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Light the Lamp is here! And we have all three of Catherine’s Portland Storm books reviewed.
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She’s reaching for a breakaway pass.
Dana Campbell has spent the past seven years in self-imposed isolation for a crime she didn’t commit. The danger is well in the past, but her panic attacks make it impossible to have a normal, healthy relationship with a man. Even her counselor has given up on her. She has to find someone she trusts to help her fight through the panic, or her seven-year ordeal will become a lifetime sentence. There’s only one man she feels safe enough to ask.
He got caught with his head down.
As the captain of the NHL’s once elite but now fading Portland Storm, Eric Zellinger knows a thing or two about keeping his focus on the job. Questions are flying about his ability to lead the team back to the playoffs. If they don’t make it, he might be shipped out of town. It’s the worst time possible for his best friend’s kid sister to divide his focus. How can he give her what she needs without jeopardizing both the Storm’s playoff hopes and his future with the team?
It’s her only chance, but it’s his last shot.
Heard this one before? Girl has insecurity issues and asks trusted hot male friend to help her out and they fall in love the process…Click here for full review
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Injury after injury has put Brenden Campbell’s NHL career on hold for years. Now he’s playing for the Portland Storm and determined to make it stick. Few things in life drive him more than being told he can’t have something he wants, and what he wants most is to prove he belongs.
Brenden also wants Rachel Shaw, the cute, little redhead who just got hired as the general manager’s new assistant. But then she went and made herself off-limits, telling him: “I don’t date.” Those three words pretty much guarantee that he’ll do everything he can to change her mind.
Rachel is changing things up on the fly for her family, moving them somewhere she can be the kind of mom her kids deserve. Allowing anyone else to be in their lives is out of the question, at least until her instincts get back on track.
How else can she be sure who to steer the kids clear of? Right now she trusts no one, including herself, and especially not a man like Brenden Campbell.He’s way too handsome and a little bit cocky. Falling for a guy like him is a mistake she can’t afford to make twice.
Trust. Can we function as individuals and as a society without it? On the fly is a gripping story about a woman trying to trust a man in a world that has only let her down and a man trying to trust himself in order to get and hold on to what he wants. Click here for full review
Life’s been rough lately for Noelle Payne, but she’s not one to let negativity rule. So, she lost her job? She’ll find another one. The bank foreclosed on the house? Well, she can live out of her car for a while. There’s always an upside to be found…but now Noelle needs to find something to give her life meaning. She owes it to the universe to figure it out, too, because a stranger just saved her life.
When Liam Kallen’s wife died, his goal-scoring ability died with her. After a trade from the only pro hockey team he’s ever played for, he’s now playing for the NHL’s Portland Storm. Everyone said he needed a change of scenery, but nothing changes until he rescues Noelle. All of a sudden, the world once again looks bright and he’s lighting the lamp like he used to.
Noelle’s cheerful disposition is just the bit of sunlight Liam needs in his life. He wants to give her everything she needs because she’s everything he wants. The problem? She doesn’t believe she needs anything…at least nothing material. The one thing they both know she truly needs—a real purpose—also happens to be the one thing he doesn’t know how to give her. If he can’t help her find that, she might walk away and take all her sunshine with her.
Light the Lamp is sweet, sexy and inspiring, it will have you smiling as brightly as Noelle’s cheery disposition and make you want to believe people so giving live among us as well as move you to try to be like them. Click here for full review
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About the Author
Catherine Gayle is a bestselling author of Regency-set historical romance and contemporary hockey romance with a New Adult feel. She’s a transplanted Texan living in North Carolina with two extremely spoiled felines. In her spare time, she watches way too much hockey and reality TV, plans fun things to do for the Nephew Monster’s next visit, and performs experiments in the kitchen which are rarely toxic.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Buy here: Amazon
Light the Lamp is sweet, sexy and inspiring, it will have you smiling as brightly as Noelle’s cheery disposition and make you want to believe people so giving live among us as well as move you to try to be like them.
Noelle has been down on her luck because she recently lost her job and then her house, but her viewpoint isn’t keeping luck company. She has a positive attitude knowing she’ll find a solution to her problems especially since worry has never rolled up its sleeves and solved anything. And now, by a fortuitous happenstance she can continue making a difference and spreading cheer after being saved from an encounter with certain death by a stranger.
Liam “Kally” Kallen has been scarred by his wife’s death. Not only has his career suffered from it, he is also plagued with a guilt he can hardly talk about much less expunge, tinting his life a dull gray. That is until his concern leads him to save Noelle and his protectiveness guides him to incorporate her into his life. She gives him a new optimistic view and a second chance at love he thought he would never get again.
