Thursday, July 30, 2009

Awakening Allaire by Margie Church

Title: Awakening Allaire
Author: Margie Church
Publisher: Class Act Books
Published date: August 1, 2009
ISBN: 1-935048-19-8
Genre/Theme: Contemporary Suspense
Length: 308 Pages
Buy Book Here
Author’s Website

Allaire West seemed to have it all with her marriage to Jeff West but then something went very wrong. His name was Devon Mercer and he was drop dead gorgeous and very, very attentive. After a very brief affair, Allaire gives birth to twins and tries to pass them off as Jeff's. When the truth comes out, all hell breaks loose and Allaire finds herself alone with two beautiful babies. As time goes on, Devon offers Allaire and the babies a place to stay - with him. Per her rules, it's strictly platonic until one day Allaire decides she's tired of platonic and secretly attends Devon's Halloween bash. After professing her love for Devon, the situtation gets intense as Allaire is kidnapped, forced to endure cruel punishment that includes starvation, isolation and drug addiction. Devon will do all that is necessary to get his beautiful Allaire back AT ANY COST! But really, can life return to normal if Allaire does make it back into his life? What ugly forces will they have to deal with if they are reunited?

A book shelf keeper! An exciting romantic thriller involving a rich, famous and very powerful family! Awakening Allaire is, simply put, one of the best romantic suspense books I HAVE EVER READ! It honestly takes a genius to figure out the ending and no, I am not a genius and was in shock almost the entire book. From the scorching description of Devon to the helplessness and desperation Allaire feels during captivity, the emotions this book evoked in me were plentiful. One minute I was laughing, the next, crying and the next, gasping at the turn of events. Ms. Church has written a jaw-dropping, spine tingling book that barely slows down long enough to catch your breath. A sensual read, it is the powerful conflict and thrilling suspense throughout the Awakening Allaire which really stands out. It is a book that captures your attention and refuses to let go of your senses. A brilliantly talented writer, I find the writing style of Ms. Church to be electrifying and very convincing. The characters endured pure hell as well as pure heaven and I enjoyed every bit of my stay with them. The strong bond between Devon and Allaire made me continue to hang on to the hope that they would both make it out of their troubles with their relationship intact. The plot was stunning, very solid and was laced with intrigue and suspense. I held my breath when Allaire was being tortured and Ms. Church painted a remarkably vivid picture of her torture. I my heart ached for both Allaire and Devon. Honestly, I can't say enough about Awakening Allaire other than you will not want to miss this book. It is an exceptional read that people will be talking about for a long time to come. Any book by Ms. Church is now an automatic add to my keeper shelf! I hear there is a sequel to Awakening Allaire called Avenging Allaire that will be out soon. You can count on me being one of the first in line to get my hands on it.

Rating: 5 SMACKS!
Heat Level: Spicy
Other: m/f
Reviewer: Elizabeth

Finn by Angela Martinez

Angela Martinez
Red Rose Publishing
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-1-60435-369-3
Genre: Erotic
Length: 226 pages
Buy Book Here!
Author Website

Diego knows about being burned. As a broke aspiring author he helps his community, gives food the hungry and encourages people to get help. The compulsion has cost him more than one relationship and though he can`t stop himself from helping, even for the ones he wants to love, he is lonely. Driving home one night Diego's urge to help sends him back when he sees a jumper on the Brooklyn Bridge.

He expects to help the guy and put him in the care of a qualified social worker. What he gets is much more than he could have imagined, even in his fantasy stories. When the dirt is cleaned off the seemingly childlike and disturbed man becomes something else. He is a pooka, shape shifter of Irish lore. Can Diego believe? Can he look beyond his eyes and see Finn for the magical, sexy creature he is?
Finn is a fabulous treat. Not only are two delicious men working together to save the world from an ancient evil being, they are doing it while growing into better men right in front of us. Ms. Martinez colors a very touching, sweet, humorous story. There is nothing hard or cringe-worthy even if the more violent scenes are fairly gory. Finn is completely enchanting and balances the sometimes neurotic Diego with his humor and naiveté. I give Finn five smacks. It is charming and sweet and makes the characters the story instead of relying on sex to push it through to memory. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a little fantasy and variety in their love stories. I certainly won't be forgetting Finn, anytime soon.

