BAY OF SIGHS by Nora Roberts

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This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
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BAY OF SIGHS by Nora RobertsBay of Sighs by Nora Roberts
Series: Guardians #2
Published by Berkley Publishing Group Genres: Paranormal
ReviewedbyJo

Annika is the most innocent of the searchers of the Stars, but that has a lot to do with the fact she has been sheltered by living in the oceans as a mermaid.  Annika is quickly learning what she needs to know about the land world in order to fulfill her part of finding the Stars and saving the world.  Annika is now on a time limit for her time on the land because she had to reveal herself to the others to save one of them.  But she is determined to help the others and to also explore the passion that is building between her and Sawyer.

 

Sawyer King is the latest in his family to be given the task to save the Stars.  As each person was given the task to unravel the legend and the clues, they were also given something to help them do this.  Sawyer is now a traveler of both space and time and with that comes certain responsibilities, but in order to save his team and especially Annika, he will run the risk of breaking those rules.

 

The team is on the Island of Capri in search of the second Star.  Now that they know what each of the team members can do, they have an idea of what they will be facing, because the dark goddess is going to bring out even bigger guns to fight them.  It appears that the newest ally with the goddess a person who holds a grudge against both Sawyer and Riley and has the money and contacts to make life difficult for the searchers.  Now the searchers are facing not only figuring out the clues to where the Star is hidden, but also facing the worst of the worst mercenaries that have been hired to discover not only where the second Star is, but when the first Star is hidden.  So far, the searchers are keeping one step ahead, but when the Sawyer and Annika are captured it will come down to their belief in each other and their strength of character and, most importantly, their love for each other.

 

A mermaid and a traveler find a love that will transcend even living in two separate worlds in Bay of Sighs.  Wow, I was amazed at how much nastier the dark goddess fought as the search for the second Star went on.  Annika and Sawyer would have never met except for the legend and search for the Stars and, yet, I found their love to be the most natural.  I loved watching as they fell for each other, even knowing that everything was against them having a future together.  I also enjoyed watching as once again the searchers unraveled the clues and found the hidden Star.  The danger was brought into sharp focus when Annika and Sawyer were captured and then tortured to reveal where the second Star is.  Bay of Sighs has equal aspects of danger and passion, suspense and friendship that allows the good to win the day and love to rule.  On to the last Star.

THE OBSESSION by Nora Roberts

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This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
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THE OBSESSION by Nora RobertsThe Obsession by Nora Roberts
Published by Berkley Publishing Group Genres: Contemporary, Suspense
ReviewedbyJo

Naomi Bowes lost everything she knew in life just before her 12th birthday and discovered she had been living with a monster—one she was responsible for revealing.  Growing up, she was always wondering when something would happen that would expose who she really was and the media and questions would start all over again.  Now, Naomi is all grown-up and known as Naomi Carson, a well-known photographer.  Naomi has spent her adult life so far constantly on the move, but something about Sunrise Cove and a large rundown house has grabbed her, and she beings to wonder if she can finally risk settling down and growing some roots.

 

Xander Keaton is a hometown boy in Sunrise Cove.  He is a self-made man who loves his bike, his GTO, reading, helping those who come into his auto repair shop for help, and rocking with his band.  Life in Sunrise Cove is sleepy sometimes, but because of the beauty surrounding it, tourists are a constant in this little town.  Xander has also been pretty easy-going on his relationships and then he meets a tall, slim blond with an attitude and a huge hidden heart.  Xander is instantly attracted to Naomi and knows if he wants there to be anything between them, he will have to take the time and slow steps.

 

Naomi jumped in with both feet to remodel the house she fell in love with and has no plans on forming any type of relationship, but she never expected the instant warmth from the residents of Sunrise Cove.  She also never expected to run into Zander, a man who makes her want more even while she fights those feelings of being afraid to take the risk.  When a woman is found murdered in the same way that has haunted her from childhood, Naomi wonders about it, but shakes it off.  When a second woman is missing and then found, now Naomi is wondering if she should just take off and run again.  But now she has Zander, good friends, and a mutt who adores her.  Deciding to fight, she helps uncover clues, which prove that someone has been watching Naomi for many, many years and that she is in more danger than ever before.  Zander knows that Naomi is hanging on, and he is determined get rid of the danger following in her shadow.  When the person behind everything is revealed, who will come out of the confrontation still standing?

