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A Seal's Mission by Rachel Kall

A Seal's Mission (Love & Scandal 2)
By: Rachel Kall
Publisher: NYLA Publishing
Published: July 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
Length: Novel
Heat Level: Sensual
Reviewer: Marchelle
Date: August 18, 2014

 

When renowned journalist Rowena Murphy uncovers the biggest story of her career, she was prepared to take some risks. But when she learns that more than her life is at stake, she doesn't know who to turn to...

After Navy SEAL Scott Ranger rescued investigative reporter Rowena Murphy in Afghanistan, he thought his mission was complete. But it’s six months later, and he still can't get her out of his head. The game changes when her life is threatened once again...

As they start to uncover just how deep the conspiracy runs in Washington and abroad, Scott vows to keep Rowena and her sources safe--even if that means temporarily dropping the story. But for Rowena putting her investigation on hold isn't an option.

Loyalties are tested and passions ignite as Rowena and Scott race to complete A SEAL's MISSION.



Scott Ranger gets his first glimpse of Rowena Murphy when he and his fellow Navy Seals lead a mission to rescue her from kidnappers in Afghanistan. They don't see each other again until several months later when Scott finds out Rowena is trying to find him and shows up at her door. She opens up to him and tells him about a story she is working on that has political implications and he is unsure if he believes her - until Senators involved in the story start dying suddenly. He vows to protect her with his life until they get to the bottom of it.

Not having read the first book in this series, I was pleasantly surprised to find this book truly stands alone. There was no unfinished business from the first book that needed to be wrapped up and the characters that reappeared here were given a brief background that didn't really affect this story but did make me curious enough to make me want to read the first book.

This was a really good story. There was an unexpected twist at the end that made this unlike any other suspense story I've read. Just when I thought I had it figured out, I was pleasantly surprised to find there was more to the story. The suspicion on Scott's colleagues kept me on the edge wondering if and/or when they would be betrayed. It was nerve wracking to not know who they could trust at any given time and if they were doing the right thing.

I particularly enjoyed the fact that the focus was not on the sexual relationship between Scott and Rowena. There was a great deal of questioning "would they?" or "wouldn't they?" but it didn't take the focus away from the plot. It was kept in the background and it really drove home the seriousness of what they were facing. I think it takes away from the suspense when the characters are more worried about their feelings for each other, than the fact that someone is trying to kill them. The author didn't do that here, she kept the focus on the situation they were in and it helped to keep my interest in the story. It seemed more realistic that way.

I definitely plan to read the first book in the series and I hope the next book will give us Med's story.


Shadowed Desires by Kali Willows

Shadowed Desires
By: Kali Willows
Publisher: Decadent Publishing Company
Published: July 24, 2012
Genre: Contemporary, Anthology, Erotic Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Content: M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Oral Sex
Length: Short Story, Novel
Heat Level: Spicy, Scorching
Reviewer: Toni
Date: August 15, 2014

 

What could a vampire, ghost, witch, dragons and a castle in Spain possibly have in common? The mystical match making services of Madame Evangeline, for the romantically impaired!

Kali Willows shadows worlds of passion and intrigue in five erotic tales that are filled with toe curling desire, surprising twists, danger, and infused with a little humor that will leave you laughing, crying and clenching the book in anticipation. 1Night Stand is the hottest, fastest growing short series getting rave reviews.


Five yummy tidbits from the 1Night Stand Series. Kali Willows has written some fun and sexy short stories and Decadent has compiled a great mix for this anthology.

Double Dragon Seduction – 3 Hearts

This story involves a ménage. Gwen is trying to emerge from a turbulent past and the two brothers, Tatsu and Yong Li are just trying to survive their heritage.

Double Dragon Seduction was a very hot read, but it lacked the magic that tips it over the edge from a good average read to an amazing one. While their destinies were intermingled, I didn’t feel a strong connection. I will say that I would love to know what happens to the trio though. Please tell me there is more!

Damnation & Desire – 3
 Hearts

Damnation & Desire kinda gave me the willies. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I think it was the mix of the couple. Tessa is a Wiccan and Samson is a clergyman. I couldn’t get past the combination. I know pastor’s don’t have the limitations a priest does, but a religious figure having sex with what history considers a witch and then place the event in Salem…*shivers*.

I enjoyed the story as a whole, but their beliefs and positions really put a damper on me being able to commit myself completely to the plot. I also didn’t feel this couple going further past their one night stand and I think that is one of the greatest features of the !NS series; you knew they had a long fulfilling future together.

