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Hate is a powerful emotion. So can love, but to get to the later hate has to die first. Adair Thorne has hated those that came from the Diggory Gang since he was a boy tortured by that notorious gang leader and that includes the Kiloran siblings. Now the Blacks have to keep to the end of a bargain they reached with one Cleopatra Kiloran, which is to help one of her sisters snag a lofty lord for a husband. But when their gaming hell is burned down they believe the Kilorans are to blame and the little spitfire that comes to his friend's home to talk about the fire and bargain, sparks both his ire and his blood.
Cleopatra hates all things Black and she enjoys teasing Adair the most, but when she decides that it should be her sacrificed to the betterment of her family’s ambitions and finds herself living in the Black residence, she finds it next to impossible to avoid Adair. Their slow build to a friendship and then love was steady and entertaining to watch. Both characters were strong and well developed and both were very headstrong that the back and forth between the two kept the story going. The conflicts developed were both intense and hard to overcome, but when they are, the happy ever after is that much more wonderful to see. I enjoyed their story and want to go back and read about the other members of the Black gang because going into this first book in this spin-off series made it quite clear that it wasn’t the start for the characters and all of them are fascinating and interesting that I want more from them. I loved Adair and Cleopatra.
This was such a fun and entertaining story. The banter between Gwennore and Silas was fun to watch. He was such a jokester with depth. Gwen didn’t know what to think of his teasing and so she couldn’t take him seriously; she much preferred the dragon she named Puff to the General, which irked Silas something fierce. There are so many secrets in the land of Norveshka that Gwen finds it hard to trust anyone there and it doesn’t help that Silas’ method of keeping their working relationship a secret is by letting the courtiers think that she is his mistress. She has never been accepted by people other than her adopted sisters, so the snide comments and cruel rumors about her makes her desperate to go home. Silas knows he wants her, but he also knows that she doesn’t want to stay, but when spies are discovered and then murdered, and the truth about the Ancient Ones true curse comes to light, he knows that there is no one else he wants by his side through it all then Gwen. He just has to convince her to trust in him and not a dragon and he has to do it without revealing the best kept secret of his people-the true origin of the dragons. Too bad Gwen is too smart for her own good.
Charlotte Windham is a fierce protector of women who have found themselves in a delicate situation. She has no interest in getting married and she is the very last Windham cousin not married. However, she does need to be ruined so the men stop proposing and cornering her at various social functions. She wants to be left alone to pursue her goals of continuing her work. Lucas is the wealthy commoner who is the neighbor to the Duke of Haverford (Elizabeth Windham’s book, No Other Duke Will Do). In that book, we met Lucas and for a good portion of the book he came across as the villain when in truth he wasn’t. He is a successful businessman who has a colliery in the process of being built. He is in town to find a business partner when he rescues Charlotte from an aggressive suitor. It doesn’t take them long before he proposes marriage, though both of them only see it as a business transaction. She is attracted to him but is worried he will try and stop her work, so initially she refuses him, but is later caught kissing him by none other than the Duke and Duchess of Windham, the scheming and matchmaking masterminds of the Windham family. Lucas and Charlotte find themselves married and on the way to Wales shortly after that. They don’t know each other and don’t know how to start. Their marriage reminded me of what marriages were actually like back then, which is sad, though theirs had a happily ever after. They grow close very slowly, but when it comes out that Lucas’ business partner is the same man who ruined Charlotte's best friend a rift arises. It seems hopeless for a few weeks but Charlotte has come to realize she really loves her husband and misses him, and he comes to realize how he wants his marriage to be and they both come to a very tentative understanding. He sets off to seek justice for Charlotte’s dead friend and the son she left behind, and in doing so, discovers he has friends in high places and not all aristocracy is evil and spoiled. I loved Charlotte’s confrontation at the end with her friend’s lover and I love that Lucas overheard it all. Priceless. Perfect. Romantic. And sweet.
Book two in the Muses series brings us Navy Seal, Hunter, and the psychologist, Callie. He is sent to her after a rough mission, but he has no interest in talking and getting his head examined by an "old man". When he discovers that his doctor is a beautiful female he still doesn’t want to talk about how his mission went wrong but he does want to go out on a date. Callie holds out strongly and stubbornly, but Hunter draws her in and when she discovers he is her Guardian it makes it even harder to resist his charm. As they grow closer, the Kronos Worshipers single Callie out as their next victim and it is up to Hunter to keep her safe. I enjoyed their story. The Order of Kronos is a bit weak for the bad guys. The members are part of a big oil conglomerate and yet they have to brain wash someone in order to make him fanatical enough to murder without question. They need to be more ruthless and aggressive. They come off as a bit passive compared to the strong protagonists in the story. Other than that, I enjoyed book two as much as book one. Looking forward to reading about Reed next.
Book three brings us Nate, the head of the King family, and Faith, his best friends little sister, that he swore to stay away from for all times. Even though he has had the hots for her for years, he kept his promise to his friend. When she shows up on his doorstep looking for help and a safe place to stay he knows he should say no. But when she shows him the evidence of why she needs somewhere to stay and why going to her brother is a bad idea, he can’t turn her away. Now that they are living under the same roof, their friendship heats up and even Sam can’t keep them apart. I liked their story a lot. I enjoyed watching them grow close and get to know each other better. I do have to admit though that I think I liked Chase’s book better for emotional tension. Faith and Nate’s conflict was a bit tame, though it didn’t detract from the enjoyment of their story. It was sweet, passionate, romantic, and enjoyable. All in all, a cute and great series.
Cowboy Take Me Away is book two in the Texas Kings series. I really liked watching Chase, a one-and-done player, work so hard to win the one girl he has loved for years but has never acknowledged even to himself. They met in college and she was the one and only girl to tell him no, and in that 'no' a strong friendship bloomed until one night after graduation, the two best friends gave into their passion, ruining their friendship. He hasn’t seen her in five years, so when she ends up being the AI sent to help him with his organic cattle endeavor he sees it as a second chance, but he isn’t sure what that second chance is or how far he wants to take things. She has loved him secretly since college and she hid her feelings very well. He never suspected even as he flirted and dated other girls all through their college career. But a consequence other than the loss of a friendship happened the night they gave into the passion and now she doesn’t know how to tell him that he is a father. When things are revealed, let’s just say it got ugly and tense. They had a lot to overcome and there were times I wasn’t sure how they would be able to move ahead and forgive past sins. I enjoyed their story. The conflict added an emotional tension to this story that kept me interested and it was hard to not read when I should have been working. I definitely liked book 2 better than book 1. I’m looking forward to Nate’s story next.
I got a taste for Soraya Lane when I read The Cowboy Stole My Heart through NetGalley so I thought to try some more. I liked what I had read and hoped for the best. Now in all honestly I only read book 1 because I wanted to read book 3 and I hate reading out of order. A youngest grandson who gambled and loses his inheritance and a down on her luck bartender who happened to be good at poker didn’t exactly catch my interest so I did go into reading it not expecting much. It was good. The middle was slow but I liked the characters and they carried the story. They were strong and real and Chloe and her back story really pulled me in. The plot was ok, the villain was scummy, which was expected, but her dad making an appearance and Ryder (love the name btw) coming to her defense was just so delicious and added some tense moments where Ryder saw the real Chloe behind the reformed poker player. I enjoyed the story and am diving right into book two, which should show that the series definitely has appeal and so do the King brothers. Yummy cowboys, and here I’ve never really been into the cowboy type but so the King brothers are definitely appealing.
Book two focuses on the playboy he-slut, (her phrasing for him) Beck, and Harlow Glass the school yard bully turned homeless girl who has been secretly living off the land the men now own that she lost. This one was so good. Better than book one because unlike book one Beck didn’t sleep with a sister first, he just slept with everyone else but when he sees Harlow stealing his pie from inside his home, he can’t let her get away. So he takes a page out of Jase’s playbook and hires Harlow as a freelance artist for his company. While having her work for him, he sets out to win her and she was hard to win. She knows his reputation and she knows that she can’t be a one-and-done girl on his resume of conquests. But she also can't help and see what others don’t, that he is just as scared as she is, but where her scars are on the outside, his are all internal. I loved it. Loved their story. Loved returning to Strawberry Valley and seeing how Jase and Brook Lynn are doing. These guys are so scarred and it takes a special kind of woman to win them for keeps. Great story.
The first book in the new series that spins off Sea Haven and Sisters of the Heart focus on Czar's motorcycle club members. This book focuses on Reaper, one of Czar's enforcers. Reaper has not known compassion and knows that he is too damaged to ever find what Czar and Blythe have together and when he sees Anya, he knows that he has to get rid of her before he does something he will regret. Anya is running from some very unpleasant people who murdered her roommate. She knows she doesn't fit in with the biker crowd but she starts to feel safe in Casper and from the moment she set eyes on Reaper, she knew he was the one for her. When she over hears him demand that Czar fire her and the nasty things he calls her, she realizes that he is the cold and cruel man that he portrays. Reaper comes to her aid after some drunk bikers corner her in the parking lot of their bar and from that moment on he knew he couldn't let her go, even though he knows he can't give her what she deserves. Their love affair had highs and lows, intense moments, and when he is forced to watch as she is interrogated by his brothers he knows that he could very well lose her forever. The scene where she is interrogated was so intense and emotional. The after path was poignant and perfect. Their whole story was great, I had to go back and re-read several scenes they were so good. Loved it and hate that I now I have to wait for the next one. I am so happy to return to Sea Haven and I want more!