Rating: 5 smacks
Heat Level: explicit but very sweet
Other: m/m
Reviewer: Steph B

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Salvaged by J.S. Marlo

Title: Salvaged
Author: J.S. Marlo
Publisher: Sapphire Blue Publishing
Published date: September 2008
ISBN: 978-1-934657-04-1
Genre/Theme: Romantic Suspense
Length: 265 pages/71k words
Buy Book Here!
Author’s Website


Underestimated because of her age and avoided because of the scar marring her face, Star Fisher is still focused, determined and won't let anybody push her around. An experienced underwater diver, she is hired as an investigator onto an underwater salvage operation where the mystery of a sunken Model T will test her skills and the people involved will test her temper, and even scarier, her heart. Hauk Ludvikson is fascinated by the new diver on his crew. At first uncertain of her skills, Star quickly proves herself to him, even if some of the others on his team take a little longer to warm up to her. Things heat up quickly when it seems that someone wants the mystery car to stay unexamined, and will go to any means necessary, putting the lives of the crew, and especially Star, on the line.

Salvaged is a very good story. There were two main mysteries involved, the one surrounding the car as well as one surrounding Star Fisher and the nightmares that haunt her. J.S. Marlo wove everything together with quite a bit of skill. The characters are unique as well, and I enjoyed all the interactions between the crew. It was also interesting to get glimpses into what the bad guys were thinking and doing, although it would’ve been nice if the villains would’ve been less idiotic. Even so, there were surprises enough to keep it interesting, even if the pace could’ve been a bit smoother. If you want a good mystery with a romance liberally sprinkled throughout, Salvaged is the book for you!

Rating: 4 Smacks

Heat Level: Highly Sensual

Reviewer: Dena Celeste

Monday, July 27, 2009

Passionate Protector by Jan Minter

Title: Passionate Protector (Cover Art coming soon!)
Author: Jan Minter
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Published date: 2009
Genre/Theme: Romantic Suspense
Length: 73 pages
Author’s Website:

Review: In this stand-alone sequel to the novel The Amazon Project, Patricia Elena Delores Alvarez, aka Little Toot, has run about as far away from her childhood as the sheltered daughter of an outrageously rich Mexican bank magnate as she possibly can. She has begun singing at a gentleman’s club under a new alias, Felicia Flame.
Her former bodyguard, Joe, has been unable to stop protecting her, although it’s on an unofficial basis, and completely without her knowledge. When kidnappers strike, he is there to sweep her away on an escape that soon turns out to be much more of a passionate encounter than either of them ever expected.

Joe and Toot are one of those long-acquainted pairs that suddenly find their relationship has dramatically changed. He isn’t her father’s employee and she is not anybody’s little girl. Ms. Minter tells the tale well, and draws the reader into Joe’s emotional turmoil when he cannot deny the passion he feels for his former charge. He is strong, sexy guy with a conscience, wow! But Patricia is a strong-willed heroine, willing to give anything and everything for the love of the one man she wants. At one point I was a little worried she would give up too much just to fit into his life, but Jan Minter’s heroine is not anyone’s doormat, thank heavens.

Overall I enjoyed the story and had a hard time putting it down. There were torrid yet tender love scenes between our hero and heroine and murderous kidnappers who would not be deterred from their evil plot. Whether you like suspense or romance, it was a real page-turner. Would Joe and Toot get together, would they even survive? And what would Toot’s family do to a former employee who dared to trespass on the family princess? You’ll have to read all the way to the end to find out. It’s not a long story, just the perfect length for a hot summer afternoon’s reading, under a nice leafy tree. With chilled white wine maybe....