Designing Passion - 4
 Hearts

Designing Passion brought back my faith in Ms. Willows. I have high expectations from the 1NS series and she delivered.

I could almost taste Tawny’s pain and Wyatt’s lack of enthusiasm. She pulled me into their lives and then smacked me over the head. There was so much going for this story that I wanted it continue on, beyond their one night. Mystery, white hot passion and then fulfillment; now we are talking!

Terminal Lust - 4 
 Hearts

Terminal Lust could have been a full-fledged novel. The depth in which Ms. Willows could have taken this storyline could have been phenomenal. As a short story…it still rocked!

Madam Eve whirled her magic around these two lovers and it was great. Ambrosia was dying and Desmond wanted to die. Who would have thought that bringing together such dismal futures together would ignite the pages? We had the sadness of the couple, the pain of loss, and then the joy of reunion. While there was a spot towards the end that was rushed, Terminal Lust still read wonderfully.

Savannah’s Ghost Tale - 4 
 Hearts

I adored Cameron. I wanted to grab him and hug him. He was the star of Savannah’s Ghost for me. Savannah grated on me a bit, especially about being so stubborn. She had her reasons, but for a short story, it lasted too long and then resolved too quickly.

So why did I like it then? Well the storyline did it for me. Savannah was able to heal, Cameron was able to finally find acceptance and the lingering ghost was able to move on. Savannah’s Ghost Tale was a great little read that made me smile, blush and rejoice!

Loves Magic by Killarney Sheffield

Loves Magic
By: Killarney Sheffield
Publisher: Breathless Books
Published: February 26, 2014
Genre: Historical, Romance
Length: Novel
Heat Level: Sweet
Reviewer: Christie
Date: August 26, 2014

 

A female magician, a not so innocent black rabbit, a treasure map, a duke firm in his convictions, a band of pirates, and romance equals mayhem in the making!

Celeste Summers is a self-reliant vegetarian magician, and her sidekick is a mischievous black rabbit named Dexter. It’s the kind of mixture that can get you burned at the stake in 1820.

All Lord Devlin Rutland wants is to see Celeste taken care of as his father instructed, but wedding a girl who may not be dealing a full deck of cards is not easy.

Celeste sees opportunity to foil his plans when she comes across a map to a pirate’s treasure, but Devlin is after the same booty. Foolishly, she bargains with a stranger, finds herself double-crossed, at the mercy of pirates, and in need of Devlin's aid.

Devlin comes to the rescue, but he has an ethical dilemma. He can ensure that Celeste honors her betrothal to him, or set her free with the treasure and his heart. His only other choice is to persuade her that Love’s Magic is enough to bind them together.


Love’s Magic has Pirates, a young miss needing to be rescued. A treasure needing to be found. The high seas. A Duke coming to the rescue.

This book should have something for every reader. Unfortunately, it left me scratching my head and leaving me wanting so much more. Sheffield wrote an unidentifiable heroine who left very little to like. However, she wrote a hero whom the reader can’t help but fall for, Devlin is a heartthrob and certainly didn't deserve all the heartache Celeste put him through.

The book takes you from England to Brazil, and the mechanisms of Celeste’s were just unbelievable to this reader. And therefore turned me off the whole book.


I really wanted to like this book, but Celeste just irritated me and I think Devlin deserved so much more.

The ending has what I like to call a whiplash ending, you know it’s coming and then it’s there and the reader is like what happened? You look around and put the book down and sigh. Unsatisfied and just…whiplash ending. Abrupt and unsatisfying.


Not quite my cup of tea.  Others may enjoy it, but it was not for me.

Men of Calder County by Various Authors

Men of Calder County
By: Regina Carlysle, Ann Jacobs, Samantha Cayto, Ciana Stone, Lynn LaFleur, Lacey Thorn, Kristin Daniels, Heather Long, Tilly Greene, Ruth D. Kerce, Fran Lee, Gayle Donnelly, Robyn Mackenzie
Publisher: Men of the West Authors
Published: September 15, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Action/Adventure, Anthology, Erotic Romance, Romance
Content: M/F, Spanking, Bondage, Anal Play, Anal Sex, Oral Sex, Toys
Length: Novella
Heat Level: Spicy & Scorching
Reviewer: Toni
Date: September 2, 2014

 

Untamed. Unleashed. Unforgettable.

13 titillating tales of love as hot as a Texas summer. Novellas about love and lust, loss and discovery with adventure, action, danger and heart-touching romance that are unforgettable.



The stories in the Men of Calder County box set are about second chances; either with a lost love, a second chance of life or both. Each is very gratifying and they are all extremely unique and fresh. They are amazingly fulfilling, considering their length. Each author penned beautiful stories that can be read quickly and easily enjoyed.

