Wind River Wrangler (Wind River Valley: Book 1) by Lindsay McKenna

Wind River Wrangler (Wind River Series Book 1) by [McKenna, Lindsay]

4 Stars

Publisher: Kensington Books, Zebra

Date of publication: October 25th, 2016

Genre: Romance

Series: Wind River Valley

Wind River WranglerBook 1

Wind River RancherBook 2

Wind River CowboyBook 3

Where you can find this book: Amazon |Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis:

Still waters run deep . . .

From the moment Roan Taggart picked up the pretty redhead at the Jackson Hole airport, his training and experience told him she was spooked. She’s left New York City to visit the Wind River Ranch, where Roan is a wrangler, and just as he can pick up a horse’s mood, he can feel the tension coming off her body. And that vulnerability is triggering all his protective instincts. . .

Shiloh Gallagher likes the gray-eyed cowboy’s dry humor—and the Special Forces background that lends him a stoic, powerful presence. But she’s been scarred by trauma and her mother’s murder . . . and knows a strong man can be dangerous. She came to wide-open Wyoming to flee a threat that’s left her unable to write her novels. Now, as she rides horses with Roan and helps him build an isolated cabin, she’s slowly letting down her guard. But danger has followed her west, and they won’t have a future together unless they defeat a killer from her past. . .

My review:

I am guilty of yet again judging a book by its cover. I went into reading this book thinking that it would be one of those slam, bam, thank you ma’am romance novel. Instead, what I read was something that kept me glued to this book.

Shiloh Gallagher is a successful romance author who is stressed beyond her limits. She is being stalked and her breaking point came when her stalker started to turn her doorknob on her apartment….even though it was locked. At the end of her rope, and with no help from the police or the FBI, she called her mother’s best friend Maud Whitcomb and asked if she could seek shelter at her ranch. Of course, Maud says yes and Shiloh heads out to Wyoming and the Wind River Ranch.

Roan is an ex-Army Special Forces operator who had come to work at the Wind River Ranch 2 years previously….after leaving the Army. He is told about Shiloh from Maud. See, Shiloh has undergone a lot of trauma in her life. Her father died when she was 7 and 3  years later, her mother was murdered, in front of Shiloh, by her stepfather. The reason why Maud was telling him this….well Shiloh would be bunking with him in the Employee’s only house for the duration of her stay.

When Roan meets Shiloh at the airport, sparks flew and of course, Shiloh tries to ignore them. As they get to know each other, Shiloh’s trust in Roan grows and she tells him the one horrible thing that she had only told the police about her mother’s murderer and her stepfather, Anton Leath. Not going to tell you what but oh my, did my heart-break for her. Because after she told her mother what she told Roan, her mother was murdered in front of her.

Now, I did figure out who the stalker on was pretty early on in the book. There were enough hints that it was pretty easy to figure out. Not that it took away from the book because when the stalker does show up in Wyoming and the events that unfolded, it was pretty surprising.

The sex scenes between Roan and Shiloh were hot, hot, hot. But, unfortunately, the author had to go down the “Hey, no protection…so are you clean because I am and let’s have unprotected sex route”. Which, if you have been following my blog for any length of time, I don’t like….lol. As I have said before and will say now, I am going to start a movement: Bloggers for Safe Sex of Fictional Characters (or BSSFC for short and OMG, I am killing myself here….lol)

The ending was pretty typical and all the storylines were wrapped up in satisfactory ways. I do wish that there was an epilogue (never thought I would say that) so we could peek in on Shiloh and Roan but seeing that there are two other books in the series, I am going to pray that they make an appearance.

I would give Wind River Wrangler an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Wind River Wrangler. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Poinciana Road by Margaret Way

Poinciana Road

1 Star

Publisher: Kensington Books

Date of publication: October 25th, 2016

Genre: Romance, Thriller, Suspense

Where you can find this book: Amazon |Barnes and Nobles

Book synopsis:

It’s been six years since Mallory James left Moonglade, a former sugar plantation in the shadow of Australia’s magnificent rain forest. Now love and loyalty have called her home—but unspeakable secrets may compel her to flee once more…

A successful child psychologist, Mallory has no wish to return to the tropical hideaway where she experienced so much pain. But her Uncle Robert is ailing and it’s only right that she be there for the man who came to her rescue when she was a lost, lonely child. At least he is not alone—his protégé, and Mallory’s rival for his affections, is also at his side. Blaine Forrester hasn’t lost his knack for getting under Mallory’s skin, taking her breath away and leaving her unsettled at the same time.

