*Their Marchioness by Jess Michaels


*Their Marchioness by Jess Michaels
Publisher: The Passionate Pen LLC
Genre: Historical, Romance
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Larkspur

After nearly a decade of marriage, the Marquess and Marchioness of Egerton are going strong. A power couple with an intense physical connection. Only Elliot knows a secret about his wife. He knows that Merritt was torn away from her first love, Peter Reid when they were very young, hurtling her into their arranged marriage instead. So as her birthday approaches and they head to a secluded retreat for a week of pleasure, he has a very special gift in mind.

Merritt cannot believe it when Peter Reid arrives at the cottage her husband has let. Believes it less when Elliot suggests that for this week she could have every fantasy she ever imagined…with both men. It’s a suggestion impossible to refuse and she surrenders to pleasure more powerful than anything she’s ever experienced.

Peter is not the same man he was when he lost Merritt. Now a celebrated playwright, his patron none other than the Marquess, himself, he has more confidence in himself and what he wants. He wants Merritt. And he wants Elliot.

The question remains if the three can take a week of intense passion and allow it to become a lifetime of love.

If you are looking for an intense and passionate historical romance, you don’t want to miss this one. Their Marchioness immediately captured my attention, and I enjoyed the quaint setting and the three main characters.

This is an entertaining story about three people spending time together and exploring their feelings. I enjoyed reading about all the encounters between Elliott, Merritt and Peter. They are all vulnerable but willing to open their hearts to discover what might be.

I enjoyed every minute of this short and steamy romance.

*Second Chance Christmas by Alison Packard


*Second Chance Christmas by Alison Packard
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Holiday
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Larkspur

Struggling actress Maddie Hart is home for the holidays in her small town and comes face-to-face with the last man she wants to see—the one she abandoned four years ago when she ran off to chase her dreams.

Police Sergeant Ben Ashford had an engagement ring in his pocket the night Maddie blindsided him. He doesn’t expect the gut punch of seeing her again or that she’d reignite feelings he’d thought long buried.

Ben’s not about to get tangled up with a woman who’ll just run again, but Maddie has never stopped thinking about him. Can she trade the bright lights of Hollywood for the twinkling Christmas lights of her hometown and a second chance at love?

I loved everything about Second Chance Christmas. It’s a wonderfully written Christmas story set in the small town of Summerwood, Oregon. The characters are likable and easy to connect with and I loved the small town feel of this story.

Maddie, a struggling actress trying to make it in L. A. returns home to Oregon to spend Thanksgiving with her family. She hasn’t seen Ben in four years, since she broke up with him to pursue her dreams. Ben, a Sergeant with the Summerwood police now has never forgotten Maddie and is surprised to see her again.

I loved reading this enchanting story. The characters are believable and easy to connect with and they share a lot of chemistry. This perfect Christmas story is full of wonderful surprises.

*Stained Glass Memories by Linda Carroll-Bradd


*Stained Glass Memories by Linda Carroll-Bradd
Christmas Cookies Series
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Holiday
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Larkspur

Caterer Lorelei Warner juggles her fledging Southern California business and raising young twins with the help of her mother and sister. Handling a three-day wedding event stretches her limits…and then her old beau walks in and threatens the delicate balance.

Stained glass restorer Wynn Tatum hopes to cross paths with the woman he left behind to pursue his dreams. What he doesn’t expect is that seeing Lorelei again sparks the feelings from six years ago. Now that he’s held her in his arms again, and learned he’s the father to five-year-old twins, he will do anything to stay in touch. How can his family be whole if he and Lorelei live on two different continents?

Stained Glass Memories is a beautiful and touching story about second chances. I loved reading Wynn and Lorelei’s story and I thought they were perfect together. Although the story is short, it is full of heartwarming love.

The plot is interesting, the characters are realistic, and the story left me with a good feeling. I loved reading this story about romance and second chances.

*Ice Storm by Tracy Goodwin


*Ice Storm by Tracy Goodwin
New York Nighthawks, Book 3
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Loveswept
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Women’s fiction
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Larkspur

When an injured hockey legend with a PR problem and a former teen star craving an edgier public image start a fake relationship, neither expects a real challenge—ignoring their fiery chemistry—in this steamy friends-to-lovers romance.

Theo: They call me Thor. I’m the showman with mad skills on and off the ice until a nagging injury forces me to confront—long-term—the possibility that my career is coming to an early end. All endorsement deals hinge on my reputation, and my bad-boy persona isn’t cutting it. To keep my sponsorships, I need a major image overhaul. Enter Olivia DeLaurentis, the quintessential girl next door who’s hell-bent on shedding her good-girl charade, and what better way than to get together with a rule-breaking Avenger wannabe? So she and I strike an agreement—we pretend-date. The odds of anything real happening between us are slim, especially since we’re already friends and she’s also my best friend’s sister. One problem: She turns me on, and I learn real fast that Liv is playing by her own rules.

