Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Healing Hearts by C.B. Clark

Healing Hearts
Title: Healing Hearts
Author: C.B. Clark
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Western
Rating: 3.5 out 5 stars
Available:  Amazon  ~  Google Play Kobo

About the Book

Reeling from loss and heartbreak, Stella King is desperate to escape painful memories. The position of nanny on an isolated ranch in British Columbia’s rugged Chilcotin Plateau seems the answer to her prayers.

Cattle rancher, Dawson Wheeler, has worked hard to overcome grief and build a predictable world for his young daughter. The last thing he needs is the all-too-attractive Stella disrupting the smooth running of his ranch, especially now that disturbing incidents are happening on his property.

Defending his land against those who want to gut it will be a challenge, but the biggest threat of all may be to his heart.


Set in a beautiful backdrop, Healing Hearts by C.B. Clark depicts the struggles of a couple damaged by life and love. Rancher Dawson Wheeler is an emotionally broken single dad hiding in his work and booze to chase away the memory of his long-dead wife. Dawson's character is well thought out, and the reader can clearly get a feel for this character's raw emotions. This character has that hurt and unapproachable thing in spades. Dawson's counterpart, lawyer, turned nanny, Stella King, is also lugging some hefty issues of loss and betrayal.

Though this is a story about healing old hurts and finding new routes to love and to trust again, the author adds in a bit of suspense to keep readers interested. The suspenseful moments are enough to break up the bouts of self-blame that both leads languish in and the moments where these characters fight their mutual attraction. The secondary characters round out this tale, and this is especially true for Dawson's daughter. This little dynamo lights up the pages and serves as the perfect catalyst for bringing Dawson and Stella together. Though this a good, easy, and quick read, the ending was a bit rushed. There was definitely more story to tell, but this is a thoroughly satisfying read.

Thank you to the author and the Wild Rose Press for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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About the Author

Secret Betrayal is award-winning author, C.B. Clark’s fifth romantic suspense published by The Wild Rose Press. She has worked as an archaeologist and an educator, and enjoys hiking, canoeing, and snowshoeing with her husband and dog near her home in the wilderness of central British Columbia.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Forever My Duke (Unlikely Duchess #2)

Forever My Duke (Unlikely Duchesses, #2)Title: Forever My Duke (Unlikely Duchesses #2)
Author: Olivia Drake
Publication Date: December 31, 2019
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: 3.5 out 5 stars
Available:  Amazon  ~  B&N Google Play  ~  Kobo

I find Miss Fanshawe to be quite charming—for an American.”—The Prince Regent 

Hadrian Ames, the Duke of Clayton, needs a bride. He even has the perfect one picked out. That is, until he meets the lovely, free-spirited Natalie Fanshawe. She’s the opposite of what a man of his high rank should desire in a wife—an outspoken American who has never even set foot in a London ballroom.

But Natalie doesn’t have time to be swept off her feet by a handsome duke who must be a spoiled scoundrel like every other British lord. And she couldn’t care less about Hadrian’s title. After all, it’s not as if he actually worked to attain his wealth and status. He surely can’t understand what it’s like to be a busy woman, planning to open a school while trying to reunite a six-year-old orphan with his English relatives. Nevertheless, Hadrian launches his campaign to win her heart. Can the utterly delightful American beauty ever find a way to love him…despite his being a duke?


It is useful when reading that the story's characters fall into their proper place. Not only should characters fall into their designated roles, but they should be memorable. In the second installment of Olivia Drake's Unlikely Duchesses series titled Forever My Duke, the heroine and hero fit their character rolls well. As the adventurous yet principled American young lady, Natalie Fanshawe plays her role well. This post-war American Miss goes beyond what is expected of any young woman of the period to fulfill a dying friend's request. The heroine's journey is designed to show her strength and her dedication to those that she loves or loved. Also, the author does well to highlight the supposed unconventional personality traits between American and English young women of the time. Natalie Fanshawe is an all-round likable character. As for the hero, the Duke of Clayton - Hadrian Ames, pulls off the snotty, misunderstood gentleman very well. His character makes a seamless transition from stand-offish boar to a loving suitor/guardian. The secondary characters fit expected personality traits for the period, but some outshone others. Overall, this is an easy afternoon read for fans of historical romances.

Thank you to the St. Martin's Press and Netgalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.


