Review: True Love & Other Disasters by Rachel Gibson

Format: E-book
Opens with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Chinooks Hockey Team, Book 4
Publisher: Avon
Hero: Ty Savage
Heroine: Faith Duffy
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: April 28, 2009
Started On: April 27, 2010
Finished On: April 28, 2010

True Love and Other Disasters is the first novel that I ever tried from the list of novels by Rachel Gibson. And this book has stayed with me for a long time afterwards as a book that should be read time and time again.

Although I am not much of a fan of ice  hockey and don’t know much about it, this book is based on an ice hockey team called Chinooks whose ownership is bequeathed to Faith Duffy upon the death of her quite old husband Virgil Duffy who owned the Chinooks Hockey team. Like everyone else, former stripper Faith is surprised by the turn of events and is on the verge of selling the team to Virgil’s son Landon when Landon insults her in front of everyone that matters in the Chinooks team.

Faith comes across Ty Savage, the Chinooks handsome as sin captain during Virgil’s funeral. A man with a larger than life presence, Faith distrusts Ty from the first moment onwards and it seems as  though the feeling is mutual until these two start to rub sparks off each other upon each and every encounter.

Ty can’t get the beautiful and sexy Faith out of his mind regardless of what he does. And suddenly the idea of him and Faith together doesn’t seem that bad when one hot encounter between the two leaves them both begging for more.

Meanwhile, Landon a man who doesn’t forget and forgive easily tries to drive them apart by hitting them where it hurts and nearly succeeds until Ty as the true alpha hero he is portrayed to be saves the day.

This book is a great read, the kind I love the best with a belligerent hero and a wonderfully sassy heroine who knows how to stir things up whenever and wherever they may meet. Highly recommended for all contemporary romance fans!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo

[xrr rating=5/5]

Caliber Seal: OUTSTANDING READ!

Review: Truly Madly Yours by Rachel Gibson

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Avon
Hero: Nick Allegrezza
Heroine: Delaney Shaw
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: January 31, 1999
Started On: April 27, 2010
Finished On: April 27, 2010

When pretty hairdresser Delaney Shaw returned home to Truly, Idaho for the funeral of her stepfather, she  never planned on staying around for long. But the ten year estrangement from her mother and stepfather might as well have never happened when her stepfather’s will stipulates that she stay in Truly for a period of one year if she were to receive the property bequeathed to her worth 3 million dollars.

And Delaney never expected Nick Allegrezza, her stepfather’s son whom he never acknowledged when they were growing up to be part of the will. Nick and his brother Louie were property developers and Nick was to be the owner of some hot property if he could refrain from having sex with Delaney.

Though Nick wouldn’t admit it, the night ten years back when he had held a warm and willing Delaney in his arms has been etched onto his mind for eternity. Though he tries to act nonchalant and unaffected by Delaney’s presence in Truly, he can’t help but find ways to be near her and to appease the hunger that she arouses in him.

Before long the small town is once again bursting at its seams with the delicious gossip on how Nick heats things up with Delaney. From the eccentric customers that trickle in to the saloon Delaney opens up to the many squabbles that take place within Nick and Delaney’s family, this book is a special treat with humor, red hot passion that makes your toes curl up and a great ending that is rare in most of the modern romance novels that come out.

Highly recommended for those who love romantic comedies as well as a good romance with a hot hunky hero that takes your breathe away.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble

[xrr rating=4.25/5]

Caliber Seal: AWESOME READ!

Review: The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Hero: Nick Anderson
Heroine: Alix French
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: May 12, 2005
Started On: April 24, 2010
Finished On: April 25, 2010

This is one of the best love stories I have come across. Though narrated in the first person which I dislike mostly, Ms. Katherine has done a wonderful job in creating characters that will stay with you for a long time once you are done with the story.

Once I started reading Alix and Nick’s story I couldn’t for the life of me put it down till I really had to go to sleep since I had work the next morning. I am glad now that I took the recommendation to heed and read this book which I would recommend for even non-romance readers to take a look at. Yes, its worth every second you spend reading the book!

Alix comes from old wealth and abundance of family love. Whilst her father was non-existent when Alix was growing up, she had never felt the lack of fatherly love since her grandpa known as Judge fulfilled that role quite adequately. Been on the receiving end of motherly love from her mother and two sisters who never got married and still lived with their father (Judge) this is as good as family life gets. Nick comes from the wrong side of town. With a drunken father who beats the crap out of him whenever he can, Nick is a defiant little boy of ten when eight year old Alix takes into her head to rescue him.

