Review: Mr. Big by Delancey Stewart

Mr. Big

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Once upon a time, I had everything: money, power, a multimillion-dollar company, a loving family. Well, at least I thought I had everything. Then my parents died, and I found out my whole life was based on a lie. That’s pretty much the moment when I went numb. Told the world to f*** off and went on a bender of epic proportion, just to see how far I could fall before I hit rock-bottom.

Now I’m back and all I want in this world is my morning—okay, afternoon—coffee. Then one of my employees has the nerve to call me out for cutting the line at the coffeehouse at the company I own. Sure, I’m a little scruffier than usual, but come on, bitching out the CEO? Not a smart career move. Just who does this smart-mouthed ball-buster think she is? And more important, what do I have to do to get her number?

Holland O’Dell may be uptight, but I wouldn’t mind taking her back to my place and ripping off that business-casual blouse/skirt combo and burying myself in her curves. She pushes my buttons, but at least I’m feeling something. And whatever it is, I won’t stop until I get more.

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Source: Netgalley     My Rating: 3/5 stars

Oliver has never been particularly spoiled, but he’s also never wanted for anything. To be fair, Oliver earned everything he has. As a young elite athlete looking to improve his performance, Oliver and his dad developed soft and hardware to aid athletes. The inventions revolutionized the sports industry and Oliver and his dad became incredibly wealthy businessmen. Now in his twenties, Oliver has become restless and with the blessing of his parents has taken a leave of absence to see where he wants to next phase of his life to be. Life on the beach and in the bar is pretty fantastic and Oliver has no intention of coming home until he has to.

Oliver’s homecoming is under the worst of circumstances and he spirals down into a pit of denial and depression. As he’s drowning his sorrows in liquor and denial, his company is in trouble yet no amount of begging and/or pleading on the part of his executive team can pull him out of his funk. What does pull him out of his funk is the sassy woman in the company coffee shop who not only tells him off, but is secretly working on a new design that will single-handedly pull his company out of its own downward spiral. Her idea is excellent, but she needs a technical expert to help her clean up the design. Oliver is both willing and able to help her out as long as she continues talking to him and helping him come back to life.

Holland O’Dell is about as motivated as a girl can be. Her life is literally planned on paper and every step, every action is calculated and geared toward achieving her goals. If she can pull off this secret project, she stands to advance her career in a huge way. Holland is smart enough to know she needs help with certain aspects of the project, but it rankles having to ask for help. When help comes in the form of a mystery man with some serious skill, Holland sees him as the lesser evil and accepts his help. It isn’t until she’s in serious lust with Oliver and ready to pitch the project that she finds out who he really is and the situation becomes, shall we say, complicated.

Oliver’s return to work, his desire to see his company succeed, the success of the “secret” project, and his budding relationship with Holland revive Oliver in a way nothing else could. He’s tired, he’s burning the candle at both ends to fix problems at his company, but he’s also ridiculously happy with Holland and their life together. Right up to the moment it all goes to hell, Oliver is convinced things in his world are perfect. For Holland’s part, she likes Oliver a great deal, and her new promotion is a sweet deal, but she just can’t get past the feeling she really didn’t earn the position. To be sure, for the first few weeks are pure bliss, but Holland allows her old doubts and fears to creep in and override her logic and reasoning, not to mention, her heart. Before she even really understands what she’s giving up, Holland cuts all ties with Oliver. Unfortunately, as Holland quickly discovers there’s more at stake than just two broken hearts.

The Bottom Line: I am well and truly on the fence with this read. I think my hesitation at truly liking this read revolves around Holland and her attitude. From the very beginning, Holland’s attitude is somewhat ridiculous with her deep-seated need to do and accomplish absolutely everything on her with no help from anyone else. Rather than behaving like an adult, Holland allows her doubts and fears to override everything else which leads to some very poor decisions. Quite frankly, Holland is an off-putting character who I disliked more and more as the story progressed. Conversely, even with all his problems and questionable judgement, I really liked Oliver quite a lot. He was dealt a tremendous amount of crap in a short period of time and just did the best he could to deal with everything, even Holland’s crap. In the final analysis, Mr. Big is an all right read which probably doesn’t need to go at the top of your TBR list, but probably shouldn’t fall off the list completely either.

