Cat's Books: Romance

This is a companion blog on the Romance genre to my theme and troupe list making madness. North American Wordcat: Romance Reader Reviewer, Romance List Maker.Twitter @Catsbookrom, Cat's Books Romance Novel Theme Park catsbooks.net Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cats-Books-Romance/

Hold Me (Cyclone #2) by Courtney Milan Review

Hold Me (Cyclone) (Volume 2) - Courtney Milan

Jay na Thalang is a demanding, driven genius. He doesn’t know how to stop or even slow down. The instant he lays eyes on Maria Lopez, he knows that she is a sexy distraction he can’t afford. He’s done his best to keep her at arm’s length, and he’s succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.

Maria has always been cautious. Now that her once-tiny, apocalypse-centered blog is hitting the mainstream, she’s even more careful about preserving her online anonymity. She hasn’t sent so much as a picture to the commenter she’s interacted with for eighteen months—not even after emails, hour-long chats, and a friendship that is slowly turning into more. Maybe one day, they’ll meet and see what happens.

But unbeknownst to them both, Jay is Maria’s commenter. They’ve already met. They already hate each other. And two determined enemies are about to discover that they’ve been secretly falling in love…

 

Review

 

I adore the complexity of the characters, the Shop Around the Corner Theme, the nerd joy, and the shoes.

 

I don't tend to love enemies to lovers tales and because of the level of animosity between the hero and the heroine at first this element is here. Also, the plot takes a long time getting them together and then they are apart a lot still so I was not happy with the level of couple time, falling in love, and romance I got here.

 

I loved the first book in this series and snapped Maria's story up as soon as it came out. I wish for a softer look at the cast of characters for the series but enjoyed going deeper into this world.

 

There has been a great deal of thoughtful discussion on this book and the balance between the leads being themselves and the intersections of their various identities. I felt what was here was good but I wanted more. I wanted the relationship to move beyond where it rested so that the characters could reckon with more of their own intersection. Couples, especially couples as relatively young as there two, spend a great deal of time sharing who they are and who they are becoming and the most vulnerable parts of themselves past and present and future. We get some of that but I am greedy and think the book would have been more richer if this tenderness would have been explored.

Major Misconduct › Kelly Jamieson 99 cents!

Major Misconduct: An Aces Hockey Novel - Kelly Jamieson

As the captain of the Chicago Aces, Marc Dupuis is all business. The apartment he shares with his teammate and best friend, Duncan, is a refuge from the pressures of fame. But when the sexiest woman he’s ever seen interrupts his early morning coffee wearing only a skimpy cami and matching panties, Marc can’t exactly say he minds. Their chemistry is off the charts. Unfortunately, this girl’s no random puck bunny. She’s Duncan’s little sister—and she’s moving in.

Lovey Armstrong could stare at Marc’s chiseled abs and listen to his French-Canadian accent all day. She just has no idea what’s going on inside his head: When he’s not charming her pants off, Marc makes a Zamboni machine seem warm and cuddly. Lovey knows the team’s bro code says no messing with sisters, but all these mixed messages are hard on a girl’s self-esteem—especially since she’s finally getting her new life together in Chicago. She decides he’s worth another shot . . . because if anyone can melt the ice around Marc’s heart, it’s Lovey.

Gambled Away 99 cents!

Gambled Away: A Historical Romance Anthology - Rose Lerner, Molly O'Keefe, Joanna Bourne, Jeannie Lin, Isabel Cooper

Gambled Away: A Historical Romance Anthology by Rose Lerner, Molly O'Keefe, Joanna Bourne, Jeannie Lin, Isabel Cooper 

 

Get revenge. Pay a debt. Save a soul. Lose your heart.

Spanning centuries and continents, five brand-new novellas from beloved historical romance authors tell the stories of men and women who find themselves wagered in a game of chance and are forced to play for the highest stakes of all: love.

“Gideon and the Den of Thieves” by Joanna Bourne

London, 1793 – Soldier of fortune Gideon Gage has come home from halfway around the world, fully prepared to face down a ruthless gang to save his sister. But there’s one member of the gang he could never have been prepared for: fascinating Aimée, driven from her own home by the French Revolution and desperately in need of his help.

“Raising The Stakes” by Isabel Cooper

California, 1938 — When the flute she won in last night’s poker game unexpectedly summons an elven warrior bound to her service, two-bit con artist Sam takes quick advantage. With Talathan’s fairy powers at her command, her shakedown of a crooked preacher is a sure thing…but would she rather take a gamble on love?

