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/

Snowfall on Haven Point By RaeAnne Thayne 99 cents

Snowfall on Haven Point - RaeAnne Thayne

t's been two rough years since Andrea Montgomery lost her husband, and all she wants is for her children to enjoy their first Christmas in Haven Point. But then Andie's friend asks a favor—to keep an eye on her brother, Sheriff Marshall Bailey, who's recovering from a hit and run. Andie will do anything for Wyn, even park her own misgivings to check on her grouchy, wounded bear of a brother. 

Marshall hates feeling defenseless and resents the protective impulses that Andie brings out in him. But when a blizzard forces them together for the holidays, something in Marshall begins to thaw. Andie's gentle nature is a salve, and her kids' excitement for the holidays makes him forget why he never wanted a family. If only he and Andie can admit what they really want—each other—their Christmas wishes might come true after all.

The Bride Wore Spurs By Sharon Ihle 99 cents! Super fun!

The Bride Wore Spurs (the Inconvenient Bride Series, Book 1) - Sharon Ihle

Kathleen Lacey O’Carroll knew she faced an uncertain future when she arrived in Wyoming as a mail-order bride. Then she learns that the man she was to marry hadn’t actually ordered her.

As far as John Winterhawke—a fiercely independent half-Indian—is concerned, the last thing he needs is a high-spirited, overeager Irish wife who knows nothing about surviving on the harsh prairie.

Lacey senses the rough kindness and simmering hunger under Winterhawke’s forbidding demeanor, and becomes determined to match his dark passion by claiming his wild heart on her terms. But first she has to learn how to cook.

Fever By Maya Banks $1.99

Fever (Breathless Trilogy) by Maya Banks ( 2013 ) Paperback - Maya Banks

Jace Crestwell, Ash McIntyre, and Gabe Hamilton have been best friends and successful business partners for years. They’re powerful, they’re imposing, they’re irresistibly sexy, and Jace and Ash share everything—including their women. 

When they meet Bethany, Jace begins to feel things he’s never experienced before: jealousy, and a powerful obsession that threatens him, overwhelms him—and excites him beyond control. 

Jace isn’t sharing Bethany—with anyone. He’s determined to be the only man in her life, and it’s jeopardizing a lifelong friendship with Ash. Bethany will be his and his alone. Even if it means turning his back on his best friend.

Dirty Shame By Tess Oliver Free!

Dirty Shame: A Bad Boy Romance (Bluefield Bad Boys Book 1) - Tess Oliver

A coal miner’s son, Kellan Braddock always knew he’d follow in his late dad’s steel toed boots. He also always knew that he’d never love anyone as much he loved Rylan Merritt. But sometimes love isn't enough.

Seven years ago, Rylan Merritt left Bluefield Ridge with her heart in tatters. Now she’s back. And Kellan Braddock, the boy from the wrong side of the tracks, the boy who she loved beyond anything has grown into a man. Will she risk her heart again? 

The story of a first love so strong it never fades.

A Counterfeit Heart By K.C. Bateman $1.99

A Counterfeit Heart (Secrets & Spies #3) - K.C. Bateman

As Sabine de la Tour tosses piles of forged banknotes onto a bonfire in a Paris park, she bids a reluctant farewell to her double life as a notorious criminal. Over the course of Napoleon’s reign, her counterfeits destabilized the continent and turned scoundrels into rich men, but now she and her business partner must escape France—or face the guillotine. Her only hope of surviving in England is to strike a deal with the very spy she’s spent her career outrunning. Now after meeting the arrogant operative in the flesh, Sabine longs to throw herself upon his mercy—and into his arms.

Richard Hampden, Viscount Lovell, is prepared to take any risk to safeguard England from the horrors of the French Revolution. To lure the insurgents out from the shadows, he’s even willing to make a pact with his archenemy: Philippe Lacorte, the greatest counterfeiter in Europe. But when a cheeky, gamine-faced beauty proves herself to be Lacorte, Richard is shocked—and more than a little aroused. Unlike the debutantes who so often hurl themselves at him, this cunning minx offers a unique and irresistible challenge. Richard will help her. But in return, he wants something that even Sabine cannot fake.