While Robert recuperates, Mallory is shocked to learn that Jason Cartwright is on the payroll of his estate—the very man whose humiliating betrayal led her to leave North Queensland on the eve of her wedding. Confronting him—along with his wife and his manipulative twin sister—is a trial, though she can’t help forming a bond with little Ivy, Jason’s sickly daughter. But as tragedy strikes Moonglade, Mallory and Blaine will discover a darkness hidden within this deceptively beautiful world and their enigmatic circle—one that will either unite them at last, or tear apart the promise of paradise…

My review:

I am not a picky reader and I honestly do not like reviewing books and giving them bad reviews. I am one of those “let’s try to find the good in every book” type of person. But, I have run across a few books that I just cannot like and, unfortunately, Poinciana Road is one of them.

What aggravated me was that it had such a good storyline to it. A woman comes home to care for an ailing father figure and gets embroiled with her ex-fiance, his twin sister, his wife, and his daughter. It should have been good…..but it wasn’t. It was very painful to read and I almost DNF’d the book.

The plotline was crazy good and so much potential. It really did take me back to when I went through my Gothic romance phase. If the author had just stuck to that, the book could have been good. But she started adding that Mallory could read auras, see and hear ghosts and can receive messages from ghosts through dreams and I kinda went “eh”.

The relationship between Blaine and Mallory didn’t feel real to me and actually felt kinda forced. She didn’t like him at the beginning of the book….was jealous of him and went out of her way to be rude to him. It wasn’t an instant dislike. She didn’t like him for years and years because her Uncle Robert looked at him as a son. Actually, she was jealous of Blaine. So I, as a reader, am supposed to believe that she did a turnaround in the 2 weeks that she was staying with her uncle?

Even the secondary characters were awful. Kathy, Jason, Jessica, Ivy….no personality or they were over the top. And the mystery of what happened to Kathy, what was happening to Ivy and the relationship between Jessica and Jason was pretty cut and dry and I figured out each of them in turn. Plus, I was getting sick of Mallory psychoanalyzing everyone.

The sex scenes, I will say, were pretty tastefully done and were no frills. Actually, I couldn’t tell if I was actually reading a sex scene or not.

The ending was pretty typical and there was an HEA.

I would give Poinciana Road an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Poinciana Road. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Highland Chieftain (Murray Family: Book 21) by Hannah Howell

Highland Chieftain (The Murrays Book 21) by [Howell, Hannah]

Publisher: Kensington Books, Zebra

Date of publication: September 27th 2016

Genre: Romance

Series: The Murray Family, Book 21

Highland Destiny – Book 1

Highland Honor – Book 2

Highland Promise – Book 3

Highland Vow – Book 4

Highland Knight – Book 5

Highland Bride – Book 6 (Also Book 1 of the Macenroy series)

Highland Angel – Book 7

Highland Groom – Book 8 (Also Book 2 of the Macenroy series)

Highland Warrior – Book 9 (Also Book 3 of the Macenroy series)

Highland Conqueror – Book 10

Highland Champion – Book 11 (Also Book 2 of the Cameron series)

Highland Lover – Book 12 (Also Book 3 of the Cameron series)

Highland Barbarian – Book 13

Highland Savage – Book 14

Highland Wolf – Book 15

Highland Sinner – Book 16

Highland Protector – Book 17

Highland Avenger – Book 18

Highland Master – Book 19

Highland Guard – Book 20

Highland Chieftain – Book 21

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis:

The Murrays are back in this thrilling new tale from New York Times bestselling author Hannah Howell . . .
Responsible for protecting her younger siblings from their abusive father, Bethoc Matheson is in no position to rescue another soul in Scotland. Yet when she sees a bleeding man on the verge of drowning, that’s exactly what she does, securing him safely in a cave where she can return day after day to tend to his wounds.
Sir Callum MacMillan can scarcely believe such a slight lass as Bethoc could save him from the grasp of death. But he knows the telltale marks of an angry fist on her skin, and he knows she has the soul of a fighter within her feminine frame. Raised to be a protector of the weak by his Murray clansmen, Callum would prefer to be the one saving her—and save her, he will. If he can first survive the treacherous attack that led him into her irresistible arms . . .

My review:

Bethoc is a young woman who is a slave and punching bag to her father. Her mother died in childbirth and  Bethoc took her place. She was afraid that it was going to turn sexual because he was starting to look at her like a woman and not a daughter. She protected her six younger siblings from him, including Margaret, a precocious 2-year-old. Bethoc’s mother died giving birth to Margaret. She made her promise to take care of her and never let her out of her sight. Bethoc has followed her orders.

