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The Masterful Mr. Montague by Stephanie Laurens

The Masterful Mr. Montague: A Casebook of Barnaby Adair Novel
By: Stephanie Laurens
Publisher: Avon
Published: April 29, 2014
Genre: Historical, Action/Adventure, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Suspense
Length: Novel
Heat Level: Spicy
Reviewer: Suki
Date: January 24, 2015

 

Montague has devoted his life to managing the wealth of London's elite, but at a huge cost: a family of his own. Then the enticing Miss Violet Matcham seeks his help, and in the puzzle she presents him, he finds an intriguing new challenge professionally ... and personally.

Violet, devoted lady-companion to the aging Lady Halstead, turns to Montague to reassure her ladyship that her affairs are in order. But the famous Montague is not at all what she'd expected - this man is compelling, decisive, supportive, and strong - everything Violet needs in a champion, a position to which Montague rapidly lays claim.

But then Lady Halstead is murdered and Violet and Montague, aided by Barnaby Adair, Inspector Stokes, Penelope, and Griselda, race to expose a cunning and cold-blooded killer.who stalks closer and closer. Will Montague and Violet learn the shocking truth too late to seize their chance at enduring love?


First I want to say I am a huge Stephanie Laurens fan. Fell in love with the Cynsters years ago. That said, this is not your typical SL book. When I first started reading it I was confused, where was the love story with Montague and Violet? Wait, why are we in the bedroom of the other two characters, and in their head. None of this fit the usual style. If you have read SL’s books you have seen Penelope in a few other books and her story with Adair has already been told in the previous book, Where the Heart Leads, and although I love to catch up with past characters, I do not need to be in their bedroom again. We have seen it and been there; we know their love story...I digress. I was confused enough to finally go to Ms. Laurens website where it states The Masterful Mr. Montague is a mystery with romantic elements. AHHHHHH well that's a horse of a different color isn’t it. So now that I am not expecting the typical SL romance I can get down to the mystery. And this is a mystery, in fact it's one of many and it appears that they will now include this whole group solving them.

I have to say I didn’t guess who did it although there were times when I suspected. The story is good and I actually skimmed over the love scenes when they came (see above for why). My biggest complaint about the book is that the love story is shoved into the last few pages of the book and it is not given the time and the space these two characters deserve. I enjoyed these two very much and want to know more about them. Although I love the book, because the publisher is selling it as a romance I can't give it a 5, but because SL does explain on her website that it's a mystery with romantic themes it redeems the book back to a 4.


Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts

Whiskey Beach
By: Nora Roberts
Publisher: Berkley
Published: April 16, 2013
Genre: Contemporary, Action/Adventure, Mystery, Romance, Suspense, Thriller
Length: Novel
Heat Level: Spicy
Reviewer: Suki
Date: January 24, 2015

 

For more than three hundred years, Bluff House has sat above Whiskey Beach, guarding its shore - and its secrets.

To summer tourists, it's the crown jewel of the town's stunning scenery. To the residents of Whiskey Beach, it's landmark and legend. To Eli Landon, it's home...

A Boston lawyer, Eli has weathered an intense year of public scrutiny and police investigation after being accused of murdering his soon-to-be ex-wife. And though there was never enough evidence to have him arrested, his reputation is in tatters as well as his soul. He need sanctuary. He needs Bluff House.

While Eli's beloved grandmother is in Boston, recuperating from a nasty fall, Abra Walsh has card for Bluff House, among her other jobs as yoga instructor, jewelry maker, and massage therapist. She is a woman with an open heart and a wide embrace, and no one is safe from her special, some would say over-bearing, brand of nurturing - including Eli.

He begins to count on Abra for far more than her cooking, cleaning, and massage skills, and starts to feel less like a victim - and more like the kind of man who can finally solve the murder of his wife and clear his name. But Bluff House's many mysteries are a siren song to someone intent on destroying Eli and reaping the rewards. He and Abra will become entangled in a centuries-old net of rumors and half-truths that could pull them under the thunderous waters of Whiskey Beach...

Passion and obsession, humor and heart flow together in a novel about two people opening themselves up to the truth - and to each other.