Rating: 4 Smacks
Heat Level: Spicy
Reviewer: Sky

Foodies Guide to Kitchen Magic by Sandra Sookoo

Title: Foodies Guide To Kitchen Magic
Author: Sandra Sookoo
Publisher: Lyrical Press, Incorporated
Published date: May 18, 2009
Genre/Theme: Romance Fantasy
Length: 38 pages
Buy Book Here!
Author’s Website:

Take food, magic and add in one hot instructor. Bring to a slow simmer and watch the magic begin. What more does a girl need to add to this recipe? In my opinion absolutely nothing, it is as good as it can get.
This story was a heartwarming tale with a dash of humor thrown in. I enjoyed the lead character of Aidan very much. She is a feisty woman with lots of courage and a take no crap attitude. She stuck to her guns and had no qualms about what others might think of her. Aidan does what she loves no matter what. Although he tries even the hero Matteus has no power against the pull she has on him.

Aidan loves to cook but no mater how hard she tries it seems that all her efforts end up in disasters. In pops Matteus and he must explain and teach her to use her magical skills.
While he teaches Aidan, Matteus begins to have feelings of his own for her. He must sort them out for his own personal reasons of which he cannot tell Aidan about. As Aidan fumbles through learning to tame and use her magic skills the two of them fumble through the growing attraction between them.
When Matteus botches things up he must try to win back her trust and fix things between Aidan and himself.
Will he be able to win Aidans heart? Can they have a happily ever after? Will Matteus trust Aidan enough to tell her his secret and stop fighting his attraction to her? You must read the story to find out these answers for yourself.
With its quick flow and endearing characters Foodies guide To Kitchen Magic is a sweet story. It is a great tale of love and trust.
If you enjoy spirited heroines and daring heroes this is the story for you. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will be on the look out for more stories from Sandra Sookoo.

Rating: 4 smacks
Heat Level: spicy
Other: m/f
Reviewer: Gabrielle

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Playing with Fyre by Mina Carter

Title: Playing with Fyre
Author: Mina Carter
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Published date: July 7, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-9841132-0-0
Genre/Theme: Erotica/Contemporary
Length: 70 pages
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Author’s Website


When you play with Fyre, you just might get burned. Raelyn Borne has a fiery passion to save her home. Unfortunately, lawyer Logan Fyre, is as ruthless an opponent as they come. With him, she can’t bribe or threaten her way out of this one. When backed into a corner, Raelyn has a tendency to get sassy. And now she's desperate enough to enter into a dangerous game with Logan. Does she have the strength to play with Fyre -- without getting burned?

This was a very spicy read. I couldn’t put this book down until I finished it. Ms. Carter knows how to capture her reader’s attention and keep them involved in the story until the last page. The only bad thing about this story is that it ended. But the characters, Raelyn and Logan were so believable. The author made them seem like real people. I felt like I knew them from the first few pages. I wanted nothing more than those two to find happiness together and have their happily-ever-after. You want nothing but the best for them. Also the plot wasn’t something you read all the time, but it was believable. I could actually believe what the characters were going through. I could believe their feelings, dilemmas and love. The book is heavy in passion and sex, but there is love and respect as well. It’s a story I highly recommend to all romance lovers.

Rating: 5 Smacks
Heat Level: Explicit
Reviewer: Tara Starr

Woman of Honor by Nicole Zoltack

Title: Woman of Honor
Author: Nicole Zoltack
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc
Published date: April 2009
ISBN: 978-1-936000-03-6
Genre/Theme: Fantasy
Length: 165 pages
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Author’s Website


Aislinn of Bairdhe dreams of becoming a lady knight to honor the death of her fallen brother. To her mother's horror, King Patrick grants Aislinn's wish and she begins her long years of training.Despite the mockery of the other pages, and the disdain of Prince Caelan who also trains to be a knight, Aislinn commits herself to her dreams and embarks on a journey of self-discovery and bravery. Through the years, Aislinn and Caelan grow from sparing classmates to good friends. They both know that someday Caelan will marry for the sake of the kingdom, but even that cannot keep them from falling in love. The threat of war with the Speicans is a constant threat, and one that grows more frightening as she and Caelan train toward their eventual knighthood. Aislinn has committed herself to serving Arnhem, and has promised herself as King's Champion when Caelan claims the throne. She is willing to give up everything... her childhood, her life, even her heart for Arnhem. No matter the pain it brings.