Antisocial by Heidi Cullinan 5 Star Review

Antisocial - Heidi Cullinan

A single stroke can change your world.

Xander Fairchild can’t stand people in general and frat boys in particular, so when he’s forced to spend his summer working on his senior project with Skylar Stone, a silver-tongued Delta Sig with a trust fund who wants to make Xander over into a shiny new image, Xander is determined to resist. He came to idyllic, Japanese culture-soaked Benten college to hide and make manga, not to be transformed into a corporate clone in the eleventh hour. 

Skylar’s life has been laid out for him since before he was born, but all it takes is one look at Xander’s artwork, and the veneer around him begins to crack. Xander himself does plenty of damage too. There’s something about the antisocial artist’s refusal to yield that forces Skylar to acknowledge how much his own orchestrated future is killing him slowly…as is the truth about his gray-spectrum sexuality, which he hasn’t dared to speak aloud, even to himself.

Through a summer of art and friendship, Xander and Skylar learn more about each other, themselves, and their feelings for one another. But as their senior year begins, they must decide if they will part ways and return to the dull futures they had planned, or if they will take a risk and leap into a brightly colored future—together.

 

Review

While I love the romance in this in this book, the discussion of art is so powerful, it often steals the show.

 

This romance is a slow burn and not just because one of the heroes is asexual. The fall in love is really pretty magical as they take down wall after wall for each other.

 

It is also a very well done New Adult with the kinds of conflict that have to do with finding new understanding of your family of origins and becoming your fuller self.

 

The setting is compelling as the circle of friends that builds and the mythology contained in the manga and an exploration of toxic masculinity from all parts of the policatal spectrum that is explored.

 

The writing is lyrical and lovely and while the pace might be too slow for some, it really worked for me.

 

At the heart of this book is the love story which is all about intimacy.

 

So very good!

Unveiled by Courtney Milan 99 cents!

Unveiled - Courtney Milan

Of all Ash Turner's accomplishments, stealing a dukedom from his old enemy is by far the most brazen. Now that he's been recognized as the heir, nothing remains but to head to Parford Manor and survey the estate that will be his. He expects opposition.

He gets Lady Margaret.

Margaret lost everything when Ash claimed the dukedom: her dowry, her legitimacy, and her place in society. Now Ash wants to take her family home, too. She disguises herself as a nurse, determined to learn his weaknesses. But the closer she comes to Ash, the greater the pull of his reckless charm. If she wants to reclaim what she has lost, her only choice is to betray the man she is beginning to love..

Meant to Be by Terri Osburn $1.99 or Kindle Unlimited

Meant to Be - Terri Osburn

Beth Chandler has spent her whole life pleasing others. She went to law school to make her grandparents happy. She agreed to marry her workaholic boyfriend, Lucas, to make him happy. And, despite her fear of boats, she took a ferry to see Lucas’s parents just to make them happy.

 

While suffering through a panic attack on the ferry, Beth meets a tall, sexy stranger who talks her down from her fear—and makes her heart flutter in the process. Soon, she has a new reason to panic: her gorgeous, blue-eyed rescuer is Lucas’s brother, Joe. But could she ever leave her fiancé for his own brother…even if Lucas is more focused on making partner than on making their relationship work…and even if Joe turns out to be everything she never knew she wanted?

 

Blind Faith (Blind Faith, #1) by N.R. Walker Review

Blind Faith  - N.R. Walker

Starting a new job in a new town, veterinarian Carter Reece, makes a house call to a very special client.

Arrogant, moody and totally gorgeous, Isaac Brannigan has been blind since he was eight. After the death of his guide dog and best friend, Rosie, his partnership with his new guide dog, Brady, isn't going well.

Carter tries to help both man and canine through this initiation phase, but just who is leading who?

 

Review

This book was a nice read but like some of Walker's other books it seems written with the second in the series in mind and therefore isn't as lush as it could be to be truly great.

Carter, the Veterinarian, is awesome as vets often are. Walker does a great job saving him from being a saint with Isaac's mood swings as he good boundaries. He is really kind.

Isaac needs therapy for his anger and grief which is fine for me in a character but this aspect of him is at odds with what a great teacher he is.

I like how the blindness of Isaac was just a part of his character and not the whole of who he was though much more detail in both heroes could have been shaded in.

There are lots of great scenes here and good dates. The conflict is intersting but I would have liked more time after the first set of issues is worked through to get to know everyone better.

I loved Carter's best friend Mark (funny, crude, and so himself as an unrepentant bi stereotype). I thrilled to see he gets his own book.
 
 

 

This Side of Heaven by Karen Robards $1.99

This Side of Heaven - Karen Robards

Defiantly beautiful, Caroline Wetherby stepped ashore in a land so wild and fierce, she trembled.  She had come seeking refuge with the last of her family, but her sister was dead.  Waiting to greet her were pious Pilgrims, warring Indians, howling wolves, a boisterous household of men and boys...and him, her rugged, unwelcoming brother-in-law, Matt Mathieson.  Caroline wanted to hate Matt as she hated all men.

After her father's death, she'd been eager to escape England.  But as daughter of a gambler and a gypsy, her flamboyant ways and healing skills tempted disaster in the sanctimonious Connecticut Colony.  And putting herself in the hands of a big, handsome stranger tempted something far more dangerous--emotions she couldn't resist, kisses she couldn't forget, and a future that could bring ruin...or a journey to heaven on earth in his arms.

One Look By Christie Ridgway FREE!

One Look (One & Only, #1) - Christie Ridgway

Poppy Walker dreams big. Right now she’s determined to turn her family’s dilapidated mountain cabins into a successful resort, no matter what anyone says, and no matter that it’s taking longer than she thought to get them into shape. So, although the property is not near ready, when a devastatingly handsome stranger arrives on site, wads of cash in hand and asking for a month of privacy, she’s tempted to take him as her first guest…and then she’s tempted to take him on as something so much more.

Ryan Hamilton just wants a place to hole up and keep to himself. His dark memories hit him hard this time of year and he’ll face them alone so no one else gets hurt. But a sunny beauty with a spring in her step keeps luring him out of his cave and makes him smile, laugh, kiss. She’s irrepressible, their attraction’s combustible, and it turns out that an affair with Poppy Walker is just plain…irresistible.

When the brooding hero finds out that the bright-eyed optimist in his arms has hurts and secrets of her own, can he find a way to make them both happy?

Tigers and Devils (Tigers and Devils #1) by Sean Kennedy Review

Tigers and Devils - Sean Kennedy

The most important things in Simon Murray’s life are football, friends, and film—in that order. His friends despair of him ever meeting someone, but despite his loneliness, Simon is cautious about looking for more. Then his best friends drag him to a party, where he barges into a football conversation and ends up defending the honour of star forward Declan Tyler—unaware that the athlete is present. In that first awkward meeting, neither man has any idea they will change each other's lives forever.

Like his entire family, Simon revels in living in Melbourne, the home of Australian Rules football and mecca for serious fans. There, players are treated like gods—until they do something to fall out of public favour. This year, the public is taking Declan to task for suffering injuries outside his control, so Simon's support is a bright spot.

But as Simon and Declan fumble toward a relationship, keeping Declan's homosexuality a secret from well-meaning friends and an increasingly suspicious media becomes difficult. Nothing can stay hidden forever. Soon Declan will have to choose between the career he loves and the man he wants, and Simon has never been known to make things easy—for himself or for others.

 

Review

 

I love sports romances and being a rugby fan makes me very interested in learning about Aussie football.

This is a good opposites attract love story written with humor and angst. The setting was great and I liked Simon and Declan and the circle of friends.

For me the plot dragged a bit which made it less engaging and I don't love the way Declan not being able to be public with who is lover is was handled. I can't put my finger on exactly why but it impacted the storytelling.

I can see why so many people love this book but it was just an okay read for me.

The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis $1.99

The Trouble with Mistletoe - Jill Shalvis

f she has her way . . .