Whiskey beach starts in a way that had me checking that I didn’t miss a book before, perhaps a sister or family member of the Hero because when we start the story so much has already happened. Eli, who not an Alpha male I adored, has spent the last year in a state of depression because he is the main suspect in his wife's murder. So I think we were supposed to feel invested in him in the beginning. He has returned to the family estate after a long absence to feel and take care of the place for his Gran, Hester who I also adore.

In walked our heroine, Abra. Note I did not state I adore her. Because to be honest I had a hard time liking Abra. Abra who does a little bit of everything to perfection, who (Spoiler alert) seems to only carry around a ‘small carryon bag” of baggage from a past of tragedy. So even healing, she does perfectly. She, as Eli also wonders in the book, must own stock in little post it notes, which she posts like a mother all over the house and they drove us both crazy. She came off as meddling, holier than thou, and mothering. Not what I personally want from my heroines. I just couldn’t relate to her.

This is one of NR’s Romantic Suspenses and I pretty much figured out who killed his wife in the first few chapters. Who threw his Gran down the stairs took a bit more. That didn’t change the fact that I enjoyed the mystery part of the story. Though I would have liked to see the reactions to his innocence and some comeuppance from those who hounded Eli… I am speaking to you Officer Wolf.

Let me say that if you are a Nora Roberts fan, this one has all the things you love in a Nora book but I believe you will find much of the story, you have seen before in other books. Perhaps it is a case of kicking out too many books too fast, I don’t know. Overall I enjoyed it and don’t regret picking it up. To me if you are looking for a good NR Romantic Suspense try Carnal Innocence.


Need You Now (Martha’s Way Book #2) by Mika Jolie

Need You Now (Martha’s Way Book #2)
By: Mika Jolie
Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing
Published: November 19, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Content: M/F, Oral Sex, Toys
Length: Novel
Heat Level: Spicy
Reviewer: Marchelle
Date: December 30, 2014

 

Elementary school teacher Liliana Serrano has never been one to let others determine her future. Whether it’s her pack of three overly protective brothers or her Puerto-Rican, American heritage, she stands on her own. Which is exactly how she entered her arrangement with Adam Aquilani. The hot formula one driver is aloof, detached and not interested in relationship. After a cheating fiancé, no strings attached sex was just what she needed.

Except one year later, they’re still hooking up and things aren't so clear cut anymore. Especially when a surprise pregnancy enters the picture.
Adam is determined to marry Lily and raise their child as a family. But Lily refuses to settle for anything less than love. 

As the two go on a journey of discovering, secrets are revealed, testing the strength of their connection. 

Can they learn not to give the past the power to define their future?
Need You Now is book two of the Martha’s Way Series.


Liliana “Lily” Serrano is a second grade teacher from a close knit, traditional, Puerto Rican family. She has loving parents and three overprotective brothers who treat her as if she was still a little girl. She meets Adam Aquilani, the hot Formula One, Italian race car driver, in Book 1 of this series after discovering her fiancé has been cheating on her and breaking up with him. Adam lives life on the edge; everything he does comes with a side of danger. She is heartbroken and shattered and seeking solace. She finds it in Adam’s arms. He becomes her rebound guy and they agree to a sexual relationship with no commitment. They will not sleep with other people but either one can break it off at any time and most importantly, neither one will fall in love.

Book 2 begins over a year later, when they find themselves still enjoying each other’s company but Lily fears she has developed feelings for Adam that he does not return. Unfortunately, she also realizes she knows very little about his life and him as a person. She finds that there are some dark secrets in his past that he is unwilling to share. When she finds herself pregnant, she is afraid of his reaction. He insists on nothing less than marriage but Lily refuses to marry for anything less than true love. And she certainly won’t marry anyone who will not share every aspect of his life with her.


I thought Adam’s story was original. His fear of commitment and refusal to face his past, made him believable and sympathetic. On the surface, he’s a guy who seems to have it all. Meanwhile, he has dreams that cause him to wake up in a panic and refuse to allow him to go back to sleep, he has unhealthy ideas about taking medication and he’s being stalked by a reporter who will go to any lengths to get the story of Adam’s childhood.