“All or Nothing” by Rose Lerner

England, 1819 – Architect Simon Radcliffe-Gould needs someone to pose as his mistress so he can actually get some work done at a scandalous house party. Irrepressible gambling den hostess Maggie da Silva would rather be his mistress, but she’ll take what she can get…

“The Liar’s Dice” by Jeannie Lin

Tang Dynasty China, 849 A.D. — Lady Bai’s first taste of freedom brings her face to face with murder. A dangerous and enigmatic stranger becomes her closest ally as she investigates the crime, but can she trust her heart or her instincts when everyone is playing a game of liar’s dice?

“Redeemed” by Molly O’Keefe

Denver, 1868 — After agonizing years in the Civil War’s surgical tents, Union doctor James Madison has nothing left to lose. But when beautiful, tortured Helen Winters is the prize in a high-stakes game of poker, he goes all in to save her—and maybe his own soul.

Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish By Grace Burrowes $1.99 Great Book!

Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish (Windham Series) by Burrowes, Grace (October 1, 2011) Mass Market Paperback - Grace Burrowes

All She Wants is Peace and Anonymity...

 

Lady Sophie Windham has maneuvered a few days to herself at the ducal mansion in London before she must join her family for Christmas in Kent. Suddenly trapped by a London snowstorm, she finds herself with an abandoned baby and only the assistance of a kind, handsome stranger standing between her and complete disaster.

 

But Sophie's Holiday is About to Heat Up...

With his estate in ruins, Vim Charpentier sees little to feel festive about this Christmas. His growing attraction for Sophie Windham is the only thing that warms his spirits-but when Sophie's brothers whisk her away, Vim's most painful holiday memories are reawakened.

 

The Eight by Katherine Neville $1.99

The Eight - Katherine Neville

A fabulous, bejeweled chess set that belonged to Charlemagne has been buried in a Pyrenees abbey for a thousand years. As the bloody French Revolution rages in Paris, the nuns dig it up and scatter its pieces across the globe because, when united, the set contains a secret power that could topple civilizations. To keep the set from falling into the wrong hands, two novices, Valentine and Mireille, embark on an adventure that begins in the streets of Paris and leads to Russia, Egypt, Corsica, and into the heart of the Algerian Sahara.
 
Two hundred years later, while on assignment in Algeria, computer expert Catherine Velis finds herself drawn unwillingly into the deadly “Game” still swirling around the legendary chess set—a game that will require her to risk her life and match wits with diabolical forces.
 

The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson 99 cents!

The Healer's Apprentice - Melanie Dickerson

In author Melanie Dickenson’s new book, a young healer’s apprentice named Rose believes she will never marry … until she meets Lord Hamlin, the future ruler of her village. Hamlin is everything she could ever want—kind, understanding, and a man of faith—but her low station and the fact he’s already betrothed to a mysterious woman makes their romance impossible. As Lord Hamlin seeks to find the sorcerer who cursed his future bride, Rose’s life spins toward confusion. A creative retelling of the classic Sleeping Beauty tale.

Vin's Rules (Outer Settlement Agency, #4) by Lyn Brittan Review

Vin's Rules: A Science Fiction Romance (Outer Settlement Agency Book 4) - Lyn Brittan

When Vin Dhoma gets trapped in a rough Quadrant of space with regulation-happy Allie Ert’zod, he swears to get the hottie to loosen up a bit. Hell, she comes from a family of space pirates! How hard can it be?

Well, tough and getting tougher when you add in the little hiccup of having to run for their lives. They’ve stumbled upon the wrong town and ticked off the wrong people. If they have a shot of getting out of there, it’ll take his charm and her level head to see them through. And guns. Lots and lots of guns.

 

 

Review

 

I wanted to like this book. I like snark (the hero). I like uptight heroines caught in an opposites attract hormone storm.

 

I liked the world building but I could never settle into believing the hero and heroine liked each other and then the action kept coming too fast for me to trust in the romance.

 

Someone else might really like it.

Crash And Burn (Cyborg Sizzle Book 3) Cynthia Sax Review

Crash And Burn - Cynthia Sax

Crash was manufactured to be one of the best warriors in the universe. The cyborg has spent many human lifespans fighting the enemy. But, unlike his battle-loving brethren, he doesn’t enjoy killing. When he escapes the Humanoid Alliance, he vows to never end another life.

Then he meets Safyre, an infuriating human female, and he considers breaking his vow.

Safyre will do anything to save her friend, the being she loves like a sister. She’ll ravish a huge hunky cyborg, kiss his best friend, and invoke scorching hot desires the male never realized he could feel. Dark soulful eyes, a quick wit, and a tempestuous passion won’t divert her from her mission.