The stories are filled to the brim with tales of heartbreak, pain, recovery, love, and passion. The amount of emotion that is written between the covers is astounding. My heart felt every emotion known. I cried at the loss of loved ones and from the raw emotions of the characters. I was angry at injustices, misunderstandings and the inhuman actions of others. I rejoiced when families found their way back home, when second chances were revealed and seized upon, and when the villains received their smack downs. I also laughed, sighed, swooned, and cheered. It’s amazing that one county in Texas can be so diverse, beautiful and heartwarming.

What a great assortment of cowboy stories. The authors did a phenomenal job with this collection and the storytelling was exceptional. Congratulations to all the authors on a great reading experience. I will be thinking of these amazing men for a long time.

Mac – Regina Carlysle – 5 Hearts


Ms. Carlysle made me cry. Mac and Callie were separated by distance, and the death of Callie’s sister, Emma, sadly brings them back together.

Mac is a very heartbreaking emotional story, but it is still filled with love and reunion. It’s not just Emma’s death that got to my heart, but the whole story. Mac was a total gem, but now that I think about it, I wonder why he never manned up and took what he wanted…Callie.

I’m glad they finally found their happy ending. Amazing story Ms. Carlysle!

Rand – Ann Jacobs – 4 Hearts

Two lovers torn apart by circumstance and their parents; neither knowing the whys of the situation, finally come back together after tragedy strikes. Can they rekindle what they once had?

YES. These two never slowed down once they reconnected. They knew the spark was not gone and thank goodness they didn’t mess around and got right to it.

I enjoyed the small mystery, but I will say the “disaster” was what I expected to be, but with a slight twist. I’m also glad that the involved parties were not who the fingers pointed to. This gave the story the ability to play out nicely and I see a happy future for these two. Rand is such a lovely story of true love, Ms. Jacobs. Well done.

Now tell me more about Tricia & her ex-husband. I can still feel a story there.

Brody - Samantha Cayto – 4.5 Hearts

This is a very nice story of an older couple, with established lives, secrets and pasts.

Heather is in desperate need for a fresh start. Recently widowed and with her teenage son, she leaves Boston for Texas. Two totally different worlds, but she needs to get away from her past and to make a new future.

Brody is divorced and really didn’t think about anything beyond ranch life. But from the moment he meets Heather, he knows she is going to change his life forever.

Two lives brought together as one. Each bringing a bit of history and when they make their own future, they know how to honor the past.

What a wonderful story of second chances with love. They both had lackluster past relationships, but their future is so bright. I really enjoyed this amazing story of new love for an older couple.

Zeb – Ciana Stone – 5 Hearts

Oh sweet young love. Willa had it bad for her brother’s friend Zeb, but he left without looking back. Now he is a Ranger, returning to a place he never wanted to return to…home. One look at Willa and things deep in him start to stir.

Before they can have their happy ending they have to deal with Zeb’s past, ex in-laws, drug runners, and the unthinkable. Will Zeb ever be Willa’s ever after?

HOLY COW! While the relationship was fast and the I love you’s seemed even faster, this was one hell of a story. I can honestly say that I did not expect Zeb to hit so hard, fast and thoroughly.

I can’t remember ever reading a short story/novella that had so much story and action. Zeb was very gripping and extremely well written. I’m completely floored. This is one amazing compact little story.

David – Lynn LaFleur – 4 Hearts

What a nice change of pace. Even though we expect cowboys, cowboys, cowboys, Ms. LaFleur throws us for a loop and delivers a different kind of cowboy. David is actor returning home to Texas to film a motion picture. Kristina is a music star hoping to get her big break in movies.

While the mystery was weak for me, I loved the two main characters interaction. Great chemistry and I truly loved the change of pace. It was perfect timing and a welcome break. Ms. LaFleur did a fantastic job breathing a breath of fresh air into this box set. Loved it!!

Rayne – Lacey Thorn – 4 Hearts

Ever believe in love/lust at first sight. Well Rayne and Darcy have each been told that when the right one came along they would know. With Rayne’s laid back ways and Darcy’s love to travel these two have lots to deal with, but after reading their story, my heart knows, that fate and destiny have looked upon these two.

Rayne is a whirlwind story of their time together, but when something is right you just have to go with it, and did they ever.

Wade – Kristin Daniels – 5 Hearts

When I first read the blurb, my first thought was “WOW, those are some mighty big boots to fill”.

