ARC Review: A Fall from Yesterday by Norah Wilson

Format: E-bookafallfromyesterday
Read with: Adobe Reader for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: The Standish Clan, #1
Publisher: Something Shiny Press
Hero: Titus Leigh Standish
Heroine: Ocean Siliker
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: January 5, 2016
Started On: December 17, 2015
Finished On: January 19, 2016

Norah Wilson graces her reader base with a brand new contemporary romance series in a small town setting with the first book in The Standish Clan series, A Fall from Yesterday. Featuring Titus Leigh Standish as the hero and Ocean Silkier as the heroine, Norah takes readers through what familial obligations can do to dreams a person may harbor and what may come of it. In the Standish family, Titus had been the one who had been held back, dreams of his own that had been squashed in keeping up with the responsibilities at home that he couldn’t have walked away from.

Now that life has more or less settled down and he is no longer required to stay put, Titus is determined that he would pursue his dreams. Tthat means leaving his hometown and venturing outside of the life that he has known, something that excites him on one level while he dreads letting everyone else know of the decision that he has made. The Thanksgiving weekend was supposed to be the opportunity for coming out with the news. But Titus is called out on a search and rescue mission with none other than Ocean Silkier, a woman who occupies more of his thoughts than he would like to admit, being the one in need of rescuing.

Ocean is determined she would make the climb to the White Crow Cliff, if nothing else, for her best friend who had lost her life while on the very same climb. Ocean has returned home after chasing her ambitions in New York. Believing herself to be a failure is what makes Ocean attempt the climb, a way to prove to herself that she won’t give up on what she wants to do. But alas, when Ocean finds herself dealing with more than she bargained for, it is Titus Standish who turns up, and with him comes to the forefront, the yearning for him that she has held back all her life.

What I could relate to most about the story was where Titus was coming from. The fact that obligations have a way of holding you back in ways you never would have dreamed possible. Of course, people always say that where there is a will, there is a way. But sometimes, all your energy is spent on just surviving current conditions and until the situation improves, you are bound helplessly to whatever it is that is tying you down. People who are free to do as they please, seldom understand the concept of being tied down. But it made me respect Titus all the more because it would not have been easy to watch his siblings pursue whatever dreams they had and achieve them while he stayed back and manned the fort. For others to follow their dreams, someone else always has to forgo and give up theirs so that those that do, can do so guilt free.

The ending when it came, carried a message that was very worthwhile as well. Sometimes we can get so hung up on dreams that are fueled by needs, not do much to do with our wants, but rather made so because we believe it is what we SHOULD want. Titus learning what is actually important to him and being true to that, made the story for me. Ocean too, found within her the strength to look into what has been holding her back. I guess it is more of how much of yourself you are willing to give to become what you want than where you go to do so. That in essence, was the lesson and message I received from A Fall from Yesterday.

Recommended for those that love contemporary romances in small town settings.

Final Verdict: A Fall from Yesterday carries a message worth listening to!

Favorite Quotes

She managed to keep his name inside, but her right hand snaked up, finding the back of his head. As their tongues danced, her fingers luxuriated in the springy feel of his close-cut hair. But she couldn’t stop there. As though it had a mind of its own, her hand slid down his neck and across to the point of his shoulder.
Oh, Lord, the feel of him. All muscle and heat. She could feel the leashed power vibrating beneath her hand. Without thought, she dug her nails into that solidity. He responded with a tightening of his hand in her hair.

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


Requested ARC Review: Fatal Hearts by Norah Wilson

Format: E-bookfatalhearts
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Hero: Boyd McBride
Heroine: Hayden Walsh
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: August 19, 2014
Started On: August 26, 2014
Finished On: September 4, 2014

Boyd McBride turns up in Fredericton to solve the mystery behind the sudden death of his twin Josh who had been pursuing the truth behind their adoption years ago, which seemed to have been carried out seemingly under the most shadiest of circumstances. Boyd doesn’t accept that Josh died of natural causes like everyone else is inclined to believe. Digging into the everyday life that Josh had led brings Boyd up close and personal with Dr. Hayden Walsh, Josh’s best friend.