I found this story a compelling, magical read. It took to me to a place I had never been before. The details and descriptions of the scenery, characters and plot were so vivid and so easy to follow and understand. I truly felt as though I had gone stepped into a fairytale. Nicole Zoltack has an excellent writing style and I know we are going to see great things from her to come. I cannot wait to see what else she has in store for her readers…consider me your number one fan!

Rating: 5 Smacks
Heat Level: Sweet
Reviewer: Ruby Lee

Finding Their Way Back (Wayback Texas Series) by Stacy Dawn, Cindy Spencer Pape, Roni Adams

Title: Finding Their Way Back (Wayback Texas Series)
Author: Stacy Dawn, Cindy Spencer Pape, Roni Adams
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Published date: June 2009
ISBN: 1-60154-672-6
Genre/Theme: Cowboy
Length: 338 Pages
Buy this Book
Stacy Dawn

Cindy Spencer Pape
Roni Adams


Under a Rodeo Moon

Bullrider Joosef "Dusty" thougth he had it all. The love of a good woman, a diamond in his pocket, and most of the money for the downpayment to a piece of land where he could put down roots. But when the love of his life told him she needed to marry a "real man" one who didn't ride the rodeo circuit and move from town to town every week, he was left with a broken heart. Glad he never told her of his plans to retire and settle down, he at least had his pride when she showed her true colors. If she had truly loved him, it wouldn't matter what lifestyle they led.
Carrie couldn't stand the risks Dusty took every night when he got on the back of those bulls. She'd fallen in love with the blonde cowboy and wanted him to desperately stop doing what he loved to do. She gave him an ultamatium; me or the bulls. Dusty chose the rodeo and she left him in Cheyenne with a few choice words. Six months later, she knew what a mistake she'd made. She'd rather live with him on the rodeo circuit then live some boring life in the suburbs without him. Her bull rider was tough as rawhide both inside and out; would he give her 8 seconds of a chance to win him back?

After the Rodeo

Free Wulfsen learned early on to ride fast, and that rodeo relationships never last. But after one wild weekend in Nevada, the barrel racer finds herself married to bull rider Zane Malone. She’s all set to ask him for a divorce when she takes a fall—and finds out she’ll have more to remember him by than a ring. Now it’s up to Zane to convince Free that love can last after the rodeo’s done and that the real prize is a lifetime together.


When Elizabeth O'Leary meets up with the cowboy she's been avoiding for over two years, she doesn't know whether to trust her heart or her head. One tells her Grey Wulfsen just might be The One, the other tells her it doesn’t matter because he'll never forgive her when he finds out what she took away with her on that one starlit night.

I enjoyed all three of these stories. I love anthologies and the way they all tie together somehow, but tell a story all there own. The authors all did a great job with keeping a common theme. Under a Rodeo Moon was such a touching story. I loved the characters so much in this story. I was really happy with the ending that they got. After the Rodeo was another great read. I loved the overall plot with this story. But my favorite was One Starlight Night. I just felt so involved with this story. I felt like I was watching a movie, the details, descriptions and facts were so vivid and real. And ladies…and some men…who doesn’t love a cowboy? If you do, than this is an anthology you must check out.

Rating: 4 Smacks
Heat Level: Sensual
Reviewer: Bella Wolfe

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Remembering Ashby by Heather Long

Title: Remembering Ashby
Author: Heather Long
Publisher: Sapphire Blue Publishing
Published date: April 2009
ISBN: 978-1-934657-17-1
Genre/Theme: Fantasy
Length: 97 pages
Buy this Book


Peace among the clans has been nonexistent for the past centuries. But now that clan Lairds have decided to summon the God-touched people from their magical Isle to perform the rituals of Beltane to bless the peace talks between the clans, peace is within reach.

