I can’t believe that it is already October. The month of September flew by!! I didn’t do that great reading and I am behind on almost every reading challenge that I’ve entered. I figure that I’ll try again in 2022 to do the challenges and read more.
The song “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)” popped into Lily Donovan’s head as she leaned over the rail fence, her gaze fastened on a perfect male ass, hugged by a pair of Wranglers.
I will be honest here, but I was left with a “meh” feeling when I finished reading her RenegadeCowboy. Lora Leigh is a hit-or-miss author for me to read. Either I love her books, or I don’t. There is no middle ground. Well, there was no middle ground until I read Her Renegade Cowboy. I loved parts of the book, but I was not too fond of parts of the book also. I will explain, I promise. Just keep reading.
Her Renegade Cowboy is the 3rd book in the Moving Violations series. Readers can read this book as a stand-alone, which surprised me. In my experience, books that are part of a series need to be read together (even if they say they don’t have to). This one doesn’t. While the characters from the previous books are in Her Renegade Cowboy, they are kept in the background and do not overshadow Lily and Levi’s romance.
The plotline for Her Renegade Cowboy is fast-moving. This book takes place within a week of Lily’s attacker escaping from jail (which made the romance a little uggh for me). So, it had to have a fast storyline. There was lag in the middle of the book, but the author was able to get past it, and the storyline was able to keep up the blistering pace.
I wouldn’t say I liked Lily. Did I feel bad, and was I horrified by what happened to her? Absolutely. My heart broke for her. It also broke because instead of getting help, she went home and tried to bury it. But, she had a sucky attitude and was generally unpleasant. That is why I couldn’t stand her.
I liked Levi, but man, I questioned his professionalism a lot while reading Her RenegadeCowboy. His boss warned him numerous times to keep his relationship with Lily professional, but he ignored it. I also wondered why he was so attracted to her. She was nasty to him from day one, and he was like, “I need her now.” I kept thinking to myself, “Is this his kink?Does he liketo be strung along and verbally abused?” I did applaud his patience with Lily, though. I know I would have noped out the first time she opened her mouth, and something nasty came out.
As much I was not too fond of Levi and Lily together, they did have sizzling chemistry. And when they had sex, it was one of the best sex scenes that I have read to date. And, the author was able to repeat that throughout the book.
There is Instalove and a hint of a love triangle in Her Renegade Cowboy. I am not a fan of Instalove and think that it takes away from the storyline. But in this case, it didn’t. With everything that was going on, the Instalove was a blip on the radar. Same with the almost love triangle. It was between Levi, Lily, and Justice (who I hope gets his own book). I did get pissed at Justice for what he set in motion towards the end of the book. If his jealous ass kept his mouth shut, people wouldn’t have gotten hurt.
The storyline with Lily and her attacker was one of the sadder ones that I have read. Lily was an influential person to testify against him. And she was even stronger not to run when the marshalls told her that he had escaped. And Lily was at her strongest when she met him (he had taken her sister hostage). I wish she were more likable because she rocked during those scenes.
The book ended very typically (HEA). I couldn’t figure out who would be the next couple. I am hoping Justice and maybe Lily’s sister? But who knows!!
I would recommend Her Renegade Cowboy to anyone over the age of 21. There is explicit sex, language, and violence.
What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?
Nothing too much going on since Monday’s IMWAYR post. My life isn’t that exciting and usually I don’t have a ton going on.
Miss R had an orthodontist appointment yesterday. She got her bands and wires changed. The orthodontist is debating on taking her braces off soon. Her front teeth are together and she now has space for her “fangs” (as she calls them) to come down. We’ll discuss that in November. She is going back in October to get her lip bumper out and a palate spreader put in behind her bottom teeth. Her mouth is a mess….lol.
Mr. Z’s bus issues were resolved the next day. But, now the bus comes at 6:30 (20 mins earlierthan what is posted). So, he’s out of the house by 6:25. He is liking school too. They have him in advanced advanced math (I put two advanced in because there is advanced math, NC Math 1, and NC Math 2 being taught there). He’s not struggling with it but it is making him slow down and think about what he’s doing. Honestly, I looked at his homework the other day and noped right out of there. Too hard for me.
Miss B is doing well in school also. She is loving ROTC and Public Safety (this is a required classfor the Criminal Justice branch of the school). Civics and Spanish 1 (another requiredclass) is kinda meh for her. She likes the teachers but doesn’t like the class (if that makes sense).
Nothing too much going on with my blog this week. I am going to continue updating posts as soon as I figure out how to switch my dashboard back to the old way. If anyone knows how, please comment below!!
I am going to cautiously say that I am out of my reading slump. Stress cautiously. Since Monday, I have finished 3 books and written 2 reviews.
