see if Abby’s best friend, Lace, and Graeme’s best friend/co-worker, Cooper, will get a book of their own. I’d be interested in reading their story.

Talk Cowboy to Me by Carolyn Brown


Talk Cowboy to Me by Carolyn Brown
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (352 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

One cowboy. One cowgirl. One ranch.
Who will win the Double Deuce by the Fourth of July?

Adele O’Donnell knew that Double Deuce Ranch had to be hers the second she walked onto the property. Freshly divorced, she sees it as the perfect spot for her and the kids to start a new life. Remington Luckadeau was always a carefree playboy…until his suddenly orphaned nephews became his responsibility. The Double Deuce Ranch would be the perfect place to raise two boys. But some fiery woman is fighting him for it, and Remington is not sharing-no matter how the sparks fly when he and Adele are together.

This story was an easy, relaxing read. It flowed smoothly and was well paced.  The writing style was solid. The plot was sweet with a feeling very similar to the Brady Bunch. Remi’s two nephews and Adele’s two daughters were a hoot. They were honestly entertaining. One of the daughters, Jett, made a friend who was an elderly person named, Dahlia. That was an unexpected touching thread in the story.

The synopsis teased me about the rivalry between the two main characters, Adele and Remington. Talk Cowboy to Me was all talk and not enough cowboy for me. I expected much more excitement, entertainment and tension from them as they fought over who will win the Double Deuce ranch. Adele was described as a “fiery woman” who was “fighting” him for it. “Sparks” were supposedly flying when Adele and Remi were going to be together. I’m not in agreement with the synopsis. I found it more … nice, than fiery.

The romance between Remington and Adele was strongly on the sensual side, and not spicy at all. With four kids in the house under the age of 14 there weren’t too many opportunities for the “sparks” to fly. The rivalry between Remi and Adele was actually the perfect demonstration of conflict resolution. They both only wanted what was best for their children. Adele and Remi really were a perfect match as both were responsible, capable ranchers. If a reader is in the mood for a completely predictable book from the very beginning without any dark emotional turmoil or heavy conflict, coupled with a sweet and satisfying happy ending, then this book is for you.

The truth is, overall Talk Cowboy to Me is an enjoyable book. I didn’t consider it a waste of time and I would recommend reading it for a completely stress free, smooth and comfortable ride.

A Necessary Woman by A. E. Easterlin


A Necessary Woman by A. E. Easterlin
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (314 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

Suzanna Worthington wants what most women wants–a husband to love her, a home to shelter her, and a child to bring her joy.

The battle at Manassas has stolen her fiance and destroyed her dreams. Channeling grief into healing, she assists the local doctor at a makeshift hospital, while her friends plot to find the one man who can fulfill all her desires…and his.

Now the war is over, and Jake Cantrell has come to find a wife. A self-made man with a huge ranch in Wyoming, he’s ready to settle down and raise a passel of sons to carry on his legacy.

Who will win her love? It could be the doctor who admires her, the Indian chief who captures her, or the man who wants to possess her and finds himself possessed by this necessary woman.

If you like daytime soap operas or drama then this book is for you. A Necessary Woman was eloquently written with a moderate steady pace from beginning to end. My curiosity kept me turning the pages with baited breath for the next dramatic scene to unfold.

While I appreciate a clever, unique plot with twits and unpredictably, I also need it to be realistically possible. The heroine, Suzanna, had so many men fall in love with her for her beauty and intelligence and had an unrealistic need to serve others that I kept thinking, “Come on, seriously?”

The hero, Jake, was hot as ever. However, he wasn’t perfect either. So together Jake and Suzanna made a great soap opera match. Their chemistry was intense and unavoidable.

Over all, I can honestly recommend this book for those who have extra time to pass and enjoy a book they have to suspend a bit of reality for. There was just something about this novel that was surprisingly irresistible that I couldn’t stop reading. There was a satisfying happy-ever-after ending. In fact I can easily see a sequel when Black Hawk returns!