 

A photographer and a small town Renaissance man discover love while surrounded by deadly danger in The Obsession.  Naomi had exactly the opposite of the fairy tale childhood, and she still hides behind the front she shows to those around her.  Zander was content to go with the flow of his life until he met Naomi and then she was in just about his every thought.  I watched while Naomi fought her feelings and Zander worked on showing her just what life could be in Sunrise Cove and with him.  I loved how Naomi and Zander slowly fell in love until it was just there, catching them both by surprise.  I also loved how when the danger became known, Zander and Naomi teamed up to prove not only that their love was the lasting kind, but that no one was going to take their sense of security from them, or the town, without a fight.  I will admit that I guessed who was behind everything, but only a bit before it was revealed.  The Obsession is a great suspense-filled romance with excellent touches of humor and day-to-day friendship.

STARS OF FORTUNE by Nora Roberts

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STARS OF FORTUNE by Nora RobertsStars of Fortune by Nora Roberts
Series: Guardians #1
Published by Berkley Publishing Group Genres: Paranormal
ReviewedbyJo

Sasha Riggs is a well-known artist who loves nothing more than being alone with her art.  For the last year or so, Sasha has been having very intense and strange dreams where she and five other people appear to be fighting together.  Sasha is confused, because she does not know who those other people are or what they could possibly be fighting for or against.  But at last her dreams have given Sasha a place she recognizes and, with a feeling of impending dread, Sasha knows she has to go there to find her answers—the Island of Corfu in Greece.

 

Bran Killian is a professional magician and a secret wizard of great power.  His family has long known about the legend of the Stars and he, the newest in a long line, has spent his life trying to pick up the threads of the legend to find the lost Stars and return them to the island they were born at and save the world from darkness.

 

Sasha can’t believe that on her first afternoon on Corfu, she meets two of the people from her dreams and then learns about the legend of the Stars.  After an afternoon of food, drink, and storytelling, Sasha, Bran, and Riley discover that they are actually part of the legend and make a plan to search for the first Star and find their missing searchers.  One by one, the remaining searchers show up and the six soon learn that the darkness in the legend is also a very true.  Sasha and Bran are also discovering a passion for each other while the clues are being discovered and solved.  The closer Sasha and Bran get, the closer the danger seems to come until it becomes apparent that they are an important part of finding and saving the first Star.  Also, as the answers are coming, the searchers learn that each of them holds inner secrets that will be needed if they are to find and save all three of the Stars.  The night the Star is found is the night that Sasha and Bran’s new love is put to the test.  Can their love and power defeat the dark goddess and keep the Star safe?

 

A shy artist and a powerful magician learn the truth of love, power, and darkness in Stars of Fortune.  I was as intrigued by Sasha’s dreams as I was later as she met the other people in those dreams.  Watching as they unraveled the Stars’ legend with the other searchers kept me turning the pages to see what would be revealed next.  I also loved watching as they fell in love while chasing the answers to where the first Star is hidden and to make it safe.  The action-packed fighting in several areas also held my attention, because that is where all of the searchers’ secrets started to be revealed.  Stars of Fortune is an action packed book filled with suspense, danger, budding friendship and, best of all, a time-defying passion. I can’t wait to see what the next two books bring.

RUNAWAY VAMPIRE by Lynsay Sands

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This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Source: Publisher
RUNAWAY VAMPIRE by Lynsay SandsRunaway Vampire by Lynsay Sands
Series: Argeneau #23
Published by Avon Genres: Paranormal
ReviewedbyJo

Mary Winslow is a sixty-something widow making her normal annual trip from her home in Canada to the U.S. and back again.  This is the first time she has made this trip without her husband of many years.  Mary is on the last segment of her trip and just thinking of making it to the campground she normally stops at on this route when her RV is rocked by hitting something—a something that turns into a someone.

 

Dante Notte is a vampire on the run from kidnappers who had taken his twin and himself.  After days of capture and torture, Dante was able to escape, but circumstances made it so only Dante could get out and run for help before his brother disappeared by the “doctors” who had captured them.  What Dante didn’t expect was to run into a RV and to be knocked out or that the woman driving would turn out to be his mate.