I am now on Season 2 of Cold Case. BK and I have also been watching movies in small increments (our adjusted bedtime is 9pm since I am up at 515am). Last night, we watched the middle of the new Suicide Squad movie. I shut it off after Viola Davis’s character got knocked out by coworkers and will finish the rest of the movie tonight.
I am still playing ESO. I am in a new area of the game I haven’t been before and I am enjoying questing there. I have no clue where I am going to go after all the quests for the Ebonhold Pact is over. We’ll see where they send me.
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kid-litfocus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle-grade novels, young adult novels, or anything in those genres – join them.
Happy Monday (well, as happy as a Monday can be…lol) everyone and I hope you all had a great weekend!!
It was hot out this weekend. Temps were in the mid-90’s with real feel temps of it being in the lower 100’s. And it was (and still is) super humid. So, needless to say, we stayed in for most of the weekend.
The only time we went out was to Miss R’s horseback riding lesson. It was her first lesson in almost a month. The barn had a horse show and then all the trainers (and a couple of the kids) came down with COVID. Everyone came off quarantine the end of the last week. Miss R was thrilled to be riding again and she did very well.
The first week of school was offically great. Any issues we had (which I discussed in my WWW Wednesday post) had been resolved.
I finished 1 1/2 books over the weekend. I am happy with that.
I watched the rest of Season 1 and the first episode of Season 2 of Cold Case. The more I watch it, the more I remember how much I loved this series.
What I am Reading Now:
I read the first couple of chapters of When Sparks Fly last night. So far, I am loving it!!! The opening sentence had me rolling (grown men participating in hobby horse racing).
What I plan on reading this week:
I knocked two books off this list last week. Big hooray for me!! The order I am reading these books are: Author ARC, Author ARC, NetGalley ARC, NetGalley ARC. I am motivated to read at least the first two books this week but I am hoping to read them all by Sunday.
She assigns each Tuesday a topic and then posts her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.
I was happy that today’s TTT prompt was pretty easy. There are hundreds of books that have nature themes on their covers. I decided that I was going to use my library TBR and my NetGalley TBR for this prompt. If I don’t have enough on those, then onto my regular TBR!!
For nature covers, what do you like? Beaches? Woods? Flowers? Lakes? Let me know!!
So, here are my choices!! Enjoy
1. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
2. Her Renegade Cowboy by Lora Leigh
3. All Night Long with a Cowboy by Caitlin Crews
4. Princess Charming by Nicole Jordan
5. Frangipani by Celestine Hitiura Vaite
6. The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White
7. The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
8. One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus
Ilya Dragonovich is no stranger to the dark side. As a safe-house owner for security agency Brute Force, Dragon knows that the battle line between good and evil runs through the heart of every man―and, sometimes, a beautiful woman…
Emma Jane Preston needs help. After her marriage crumbled, she believed she could get back to a normal, happy life. But her ex-husband moved among some shady characters, and now she needs the kind of protection that comes at a cost―one that only someone like Dragon can provide. But can Emma Jane trust this handsome, undercover operator to keep her safe when she is in danger of falling into the arms of the deeply seductive, fiery Dragon. . .and never letting go?
Emma Jane Preston wasn’t certain what brought her awake, but between one second and the next she was fully aware, heart pounding, her mouth dry with fear.
Lethal Nights by Lora Leigh
I was hesitant to review Lethal Nights. I had reviewed Dagger’s Edge this previous June and didn’t like it. What changed my mind was the blurb. It caught my attention and made me want to read the book. I am glad that I read Lethal Nights because I enjoyed this book.
The plot for Lethal Nights was fast-paced and well written. The author did a great job of keeping the frantic pace up the entire book. There were parts of the book where it lagged, but the author did a fantastic job of getting the book back on track.
I loved Emma Jane. She was a strong woman. The things she went through before Ilya would have broken a lesser woman. And the things she went through after him would have broken even a strong woman. I loved how family-centered Emma Jane was too. Her family and their safety came first. She wasn’t above hiding things from them (including what her slimy ex did). She was perfect for Ilya. She saw who he was beneath the tattoos and loved him. It was something that he needed.
I loved Ilya, but man, his personal life was a mess. No wonder he kept Emma Jane at arm’s length. I love that his past was a mystery. There were parts of his past that made me wonder how it is going to fit into the series. I mean, he is the heir to rule a tribe of Gypsies with powers. On top of that, Ilya is dangerous, and that part of him sent shivers up my spine. Because I knew that he wouldn’t back down when Emma Jane was targeted.
The romance between Emma Jane and Ilya was sweet but at the same time dangerous. I liked that Ilya fell for Emma Jane the minute he saw here. He respected her enough to leave her alone so she could recover from her divorce. But, once she got attacked at her house, all bets were off. And that’s when things started to heat up.
The sexual chemistry and attraction between Emma Jane and Ilya were intense. What I liked is that the author didn’t have them jump right into bed with each other. Instead, they took it slow. There was a point where I got frustrated. I wanted them to have sex, release the tension, and do-over. But, it was a great move on her part. She held them from having sex until the middle of the book. Talk about explosive!!! Then she built that tension back up.
The plotline with who was trying to kill Emma Jane was full of suspense and danger. There were two people who I felt were behind the attacks. Of course, I was surprised at who it was. I was also surprised at how depraved this person was.
I do wish that Ilya’s Gypsy background was revealed sooner. I was fascinated by it. I wanted to know more about how the Dragon King worked, what his title entailed. Some of it was explained, but I felt a lot of left out. I got a suspicion that there was some paranormal element to it.
I do want to drop a warning. This book covers some heavy situations. Even I had issues reading some scenes because of what happened. There are child abuse and domestic abuse in this book. There are several vivid scenes of Ilya being abused by his uncle and stepfather in the book. Those scenes made me cry. There is also a scene of domestic violence that involved Emma Jane and her manchild of an ex-husband.
The end of Lethal Nights was exciting. I can’t get into it because of what happened, but I will say that Emma Jane and Ilya get their happily ever after. Now, I do wonder who will be in the next book.
I would give Lethal Nights an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is explicit language. There is graphic violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I would reread Lethal Nights. I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**
First in a brand-new series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lora Leigh and Veronica Chadwickabout one man’s pursuit of justice—and unbridled desire.
LAW AND ORDER. For as long as Samantha can remember, Hunter—a man as strong as steel, with a heart of gold—has been her hero. It came as no surprise to Samantha when she found out that the ranch-hardened cowboy who always protected her from bullies went on to become the town’s sheriff. What does surprise her is how incredibly hot he still is. And how much she still wants him…
PRIDE AND PASSION
And, lo and behold, Hunter still has feelings for Samantha. The long-smoldering heat of their innocent flirtation has grown into a full-raging fire. But when tragedy strikes and their small-town community is shattered, Hunter vows to do everything he can to keep his childhood sweetheart safe. But can Samantha trust that Hunter has her best interests at heart…and that, after all these years, his love is true?
I needed to read One Tough Cowboy. I had come off a string of books that had some heavy subjects in them. I needed a book that I could read, not worry about the plotline and enjoy. I got that in this book.
The plot of One Tough Cowboy was pretty simple. Samantha has come back to the town she grew up in for her beloved Aunt’s funeral. She is also there to investigate her aunt’s death. See, her aunt overdosed on pain medication. The only thing, she didn’t like to take it and that was a well-known fact. Which made her death very suspicious not only to Samantha but to Hunter, the sheriff for her hometown. The deeper Samantha and Hunter dig into her death, the more danger they both are in. Who killed Samantha’s aunt? And why?
I liked Samantha. She was going to back down when it came to investigating her aunt’s death. As a detective in the Detroit police force, she was tough. She wasn’t going to let anyone stand in her way. I was chanting, in my head, “You go girl” every time she did something that empowered herself. Loved it!!
I wasn’t as big of a fan of Hunter. I liked him at the beginning of the book. He knew something shady was going on. There was a string of suspicious deaths which included his uncle. But he lost his mind as soon as Samantha arrived. Strike that. As soon as he had sex with her. Then it went all downhill from there. He spent all his free time (which seemed to be a lot) in bed with her. People were starting to comment on it. I kinda wanted to shake him and say “Dude, it can’t be that good.” But since it is a book, I had to be satisfied with muttering to myself.
I will say that the sex scenes were scorching hot. The sparks between Hunter and Samantha were hard to ignore. I figured that they would have sex early in the book. But, they had hot sex every single time. Every single time. It was amazing that the author could keep that sexual attraction and tension up the entire book. I mean, with most books, they usually lost it after the first encounter. I also liked that there was a bit of voyeurism in this book. Hunter got caught watching his friend nail a chick outside his house. People kept walking in on Samantha and Hunter as they were messing around. That made the sex spicier and, dare I say, hotter?
The suspense angle was wonderfully written too. You knew who the major players were early in the book. But, what they were doing was kept under wraps until almost the end of the book. I was taken by surprise at what was going on. But, at the same time, I had no problem imagining what was going on actually happening in real life.
There are a few disturbing scenes that are later on in the book. There is an attempted rape (well, there was penetration with fingers. Is that considered rape?). It was graphic and disturbed me.
