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Review of “Dangerous Currents ” – Kathryn Knight

When a costly mistake ends Malorie Montgomery’s career, she returns to Cape Cod in search of a fresh start. But her plans for a new–and quiet–life are quickly derailed when she makes a grisly discovery in the woods, and her screams bring the one person from her past she’d hoped to avoid. Dean Slater, the ex-boyfriend who broke her heart in high school, now lives in the beachfront community that was supposed to be her haven…and he’s just as hot as he was six years ago. 

With his rough background, Dean always knew he wasn’t good enough for the kind, intelligent beauty who claimed his heart, but somehow he’d believed their love was strong enough to survive anything–until the tragic night she turned her back on him when he needed her trust the most. Despite their painful history, Dean can’t resist the instinct to protect her, especially when it becomes apparent there’s a killer in their town. 

Their former chemistry soon reignites, but Malorie has long accepted that her dark family secret has destined her to a life alone. And when she uncovers evidence that makes her the killer’s target, a deadly confrontation threatens to destroy any possibility of a second chance. 

 

He took a step closer, eliminating the small distance between them. “I wasn’t about to let him hurt you.” He paused, his strained expression revealing an internal struggle. Clenching his jaw, he closed his eyes for a moment. When he opened them, their green depths flashed with something like defiance, and he cursed under his breath. “The thing is,” he finally continued, his tone rough with barely harnessed emotion, “I still feel…protective of you. I want to keep you safe.”

Her lungs stopped working. Alarm bells jangled in a distant part of her mind as he leaned over her. This was dangerous. She was dangerous. Swallowing past the knot in her throat, she forced the words out. “You don’t need to feel that way.”

His hands gripped her shoulders, setting her skin on fire. He lowered his head, bringing his lips inches from hers. “I don’t think I can control it.”

She couldn’t move. She simply didn’t have the willpower—or the desire—to stop this from happening. Every cell in her body was clamoring with need for him; it was a force of its own. All coherent thought fled as the moment stretched out in an agonizing slide toward the inevitable.

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

Dangerous Currents began with the discovery of a young, dead woman. Malorie was only back in Cape Cod for 14 hours when her and her dog, Brady, stumbled upon the gruesome finding. It was a startling encounter and so was the following moment when her ex-love, Dean, came running when he heard her scream. Talk about a bad day.

Dean, the ex who stole Malorie’s heart as a teenager, came to her rescue a few times in this story. He was there for her when it mattered most and she didn’t let him push her away when his world came crashing down around him.

 

For the most part, this story was an okay read. I only wish two things.

  • I wish more time was spent on the psychopath.
  • I wish the psychopath’s identity wasn’t so easy to figure out.

 

Even though much time wasn’t really spent on this mentally ill man, I did appreciate the fact mental illness was addressed in this story.  Mental illness isn’t discussed enough in our society and it should be.

Mal’s mom suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. Mal was concerned she would develop symptoms soon. It’s why she shied away from Dean. She didn’t want to burden him with the illness. She had no intention of having children because she stated there’s a 12% chance a child would develop schizophrenia if a parent is affected with it. These are fears many individuals face on a daily basis. 

Kathryn Knight pointed out another truth about mental illness. People with mental illness want love, to be loved, but they don’t want to sidle people with the negative aspects of their illness.

For addressing this real issue many people battle, I thank you. We need more people talking about mental illness. Everyone deserves a happily ever after like Malorie.

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤

 

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Kathryn Knight spends a great deal of time in her fictional world, where mundane chores don’t exist and daily life involves steamy romance, dangerous secrets, and spooky suspense. Her novels are award-winning #1 Amazon and Barnes & Noble Bestsellers and RomCon Reader-Rated picks. When she’s not reading or writing, Kathryn spends her time catching up on those mundane chores, driving kids around, and teaching fitness classes. She lives on beautiful Cape Cod with her husband, their two sons, and a number of rescued pets. 

 

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Review of “Wedding Tango (Rhythm & Romance Book 3)” – Mariposa Cruz

Print Length: 64 pages

Moira Williams is dismayed when her daughter, Tami, announces her engagement. Sure Jon’s a great guy, but why do they have to get married in Buenos Aires? Though she dreads seeing her ex-husband, Alan, the gorgeous father of the groom has her pulse racing.

Widower Alan Rochester buries his grief with non-stop home improvement projects, but a sexy redhead has captured his attention. He’s eager to show Moira the sights of Buenos Aires from his college days, but is he ready to face the world again?