Olivia Drake is a New York Times bestselling author who lives in Texas. Her novels have won critical acclaim and numerous industry awards, including the prestigious RITA. Olivia is the author of Scandal of the Year, Never Trust a Rogue, and If the Slipper Fits among others.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Collision Point (Brute Force #1) by Lora Leigh

Title: Collision Point (Brute Force, Book One)
Author: Lora Leigh
Publication Date:February 27, 2018
Genre: Romantic Supense
Rating: 3.5 out 5 stars

Those readers familiar with the author's previous series will not have a problem falling head first into Collision Point, the first entry of the Brute Force Series. This first entry has all of the markings of a Lora Leigh tale, which includes a good storyline and lead characters whose chemistry leaps off the page.

What happens when the son of a Russian mob boss goes legit? Well, a lot of baggage is cut loose (some still breathing) and they gain more enemies than they had before. Amara, the daughter of the Resnova crime heir represented a solid female lead for the first entry of Brute Force series but I would have liked to see her character do more. Amara's character is a survivor with incredible heart and loyalty but I do feel there was a little something missing. Amara's character survived being kidnapped, being brutally beaten and memory loss. After going through all of that there was still an expectation to see more an evolution of her character beyond the regaining of her memory.

Riordan is the sexy alpha male lead that Ms. Leigh is famous for and nothing is missing from this character's makeup. Ubber protective and willing to go toe-to-toe with Amara's father, Riordan is the cock-of-the-walk of this entry but besides being great mind candy his character is a bit limited. His task is to keep Amara alive and there aren't many action sequences that display his ability as her protector. Was looking forward to having scenes where this character was kicking the tar out of something. As her lost love, there is more than enough fuel for the interactions between the two characters. The chemistry is off the charts.

While reading, it will be easy for the reader to believe that they know who is behind the plot to take down the Resnova family but the author will keep the reader guessing until the end. Since the memory loss angle took up most of the story the ending is a bit rushed. Trust and believe there are many more characters that didn't meet with what they deserved.

Thank you to the St. Martin's Press and Netgalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Cleaning House (Appalachian Elementals #1) by Jeanne G'Fellers

Cleaning House (Appalachian Elementals #1)Cleaning House by Jeanne G'Fellers
Publication Date: August 1, 2018
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

About the Book
Centenary Rhodes is an old soul with a well-traveled name, but she doesn't know this yet.

Growing up in southern Appalachia wasn’t easy, so Cent left home as soon as she could, but the post-collegiate happiness she’d expected has never occurred. She can’t find a decent date, much less find that special someone and, after losing her job in a corporate downsize, she’s struggling to meet her most basic needs. Her car has been repossessed, her bills are piling up, and her questionable North Chicago neighborhood is dangerous to navigate.

Returning home to Hare Creek, Tennessee, never crosses Cent’s mind until her Great Aunt Tess contacts her with an offer she can’t refuse. The family’s southern Appalachian homestead must be sold, and Aunt Tess needs someone to clean it up. Cent will have access to Aunt Tess’ garden and truck and can live on the homestead rent-free for as long as it takes. A part-time job is waiting for her as well.

It’s a chance to solve some of Cent’s financial woes, but will her return be enough when evil sets its sights on Embreeville Mountain and the homestead?

Cleaning House is a carefully woven Appalachian tapestry of granny magic, haints, elementals, and the fantastic diversity of the human condition – served with a delicious side of fries and a generous quart of peach moonshine. 

The Review
Being a Southerner, I really liked the idea of this book - something that brings together folklore and beliefs that some people of the South (the Southern portion of the U.S.) grow up hearing. Unfortunately, Cleaning House became a book that was DNF'ed(did not finish) because the story was a bit too confusing. Centenary Rhodes (the heroine)is an interesting female lead who is dealing with the duality of her spirit/mind and past lives. The secondary characters presented are intriguing as well but this wasn't enough to combat the confusing nature of the story or any of the issues with timing (story/character progression).  

Thank you to Mountain Gap Books and the author for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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About the Author
Born and raised in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Science Fiction and Fantasy author Jeanne G’Fellers' early memories include watching the original Star Trek series with her father and reading the books her librarian mother brought home. Jeanne’s writing influences include Anne McCaffrey, Ursula K. LeGuin, Octavia Butler, Isaac Asimov, and Frank Herbert.

Jeanne lives in Northeast Tennessee with her spouse and their five crazy felines. Their home is tucked against a small woodland where they regularly see deer, turkeys, raccoons, and experience the magic of the natural world.

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