Review: Cruise Control by Sarah Mayberry

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: It’s All About Attitude, Book 3
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Marc Lewis
Heroine: Anna Jackson
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: May 1, 2006
Started On: March 27, 2010
Finished On: March 28, 2010

Unlike Harlequin Super Romance titles, Harlequin Blaze titles are all about fiery passion which inevitably results in love. Sarah Mayberry writes great Blaze romances and this title has all the essential ingredients to make a great story.

Anna is a woman on a mission. A survivor of breast cancer, she has made a list of things she wants to do before she leaves this world. Going through the various stages of cancer had taught her how short that life really was. So quitting her high profile lawyer job and starting up her own limousine driver business was one thing crossed off that list. And she had succeeded in getting herself made over that few of her friends from her days as a lawyer recognized her.

However the thing she wants to do the most is to invite more passion into her life and she has no clue whatsoever how to get that done. Having always been of the studious minded, Anna had never been one  to indulge frivolously in anything. All that changes in a minute when Marc steps into her limo.

A self made millionaire, Marc is on his way to obtaining a divorce from his wife of ten years. Tara cheating on him had left its mark and Marc was in no way inclined to start off another relationship no matter how much the driver of his hired limo seemed to be affecting his libido.

Both Marc and Anna have pretty straightforward views on what they want and do not need right now. But passion has a away of clouding up even the best laid plans and the best of intentions. And after two chance encounters that leave both of them wanting more, it is inevitable that Marc and Anna start off a no strings attached affair, one either of them could bring to a halt if necessary.

However they both find out just how wrong  they are about the way they feel about each other when the little rules that they had both promised to stick together seems all wrong for their relationship. Love eventually bites these two who are trying so hard not to get caught, and Anna freaks out never wanting put Marc through what her father had gone through when her mom had died of breast cancer.

Anna’s stubbornness nearly costs her everything, but finally these two get the happily ever after ending they both deserve. Making  things pretty interesting is the little side story of Anna’s brother Danny and his complicated issues dealing with who he is and his love life.

Great read as always by Ms. Mayberry.

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



Review: Shadow Hawk by Jill Shalvis

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Harlequin Blaze #329
Sensuality: 3
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: JT Hawk
Heroine:  Aby Wells
Date of Publication: June 1, 2007
Started On: February 4, 2010
Finished On: February 5, 2010

This was a  book that I stumbled upon by chance during one of my forays into surfing through There is a feature on the website that displays books under “featured author”, and I have come across many a good reads this way. Readers on Amazon too seem to have given this book great reviews. Although I do remember reading books by this author in the past, she has not been one who has made a deep impression on me as a reader. However after reading this book I would have to say that this author has got what it takes to write yummy romances.

Both Hawk and Aby are ATF agents. Hawk has been working on a case of known as Kiddie Bombers. Someone or a group of someones have been teaching young kids to assemble bombs and blow them up as well as making them well versed with different other sorts of weaponry. Hawk has his suspicions that moles in the ATF organization were more than responsible for the difficulty they have been facing in apprehending the culprit. Aby too had been working on the case of the Kiddie Bombers when she had been taken hostage and held captive for two days when one of the head agents of the ATF had come to her rescue with guns blazing. Though she has been working in Hawk’s unit for more than six months after the incident, she refuses to let Hawk realize just how susceptible she is to Hawk’s brand of charm.

Things finally take a turn when Aby and Hawk are handed the same assignment, bust up a gathering of the Kiddie Bombers being held at some remote location. Although Hawk senses “setup” right from the beginning, he and his partner Logan still go through the motions before it all blows up in their faces. Logan gets hospitalized with severe injuries whilst Hawk barely escapes with his life intact. Now that Hawk has come face to face with the top manager of the Kiddie Bomber’s organization, he knows that Aby, himself and Logan are loose ends that wouldn’t survive if Hawk doesn’t take matters into his own hands.

