Monthly Archives: September 2016

Claudia and the Lords of Peterborough by Adam Mann (Book Review)


Claudia immediately fell when she met good-looking William, the heir to the Earl of Peterborough, but several months later began to regret her childless marriage. Now widowed, she is forced to review her position and responsibilities, and is just about to move on when William’s younger brother, Benjamin, returns from a medical mission in Central Africa; turning her world upside down. She suddenly finds herself hooked again, but by this time Benjamin has inherited his father’s title, and if she marries him she will become the Countess. Can her heart take the chance on another whirlwind romance? Shire horses, Polo ponies, a Rottweiler puppy, and the Dowager Countess all contribute to make her decision easier.

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
Based off the well-written blurb, I had a vastly different impression of the story I was about to read. Claudia and Ben only shared ONE KISS before she suddenly found herself enthralled with his brother, William. Ten years later, Ben returns home to claim his title of the new Earl and they give a relationship another try. 
For a setup like that, I expected more bumps in the road before marriage and a promise of future babies. Wouldn’t you? But no, there wasn’t any of that. Everyone was on board with their relationship. No hiccups whatsoever that she was once married to his (deceased) brother. 
I find that odd. Another thing I found odd was some of the wording and topics discussed or described. 
1.) “Could you put that inside me?” (referring to his penis)
2.)  The paragraph detailing the process of using a diaphragm. 
3.) Claudia informing Ben he couldn’t kiss her vagina because “There’s spermicide all over it.” That’s not sexy. The image Adam planted in my mind was just ewwwww. *shuddering* 
4.) I didn’t need the image of a “cervix excreting a slimy liquid” either. 
IMHO, I think this book could’ve benefited with more discussion on his time in the Congo and/or maybe the apparent adjustments he must’ve experienced when leaving the Médecins Sans Frontières, otherwise known as Doctors Without Borders. That would’ve captured and held my interest. That’s the story I think readers will crave. 
 Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5
I’ve written twenty four romance books all based in parts of the world where I’ve lived and worked.  As a result four are in sub-Saharan Africa, ten are in South or East Asia, and only seven based in the UK. 
I’ve been married four times, my first wife died, the second divorced me, the third marriage was annulled as that wife had forgotten to get divorced, and thank goodness the fourth wife is fit and well. 
We have between us seven children and five grandchildren.  As a result I think that I know a bit about life and loving.
I’ve lived and worked in Vietnam since 1997, where I live in a provincial city with my wife, and we have constant stream of visitors from the families of our seven adult children. 

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The Guardian: Mended Souls, Book 1 by Jacquie Biggar (Book Review)

HOT NEW adventure romance. Spice up your summer with The Guardian


Can two lost souls stop a madman with the help of a sarcastic angel?

Lucas Carmichael and Scott Anderson had it all, money, fame, and fortune. But one night’s stupid mistake takes everything they thought they cherished and dumps it upside down.
A car accident ends Lucas’ life and leaves Scott injured and bitter.
As the local ME, Tracy York, investigates the case, discrepancies begin to point to more than a simple drunk driving incident.
When threats are made to Tracy’s life can Scott and his guardian angel, Lucas, protect her, or will she become another casualty?


Scott couldn’t believe he’d escaped from a hospital just a few hours before and now here he was, riding in the back of an ambulance. He was pretty sure it wasn’t SOP to transport a canine, even if it was extenuating circumstances. But the moment the paramedics had shown up, his companion had run roughshod over their objections. It was sort of sexy.

Tracy York.

He had a difficult time equating her as a medical examiner. She seemed too… young. Naïve. Cute.

That is until a person got close enough to read the deep green pools of her gaze. They spoke of suffering, those eyes. They made him ache inside. He wanted to hold her. Offer to help, even though his world was a screwed up mess.

Her thigh rubbed against his every time the ambulance changed lanes and was slowly driving him crazy. Every nerve strained closer, waiting for the next teasing friction of silk and jean meshing together and then apart.