Pre-order for the August 29, 2017: Amazon | B&N | Kobo

About the author and where to find her:

D. StewartI’m not big on labels, but there are a few that fit me (not necessarily in this order. Or maybe in this order):
– wine drinker (and wine geek)
– mother of small boys
– military spouse
– writer
                                                        – chocolate eater
                                                        – ice cream addict

I write about emotional connection and intimacy, and love giving readers smart, sexy books to curl up with.

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Review: Sweet Southern Trouble by Michele Summers

Sweet Southern Trouble

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An ambitious Southern belle: Marabelle Fairchild knows she’s a gal who can get things done. Feeling unappreciated at the exclusive private school where she’s a kindergarten aide and varsity tennis coach, Marabelle determines to score with the next big fundraiser. What she doesn’t expect? A smokin’ hot football coach to throw her off her game…

A reclusive NFL bachelor…: NFL coach Nick Frasier is Raleigh’s most eligible bachelor, but he wants to focus on his career…not his playboy status. He doesn’t need a smart-mouthed, pint-sized kindergarten teacher pestering him. So he cuts Marabelle a deal—in exchange for Nick sponsoring a bachelor auction starring him and his gorgeous celebrity pals, Marabelle will pose as his fiancée to ward off unwanted advances.

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Source: Netgalley     My Rating: 5/5 stars

The title of this one really does tell the whole story!! If there is trouble to be found, Marabelle Fairchild is not only going to find it, she’s going to dive into it with her eyes wide open and her mouth, that has no edit button, open and going a mile a minute.

There is very little that goes through Marabelle’s mind that doesn’t come out her mouth and in her latest episode of verbal diarrhea, she’s gotten herself into one hell of a mess. In order to secure her future at the ultra-posh private school she works for, Marabelle has landed herself in the middle of organizing the school’s yearly fundraiser. She’s been tasked with enlisting the help – OK, the hotness – and financial backing of the Carolina Cherokees, the local pro football team. Everyone assumes Marabelle is going to fail and there are some on the committee who are actively working against Marabelle. Turns out, when you have a mind and a mouth that often run free, you make a few enemies.

Nick Frasier is an ex-pro football player turned pro coach and uncle to a rambunctious kindergartner. That rambunctious kindergartner is part of the reason Nick has been called to Marabelle’s classroom and currently being all but accosted by the feistiest woman he has ever met. On top of telling him his nephew is tiny turd, Marabelle has asked him for help with the school fundraiser. Aside from being blindsided by her request, Nick is pretty much blown away by Marabelle and in the beginning, that blown away is not in a good way. Marabelle is like a tiny tornado with no off switch and determination like Nick has never seen. In fact, once Marabelle has an idea, she’s fairly relentless and isn’t long before she’s introduced herself to a group of Nick’s players and begun wooing them to her cause. It sure doesn’t hurt that Marabelle cooks for the boys 😊

What Marabelle doesn’t know about Nick is that he needs her as much as she needs him. Nick has a great deal of pressure on him from the Cherokee’s management to settle down and improve his public persona. The best way to do that is to strike a deal with Marabelle, the one woman he could never, ever actually fall for. If Marabelle agrees to be his fake fiancé, Nick and the boys will help her pull off the best fundraiser the school has ever seen! As you would expect with such an arrangement, all kinds of shenanigans ensue including a raucous meeting of the parents, a vicious tennis tournament, a heinous ex-girlfriend with nefarious plans, and more than a few words left unspoken.

The Bottom Line: I absolutely fell in love with this read. It has everything a romantic comedy should have: a crazy-awesome girl, a hot southern gentleman, a ridiculous fake engagement, meddling yet well-intentioned friends, and some harpies working against the happy couple. This is a funny, hot mess kind of read populated with a cast of crazies that I just devoured. There are certainly some naughty bits in this read, but they are appropriate to the overall sweet nature of this read. In all, Sweet Southern Trouble is a pretty perfect read and I am sincerely hoping Michele Summers will give the rest of the men on the Carolina Cherokees team their own book and their own HEA!