I didn’t like how the book ended. Not getting into it but I would be pissed if I was woken up and told that. Talk about rushing into something. Jeeze.
I would give One Tough Cowboy an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is violence. There is language. There are trigger warnings. They would be attempted rape, human trafficking, and domestic violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I would reread One Tough Cowboy. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.
I would like to thank the publisher, the authors, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review One Tough Cowboy.
All opinions stated in this review of One Tough Cowboy are mine.
#1 bestselling author Lora Leigh is back–with a vengeance–in her latest novel of passion and intrigue, Dagger’s Edge, featuring the men of Brute Force.
Ivan Resnova wants nothing more than to escape his hard, brutal past. Starting over is not so easy once you’ve been a powerful crime boss but now, instead of being punished for his alleged crimes, Ivan fears that the one woman he can’t forget is in danger of paying the price.
Crimsyn “Syn” Delaney thought the danger she’d faced was over, and that she could resume her life. She never imagined it would return with a vengeance and throw her back into Ivan’s world. But when an attempt is made on her life, she needs Ivan more than ever to keep her safe–even if she is in danger of falling deeply and dangerously in love. ..
I have a personal goal of not DNFing any book. I like to give books a chance. Sometimes a book will start rocky and then morph into a great book. I have never been challenged to finish a book until Dagger’s Edge. I had to talk myself out of deleting this book and sending a DNF to the publishers. I had to force myself to finish this book.
Dagger’s Edge is the 2nd book in the Brute Force series. Journey (aka Crimsyn “Syn“) is on the run from her family. Being pressured to married Beauregard and to restore favor to the QueenMother, she leaves. She runs into Ivan, who she has always had a thing for. Besides being her best friend’s father, Ivan is the one man she wanted to run to. But can she trust this dangerous man? Will he be able to protect her?
When a book leaves me confused after the prologue, I know that it isn’t going to be good. That is what Dagger’s Edge did to me. Left me confused and going “What the heck is happening here” I reread the prologue to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I paged back to see if there was something before the prologue. Nothing. So I was left confused. And I stayed confused the entire book. I have a feeling that if I read book 1, then I would have a better understanding of what was going on. But I didn’t….so yeah.
That confusion trickled down to the characters and their relationships. I could not connect with Journey. At. All. She went between acting like a child and a mature woman for most of the book. She made life choices that had me questioning how she survived so long on her own. Seriously.
I respected Ivan but I didn’t like him. He rubbed me the wrong way. I did think at one point “He must have a lonely life.” So when he went all in with Journey, it didn’t fit in with the image that was projected.
There was sexual tension between Journey and Ivan. What I liked is that the author was able to keep the level of sexual tension for the entire book. There was no dip. It was thick in this book, which was one of the few enjoyable things in the book.
Let’s talk about sex. Journey and Ivan had a lot of sex. They were like freaking bunnies. In a van, in a plane, in a limo, the list could go on. One look and he was ripping her panties off. Which would have been great except, sex was related to pleasure/pain in every sex scene. I couldn’t get past it. Listen, I know a little pain is good during sex. I also know that there are people who get off on pain. But in this book, nothing was mentioned about that. It seemed like having sex was actually hurting her. To have it brought up all the time ruined the sex scenes for me.
The secondary plotline involving Journey’s family made me sick. The abuse she suffered at their hands was horrible. No wonder she took off. I don’t understand why she didn’t tell the QueenMother?? Going with the plotline involving her family, I couldn’t understand why her cousin didn’t scoop her up like she said she could. Instead, she got bent over Ivan having her and got in his face. Which almost didn’t end too well for her.
The other storyline, which I won’t talk too much about, I saw coming from a mile away. Even with Ivan telling himself certain things, it still happened.
The end of the book was a cluster. Storylines were left wide open. I am hoping that is because the author is going to write a 3rd book. Minor things got resolved but all the major things didn’t. I was left scratching my head and going “OK” after the last chapter.
What I liked about Dagger’s Edge:
A) Ivan. Well, I respected him. Doesn’t equal to like
B) The sexual tension was kept up for the book
C) The ending. Because the book was over.
What I disliked about Dagger’s Edge:
A) Confusion while reading
B) The sex.
C) The secondary plotline
I gave Dagger’s Edge a 2-star rating. This book was a mess to read. I was confused for most of the book. Which is a turn off for me while reading. But, saving it from a 1-star review was that I respected Ivan. Also, the sexual tension was kept up for the entire book.
I gave Dagger’s Edge an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is explicit language. There is explicit violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I would not reread Dagger’s Edge. I also would not recommend this book to family and friends. I also wouldn’t read any more of this series.
I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Dagger’s Edge.
All opinions stated in this review of Dagger’s Edge are mine.
**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**