One day, she is walking the shores of the loch by her land, and she finds a man on the beach, half drowned and with a broken leg. After she makes sure he was safe, she helps him to a local cave and sets his leg. She leaves him, goes home, and finds out that her father acquired another child. Her father would bring home boys that were orphaned or living on the street. He would have them work in his fields in exchange for a roof over their heads and food. In total, there were six boys, with ages ranging from 6 to 16. The newest boy was very young, around 4.

Between stepping between her father and the boys and taking care of Margaret, Bethoc has no time for herself. She stretches herself even thinner when she decides that she is going to nurse the man she found back to health. While she is doing that, she finds out that he is looking for a little boy who had been kidnapped. Also that his name is Callum MacMillan of the Murray Clan. He seduces Bethoc on the one rare occasion that she left Margaret with the oldest of the boys.

Once Callum’s men find him, they are planning on taking him and the boy back to Murray land. Callum decides that he is going to take Bethoc, her sister and the boys back with him. When Bethoc went back to the house to gather up the boys, she witnesses the murder of her father. When she returns to bury him, she is arrested by the sheriff of the village for his murder.

I am not going to go into what happens after that but let’s say that things get hairy for Bethoc.

I felt horrible for her. She had so many things go wrong in such a short time that I thought while reading the book, why can’t things go right for her. But things did end up changing for her about halfway through the book, and that’s when I felt like cheering.

I do think that her “witchy powers” (i.e., her sixth sense) should have been mentioned in the first half of the book. Introducing it halfway through confused me. But in a way, it worked.

I liked Callum. The more I learned about him the more I liked him. He went through a lot when he was a boy and made tremendous strides to get over it. He was candid with Bethoc about what happened to him (if you want to know, read the book). That scene in the book made me cry.

Bethoc and Callum’s relationship was pretty much sex from the get-go. No Instalove on either side. The feelings were there. They grew to the point where Bethoc was in love with Callum, and well, he didn’t know what he was with her. For being back in the day, their relationship was pretty modern. He refused to call her his mistress. But he also declined to put a name on their relationship until he was called out on it.

The sex scenes in the book were perfect. Enough detail is given to keep your imagination going. But not so it crossed that boundary into erotica. The only complaint I had was when Callum deflowered Bethoc. There was no build up accept a couple of kisses and then, bam; he was on top of her telling her what he was going to do.

The ending was perfect, and I loved the epilogue!!!

*I do want to note also that this is 100% a standalone book, even if it is #21 in a series!!!

How many stars will I give Highland Chieftain? 3.5-4

Why? A wonderfully written Scottish romance. I did have a small issue with the dialogue (it was written how Scottish people actually talked back then). Other than that, an engrossing read.

Will I reread? Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends? Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Sex (not graphic), Violence, attempted drowning and attempted rape

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Shadow Falling (The Scorpius Syndrome: Book 2) by Rebecca Zanetti

Publisher: Zebra

Date of publication: August 30th, 2016

Genre: Romance, Dystopia, Romantic Suspense, Post Apocolyptic, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Military Fiction, Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Suspense

Series: Scorpius Syndrome

Scorpius Rising—Book 0.5

Mercury Striking—Book 1

Shadow Falling—Book 2

Justice Ascending—Book 3

Storm Gathering—Book 4

Blaze Erupting—Book 4.5

Winter Igniting—Book 5

Knight Awakening—Book 6

On the Hunt—In the Scorpius Syndrome Universe

Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible | AbeBooks

Goodreads Synopsis:

Before the Scorpius Syndrome tore through North America and nearly wiped out the population, Vivienne Wellington was the FBI’s best profiler. The bacteria got her anyway. But she survived. She recovered. And when she woke up from a drug-nightmare of captivity, her trust in her fellow man had gone from shaky at best to nonexistent. Her mysterious rescuer wants to convince her he’s the exception. But no matter how tempting he is, with his angel’s eyes and devil’s tongue, Vinnie knows she shouldn’t trust him.

If the FBI were still around they would rate Raze Shadow as one of the bad guys. His military training can’t wipe out his association with the Mercenaries, the most feared gang in a thousand miles. His loyalties are compromised. He won’t even tell Vinnie his real name. But there’s no FBI in the new America of fear and firepower, only instinct and risk. And the way his arms wrap around her tells its own story. Whatever else Raze is concealing, he can’t hide his desire . . .

Oh. My. God.

I LOVED this book. Forget that it is the 2nd book in a series. Forget it. This book is that awesome.

Raze, oh, where do I start with him? He is so bad that he’s good and oozed sex appeal. What appealed to me about him was that he was 100% devoted to his family and those he considers family. Even when he got sick with the Scorpius Syndrome, he was still a badass.

