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/

Wolf Hunger by Paige Tyler 1.99!

Wolf Hunger - Paige Tyler

When SWAT Officer Max Lowry meets Lana Mason, he falls fast and hard. He's positive she's The One. And Max's favorite part? Lana's a wolf shifter too, so they can skip the awkward reveal and head straight to the happily ever after. There's just one problem: Lana doesn't know that she's a werewolf.

 

To make matters worse, hunters with intent to kill have tracked Lana to Dallas. Max has to figure out how to keep Lana safe, show her who and what she really is—and just how much she means to him

Throwing Stones by Avery Cockburn 99 cents and KU! Fun Read!

Throwing Stones  - Avery Cockburn

Oliver Doyle needs to win. After his reign as one of Canada's top curlers is cut short by scandal, he arrives in Glasgow to coach Scotland's next big team to a national championship. All that stands in the way of Oliver's redemption is a band of upstarts led by an infuriatingly cute skip.

Luca Riley needs to chill. Or so he's always believed, crafting a Zen-like serenity to carry his underdog curlers to the edge of greatness. To reach Nationals, Team Riley just have to keep calm and beat their arch-rivals--and their hot new Canadian coach--in one final bonspiel.

Luca and Oliver form an instant, irresistible bond. For the first time, Oliver shares the secret shame that's kept him off the ice for years, and Luca finds true acceptance for who he is. As the tournament races toward a nail-biting climax, Oliver must face his past before it consumes him again. And Luca must choose between the dream he can taste and the man he could love.

Sporting Chance by Alexa Milne 99 cents!

Sporting Chance - Alexa Milne

Sometimes keeping hold of love is just as hard as finding it.
Dan and Iestyn are looking for romance. A school trip, a love of history, a wedding, a tango, the game of chess, and their friends and family all help the two men to realize that they’ve finally found true love with each other.

Iestyn thinks that he’s completely ordinary and that Dan is the only out and currently gay rugby player anywhere. Being gay can be difficult enough. Being famous also has its problems. But being gay, famous and a sportsman can make finding love complicated. So when Dan Morgan meets Iestyn Jones and gives him his phone number, their road ahead has more than a few bumps to overcome.

Will Iestyn and Dan overcome the obstacles thrown in their paths? Or will fame destroy their lives as well as their love?

Queen of Swords by Katee Robert 99 cents!

Queen of Swords - Katee Robert

When the cards tell Ophelia Leoni she's supposed to marry the Prince of Hansarda, the gunrunner grits her teeth and boards the starship that comes for her. It doesn't matter if the ship's commander is the gorgeous stranger she just spent a wild, drunken night with. As a Diviner, she’s painfully aware the cards don't lie. Ever.

 

Boone O’Keirna knows Ophelia is trouble the second he sees the way she moves. Not about to let the little hellcat marry his sadistic half-brother, Boone pretends to be the Prince’s emissary and kidnaps Ophelia. Too bad they can’t be in the same room without him wanting to throw her out an airlock–or into bed.

 

Even as they fight each other–and their explosive attraction–Ophelia and Boone sense something is wrong. Too much is going their way. Soon, they realize while the cards may never lie, the truth is sometimes hidden between them...and the future king of Hansarda is not one to take defeat lying down.

Five Minutes Longer (Enhanced #1) by Victoria Sue 3.5 Star Review!

Five Minutes Longer - Victoria Sue

Talon Valdez knew when he transformed into an enhanced human, his life and his dreams were finished. Reviled, mistrusted, and often locked away, the enhanced were viewed as monsters, despised by the public, and never trusted to serve in the military or any law enforcement agency.

Years later he gets a chance to set up a task force of enhanced to serve in the FBI, but with one proviso: each enhanced must partner with a regular human.

Finn Mayer dreamed of joining the FBI from the time he was fourteen and made every possible sacrifice to make it happen, including living with his selfish mother and bullying, homophobic brother and never having a boyfriend. But his undiagnosed dyslexia stopped his aspirations dead in their tracks. His last chance is to partner with Talon, an enhanced with deadly abilities who doesn’t trust regular humans with their secrets and wants Finn to fail.

Four weeks to prove himself to the team. Four weeks for the team to prove itself to the public. And when another group threatens their success—and their lives—four weeks for them to survive.

 

 

 

Review

 

I was in the mood for a fun Paranormal read and this fit the bill.

I like Finn a great deal. Talon keeps things inside a bit too much for me but the action of the plot was good and Finn really likes him.


