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The Rancher by Hildie McQueen

The Rancher
By: Hildie McQueen
Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing
Published: July 15, 2014
Genre: Historical, Erotic Romance
Content: M/F
Length: Novella
Heat Level: Scorching
Reviewer: Marchelle
Date: September 28, 2014


Grant Gentry and his brother are attacked on their way back from a cattle drive. Left for dead, he manages to get to the road and is picked up by a traveling salesman. He wakes up a few miles from home being cared for by two elderly sisters and a young woman they've taken in. His goal becomes to get better and find his brother; this is not the time to find love.

Julia Cutler's life has been anything but easy. After a disastrous marriage to a ruthless man, she settles into a comfortable life helping out the Sullivan sisters in exchange for room and board. When sparks fly between her and the man she's grown to care for, she allows nature to take it's course not planning for anything past the moment.

When the man that attacked Grant turns out to be Julia's husband, who's come to claim her things are about to get complicated.

Grant Gentry is a rancher who wakes up, beaten and bruised, in the home of the Sullivan sisters and their "niece", Julia. They have been caring for him since he and his men were attacked and robbed returning home from a cattle drive. His men were all killed, his younger brother is missing and he was left for dead. He can't remember what happened or the faces of the men who attacked them, but in his dreams he relives the horror of that night as well as the dinstinct, raspy voice of one of their attackers.

Julia is a woman on the run from an abusive relationship. She finds safety in the home of the Sullivan sisters and is helping to care for Grant until he recovers enough to return to his ranch. She is constantly on the lookout for the man she ran away from and is ready to flee at a moment's notice. Grant finds himself wanting to court Julia but she is reluctant to become involved with him. He pursues her relentlessly until she agrees to allow him to court her but still will not agree to marriage.

One of the things I really enjoyed about this story is that Julia and Grant did not hold back the passion they had for each other. Sometimes, with historical pieces, the lead characters cannot give in to their passion because the woman would be considered "spoiled" and lose her place in society. That wasn't the case with Grant and Julia. Neither was worried about what people would say, although they were careful not to flaunt their affair in front of others. I also really liked that Grant quickly realized that Julia was hiding something and he didn't allow her to push him away. The more she resisted, the more he was determined to find out what she was hiding. He didn't try to convince her she needed a man to solve her problems. If anything, he admired her more for her strength.

This was a quick read but there was depth to the story. It also set up a future installment for Emerson, the oldest brother and sheriff. It also left me wondering what happened to Linc, the youngest brother. I would definitely read more about the Gentry's of Montana.

Lady Varney's Risqué Business: A Regency Romp by Cerise DeLand

Lady Varney's Risqué Business: A Regency Romp
By: Cerise DeLand
Publisher: Self Published
Published: April 28, 2014
Genre: Historical, Romance
Length: Novella
Heat Level: Spicy
Reviewer: Toni
Date: September 14, 2014


When a proper lady of the ton takes on a new client in her risqué matchmaking business, she discovers that he has one decadent demand. Spend the night with him!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Lady Kitty Varney runs a discreet business to support herself and pay off her late husband's gambling debts. When Viscount Justin Belmont appears in her parlor, Kitty's latest client is the very man she was forbidden to marry years ago. Kitty questions if she can find Justin a woman worthy of him…and if she can bear to help him wed any other woman.

Then Justin lists his criteria for a wife and Kitty is shocked to learn she is among the few candidates suitable. He demands each candidate spend one night with him.

Can Kitty deny herself the chance to enjoy the charms of the man she's never forgotten? Lady Varney's risqué business might be her saving grace—but it may well become her undoing.

I’m going to be very honest. I read the second in the A Regency Romp Series before I read this little gem, but that isn’t what I’m admitting to. I actually had to skim Rendezvous with a Duke before I could write its review. There was something about this shorter story that stuck with me. I only read them a day apart, but didn’t write my review immediately, so I just sat there, trying to remember the greatness of the second story and I kept remembering this one!

After I read my notes, it all flooded back and I totally enjoyed my skim read, I even had to stop myself, because I had this review to write. But this story really stuck with me. Doesn’t that tell you that great things are to come?

Lady Kitty Varney is a woman who once fell in love, was denied that love and was forced to marry a man that she had no feelings for. Her heart was forever broken and her loveless marriage was filled with lack luster sex and her inability to forget her one true love.

Justin Belmont fell head over heels in love with the young woman that he rescued eleven years ago. Unfortunately, at the time, he was only an American clipper ship captain and had nothing to offer her but his heart. Forced to leave her side, he was swooped up by his newly discovered uncle, the Earl of Belmont. Now he is an English Viscount looking for a wife and of course he would seek the services of the renowned matchmaker. She is very successful and he is in great need.

Justin’s criteria is exact and she is one of the few candidates. He requires her to be among his choices. Lady Varney cannot refuse, because the money is just too good and she has to many debts to pay. She knows if she stays strong, she can get past this hurdle and find him a wife. He deserves the best and she is not it.

Oh My Goodness!! What a wonderful story. I loved how Justin never gave up and worked and waited for his bride. My heart sang and I had the biggest smile. I devoured every single word of this novella. Ms. DeLand wrote such a great story for these two. My wish and hope is that she repeatedly brings them back from time to time in this series so I can enjoy them and learn how they are getting along in their lives. This is one couple I never want to miss. They are simply divine and have enchanted my heart.