Willa Davis is wrangling puppies when Keane Winters stalks into her pet shop with frustration in his chocolate-brown eyes and a pink bedazzled cat carrier in his hand. He needs a kitty sitter, stat. But the last thing Willa needs is to rescue a guy who doesn’t even remember her . . .

 

He’ll get nothing but coal in his stocking.

Saddled with his great-aunt’s Feline from Hell, Keane is desperate to leave her in someone else’s capable hands. But in spite of the fact that he’s sure he’s never seen the drop-dead-gorgeous pet shop owner before, she seems to be mad at him . . .

 

Unless he tempers “naughty” with a special kind of nice . . .

Willa can’t deny that Keane’s changed since high school: he’s less arrogant, for one thing—but can she trust him not to break her heart again? It’s time to throw a coin in the fountain, make a Christmas wish—and let the mistletoe do its work . . .

Roman Crazy by Alice Clayton and Nina Bocci Review

Roman Crazy - Nina Bocci, Alice Clayton

Avery Bardot steps off the plane in Rome, looking for a fresh start. She's left behind a soon-to-be ex-husband in Boston and plans to spend the summer with her best friend Daisy, licking her wounds--and perhaps a gelato or two. But when her American-expat friend throws her a welcome party on her first night, Avery's thrown for a loop when she sees a man she never thought she'd see again: Italian architect Marcello Bianchi.

Marcello was the man--the one who got away. And now her past is colliding with her present, a present where she should be mourning the loss of her marriage and--hey, that fettuccine is delicious! And so is Marcello...

Slipping easily into the good life of summertime in Rome, Avery spends her days exploring a city that makes art historians swoon, and her nights swooning over her unexpected what was old is new againromance. It's heady, it's fevered, it's wanton, and it's crazy. But could this really be her new life? Or is it just a temporary reprieve before returning to the land of twin-set cardigans and crustless sandwiches?

A celebration of great friendship, passionate romance, and wonderful food, Roman Crazy is a lighthearted story of second chances and living life to the fullest.

 

Review

While I love the setting and the female friendship, I never settled into this book.

It felt more like Women's Fiction or Chic Lit than romance to be.

I am not a huge fan of second chance romance but I do like Clayton's sense of funny and banter. 

Sun drenched and fun.

 

I was given this book for my honest review. So., there you have it. 

The Bride of Willow Creek By Maggie Osborne $1.99

The Bride of Willow Creek - Maggie Osborne

en years ago Angie Bartoli eloped with Sam Holland. But before their impetuous marriage even began, they were torn apart by chance. For Angie, the gold band on her finger is a constant reminder of the man she could never forget. Aiming to find her husband and resolve their relationship once and for all, Angie sets out on the adventure of a lifetime.

In a small Colorado town, Angie discovers that her young groom has grown into a man--still handsome, irresistible, and infuriating as ever . . . and now the father of two young children. Forced to become a temporary family, Sam and Angie are surprised to find a deeper love awakening between them--one that could require more than they are willing to give if they are to forge a lasting new life on the American frontier.

Labor Day: A Novel (P.S.) Joyce Maynard $1.99

Labor Day - Joyce Maynard

With the end of summer closing in and a steamy Labor Day weekend looming in the town of Holton Mills, New Hampshire, thirteen-year-old Henry—lonely, friendless, not too good at sports—spends most of his time watching television, reading, and daydreaming about the soft skin and budding bodies of his female classmates. For company Henry has his long-divorced mother, Adele—a onetime dancer whose summer project was to teach him how to foxtrot; his hamster, Joe; and awkward Saturday-night outings to Friendly's with his estranged father and new stepfamily. As much as he tries, Henry knows that even with his jokes and his "Husband for a Day" coupon, he still can't make his emotionally fragile mother happy. Adele has a secret that makes it hard for her to leave their house, and seems to possess an irreparably broken heart.

 

But all that changes on the Thursday before Labor Day, when a mysterious bleeding man named Frank approaches Henry and asks for a hand. Over the next five days, Henry will learn some of life's most valuable lessons: how to throw a baseball, the secret to perfect piecrust, the breathless pain of jealousy, the power of betrayal, and the importance of putting others—especially those we love—above ourselves. And the knowledge that real love is worth waiting for.