The vehicle took a corner and she lost balance, threw out a hand to steady herself, and came dangerously close to finding out exactly what she was doing to him.

Scott grasped her forearm in his good hand and stopped her forward momentum. He froze, their lips a hairsbreadth apart. Her eyes grew large and he felt like the wolf at Red Riding Hood’s door. His heart skidded along his windpipe like it was an Olympic medal winning luge run. How had he thought her merely cute? She was gorgeous, with hair like the finest brandy and skin that rivalled any fairy tale heroine he’d ever read about. He leaned toward her, solely focused on tasting that lush, honey-sweet mouth.

And she frowned at him.

Just like that the noise came rushing back in, the creak of the van, the beep of machines, and the stifled snort of the paramedic who suddenly pretended to act busy. Tracy pulled her arm free. She ignored him to reach out and pet the mutt’s gnarled coat, and move a careful few inches down the bench.

Scott glared at the grinning paramedic and sat back, his head resting against the cool metal wall behind him. He couldn’t honestly remember the last time a woman turned him down. He was disappointed, but there was no denying the fact that the doc intrigued him. If she were anyone else he’d be tempted to pursue the matter. But she held his and Lucas’ reputation in her dainty little hands. He couldn’t afford to alienate her.

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

They say the Lord works in mysterious ways and HE sure did in The Guardian. He partnered up Mike and Lucas who’s paths crossed one unfortunate night. A night filled with pain, heartache and lost lives. 
When Mike visited his family and relived his final moments before the impact, I admit I cried. I pictured myself as Jules, chanting “I love you” to my family because I needed them to know, had to let them know, because the inevitable was about to happen.  Even as I am typing this, I’m tearing up and I am not a huge crier. So before you read chapter 11, grab a tissue. Trust me, you’ll need it. 
For the rest of the story, I didn’t shed one tear. I did raise an eyebrow at a few passages. I’ll share those with you now. 
1.) When Scott took Tracy on a picnic, he brought and drank wine. You’d think a man who was still recovering from an accident, where he lost his best friend and sister, would abstain from any form of alcohol. There was more at play with the accident but I’m not divulging any secrets. Lets just say at this point and time, Scott thought the accident centered around alcohol. Case closed. 
2.) Angels curse? Ok Lucas and Mike are NEW ANGELS so maybe that’s why they didn’t censure themselves. Maybe cursing isn’t going against the heavenly rulebook. 
3.) Without giving out a spoiler, I will say I was shocked when a certain deceased individual could still get hurt/be knocked out. 
Other than those three things, I rather enjoyed this book. I’m pleased to see Jacquie didn’t have the Lord appear only at the start of the book. Those who believe in HIM, hope HE watches out for us, guides us every day, will be delighted the number of times the Lord “appears” and his words of guidance. He was basically Lucas’ conscience, pointing him on the right path which is exactly what I expected of HIM to do.  
I should make note of one more thing, this book does end on a CLIFFHANGER and one I think will have you anticipating book 2. 
Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5
Score: ❤❤❤1/2
Goodreads Link

Jacquie writes Romantic Suspense with tough, alpha males who know what they want, until they’re gob-smacked by heroines who are strong, contemporary women willing to show them that what they really need is love.
She has been blessed with a long, happy marriage and enjoys writing romance novels that end with happy-ever-afters.
Jacquie lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her family and loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. She swears she can’t function without coffee, preferably at the beach with her sweetheart. 🙂

Follow Jacquie’s website below – if you check out her giveaways page you’ll find tons of great prizes every month!