Olivia: I was a teenage America’s Sweetheart, but what I once thought was the opportunity of a lifetime has left me typecast as an innocent, naïve girl—and I’m sick of it. My brother’s best friend, bad-boy hockey star Theo Ture, needs some positive PR, so I offer a fake relationship. It’s not my first. The difference? This time I’m in complete control. What’s there to lose? Certainly not my heart since Theo’s already friend-zoned. Plus, the poster boy for an alpha male—bold, brash, tattooed—is not my type. At all. But there’s one problem: I didn’t expect the explosive chemistry between us, or the vulnerability behind his tough-guy façade. Or that he has a hidden secret I’m desperate to uncover. He’s not the only one with secrets, though—and as the lines of our fake relationship blur, I’m worried I’ll be the one exposed. . . .

Ice Storm is a perfect blend of hockey, romance and friendship. I loved every minute of this heartwarming story. The plot is interesting, the characters are engaging, and I never wanted this story to end. The two main characters, Theo and Olivia are easy to connect with, they share a lot of chemistry, and I enjoyed reading about all of their encounters.

Theo is a professional hockey player dealing with the possibility of his hockey career ending. Olivia has been in Theo’s life for a long time and there has always been a spark simmering between them. They have always been there for each other through all the ups and downs in life.

Theo and Olivia’s story is enchanting. They are both dealing with some important issues in their lives and help each other come to some decisions about what their future will look like. They bring out the best in each other and their story left me with a smile on my face.

*Flirting with the Beast by Jane Porter


*Flirting with the Beast by Jane Porter
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Holiday
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Larkspur

It’s been five years since Andi McDermott lost her husband, and she’s finally starting to feel like herself again, ready to live fully—she’s even started dating again. But when her holiday plans with her stepson and his fiancée fall through, she refuses to spend another Christmas alone while everyone is celebrating with their families. Impulsively, she decides to go up to her cabin in Lake Arrowhead, a place she used to love to visit but hadn’t gone to in years, not since the feud started between her husband and their nearest neighbor.

Andi starts to rethink her decision when being alone at the cabin proves to be more challenging than she expected—a heavy snowstorm hits the area, and Andi finds herself trapped there with no one to help except for her neighbor, Wolf Enders. A military vet who lives full-time on Lake Arrowhead, Wolf is as grumpy and intimidating as Andi remembers. But he’s also unexpectedly kind and uncomfortably sexy—his presence reminds Andi that she may be older, but her body still works perfectly fine, thank you very much. But can this good girl tame this sexy beast of a man, and will this snowy fling turn into a love of a lifetime?

I loved reading Wolf and Andi’s story. I thought it was emotional and touching and I never wanted it to end. What I found intriguing and different about this story is that it is about two mature adults. They have both had their ups and downs in life and don’t expect to find love again.

Andi is a widow feeling adrift since her husband died. She is lonely and feels stuck; she is ready for some changes in her life.

Wolf is a strong alpha male, he is former military, down to earth and enjoys the solitude his cabin provides. He is big, muscled and imposing and the exact opposite of Andi’s former husband.

Wolf and Andi are great together and they have loads of chemistry. They are two broken people and together they fill each other’s holes. Wolf is afraid to take a chance on love again but he finds it impossible to resist Andi. I liked all their scorching looks and all of their encounters.

Wolf and Andi’s story is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. They are opposites in many ways but yet they fit together so well. Andi’s sweetness and trust help break down Wolf’s walls. Her kindness and openness helps open Wolf’s heart and keep his grumpiness at bay.

They are two mature adults trying to navigate a relationship while dealing with kids, grandkids and family drama. I loved reading their story and I was rooting for them to get their HEA. I enjoyed the plot and all of the interesting secondary characters. I highly recommend reading Flirting with the Beast.

*Love Me Like You Do by Erika Kelly


*Love Me Like You Do by Erika Kelly
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Larkspur

How did the hottest hockey player in the NHL wind up braiding hair and hosting tea parties?

Because someone was foolish enough to name him co-guardian of their children. That’s how.

Cole Montgomery’s living his best life–until he gets a call from an attorney letting him know he’s been entrusted with the care of two little girls. He can’t imagine why anyone would think he was a good role model. He can’t even keep a plant alive.

Lingerie designer Hailey Casselton grew up with a free-spirited mother. So, when she finds out she’s the temporary co-guardian to two children, she’s determined to give them the best Christmas they’ve ever had. Unfortunately, she has to live with the jerk from high school who ruined her senior year.

But she gets a glimpse of the man behind Cole’s larger-than-life persona, and she likes what she sees. He might be used to living for himself, but he works hard to change his ways and meet the needs of these lost and scared girls. It doesn’t take long for her to enter dangerous territory–falling for a guy who’s never going to settle down.