Framed as the head of the Kiddie Bombers organization, Hawk has no choice but to take Aby hostage whilst he tries to find enough evidence to point towards the right man. Aby, a reluctant hostage at best got on my nerves at the beginning with her distrustful attitude. However, she does redeem herself later in the novel which otherwise would have made me extremely disappointed in this book.

More than Aby and Hawk’s story, I found myself fascinated with Logan and Callen, the nurse whom Logan meets when he is airlifted to the hospital to treat his injuries. I found the chemistry between these two characters more intriguing than the lead characters, though they didn’t do a bad job themselves in burning up the pages of the book. I feel this book would have been better suited in the Harlequin Intimate Moments series, cos for me a Blaze book is all about intense chemistry between two characters who just can’t help but fall insanely in love with one another at the end.

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



Review: Burning Up by Sarah Mayberry

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Harlequin Blaze, #380
Publisher: Harlequin
Sensuality: 3.5
Hero: Lucas Grant
Heroine:  Sophie Gallagher
Date of Publication: February 1, 2008
Started On: January 21, 2010
Finished On: January 23, 2010

Lucas Grant, famous movie star and notorious playboy needs to recuperate to recover from a torn ligament on his knee. One of his friends offers him their place up on the Blue Mountain and its just him and his personal chef Sophie Gallagher all alone for the next four weeks.

Sophie is the exact opposite of Lucas. Being dumped by her boyfriend of fourteen years which had propelled her to take the job in the first place, Sophie isn’t one who takes risks or rushes headlong into things without thinking them to death first. However things get interesting for Sophie when its lust at first sight for her with Lucas.

At first, Lucas thinks he might go stir crazy if he has to stay around the quiet place for four whole weeks. However, with Sophie around and the anticipation of working and wooing a woman into his bed for the very first time, Lucas rises up to the challenge to get more than what he bargained for.

Their relationship was supposed to be strictly about sex and nothing more. Until Sophie went ahead and confessed her love for Lucas which didn’t bode very well for Lucas as he was scared shit about love. A childhood tragedy which had landed up Lucas in the state ward care, and Lucas’s refusal to face his past demons eventually break these two apart until Lucas finds the strength to lay his past to rest and really and truly love and be loved by the only woman who means everything to him.



Review: Her Secret Fling by Sarah Mayberry

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Harlequin Blaze , Book 517
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Jake Stevens
Heroine: Poppy Birmingham
Date of Publication: January 1, 2010
Started On: January 12, 2010
Finished On: January 12, 2010

Aaah! Finally a book that has left me satisfied on all aspects after a long time. Sarah Mayberry is one of my favorite Harlequin Blaze line authors and it does help that her book titles do not make me cringe, and the fact that they contain believable stories of men and women who fall in love with each other.

Poppy Birmingham an ex-star swimmer who has gold medals  to her name, takes up a job offer on writing for the sports column of one of the most prestigious newspapers in Australia. There she comes face to face with Jake Stevens, someone whose style of writing Poppy has admired from the very start.

However, Poppy is left with the impression that Jake is hardly what she has pictured him to be. Callous to  the point of being rude, Jake lays it out that Poppy doesn’t deserve to just walk in and attain a job that takes journalists years of studying and experience to claim.

However, Jake is proven wrong when Poppy proves to be persistent in what she does, and a quirk twist of fate ends both of them together alone on a road trip back from Melbourne. Pitted together with nowhere else to go, Poppy and Jake reluctantly come to realize that rather than the initial dislike that they thought they felt for each other, both of them were coming to find qualities that they liked in each other immensely. Not to mention the scorching hot passion that flares between them when Jake offers to teach Poppy the wonders of sex.

Quirky dialogues between the two characters kept the pages turning and when Poppy finds herself inevitably in love with Jake, with no sign whatsoever from Jake to show that he might feel the same way, and Jake but all pushing away Poppy without really trusting her and letting her in makes Poppy realize that their no-named relationship had been doomed from the start.

Jake has his own reasons, with a failed marriage on his conscience, which has made him into someone who absolutely has nothing left to give. However, unknowingly, the time spent with Poppy slowly works its magic on Jake and ultimately Jake and Poppy get the happy ending which they both deserve.

