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rendezvouswitharomance

Rendezvous With A Romance

I love paranormal and historical romance novels. I love talking about books and finding out about new authors and books to read. I also love supporting and promoting my favorite authors.

 

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You Only Love Twice - Bec McMaster

I so love the steampunk world Bec McMaster has woven together. From the beginning her style or story telling and character development has been vibrant and captivating.  I love all of the characters we meet in her London Steampunk universe and Gemma and Obsidian are no exception. They met and fell in love years ago, but they have always been on opposite sides of the war. For years she has thought him dead after trying to kill her.  He has hated her and believed she tried to burn him alive, but the moment he sees her in London, all of his recessed memories start to bleed through and he is thrown into a world whether brothers betrayed brothers, the woman he loved and thought he hated lost just as much as he did and both of their worlds have tried to keep them apart.  But when his brothers set out to kill her, he can’t help but watch her back, all in the name that when she dies, it will be by his hand but once she is in his clutches she forces the memories to come flooding back and they end up having to fight to stay alive, trust in each other though they are enemies, and when push comes to shove he has to decide what side is he really on.  I loved every second.  The cover for this one is just as vibrant as the story and the characters.  It was great.  There are not enough adjectives to describe how much I love this series and this latest installment.  I want more!!!

Wyvern's Angel - Deborah Cooke

I enjoyed the characters in this one and the adventure was great.  I wish the conclusion wasn’t so abrupt and I would have loved to see from his perspective once he was back with the Host. How did he come to remember her? How was he offered the chance to go back to her? How long in his time frame was he away from her, and did he feel like he was forgetting or missing something? Once he came back I wanted more.  Is he her Heart Keeper? Is he staying for good? I liked it but I wanted more, it did leave me just a tad unsatisfied. However, I did enjoy their adventure and I liked the poignant moment they had when he does leave to return to where he came from.  I thought their story was sweet and fun, I just wanted more in the conclusion.

A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book and my comments here are my honest opinion.

Second Chance at Two Love Lane - Kieran Kramer

A slow, sweet, Halmark-esq story that, at times, was too slow. The passion was tame and innocent. If you like romances that don't focus on the sex, this is definitely perfect. I thought the characters could have been stronger, especially Hank. He fell flat a few times. There also wasn’t a lot of emotional tension even though the plot had the possibility of having some great moments of tension. I enjoyed Greer and Ford's story more. They had obstacles to overcome that were believable. This story's conflict wasn’t believable because from the get-go Hank acknowledged to himself that he wanted a second chance with her, but then he was like, 'oh, wait, that means I have to quit being a famous actor, which I gave her up to be in the first place.' He, I guess, assumed she would be ok leaving her life or didn’t think beyond wanting a second chance. He came across as thinking it would happen without working for it, or that he would have to prove to her he was serious, being his choices ten years ago were what broke them up in the first place.  Ella was a stronger character and I am glad that she wasn't willing to give up her dreams or the life she built for herself for a second chance on his terms. I din't however understand how she went from resisting him to taking her clothes off when they played scrabble. It was a sudden change in the plot and I am not sure it worked with how the story was going. I do understand that being the story had to take place in only 1 week that things had to move quickly, I would have preferred to see Hank coming across stronger rather than passive in trying to win Ella. He should have been more assertive. The story did have a cute romantic ending. If you like sweet, almost innocent (or at least not a lot of description) romances this is definitely a good one. The plot was good, I just want more passion and more tension between the characters in order to overcome obstacles and have a happy ever after.

Some Guys have all the Luck - Deborah Cooke

I truly love this series. If you have read any of Deborah’s other series or genres, it is amazing how different they are and how different her style of writing is with F5 versus her historical, for example.  Such a diverse author. Out of all the series I have read of her’s, this is definitely my absolute favorite series. Cassie is a character that I’ve been curious about ever since book one when she kept trying to seduce Ty. And when she got her tattoo how skeptical she was that she would ever find love made her more interesting. I wondered what type of guy would she fall for and Reid definitely stands out in the crowd. What starts out as a one-weekend stand, while she is back in her small hometown, definitely has sparks flying from the get go. It gives a glimpse into the type of people who are so ok with one-night stands and who seek out short term hookups. These two are definitely like that but they still come together naturally and the book spans months. She had her work cut out for her in trying to win him over and there were a few times I was not so sure she would succeed. When she finds out about his ex, her response was perfect!!  Her dark secret that she ends up revealing to Reid on the way to the airport to head back to NYC was shocking but his response was great and it was the first moment when I thought they just might work out. Loved every second. Loved that they took their time. Loved that the book had plenty of passion and romance and emotional tension and just great plot elements that came together to create a great story. Loved also getting to witness Kyle and Lauren’s wedding, which was so beautiful. Just. Plain. Loved. It.

A Duke in the Night (The Devils of Dover) - Kelly Bowen

This book took me some time to get through. I don’t think it was the book, or the plot, though, I think it was just life being busy. The plot was entertaining and the characters were good. The conflict was entertaining, too. However, the characters don’t pop off the page and the emotional tension was good, but there was something that it missed that when it came to work and life, this one didn’t drown it out. Some books, it doesn’t matter what is going on in life, I have to keep reading and this one seemed to lack that. I was fine with setting it aside to do other things. Did I enjoy the book, yes. Will I read book 2 real soon, definitely. Did I like the two main characters, for sure. It was good but there was something with the plot that didn't grab and hold me the whole time.

Mine to Take - Cynthia Eden

First book in the Mine series was intense, fast, and short.  Definitely a novella, but without falling to the curse because they knew each other ten years ago while in foster care.  When she shows up at his office needing help, he sets out to win her back and keep her this time instead of pushing her away.  He is an intense male lead and the conflict was dark, scary, and moved quickly.  She was much softer and I think that made for a good match for his intensity and darkness. The plot line was enjoyable and the conflict was strong; it definitely had a creepy bad guy. I enjoyed the quick read.

Bella Cove - Rochelle Katzman

This story had a lot of high emotional tension between the two main characters. They go back and forth a lot; one minute they are taking baby steps to heal things and the next Gabe is giving her the cold shoulder.  The plot was enjoyable, the conflict good, setting was great, and overall I enjoyed it.  I did think he held onto the past a little too long; I think once he heard about the brother he should have been better, but he continued to play hot and cold.  Then when they finally have a passionate moment, the moment it is done he is cold again and telling her he needs to do more soul searching, but then he shows up at her bedroom window hours later for another go around.  He was definitely hot then cold then hot again, and that got tiring after awhile.  I think Kayla should have stepped back and told him he needs to make a move because she couldn’t keep putting herself out there, but she kept trying and then hurting then trying again. She fought for the relationship more than he did it seemed.  I did like the story and I did enjoy the characters. If you like small town, second chance romances, this is a good one, just be prepared for an emotional rollercoaster at times.

A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book and my comments here are my honest opinion.

Maybe For You - Nicole Perkins McLaughlin

Whiskey and Weddings is full of strong characters and great plot lines and book 3 is no exception. Jake is the playboy who doubts his worth due to not having a college education. Alex is a grieving woman who lost her fiancé weeks before their big day. Through that tragedy a friendship blossomed between Alex and Jake.  Totally platonic, the friendship grew over the course of the year she was deployed in Italy, but now she is home and retired from the military.  Jake has come to mean so much to her because he never judges and he always tells her it is ok to feel the way she feels. When he has to take a two week road trip to promote their whiskey, she doesn’t hesitate to go along to help him and to get away from how happy and in love her brother and his fiancé are.  During the trip, sparks do fly and she decides that Jake is the perfect person to have some fun with because she knows he doesn’t want anything long term either. When they return home they try to go back to just being friends, but when a health scare with Alex leads to her discovering that their safe sex wasn’t actually safe, she is at a loss as to what to do, but she doesn’t want a baby or a family or a life in the town she grew up in.  Jake is shocked to find out that he is going to be a dad, and he is pissed that Alex is wanting to deny him the chance to be in his baby’s life. He sets out to prove to her that this isn’t a set back but a gift and a new path for both of them. I enjoyed their story a lot. They were entertaining characters and their story was passionate, emotional, and just plain good. It is a great series, easy to get into and very entertaining.

Snowbound - Deborah Cooke

 First off, I didn’t want this to end.  I wanted more from Olivia and Spencer; I really wish this had been a full novel.  They were such strong characters together and the plot was entertaining and wonderful.  Loved every second and wanted more. Second, I didn’t even mind that this was pretty close to being a novella; the plot was strong enough, the characters were great, and the chemistry just made for an awesome story. This does not fall to the novella curse! Loved. Every. Second. Deborah, why did this one have to end so soon??

A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book and my comments here are my honest opinion.

Fated - Rebecca Zanetti

Book 1 in the Dark Protectors series was good but it was also hard to get engrossed in.  Cara was a contradiction; her father was abusive towards her, yet Talen's domineering and aggressive behavior she seemed fine with in the long run.  She was more concerned with her daughter and with having a choice, but she still went along with everything.  Within an hour or so of meeting him, he told her they were getting married and she resisted but not a lot. It wasn’t believable.  Also, when she discovered that they can only mate with humans with psychic abilities, she had a few moments to doubt whether he was with her because of that or because he wanted her, but the thoughts were so fleeting it was hard to believe she actually cared about the reason why he mated with her. I also don’t like how domineering Talen was; he didn’t explain things to her until after she gave in, told her how things were going to be and didn’t care about what she wanted or was going through. I wanted to like this book more, but had a hard time staying with it. The two main characters had no balance; he controlled everything and never seemed to consider her beyond safety and ownership.  They never were on equal ground; the relationship definitely came across as unhealthy and the few times the plot and events that could have been shaped into some emotional tension and fear of losing the other were never acted upon.  He had all the power and coming from a history of a controlling father like she did, I can’t buy the fact that she wouldn’t have fought back more. In the end, he wanted her to acknowledge his claim on her, but never once told her she owned him in return.  With all of that said, the plot line and concept were good, the conflict was strong, and the pace was good, I just needed more from the two main characters and more of a balance or a coming to understand and accept the other equally, and that didn't happen.

The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo - Kerrigan Byrne

I enjoyed their story quite a bit.  The two characters reminded me a bit of the Pirate captain and his lady love in Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Deadmen Walking (without the paranormal aspect).  He is a scary and powerful pirate king who is infamous and known to be cold and cruel.  She is a sweet and innocent woman who fears him at first but sees beneath the surface as the story progresses, though it does take a good portion of the book to see a softer side of him.  They met when she was 14 and he was 17 when she spots him lying in a mass grave badly beaten, lye burns on portions of his body, and almost dead.  She nurses him back to life and it is her voice that pulls him from the brink of death.  She has a very cruel older brother and once Ash is healed he tricks him and sells him into slavery on a ship.  It takes him 20 years to make his way back and by the time he does, Ash is dead and the Rook has taken his place.  He comes back to claim her as his, kill her brother, and kidnap her.  She is definitely distraught by his reappearance and the dramatic change.  Lorelei has always loved Ash and she can’t except his assertion that Ash is dead and gone, for he is the one she loves.  It takes her a good amount of time to come to terms with his harsher persona, but she refuses to give up on him and their love.  She sees glimpses, though very brief, of who he was 20 ago and she fights to keep a hold of him now that he is back in her life.  A great twist in the plot is the fact that because of the massive beating he took caused him to lose his memory, so he doesn’t know his past or who he really is.  Along the way, during their adventure in seeking treasure and a new relationship within the parameters he sets, they come across two men who knew him before the accident and they help him piece together his lost memories.  I really enjoyed the two main characters; they are strong, dynamic, and complex.  He jumps off the page and the reader truly feels for her in her struggle to earn his love, not just his claim that she is his.  It had a strong plot, diverse conflict, was an easy read, and was a great story.

My One True Highlander (No Ordinary Hero) - Suzanne Enoch

Graeme is a neighbor to the Duke of Lattimer and when the Duke of Duncraige comes to him and tells him he needs to eliminate the threat of Lattimer he refuses to do anything. However, his younger brothers decide that something needs to be done and when they stumble upon Lattimer's sister in a near by village they take matters into their own hands and kidnap her. Graeme has no idea what to do with her and he is furious with his brothers because they do not understand the situation they have put him into. Marjorie only wishes to surprise her brother and be there for his wedding.  She never expects to be kidnaped or that the man who holds her fate in his hands to be a handsome highlander bent on protecting his three brothers and his people for the Duke of Duncraige. The plot concept was good, but not as great as Hero in the Highlands. The characters are strong and entertaining but they don’t stand out like Gabriel and Fiona. The conflict is similar in this one as in book one. I did enjoyed it and I liked their story. It was an easy read and not dull. The back and forth between the two main characters were fun to watch but I definitely think Gabriel and Fiona were better overall.

Hero in the Highlands: A No Ordinary Hero Novel - Suzanne Enoch

Gabriel Forester is a soldier through and through and that is the only thing he wants to do with his life.  He doesn’t want to get married, have kids, or settle down. When he finds out that he has unexpectedly become the new Duke of Lattimer, he thinks it will be an easy few weeks leave to go to London, settle business, then head back to the Continent and war. What he doesn’t expect is that one of his homes has a steward who prefers threats to responding with the necessary information to inform the new duke of his property’s worth.  He heads up to Scotland, plans to replace the steward with someone he can trust, and then leave; however, he doesn’t expect to find that the steward ends up being a spitfire woman with a sharp tongue and insults aplenty  who sends him into a bog rather than in the correct direction to his property. 

Fiona has worked for the past four years to take care of and run Lattimer Castle in a way that sustains the tenants and keeps a roof over their heads and the English out in the cold.  She doesn’t expect that her insults and threats lead to the new Duke of Lattimer showing up on her doorstep unannounced and ready to replace her. She has worked too hard for a Sassanch soldier to come in a steal it from her.  She isn’t afraid to insult, berate, and put up as many obstacles in the way to send the English soldier back to England.

Neither expects that in their bickering and verbal back and forth to come to see the enemy isn’t really an enemy.  He isn’t what she expects in an aristocrat or in an English soldier.  She isn’t what he expects to find and the more time they spend together the more drawn to each other they are.  He doesn’t hide his interest in her and in fact quite plainly states he wants her in his bed and she resists for a time.  I enjoyed their story, the plot was strong, the conflict well developed, the villain not quite what you expect until he is revealed, and the passion was good. Overall, enjoyable, not too slow, and it was entertaining.

The Vixen - Christi Caldwell

The second book that follows the Killoran gang focuses on Ophelia. Her brother is up to his antics again to marry a sister off to a nobleman in order to create connections. Ophelia is stubborn and scarred from a past she hasn’t shared with anyone, including her family, but when her brother says either she or Gertrude will marry well, she sacrifices herself to protect her sister.

Connor Steele was once saved from a life on the streets when he stepped in to protect Ophelia. He thought he was sacrificing his life, but fortune shined on him and he instead was adopted and given a life of privilege. He is now an investigator that comes knocking on the Devil’s Den in order to hunt down a lost nobleman’s son.  Ophelia and he bump heads from the start, both keeping their shared past a secret, but when they keep bumping into each other at social events their nemesis/friendship is rekindled. 

The story was enjoyable, it was slow at times, but at the point near the end where her past comes back to haunt her, the plot and conflict get really good.  I enjoyed their interactions throughout the book. Ophelia was such a strong, yet stubborn, woman who found it really hard to trust Connor or his intentions.  Overall, I enjoyed it, though I wish the plot pace was a little stronger.

Cowboy, Cross My Heart - Donna Grant

The second book in the Heart of Texas series takes place 12 years after the first one, Christmas Cowboy Hero, where Abby and Clayton get together.  In that book Caleb and Brice were young teenagers and Brice was in trouble for cattle rustling on the East ranch.  Now the two brothers are all grown up and living their lives and Abby and Clayton have two kids with a third on the way.  Naomi left Texas to pursue her photography dream and college.  She has come back to visit her best friend who she discovers is holding onto some very dark secrets about the Rodeo Pageant life, but she won’t tell Naomi for fear of reprisals by the very powerful men who are at the head of the horrible events Whitney and other Pageant girls have suffered. When Naomi goes to the rodeo to cheer on her friend she sees Brice compete and she can’t keep her eyes off him.  When he comes to her rescue as she and Whitney are attacked, it starts the ball rolling on one fast-paced adventure where they work together to bring to light the things that have been going on for years.  People are hurt along the way, there are tense moments of conflict, the plot is strong and moves quickly, and their love story also moves quickly (almost too quickly), but the plot and conflict make that not as much of a big deal as it would be otherwise. I did enjoy their story a lot and was not disappointed at all in how book 2 progressed and ended.  I want more from the Easts and friends.

Dark Alpha's Hunger - Donna Grant

This one is Eoghan’s book; one I have looked forward to since meeting the Reaper who refuses to speak for thousands of years and then sacrifices himself to save his friend Cael, causing him to be sucked into a hell realm.  He finally fights his way free and it is all because of a halfling. Thea is an orphan and ever since she was a little girl and visited some standing stones, she is drawn back to the portal stones and again and again throughout her adult years. They call to her, though she doesn't know why, and now she goes up to them and plays her violin just to get out of the city and have alone time.  It is her music that helps Eoghan find his way to the gateway where he fights to get free and she helps pull him out. He is drawn back to her again and again, and even though he tries to push her away, when she is kidnapped he will stop at nothing to find her.  Who wanted her kidnapped was a HUGE surprise and their love story was awesome and the plot was so good.  He is one of the more interesting and dynamic Reapers in the series and Donna Grant didn't disappoint with his story at all.  I am so happy with how this one turned out.  I think it is one of my all time favorite Reaper books.