The only problem is Liam and Noelle have too much to give. Liam in the way of material needs and Noelle in terms of positive emotions. Their relationship was too new, moving too fast it’s overwhelming, forcing Noelle to walk away unless they can find a way to balance their bond.
I ached for Liam and his broken soul. Liam made me sympathized with him and his tragic loss. I felt terrible for his misplaced guilt, I understood his confusion over the new opportunity life gave him at a perfect love. He’s a different kind of take charge hero
I enjoyed reading about.
I was completely charmed with Noelle’s character and her desire to do something meaningful with her life. I honestly wish I had that strength of character. But there were also times when my very practical side wanted to slap her and Liam silly for not talking, exploring options and trying to find some kind of middle ground.
It’s really great reading about the previous couples and characters in the team. Their family like bond and their support in this particular book shone through.
I was so glad I got to read more about Jamie Babcock, having him living with Kally. He’s still young enough to be completely cute and adorable but also old enough to be an alpha male with his very own Babs signature.
Liam and Noelle’s story blew me away with the amount of emotions it stirred. A couple of times bringing me to tears. It moved me and left me wanting to make a difference myself.
This is the third book in the Portland Storm series. You could probably read it without reading the previous books but you would be missing out on the characters that appear as secondary in this book. I strongly suggest you read the series in order.
And for those of you who are Tammy Falkner fans and follow her Reed Brothers series, can you guess where Liam gets his tattoos at?
* I got this book as a part of our book blog participation in the Light the Lamp tour. Look for us at our TJLovesToRead blog
A sexy, fun chick-lit book about a second chance at love.
They were best in their class, they were best friends and then they just became the best at what they did, separately.
When Ben decided to pursue his career on the other side of the country over a year ago, he didn’t just want to succeed professionally, he was also willing to risk his friendship with Beth to succeed in love.
Having parents that gave her a poor example of how a workaholic couple could alienate themselves and their children, made Beth want to protect and control her life at all costs and avoid risks. Rejecting Ben and his offer.
But working in the same field has them unexpectedly meeting in the very lovely and stimulating island of Antigua. And even though their trip is work related, it’s impossible for them to ignore each other when chance has them suddenly working together and in close quarters.
“You’re not in my way, Beth. We’re on that same train, aren’t we? And there are enough seats in the captain’s car for the both of us.”
I really enjoyed Ben’s driven and easy going personality. He doesn’t just know what he wants, he goes out to get it. He’s sweet, understanding and determined.
It was also nice to see how, even when Beth jumped to conclusions and sometimes exasperated me, once she thought things through she came to the right decisions.
I liked this book. It was great for what I wanted, which is a nice, relaxing afternoon enjoying a sweet romance book with a plot that had a bit of everything: a tropical setting, steamy scenes, interesting plot with drama, excitement, betrayal and a happy ending. Good all around.
* I was given an ARC of this book for an honest review from Netgalley. The excerpts are from that copy. *
This rivalry is too hot for the tropics…
Elizabeth Carlson and Ben Harrison used to be friends, coworkers…and almost lovers. But that was before Ben proposed mixing business with pleasure. Elizabeth refuses to lose her heart to a hotshot tycoon with a cutthroat, take-no-prisoners attitude. Not with the prospect of starting her own company at stake.
Driven to succeed in all areas of his life, Ben couldn’t resist the temptation to make Liz his. But then she walked away, igniting a bitter rivalry. Competing for the same contract at a Caribbean conference ignites sparks too hot to ignore, and Ben’s determined to finish what they started, even if it’ll only last a few steamy, tropical nights.
Elizabeth’s resolve begins to crumble under Ben’s blatant seduction. Can she walk away from a hot island fling with the sexiest man she’s ever known with her heart intact, or will losing herself in Ben destroy everything she’s fought to achieve?
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Buy Here http://amzn.to/1s9M5YT
Two very simple words, very beautiful and powerful ones as well. Words Lane Parker could never repeat after the ability to keep them was taken from him.
This book will throw Nolan Ryan type curve balls at you but it’s also touching, sweet, sexy and that will pull at your heart strings and leave you completely content and satisfied after you’re finished reading.
I was hesitant to open this book even though I knew the story would have a happy ending. The blurb doesn’t provide much information and it gave me the impression it would be too angsty, too heart-breaking and sad.
“This is how life worked out for us. It sucked really bad for awhile. It was awful… But now… now it’s incredible.”
Don’t be afraid to pick it up. It’s as beautiful and powerful as the two little words I open my review with. And of course, after reading it I totally get why the author and reviewers won’t give more specifics. It would have totally ruined my reading experience if I had known about those twisting curve balls. All you really need to know is that the plot is about an incredibly handsome, virile, loyal, loving, protective man who has tirelessly been looking for his girl.