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Wild Goose Chase by Jan Romes (Book Review)

Olivia Pence has been a word-nerd and all-around geek forever, which didn’t exactly win her a ton of friends growing up. It did, however, snag the attention of a like-minded geek, Dezz Casey. Instead of becoming fast friends, Dezz became a competitive thorn. The rivalry continued through grade school, high school, college, and now as co-workers for Brilliance magazine. The most annoying thing – Dezz went from being a homely dork to six-feet-three-inches of hotness that infuriates Olivia to the point of madness. Their boss has had her fill of the chaos and orders a two-week cooling-off period where they’re to travel (separately) and find serendipitous situations to write about. Will the time away fix their work issues and their hearts? Or will it amount to a wild goose chase that drives them farther apart?
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
Olivia and I had so much in common it was hard not to connect with the character. She was a germaphobe, OCD, named her car, writer, and a geek. It was like Jan was writing about me, in my younger years. Even Olivia not realizing Dezz’s flirtatious banter was legit hit a cord with me. 
Dezz, oh sweet Dezz. I can’t believe he waited and pinned for Olivia for 23 years. It took him until the age of 28 for him to finally make a play. Of course, Olivia didn’t believe his flirtiness was real because of their competitive relationship and how they goaded each other, often. 
All it took for her to really see him for HIM was liquor. Not the healthiest way to start a relationship, but I digress. 
Of course, once her eyes were open to the wonderfulness of Dezz, he still didn’t get his lady. Actually, she continued to hurt him, unintentionally.
However, through a mugging, flying underwear, toilet mishap, and much more, they did get their HEA. 
Oh I should note, Jan, even though it wasn’t my phone that landed in the public restroom, I still went and sanitized my hands. TWICE!! 
Even though I loved the humor, I had to give it a 3.5 rating. Why, you may ask?
Two reasons: A.) She’s 28, turned 29 and “intact”. It’s appearing too often in books lately and seemed unrealistic.  B.) In chapter 9, he claimed, “I don’t have sex with women I don’t love.” He wasn’t a virgin so who did he love before and why wasn’t that tidbit touched on before or after their near sexual encounter?  
Besides those two hiccups for me,  it was a fun – flirty – and fabulous read! 
Heart Rating System
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤1/2

Jan Romes is a hopeless romantic who grew up in northwest Ohio with eight zany siblings. Married to her high school sweetheart for more years than seems possible, she is also a proud mom, mother-in-law, and grandmother. She likes to read all genres, writes witty contemporary romance and women’s fiction, enjoys finding new ways to stay fit and gardens even though she doesn’t claim to have a green thumb.


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Secret of the Gargoyles: Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles, Book 3 by Rebecca Chastain (Book Review)

I place the lives of all gargoyles into your hands with what I am about to tell you…

In her brief career as a gargoyle healer, Mika Stillwater has faced some daunting challenges, but none have stumped her—until now. A strange sickness infects a handful of gargoyles in Terra Haven, rendering them comatose and paralyzed. Worse, the cure she seeks is shrouded in the gargoyles’ mysterious culture and the secret they guard with their lives.

Gaining the gargoyles’ trust is only the first step. To save the sick gargoyles, Mika must embark on a perilous mission into the heart of deadly wild magic to a place no human has ever survived…

The captivating conclusion to the Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles trilogy, Secret of the Gargoyles will charm readers of all ages, especially those who love extraordinary magic and endearing gargoyles.

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
Secret of the Gargoyles picks up where Curse of the Gargoyles left off at. Elsa Lansing is in prison but the gargoyles used for her own gains are still comatose. Mika embarks on a journey to save the seven gargoyles who can’t escape the dormancy sickness. With the help of Oliver, Celeste (another gargoyle) and Marcus, they go where no one dares to venture — Reaper’s Ridge. 
There, they battle magical storms, gargoyles, and the power of the baetyle (sacred place of the gargoyles) to restore things as they were before. 
Was the mission a 100% success? Sadly no but in a great story we don’t expect everything to go exactly as planned. What would the fun be in that? We like action, suspense, and —  Holy sh!t,  did you see that?! — moments.  Rebecca most certainly delivers all those in the latest installment in the Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles. 
In Secret of the Gargoyles, will readers finally see a relationship take form between Marcus and Mika? Abso-freaking-lutely and about damn time too!!!
However, now I have to wonder a few things. We met Naomi, the train conductor, at the start of their journey. Her and Marcus seemed to have a connection. They flirted a bit which made Mika jealous. Will we see Naomi again and, if so, will she impact their new budding romance?
Guess only time will tell and I, for one, will be eagerly awaiting where Rebecca’s creative mind takes us next. 
Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5
Score: ❤❤❤❤1/2
Reading Order (click on the titles to be redirected to Amazon):

Rebecca Chastain is the international bestselling author of the Madison Fox, Illuminant Enforcer series and the Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles, among others works. She has found seven four-leaf clovers to date, won a purebred Arabian horse in a drawing, and once tamed a blackbird for a day. Writing stories designed to amuse and entertain has been her passion since she was eleven years old. She lives in Northern California with her wonderful husband and three bossy cats.

Twitter: @Author_Rebecca or


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The Devil’s Own Desperado by Lynda J. Cox (Book Review)



He’s everything she fears… Wounded gunfighter Colt Evans stumbles onto a remote homestead never expecting to find compassion. But beautiful Amelia McCollister is like no other woman. Suddenly, his dream of settling down with a wife and home is within reach–but only if his past never comes gunning for him. She’s everything he dreams of… Amelia had to grow up fast after outlaws murdered her parents, leaving her to raise her siblings alone. With a young brother who idolizes shootists, she dreads having a notorious gunman in her home. But as Colt slowly recovers, he reveals a caring nature under his tough exterior that Amelia can’t resist. Just when Colt starts to believe he can leave the gunfighter life behind, his past returns, bringing danger to them all. Can a shootist ever hang up his hardware? Or will their dreams disappear in the smoke of a desperado’s gun?

Amazon Print Link / Kindle Link

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

No matter if it’s 2016 or 1887, you never can escape your past. Some how, some way, it will rear its ugly head. In Colt Evan’s case, his past brought danger in the regards to gun-toting men looking to settle a score.

As you can imagine, with any good historical tale, there instances where men drew guns. One at a card game (beginning of the book) and another towards the end of the book (where past meets present). In both instances, Colt survived both battles. Sure, he might’ve sustained some damage but I didn’t really expect him to come away unscathed. You wouldn’t either, right?

Even though this book some tension filled sections, the rest of the story was mostly filled with tender moments. Amelia and Colt’s stolen kisses and lovemaking could only be described as sweet.

Jenny, Amelia’s sister, was so dang cute. I loved it when she smiled and, as a parent, it tugged on my heart to see her afraid. There was one scene, with her, that reminded me of an unforgettable moment in The Patriot (2000). I’m speaking of tear-jerker involving Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) and his daughter, Susan (Skye McCole Bartusiak). For those who’ve seen the hit movie, I think you know which scene I’m thinking about and can get a rough idea where I’m heading with my vague remarks regarding Jenny. 

As for Saul, you can tell he’s going to grow up to be a fine gentlemen because he’s already a sweet young man. 

Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5
Score: ❤❤❤❤

Lynda J. Cox will tell anyone who will listen that she was born at least one hundred and fifty years too late, and most definitely in the wrong part of the country. Her heart has always belonged to cowboys, the wide open spaces, horses, and Lassie. She grew up on a steady diet of cowboy movies, syndicated Westerns, and Lassie.

All of those influences play a role in her life now. She writes western historical romance and raises and shows collies. She holds a master’s degree in English with a concentration in creative writing from Indiana State University after earning her BA from the same university as a non-traditional student. (Think being old enough to be mom to 90% of the students in her freshman cadre.)

She’s kept busy with two spoiled rotten house cats, a 30 plus year old Arabian gelding who has been nicknamed “Lazarus” for his ability in the later years of his life to escape death, and quite a few champion collies.

When she isn’t writing, she can be found on the road, travelling to the next dog show. She loves to chat about books, the writing life, and the insanity which is called a “dog show” and can be reached through her Facebook page at Lynda J. Cox. (


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