Except…as much as Cole keeps saying he can’t wait to get his freedom back…he can’t deny these girls–and okay, even Hailey–have become the very best part of his life.

And he’s not quite sure what to do about that.

Erika Kelly is one of my favorite authors because she knows how to paint a picture. In her newest book, Love Me Like You Do, she writes an emotional story about two people going through some heartbreaking circumstances and falling in love along the way.

I loved reading Cole and Hailey’s story. They knew each other in high school and circumstances brought them back together again. Cole and Hailey have to deal with tough issues and make difficult decisions, not only about their lives, but the two little girls that have been entrusted into their care.

Cole and Hailey are both careful with their hearts. They yearn for a home and family, something neither one of them grew up with. The small town of Calamity is the perfect place for them both to heal, love and live.

Cole is a professional hockey player whose whole life revolves around hockey, and he is shocked when he discovers his best friend has died and left him in charge of his two daughters. Cole is such a great guy; he deserves to have everything. He is successful and charming, yet he is insecure when it comes to Hailey. Cole loves everything about Hailey, but she is clueless.

Hailey is working every waking minute trying to make it as a designer in New York when she rushes back to Calamity after being told she is now co guardian of two little girls.

Cole and Hailey have unresolved issues from the past that they slowly resolve as they spend time together. They are perfect for each other, and I easily fell into this wonderful story and kept reading because I needed to know what would happen next. I highly recommend this one.

*Princess and the Player by Isla Madden-Mills


*Princess and the Player by Isla Madden-Mills
Publisher: Montlake
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Larkspur

Levelheaded Francesca Lane never thought she’d miss her own wedding. But when her fiancé betrays her, she puts on her wedding dress and ditches the altar for a masquerade ball—at an exclusive lifestyle club.

There, she meets unknown-to-her NFL star Tuck Avery, dressed as a prince and hiding behind a mask—he’s there to celebrate his birthday. For one night, Francesca and Tuck indulge in a wickedly incognito affair. No names. No strings. And the masks don’t come off.

Unfortunately, Francesca realizes quickly that her masked prince is the wealthy jock who lives in the penthouse of her apartment building. His hobbies include parties and supermodels—or so the tabloids say. Getting tangled up with a shallow jerk is the last thing Francesca needs right now, so she vows to keep Tuck from recognizing her (not that she’s his type anyway).

But fate has a teeny-tiny trick up her sleeve…a plus sign on a pregnancy test. Can this tormented prince accept love, or will he push his princess away forever?

I loved reading Tuck and Francesca’s story. When they meet there is an immediate connection, and they have one incredible night together. After that night, neither one of them has any expectations of ever meeting again, but fate has other ideas.

I found Tuck easy to like. He Is successful in football, but unfortunately, his personal life is a mess. At thirty-five he is the oldest wide receiver in football, and he is not sure what he will do when his football career is over. Tuck’s life seems to be going downhill and he isn’t sure what to do about it. When Tuck meets Francesca again, he wants to spend time with her, but he has a hard time convincing her it’s a good idea.

I easily connected with Tuck and Francesca, and I was rooting for them because they both deserve some good in their lives. I felt sorry for them because neither of them has had an easy life, they are both flawed and have baggage from their pasts.

This is a wonderfully written story and it left me with a good feeling. Tuck and Francesca are perfect for each other.

They are interesting, easy to connect with and I enjoyed all of their encounters. I also enjoyed the odd assortment of friends in this story. They add a lot of laughter and entertainment. I highly recommend the Princess and the Player.

*Strip: A Bargain with the Boss Romance by Elisabeth Caldwell


*Strip: A Bargain with the Boss Romance by Elisabeth Caldwell
Spice Up the Night Book 1
Publisher: City Owl Press
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Larkspur

Sage Cashman’s sister suffers from a terrible illness and Sage will do anything to help her, including dancing at a gentleman’s club to support the two of them. Every night, she puts on a show for the customers, and the naughtier and more flirtatious she acts, the better her tips. Sage is just going through the motions until she gets closer to the dark, silent Adonis who lurks in the shadows during her performances. When Ryker Madsen is in her orbit, she doesn’t have to pretend she’s a woman easily seduced.

Ryker Madsen turns out to be more than Sage’s boss—he’s the owner of the club. He’s also involved with the company producing the experimental drug that might be her sister’s only hope. Ryker is as arrogant as he is rich, and it’s no secret that he wants Sage and is determined to have her. He’s intrigued when Sage proposes a deal: companionship for connections. Preferring uncommitted and unemotional relationships, Ryker sees Sage’s proposal as the perfect way to get her out of his system. What Ryker doesn’t know is that Sage, jaded from a string of betrayals, has many secrets. Including her identity.