 

Mary knows that something is off with Dante once she gets him into her RV and cleans him up, but she can’t figure out why she is so attracted to such a younger man.  That is not like her at all.  Dante figures out pretty quickly that Mary is his mate, but he is torn in two ways—one is wanting to just explore and show Mary what they can have as a life together and the second is to contact the Argeneaus and get a rescue party put together for his brother.  When Dante finally tells Mary not only what he is but how old he is, Mary has to make some very hard decisions on both of their futures, especially when learning about the restrictions that will be placed on her if she steps into that future with Dante.  Dante knows his family is behind him and will do everything possible to find and rescue his brother, but are they behind Mary being his mate or setting her up for a fall?

 

A woman in the second part of her life meets a sexy man, okay vampire, and sparks fly in Runaway Vampire.  I’ve heard of May/December relationships, but Mary and Dante’s was a very unusual one.  I could feel the pull that both Dante and Mary felt at the same time I watched as they both fought it at first, for every different reasons.  As I learned that Mary’s first marriage hadn’t been so good, I was really hoping that she and Dante could find a way for their mating to happen and give them that happy ever after.  At the same time, the suspense surrounding the capture of Dante and his twin kept me flipping the pages to see what clues would turn up next.  I have to admit that in a couple points I wasn’t sure if Dante’s family was trying to help him and Mary or find reasons why Mary couldn’t be accepted.  In the end, I learned even more about his interesting family the Argeneaus.  Of course, Dante and Mary were able to grab their golden ring.  Now to wait and see if Dante’s brother will have that same chance.  Runaway Vampire is full of second chances at love, suspense, and passion—a perfect trio.

PLAYING FOR KEEPS by R. L. Mathewson

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This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Source: Author
PLAYING FOR KEEPS by R. L. MathewsonPlaying for Keeps by R. L. Mathewson
Series: Neighbor from Hell #1
Published by Self Published Genres: Contemporary
Reviewed by Lily Elizabeth

Haley Blaine is a painfully shy history teacher who works with Jason Bradford, her gorgeous yet immature next door neighbor. For five long years, she has avoided him at all costs, while fantasizing about his demise.

Blessed with a handsome face and charm to spare, Jason likes to live a pretty stress free and gratifying life. With women, he’s upfront about keeping things casual. It’s not his fault women become obsessed with him!

Forced to endure each other’s company one fateful day due to Mother Nature’s angry creatures, they are forced to get to know each other and thus begins a beautiful friendship that evolves into something red hot.

I had some reservations when I began reading this book. I’m not the biggest fan of pushover female leads paired with overbearing male leads (there’s alpha males, but I seriously pictured Jason being a frat boy…and well, yuck!). Within the first chapter, those preconceptions were shattered, and I was sucked in. Haley has always been a strong woman, though insecure due to her being the square peg in her family. Jason has been carefree as he grew up in a loving, though quirky, family.

Written in an energetic, witty manner, the reader gets to fall in love right along with the characters. Each of the characters has dimension and quirks that are friggin’ adorable. Ms. Matthewson has a gift for writing a sweet story (no saccharine here though), and yet she has some explosive intimate scenes. I wouldn’t mind going a couple of rounds with Jason if truth be told!

Can I talk about the epilogue? Props for giving the reader a real glimpse into the future (not just a couple of months later). It’s kind of a pet peeve of mine when the author fast- forwards to the immediate future. I want to see what the character’s lives are like years later when the honeymoon period is over.

I would like to also applaud Ms. Matthewson for not using this first book in the series as the “set up” book for future books. This can be read as a stand-alone, but once exposed to her writing style and these engaging characters, it is hard to stop at just the first book in the series.

HOT AS HELL by Monette Michaels

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THE ALPHA’S SAVING GRACE by Melissa Schroeder

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HER STEPBROTHER’S DEMANDS by Trinity Blacio

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THE ESSENT QUEST by J. J. Lore

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THE REBELLIOUS PET by Samantha Cayto

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STEALING DRAGON’S HEART by Susan Laine

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SOUL STRUCK by Jacob Z. Flores

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SONG OF SOULS by S. J. Frost

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SECOND ALPHA by Rebecca james

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SAVAGE ALPHA by Carole Mortimer

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PULLING THE VAMPIRE’S BRAID by Charlie Richards

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PSYCHIC SAYS by J. J. Black

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PENAL STATION 05 by Valentina Heart

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PAGE’S PRICE by Jenna Byrnes

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MARKING KANE by A. C. Katt

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