Rachel's books

I'm a registered nurse.  Reading gives me that escape I need.  I read primarily romance in all genres.

 

 

Black Diamond

Black Diamond - Susannah Sandlin

Glad that Jena has her own book.
Jena, recovering from the events of book 1 is finally back on duty. She is self-conscious about her scars. Cole had something Bad happen and he decided to move and live off the grid. He succeeds until the arrival of drugs in his backyard.
I thought Jena and Cole were a good match because of things that happened to them. (I surprised to read about what happened to Cole- I thought he was hiding from someone). I liked the secondary characters- Ceelie and Gentry make appearances (and Paul, Mac). Decent plot and the villains (while guessed about 1/2 through), were good ones. I would liked a bit more at the end, I thought it was a bit rushed.
Jena's parents are TOXIC.

Sins of the Demon

Sins of the Demon - Diana Rowland

Warning, book ends in a cliffhanger.
It's been about a year since I read the last book. I remembered enough/enough reminders in this one and I was able to pick right up. So, 3 people have had things happen to them. It turns out there are all people who wronged Kara in the past. Add to that a mayor who has it out for her and she is a murder suspect. 
I enjoyed that one for the dynamics between all the characters. Jill, Zack, Ryan all have decent roled to play in this one. Add to that, what was suspected about Ryan is, IMO, pretty much confirmed in this one. The rouge summoner was a surprise. Eilahn was definitely my favorite character in this book. Her enthusiasm for getting a pet, Christmas decorations, etc just made me smile. I really hope she makes an appearance again. What's poor, little Fuzzykins going to do?

 

More for my memory- (spoiler behind page break) just in case:

 

 

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Trust in Me

Trust in Me - Samantha Chase

I liked this slightly better than the last one.
Maggie used to be an executive assistant, until she was sexually harassed and almost assaulted by her boss. William Montgomery happened to be there at that time and offered her a job. Fast forward 3 years later. William thinks it's time she got a promotion, started living, and stopped hiding. He also wanted to match her with his son, Jason. Jason, on the other hand, has been hit on by multiple women. (He blamed it on Emma and Lucas). Problem is, Maggie has pretended to be married for last 3 years to keep men away from her. What ensues next is friendship, than attraction.
It was sad that her ex-boss had so much power over her. It does get resolved, but I would have liked Maggie to have been more involved in it. (I think that those who have read the book will know (and agree) to what I refer to).
Jason, a workaholic, was able to be more balanced. I did think the ending was more rushed and I didn't appreciate how he handled the ex-boss situation. 
Clean romance. Kissing only.

A Hidden Fire

A Hidden Fire  - Elizabeth   Hunter

Dr. Giovanni Vecchio is a vampire and a rare book dealer. Beatrice De Novo or as she prefers "B," is an information sciences major with plans to be a librarian. Through individuals in their past, their present is mingled. 
As is usually the case, Gio is an older vampire, wise in the way of the world. B, by contrast, is young and naive. Man, this book was boring. It got better in the last half. The ending sucked. No closure.
I did like how they first meet. (A library where she was working and he researching). I liked how bookish both were. The secondary characters were also good one. The vampire affinity for elements was also unique and concept I liked.
I didn't care for the pacing. It was slow as molasses. While I liked the slow burn of the romance, I didn't like the ending. I didn't like that Gio was insistent on calling her Beatrice when she preferred "B." Then there was the fuck-up on her age. If she was born July 2nd 1980, she should have been 23 since this started in September of 2003. If was mentioned several times she was 22.

Wait for Me

Wait For Me - Samantha Chase
Emma is the executive assistant to William Montgomery, president (patriarch) of Montgomery Enterprises (okay, I admit I don't remember the name of the company- but it may not have even been mentioned either). William's youngest son, Lucas, used to play in the NFL before a career ending injury. Since that time, he has become a recluse only coming into the city once a month for the family business. William sees attraction between Emma and Lucas and decides to play matchmaker.
I liked Emma and Lucas only somewhat. Lucas was annoying and immature at times. I thought it was ridiculous that he didn't want pity from anyone, but (essentially) threw himself a pity party for one for 2 years. I thought it was ridiculous he would rather be in pain (and not be able to play football) vs no pain/mild discomfort (and not be able to play football). But, that is me. 
I thought the relationship buildup was nicely paced. I appreciated that Emma was able to call bullshit on Lucas. More than once. Their relationship had very obvious highs and lows. The events also led Emma to get the courage to pursue her dream. I liked the idea of the family patriarch being the one to set his kids up too. 
I did think the resolution was rushed and weaker despite the good start. 
For those that like closed door sex scenes, this book would work for you! I'm assuming the rest of the series (and maybe most/all of the author's works too) is like that as well. (I personally like steam, but not at the expense of plot. 90% of the time anyway. Haha). 

I am also counting this for #rippedbodicebingo for the "heroine inherits a business" square. "...because I can't think of anyone better to take over this business for me." and "It wasn't every day that you got handed what you wanted without really trying." This was a nice, unexpected surprise since I needed this square!
 
 

 

SPOILER ALERT!

Traitor in Her Arms

Traitor in Her Arms: A Scarlet Chronicles Novel (The Scarlet Chronicles) - Shana Galen

Lady Gabrielle McCullough's husband racked up lots of debt and then died, leaving Gabrielle to find a way to pay it off. She learns how to pick locks and steals from the nobility to gradually pay off what is now her debt. Ramsey Barnes, the Earl of Sedgwick, also is good at picking locks and thievery. He has a Secret and is being blackmailed because of that Secret. 
I liked that this historical romance was different; lock picking hero and heroine, French Revolution, the Scarlet Pimpernel?! Both characters are likable, relate-able, and I understand their motivations and where both came from. I would have liked Ramsey to trust Gabrielle earlier than he did. It was nice to see a woman villain. (Make that women). 
While this is definitely a historical romance, I thought the action and suspense of the "quest" took center stage. I think that worked due to the subject matter. I am interested in seeing if this becomes a series, Alex was memorable and I would like to read her HEA. 

eARC courtesy of Random House Publishing Group (Loveswept) and NetGalley
Out Aug 22nd

I am using this for rippedbodicebingo "Broke AF Hero" square. This is a spoiler:

 

 

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Myriah Fire

Myriah Fire - Claudy Conn

Meh. That's my thought on this book.
Myriah gets caught kissing a suitor. Suitor (of course) has other motives (he's broke and needs cash). Her father catches her and expects her to marry. So, what does Myriah do? She runs away! She then makes a wrong turn and finds a young man who had been shot. (Go her, she saves him). She finds out he is William (Billy) and his brother is Lord Christoper (Kit) Winborne. She fibs and gives them a different last name. Things are off....are they smuggling? Are they poor? 
What was (really) going on wasn't a surprise. I had a hard time getting over Kit and Myriah's first meeting. (She was sleeping in his room and he came home. He thought he could do whatever he wanted since he thought she was a whore and had been paid for. Whatever you fucking asshole!). 
The writing style threw me off as well. On one page I counted 8 (or was it 7) exclamation points.

I also read this for the published pre-1980 square for #rippedbodicebingo (first published in May 1978).

I have another older work by this author, hitting the delete button.  I have zero desire to read it.

The New Deputy in Town

The New Deputy in Town - B.J. Daniels

Nick Rogers takes the Deputy Sheriff position in Whitehorse, MT. He has something to hide. And is that his real name? Laney is an accountant in town for her annual summer trip back home to see her family. 
So, first off, I liked both Nick and Laney. This was good and held my attention. However, there was too many things going on. There's the murder, attempted murder on someone else, bar assaults, theft, and let's not forget Nick's Secret. 
This also had characters that I adored (Prince and his owner Chaz!) and hated (Arlene). Arlene certainly lived in a different century. 

for #rippedbodicebingo: person in uniform on cover

Wild Man's Curse

Wild Man's Curse (Wilds of the Bayou Book 1) - Susannah Sandlin

Gentry Broussard is a wildlife agent. During patrol, he catches a poacher and notices a boat outside one of the remote cabins. That cabin belongs to Eva Savoie. The boat being unusual, he decided to investigate. He then sees someone leaving. Shocked and surprised because the person leaving looks a lot like his older brother. Who is/was supposed to be dead. Gentry then finds Eva murdered. 
Ceelie left Louisiana after she promised her father she would. Barely eking out a living in Nashville, she gets the call that her Aunt Eva was murdered. She does back to Louisiana to settle her aunt's affairs. While there, she meets Gentry and his partner, Jena. (I hope Jena's is the next book).
I enjoyed this book. Both characters are likable, well-fleshed out. I liked the depth of Ceelie's family and her realization to do something she wanted to do vs trying to live up to a promise she made her dad. I thought the secondary characters were also well done. Here's hoping Jena gets a book. (And yes she does- it's the next one, just looked!).

Austenland

Austenland - Shannon Hale

Jane is obsessed with P&P.  Okay, she's really into Colin Firth as Mr Darcy.  When her aunt dies, she is gifted with an all expenses paid trip to England to stay at Pembrook Park. Pembrook Park is a place where one can go and pretend to live in regency England.  PP employs actors, so who knows when something is real or genuine.  

So, interesting premise, but fell flat for me.  But I will say I liked the movie better (I know, sacrilege!)  I didn't like Jane.  She was flat, pathetic, and I really (really!) wanted to slap her. She did get better as the book progresses, but not enough for me.  I didn't like how she hid her P&P DVDs.  Luckily, they are on the shelf by the end of the book.  I own them too!

Sweet ending.

I hated this quote:  "You know, that book did Austen herself no good- died a spinster."  Yep, cause there is nothing worse than a woman who is SINGLE!  It doesn't matter how accomplished you are, etc, the "S" word is what is important.  Whatever.  