South of the equator, nothing is as it seems. Can Moira and Alan navigate through their feelings for each other and save their kids’ dream wedding from becoming a nightmare?

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Moira was frustrated by the time Alan reached her in the rotation. Rattled by the distracted dancing husbands and Roarke’s stare, Moira wanted to scream. Finally paired with a smooth dancer and the best-looking lead, she feared being an anxious, clumsy fool. Standing so close to him, she noticed that his eyes had flecks of brown and were framed by long lashes. Those gorgeous hazel eyes gazed at her with concern.

“You okay?” Alan asked.

“I don’t get Tango,” Moira confessed.

He nodded. “Let’s try something else then. For now, concentrate on the rhythm of the music,” he said as he took her into his arms. He waited for the opening strain of the music to pass before he led her around the dance floor.

“Better?” he asked.

“Much better,” Moira replied. Focusing on the music helped. Despite a few missteps, she finally felt as though she was dancing, not stumbling. Alan’s firm, but light, touch made it easy to follow him. The music drew to a close much too soon, and Becca announced the end of the lesson.

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

No matter the location, there’s usually always a hiccup or two when it comes to weddings. Mariposa showed us what could go wrong during the wedding planning process AND how all those unforeseen bumps don’t mean a thing once you exchange I do’s.

There was plenty of drama unfolding in Wedding Tango, but readers also experienced love (old and new) between several characters. 

Sometimes a person just needs a sweet romance story to get through their day or, in this case due to book length, lunch break. 

As much as I enjoyed the wedding hoopla, I must say the La Bibliotecha stayed on my mind long after I finished Wedding Tango… more so than anything else.

The La Bibliotecha is a bookworm’s dream destination. The La Bibliotecha is a hotel where each room is inspired by a different book genre. Now, I don’t know if a hotel like this exists or not. If not, it really needs to be built. I want to go there. I want to keep visiting it until I have vacationed/lived through every genre… twice. Hmm, maybe three times.

Do I recommend this short story? Yes.

Do I highly recommend Mariposa saving up all her royalties and putting it towards building this bookworm’s dream vacation hotspot?

ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY!

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

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Mariposa Cruz balances writing with working as a fulltime corporate paralegal. For her Mariposa Musings blog she has interviewed a variety of real life characters from romance authors to psychics. She works, writes and dances Salsa in Reno, Nevada.

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Review of “In a Flash (Cover Model Book 1)” – Laura M. Baird

Audri’s a photographer’s assistant, and she secretly fantasizes about Carson, the sexy cover model they’re working with. She never expects him to feel the same way. When an impromptu photo shoot puts them in each other’s arms, they’ll learn that life can change in a flash. But with obstacles thrown in their way, like a vengeful ex and pain from the past, can they find a way to break through their barriers in order to win one another’s hearts?

 

 

~~ Excerpt ~~

 

“Audri, same as before,” Jesse called out while fussing with the lighting. “Carson, against the desk, Audri, step up to him.”

Audri turned away from Carson, growing more uncomfortable by the second. “Jesse, is this really necessary? Get Tasha in here to do the job. That’s why she’s here.” She was ready to be done. Truth be told, she was afraid of sweating bullets and embarrassing herself.

Just as she was about to walk away, Carson spoke, causing her to whip her head back around and stare at him.

“C’mon, cupcake, I know you’re ready for this.”

Calling out that nickname would normally piss her off, but his wicked grin and the low rumble of his voice only caused her belly to tumble with delight. As he rested casually against the desk, ankles crossed and hands folded together in front of him, his grin changed into a seductive invitation. He seemed to be daring her, challenging her to indeed step up and finish this session with him. Never one to back down from a challenge, she summoned her courage and gave him a saucy smile.

Fine! I can do this. I’ll show him.

She raked her gaze over his torso where his white dress shirt protested across his impressive chest and wide shoulders, pushing the limits of how far the material could be stretched. Her fingers itched to smooth out the creases, or better yet, undo every last button and free him from the garment. Oh, to have her hands on his glorious skin. She had to clench her fists at her sides as she took a fortifying breath to center herself.

Audri’s gaze ventured back to his eyes as she slowly sauntered toward him, over-emphasizing the sway in her hips. She never broke eye contact and was pleased to see a flash of shock register on his face. What she witnessed next nearly had her tripping in her heals.

Was that desire on his face? Desire? Impossible!