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Review, Excerpt, and Sweepstakes: Forbidden Promises (Book #4: The O’Malleys Series) by Katee Robert

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Forbidden Promises

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Sloan O’Malley just left her entire world behind-her family, her wealth, and even her real name. For the first time in her life, she’s free. She can live the “normal” life she’s always wanted. A life without fear. But there’s nothing safe about her intensely sexy next-door neighbor.

Jude MacNamara has no room for innocence in his life. Only revenge. Still, he’s never been able to walk away from the forbidden, and Sloan–who is every inch of pure, mouthwatering temptation–has forbidden written all over her. Only after it’s way too late does he discover the real danger: claiming Sloan as his puts a target on her back. To protect her, Jude is willing risk everything . . . and to hell with the consequences.

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Source: Netgalley     My Rating: 5/5 stars

At the end of book three, An Indecent Proposal, I felt like the series was at a crossroads and I sincerely hoped book three was just a launching pad for the next phase of the series. How dare I doubt Katee Robert ☹

Sloan O’Malley is the first of the O’Malley siblings to break all ties with her family and get the hell out of town. It wasn’t easy and being totally isolated with no real skills isn’t easy, but it’s immensely better than being under her mafia-ensconced family’s thumb and a pawn in their never-ending schemes. Sloan’s self-imposed isolation is terrifying, but with a bit of help, she’s slowly finding her feet and discovering just how much she enjoys being free. The only thorn in her side is her mysterious and seriously sexy next door neighbor, Jude MacNamara.

Jude is a man who shouldn’t be alive and in that spirit, he has spent his life in the shadows. He has honed his skills and is one of the most accomplished assassins in the world. He has iron-clad rules and has spent his life in pursuit of justice for his family. Until Sloan O’Malley, Jude has never wavered in his commitment to his cause and pursuit of his goals. Until Sloan O’Malley. Sloan is everything Jude should avoid, in large part because she taps into emotions he didn’t even know he had. Jude has long been fueled by anger and single-minded determination, but Sloan ignites another kind of passion in him that takes him completely by surprise. What’s even more surprising, in a ridiculously short amount of time, Sloan becomes the center of Jude’s world and his single-minded determination shifts to protecting Sloan.

Jude is hard for Sloan to resist. He’s more than she ever could have imagined and while that’s exciting, Jude brings trouble with him that Sloan has worked hard to escape. Trouble is, with one very explosive moment, Sloan and Jude’s lives become inextricably linked. More trouble is, both Jude and Sloan’s past comes crashing in on their isolated little world and in the blink of an eye, their safe, isolated space has been violated and they’re on the run. Though Jude has a tremendous amount in the way of resources, so do the people who are after them and each must suck it up and call in help from some seriously unexpected sources. To be sure, the situation gets damn ugly before it gets better and it’s a wild ride right on through to the end, but Sloan and Jude are committed to one another and the possibility of a real HEA far away from the violence, anger, and treachery that has littered their respective pasts.

The Bottom Line: Forbidden Promises is a sort of slow burning read with some action populating the early chapters and then BOOM, the awful hits hard and fast and doesn’t let up until the very end. I. LOVED. IT. Sloan and Jude are both incredibly strong characters who become stronger as their awful situation becomes increasingly more awful. Sloan takes absolute control of her life and once she does so, nothing and no one stands in her way. Under her influence, Jude becomes more human, more able to be the man Sloan risks it all for. In case you missed it the first time, I LOVED IT!!!! I sincerely hope there is more to come for the O’Malley’s from the twisted mind of Katee Robert whom I shall never doubt again 😊

Excerpt from Forbidden Promises (Book #4: The O’Malleys Series):

“I won’t hurt you, Sloan. I promise.”