Melanie is honored to be chosen as one of six maidens to represent the Goddess at this important event. She is meant to be a vessel for the power of the Goddess while forgetting the failures of humanity during the festival. She knows should be concentrating on her part as a Maiden of the Hunt, yet she cannot banish the handsome Scot from her mind. Running in the Hunt is as sacred as the Goddess herself, and should her desires be known, there could be dire consequences for her and the clansman. However, she can’t find the will to deny his pull.

The mists of the Black Mountains enhance the excitement of their forbidden love while providing an escape from the Islanders encampment. Can they give in to their desires at the expense of their destinies?

Especially once The Sorcerer discovers their dalliance…

This was a great book! I really enjoyed it. I’m not much of one to try new authors, but something about this book drew me in and I’m so happy it did! Normally with stories like this one I have a hard time keeping up. The author has so much going on and you get confused and lost and you’re like…hey what the heck is going on? But Ms. Long has written a story that is very well in tact. It’s easy to keep up with; it’s easy to see what is going on with the characters and with the drama going on around them. I cannot wait to see more from this author, I am sure she is going to do great things. I recommend this book to any fantasy lover.

Rating: 4.5 Smacks
Heat Level: Spicy
Reviewer: Holli Winters

Friday, July 10, 2009

Blood Moon Rising by Angela Lam Turpin

Title: Blood Moon Rising
Author: Angela Lam Turpin
Publisher: Eternal Press Production
Published date: June 2009
ISBN: eBook: 978-1-926704- 02-9
Print: 978-1-926704- 10-4
Genre/Theme: paranormal / vampire / romance
Length: 182 pages
Buy this Book
Author’s Website


Valkyrie a vampire must leave her home of the forest with her son Anthony a dhampir to save him. He must have some of his fathers’ blood or he will die. They must venture into the city to find his father. A human she has not seen in years. Once there they must learn to fit into the human world go through many trials.

This story was well written and was interesting all the way to the end. Nice to see the main character of Valkyrie (the female vampire) having doubts and being scared instead of the usual vamp female who gets every man she sees. I enjoyed the interaction between her and her son Anthony as well. He had the typical adolescent reactions to all he learns when they are in the human world. Being a mother myself I sympathized with Valkyrie when she and her son argued.
The two go through many adventures in the city and at one point they are separated and Valkyrie must ask humans for help. Once she finds a man that she thinks is Anthonys’ father she must enlist his help in finding her son.

Valkyries struggles with what she is and how to be more human were interesting to say the least. She must learn to act human and how to interact with others without turning into a monster. Many trials await her in this story. There are many twists in this book, some you see coming and others take you by surprise.
I gave this book a 3.5 because it kept you guessing to the end and kept the reader entertained till the last page. The plot was continuous and never repetitive.

Angela Lam Turpin did a good job with descriptions and character depth. Even with it’s many characters and places this story was never confusing and always had the reader turning the page for more.

Rating: 3.5

Heat Level: Spicy

Other: m/f

Reviewer: Gabrielle

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Nice Girls Do by Michelle Miles

Title: Nice Girls Do

Author: Michelle Miles

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Published date: November 2007

ISBN: 1-59998-681-7

Genre/Theme: Contemporary

Length: 139 pages

Even nice girls can be bad…

Cara Davis wants to be a nice girl. She really does. So she quits her job at the strip club and takes on a job at The Bitter End coffee shop. She even dates the owner’s very nice—and nice looking—son David. Mark Sawyer used to be bad, but now he’s mended his ways. He comes to The Bitter End to make amends with his mother, but his attempt is rebuffed by both her and his baby brother. Worse, David is dating the newest hire, a buxom blonde Mark is sure he’s seen somewhere before. He sets his sights on Cara with every intention of stealing her away. Sometimes it’s good to be bad, and who said turning over a new leaf was such a good idea, anyway? With the coffee house in danger of closing its doors forever, Cara and Mark team up to save the day. The only problem is, Cara can’t stop herself from falling in love with the bad boy. And damn it, she’s tried so hard to be good! Like good coffee, the longer Mark and Cara’s desire brews, the stronger it gets. And once their passion percolates, there’s sure to be plenty of steam…

Author Michelle Miles does it again, creating a rich story that makes you want to cheer. Cara Davis is gorgeous, smart and thoroughly likeable. Mark Sawyer is every girl’s fantasy man, right down to the sexy dimples. The fact that both of them are trying hard to make up for their less-than-stellar pasts is fun and heartwarming to watch. Between the hot sex and the tense emotions building between Cara and Mark, I got carried away by their story and was thrilled with a very satisfying ending. This is a definite must read for anyone who loves an erotic story but with lots of sweet elements.

Rating: 4.5 smacks

Heat Level: Explicit

Other: Explicit sex

Reviewer: Valerie Mann

Talk Dirty to Me by Michelle Miles

Title: Talk Dirty to Me

Author: Michelle Miles

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

ISBN: 1-59998-072-X

Genre/Theme: Contemporary

Length: 152 pages

Buy this Book

Author’s Website

Shy girls need to talk dirty too…

Commitment-shy Claudia has found the perfect man. He never leaves his dirty socks in the living room floor, eats all the cookies, or leaves the toilet seat up. In fact, he’s just a voice on the other end of the phone. And, as Trixie, she’s been talking dirty to him every night for the last week. “Jack” calls the Talk Dirty To Me phone sex line nightly just to talk to Trixie. She loves his silky voice and he has a way with words that lights her fire, leaving her hungry for more. Then Claudia meets the tall, striking Dr. Blake Marsh, a man with a familiar voice she can’t quite place. After spending time with Blake (and her nightly calls suspiciously stop), she begins to suspect he is Jack. Now that she’s falling for the sexy doctor, can she prove he really is the bad boy on the other end of the phone?

I adored this book. Period. Claudia and Blake were believable characters with real flaws and normal lives. The author had a wonderful way with the snappy dialogue and describing the interaction between the pair of lovebirds so that the reader is pulled into the story immediately. Claudia is sassy, Blake is just plain sex on a stick and when the two literally run into each other the first time, sparks fly. Both commitment-phobes, neither wanted or expected the instant, deeper-than-lust attraction for each other. When Blake discovers Claudia’s phone sex hotline secret, his anger and pain are palpable, as is Claudia’s when she knows she’s lost him, just as she realizes she’s in love with him. Fortunately for her, Blake is sexy AND smart, and quickly discovers he loves her as well and the phone sex line thing? Who cares, he wants her anyway. Yay! I say go ahead, buy this book and prepare yourself for a fun, very hot, enjoyable read!

Rating: 4.5

Heat Level: Very Spicy

Other: Explicit sex, graphic language

Reviewer: Valerie Mann

Thistle Dew by Alee Drake

Thistle Dew
ALee Drake
The Wild Rose Press
Fantasy Faery Rosebud
Rating: Sensual
Page Count: 184
ISBN: 1-60154-643- 2
Release Date: 6-26-2009
Price: 4.50
Buy this Book
Author’s Website

Sage Winters is the owner of an Adirondack bed and breakfast aptly named Thistle Dew by her late husband, Eric. She is a strong woman, not only successful in her business but as a mother. Although she tries to be loyal to her love for Eric, frequent guest and author Hawke is so irresistible that he catches her eye and eventually her heart. Sage is an overprotective mother who reluctantly learns to rely on others at a time of crisis.

Hawke, a shy, reclusive best selling author, steps up to the plate as hero when Sage's daughter, Pia is missing and any clues to her whereabouts have been buried during a blizzard. He learns to trust his intuitive voice and finds Pia via dreams and eerie signs.

And it is Eric, in spirit, who is not always angelic, but intercedes and intervenes to keep his ‘girls’ safe. He not only shows Hawke where to find Pia but encourages Sage to open her heart and love again.