Audri’s pulse raced as she watched his eyes question, almost begging, pleading for her to come to him. He sat up straighter as he uncrossed his legs, planting his feet on the ground while his hands gripped the edge of the desk. Her careful steps led her closer and closer as she tried to push aside the uncertainty of her actions. She wanted him to see she wasn’t intimidated by him—no matter how much she really was intimidated by him.

All else around her faded away as Audri focused on Carson, feeling like David facing off with Goliath. Even with him in his seated position, his imposing form still seemed to tower over her. She tried not to let that bother her in the least as she stepped right up between his legs, bringing her body within inches of his. Still keeping his gaze, she was rewarded with another hint of surprise before his stare smoldered. Audri swore she could feel the heat radiating off his body, and suddenly she didn’t miss her sweater so much.

She boldly reached out to place her hands behind Carson’s head, her nails lightly scraping his neck, wishing she could release the strands of his lush hair from its confines. She could’ve sworn she felt a shudder roll through him as he closed his eyes and released a shaky breath. When he opened his eyes and smiled, sweet and warm, the heat she now felt threatened to melt her into a puddle of goo.

Ever so slowly, as if not to spook her, Carson brought an arm around her waist while his other hand slowly trailed across her outer arm and down her side. His fingers danced tenderly across her exposed flesh, his touch eliciting tiny shivers as it simultaneously fired her up. The arm snuggling her waist felt like a branding iron, leaving its mark of unrelenting fiery heat. Her entire body began to burn as he pulled her impossibly closer, his powerful thighs encasing her hips and the smooth silk of his shirt grazing her exposed cleavage.

As their breaths increased, mingled, Audri was certain she could hear the frantic beat of their hearts pounding in sync. She splayed her fingers around Carson’s neck, kneading his flesh, feeling the tense muscles slowly relaxing beneath her touch. Focusing on the steady caress of his hands on her back, she couldn’t look away from the softness in his eyes.

She licked her lips, suddenly parched, wishing she could steal the moisture from his mouth with a kiss. And when his gaze shifted to her lips then back to her eyes, maybe he thought the same as he mimicked her move, swiping his tongue across his plump lower lip.

Audri disguised her groan with a remark she knew sounded much too needy.

“Are you ready for this?”

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
 
Laura created a great cast of characters, beautiful on the inside and outside. 
 
Audri was a photographer’s assistant by day but, in her free time, she was also a painter. She donated time and money to Seattle Children’s Hospital. She gifted the children there paintings of themselves as their favorite character. It’s a brilliant and sweet gesture that surely raised the spirits of the sick children and their families. Carson, book cover model, volunteered at the Treehouse. It was an organization that helped foster children achieve academic success.
 
Anyone who helps children, any one who pays it forward period, already has a special place in my heart. This book will be memorable for me and for others as well because it was more than just two sexy people finding comfort in each other’s arms.
 
Both In a Flash characters and storyline had substance. Yes, there were some passionate love scenes but there was also suspense and a variety of emotions felt by both genders alike.
 
So many characters to love… I can’t wait to read book 2 because I just know Laura will write another story that will be just as good or even better — especially if more characters pop up covered in tattoos. I just love tattoos. 😉
 
I highly recommend this book!

 

 

Wife, mother, former U. S. Army, and dental hygienist, I can now add published author to the list. I’m slowly transitioning out of hygiene, hoping to make writing a full-time endeavor. After writing for many years, my publishing dreams came true in August of 2017 with the release of my debut contemporary romance, “Keyed Up”. Since then, I’ve had the fortune to work with several publishers, and as of June 4th, my eighth title was released. Hopefully many more are on the way!

I write in a variety of romance subgenres: contemporary, comedy, and erotic, with stories containing suspense and small-town romance in the works. I’m constantly learning, loving the journey, and all the amazing people I’m meeting. A voracious reader myself, I enjoy all romance from contemporary to erotic to paranormal to suspenseful.

I strive to write stories I can be proud of and enjoyed by many; ones that are not only sexy and fun, but thoughtful as well.

I grew up on the East Coast and now reside on the West Coast, having lived in FL, GA, SC, MA, ID, and WA. Hubby and I hope to fill our passports with stamps from Scotland and Fiji, to name a few destinations. In the meantime, we’ll enjoy the beauty of the PNW.