From then on these two are inseparable bound by ties that go beyond normal friendship. However Nick’s steadfast protection of Lindsay, a girl from the wrong side of town as well keeps these two from fulfilling the destiny of belonging to one another. Now fifteen years later, Alix is is finalizing her divorce from Hugh whom she married once Nick left town with a murder charge on his back and is a woman with a tough wall around her heart after her and Nick’s daughter Katie died from SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

All of a sudden Nick is back in town with his son Daniel who looks so much like Katie that the armor that Alix has put up all these years starts to fall apart one by one. However the truth of what actually took place that fateful night 15 years back is what would make or break these two people who are destined to be together if they can both forgive, heal and move on.

Wonderfully moving story that clutches at your heart. Loved it from the beginning till end!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo

[xrr rating=5/5]

Caliber Seal: OUTSTANDING READ!

Review: MacKenzie’s Mountain by Linda Howard

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Mackenzie Family, Book 1
Publisher: Silhouette
Hero: Wolf MacKenzie
Heroine: Mary Elizabeth Potter
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: April 1, 1989
Started On: April 23, 2010
Finished On: April 24, 2010

This is the first book of The MacKenzies series and the only book of the series that I liked. Though I didn’t try the 3rd and 4th book of the series, I did start to read the 2nd book in the series, i.e. Joe MacKenzie’s story & it never did make the impact this story made on me for the very first time which is why I ended up re-reading this story all over again after reading through a discussion thread on Amazon’s romance discussion forum.

Wolf MacKenzie is a half breed, half Comanche and half Indian. For that alone he had led a pretty solitary life in the small town Ruth where he and his son Joe resided. And add to that a rape charge for which he did time and later was found not guilty of when the real culprit was found, Wolf & Joe had been paying the price of that unjustness of it all ever since.

Mary moves to the small town as a teacher, and finds out to her dismay that Joe who was the highest scorer in all the classes had dropped out of school. Mary vows to right the matter and in fact makes the trip to where the twosome lived up on the MacKenzie mountain. On the way Mary’s car breaks down and comes face to face with larger than life Wolf MacKenzie who manages to kiss her senseless and sets her senses whirling like never before.

Wolf doesn’t need the added complication of Mary in his life. However, he can’t help but feel a need for her deep within him that cannot be ignored. Meanwhile, Mary starts giving Joe private lessons so that he could catch up with the other students and fulfill his dream of being a fighter jet pilot, a dream which Mary helps him fulfill within no time.

However, forces within the small town who do not want Wolf and Joe to become a part of the town work towards framing Wolf for rape again, a fact Mary is convinced of, which leave the women of the small town agitated and scared out of their wits.

This book is heartwarming in so many ways. The way that Mary sides with the black sheep in town and makes the townsfolk regret the way they had snubbed them for so long, the undeniable passion between Mary and Wolf which makes the book a continuous sensual delight and how in the end Mary draws out the rapist with her wit and courage and of course the lovely ending of the book which makes me want to read the book once more.

The person who suggested this book as her absolute favorite romance book of all time has surely hit a winner with this one. This is one book that any romance reader who loves contemporary romance should read!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble

[xrr rating=5/5]

Caliber Seal: OUTSTANDING READ!

Review: One Summer Evening by Mary Lynn Baxter

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle & Mobipocket Reader
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: MIRA
Hero: Austin McGuire
Heroine: Cassie Wortham
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: July 1, 1999
Started On: April 20, 2010
Finished On: April 21, 2010

On the night Cassie Wortham turned 18, she gives into the red hot desire that seems to churn deep within her every time her father’s best friend Austin McGuire is in the vicinity. That very night Austin gets engaged to Alicia, Cassie’s aunt, and Cassie hides the consequence of their one time together for 9 whole years until she returns home back to her roots once again with her 9 year old son, Tyler in tow.

If Cassie had thought that her infatuation and the fiery passion that kindled between her and Austin was a one time thing she couldn’t have been more wrong. Sparks fly between the two right from the onset though Cassie’s mother and father are oblivious to all the sizzle that goes on around them.

Cassie has a lot to lose if Austin or her parents were ever to find out who Tyler’s father actually is. Since Cassie had rushed headlong into marriage with her childhood friend Lester upon finding out she was pregnant with Austin’s child, an act for which Cassie had been paying for ever since, everyone has held the belief that Tyler was Lester’s child to begin with.

However with Lester finally in jail for the crimes he committed, Cassie felt safe enough to come back home. But danger once again threatens Cassie’s barely found stability when Lester is released from prison and returns to  haunt and taunt her with the knowledge that he could hurt Tyler to gain what he wants above all.

The sexual tension between the two characters could be cut through with a knife in this novel. Fast paced with no unnecessary jargon clouding the story, this novel packs one hell of a punch.

Highly recommended for lovers of contemporary romances with an edge of suspense thrown in.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble

[xrr rating=4/5]

Caliber Seal: GREAT READ!