There was no logical reason for her to trust him, but he’d been careful with her up to this point. Perhaps he’d be careful with her with what came next. She nodded mutely, watching as he rolled on a condom that he’d retrieved from his pocket. Her body hummed in anticipation and trepidation, but she didn’t let it show as he moved back to join her on the bed.

Jude palmed her between her legs, his big fingers exploring her. It didn’t seem possible that he could spark pleasure with a few specific touches, but it didn’t take much to have her relaxing, letting him once again take the lead. He kissed her neck. “Feels good, huh?”

“Well, I—oh.” Her eyes went wide when he pushed a second finger into her. It stretched her, the feeling not entirely pleasant at first, but he merely waited, pulsing the slightest bit, until pleasure took hold once more. She clutched his shoulders. “Kiss me again. Please.”

“You don’t have to ask twice.” He took her mouth like he owned it—like he owned every part of her. Jude slid between her legs, his body rubbing deliciously against hers. His hard length slid through her wetness, creating a friction that sparked a tide of desire deep inside her. Again? I couldn’t possibly…

He nipped her bottom lip and then soothed the slight ache with his tongue. “Ready?”

There was no mistaking his meaning. She nodded. Despite the earlier orgasm and how good it felt to have him moving against her, she was so incredibly empty. Instinct had her hooking a leg around his hips and arching up to meet him, needing more, so much more.

Jude reached between them, and then he was at her entrance. He kissed her, tongue twining with hers as he pushed into her, just a single inch. It was too much and not enough and she couldn’t help but thrash, pinned in place by his big body, overwhelmed by her helplessness and what he was doing to her. “Jude, I—”

“Shh. I’ve got you.” He rolled, taking her with him. One second she was on her back, finding it hard to breathe, and the next she was straddling him where he sat with his back against the headboard.

Sloan looked down, daunted by the sheer size of him. “I don’t know if this is going to work. You’re too big.”

He laughed, deep and full-throated, the sound rolling through her like the tide. “You can take every inch of me, sunshine. I promise you that.”

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About the author and where to find her:

Katee_Robert_authorNew York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. She found romance novels at age twelve and it changed her life. When not writing sexy contemporary and speculative fiction romance novels, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her wee ones, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

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Review: Necessary Medicine by M.K. York

Nec. Medicine

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In the high-intensity world of hospital residency programs, there’s no room for romance. So it’s a good thing for first-year surgical resident Neil Carmona that his crush on the gorgeous cardiologist Eli Newcombe is sheer fantasy. Not only is the sexy doctor Neil’s superior, he’s also recently divorced.

As Neil’s skill as a surgeon grows, so does his friendship with Eli, and his silent, hopeless longing for more. It isn’t until Neil’s final year that Eli at last admits his own deepest desires. But Neil’s joy is short-lived: Eli has no intention of pursuing a relationship. Their positions in the hospital would make it unethical, even if he was emotionally ready for someone new.

Wounded and furious, Neil is determined to forget about Eli once and for all. But when a near-tragedy strikes, a new question arises: Is a life without love—without Neil—a greater risk than laying his heart on the line?

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Source: Netgalley     My Rating: 2½/5 stars

The synopsis for Necessary Medicine offered a whole host of promise that the book itself simply didn’t deliver on. Here’s the list . . . . .

Neil: To a great extent, Necessary Medicine is Neil’s story, his journey from his first days in medical school through the end of his residency. To become a doctor is a selfless act and Neil’s journey is full of hardship, ups, downs, no sleep, and the lapsing of nearly relationship he had prior to med school. The days and nights are long and often bleed into one another and if it weren’t for his staff mentor, Dr. Wending, Neil likely wouldn’t survive.

Neil’s relationship with Dr. Wending is the highlight of this very long and slowly paced read. Dr. Wending is far older than Neil and has been down the path Neil is travelling. Dr. Wending keeps Neil grounded, helps him stay focused, and provides some much-needed levity when it’s required. Dr. Wending is also instrumental in helping Neil navigate the personal side of his life, a thing that can be phenomenally tricky given Neil’s career path.