 

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Review of “Ladies Man (Rhythm & Romance Book 2)” – Mariposa Cruz

Print Length: 54 pages

Clark Stevens has always had a way with women, but his teenage daughter despises him. When his daughter comes to live with him fulltime, he enlists co-worker, Julie Wahl, to coach him on parenting skills.
As a single mom and paralegal, Julie, has successfully balanced family, work and swing dancing. After heartbreak on the dance floor, the last thing Julie needs is an office romance. But she can hardly say no to a colleague in need, especially one with dark brown eyes and a killer grin.

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“That’s why I need your help. Right now if Kiley left a note on my desk there’d be a dagger run through it. You have kids Kiley’s age; you understand all this stuff.” Clark waved toward snow-covered Mt. Rose as if it held the key to teens and all their secrets.

Julie shook her head. She sympathized with Clark’s plight, but what could she do? She and the kids had weathered tough times, but she was hardly an expert. “I don’t know, Clark. What works with one kid doesn’t work with another. You might want to consider counseling.” There, let the professionals handle it.

“I’m not asking you to play shrink; just coach me on parenting to help me get Kiley settled.”

Julie hesitated. Clark had been amiable and professional regarding the few deals they’d worked on together. But those situations had been straightforward negotiations headed straight to boilerplate contracts. Unfortunately, there was nothing simple or boilerplate about teenagers or working relationships that became personal.

“Please.” How had his dark brown eyes suddenly become so irresistible?

“I’ll do what I can,” Julie agreed. She told herself she did it for the sake of Clark’s daughter and not his dark-brown eyes and smooth voice.

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

Ladies Man is more than a love story. It touched upon real life scenarios parents face daily: teenagers blooming interest in boys and/or girls, underage drinking, and the aftereffects of divorce. We, parents/caregivers, know raising kids is a hard job. At times, our kids will get mad at us. They will yell, shed tears, and keep secrets. However, they also bring us much joy and laughter. 

Julie and Patrick might’ve argued over their different parenting styles but, in the end, these three teenagers banded together and did what we ask teenagers to do all the time…. TALK IT OUT. 

Anytime a story has real life scenarios in it, readers feel more connected to the storyline and characters. I think many readers will see their own life unfolding along the pages of Ladies Man.

Happy reading. 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤1/2

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Mariposa Cruz balances writing with working as a fulltime corporate paralegal. For her Mariposa Musings blog she has interviewed a variety of real life characters from romance authors to psychics. She works, writes and dances Salsa in Reno, Nevada.    Website Link / Facebook Link

 

 

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Review of “Package Deal (Rhythm & Romance Book 1)” – Mariposa Cruz

Print Length: 78 pages

Widowed attorney, Liz Grant, buries her grief in a deluge of paperwork. On whim she takes a free dance lesson at the club Eclipse where the mojitos are cold and the Salsa is hot. She falls for Salsa’s spicy rhythms and Patrick Cavanaugh’s sexy grin. But can Liz handle the dramatic change of tempo in her well-ordered life? 
Patrick has all the right moves, but struggles to keep his balance as his adult daughter spins out of control. Will their love survive off the dance floor?

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Patrick tucked the white bag at Liz’s feet, then drove up into the hills and parked overlooking an unfinished development. The whole city sparkled beneath them.

“How did you find this place?” Liz leaned against his arm outstretched against the seat.“Just driving around,” he replied. Actually he discovered the overlook during a drive to lull a cranky Bobby to sleep.

“It’s beautiful.” Her green eyes sparkled as if he had personally wrapped the city in lights for her enjoyment. Patrick leaned over and kissed her. For a few brief moments, the night became still. He was aware only of her soft mouth against his, her body crushed against his, until the sharp tapping on the window.

They blinked against the sudden glare of a flashlight and the stern gaze of a Reno police officer.

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

Life doesn’t end with divorce or a spouse’s death. You must find a way to carry on or you’ll lose out on so much more that life has to offer. In Package Deal, readers will be reminded that you must get out there in the world and experience new things. Liz did so when she grudgingly accepted an offer to attend a dance class at the Eclipse. 

Through diaper changes, upset stomachs, outings, and family drama, she realized there’s more to life than eat, sleep, and work. She became more than a businesswoman. She found love (again).

As you read the final moments of Package Deal, I think you’ll agree with me that Mariposa Cruz did not write a solitary love story. Mariposa wrote a charming story about a closed off woman who opened up her heart again and fell in love with a wonderful man and his two adorable grandkids. 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤

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Mariposa Cruz balances writing with working as a fulltime corporate paralegal. For her Mariposa Musings blog she has interviewed a variety of real life characters from romance authors to psychics. She works, writes and dances Salsa in Reno, Nevada.

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