Vinnie (or Vivienne) Kennedy was a mess when she was introduced. She is dealing with the aftermath of her kidnapping by the President. She was also infected with Scorpius Syndrome, and her brain was all wonky. She is seeing hallucinations of her dead schizophrenic stepmother, and she believes that she can read minds (or can she??). She doesn’t have a filter. I laughed out loud when she told Jax, Lynn, and Trace that Raze had a huge erection because she wouldn’t have sex with him.

President Atherton and Vice President Lake were creepy. I got chills when I read their scenes. I can’t wait to see them get what they are due.

The main storyline was great, but I called what would happen with it. Not that it took away from the story in any way. I liked the 2nd storyline, and the way the author wrapped that up was great. The 3rd storyline annoyed me for some reason. The Reverend was sneaky. I don’t understand why Jax didn’t shoot him the first time Vinnie told him he was up to something.  But then again, I can see why he didn’t.

The ending was great and left open for Trace and Sami’s story. Which I can’t wait to read. I have to read the first book, and I will be all set.

I would recommend Shadow Falling to anyone over 21. There is sex, language, and violence.

If you enjoyed Shadow Falling, you will enjoy these books:

My Fair Princess (The Improper Princesses: Book 1) by Vanessa Kelly

Publisher: Zebra

Date of Publication: August 30th, 2016

Genre: Romance, Historical Romance, Historical, Historical Fiction, Regency Romance, Fiction, Regency, Adult, British Literature, Humor

Series: The Improper Princesses

My Fair Princess – Book 1

Three Renegades and a Baby—Book 1.5

Three Weeks with a Princess—Book 2

The Highlander’s Princess Bride—Book 3

Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible | B&N | Kobo | Apple Books | WorldCat

Goodreads Synopsis:

First, Vanessa Kelly brought readers The Renegade Royals. Now, in a delightfully witty new series, she introduces The Improper Princesses—three young women descended from royalty, each bound for her own thrilling adventure . . .

Despite being the illegitimate daughter of a prince, Gillian Dryden is happily ignorant of all social graces. After growing up wild in Italy, Gillian has been ordered home to England to find a suitable husband. And Charles Valentine Penley, the excessively proper, distractingly handsome Duke of Leverton, has agreed to help transform her from a willful tomboy to a blushing debutante.

Powerful and sophisticated, Charles can make or break reputations with a well-placed word. But his new protégée, with her habit of hunting bandits and punching earls, is a walking scandal. The ton is aghast . . . but Charles is thoroughly intrigued. Tasked with taking the hoyden in hand, he longs to take her in his arms instead. Can such an outrageous attraction possibly lead to a fairytale ending?

I have mentioned in other reviews that I am a huge fan of historical romance. I love to be able to immerse myself and pretend, for a little while, that I am in Regency England. Something about that period fascinates me to no end. When I got My Fair Princess to review, I was excited about reading it.

The book lived up to the internal hype in my mind. The author was spot on with the sayings and the tons attitudes. The rigid rules society lived by and how they dressed were spot on. It is amazing what was considered awful, and life-ending back in that society is normal in these times.

Miss Gillian Dryden is a prime example of what I stated above. She is the illegitimate daughter of the Prince of England. Her mother had made a bad decision, slept with the Prince of England, got pregnant, and decided to keep the baby. It didn’t matter that she married an Italian count; the stain of what she did followed Gillian.

I liked Gillian’s character. She was spunky, outspoken and she was unpolished. Even though her mother was a Contessa and her stepfather a Count, she wasn’t brought into Italian society because of her birth. So she didn’t have the social graces that most girls of that period did, and I loved it. It was very refreshing to read her scenes because she spoke plainly.

But there was a downside to her character that I didn’t like. She was stubborn and didn’t listen to reason (or Duke Leverton). She took risks that put people and herself in danger. But it did make for an interesting read.

The Duke of Leverton (or Charles Valentine Penley). Oh, where do I begin with him? He has an iron facade, and nothing got to him except Gillian. Seeing his facade starting to crack and then for him not to be “Perfect Penley” was great.

I wish I could say that the rest of the story was as great as those characters. There was some promise when Gillian met Letitia and her husband, but that petered out. She gets a couple of bad nicknames (Doxy Duchess was one), and they all decide to vacation in the summer. I would have loved to see that triangle work its way out. Even the subplot of the smugglers was eh. I figured out who was helping them about halfway through the book.

The ending was cute, and I loved the epilogue.

I would recommend My Fair Princess to anyone over 21. There is sex and mild violence.

If you enjoyed My Fair Princess, you will enjoy these books: