Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Barker Triplets Boxed Set (The Barker Triplets #1-3) by Juliana Stone

Identical triplets Billie-Jo, Bobbi-Jo, and Betty Jo Barker may look alike but they very definitely each have their own personality.  Billie-Jo is the “tom boy” a world class athlete trying to make it in a “mans world.”.  Bobbi-Jo is the “late bloomer”  she is smart and organized she just doesn’t know what she wants to do with it.  Betty Jo is the “bad girl” who ran away to become a top model who then threw it all away with dangerous living.

Billie-Jo has won a couple of Olympic medals and played pro hockey in Sweden but injuries forced her out and now she is home trying to figure out what to do with the rest of her life.  Hockey has been her life and she is good at it.  If she wasn’t female she would’ve been playing in the NHL.  So when she wants to join the Friday night mens league all heck breaks loose.  And then there is team captain Logan Forrest the guy she has been in love with for what seems her whole life but who never seemed to see her as a female.  Well he has no doubts now.

Bobbi-Jo is about to marry the wrong man.  Bobbi-Jo had this mad, passionate love with Shane Gallagher when she was younger and it went oh so wrong.  Now she has grown up and is being responsible and doing what is right.  She isn’t exactly happy but she had that and it crashed and burned.  Now Shane is back and the flames are still there.  Does she throw away respectability for a chance at happiness?

Betty Jo is home.  Her modeling career has flamed out and she is home licking her wounds.  She lets no one close.  When superstar Beau Simon comes to town wanting Betty Jo to star in his new movie she is afraid.  She has been hurt but maybe Beau can help her heal.
I will admit I didn’t like Betty Jo very much in the first two books and through half of this one but by the end I ended up admiring her strength and fortitude.

These books are sweet, fun and feisty.  

Monday, December 30, 2013

Cursed (The Chosen #1) by Ann Mayburn

Locked in a demonic curse, Carmella Ramirez has lost the will to love. Once she was the star of the Ramirez Samba School and lived a charmed life. Now, thanks to an old enemy’s thirst for revenge, she's the school's reclusive seamstress and living in the dangerous ghetto of Rio de Janeiro. But that's the least of her problems. When the sun sets, a succubus overtakes Carmella’s body and uses her beauty to lure men to their death. As the corpses pile up, those controlling Carmella plan to sacrifice her to their demonic god and blame her for the killings.

Her only hope is Sean Kalmus—a world famous musician and warrior of the Celtic god of Music, Maponus. While in Brazil to work the Carnival, Sam’s orders by Maponus to find and rescue Carmella turn into something more than they ever could have imagined when Carmella captures Sean’s heart.

With Sean's help, Carmella will have to call on her strength, his magic and their love to break herself free before she becomes known as Brazil's most notorious serial killer.

My Review:

Despite the fact that Ann Mayburn has written over 30 books she is relatively new to me.  A friend who knows I enjoy a good steamy read recommended her saying her work would parboil my eyes.  She wasn’t wrong.  So when the opportunity came for me to get an advanced copy of Ms. Mayburn’s new book Cursed for review I jumped on it. I LOVE the cover.  I am not a big fan of horror and the first couple of chapters had me worried that this was going to be a horror story.  It isn’t  It is a good old fashioned Demonic possession story with Gods and music and dancing and of course some down and dirty sex.  This is a good story with the possibility of becoming a great series.  I am anxious to see where the author takes this.  

This book goes on sale December 31st

Friday, December 27, 2013

Only for Him, Part One (Only for Him, #1) by Melissa Schroeder

From USA Today Bestselling Author and the creator of the Harmless series, comes the first ever Harmless SERIAL. 

You met Addy and Vic in Surrender, and now you get their story. Only available on Melissa's website for FREE! http://www.melissaschroeder.net

I hate serials! Mostly because I am an instant gratification type.  I want to know and I want to know now! 
We met Addy as Amanda’s friend and co-worker in A Little Harmless Military: Surrender.  Addy is smart and spunky.  Vic is a lawyer and owner of a fetish club in Washington DC.  He works for Addy’s father and has been pursuing Addy for over a year.  When he offers her a ride home from her father’s holiday party she accepts and Vic may finally get his foot in the door.

This book is steamy and if this is the first in the series I’m thinking the rest may just melt the ink off the page.  I can’t wait for the next installment.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Hope Flames (Hope #1) by Jaci Burton

Veterinarian Emma Burnett won't let anything or anyone sidetrack her from her job as new owner of the vet clinic in Hope. She let a man distract her once, with disastrous results. But when Luke McCormack brings in his injured police dog, Emma can hardly ignore him. Despite Emma's best efforts to keep things strictly doctor and owner of the patient, Luke's one hot distraction.

My review:
I’ve read and enjoyed Jaci Burton’s sports themed books so was thrilled when I got my hands on an ARC of Hope Flames.  It did not disappoint.  Fans of Jill Shalvis and Kristan Higgins should enjoy this first book in this series of small town romance.  Emma is back in town after going away to college and surviving an abusive relationship.  Now she is home and starting over.  She has her new veterinary practice and is as independent as she can be.  She doesn’t need or want a man in her life right?  Police officer Luke McCormack does one nighters with no promises ever since his wife left him for the big city.  He doesn’t need or want a woman in his life right?  So why can’t he get the new vet out of his mind? 
Release Date: January 7th 2014

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

How To Run With A Naked Werewolf (Naked Werewolf #3) by Molly Harper

Down, Boy

Anna Moder has just witnessed a shooting, seen her car pulverized, and rescued a wounded stranger only to discover he’s really a werewolf. And by her recent standards, things are actually looking up. Lycanthropes don’t faze Anna. Doctoring a wolf pack outside Grundy, Alaska, is the closest thing to home life she’s known in years. But hitching a ride to Anchorage with long-absent pack member Caleb Graham—that’s a risk. Part of her itches to whack his nose with a newspaper. The rest is trying unsuccessfully to keep her own paws off every delicious inch of him.

The problem is—Caleb employs his lupine tracking abilities as a notquite- legal bounty hunter, and Anna is suspicious of both him and his profession. On the run from her past, with old problems closing in, she’d like to stay far, far away from anybody with connections to the law. Caleb, however, seems determined to keep her close. Are his intentions noble, or is he working a more predatory angle?

Anna’s been dreaming of returning to a semi-normal life, but now she’s experiencing a strange new urge . . . to join Caleb in running with the wolves.

My review:
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  That being said I am a huge Molly Harper fan and have yet to read anything by her that I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed and How To Run With A Naked Werewolf is no different.  This is the third novel set in the “Naked Werewolf” world but can be read stand-alone.  
Anna is sweet and sassy.  She is smart and strong.  She is also on the run from an abusive husband. Not the type of story to make you think of laugh out loud craziness but that is exactly what this is.  From page one you are torn with worry for Anna and laughing at the impossible situations she finds herself in.  There is also the sweet horror of falling in love while on the run.  I loved revisiting the werewolves and hope this years snowstorms spawn another installment.

This book goes on sale December 31st

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Britton (The Awakening #3) by Abby Niles

"I would lick that man up one side and down the other."

Half-shifter and lead SPAC agent, Val Calhoun, has listened to women gush over the Don Juan of the precinct for the last four years. Yeah, Detective Britton Townsend is hot and has stunning blue eyes, but that foul mouth he saves only for her? What a waste of good looks. And no way does Val want that mouth anywhere near hers.

When the shifter community is threatened, Val is assigned to the case…and fails. So the High Council turns to the rogue shifter they'd sentenced to twenty years as a human--that same obnoxiously sexy Detective Townsend. And sends the two arch-enemies deep into the North Carolina Mountains-—together, and alone.

Being stuck in a tiny honeymoon cabin with Miss Castration and only one bed is definitely not Britton's idea of a good time. But the High Council doesn’t take no for an answer. After his shifter abilities are restored, Brit is once again susceptible to the dreaded, irreversible bonding instinct, the Drall. Thankfully, all he’s ever felt for Val is intense loathing, no reason to worry. Right? All he has to do is solve this case pronto, and he can go back to his footloose Casanova ways. That is, if they don’t kill each other first. Or worse...fall in love.

My review:
ARC given by Entangled Publishing for a fair and honest review.
This is the third and in my not so humble opinion the best so far in Abby Niles The Awakening series.  This is an enemies to lovers type tale.  Val has benefited by Britton’s demotion but can’t figure out why the ladies man find her so detestable.  Whenever they are in the same room he is antagonistic to her but nobody else.  So she gives as good as she gets.  Britton doesn’t like the guy he is towards Val but can’t seem to help himself.  Now they are going to have to work together to save a child and keep the shifter community from being outed.  And if they discover the cause for the mutual antagonism so much the better. 

This story was terrific.  This series just keeps getting better.  There are strong characters, terrific stories, fun dialogue and swoon worthy romance.  Read the first two books in this series Aidan and Liam to get a sense of the world and rules the shifters have to live by then read Britton and watch him and Val challenge them all.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Bounty by Elise Sax

Abby Williams has got it made: First a new job as magazine editor in London, and now a trip to an exotic island to review a five-star resort with poolside service. Unfortunately, on day two of her vacation, Abby finds herself bound and stuffed into a burlap bag and dragged across two continents. And worse than that? Her hottie abductor has got her distracted. Maybe escape is overrated.

Iain Brodie is a muscle-bound mercenary. He just helped a despotic dictator take over an island. He's also Abby's kidnapper, and he has his own problems. Framed for a murder he didn't commit and a boss who’s out to get him, he has to face facts: Early retirement is out of the question and Abby Williams looks damned good in a burlap bag.

My review:
This is a rollicking fun romantic suspense. Strong alpha male meets quirky girl reporter.  Love and laughter is not in the playbook but somehow they end up there.  Another fantastic read from Elise Sax

Friday, December 20, 2013

Swipe (Virals #3.5) by Kathy Reichs

Tory Brennan and her great aunt Tempe join forces to investigate a crime at Comic-Con in this exclusive direct-to-digital short story from Kathy Reichs, author of Bones of the Lost and Virals.

A valuable Terminator replica disappears from the nerd nirvana of Comic-Con. Tory Brennan and her great aunt Tempe are on the scene, and join forces to investigate. Surely the Terminator can't have just vanished into thin air?

When a ransom note appears, threatening the destruction of the model, Comic-Con staff start to accuse each other. The clues are soon mounting up - but can Tempe and the Virals find the thief before it's too late?

My Review:
I love the Virals!  When Tory’s great aunt Tempe is scheduled to do a book signing at Comic-Con in San Diego the kids talk her into letting them come along.  Total nerdvana.  Of course there is mystery, fun and lots of tongue in cheek dialogue. Another fun short to tide us over till the next full adventure. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Being Prince Charming (1Night Stand Series) by D.L. Jackson

“You’re no Prince Charming.”

Words screamed in anger, an empty nest, and an emptier life are just some of the reasons people divorce. For Gunny, a diehard Marine who refuses to give up the Corps, and Lissa his wife of over twenty years, the reason isn’t a good one. After a heated argument morphs out of control, Lissa walks away and in his pride, August refuses to go after her.

It took two years, but Lissa is finally ready to move on with her life and marry another man. Only one problem, her heart still belongs to the Marine she left behind.

August is back, looking for a second chance, and this time he isn’t letting Lissa walk away without a fight. Gunny has given up everything, including the Marine Corps, for a second chance with the woman he loves. Madame Eve has given him one night to prove to Lissa he’s all she ever wanted—that he can still be her Prince Charming. Fail, and she’ll marry another man in the morning.

For this Marine—failure is not an option.

My review:

I love a second chance story.  After the kids are grown and off to college Lissa wants Gunny to retire from the Marines and be a full time at home husband.  He isn’t ready to let go just yet so she leaves.  2 years later the guy she is dating asks her to marry him.  She isn’t in love with him but knows she needs to move on.  What will Gunny do to get back the only woman he has ever loved?  This story has some incredible sweet moments and a few ice melting sexy ones as well.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Deep Indigo (Orion #4) by Cathryn Cade

"When icy control meets loose laser cannon, the rules go up in flames. "

"Orion, Book 4"

Commander Daron Navos. Renowned Indigon intuit, respected leader a man running from half of himself. He can control the mind of any creature in the galaxy, even lock his dark, human sexual needs behind a wall of icy self control. Until he meets a woman who tempts him into using his powers for seduction the lovely, innocent Nelah Cobalt.

As Nelah s star rose with her burgeoning Indigon powers at university, she leapt at the chance to intern under Navos. But the hero of her fantasies fears her human half is too volatile to be trusted with the coveted position.

When they are forced to combine powers to stop a sabotage attempt, their incredibly intimate mind-meld turns a simple case of post-battle attraction into a night of passion neither thought possible. And, as Navos teaches her to use her powers to heighten sensual pleasure, he finds she isn t the only Indigon with much to learn.

Except it’s clear someone is remotely using psychic powers to endanger the ship. Nelah may be the key, and Navos faces his greatest challenge ever loving the woman who may have to sacrifice herself to save "The Orion."

Warning: Spock-like hero who gives into temptation and uses intuitive powers for sexual satisfaction, heroine who is more than happy to submit to his sensual control, and ship full of space voyagers enjoying the waves of passion emanating from the powerful couple. Voyeurism shockingly included.

My: Review:

Another spicy adventure in deep space.  I loved this one.  I guess I like the idea of meshing mind and body during sex.  It’s also nice to know that even if he can read your mind the great and powerful Navos can screw up just like any other man.  

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Prince of Dragons (Orion #3) by Cathryn Cade

His beast will have her beauty-but only on his terms. Orion, Book 3 Sirena Blaze has left a string of smiling males across the galaxy-but she's not smiling now. After two attempts to sabotage her ship, it's time to call for backup. Her warriors deserve the best, and that means recruiting a member of the elite Serpentian guard as co-commander. One look at Slyde Stone, and Sirena's smile returns. She sets out to indulge in the sensual delights for which his people are legendary. Slyde would like nothing more than to bed the famous beauty, but a secret binds the hands that burn to take her. He is a half-dragon shifter, a race thought to be nothing more than a myth. He's real, and so is the code he must live by-he can mate only once. Sirena's fury at Slyde's refusal knows no bounds-until saboteurs loose a pair of deadly serpents on board the Orion. And the infuriating man has the gall to make a wager. If she finds them first, she can have him. But if he wins, she must agree to be his alone-for life. Warning: Space cougar on the prowl, a handsome virgin in her sights. Hot love scenes, and even hotter dragon shape-shifting.

My review:

I really enjoy Cathryn Cades' space fantasy's and this one is no exception.  The culture clash of different beings makes for a great story.  The sexual tension between Slyde and Sirena is top notch and when they finally get together it is downright combustible. Note: there is some squick factor in the prologue and epilogue but nothing you can't get past if you remind yourself they are aliens.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Mission: Seduction by Candace Havens

Subject: Marine Lieutenant Rafe McCawley

Mission: Seduce the woman who saved him. But does he have the right one?

A breathtaking island resort is perfect for Rafe McCawley to relax, recover and enjoy the woman whose emails kept him sane during his previous tour. But instead, Rafe is greeted by her stunning sister, Kelly Callahan pro surfer, resort owner and (God help him) hot enough to set the ocean itself ablaze.

But Rafe doesn't know the whole truth. Kelly had been the one behind the emails. And she'll tell him as soon as she can get her libido under control!

The heat between them is immediate. It's red-hot. And wrong or right, it won't be denied

Uniformly Hot!

The Few. The Proud. The Sexy as Hell.

My review:
We met Marine Lieutenant Rafe McCawley in Model Marine.  He was fun loving, sexy and ready for anything.  Time has passed and a military action in Somalia has Rafe suffering from PTSD and recovering from several injuries.  Kelly Callahan knows her fashion model sister Mimi is a little self-absorbed so when Mimi starts getting these sweet emails from Rafe – Kelly knows Mimi isn’t going to answer so she does (as Mimi).  When Rafe needs a little R&R Kelly invites him to her resort in Fiji (as Mimi).  One thing leads to another and then she has to explain to Rafe that it was she not Mimi that replied to his emails and invited him to her resort and into her heart.  This is a quick sweet and sexy read that will have turning pages as quick as you can.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Switch by Lynsay Sands

When they first met Lord Jeremy William Radcliffe, Charlie and her twin sister, Elizabeth were escaping from their uncle-taking turns acting the young gentleman to avoid detection. But Charlie couldn’t help falling head over heels-and out of a window-for the handsome lord. Of course, that was only the beginning; Lord Radcliffe insisted on showing “him” and her lovely sister to London.

But how could he do that? With every touch, Radcliffe seemed unknowingly to incite indecent desires in Charlie, and his fraternal intent was certain to land her in a fine mess. Though it was a great game to play a boy, there was more fun in being female. And after one brush of his fiery lips when her guise was gone, Charlie swore to be nothing but his fiery woman forevermore.

My Review:

Lynsay Sands is on my auto-buy list no matter the genre.  The Switch is one of her hysterical historicals.  It had some truly funny moments (like the moment Radcliffe realizes he took Charlie (a woman) to a brothel) but I will admit this isn’t a re-read for me.  It is a fun, check your brain at the door, easy read but then pass it on.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I'm Dreaming of an Undead Christmas (Half Moon Hollow #2.6) by Molly Harper

It's Christmas in Half-Moon Hollow and newly turned vampire Iris Scanlon-Calix wants to make Gigi's first visit home from college as normal and special as possible. It's taken months for Iris to work up the nerve to spend time around her baby sister after her vampire transition, so she enlists help from Jane Jameson and Company to keep her blood-thirst under control and assure Gigi's safety.

Gigi, on the other hand, has problems of her own, including the demise of her relationship with high school sweetheart, Ben, and a looming job interview with Ophelia Lambert, the scariest potential employer in the Hollow. And then there's the small matter of the handsome, frustrating vampire who keeps appearing in Gigi's peripheral vision, then disappearing before she can talk to him.

Can the Scanlon sisters negotiate romantic problems, vampire politics, and Christmas cookie disasters and enjoy a relatively normal holiday?

My review:
Another laugh out loud installment in the world of Half Moon Hollow.  This Christmas tale brings together all of our friends from Half Moon Hollow to welcome Gigi home from college and to celebrate the season together.  As anybody who has read any of the Jane Jameson or Half Moon Hollow books knows there is hilarity to be had any time you get two or more of the gang together so when they are all together you can just imagine.  When regular folks get together for the holidays there is plenty of fodder for fun but add in vampires and werewolves and you can take up a notch or two.  I do hope we will get to find out more about Gigi and her mysterious admirer soon.  And the recipes at the end sound yummy too.

This was an audio book.  

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Professional: Part 1 (The Game Maker 0.1) by Kresley Cole


From #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole comes The Game Makers; a scorching new erotica series about a young woman desperate to uncover the mysteries of her past and the hitman bound to protect her.

From an opulent palace in Russian, to the wicked playgrounds of the mega-wealthy in Paris, to the sultry beaches of Spain, the two lovers will discover that even their most intimate—and forbidden—fantasies can come true…

I am a big fan of Kresley Cole’s IAD series.  Take that and turn the heat up by 50% and you have The Professional.  This is a seriously steamy tale of a found Mafiya princess and the hitman sent to be her bodyguard.  The attraction is instant and deep and dark.  But when you are young, single, hot and wealthy there are those who would exploit you.  Natalie is in over her head and Sevastyan is trying to do the honorable thing but how long will he be able to refuse the heat between them.  This is the first in an erotic serial that will leave you lusting for more.
I was lucky enough to receive an e-arc from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  

This is scheduled to go on sale on December 16th.  If you are in the market for some hot Russian loving get this book.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Unrestrained by Joey W. Hill

Joey W. Hill does it again!  This spin-off of her Knights of the Boardroom series is another incredible erotic journey.  Athena is known at the club as Lady Mistress.  She was her husbands Domme until the day he surrendered to the cancer that took his life.  Now three years later she is back at the club and cannot convince herself to take another sub.  When she sees the new Dom at the club she becomes fascinated by him and the way he makes her feel.  Dale is attracted to Athena and intrigued by the submissive in Dommes clothing.  Together they help her discover her inner submissive. 

If you have ever had any curiosity about the D/s lifestyle you need to read Joey W. Hill.  It is not a play by play or how to but you cannot help but get an appreciation for the beauty of a shared erotic experience. Joey W. Hill writes a beautifully crafted story that will draw you in and bring you to places you’ve never been before.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Dina Demille runs a Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town and tries her best to pretend to be normal. Her broom is a deadly weapon, her house is a sentient magic inn for otherwordly visitors to Earth, and her only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, normal can be a little difficult. Now something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth begins hunting dogs in her neighborhood. Feeling responsible for the welfare of her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with an alpha-strain werewolf and a cosmic vampire, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’d ever encountered before. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything.

One of the things the writing team of Ilona Andrews does best is world building.  Everything no matter how fantastic feels real to the story.  The characters are fun and though heroic they also have their flaws.  This is the best kind of fantasy filled with action, adventure and a little bit of romance.  I am really looking forward to further adventures with Dina and the gang.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Dallas & Kacie: Tiger Bite (Tiger Nip #2.5) by Brandy Walker

It’s the Holiday Season and Kacie Cook is counting down the hours until its time to close up Sweet Confections. Not that she has any great plans for the week the bakery is closed. She won’t be seeing her family—yet again, and all of her friends are too busy. All she has planned is a little rest and relaxation. That is until the last customer of the night walks in. Could he be the one to bring some holiday cheer and possibly change her life forever?


Though short and sweet this is another fun read in Brandy Walkers Tiger Nip series.  We met Kacie in Claiming More (Tiger Nip #2) and you will probably get more out of this if you’ve read it (and if you haven’t you should as it is a good read).  This is a quick hot holiday read with some real laugh out loud moments.  

Monday, December 2, 2013

Holiday Marines by Heather Long

Heather Long is a terrific author with tales to tell in several different genres.  This holiday season she has put out five books in a row each dealing with different aspects of the holiday season.  Starting with Thanksgiving and ending with New Years.  Each is special in its own way and to make it even more special she is donating a portion of the proceeds to Toys For Tots.