Love, and a planet-destroying weapon, however, might stop her permanently.

 

Review

 

A fun entry into the series! I love Crash who doesn't like killing like his Cyborg brethren. His backstory is well done.

 

The heroine is a foul mouthed hoot and endlessly loyal. There is a lot of insta lust but it is sweet romance as well with good action. 

 

A really fun cyborg romance read. 

True Devotion (The True Series Book 2) by Liora Blake $1.99! 4 Stars!

True Devotion (The True Series) - Liora Blake

Find out if rock sensation Simon can break through tough-girl Devon’s steely exterior—if he can keep his head on straight, that is—in this second sizzling romance in the True series!

Devon Jenkins is a feisty blonde, and Simon Cole is the arrogant, sexy guitarist playing in her brother’s band. When they met for the first time, it went something like this: He hit on her, she shot him down, he made a lewd joke, she told him he was an idiot.

In the two years since then, not much has changed. From the way Simon flirts shamelessly with any set of ovaries within a 100-mile radius, Devon knows the smartest thing she can do is keep an impenetrable wall between them.

But sometimes the smart choice isn’t necessarily the right one…

Query (Terran Times Second Wave Book 32) Viola Grace Review

Query (Terran Times Second Wave Book 32) - Viola Grace

Freddy goes to the Volunteer Centre with the blessing of her family and finds out that an alien bloodline runs in her veins. Somewhere in space, there is a world waiting for a new Oracle to take the position of the original Delphics. 


Knowing that having a job waiting is a better plan than going out blind; she ends up at a Guardian base with a heavily tattooed Admaryn watching her intently.

The moment she touches him, she sees them tangled together far into the future, and the answering knowledge is in his eyes. He wants her and intends to have her, no questions asked.

 

Having a talent to see the future makes for an interesting set of conflicts. I like the hero and the heroine but this is a fairly bland romance. 

 

Review 

 

Having a talent to see the future makes for an interesting set of conflicts. I like the hero and the heroine but this is a fairly bland romance.

Three Nights Before Christmas Kat Latham Review

Three Nights before Christmas (Montana Born Christmas) - Kat Latham

On the 3rd day of Christmas, my bookstore brought to be a train, a woman just out of prison, a christmas tree farm and a park ranger...

 

***2016 RITA® Finalist in the Contemporary Romance: Short Category***
***HOLT Medallion Award winner for outstanding literary fiction***

Have yourself a steamy little Christmas…

After three years in prison, freight train engineer Lacey Gallagher doesn’t expect this Christmas to be very merry and bright. At least chopping down trees for her brother’s Christmas tree farm will help her save money to get her life back on track. All her plans derail, though, when her new job puts her in territory patrolled by the man who haunts her dreams—the forest ranger who sent her to prison.

Austin Wilder isn’t thrilled about Lacey working in his forest—but he soon realizes he needs her help. His family is depending on him to restore an old steam train for a spectacular Christmas event, and train expert Lacey is his only hope of finishing in time.

Working together challenges every assumption Lacey and Austin have about each other, and they discover a desire hot enough to melt even the deepest Montana snow. But will the season of second chances be enough to mend the most hardened broken heart?

 

 

Review

 

I adore this book.

 

It is so thoughtful. Our heroine was a train engineer. My love of trains can't be understated so I completely get her train love. And this thing she loved was taken away from here when she was implicated in drug smuggling.

 

She is coming home to her family christmas tree farm after serving her sentence. She readjusting.

 

The hero is the ranger who arrested her. But he needs her to help fix a train. And then she gets to know her.

 

I love the heroine sexual agency. I love the hero's ability to see he was wrong.

The setting is great. The brother sister relationship is so well done. The romance is tender and brave and real.

 

And we get a Christmas Tree Farm at Christmas. Yes.

 

Snuggle up with this one.

 

I was given this book for my honest review so there you go! 4. 5.

 

 

 

 

 

At Wolf Ranch By Jennifer Ryan 99 cents!

At Wolf Ranch: A Montana Men Novel - Jennifer Ryan

Everything's bigger in Big Sky country, including the hearts of the Montana Men

 

After years on the rodeo circuit, Gabe Bowden wants nothing more than land of his own and a woman who will claim his heart for more than one night. When he has the chance to buy the enormous Wolf Ranch spread, he snaps up the incredible deal. Everything is set, until Gabe rescues a woman on the deserted, snowy road leading to the property, and the half-frozen beauty changes everything.