Ms. Drake launches us into the warm and enticing world of the Thistle Dew Inn with an expert's touch. Her writing features wonderful descriptives that fully engages us in the atmosphere of the story and its characters. Hawke is an impressive hero – kind hearted and protective, a book nerd with a touch of Harley Davidson sex appeal – what's not to love?! Sage, meanwhile, is a tender and completely appealing heroine. She's a devoted mother, a consummate hostess, and Hawke's perfect allure.

In fact if I have one quibble with this book it's that the development of Sage and Hawke's relationship felt a bit uneven to me. I found myself longing for more direct interaction and development between them through the first half of the book. Much seems to happen internally and off stage rather than in direct, one-on-one interaction. These are two deserving characters. I wanted to see more of their growth and interaction so I'd be even more invested in the outcome.
The second half of the book is a total thrill ride – Sage and her daughter Pia (who have the most wonderful, heart-stealing rapport) face an enormous challenge, and Hawke's caring heart and devotion helps them pave the way through the difficulties presented and leaves the reader a happy and much longed for resolution.

Kudos, Ms. Drake – when can I visit the Thistle Dew Inn??
Rating: 4 Smacks

Heat Level: Sweet/Sensual

Other: N/AReviewer: Minnie

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Lonely Soul by Mary Quast

Title: Lonely Soul

Author: Mary Quast

Publisher: Vanilla Heart Publishing

Published date: May 2009

ISBN: 978-1-935407-94-2

Genre/Theme: Contemporary

Length: 308 pages

The eldest of the McAlister siblings is responsible and always putting his brother and sister before himself. Now that Erick and Elizabeth were enjoying their married lives, the time had come for Michael Casey McAlister to find his soulmate. A man with a deep sense of family and honor, yet at times could be manipulative and very controlling, always doing what he thought was best for others. Featured on The Most Dangerous Bachelors list with his brother, but for his love for daring outdoor activities; he searched for a woman who wasn’t a high society princess. With his good looks, wealth and sexual prowess, he has attracted many ladies but when the one he thinks is Miss Right doesn’t like his dog he shows her the door. Lonely and discouraged, he dedicates himself into a New York City community garden project with his friends and busies himself with his comic strip he has created under the name of Mike Casey. Mike meets Lauren “Wren” Avery with the help of their dogs in the park while he’s working on a cartoon. He sees her as a chance to improve himself and not follow his father’s path of unhappiness. He certainly didn’t expect to fall in love with the graphic artist. Wren falls in love with him as the cartoonist not knowing he is the co-owner of McAlister Enterprises, the same company she works for. He knows he’s wrong not telling her the truth, but his world falls apart when she's transferred to the London office and she finds out who he really is. He realizes that in while building the company and interfering in other people’s lives he may have lost control of his own life and what truly matters.

The first thing I was tempted to do after I read this was deduct a full point from my rating. Why? Because I’m exhausted. Shame on you, author Mary Quast – I started reading this book a bit too late in the evening, fully intending to mosey through a few chapters and retire at a decent hour. Didn’t happen. The birds were chirping and dawn was breaking this morning when I finished. I had to know what happened to Mike and Lauren. I expected a happily-ever-after, it’s a given. But the lovely twists and turns kept me planted in my chair, intent on getting to that ending before my head hit the pillow. I think the excerpt above is plenty to get a reader interested in the premise of the book but I will say this story was full of life and fun, sexy, interesting secondary characters (which, if done well, is a huge bonus for me to read about) that I can’t wait to hear more about (Trevor, in particular). Mary Quast also has a great eye for detail and description and everywhere the book took me, I could see the scenes very clearly. Plus, I used to spend lots of time in the Adirondacks as a kid, so that was like going back for me. Aside from a few typos and some strange formatting that distracted occasionally, this book was fantastic. Nice job, Ms Quast! I definitely want to read more of this series, I think your other readers will love this book and you’ll find news fans as well!

Rating: 4

Heat Level: Sweet and Spicy elements

Reviewer: Valerie Mann