Given that they were identical twins, Hayden would never have thought that she would respond to Boyd McBride on an intrinsic level that she had never responded to when it had come to Josh. Though Hayden tries to hide behind her walls of self preservation, she has a hard time sticking to her guns when it comes to Boyd and the grief that they share over Josh whom they both had loved so much. As Boyd starts digging and begins to uncover clues that would lead him to the eventual truth, Hayden realizes that there is more to the no strings attached affair that she and Boyd embarks on after giving into the tumultuous desire between them.

Norah Wilson is an author that has always worked for me. Her books always have a lot of heart, depth and emotion, not to mention the heart thumping variety of heroes that you can never get enough of. Her books like The Mezeretti Effect and Lauren’s Eyes, later published under Montlake as Every Breathe She Takes testifies towards the immense amount of talent she has. And it pains me to say that Fatal Hearts didn’t do it for me.

At first, when Boyd walked into the book with his brood and heart stopping good looks, well you can imagine what I would have gone through. But as the story progressed, I felt that Boyd didn’t live up to his potential, perhaps the reason being the narrative was a bit too dry and procedural in the story. I love books that go into depth with the crime solving aspect but I felt that this book could’ve removed a 100 plus pages and still would’ve managed to tell the same story.

I don’t like writing reviews that sound negative, but as a reviewer it is my duty to be honest about how I feel about a book. I believe with my whole heart that Fatal Hearts had the ingredients that would’ve made a helluva romantic suspense. Boyd could’ve turned into the hero that could’ve made me weep for thousands of reasons and Hayden though I did love her as she was, I felt she too could’ve shined just a tad more. While the mystery aspect was predictable, that still gave the story a bit of an edge that kept the pages turning.

Having felt all out of sorts after reading Fatal Hearts, I did look up a couple of reviews on Goodreads to see how other readers have felt. Surprisingly, a lot of them have given Fatal Hearts 5 stars though a couple of readers like myself have stated feeling the same way I felt when I read the story. In the end I would have to say that it was my love for Norah as an author and the warm, beautiful person behind the name I’d gotten to know through social media, is the reason I gave my every effort to finish the book.

Honestly, if this is where you aim to sample Norah Wilson, I would caution you to stop right there. Pick up any other book, preferably either The Mezeretti Effect or Every Breath She Takes. Those are the stories that would blow you away and make you fall in love with Norah’s ability to spin a wondrous tale that entertains and excites and that’s what you should be reading.

Final Verdict: For those who love reading procedural romantic suspense.

Favorite Quotes

There was the slightest hesitation on his part, long enough for her to wonder if she’d made a horrible mistake. Before she could retreat, he lifted his hands to her head, holding her in place as his mouth crashed down onto hers.
The thrill that forked through her was almost painful, leaving her nerve endings feeling singed. Her heart thumped so hard, she could feel her pulse throbbing in her fingertips.

“Touch me,” she commanded.
He didn’t need any more encouragement. Or a road map. He released her hair and dropped that hand to clasp one of her breasts. His thumb found the stiffened peak through the thin fabric of her bra and T-shirt, and she gasped softly.
Then his lips were on hers again, as though he wanted to take the sound into him.

She moved with him, meeting his every thrust. He felt the tension rising in her as the tempo increased. Going down on one elbow, he reached between them to part her folds wider, moving higher to hopefully give her more friction. That tipped her over the edge she’d been striving for. Her words were broken, sobbed out of her, as her orgasm rose, peaked, and rolled over her. It was all he could do to hold on and let her ride it out before his own need took over.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N


Score Sheet Review: Needing Nita by Norah Wilson

Format: E-bookneedingnita.jpg
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: To Serve and Protect, #3.5
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Craig Walker
Heroine: Nita Reynolds
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: September 11, 2010
Started On: November 12, 2011
Finished On: November 12, 2011

The hero 100 A
The heroine 95 A
Story line 90 A
Emotional Intensity 100 A
Story’s ability to suck me in 100 A
Heat & Sensuality 100 A
Conflicts within the story 85 A
Writing Style 100 A
Quotable Factor 100 A
The Ending 100 A
Overall Grade 97 A

Score Sheet Summary

This is by far my favorite in the To Serve and Protect series. This little novella is tucked in after book 3 (Protecting Paige) in the series of which I have read all 3 books published, and focuses solely on the romance and connection between the two lead protagonists with no suspense elements whatsoever.

This little number should convince readers to give the whole series a go because at the cost of repeating myself, Norah has that ability to draw the reader in and inevitably deliver an unforgettable reading experience.

I loved Craig as you can see from the 100% he scored in my ratings. He is uber sexy, protective and did I mention sexaay? And he whispers those dirty bits in Nita’s ears (when he whispered that he was so ready for Nita, I just about said out loud, oh baby so am I); that just made me sigh all over my e-reader and go all tingly which just went to show how invested I was in the characters and the story.

The connection and sensuality is just off the charts hot, the characters darn endearing and the delivery plain fantastic that just earns this novella a place from my favorites shelves.

If you are new to Norah’s writing, this delicious morsel is exactly your place to start because I just know that if you are an avid romance fan like myself; Needing Nita would just leave you begging for more!

 Favorite Quotes

He pulled her into the alley between the restaurant and the art gallery next door, pushed her up against the cool brick of the building and kissed her.
It was not a searching, tentative kiss. It was urgent and fiercely demanding, as were the hands that skimmed down her shoulders to her hips.

“Why did you call me?” he said.
The question took her aback. She touched her tongue to her upper lip in a gesture she hoped would distract him. “I should think that would be obvious by now.”
He smiled. “Honey, that was obvious from the first time we locked horns in the court room.”

“I want to marry you because you’re the one, Nita. Period.” He pinned her with his gaze, fierce and outrageously blue. “I’ve never felt like this before. I want to lie beside you and just listen to you breathe. When I’ve had a shitty day, I want to come home to you and lay my head in your lap and feel your hands on my face. And when you’ve had a shitty day and it feels like one more straw is gonna break your back, I want to be there to carry the load for you. I want you to tell me your darkest fears, and be able to tell you mine.”

“You are so beautiful,” he breathed. “Watching you come like that … feeling you come like that…. Christ, Nita, I could die happy.”
She closed her eyes.
“No, don’t baby. Keep your eyes open. I want you to stay with me while we kiss and whisper and fuck.” 

FREE Download Links: Barnes&Noble | Smashwords


Requested Review: Nightfall by Norah Wilson

Format: E-booknightfall
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: A Vampire Romance, Book 2
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Aiden Afflack
Heroine: Samantha Shea
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: October 28, 2011
Started On: November 2, 2011
Finished On: November 4, 2011

I still remember my first Norah Wilson with the fondest memories. The Merzetti Effect, her first book in The Vampire Romance series is one I still recall at the oddest moments, the hero Delano Bowen one of my utmost favorite heroes and needless it is to say that I have been awaiting eagerly for the second book of the series which turns out to be Nightfall.

Nightfall tells the story of Dr. Delano Bowen’s most trusted friend and vampire hunter Aiden Afflack. Aiden, a vampire himself has made it his lifelong mission to hunt and kill rogue vampires who prey on weak humans, who feeds on their helplessness to boost whatever high it is that they get from preying on the weak.

Samantha Shea is a photographer; the type who captures the beauty that is nature in its most violent forms. Quite accidentally Sam’s unerring visions that leads her to the freakish happenstances of nature collides with that of Aiden’s presence alerting her to rogue vampire activities which puts her in the path of the too sexy for his own good Aiden.