The world building around the powers is well done if the rest of the world is pretty basic. 

So, I love Finn, :) The romance is okay and the powers are intersting. I will read the next in the series.

Touched by Darkness by Catherine Spangler Free!

Touched by Darkness - Catherine Spangler

After seven years on the run, Dr. Kara Cantrell believes she and her son, Alex, are safe. She’s wrong.

Kara settles in the sleepy town of Zorro, Texas, convinced that she and her child have escaped the sinister reach of a supernatural underworld. But the appearance of Damien Morgan, a dangerous, alluring man with superhuman abilities, upends her quiet existence. 

Damien realizes that Alex is a fledgling Sentinel, and Kara is a matched, psychic conductor for him. She wants nothing to do with him, refusing to revisit the hell she experienced seven years ago. But she has no choice, as her son is projecting his abilities, leaving him vulnerable to unseen forces. Not only that, but someone—or something—is murdering people in Zorro. 

Kara is forced to work with Damien, tapping into a mystical link that triggers desires both of them must ignore. But as they work together to protect her son, and to track the killer, evil stalks them, reaching out—with the touch . . . of darkness.

For My Lady's Heart by Laura Kinsale $1.99!

For My Lady's Heart - Laura Kinsale

With Princess Melanthe di Monteverde widowed, a political marriage would tip the balance of power to any kingdom that possessed her. Determined to return to England alive and unwed, she hides behind a mask of witchery.
 
Protecting her is Ruck d’Angleterre, a chivalrous knight who never wavers—and the only man Melanthe wishes could lift the veil of her disguise. He once desired her, but now his gaze reveals distrust. As they flee her enemies, Melanthe’s impossible love for the Green Knight grows.
 
Ruck has remained chaste for thirteen miserable years, since his wife entered a nunnery, continuing to honor their marital vows. In that dark hour, when the church stripped him of his spouse and his possessions, the princess secretly came to his aid with two emeralds. Her safety is his duty, yet his heart is not pure. Each time he gazes upon Melanthe’s sable hair and twilight eyes, he wants more
 

You Don't Know Jack by Erin McCarthy $1.99

You Don't Know Jack - Erin McCarthy

Jamie Peters has just been told by her cross-dressing psychic that she’s about to meet her soul mate. Yeah, right. Jamie no longer believes in true love after dating so many true idiots, scumbags, and moochers. But sure enough, a knight in shining armor steps between her and a mugger on a New York City subway platform. Just a regular, honest, upright Jack. The kind they don’t make anymore . . .
 
Millionaire Jonathon Davidson is a former day trader who doesn’t usually make a practice of lying to beautiful women. But social worker Jamie thinks he’s just an ordinary guy, and is clueless about him being crazy rich—not to mention the other secret connections that exist between them. She’s submitted an application to his grandfather’s charitable trust—and he’s the one who’s supposed to be investigating her. Jonathon can’t come clean just yet—but it’s going to be very hard to resist getting naked with Jamie in the meantime . . .
 

Caught Running by Madeleine Urban, Abigail Roux 3.5 Star Review!

Caught Running - Madeleine Urban, Abigail Roux, Jeff Gelder

Ten years after graduation, Jake "the jock" Campbell and Brandon "the nerd" Bartlett are teaching at their old high school and still living in separate worlds. When Brandon is thrown into a coaching job on Jake's baseball team, they find themselves learning more about each other than they'd ever expected. High school is all about image – even for the teachers. Brandon and Jake have to get past their preconceived notions to find the friendship needed to work together. And somewhere along the way, they discover that perceptions can always change for the better.

 

Review

 

I picked this book up because I have seen it everywhere on Favorite Male Male Romance books. 

I can see why its is so popular. Parts of the love story and topics are really great and thoughtful but some of the basics of the writing and the romance genre aspects are rough. 

The heroes have that opposites attract mojo going on. I love that Brandon and Jake are both teachers and love their work with students. The slow burn of the romantic connections is well done and the relationship is sweet. However, we get a HFN and I wanted more really.

The book takes a thoughtful look at high school cliques and politics at the teacher and student levels. The thinking about coaching and also extra work of tutoring is compelling as is the hard work of student be they athletes or academic high achievers. 

The writers also look at the damage high school and college athletics do to the body and we venture into pain pill addiction but the hard work recovery is left for after the book ends and that was disappointing. 