Through A Magnolia Filter by Nan Dixon


Through A Magnolia Filter by Nan Dixon
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (384 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

Home is where his heart is…but what about hers?

Family was always a foreign concept to Liam Delaney. Until research into one of his documentary films brings him to Savannah and Dolley Fitzgerald’s B and B. Dolley’s passion for life and photography is infectious. When she becomes his apprentice, they’re the perfect team in every way. He’s finally found the home he’s always wanted, and it’s all because of her.

The only problem is that his dream is of a home and family, while Dolley craves adventure. They may be at odds, but Liam knows they can make both of their dreams come true together. He just needs to convince her…

All throughout Through a Magnolia Filter I found a heartwarming story that showcased the importance of family, following your dreams, and true love. I thoroughly enjoyed this tender heartwarming story.

Liam Delaney, the hero, was a sweetheart. He’s the kind of man you’d want your daughter to bring home and marry. I found him to be a tad bit nerdy with a dash of hot but so was the heroine, Dolley. They truly did bring out the best in each other. Their chemistry was anything but awkward. Together they were “sigh worthy”.

The writing was impeccable. I felt sympathy for Liam’s upbringing. I felt just as confused as Dolley did when she couldn’t make a decision. I was intrigued with the tips and suggestions Liam gave Dolley to improve her photography skills. I can’t wait to implement some of those tips the next time I’m taking pictures. The story flowed with such smoothness it was as if I was watching a movie in my head with all the sights and sounds. I had clear visions in my head of the pictures they were taking as if I was there with them.

The plot was original which was absolutely refreshing. Bravo to Nan Dixon! Through a Magnolia Filter also had a brilliant storyline. I loved the ‘cat and mouse’ back and forth over who thought who was using whom. The novel was great in toying with my emotions between Liam and Dolley. I appreciated the unpredictability.

In the end I was completely satisfied with the happy ever after and appreciated the reminder that “Home is where the heart is”. I highly recommend this book for a pleasant easy read that will leave a reader feeling fully satisfied.

Flash of Fury by Lea Griffith


Flash of Fury by Lea Griffith
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (352 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

Their spark is immediate

Kingston McNally lost men when someone betrayed his team, and now he’s out for retribution. His quest for the enemy’s courier leads him to Cameroon and Allie Redding, a petite Peace Corps volunteer as stubborn as she is brave. Their attraction is immediate, but Allie has secrets of her own…and she’s not giving them up easily.

But their secrets could burn them both

Allie’s life has been spent hiding in plain sight, but she’s had enough of her cloak-and-dagger existence. On her way home, her plane is hijacked-and King saves her life. But that doesn’t mean she owes him anything…even if he is the most damnably sexy man she’s ever laid eyes on. He’s got black ops and secrets written all over him, and trust is a two-way street.

Flash of Fury is definitely a book you want to start when you know you have a few hours to sit and read without any interruptions. Of course I didn’t know that when I started it but I wish I did because with a book as exciting and action-packed as this one was there was no way I could put it down.

I was hooked from page one; immediately on the edge of my seat with my eyes glued to the page. Right then I knew if this book kept up with the same intensity and pace I’d be up all night until I finished it. It did and I was. As I turned the pages I felt like I was a part of the scene as well as friends with the characters.

Allie Redding, the heroine, was a lovable character as we experienced her bravery and vulnerabilities through-out the story. One must ask themselves if they could endure all that Allie did and be as strong as she was portrayed. I would like to think I could if I had Kingston McNally, the hero, by my side as Allie did. King was a hero in every sense of the word. The sparks between them were immediate and consistent. Gosh, what I wouldn’t do to be rescued and loved by Kingston, if only I could have been Allie for one chapter.

As intricate as the plot was, it remained comprehensible, engaging, and kept me guessing all the way until the end. Brilliantly done! In fact, this story is book one in a series, therefore some of the mystery is solved but the epilogue led me to believe that the next book will continue to solve the mystery. The next book we’ll get to know Jude Dagan, King’s teammate, a bit better. As much as I enjoyed Allie and King’s romance I can’t wait to read about Jude’s romance with Ella Banning, another teammate, as the suspense continues.

I’ll have to add the author, Lea Griffith, to my list of authors to follow because her writing was superb and I need to read book two. I need to know the truth about Ella Banning. Flash of Fury was a fantastic read and I highly recommend reading this riveting book!

A Mistletoe Christmas by Hebby Roman


A Mistletoe Christmas by Hebby Roman
Publisher: Estrella Publishing
Genre: Historical, Holiday
Length: Short Story (147 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

Ginny Brown is a poor seamstress’ daughter who worships the ground Chad MacKillian walks on… from afar. For as long as she can remember, she’s been in love with the prominent rancher. Befriended by Chad’s sister, Ginny overcomes her shyness when Chad finally notices her.

Unknown to Ginny or his sister, Chad is already engaged to the neighboring rancher’s daughter, but their engagement is a business arrangement. The more time Chad spends with Ginny, the more he questions his future plans. Torn between honoring his engagement and his growing feelings for Ginny, he avoids making a decision.

When Chad’s fiancée catches him kissing Ginny beneath the mistletoe, she breaks their engagement. Chad is relieved to be free, but Ginny is humiliated and has had enough of his inconstancy. Faced with losing Ginny and fighting off outlaws bent on revenge, Chad begs Ginny to marry him. But can Chad convince Ginny he really loves her and is eager for her to be his wife?

This story was a treat to read. The main love story was between Chad and Ginny but there was a minor or side romance between Chad’s sister, Lindsay, and his ranch partner, Bart. As small as it was, it’s relevant to the whole story and needs to be mentioned.

I thought the story was nicely written and flowed smoothly. The plot was intriguing and the characters were well developed. My interest was captured immediately and never faltered throughout the story.

I prefer stories with an epilogue and when I find a story that includes a prologue as well, that’s a definite bonus. It makes me feel more connected to the characters. This story had both. Chad and Ginney’s story is a sweet romance. I was torn between Chad being honorable and a coward but that is what hooked me. Thankfully, at the end he was redeemed and they concluded with their happily ever after.

I enjoyed reading the developing “Best Friend Forever” friendship between Lindsay and Ginney. They were there for each other when they most needed each other’s support. They both were kind and generous women. Bart and Chad were quite lucky to be the recipients of their love.

There was a trace amount of suspense threaded throughout the story with Chad and Bart fighting off outlaws bent on revenge which ended in a clever twist.

One thing that stood out for me was this being the first story I’ve ever read that was set on a sheep ranch. I had no idea how hard and dirty of a job it was to shear their wool.

The title was slightly misleading. This isn’t a traditional holiday book. There was only one epic Christmas scene which changed the course of the story.

I only wish the story was stretched out to be longer because there were a few things I would have enjoyed reading more about. I can easily recommend this book for a quick, easy and entertaining read.

What the Gambler Risks by Kristina Knight


What the Gambler Risks by Kristina Knight
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (160 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

Twenty-something ice queen Sabrina Smith enjoys the fame and fortune she’s found writing self-help books for a largely female audience. Her readers hang on every word of how the Vegas Virgin—an unflattering and inaccurate moniker given to her by a local shock jock—juggles dating, working, and friendships in Sin City.

And that’s why Jase Reeves spells trouble.

Jase knows Sabrina’s secret—that she’s not nearly as cold as she would like people to think—and he’s through keeping it. He didn’t intend to have a one-night stand with the Vegas Virgin, but now he can’t get her out of his head. And he can’t keep living this lie.

With Jase back at the tables in Vegas, Sabrina has one goal: stay away from the handsome gambler before he melts her career—and her heart.

I’ve always wanted to go to Las Vegas and I always thought it would be cool to be an author. I wish I was Sabrina Smith, the heroine in this story, just to experience a day in her life with the hero, Jase Reeves. How awesome would that be? To be an author like Sabrina and date an amazing card player like Jase in Las Vegas!