Always a Marine
A Marine of Plenty
Serving overseas is a lonely duty…

Captain Charlie Sparks faces an impossible task—assigned to a security detail for the sister of a fallen Marine. The last thing Charlie wants is this beautiful woman in the middle of a base in Afghanistan no matter what holiday she plans to help them celebrate. But no one asked for his opinion, and worse, she’s everything he adores in a woman and more…

Mourning what might have been is a terrible burden…

Jana Grimaldi had a plan—a plan to help her brother when he came home, but his death in Afghanistan left a hole in her heart and a desperate desire to do something. With the help of Congressman Sparks, she heads to Afghanistan to bring Thanksgiving to the men and women who served with her brother. Nervous and uneasy, she finds an unexpected—and familiar ally in Captain Sparks…

Not all wounds heal…

Charlie was one of the first people to reach out to Jana, communicating via email when her brother died—but coming face to face in the lonely desolation of the holiday connects these two wounded souls…

Can Charlie and Jana find hope amidst the heartbreak this Thanksgiving?

A Marine of Plenty
Always a Marine
Release Date: October 9, 2013

Enjoy the following excerpt for A Marine of Plenty:

“Miss Grimaldi?” A deep, smooth, masculine voice pulled her back to the present and the officer dressed in the deep dark tan and olive MARPATS waiting inside the door. He stood easily over six-foot. The uniform did little to disguise his broad shoulders or thick muscular arms.
Rising, she adjusted her bag and held out her hand, fumbling for a greeting. “Hi. Captain…?”
“Sparks.” Quiet hesitation arrested his features and a muscle ticked in his jaw.
The congressman’s brother was her escort.
Her heart thudded against her ribs and her nerves stretched taut. Captain Charles Sparks gave the order that led to her brother’s death—a communication failure. She understood all the terms, the reasoning, and the apologies. Even his letters expressed his heartfelt condolences and apologies. Letters she’d answered, and he’d returned regularly.
He grasped her hand and the world seemed to shrink away, as though someone dropped her in a drum and banged it loudly from the outside. His words had provided a desperately needed source of comfort—straightforward, blunt, and without any pretty excuses. A mistake had been made, one costing a good man his life. He didn’t ask for her forgiveness. He’d never asked her for it, no matter how many exchanges they’d had.
Staring into his coffee-brown eyes, she knew he hadn’t forgiven himself. And that’s why Congressman Sparks offered his help and asked for mine. Weak-kneed, she sat abruptly. Her fisted grip on the captain’s hand pulled him forward a step.
Concern rippled across his face. “Ma’am? Jana?”
Unexpected grief locked her throat and tears filmed her vision. She held up her other hand and he wavered. Fighting the urge to sniffle, she squeezed her eyes shut and concentrated on breathing. Grief might be the one emotion everyone had in common, but acceptance came in its own ways, on its own time. Understanding the concept intellectually and experiencing it, however, were two completely opposite things, because the crappiest part of her grief lay in how she couldn’t control it.
“I’m okay.” She fought to get the words out. “I’m sorry.”
“No,” he said, his voice gruff. “I should apologize. I thought you received my e-mail about being your escort.”
“I haven’t looked at my e-mail since leaving Dallas, I’ve been so focused on getting here.” Moistening her lips, she struggled to bring her tumbling emotions back into focus. It would be easy to hate the man, to blame him for what happened, and to let anger take over her grief.
But easier didn’t make it right or fair.

Belatedly, she glanced up, surprised at her white-knuckled grip still firm on his hand. He didn’t pull away or try to let her go, but sadness clouded his eyes—sadness, and quite possibly regret. “I didn’t mean to fall to pieces on you, Captain Sparks.”

My Review:
Oh my.  Heather Long has done it again.  Though this isn’t a very long story it will have your emotions pinging the entire gamut from laughter to tears and everything in between.  You definitely feel Ms. Long’s love for her subject.  This book, this series, is pro service member without the preaching you get in some other books.  Politics aside, every American owes their freedom to the men & women of our armed forces.  Heather Long gets that.  In this book we get a quick peek at life in a war zone over Thanksgiving and in doing so it reminds us all what we have to be thankful for.


Always a Marine
A Candle for a Marine
Tormented by the question of 'what if...'

Home for Hanukkah, Sergeant Isaac Janko has never forgotten the baby his girlfriend gave up for adoption years ago.  But he didn’t realize how angry he still was....

More than time separates them....

A chance meeting at Temple brings Zehava Elbaz face-to-face with the first and only man she's ever loved. She sees a deep and hidden pain in him, one she blames herself for...

An invitation to Hanukkah brings them together....

The two must confront their pain and loss. They have only eight days to face their past, and win each other's trust, but it is a time for healing, reconciliation and miracles….

A Candle for a Marine
Always a Marine
Release Date: October 29, 2013

Enjoy the following excerpt for A Candle for a Marine:

Except this morning, of course. All the shops were locked up tight for Shabbat. They would open later in the day, after sundown. The nostalgic throwback reminded him about how home he was. He slowed to a stop at the edge of the blacktopped playground area to consider the new center. A fence separated it from the street. The chain-link didn’t disguise the effort toward cheer conveyed by colorful wall art covering every inch of the building facade.
The city of Dallas could be seen in the distance on one corner of the mural, a neighborhood ice cream shop that closed when he was in high school closer to the front, and a dozen familiar faces made up the people. Walking around the gate, he frowned at the man depicted in the bottom right corner. It showed a ramrod straight figure walking away, a duffle on his back and, upon a closer inspection, he recognized himself.
“It took a year to finish all of it.”
The low-keyed chime of her voice ricocheted to his bones and crumbled his reserve and determination like so much ash and smoke. Steeling himself, he slid his hands into the pockets of his shorts and turned. Despite the cool temperatures, heat flash-fired through him. Zehava always had that effect on him.
The center was her personal project. He knew that, the reason why he’d come. He could lie about a lot of things, but not her. She wore a dark green turtleneck, a lighter, camel-colored jacket, jeans, and a pair of running shoes. Wariness shadowed her eyes and she had trouble meeting his gaze. Jaw tight, he couldn’t suppress a flare of triumph at her discomfort.
“It’s lovely. I didn’t know you still painted.”
“Only projects like this and for some classes I teach here during the week.” She folded her arms and unfolded them. A part of him wanted to set her at ease, but he couldn’t quite bring himself to act on it. Resentment slithered across his skin like a sand rash.
“Well, it’s good work. I’m particularly fond of my place in it. Walking away.” Was that how she saw him? The man who left?
“Not walking away.” She shook her head and her chin finally came up. “Walking toward the future. Defending our country, and lonely because you had to leave us to do it. Inspiring because it’s not an easy choice and even harder to live with. Brave because no one here can truly imagine what you faced, so we hoped and prayed you’d come home, safe from hate and harm.”
Uncomfortable with how close her description struck, Isaac dragged his attention away from her. She’d matured beautifully. The softness of her features had taken on an aristocratic bearing, but she was too thin, and her mouth too lush.
“It’s good work,” he repeated. So many words bottled up in his throat and threatened to choke him. “I should get going.” He gave her a quick, abrupt smile, the action physically painful, and jogged toward the fence. The sooner he got the hell away, the better for both of them.

My review:
There aren't many Hanukkah romances out there. I can think of maybe one (Light Me Up by Rebecca Royce) I am sure there are others but they are few and far between so I was thrilled when I found out that Heather Long was going to give it a try.  This, like so many of her Marine stories, will run you through a gamut of emotions.  This is a second chance love story that is enhanced by the season.  It is obvious that the author has done her research and has given the characters and the holiday her respect.  You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy this story but it doesn't hurt either.


Always a Marine
Marine Under the Mistletoe
He used to believe in magic…

Kaiden Nelson looked like every other Marine, only most of his guys didn’t grow up in a family of nudists, celebrating the wheel of the year and the lunar cycles. His buddies wouldn’t name him a witch, either. But after more than a decade at war, Kaiden isn’t sure he can—or even wants to lay claim to that calling anymore. He’s got too much blood on his hands and he’s tired…tired of war, tired of fighting. Some days…he’s tired of living. When he’s sent on leave for the holidays, he’s unsure if he can ever really go home again.

She’s a candle in the night…

Rowan Harper lives in two worlds, the mundane where she handles tech issues for a major corporation and the pagan where she celebrates the sabbats and esbats with her coven. Like so many in the region, she keeps her beliefs private. It makes life more bearable from others who would judge, and she likes nothing better than the great sabbat retreats the coven takes to the sprawling Lake House. It’s a time where she sheds the shackles of everyday life and embraces the divine.

The wheel turns…

When Kaiden turns up at the coven Yule, his Circle of family and friends are eager to welcome him. He feels unworthy of the open warmth and shies away to the darkness, but Rowan refuses to leave him in the shadows. Can the inexorable pull of one woman help him face down his demons as they hold vigil against the longest night of the year?

Marine Under the Mistletoe
Always a Marine
Release Date: November 10, 2013

Enjoy the following excerpt for Marine Under the Mistletoe:

He grunted, but didn’t complain. The boys cleared out without further warning and the goddess in the pale, gray silk dress descended the stairs slowly. He didn’t get a glimpse of her feet, but the way the skirt swirled around her, it gave her the effect of floating.
“Rowan?” The man’s nudity hadn’t bothered Kaiden when he’d arrived, not really. He hadn’t been gone so long he didn’t remember the comfort most others had in their skin—hell, a comfort he’d once shared. But when Rowan achieved the last step, Kaiden fought the desire to strip off his jacket and throw it at him. “Oh.” Realization dawned across Aaron’s chastised expression. “My apologies, you two haven’t met…I forget. Rowan Harper—this is Lorraine and Henry’s son, Kaiden. Kaiden, Rowan Harper—she joined Blue Circle a few years after you enlisted, give or take.”
“Merry meet, Kaiden.” She smiled, walked straight up to him and brushed her lips to his—the contact a violent shock to his system and he blinked once, going completely still. “It’s truly lovely to have you with us this year.”
It took his mind a full minute to catch up to the wrench in his body. “Hello,” the word came out strained and harsh, but either she gave him a free pass as they were strangers or she didn’t notice it. Aaron gave him an odd look.
Rowan gestured to the stairs. “Do you remember the way to your room? I put fresh sheets on the bed and fixed it up when your parents told me you had confirmed coming this year.”
He knew exactly where it was, but his manners finally kicked awake. “Please.” Following her up the stairs, he glanced back at Aaron once, aware of his amused gaze. Kaiden didn’t care for the sensation of being watched. He’s a friendly. They’re all friendlies. This is home.
The mental litany didn’t ease the tension winding him up. At the curve in the stairs, she paused to wait for him and Kaiden picked up the pace. He might be fucked up, but that didn’t mean he had to be rude.
“Sorry, it was a long flight.” Mentally groaning at the obviousness of the comment, he sucked in a deep breath, determined to do better and inhaled fruity, deeply feminine, and deliciously sensual scent that sent a shiver of awareness through his body and his blood plummeted to southern regions.
“I don’t doubt it and I’m a total stranger.” She started climbing again, lifting her skirt with one hand. “But I meant what I said downstairs—I am very happy to welcome you home this year. Your mother speaks of you often.”
“She’ll be annoyed with me.” The effort to make casual conversation came out rough and jagged. “I got an earlier flight and thought I could avoid anything too elaborate when I arrived.”
“Ahh.” She hesitated and her teeth clenched together in a smile-grimace.
“It’s okay,” he held up his free hand, palm out. “I know my parents. I know they’ve planned something special—especially since I haven’t been home. They can still have it all happen, I just get some time to be here before it starts.”
“I could talk to them if you like.” It was a kind—if tempting—offer.
“Thank you, but the last place you need to put yourself is between my parents and I.” The sentence came out far tougher than he’d intended. Exhaling a hard breath, he concentrated on sanding down his attitude. “And by that, I mean I haven’t been the poster child for good son. They’re entitled to react in a way that makes them happy.”
They’d arrived at his door and he found the silence almost as unnerving as the house itself. He’d picked out this room all those years ago because it was furthest from the others, nestled off a quiet hall that had a storage closet and attic access.
“Rowan, please ignore me. I apparently haven’t been around real people in a while.”
“Oh?” Her too innocent eyes glittered under the glow from the single lamp illuminating the hall. “And what mythical people have you been spending time with?”