Well Ms. Daniels blew it outta the water. This little story was filled to the brim and flowed over. She got it all in and it’s one sweet package. This story had it all, action, adventure, romance and passion. Extremely well done!

Valentine – Heather Long – 4.5 Hearts

Valentine has been wrong by the people who meant the most to him. When things looked their worst he also shoved the one woman away that would have always been there for him. Now he is home to take care of his ailing mother, he is once again face to face with the woman that used to be his world.

Becky only loved one man and he is the biggest ass in Calder County. After his time away, not much has changed other than the size of the chip on his shoulder. Well Becky has a job to do and she is not going to allow Valentine to get in the way. Too bad her heart has a mind of its own.

All I have to say is the Becky is a bigger woman than I am. Valentine would have hit the curb a long time ago. What we have here is a great second chance at love story. Well most of the stories so far have been, but this one is a HUGE second chance.

Ms. Long has written a fantastic story with little gems of discovery along the way. In the end, Valentine received his second chance and he proved he was a man worth the time and effort.

Jack – Tilly Greene – 4 Hearts

Jack is another fun twist to the cowboy story. This story revolves around a retired baseball player and a second generation Russian. Throw in a loan shark asking for alternate payments and you get a bit of good old boy Calder County country payback. Really fun times!

Good story, but I needed to know more about why Jack felt the way he did. That nagging in my mind was distracting, but all in all this is a very good story. Rina is a wonderful woman. Her heart is full of family, friends and love. There were times I wish she would have made Jack work a bit more, but as a whole I really enjoyed this story.

I do hope Ms. Greene writes about Sean and Cindy’s romance I’m very intrigued and want more of their past, present and future.

Falcon – Ruth D. Kerce – 4 Hearts

Falcon’s story added a bit of fun. Izzy never left his mind, but when he returned to Bounty, he didn’t expect her to still be there and for his feelings to still be strong.

Izzy stayed in Bounty for her parents and now she stays for her farm. She loves the place and everything it stands for. Life was sweet until the new Sheriff comes to town. Too bad Falcon is all she can think of.

Two people who gave up on their relationship are now having to reevaluate their present and future. Danger is all around them, but is it Izzy and her crazy ways or something more sinister.

I loved Izzy’s quirkiness and Falcon’s weak attempt at trying to avoid her. Ms. Kerce threw in a little mischief and mayhem to spice this up and the twist she threw in – I never seen it coming. Great job Ms. Kerce!

Flint – Fran Lee – 5 Hearts

Flint is a man dedicated to his ranch and Lily is a woman with nowhere to go. Thrown together by a rash decision, Flint sees a woman in need of protection and Lily only wants to get out of the state and away from the horrors of her life.

Flint is a wonderful man, plain and simple. He takes care of what he possesses and he wants Lily. There is something about her. All Lily sees in her future is fear. One glimpse at what Flint has to offer and she is torn. She knows he is a dream come true, but she doesn’t want to drag him into her nightmare.

There is no way that was not a novel. It had it all. I loved every word about Flint and Lily. The story had depth, romance, hot sex, and action. Very well rounded and extremely fulfilling. AMAZING!!

Mason – Gayle Donnelly – 4.5 Hearts

Mason is a story about beating round the bush. Momma plays matchmaker on the sly, so does Grandpa, not to mention Mason trying to hide from the present and Melanie is still living deeply in the past. It takes something potentially big to open up Melanie’s eyes, but when she finally does she will hold on for dear life.

I really enjoyed Mason and what a fun teen and an even better man. Melanie has issues, but she earned every single one of them. Meddlesome relatives have never been cuter. Mason is a great story and I can’t remember smiling so much. The story was absolutely delightful, but the epilogue was the icing on the cake. I’m so very happy Ms. Donnelly gave a peek at their future.

Chase – Robyn Mackenzie – 4 Hearts

Yeah! There have been several couples in this box set that I wished had their tales told. I’m so very happy that Ms. Mackenzie did just that with Chase.

Chase and his brother Conner were mentioned in Mason’s story. Even though there wasn’t a budding romance mentioned, I loved how Ms. Mackenzie incorporated their stories and introduced Melanie’s best friend Shay.

I so enjoyed their story. I loved how Conner was sneaky and mischievous with their reunion. He was darn cute. I also enjoyed how the sparks flew off the page and Chase didn’t mess around and went after his girl.

While the story was fun to read, I felt heartbroken about all the time they lost. While the timing may not have been right, the years they wasted was painful to read about. It would have been fun to have Chase have to work a little harder at repairing what they lost, but all in all it was a great story.

I do have one question. What was in the second letter?

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