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Defensive Heart by Dorothy F. Shaw

Defensive Heart: 
The Donnellys Book 2
By: Dorothy F. Shaw
Publisher: Samhain
Published: September 8, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Content: M/F, Oral Sex
Length: Novel
Heat Level: Scorching
Reviewer: Marchelle
Date: September 8, 2015


Uptown girl, tattooed bad boy. Think you know which one is wild? You’d be wrong.

Greenwich Village is home to successful artist Jimmy Donnelly, and the world is his playground. A broken heart in college left him with zero interest in being tied down. But when he meets a sexy, quick-witted Manhattan attorney, he reconsiders his bad boy ways.

Sonja Martin’s life is filled with work, an ex-husband who refuses to stay gone, and a teenage daughter who won’t follow the rules. Jimmy, with his myriad of tattoos and piercings, looks more like one of her clients than a potential lover. But when every argument between them feels more like foreplay, she can’t seem to stay out of his bed.

The heat burns through whatever defenses Sonja thought she had. And Jimmy finds his every fantasy fulfilled—and exceeded—by a woman whose fire burns as bright as her fiercely guarded vulnerability.

But his case for breaking her out of her self-imposed mold might just be dismissed. And he’ll lose the best thing he’s ever found.

Ok so after reading the first book in this series, I was seriously hooked on Jimmy and hoping the second book would be his story. Lucky for me, Miss Shaw did not disappoint. This book totally exceeded my expectations (and they were pretty high to begin with).

Jimmy is tattoed, pierced and an artist. He is pretty much the trifecta of a hot, bad boy. The thing is, he’s not really a bad boy. He’s sweet and just plain adorable, but only with Sonja. He enjoys getting her worked up in all the best physical ways, but isn’t afraid to push her emotional buttons as well. She’s cold to him, without really wanting to be. It just makes him work that much harder to crack her ice.

Sonja is a criminal lawyer who works too much. She wants to let Jimmy in but continues to find ways to convince herself it won’t work - he’s too young, he’s too demanding, she’s not looking for a relationship, etc. Her teenage daughter is a handful. Her rebellious nature creates problems between Sonja and her ex-husband, who incidentally is a real piece of work. All of these things, in Sonja’s mind, are reasons she cannot allow Jimmy to be anything more than a bed buddy.

There are so many amazing parts to this story. I love that Jimmy never really gives up on her. No matter how much she pushes him away, he keeps coming back with a new way to break through her wall. He is determined to be a part of her life. I love how he relates to her daughter and quickly becomes someone she feels comfortable and safe with. What woman doesn’t want a guy as sexy as Jimmy who treats her daughter like something precious to be cared for and protected? Major swoon-worthy! Every time Sonja pushed him away, I found myself wanting to yell in frustration.

This book grabbed me and sucked me right in. I stayed up most of the night reading and reluctantly put it down to go to work. Still, I found every chance I could to continue reading it while I was there. While this book stands on its own, if you haven’t read the first book in the series, you should. Ryan’s story was great and there are several glimpses of Jimmy that made me crave more of him. There is no hint in this book of which Donnelly we’ll meet next, but I have no doubt it will be amazing. Until then I will read Jimmy’s story again and try to be patient.

Unchained Memories by Maria Imbalzano

Unchained Memories
By: Maria Imbalzano
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Published: September 22, 2013
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: Novel
Heat Level: Spicy
Reviewer: ReadingPatti
Date: September 8, 2015

As a rising medical malpractice attorney, Charlotte Taylor believes in standing up for the injured, giving them a voice, and advocating for their rights. She couldn’t do it for her mother, so she does it for others, even if it means losing the love of her life.

Dr. Clayton Montgomery believes in working hard and playing even harder, until he reconnects with Charlotte. Barely noticing her crush when he tutored her ten years ago, Clay has a chance to make up for lost time when the beautiful lawyer comes back into town…until he discovers her chosen career path.

Now, philosophical differences soon become a reality and Charlotte is faced with the choice of representing a client against the hospital and against Clay. Will Charlotte give up her career and her tribute to her mother for a second chance with the man who got away?

Charlotte Taylor and Dr. Clay Montgomery knew each from when Charlotte was a senior in high school. Now Clay is an ER doctor and Charlotte is a lawyer that specializes in mal-practice suits.  One major obstacle that may come between them. 

In spite of their differences, Charlotte and Clay begin seeing each other.  The strain of her job begins to come between them. The final conflict is when Clay is named in a suit.  Clay feels betrayed by Charlotte and ends the relationship.

Charlotte is overwhelmed.  First she looses Clay, then she feels betrayed by her boss Brad, a 
very driven lawyer who is out to make all the money he can for the firm, regardless of the consequences. Also Charlotte’s sister Renee needs her.  She is a widow with two kids. Charlotte decides that she can’t keep going on this way and decides to go back to California.

Once Clay finally realizes that he truly loves Charlotte, will it be too late to win her back and have a love that can carried them though anything that comes their way?

I was hooked on this book from the very beginning. Charlotte and Clay overcame many difficulties and obstacles to find what they had, in spite of it all. Charlotte finds her family again in her sister, Renee, her friend Annie and finally Clay. They found their love for each other and they found that they could have that and a life together. I would recommend this book to my friends. I loved it.

A Cowboy’s Fate by Gini Rifkin

A Cowboy’s Fate
By: Gini Rifkin
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc
Published: May 28, 2014
Genre: Historical, Romance
Length: Novella
Heat Level: Spicy
Reviewer: ReadingPatti
Date: August 28, 2015


Kicked out of England for offending the Royal Family, Britania Rule heads for Leadville, in the Colorado backcountry. Passing herself off as a highborn lady, she pursues her dream of opening a parlor of spiritual enlightenment.

Cody James, her guide, thinks he must be half-crazy to hire-out to a female. But his luck at the gaming tables has run dry, and she’s his meal-ticket out of town. Betrayed by the only woman he ever loved, and shot and left for dead by a man he once called friend, Cody declares himself a loner.

Traveling side by side, they deny their desire for one another, but the Tarot cards say otherwise. Their hot night of passion confirms the prediction. Will love be waiting at the end of the trail? Or could Cody’s past destroy their future?

Forced to leave England, Britania Rule chose to come to The Colonies. She was looking for someone to take her to Leadville. Cody James was wanting to get a fresh start in Leadville, so he answered Britania’s ad. He thought she was very fancy. She thought he was infuriating. They start out, Britania is definitely not used to camping out in the on frontier. They share food, fire and sleep near each other. They get closer as they get closer to Leadville.

Britiana discovers that Cody is the man that will take care of her. They learn to respect each other and realized they that really do care about each other.  
Along the way, they have several adventures that bring them even closer together. In spite of their differences and trials they had getting to Leadville, Cody and Britania found their love through their travels.

I really liked this book from the start. I love the characters. Britania Rule is not a woman afraid to take on a challenge. Cody James is a man for hire and does not really have a home or a family. It is not until he meets Britiania that he finds that maybe he can have that and more. Cody never expected to fall for a woman like Britania. In spite of their differences they found their love. I believe that they will have a very happy life together. I would recommend this book.

The Duplicitous Debutante by Becky Lower

The Duplicitous Debutante
By: Becky Lower
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Published: September 1, 2014
Genre: Historical, Romance
Length: Novel
Heat Level: Spicy
Reviewer: Laura
Date: August 21, 2015


In 1859, ladies of New York society are expected to do three things well: find a husband, organize a household, and have children. But despite her mother’s best intentions, making her debut is the last thing on Rosemary Fitzpatrick’s mind.

Writing the popular Harry Hawk dime novels as F.P. Elliott, she’s too busy hiding her female identity from her new publisher, Henry Cooper. To protect her clandestine career, she ends up posing as the enigmatic author's secretary.

Henry is not the typical Boston Brahmin, nor the typical publisher, and Rosemary entrances him from the moment they meet. As they work together and grow closer, he wonders how his traditional-minded father will react when he brings her into the family, because Henry firmly intends to marry the working-class woman.

But when her deception begins to unravel at the cotillion ball, will Henry be able to forgive her or has deceit cost her the man she loves?

The Duplicitous Debutante by Becky Lower is the sixth installment in the Cotillion Ball series. 

This particular installment features Rosemary Fitzpatrick, author of the Harry Hawk dime novels and the new owner of her publishing company, Henry Cooper. Being 1859, Rosemary writes under the pen name of F. P. Elliott, and it is generally assumed she is actually he. 

Henry starts the conflict off by letting his current stable of authors know he expects to meet them in person prior to renewing their contracts. I honestly believe the contracts referenced here are more akin to the author contracts of today than the three styles available in the 1850's, but I readily admit I could be wrong. And with this one action, the Big Lie starts with Rosemary trying to conceal her true identity while still getting that contract renewed. 

I have to be honest here. I had a hard time finishing this novel because Rosemary is not likable at all. Not to me, at least – and I fully understand that I might be in the minority here. It isn't just that she tries so hard to keep her identity secret – that could be brushed aside considering the background of 1859 New York City, but something deeper that just really irked me. 

As an aspiring author myself, I desperately tried to relate to Rosemary, to find even a smidgen of redemption worthy behavior in her. I could not. I also feel like the author could have done better research when it comes to several terms used, although it appears she did some research into the world of Dime Novels. I will add that I am one of those annoying people who has a thing for etymology and word usage. 

Let me state that the sparks between these two was good – believable, even. It was, in fact, a redeeming feature of this read. I think this could be a lighthearted read for many, many other people. Just not me.

The Other Duke by Jess Michaels

The Other Duke
By: Jess Michaels
Publisher: The Passionate Pen
Published: January 13, 2015
Genre: Historical, Romance
Length: Novel
Heat Level: Sensual
Reviewer: ReadingPatti
Date: August 21, 2015

For years Serafina McPhee has been engaged to marry the heir to the Duke of Hartholm and for almost as long, she has been struggling to find a way out of that engagement. When he suddenly dies, she does not mourn but thrills at the idea that she will be free. Unfortunately, best laid plans go awry when the next in line for the title, her intended’s cousin, Raphael “Rafe” Flynn is forced to take over the engagement. But Serafina knows Rafe’s reputation as a libertine and wants nothing to do with him, either, even if he is devastatingly handsome. 

She proposes an arrangement: she will agree to the marriage and provide Rafe with his heir and spare. Once she has done her duty, he will let her go. Rafe is intrigued both by her beauty and by her utter disgust with the idea of being his bride. Women normally fall at his feet, not cringe away from him. However, since their arranged marriage is not something he can escape, he agrees to her terms.

But when he finds out on their wedding night the truth about her torture at the hands of his predecessor, he finds himself driven not just to fulfill his bargain with his new bride, but to introduce her to desire. While they move closer together, surrendering to wicked pleasures, dangerous emotions may violate every agreement they’ve made.

Serafina McPhee learns that her betrothed is dead and she is now going to marry the new duke. Mean while Raphael Flynn finds out that his is to inherited his cousin’s title and estate. He also learns that he is to marry Serafina.

Rafe and Serafina meet and agree to marry on their own terms. They go on outings and learn about each other. This is when odd things begin to happen to Rafe and Rafe.  Rafe takes steps to protect Serafina and his property.

As time goes on Rafe begins to not only like but love Serafina. He has to find a way to make Serafina fall in love with him. She is not certain after her experience with Cyril.

Rafe and Serafina are two lost souls who found each other in strange situation. They love each other that is all that matters.

I loved this book. I got caught up in it from the very beginning. I wanted Rafe to fall into love with Serafina. Serafina slowly fall for Rafe in spite of what others say about him. They come together to create a live for themselves that they thought they would never have. I will recommend this book.

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