Lily is such a likeable character. She’s strong and determined. She knows what she wants and she makes no apologies for it. She makes the hard choices to do what’s right for herself as well as her baby. Even though she loves Adam, she refuses to settle for anything less than everything she deserves. She walks away from him but lets him know that she will never keep him from his child.
I look forward to reading more in this series. I hope Claire’s story will be coming soon. I’m also eagerly anticipating a book for each of her hot, overprotective, alpha brothers.



Check out the review for the first in the series:


Impulse by E.B. Walters

Impulse
By: E.B. Walters
Publisher: Firetrail Publishing
Published: January 30, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: Novel
Heat Level: Spicy
Reviewer: Toni
Date: January 23, 2015

 

He has tradition ingrained in him…
She lives for the moment…
Will they find a common ground?


Lex Fitzgerald is not your average billionaire. He leads a double life as the conscientious head of his family and the pleasure-seeking rogue who parties hard and pushes the limits in and out of the bedroom. His two worlds are about to collide because of one woman, Jillian Finnegan.

Lex needs a secret weapon to defeat a competitor and finds it in Jillian Finnegan. He has no intention of letting her potty mouth, her crazy lifestyle, or her eccentric family get in his way. So when he makes her an offer, he expects her to accept. However, sparks start to fly when Jillian gives him a counteroffer and dares him to refuse. Has Lex finally met his match?

Let the seduction begin.


Lex Fitzgerald has been the leader of his family for ages. He made a promise to settle his siblings and cousins and now it’s his turn to find romance. He just didn’t expect to find love in a stuntwoman.

Lex is a man with two faces. One is the family man who is the foundation of his very close knit family and the other is a secret face that most of his family doesn’t know. He is a thrill seeking adventurer who takes life by the horns.

For the last seven years he has made sure his family is secure and well loved. He is currently finalizing his last member’s security with a business deal that unfortunately has a few snags. He needs to be a married man for a conservative foreign company to even talk to him. That is not going to stop this man of action. He has his list of potential women and is checking it twice. One look at a ridiculous woman who likes his bike more than the man, makes Lex throw that list right out the window. He has found his woman, but now he needs to convince her to be his wife for the next year.

Jillian Finnegan is a woman who misses her family. They used to be unstoppable and now she has a chance to rejoin the entertainment group, The Fearless Finnegan’s. The problem is convincing her overprotective father that she is ready to rejoin the troupe. She thinks she can get past his walls, but then overhears another problem. Now she needs money and needs it quick. Thank goodness the tall drink of water she met earlier needs her services. Now how to convince him that he should hire her for thousands of dollars a day…Piece of cake!

This is the final book in the Fitzgerald series. The series focused on members of Lex’s family finding love and security. He helps along the way and I was sad to know he was the last of this special group, but Ms. Walters did something amazing; Lex’s story will be the beginning of a new series with Lex being the end of the Fitzgerald’s and the beginning of the Infinitus Billionaire series. Can I get a HELL YES!!

I’ve wanted Lex’s book since the beginning, but had to wait years for it and it was well worth it. Jillian is spunky and fun and I love that she doesn’t’ take any of his crap. They are a perfect pair. I wasn’t sure how a stuntwoman would fit into Lex’s life, but Jillian fits like a glove. To make things even better, Ms. Walters is making Lex’s story into two books. YES, TWO BOOKS. He is has such a great story to tell that it is taking extra long and I can’t be more excited!!

Impulse has family drama, a touch of mystery, sizzling chemistry between two very likeable characters and the introduction of a group of men that will make your heart pound and your wildest dreams ignite. Ms. Walters did a wonderful job bridging these two series and while I’ll miss the family feeling of the Fitzgerald’s, I’m ready for a new sort of family. A family of men that always has each other backs, know how to play hard and have a loyalty to their group that is amazing.

Pick up this book! Especially since it's only 99 cents! It’s so much fun to read about the great and powerful Lex being brought down to his knees. Impulse has moments of laughter, shock and imaginative sex scenes that make you wish you were in Jilly’s shoes or at least Lex’s bed. This is a great beginning to what I expect to be another outstanding series by this very talented author.

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