Throughout the read, Neil shows the most growth both intellectually and emotionally. Neil is good at his job and he soaks up every lesson he’s taught during his training. Emotionally, he is a bit of train wreck at times, but overall, Neil is the mature man in the group. In fact, when Neil meets The One, he is emotionally prepared for the relationship and though he is the younger of the two, he is the most emotionally stable.

Eli: For there to be a romance, there must be two people and Eli would be the second half of the equation. Eli is a respected cardiologist who is known for both his skill and his reserve. While most assume he is simply shy or a typical doctor with no bedside manner, Eli has intentionally kept his circle of friends incredibly small. Eli’s sense of propriety and perception is so strong, he has intentionally separated himself from most people so as not to cause or be the topic of gossip. While this has “worked” for many years for Eli, it has also caused him a great deal of unhappiness. The unhappiness becomes glaringly obvious when Eli meets Neil and develops feelings for him. Eli is terrified of crossing any professional lines and compromising he and/or Neil’s reputation so he keeps all interactions with Neil purely clinical.

Until the moment he is “caught” by Neil and his feelings are revealed . . . . .

Once Eli allows himself to become romantically entangled with Neil, he is so much happier and a far more interesting character. It takes time and a great deal of trial and error for Eli to recognize he can have his career and reputation as well as love without suffering negative consequences. Eli blossoms under Neil’s love and though he is the older of the two, Eli is new to M/M relationships and often takes his cues from the younger, more experienced Neil. This sort of role reversal is quite refreshing, but just not enough to save the overall read.

The Bottom Line: I stuck it out with this read, in large part, because I don’t like DNFing books if I don’t absolutely have to. Neil and Eli are mildly interesting characters (with so much wasted potential to be amazing!) and I wanted to know the end of their story. To get to the end I had to wade through a lot of things I sincerely think will turn away many, many readers. Honestly, if I weren’t so stubborn, I likely would have given up as well. First, there is the medical terminology. I’m a smart girl and there is a great deal of terminology in this read that I had no understanding of. I appreciate this is a book about doctors interacting with other doctors and they would totally understand each other, but this is playing out in a novel for readers, not other doctors! Next, there is the problem of how Eli and Neil are brought together. The whole equal opportunity/safe work place may be a timely issue, but it is forced in this read and there are so many other ways, especially in a busy hospital, that Neil and Eli could have interacted. Finally, there aren’t many happy moments and/or romantic moments in this read until the very end, and I do mean, the very end. While I was able to stick it out to the bitter end on this one, I don’t think this is a book that will appeal to many readers despite what the synopsis promises.

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Review: The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne

TMKD

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When notorious child abductor – known as the Marsh King – escapes from a maximum security prison, Helena immediately suspects that she and her two young daughters are in danger.

No one, not even her husband, knows the truth about Helena’s past: they don’t know that she was born into captivity, that she had no contact with the outside world before the age of twelve – or that her father raised her to be a killer.

And they don’t know that the Marsh King can survive and hunt in the wilderness better than anyone… except, perhaps his own daughter.

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Source: Netgalley     My Rating: 4/5 stars

A little backstory . . . . . If you are a Netgalley frequent flyer, you know some books just aren’t available to US readers. When I found this title, I read the synopsis and knew I absolutely wanted to read it. As I went to click “request” I noticed this book was reserved for UK readers alone. Well, damn! But there was hope and let this be a lesson to you, if you keep looking through all the pages and if you get really, really lucky, you’ll find a second version of the book that’s available to US readers!

And so it begins . . . . my review of The Marsh King’s Daughter 😊

From the beginning, this book reads like a memoir more than a work of fiction and that memoir unfolds just as Helena discovers her father, the Marsh King has violently escaped from his maximum-security prison. No one, literally no one in Helena’s life knows she is the daughter of the infamous Marsh King and had he simply died in his cell as he was meant to, Helena would have never had to reveal her secret nor hunt down her father.