The hotter their relationship gets, the closer the truth comes to the surface. When the skeletons in Sage’s family’s closet start tumbling out, they threaten both her plan to save her sister and her future with Ryker.

This passionate, emotional story about Ryker and Sage had me hooked from the first page. The plot is riveting, and the characters are engaging and easy to relate to.

I found it easy to like Sage and I admired her courage and determination. She is willing to do anything to help her sister and that is how she ends up working in the strip club that Ryker owns. Sage is playing a game pretending to be a seductress when she is really innocent.

What I liked the most about this story was the strong connection and sizzling chemistry between Sage and Ryker. Ryker is a successful businessman and is completely taken with Sage from the moment he meets her. He is a self-made man who is ruthless and honorable, with a soft spot in his heart for Sage.

I loved reading Ryker and Sage’s story and thought they were perfect for each other.

They are two good people afraid to open up their hearts. They find it difficult to trust, but they are loyal to those they care about. I enjoyed this intense story; it held me spellbound from start to finish.

*Vanishing Hour by Laura Griffin


*Vanishing Hour by Laura Griffin
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Romance
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Larkspur

When a cold case in Texas leads to a sinister string of disappearances, a newcomer to the small town helps a detective piece together the clues in this new romantic thriller from New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin.

Corporate lawyer Ava Burch has had enough of the big city and the daily grind. She grew up with her father, who raised search-and-rescue dogs, in rural Texas and has moved to the small town of Cuervo to spend time in the dry, rugged wilderness near Big Bend National Park. When she and her dog, Huck, discover an abandoned campsite on a volunteer search-and-rescue mission, she’s perplexed, but she carefully photographs it all the same.

All Grant Wycoff can see when he looks at Ava is a city slicker—with her designer jeans and shiny car—who has no business on a serious team made of seasoned outdoorsmen and retired cops. But when she tells him of her findings on the trail, he sees there’s more to her than meets the eye.

Ava’s discovery reminds Grant of the unsolved case of a young woman who went missing two years ago. As they look into the campsite further, another woman disappears under odd circumstances. With time running out, Ava and Grant must work against the brutal heat from both the Texas sun and their own electric chemistry to solve the case.

Vanishing Hour is an intense and exhilarating story filled with unforgettable characters, intricate plot weaving and intrigue. Laura Griffin is one of my favorite authors; she knows how to make romantic suspenseful stories come alive.

Ava is an attorney, and she is also a search and rescue volunteer. While Ava and her dog help to search for a young woman who is missing, she meets Grant. Grant and Ava have an immediate connection and they share tons of chemistry as they work together to try to find the woman.

I immediately connected with the two main characters, Grant and Ava and I enjoyed all of their interactions. They work tirelessly trying to uncover clues to solve the case they are working on and also try to find time to spend with each other. This spellbinding story kept me on the edge of my seat, and I couldn’t put it down. I highly recommend this one.

*The Decoy Girlfriend by Lillie Vale


*The Decoy Girlfriend by Lillie Vale
Publisher: Penguin Group, Putnam, G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Larkspur

Writer Freya Lal has a huge secret: she’s a dead ringer for It-girl actress Mandi Roy. Her second novel is due in a month, but inspiration is nowhere to be found. Desperate to shake off her writer’s block, Freya leans into her look-alike abilities and indulges in some mistaken identity for simple perks, like scoring a free mimosa or getting into a trendy nightclub.

Actor Taft Bamber appears to have it all: gorgeous, talented, and Mandi’s love interest both on- and off-screen. But what nobody knows is that their relationship is a PR stunt, and after years of playing make-believe, he’s yearning for something real.

When Freya’s latest impersonation of Mandi goes viral thanks to Taft’s accidental interference, rumors of a breakup threaten Hollywood’s golden couple. To make amends, Freya is forced to give Mandi a little time off: she’ll pretend to be the actress for a month, move in with Taft, and squash the rumors by acting completely in love. But as Freya and Taft play house, it becomes impossible to ignore that their instant chemistry isn’t just for the cameras. While faking it, they might have just found the real thing.

Decoy Girlfriend is an intoxicating story about a fake Hollywood romance. The story is engaging and the characters are realistic. Even though the two main characters, Taft and Freya are successful, they are filled with self doubt and insecurities, just like all of us.

Freya has written one successful book but she is having an impossible time trying to write the second one. She resembles Mandi Roy, a famous movie star and people often stop Freya thinking she is Mandi.

Taft is a famous movie star who meets Freya while buying a book for his mother and he is instantly smitten with Freya. I loved all the bantering between Taft and Freya. From the moment they meet, they enjoy needling each other, but behind all the bantering is an instant attraction that they both have a difficult time ignoring.

I enjoyed this upbeat story, it has sparkling dialogue and entertaining characters.