 

Ella Wolf rushes to her family's abandoned Montana ranch after her twin sister is murdered. She knows she's next…unless she can uncover a secret hidden somewhere at Wolf Ranch. The last thing Ella expects is to be rescued by a rugged rancher with his own agenda. A man who almost makes her forget how dangerous love can be…

 

As an unlikely partnership sparks into something so much more, and a killer closes in, can Ella and Gabe learn to trust one another before it's too late?

What I Bought Today!

Takes Two to Tackle - Jeanette Murray
Takes Two to Tackle (Santa Fe Bobcats) by Jeanette Murray
 
Sometimes faking it is your only option...
 
Football player Stephen Harrison has hit rock bottom—he’s fresh out of rehab, lost too much weight to be an effective offensive lineman, and has no support system in place. The Bobcats staff suggests he get a life coach to keep him sober and get him back into playing shape, but Stephen says his girlfriend will help. Too bad he doesn’t have one...
 
Luckily for Stephen, he does have a housekeeper. Margaret has always dreamed of starting her own elite cleaning service, and the money Stephen offers her to play the part of girlfriend is too good to pass up. But while Mags is helping Stephen bulk up and get ready for training camp, she can’t seem to block the feelings crashing into her heart. And one night of passion will pull both of their heads out of the game...
 

 

Fooling Around By Noelle Adam 99 cents!

Fooling Around - Noelle  Adams

Eric Vincent isn’t in the habit of asking for help. As the founder of a lucrative sports videogame franchise, he’s accustomed to getting his way and enjoying the fruits of his hard-earned success. Then all his illusions of dominance are shattered by a skiing accident that leaves him hobbled, facing a string of surgeries and months of immobility. The only way he’s going to survive is with someone by his side to anticipate his every desire. Someone who will devote every waking second to his comfort. Someone like Julie Nelson . . .
 
Julie’s life revolves around other people: her students, her parents, her sister. But even she has her limits. Julie has zero interest in playing personal assistant to Eric Vincent, a man who’s as arrogant as he is charismatic . . . until he ups the salary to one million dollars for three months’ work. Soon Julie’s struggling to bite her tongue—and resist the chemistry that draws her to Eric. But after one scorching kiss, Julie decides it’s finally her turn to be selfish. And this time, she’s going to get what she wants.

His Christmas Gift (Montana Born Christmas) by Sarah Mayberry Review

His Christmas Gift (Montana Born Christmas) - Sarah Mayberry

Since tragedy estranged defense attorney Jenna Macintosh from her family, she’s done her best to pretend Christmas doesn’t exist. Not so easy this year when she needs to work with client Lacey Gallagher, who is living on her brother Sawyer’s Christmas tree farm. All those fragrant pines dripping with twinkling lights are bad enough, but when disaster strikes, Jenna is stuck alone in a wooded cabin with Sawyer, the hottest man she’s ever met.

Experience has taught Sawyer Gallagher that smart city women like Jenna don’t want men like him, but when Jenna falls ill, he must abandon his plan to keep his distance and soon he’s trying to work out ways to make her his—and not just for Christmas.

 

Review

 

Sarah Mayberry is a treasure of a writing. She writers wonderful character driven romances. 

 

This book overlaps in time with the story of the hero's sister told in Kat Latham's wonderful Three Nights Before Christmas (Wild Montana Nights).

 

The hero is gruff and grumpy and a great loving hardworking man who likes and respects women and is not a man whore. Who knew? So, good.

 

The heroine has a bit more baggage but is super smart and kind. 

 

They both go after what they want which is each other.

 

There is the fun of a Christmas Tree Farm and a cabin romance when the hero takes care of the heroine who comes dow with chicken pox.

 

A lovely book to snuggle up too. 

No Groom at the Inn By Megan Frampton 99 cents

No Groom at the Inn: A Dukes Behaving Badly Novella - Megan Frampton

What does a lady do when a man she’s never seen before offers his hand in marriage? Lady Sophronia Bettesford doesn’t scream and run away. Instead, she accepts the shocking proposition. After all, what’s her other choice? To live with her cousin, caring for six children and a barnyard full of chickens?

 

James Archer has roamed the world, determined never to settle down. He’s faced danger and disaster…he fears nothing and no one—except his mother and her matchmaking ways. So when ordered to attend a Christmastime house party filled with holiday cheer and simpering young misses, he produces—a fiancée!

 

Sophronia and James vow to pretend to be in love for one month. But when they promise to give each other a Christmas kiss, it becomes clear that this pact made out of necessity might just be turning into love.