Review: Ride the Fire by Pamela Clare

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle & Mobipocket Reader
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Blakewell/Kenleigh Family Trilogy, Book 3
Publisher: Leisure Books
Hero: Nicholas Kenleigh
Heroine: Elspeth Stewart
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: March 6, 2005
Started On: April 18, 2010
Finished On: April 19, 2010

The first book that I tried from Ms. Clare certainly didn’t disappoint. This story has all the elements that make up a great romance. The web of sensuality that Ms. Clare so cleverly weaves is magical, one that I as the reader got myself lost in.

Ride the Fire is the story of beautiful Scots-Irish Elspeth Stewart and the sinfully delicious Nicholas Kenleigh. On the verge of death, Nicholas accidentally stumbles upon Elspeth, eight months pregnant and living in the harsh wilderness that wasn’t safe for anyone much less a defenseless woman. Somehow Nicholas convinces the skittish Elspeth that he intends her and her baby no harm and Elspeth cares for him until he regains his strength.

Meanwhile, the uprising of the Indians living around the area continues making Nicholas fear for Elspeth and her unborn babe. Though Nicholas has witnessed the evil side of life too many a time and lived through hell and beyond, he can’t help but feel protective towards Elspeth who feels restless and uneasy around his vicinity. Elspeth has always held the notion that men held little regard for anyone else much less the women in their lives. Having lived through episodes of sexual harassment by her step brother which eventually turned her own mother against her, Elspeth has always felt tainted and unclean and unworthy of belonging to anyone. Ever since her husband died her plans have included living alone with her child with no need for a man.

Nicholas changes everything Elspeth has believed in till now. Where Elspeth has associated intimacy with a man with pain, Nicholas teaches her that there is no shame and only joy in the act. Where Elspeth has always associated men with brutality, Nicholas shows her in the best of ways how tender and loving a man can truly be. Both Nicholas and Elspeth who have had so much suffering in their lives find in each other a joy none can turn their backs on. And Ms. Clare has done an excellent job on keeping the adventure going at full pace with the sensuality level at an all high! My my!!

This book is highly recommended for those who love their romances with a good dose of sensuality. You would definitely not be disappointed with this novel. I wanted a Nicholas for myself after reading this book. Yes ladies, he is that good!

Till next time then! I presume I would be catching up on reading all the novels by Ms. Clare pretty soon!!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble

[xrr rating=5/5]

Caliber Seal: OUTSTANDING READ!

Review: Loving Julia by Karen Robards

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle & Microsoft Reader
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Warner Books
Hero: Sebastian, Earl of Moorland
Heroine: Jewel Combs / Julia Stratham
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: December 1, 1986
Started On: April 16, 2010
Finished On: April 18, 2010

Loving Julia is one of the best historical romances from Ms. Robards. Though the fact that a 30 something year old hero seducing a merely 16 year old girl was a bit of an icky factor for me, the romance, passion and suspense in the book made it a winner for me.

Loving Julia is the story of Jewel Combs, a common street thief who thieved for survival and lived amongst the roughnecks in the less savory neighborhoods in London. Fate brings Jewel into the homes of Sebastian, the Earl of Moorland. Sebastian is a man who for all eyes to see has everything a man might want in life. Rich and handsome beyond belief, he is a man haunted by a past he cannot undo. With a wife whose death has always been blamed on him, with a daughter who screams in utter fear at the very sight of him and a mother who loathes his very existence, Sebastian is the ultimate tortured hero.

Sebastian takes Jewel Combs under his guardianship as a means of entertaining himself. The prospect of transforming Jewel Combs, the common thief  into Julia Stratham a lady worthy of complete adoration of the ton seems to be a challenge enough for Sebastian to keep the boredom and the loneliness at bay. However, his best-laid plans take a turn he never expected when he ultimately finds himself ensnared by the wonderful woman Julia turns out to be.

Jewel who has always been starved for affection blossoms under the direction of Sebastian who for the world of him can’t figure out what it is that draws him to Jewel. As fate would have it, the combustive passion between the two finally forces Sebastian to acknowledge that no matter how cold and aloof he might try to act around Jewel, its a mission well worth giving up with all the emotions Jewel seems to be able to invoke in him with little effort.

When Sebastian takes everything Jewel has to offer and casts her aside like a piece of soiled cloth, Jewel vows that he would never lay a finger on her ever again. However love has ways of creeping into one’s heart and catching them unawares which is exactly what happens to Jewel. And from that moment onwards, Jewel vows to make Sebastian fall as much in love with her as she is in love with him.

The drama and antics that Jewel goes through to make Sebastian hers, the unfolding story of how Elizabeth, Sebastian’s first wife was killed and how Chloe, Sebastian’s daughter finally comes around makes this story an engrossing read. Glad that Ms. Robards didn’t paint Sebastian as a complete utter rogue who cruelly hurts his women emotionally as some of Ms. Robard’s historical romances are famous for.

Good romance, recommended for those who love stories of tortured heroes and the gutsy heroines that concur them in the end.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard

[xrr rating=3.75/5]

Caliber Seal: GOOD READ!