This book is part of a trilogy, however it can stand on its own. I haven’t read the other two books before this one but I am seriously considering getting them to read. If Jase’s brothers are anywhere as near as HOT as Jase was then I need to read their stories. I saw a glimpse of the humor among the three siblings and would love to read more of that brotherly bantering that made me laugh out loud.

The chemistry between Sabrina and Jase is quite spicy. The book was listed as sensual but the love scenes between Sabrina and Jase were borderline spicy/hot. Which, when considering the setting is Las Vegas, what can one expect? I thought it worked perfect because Sabrina Smith was labeled the moniker “Vegas Virgin” by a local shock jock and Jase was labeled the typical player. Their relationship held true to the stereotype “hot Vegas nights”.

Sabrina and Jase have similar hurts from their own childhoods to overcome before their relationship can fully have that happily ever after ending. I expected Sabrina to have been the more logical one to get past her childhood trauma since she became famous for writing self-help books. Yet, how could she with her mother still around to inflict the craziness. In fact, I would have given this book 5 stars if not for the annoyance of Sabrina’s mother. Sabrina’s mother irritated me beyond belief – a major frustration. Fortunately the mother was redeemed before the ending and Sabrina and Jase helped each other to see the future was with each other.

What the Gambler Risks by Kristina Knight was really a very good romance story. Jase was irresistible and like I said before, I am definitely intrigued to read the other two books about Jases’s brothers to see how their romance compares. I’m glad I read this story and I would recommend this book if you’re looking for a fun seductive read.

Before You by Kathryn Freeman


Before You by Kathryn Freeman
Publisher: Choc Lit
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (261 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

When life in the fast lane threatens to implode …

Melanie Hunt’s job working for the Delta racing team means she is constantly rubbing shoulders with Formula One superstars in glamorous locations like Monte Carlo. But she has already learned that keeping a professional distance is crucial if she doesn’t want to get hurt.

New Delta team driver Aiden Foster lives his life like he drives his cars – fast and hard. But, no matter how successful he is, it seems he always falls short of his championship-winning father’s legacy. If he could just stay focused, he could finally make that win.

Resolve begins to slip as Melanie and Aiden find themselves drawn to each other –with nowhere to hide as racing season begins. But when a troubled young boy goes missing, everything is thrown into turmoil, including Aiden’s championship dream.

I realize this story and characters are fictional however, while reading the story, I couldn’t help but to compare the main character, Aiden Foster , to the real life NASCAR racer car driver, Dale Earnheart Jr. My point is that if you are looking for a contemporary book then you can’t get anymore contemporary than Before You!

It was really cool to have an inside look on what goes on behind the scenes during a racing season. I always thought it would be cool to be a race car driver but not after reading all the non-glamorous work that is involved in running the circuit. However, Aiden Foster was a delicious book boyfriend while it lasted and it was awesome to read his happy ever after ending.

Melanie Hunt was a very good press officer for Aiden Foster. Their romance was spicy, turbulent and kept me turning the pages. For the most part the book kept a good pace. I took a couple of stars off the rating because of the moments where I wanted to bang my head against the wall. I fully understood that the hero was frustrated about being compared to his father’s championship-winning legacy. I got the picture that Aiden was a playboy. I understood Melanie previously suffered a broken heart and had trust issues. All good romance stories have conflicts that play with our emotions but it was almost too painful to read how Melanie and Aiden couldn’t work things out sooner than they did.

Other characters were brought into the story that eased the annoying back and forth between Aiden and Melanie such as the young boy that goes missing which is mentioned in the synopsis.

The good thing is that all of that on again/ off again romance scenes between Melanie and Aiden paid off in the end. I was finally rewarded with a sense of peace. It was practically an orgasmic feeling to finally have a happy ending. I seriously was about to murder Melanie myself if she didn’t wake up and realize Aiden was more than what she deserved!

I would recommend this book especially after reading the epilogue. The author did a very nice job wrapping up the story. What ever headache I might of had brewing from banging my head was magically healed. I was left feeling sated and dreamy.