I loved this book. Sarah Mayberry sure knows how to pen a fantastic story. Highly recommended to those who love Blaze line stories.

Purchase Links: Amazon | BooksOnBoard 



Review: Reckless by Tori Carrington

Format: E-bookReckless
Read with: Stanza
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Harlequin
Series: Indecent Proposals, Book 1
Hero: Kyle Trapper
Heroine: Heidi Joblowski
Date of Publication: November 1, 2008
Started On: October 28, 2009
Finished On: October 28, 2009

Kyle and Jesse, Heidi’s boyfriend since high school are best friends. Kyle has had the hots for Heidi like in forever although Heidi has no clue. Heidi has a strict plan to which she tries to adhere every moment of her life. Wanting to prove to the world that she is different from the family that she comes from, although her family ain’t half bad, Heidi never thought for a moment that even the best laid plans could meet glitches and fall apart within mere seconds.

Heidi realizes her attraction to Kyle quite unexpectedly, and these two burn the sheets one night with moments of sizzling passion. Guilt stricken that she had in a moment of weakness betrayed her long term boyfriend Jesse, Heidi tries hard to keep anything else from happening between her and Kyle, and plans to spill what happened to Jesse as soon as she could get her affairs sorted out.

Of course the cheating part was easier to digest when readers come to know that Jesse had been cheating on Heidi throughout their relationship and Kyle had always covered for Jesse at these moments. In the end, Heidi is forced to acknowledge that somewhere along the way, she had forgotten how to have fun, how to love and how to enjoy life and works towards resolving issues both with her family and Jesse, who finally gets together with his old-time flame.

Its a happy ending for Kyle and Heidi in the end. I have to say Tori Carrington doesn’t disappoint with this novel since it was a pretty interesting read with a good story line. And the forbidden moments between Kyle and Heidi heats things up just the right amount for the reader. All in all a good book for a light read.               

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | eBookMall



Review: A Few Good Men by Tori Carrington

Format: E-bookA Few Good Men
Read with: Stanza
Length: Short Stories
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Harlequin
Series: Uniformly Hot, Book 1
Hero: 4 heroes
Heroine: 4 heroines
Date of Publication: January 1, 2009
Started On: October 2009
Finished On: October 28, 2009

Tori Carrington is one of my favorite authors of the Blaze line in the Harlequin series. When I first found this author, I was surprised to know that Tori Carrington is the name used by Tony Karayianni and Lori Schlachter (husband and wife) who write these delectable books together. Their books are totally hot and tend to give great story lines as well.

A Few Good Men is a collection of four stories about men who serve in the military and their lives back in their home country. Each story is relatively short, thus wasn’t as enjoyable as it could have been, though issues were hastily resolved so that it wasn’t a total waste of time to read these four short stories.

The four absolutely hot men in these novels are Corporal Eric Armstrong, Corporal Eddie Cash, Lieutenant Matt Guerrero and Captain Brian Justice. From the four of these stories, I didn’t read Brian’s story because it didn’t seem to interest me that much. Of the three that I DID read, I would have to say I loved Eric’s story the best.

Eric, while on duty in Afghanistan/Iraq, starts meeting up with a woman online. And it turns out to be his best friend’s wife. His best friend was killed whilst on duty. This story, if it had been a long one, would have made a very satisfying read, although it wasn’t half bad as a short story.

Corporal Eddie has an affair with a woman whilst on leave, and goes back on duty to find out that she is pregnant with his child. Eddie’s story is pretty sweet considering how he tries to woo the mother of his child, without really knowing how to go about it, except for the fact that he is a pretty decent guy and wants to do everything according to his well laid out plan, which tends to backfire on him at moments. This too could have made a great story, but I wouldn’t wanted to have read it as a long novel.

Finally Matt’s story is slightly different, such that he is married and has three kids of whom two are teenagers. I felt that Matt’s story was too rushed, and there was really no resolution of the problems that both Matt and his wife had actually being having.

All in all, this book is a good read to pass the time. Could have been better if all books could have been published as full length novels.

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