“I will find you and I will make sure that you know you’re my everything.”
Every sweet tender moment made me smile, every touching, heartbreaking, bittersweet one made my chest feel tight or plain out made me cry, every sexy interaction made me blush. In general every bit of this book had my complete attention.
I’m so glad Kimberly hadn’t revealed more about him in the previous books. I really enjoyed putting together the pieces that reveal the Lane enigma. When before he was “just” an incredibly great friend and protective brother type now he’s one of my most swoon worthy book boyfriends.
“Every day I wish I had found you sooner so I could love you longer.”
Something I that will make or break a story for me is the heroine. I feel that a good relationship should be well balanced and Kimberly has not only given us an intriguing plotline but also an admirable female lead who was perfect for Lane.
I also enjoyed having the rest of the gang. Even though this book can be read as a standalone and you wouldn’t miss a beat. Since I’ve read the previous books it was great having more of them in this one.
“This group was a lot of fun… the dynamic between them was awesome.”
I promise I loved it and I’m sure you will too.
THIS IS A total STAND-ALONE NOVEL. No need to read the first two books in the series to enjoy this book. This is not a dark romance.
Every day you stay gone
I die a thousand more deaths
Lane Parker has secrets he hasn’t even told his closest friends. He may have earned their respect but it’s undeserved. He may seem genuine but he’s a total fraud. He may look strong, but on the inside he’s weak and drowning with no chance of catching his breath any time soon.
After four years, Lane finally gets the call he’s been waiting for. Given back a piece of the life he’s been fighting so hard to reclaim, will he be able to handle everything that comes along with it? And if so, can all of his broken promises be redeemed?
So, I don’t give up and I won’t let them win
I will find you and I will make sure that you know
You’re my everything
New Adult Contemporary Romance: strong language and sexual content. This novel is intended for those 18 years and older
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Buy here: http://amzn.to/1q0YhZT
This book will catch you by surprise and highjack your attention with its beautifully expressive prose, charismatic characters, appealing plot and sexy passages.
I bought this book after reading Rocked, Lost in Oblivion’s first book in the series thinking it would be great to know more about a group of characters I found eclectic and interesting. But at the same time I had other reading commitments that delayed being able to read this book. I wish I had read it right away, or better yet read them in order, because now I know I would have enjoyed and understood a lot of situations fuller.
Since I can’t unread or unknow things, I can only urge you to not make my mistake. These books are fabulous and are more thoroughly relished when read in the correct sequence. I still got so much more than what I bargained for, because I was thinking this would be something along the lines of a novella or short, but I would consider this a full length piece.
Told from Simon (Oblivion’s lead singer) and Nick’s (lead guitarist) alternating points of view. We not only get to see how this band of five misfits got together and found fame through their cohesion in music but we also get to better know the two men that started it all. Their fears, secrets and hopes and how they coped with it all.
“Gray’s seamless transitions made for a soulful energy under the gnashing power of Nick’s guitar… pure liquid silver. Incredible. Simon’s smoother tones over Gray’s inconsistent constancy blended into a new kind of magic altogether… this needed Deak’s growling voice to be in the forefront… The sex and sin-filled lyrics were made for Deacon’s deep voice.”
It was funny, sexy, sweet and touching to see how Jazz fit in this testosterone fueled group.
“She belonged to all of them. She was a sister, a confidante, a partner and a playmate in the grand scheme of the band. Somehow the pixie-sized woman made Oblivion work.”
And in the end Taryn and Cari brilliantly put together all the elements that made a book great and left me wanting more.
“They were going to have to come up with a name for the soap opera this shit was becoming. As the Oblivion Turns? Nope—pretentious. Days of Oblivion? No…wait. Lost in Oblivion. That had a certain ring to it.”
For more of my reviews or those of my best book buds visit our blog
A very grabbing prologue
“I want to make you mine.”
with a story that fell short. This first instalment of The Love Trials serial simply wasn’t to my taste and I even found it a bit disturbing.
I wanted something short to read. This was on a friend’s TBR and blurb seemed interesting so I gave it a go. What the blurb failed to mention is that this is about a clueless, barely legal, fresh out of high school, virgin who “falls in love” with Hunter, one of her teachers, and blindly follows him to his second job. Which is as a sex teacher in the very philanthropic Lovers’ Academy. Yes, the owner is very concerned helping young women with their future.
“Why are you bringing girls here for free to teach them to seduce men? What do you get from it?”
“The pleasure of knowing that I made a difference.”
If I had the money I think I would make a difference in a sports or musical program. But that’s just me.
Before Nancy arrives to her weekend training at the academy, which I might add she sneaks off to without telling her parents or friends, she meets Amber and Shannon, who will be her new “classmates.” I wonder what the women that fought for equality and women’s liberation would think about Amber’s aspirations?
“I came because I want hot sex to get me a powerful man on Wall Street. I want to live in a penthouse on Fifth Avenue and I want a summer home in the Hamptons… And sex will get me that.”
Nancy also meets and is attracted Jaxon. Prince uncharming and the academy’s owner. Once at her destination she finds out her “love and soul mate” will be another girl’s sex tutor, that he doesn’t recognize her, and that Jaxon has never taught but has decided to be Nancy’s teacher.
I think the plot wouldn’t have rubbed me the wrong way if Nancy was an older woman simply looking to satisfy her curiosity, instead of an incredibly naïve and “silly little girl” who is way in over her head.
Because the writing is good and the plot is intriguing. It being a serial ended in a cliffhanger that left me perversely curious when Nancy accidentally overhears Jaxon conspiring with his father against her.
Truthfully I hope I can find a review with spoilers for the next installments or locate some good reviews where my issues are addressed so I can decide whether or not to continue reading this serial. I do have several of J.S. Cooper’s books on my TBR which will now look at more carefully and bump at least one to the top of my list to get a better feel for her writing.
Buy here http://amzn.to/1uSI1dt
This book will certainly Taint you with curiosity and then grip you with its sometimes outrageous but mostly lonely, broken and sweet protagonist.
Before I tell you a bit more what I enjoyed and what didn’t do it for me, I would like to remind ourselves that this is an erotic work of fiction romance meant to entertain. It is not a hand book or a self-improvement manual. Although in my opinion it does state some very interesting facts.
“The wife drives the ship. She is the puppet master. But in order to maintain a happy home, you must let the man believe that he calls the shots.”
I mention this because I am a bit late in the reading/reviewing queue and because of it noticed some not great reviews, which is normal, but a lot of controversy as well. Really guys, the blurb not only caught my eye, it left my jaw a bit slack. That in itself is a good enough hint that the story would have more than a few shockers. So please, do your homework and spend your time and money wisely. I’m almost certain that that’s what most authors want, second to sharing with us part of their writing talent.
So, Justice Drake. Brilliant and ingenious entrepreneur or crass, chauvinist asshole? Perhaps a little bit of both, giving us an incredibly handsome on the outside, charming, egotistical and a bit dejected man on the inside. He has the name of a super hero “Never fear! Justice Drake is here… Ready to slay the villains of Scottsdale with double-headed dongs and acid lube lasers.” Mostly I think Justice Drake is an antihero, one of my favorite kind of heroes.
Drake’s chosen and very lucrative profession is to show “Stepford” wives how to sexually satisfy their wealthy but wayward husbands with very “unconventional, seemingly cruel and brash, techniques.” His job description requires a certain level of professionalism but he has also chosen to detach and isolate himself in general. Although that doesn’t stop his “sadistic soul” to rejoice in the discomfort he causes his clients.
Allison Elliot-Carr is one of those clients, but she is also different from all the rest. “She’s just so damn perfectly imperfect that it’s endearing,” with an authenticity that made her not belong there even if circumstance would indicate she does.
Her presence in his Oasis causes him to break all his strict and well defined rules, she has weakened his defenses, forcing him to face his loneliness and self-worth.
S.L. did a great job delivering this story from Drake’s point of view in its entirety. She tempered his crudeness with humor, although sometimes dry and sarcastic, and even further endearing him with his incredibly expressive inner thoughts.
“This is my favorite part of the day—when gravity pulls that scorching, desert sun above, coaxing it into the outstretched, jagged arms of mountains and cacti.”
And when he isn’t battling himself over confusing emotions,
“I’m not even sure what to make of this girl. First she’s calling me an asshole, and now she’s asking me about ice cream flavors.”
“Yeah…even her snorts are adorable. And fuck me. I’m using words like adorable.”
the way he sees Ally is both swoon worthy and heartbreaking all at the same time.
“With eyes the color of the ocean and her halo of fire burning as bright as the desert sun, she speaks to me. And while she is raw and sullied, tainted by this beautiful hell, her words breathe life into the darkest, loneliest parts of me.”
Because he’s not just a lonely man with questionable self-worth. She’s married to another man. A sad and seemingly unsolvable reality.
This love story captivated me with its original and daring plot, and kept me turning page after page interested in wanting to know more of its very complex hero, to read about the sexy attraction between Drake and Ally as well as his sweet and lyrical musings. It made me laugh and then when I was least expecting it, it hit me an OMG and WTF twist I couldn’t have imagined. I loved it and wish I had more.
“Justice + Ally”
One last though about the 4.5 stars. There were a few times when I thought Ally was being too naïve. There was also a particular scene I could’ve done without. Just the implication of what happened would have been enough with no gory details.
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