As a child, Helena knew only the world her father allowed her to know. She lived with her parents in a small cabin so far off the grid humanity has all but forgotten about them. With no electricity, no plumbing, and certainly no amenities or creature comforts of any kind, Helena learned to live off the land, to survive in places and situations most would never understand. To Helena, her little world was as large and expansive as the known universe and it wasn’t until she was 12 years old that she understood just how evil her father really was. He was cruel on a level rarely seen, and when Helena was finally old enough to understand the extent of her situation, she was also old enough to know she had to change her identity of she had any hope of living a somewhat normal life.

With the authorities out in force looking for her father and her husband now privy to her darkest secret, Helena knows with absolute certainty she is the only one who can track down her father and bring him to the justice he deserves. As Helena begins the slow process of tracking her father, she has time to reminisce about her life with her father and the atrocities he perpetrated upon she and her mother over more than a decade of captivity. The moments Helena relives in her memory are some of the best and the worst of her entire life. As an adult, she now understands the lessons her father taught her, both good and bad are the very lessons that will allow her and no other to find him. When the moment comes, even Helena isn’t sure how she will react, but she’s certain her choices and her decisions won’t be based on the fears of child she once was, but on the wisdom of an adult grown from that fearful child.

The Bottom Line: I’m not entirely sure this book would have been nearly as good if it read as something other than a fictional memoir. Helena’s present is very much shaped by her childhood experiences and she recounts those experiences in a stony coldness as she tracks her father. To be sure, this read isn’t sunny or happy, but a cold recounting and child/woman’s horrifying experiences and her determination to see her nightmares ended and not revisited on her own children. Because of the subject matter, I can’t say I enjoyed the book, but I certainly appreciated the message. Ultimately, The Marsh King’s Daughter is a story of survival, determination, and the triumph of the human spirit.

Pre-order here for the June 13, 2017 release: Amazon | B&N | Kobo

On Point (Book #3: Out of Uniform Series) by Annabeth Albert

On Point

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Pushing thirty, with his reenlistment looming, decorated navy sniper Maddox Horvat is taking a long look at what he really wants in life. And what he wants is Ben Tovey. It isn’t smart, falling for his best friend and fellow SEAL, but ten years with Ben has forged a bond so intimate Maddox can’t ignore it. He needs Ben by his side forever—heart and soul.

Ben admits he likes what he’s seen—his friend’s full lower lip and the perfect muscles of his ass have proved distracting more than once. But Ben’s still reeling from a relationship gone to hell, and he’s not about to screw up his friendship with Maddox, too.

Until their next mission throws Ben and Maddox closer together than ever before, with only each other to depend on.

Now, in the lonely, desperate hours awaiting rescue, the real challenge—confronting themselves, their future and their desires—begins. Man to man, friend to friend, lover to lover.

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Source: Netgalley     My Rating: 5/5 stars

Maddox Horvat has proudly and willingly served his country for a lot of years. As a SEAL sniper, Maddox has earned a reputation as one of the best in the business and if you asked his teammate and best friend, Ben Tovey, re-upping for another tour is a foregone conclusion. There’s a whole host of things Ben thinks he knows about Maddox . . . . .

As far as Maddox is concerned, another tour just isn’t in the cards. He’s nearly thirty years old and there is so much beyond the military Maddox would like to do with his life. He wants to open a small bakery, he wants to get married and have a family, and he desperately wants all this with his best friend. All it took was one night of seeing Ben with another man for Maddox to know, in his bones, that Ben is the man for him. Unfortunately, admitting his feelings for Ben on top of ending his service would likely send Ben over the edge and Maddox isn’t willing to lose his best friend. Some sort of relationship is better than none, right?

Ben Tovey is a career SEAL and that’s a foregone conclusion! Since the beginning, he and Maddox have served together and as far as Ben is concerned they will continue to serve until it’s time to retire. As a bonus, Maddox will be by his side and he can continue to nurse his intense lust(?)/love(?) for Maddox. Ben isn’t interested in examining his feelings for Maddox too closely until they both barely survive a mission that went ugly sideways. Ben is not only forced to acknowledge his feelings for Maddox, but to examine why it is he’s so resistant to the idea of settling down and beginning a proper life with Maddox. For a time, Ben is certain everything is right and good between he and Maddox and then, it all blows up leaving both men heartbroken and certain they have each lost absolutely everything!