Not so good: 
Some of the side characters are interesting but all the women are not drawn with complexity. The changing of pov are pretty awful and hard to track who is thinking and the third person subjective point of view is.... not working.

So, I like a lot of it but think the over book hints at these writers desire to write something romantic but not romance and in more of a long running series which is what happens later.

Southern Pleasure by Kaylee Ryan Free!

Southern Pleasure - Kaylee Ryan

They tell you that a parent’s love is all consuming. I never put much thought into it. Not until the minute I heard her take her first breath. That little girl is my world. I’d do anything to protect her. 

My ex signed over her rights and her family vowed that my daughter didn’t exist. Now that she’s gone, they want my little girl. They’re trying to say I can’t give her what she needs.

I’ve known Evan all my life. Our families farms run parallel with each other. He and my brother Aaron have been best friends for as long as I can remember. 

What they’re trying to do is wrong. He needs my help, someone he can trust and I’m more than happy to do it. I volunteered without hesitation.

I should have thought about what it would be like to have our lives intertwined. I should have thought about what would happen when our time together ended and how my heart would feel when I had to walk away.

Hound Dog & Bean by B.G. Thomas Review

Hound Dog & Bean - B.G. Thomas

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
There's been little love in H.D. "Hound Dog" Fisher's life since the death of his beloved mom when he was a boy. Bounced around the foster care system, he ran away as soon as he could… and took the foster dog with him. As far as he's concerned, only dogs have no ulterior motive, never hold a grudge, and offer unconditional love. Now he helps run a no-kill shelter and leaves relationships where they belong: in the back room. 

"Bean" Alexander settled in Kansas City to open his coffee shop after years of traveling. He never expected to open his heart too. When a man with a grudge takes a swing at H.D. while in line at Bean's shop, Bean jumps to intervene. 

So taking a hit for H.D. gets Bean noticed, and H.D. feels obligated to pay a debt. But then the unexpected happens. A series of misadventures causes H.D. to open up—but falling in love makes him turn tail and run. Trust is a tough road to travel. Will good friends, a dog named Sarah Jane, and a bit of folk magic be enough to bring Hound Dog and Bean a happy ending?
Review
 
I liked certain aspects of this book a lot. It is a love song to coffee and fair trade as well as to Kanas City which I have recently visited.

I liked the placeness of the story. Kanas City is a complicated place as the city is in two states. Also, this Midwestern Urban hub is where LGBTQA folks from all the smaller towns tend to settle and as such the city has a vibrant and compelling history which includes electing the first Transgender Woman to City Council, I have met her and she is amazing in every way. The University of Missouri, Kanas City houses GLAMA, one of the most extensive LGBTQA collection in the nation and the largest oral history collection of Trans history in the world. Please check it out. 

Sadly, as much as the city was a character and I love dogs and rescue work and like deep dives into cool subjects like coffee sourcing, the romance lacked focus, Hound Dog and Bean took a long way to each other which include HD sleeping with others after they had been together which happens but is not my favorite in a love story. 

So, I am glad I read it and will try this writer again but not great.
 
 

 

The Royal Mess by MaryJanice Davidson $1,99

The Royal Mess - MaryJanice Davidson

When it comes to the wild Kingdom of Alaska, in a reality where Russia never sold the territory to the United States, a Rodinov has always protected the Baranov royal family. And Jeffrey, born and raised to be the next in the long and illustrious line of protectors, is not about to let the tradition fail with him.
 
But Princess Nicole isn’t exactly the easiest charge: an expert at hunting who’s sharp as nails, stubborn as a bull, and completely convinced she doesn’t need anyone watching her back. Even worse, she’s got the most kissable lips Jeffrey has ever seen.
 
What Nicole really needs is a man with the perfect combination of brains and brawn to show her the royal ropes (and cuffs . . . and scarves . . .). Someone who can make her feel like a queen—in bed and out of it. And, after all, taking care of the royal family is exactly what Rodinovs are trained to do . . .  
 

Eli's Three Wishes (Love and Salvage #2) by Mathew Ortiz Review

Love and Salvage: Eli's Three Wishes - Mathew Ortiz, C. Moriatry, William Bristol

Eli Gaither was a big, rough, mean sumabitch of a man. Solitary by choice, he only attended Gaither family events when he was made to. Still hurting from a painful divorce, he was like an angry bear licking his wounds. Most people, save for his family, avoided him until Oscar Hernandez came into his life, yelling at him and turning his world upside down.

 
Okay, maybe he was plain loco for hitting on the grizzly bear of a man in front of him but

he couldn’t help it. The man was so freaking hot. But Oscar was not about to let this man tell him what to do and how to think. If Eli Gaither thought him a shrinking violet, he had another thing coming. Oscar was used to getting his way, so Eli was in for the ride of his life with the hot blooded Latin man.

 

Review

 

Hmmm. 

The writing is rough. We wander deep into the land of the Latin hot tempered stereotype. 

The plot veers this way and that.

I didn't hate it but I can't recommend it either. 

Silver Linings by Jayne Ann Krentz $1.99!

Silver Linings - Jayne Ann Krentz

Mattie Sharpe is never late​ but ​ getting lost on a winding island road that dead-ended in the mountains set her back by two full hours. Nerves already frayed from the delay left her unprepared for ​what she found​ at her destination--Paul Cormier slowly bleeding to death on the white marble floor of his pristine mansion. Had she been on schedule, Mattie ​ ​would have suffered the same fate. ​ 

Now she's on the run with the only man who can keep her safe, Hugh Abbot. ​Trouble is, he's the same man who walked out on her several months ago; the one man she vowed never to see again. ​Hugh is a man who understands priorities. Getting Mattie safely off the island is at the top of his list. He's got a lot of challenges -- he can deal with a closed airport, a plane in flames and a jungle. But convincing Mattie that she can trust him is the biggest problem of all.

Spellbinder by Thea Harrison $1.99!

Spellbinder - Thea Harrison

Kidnapped while on tour, musician Sidonie Martel is transported to the mystical land of Avalon. A human without magical ability, she is completely vulnerable to the deadly forces surrounding her.

When she defies her captors and refuses to share her music, an act of violent cruelty leaves her broken, her ability to play silenced, maybe forever. Her only hope is a whisper in the dark, gentle hands that offer healing, and a man who refuses to show her his face yet who offers advice she dare not ignore.

One of the most feared and powerful sorcerers in history, Morgan le Fae serves a Queen he despises, Isabeau of the Light Court. Once a famous bard and an advisor to kings, Morgan has been enslaved to Isabeau for hundreds of years, acting as enforcer and the commander of her deadly Hounds.

Sidonie’s music touches Morgan in places he had abandoned centuries ago, and her fiery spirit resurrects feelings he had believed long dead. For Sidonie, trapped in captivity, passion offers a comfort she cannot resist.

But Isabeau holds Morgan bound in magical chains that only Death can break. And in the court of a cruel, jealous Queen, the only thing that burns hotter than love is revenge…

Lost Soul: AJ's Burden (Healing Hearts, #4) by Nicky James 3.5 Star Review!

Lost Soul: A.J.'s Burden - Nicky James

 

What does rock bottom look like to you?


AJ Silva is about to find out. His life has been spiralling the drain for the past year, and if he doesn’t find a way out soon, he may die on the streets of San Francisco. Drowning in a severe drug addiction, battling every day to survive, AJ doesn’t know where to turn. His past haunts him in more ways than one, and leaves him both grasping and begging for change, while fearing his future. All AJ knows how to do is chase one problem away with another. How can you win the war when your enemy is yourself?


Trystain Larsson is an addict. Five years ago, he discovered rock bottom first hand. Since that dreaded day, he’s worked his recovery with everything he has. Helping others who’ve fallen victim to drugs gives him hope for a better tomorrow. If he can save even one person from that life, it will mean victory. 


When AJ lands at his doorstep, Trystain gets more than he bargained for. Not only is AJ at the end of his rope, but there is something darker going on.


Coming off drugs is not an easy task, and with AJ, Trystain has his work cut out for him. During their time together, a bond that goes deeper than friendship grows. 


Will mistakes from the past be barriers for the future? It’s hard to move forward, when you can’t stop looking back. 

 

 

 

Review

 

 

I am a big fan of Nicky James and this entry into the Healing Hearts series is a good one.

We meet AJ in the 3rd book in the series and I was thrilled to see him get his HEA.

You don't have to read that book to enjoy this one but it will make it better. 

James does a deep dive into addiction and the start of recovery here. And there are a pile of other triggers for sex trafficking and abuse of all kinds. 

However, the heart of this book is the lovely romance between AJ and Trystan, two men who have never had a relationship before. 

It is really sweet and healing overall with great secondary stories that I wouldn't mind reading more about. 

I would have liked a richer epilogue as we are pretty early in recovery for AJ and being together for them both but as always James stellar writing and character development sees us through.