My review:

An incredibly touching tale of a Marine reconciling what hes had to do in as part of his job with the tenets he was raised to believe. He has been a Marine for 10 years and has put in his time in the sandbox. You can't do that and not come out unchanged. His friends and family don't judge him as harshly as he judges himself. There comes a light in his darkness in the person of shy computer tech Rowan. She refuses to let him sit alone in the dark and the love in her heart may bring him into the light once more. I don't know much about Wicca but the peace of the season comes through loud and clear. It is apparent to me that the author really cared for the characters of this story and so I did too. A must read for the holiday season no matter what religion you are.


Always a Marine
Have Yourself a Marine Christmas
Rebel with a holiday…

Ryan Edward Brun—Rebel to his friends—has always loved Christmas. Whether raising money for Toys for Tots, delivering presents dressed up like Santa Claus or driving his platoon crazy with Christmas ‘surprises.’ He never lacked for Christmas spirit—until he lost his legs to an IED.

Operation Good Cheer…

Noël Torres has watched over Rebel for months, holding his hand when he wanted to give up, and bullying him when he got lazy. But with Christmas right around the corner and decorations filling every room in their wing of Mike’s Place, the barren oasis Rebel surrounds himself in breaks her heart. He won’t call his family, he’s not sending out cards, he won’t pull any pranks—she decides to get this Marine back into the holiday action.

An elf on a mission…

With the help of some kids, a few good Marines, and Santa Claus and Noël is determined to give Rebel a very Marine Christmas…

Marine Under the Mistletoe
Always a Marine

Release Date: November 26, 2013 – All Links Pending Release

Enjoy the following excerpt for Have Yourself a Marine Christmas:

Jingle Bell Rock blasted through the speakers and more than one voice jammed out to the familiar tune, echoing the song up and down the hall. The music still invaded his room, even after one of the nurses had closed the door for him. Rebel thumbed the volume louder on the television, hoping to mute the insidious little ditty before it wormed farther into his brain.
A cramp fisted in his thigh and Rebel dropped the remote, digging his fingers into the recalcitrant muscle. He gritted his teeth and a hiss of air escaped—his only concession to the pain radiating up from his calf to pinch his quadriceps. It’s all in your head, Marine. Suck it up. He had no calf muscle to cramp.
Because he had no damn calves.
Staring steadily at the news report offered him a grim distraction. Trouble in the Baltics and civil war raging in an African nation earned top news bites. Somewhere, someone always hurt worse than he did. Swinging his legs over the edge of the bed, he tried to distract himself, but the thunk of the faux foot on wood didn’t have the same effect.
The door opened, adding fresh punch to his misery as Frosty the Snowman followed behind the luscious, caramel-skinned torturer who looked after him.
“Close the damn door.” He regretted the snarl the moment it passed his lips. The aggravating pain in his quad wouldn’t let go and had begun to radiate up his back. Flattening his prosthetic foot had zero effect and the socket friction on his skin compounded by the damn song replicating like a virus across the walls of his mind.
“Good afternoon to you, too.” Noel Torres pushed the door closed with a thump.  “Cramps?” She didn’t wait for his answer before crossing the room and adding her nimble fingers to the job. Seizing his thigh in both hands, she dug her thumbs right into the center of the knot, brutalizing him with a fresh wave of agony. “You know the drill, Rebel.” Snappy and crisp, her eyes clashed with his. “Breathe.”
He could no more ignore the order than he could the heady scent of her perfume—not that he was expert in such matters. Noel’s was an exotic, distinctly feminine scent he associated only with her, and for the last year it had been his salvation. Deep breaths calmed his racing heart as her thumbs continued to apply pressure to the violent spasm seizing his muscle until bit-by-bit, it eased.
“Breathe,” she ordered him. “In for four. Hold. Out for four.”
Struggling to follow the command, he kept his attention on her. Dressed in deep yellow polo shirt that truly brought out her skin tone, and her long black hair pulled back in a severe ponytail, she looked all of twelve years old.
Yeah, if twelve looked hot and edible…. He scowled at the new direction his mind wandered and Noel squeezed his thigh. A burning lance of sensation stabbed him and then the muscle let go entirely and he wanted to weep.
“You’re holding your breath again.” She frowned, but shifted her grip on his thigh and begun to massage it.
Reminded, he exhaled a hard sigh. “Hurts like a bitch.”
“Of course it does, you’re tense and getting worked up. You know your mood has as much of an effect on your recovery as your exercise regimen.” Disapproval hung off the last two words and Rebel huffed. “And don’t you take that impatient note with me. Did you really think they wouldn’t tell me you skipped physio three days this week?”
“I was tired.” He tried to look around her, but she only adjusted her firm touch to knead the taut muscles of his other thigh.
“Bullshit. Your physio is not an option. Get a grip on your panties, Marine. You don’t get to play the I’m-too-tired card. We put a pin in that one months ago.”
Three months before, he’d been in the midst of a black depression and slept day in and day out. He refused to go to therapy, refused to engage with his psych evaluation, and damn near ended up on forced medication. Noel hadn’t allowed him the luxury of mind-numbing drugs. Instead, she’d all but dragged him out of bed, helped him into a wheelchair and took him for a walk in the park—pushing him around like a baby in a pram. Humiliating—but effective. He returned to therapy the next day—and she’d smiled at him.
The soothing stroke of her fingers unlocked the tension in his gut. “How was your trip?” he asked. Maybe distraction would work.