The Bottom Line: This series just keeps getting better. Maddox and Ben are so fundamentally different that they shouldn’t work, but in the end, they most certainly work. The tension in this read is prevalent and fluctuates throughout depending on the situation. The tension doesn’t let up until the very end and it really makes the read so much better. Some reads, some characters just beg for tension and this is absolutely one of those reads! As always, I appreciate the fact the author populates her novels with characters from past reads. There truly is a sense of community in this series and it’s one of the things I like the best about the Out of Uniform world.

Pre-order for the June 5, 2017 release: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Audible

About the author and where to find her:

annabeth-albertFrequent tweeter, professional grammar nerd, and obsessive reader, Annabeth Albert is also a Pacific Northwest romance writer in a variety of subgenres. Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two toddlers.

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Review: The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz

The Night Mark

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Faye Barlow is drowning. After the death of her beloved husband, Will, she cannot escape her grief and most days can barely get out of bed. But when she’s offered a job photographing South Carolina’s storied coast, she accepts. Photography, after all, is the only passion she has left.

In the quaint beach town, Faye falls in love again when she sees the crumbling yet beautiful Bride Island lighthouse and becomes obsessed with the legend surrounding The Lady of the Light—the keeper’s daughter who died in a mysterious drowning in 1921. Like a moth to a flame, Faye is drawn to the lighthouse for reasons she can’t explain. While visiting it one night, she is struck by a rogue wave and a force impossible to resist drags Faye into the past—and into a love story that is not her own.

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Source: Netgalley     My Rating: 3/5 stars

I will admit from the very beginning, I am not a fan of the time travel trope. BUT, I am a huge fan of Tiffany Reisz and I went into this read hoping my intense love of the author would heavily outweigh my dislike of time travel.

What I didn’t like:

You guessed it, the time travel! You would find this super-ironic if you knew me in the “real” world and understood my intense and deeply abiding love for Doctor Who ☹

What I liked:

Literally everything else about this read! Here’s the skinny:

The Lighthouse: The Bride Island lighthouse is a brilliant setting for a story. It has a wonderful if tragic history that provides an excellent backdrop for Faye’s own tragic story. In fact, the lighthouse becomes as much a character in this read as Faye and her boys.

Faye: From the beginning and with good reason, Faye is a miserable creature! She had one blissful year with her soulmate before he was brutally killed while trying to help. Since, her second marriage has failed miserably and she has sunk into a deep depression. It isn’t until she finds the Bride Island lighthouse that absolutely everything in her life changes including the time she’s living in.

Carrick Morgan: What. A. Man. Carrick is strong, sweet, caring, sexy, and bound and determined to do right by Faye (or her 1921 counterpart!). He’s the lighthouse keeper, retired military, and saver of lost souls. He also looks strikingly like Faye’s deceased husband which causes all kinds of mixed feelings and loads of confusion.

The problems: There is just one problem after the next including the fact Faye isn’t from 1921, Carrick thinks Faye is someone completely different, Carrick is not an earlier version of Faye’s husband, the love square (because a triangle would be too easy!), Faye has issues in her own time she hasn’t dealt with and needs to deal with, and there is real danger and threats toward Faye and Carrick in 1921 which must be dealt with.

The writing: Tiffany Reisz is one of the most polished contemporary writers and I never find any flaws with her writing. Not one, not ever! Slipping into one of her books is always so easy to do simply because of the quality of the writing.

The Bottom Line: Quite literally the only thing that kept me from loving this read is the time travel element. Even my intense love of Tiffany Reisz and her stellar writing couldn’t get me past the time travel. I firmly believe everything and everyone in this read could have been set into any other non-time travel setting and this would have been another 5-star read for me.

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