So if you love regency romances, please don’t hesitate to pick up this book and the next in the series, Rendezvous with a Duke. It is novel length and AMAZING!! Ms. DeLand knows how to write captivating historicals, fan worthy romances and out of this world plots. But watch out when she puts them all together. It’s breathtaking!

Please check out my review for book two in A Recency Romp Series:

Rendezvous with a Duke by Cerise DeLand

Rendezvous with a Duke
By: Cerise DeLand
Publisher: W J Power
Published: September 17, 2014
Genre: Historical, Romance
Length: Novel
Heat Level: Spicy
Reviewer: Toni
Date: September 13, 2014


Anna Fournier never intended to fall in love. Not with any man. Especially not a duke. But Hugh Lattimer persists in courting her despite the scandal that surrounds her—and the innuendo that could ruin him.

Can she escape her past and embrace a future as Hugh's duchess? Or will the man who murdered her father return to ruin her future once and for all?

Rendezvous with a Duke is book two in the A Regency Romp Series. Both books can be read as standalones, but let me tell you – as having read Rendezvous with a Duke first, I jumped in head first to read Lady Varney’s Risqué Business and I’m so very happy I did.

Anna Fournier is a woman without a future. She has nothing to offer to a man. She enjoys her music and looks forward to the time it will help her escape her Aunt Charlotte. Knowing she is running out of time, she works hard to stay out of her Aunt’s way and to save every shilling.

Hugh Lattimer is a man who has no desire to take a wife, but the moment he hears Anna play he is intrigued. His interest is further solidified when he sets his eyes on the understated beauty. Now if he can only discover who she is.

Both Anna and Hugh cannot fight their attraction. Hugh wants everything with Anna, but she is unable to give her whole heart to him. I absolutely enjoyed that she captured her own desire and basically thumbed her nose at society and it constraints. It was a wonderful change of pace.

Rendezvous with a Duke had a Cinderella feel to it, but with a nice twist. Yes, you had the poor little orphaned girl and the rich handsome Duke, but it still held my interest tightly. You had the "evil step sister" element, but I didn’t hate her cousin Letty. She played a wonderful subtle part in the story and I was happy with her ending. It would be great to see more glimpses of her in later books, but I know she is not a central character.

Hugh was an amazing man that went after what he wanted with passion and determination. He didn't waiver from his path and never doubted they would be together. He had enough gumption to make it work for both of them. Anna was just as determined to enjoy her time with Hugh. She held true to her head not her heart. She knew that even though there was tremendous love between the two of them, she was realistic knowing that her past could devastate the duke and his reputation. She had an amazing head on her shoulders. She is smart, resourceful and a beautiful person.

Ms. DeLand wrote two very entertaining, loyal and heartwarming characters. Her ability to take a story that has been told time and time again and make it her own was brilliant. She added spice, engaging characters, and a touch of mystery. Rendezvous with a Duke is an amazing read and made me want to pick up additional sexy steamy regency reads. I tend to love this genre, but often overlook it. Ms. DeLand made me crave it even more. Thank you very much for reigniting my love of this time period and engaging me with a well written romantic story.

Please check out my review for book one in A Recency Romp Series:

To Love Or Not To Love by Jean C. Joachim

To Love Or Not To Love
By: Jean C. Joachim
Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing
Published: July 25, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Content: M/F
Length: Novel
Heat Level: Scorching
Reviewer: Marchelle
Date: September 10, 2014


Miranda Bradford had given up on men. Weighed down by family “baggage”: a sick mother and a sister in design school, Miranda had become the responsible one. An aspiring playwright, she walked dogs to put food on the table. Not available for “over-night” dates, she was stamped “undesirable” by most men, despite her good looks. Until Penn Roberts came along.

Drawn to her by a mutual love of dogs and laughter, he moved in quickly on the sexy, dark-haired beauty with the magnetic blue eyes. Attracted to him by his outward qualities, it was his loneliness and caring attitude that turned heavy-duty chemistry into love.

This is the first book I have read by this author and I was pleasantly surprised. Miranda has a lot going on in her life, with taking care of her ill mother, and her younger sister being somewhat unreliable. She meets Penn in the park when one of the dogs she is walking, escapes his leash and runs the poor guy over. They hit it off quickly and begin to see more of each other. It turns out they are on opposite sides of an emotional and highly personal issue and they end up pitted against each other. Neither is willing to give in and it leads to some sneaky dealing on Penn's part to get what he wants. 

The relationship seemed to move a bit fast for me. They were only meeting for breakfast every day but already she was thinking in terms of being in love. Then when they each found out who the other was and the confrontation happened, I was seriously unimpressed with Penn's reaction to the situation. He behaved like a spoiled brat who lashed out in a temper tantrum when it was clear he wouldn't get his way. Miranda seemed to be an independent, strong female character and I didn't find it believable that she would just forgive him for humiliating her in front of other people. As for her sister's betrayal, I thought she got over that too quickly as well. But I guess certain things can be overlooked when it leads the object of your desire straight to your bedroom door. 

Still, as much as I would've liked to see her stand her ground a bit longer against Penn and her sister, I also wanted to see her find her happiness. Miranda is an extremely likable character and I've rarely found myself so looking forward to seeing if the heroine gets her happy ending. I enjoyed her easy relationship with her mom and I loved the pugs. Her dinner party friends seemed like an interesting group and I find myself wanting to read the other books in the series to get to know them better.

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

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

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 

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 

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!

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