My review:

This is a holiday story with spirit. Losing his legs to an IED couldn't keep Rebel down but associated memories have played havoc with his love for the holiday. Can Noël help him find his way back or will it take a little Chrissy Carol? Like all of Heather Long’s Always A Marine stories this one will make you feel and think and laugh and sigh. Take a stubborn Marine and an even more stubborn nurse add in some chemistry and some seasonal spirit and you have Have Yourself a Marine Christmas. If this book doesn't get you in the Christmas spirit, check your pulse.


Always a Marine
Lest Old Marines Be Forgot
She never stopped grieving…

It’s New Year’s Eve, and thirty years since Brenda Connors buried the only man she ever loved. Every year on the anniversary of his death, she finds herself in the hospital, suffering from chest pains. No matter how expected, it always takes her breath away. This year…this year she wants it to be different and takes the advice of her best friend and would be sister-in-law to sign up for a one-night stand. It seems ridiculous, just a year shy of her fiftieth birthday to try and seek happiness she long since gave up on. She never imagined a stern faced Marine with talent for making her laugh…

He doesn’t know what the future holds…

Married to his career and facing forced retirement, Major Tom Baxter doesn’t see much of a future for himself in civilian life. A poker game with the son of an old friend earns him some unwanted advice, but it’s advice he can’t get out of his head. He signs up for a one-night stand, to discover what life on the outside might have to offer. The last thing he expected was an elegant soul with a streak of mischief…

Ringing in a new beginning…

Can Tom and Brenda make every second of their countdown to midnight count, lest old Marines be forgot?

Lest Old Marines Be Forgot
Always a Marine
Release Date: December 2, 2013 – All Links Pending Release

About the Author:
National bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas summertime. From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories—her characters drive the books. When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.

Contact Details:

Website: http://www.heatherlong.net
Email: heather@heatherlong.net
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HeatherLongAuthor
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/HVLong

Enjoy the following excerpt for Lest Old Marines Be Forgot:

Their table sat in an alcove that also doubled as a private balcony and overlooked a lit garden. According to his hostess, he and his date would also be able to see the fireworks over Dallas later should they still be at their table at midnight. If not, then their reserved suite also had a balcony and a good vantage point. A marble-floored hallway led to their dining table and though the alcove was simply one of several such isolated settings, theirs possessed heavy cream curtains that could be closed to afford them further privacy.
Overall, it was an excellent choice on Luke’s part. Fortunately, years of not doing much with his salary meant Tom could also afford the evening comfortably. He finished the cup of coffee and checked his watch. Fifteen minutes to operation launch and he heard heels tapping on the marble floor caught his attention. Glancing sideways, he spotted a pair of elegant, long legs. Trailing his attention upward, he studied the woman approaching.
The body-hugging sheathe of a dress molded her curves, and what a shape she had…. Dark hair brushed her shoulders, the silvery streaks amidst the deep brown seemed almost artistic. Straightening, he frowned when she hesitated and checked her phone. The curl of anticipation in his gut flattened out.
It didn’t matter if the elegant woman searched for another date; he couldn’t take his attention off her. She all but glared at her phone. A heartbeat later, she rewarded his captivation when her exasperation transformed into sparkling laughter.
Squaring her shoulders, she lifted her chin and their gazes collided. Her smile faltered for a heartbeat, then warmed. At her look, he rose to his feet and enjoyed her long walk down the hall.
“Ms. Connors.” He extended his hand automatically, her smooth palm gliding against his.
A hint of shyness softened her expression, but she didn’t look away. “Mr. Baxter. Can I just say that you chose the loveliest spot for dinner?”
Boosted by the compliment and her lovely manner, he inclined his head. “Only if you’ll allow me to say that you outshine the location—and then some.” He’d never really been that good with flowery compliments, but a hint of color bloomed over her cheeks and he let out a breath. “Here….” To pull out her seat meant he had to let go of her hand.
She had slender fingers, beautiful and tapered, and they’d been silky-soft with the barest hint of callouses on her index fingers and thumbs. Callouses that meant she used tools, but probably didn’t build or work with anything. His brain’s need to catalog details had proven a godsend in the field, but he didn’t need to pick apart his date.
“Thank you,” Brenda murmured and slipped around him to take the chair he held out and he scooted it in just as she sat. From his vantage point, he had a direct view of her cleavage and the teasing hint of a dark mole on the curve of her right breast.
Clearing his throat, he moved back to his seat. “Of course.”

My review:
This is a sweet story of closure and new beginnings.  Brenda has never fully moved on from losing her fiance and New Years Eve is a painful anniversary but it has been long enough and she has to break the cycle so she accepts a date through Madam Eve's 1NS service.  Tom is at a loss.  The Marines are pretty much all he's known and now he is retiring.  He always put the Corps first so he hasn't a wife or family to get him through this change.  Luke Dexter tells him of the success he and his friends have had with Madam Eve so he signs up.  He and Brenda are so made for each other. This story, like its characters, moves a little slower than the others in this series but the flames are no less hot for it.