 

#rippedbodicebingo - Austen retelling

Midnight Crossroad

Midnight Crossroad (A Novel of Midnight, Texas) - Charlaine Harris

Midnight, Texas is a small town the attracts the paranormal, the unusual, and those that have something to hide. Every resident has at least one secret. The inhabitants are both open-minded and understand the need for secrets.
While I was interested from page 1, this is a slower paced book. It was at times a bit too descriptive. It's similar to the Sookie books in that regard. What made it interesting (and not boring for me), was the switching narratives. Bobo, Fiji, and Manfred were the 3 main characters. I liked the mystery. The residents do take care of their own. 
By the end of the book, I mostly knew who was a supernatural and who was completely "normal." And I have suspicions for the rest.
I loved Mr Snuggly!

The Earl and the Archeress

An Earl for the Archeress - Elizabeth E. Watson

Mariel ran away from her father to escape a marriage proposal. She enters an archery competition disguised as a boy. Robert, Lord Huntington, is also an excellent archer. After she loses in a tie, she runs. Robert, intrigued, looks for her. After learning her identity, he vows to protect her.
I really liked this. It's a retelling of Robin Hood. Both Robert and Mariel are well flushed out characters, strong, smart, and kind. Robert recognizes Mariel's education and archery ability and doesn't diminish it, but embraces it. 
What kind this from being a 5 star read for me was mainly Mariel's inability to trust in Robert. I understood from her background, but after so long it got old. Robert also took a long time to admit he loved her. Robert was also shot with an arrow in the arm during a raid. No further mention of it afterwards except when convenient for the plot. (I only point that out because the risk of infection during the time period and ouch!- but his abilities were not impaired in any way). Also, Robert's codpiece....not just decorative, but also storage! (I thought this was fun.....and I also rolled my eyes. More than once too!)
Good, likeable secondary characters, but (obviously) not well flushed out like the two main ones. The author did a good job: I HATED Harold Crawford and and William de Wendenal! I will have to see who book is about (if there is a book 2).
Recommended if you like awesome heroines (and heroes!)! 

eARC courtesy of Entangled Publishing and NetGalley
Street date: July 24th

RE: #rippedbodicebingo for the Non-Regency set historical!

Eye Candy

Eye Candy (Real Love) - Jessica Lemmon

Jackie and Vince both work for (and share the VP duties) of a marketing firm in Columbus, Ohio. Both were married and went through divorce. They became friends after Vince went through his. Vince is attracted to Jackie, but feels he has been put in the "friend zone." Jackie likes Vince, but feels he wouldn't be interested in her. Then, this hot jogger runs by Jackie's window at work most days and at the same time. She gets curious about him. Vince, in a moment of brightness (yes, sarcasm), decides she really, really needs to ask him (the jogger) out. 
Jackie does. Vince decided to "coach" her. See, this way he doesn't have to talk about......feelings. The most frustrating thing about this book was not talking about how they really felt. Some others issues too- while JT and Jackie were "dating" he was also seeing other people. But, that was construed as cheating. Jackie makes an assumption (a wrong one- shocker there) about Vince and then later Vince does the same thing to Jackie. 
Despite that, I was engaged in their story. I liked the writing. Once I started, it was hard to put down.

eARC courtesy of Random House Publishing Group (Loveswept) and NetGalley
Out July 25th

#rippedbodicebingo- I'm using this for the "The entire conflict could have been solved with one conversation" square. This would also work (if interested) for "Hero smells like some kind of tree." Vince "...who smells like a pine forest...." Kindle location 2643 

Midnight Crossroad - Charlaine Harris

Book discussion here

Miss Buncle's Book

Miss Buncle's Book - D.E. Stevenson
Short of money, Miss Barbara Buncle needs to find a way to bring in an income. Being a woman, she's limited in her choices. She decides to write a book. This book is based on her small village. Her book, "Chronicles of an English Village" becomes "Disturber of the Peace." She did submit and her book was published under a male pseudonym.
Miss Buncle's book becomes a huge success and everyone reads it. Then, her follow villagers see themselves in her characters (their names, while different, are similar). Some don't like how they are featured. What followed was fun and interesting (at times). This was a departure from my normal fare. I thought the humor and writing a bit dry at times. Also, a little wordy at moments. 

#RippedBodiceBingo pick for sub-genre you've never read
 
 

 

Pantsuit Nation

Pantsuit Nation - Libby Chamberlain

I didn't know about this (and I believe myself to be well-informed) until I saw this at my library while browsing. Pantsuit Nation, a group on Facebook, started last year to safely talk and support those that supported Hillary Clinton. I loved the format- individuals that posted to the group had their stories told in this book. Some are a picture, others a sentence, and others a few pages. I also liked the timeline- the beginning is before November 8th 2016 and ending on Jan 21st 2017. It helps to know you are not alone. 
Recommended!
See also: http://www.pantsuitnation.org/

Currently reading

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Arm Candy (Real Love) by Jessica Lemmon
Misadventures of a City Girl (Misadventures Book 1) by Chelle Bliss, Meredith Wild
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Professional Reader2016 NetGalley Challenge Reviews Published 80%