When Aiden finds out that Sam has an innate ability which lets her hone in on rogue vampires, Aiden finds himself striking a bargain with the woman whose photographs adorn all his properties in the various parts of the world to help him and his mentor in their quest to prevent the nefarious activities of vampires who go rogue.

From the very first moment that Sam lays eyes on Aiden, she can’t deny the powerful lure that the sexy vampire is on all her senses. Though Sam would like nothing more than to bury her head in the sand and forget that Aiden and what he does exists, the inherent goodness deep inside of her doesn’t allow her to stand aside whilst she has the ability to do something to help.

Aiden has never found himself at the receiving end of a woman who has ever been able to say no to his charms ever since he embraced vampirism more than a century back. But in Sam, Aiden finds a woman who is helplessly drawn to him as he is to her and yet draws on that inner strength to say no until she is well and ready to surrender. Being never one to back down from a challenge and because Sam intrigues him in a way that no woman has in a long, long time, Aiden finds himself in a game of seduction that proves to be as alluring for the reader as it is for Sam.

Aiden and Sam’s story is quite different from The Merzetti Effect in the sense that it is less intense in nature. Aiden though a vampire and a hunter of his own species is a pretty charming guy with a heart that believes that the choices he had made which had turned him a vampire are ones that he should be ashamed of, which makes him tortured enough to be that more alluring.

Aiden and Sam together is a heartwarming combination. They tend to have the best conversations and I say this because through each and every single one of them, I found a reason to smile and be completely immersed in their banter even through the most hair raising moments of the story.

Sam’s character once again proves how Norah ALWAYS manages to deliver heroines who are so easy to fall in love with right from the very start. The way Sam admits her growing attraction to Aiden without being all coy about it, and how she gives all of  herself  to him when she realizes the error of her ways were facets of her character that I fell so much  in love with.

The romance and attraction between Aiden and Sam which starts out with the I-must-have-you-now type of lust and transforms into a love so tender and beautiful towards the end was one of the best aspects of the story. Though Norah does introduce us to a couple more intriguing characters about whom I would LOVE to know more of, together with the tough and sexy Eli Grayson, sadly there is no indication as to whose story she would publish next in this series. 

Though Nightfall didn’t turn out to be as fantastic as the first book which still remains my favorite, I still enjoyed this vampire romance immensely and would recommend this to fans of Norah Wilson and fans of vampire romances featuring a sinfully sexy vampire hero who just makes your toes curl  in anticipation whenever he is around!

A romance that flows smoothly and is beautiful in its sensuality, Nightfall is a novel that once again proves Norah’s ability to never fail in delivering exactly what the reader wants!

Favorite Quotes

If she could give the fiercest storm a corporeal human body, this is what it would look like. Beauty and violence, all rolled up in one gorgeous, terrible package.

And then — holy mother of God — he smiled at her. A knowing, toe-curling, sex-drenched smile.

(Sam) “Wait a minute … there are others like you?”
He offered her his best grin, the one the ladies loved. “Honey, there’s no one like me.”

She turned away in dismissal, only to have him grab her hand and whirl her around again. Before her startled gasp died, his mouth was on hers, his fingers buried in her hair. […]
He tasted like nothing she’d ever tasted before. Like dark fantasy. Like the sweetest temptation imaginable. And his scent! He smelled of cool night air and warm leather jacket and heated male skin.  

(Aiden) “Sam, honey, I can smell your scent when you’re at the other end of your house, on a different floor. I can feel your heartbeat in my head. Your blood … it’s in me, Sam, enriched from the meals I cook for you with my own hands. Believe me, baby, I’ll know you’re there. And I will never hurt you.”

She kissed him back with a fervor that betrayed her anxiety, her relief. Rolling her hips, she pressed her breasts into his chest, felt the thudding of his heart against hers. God, if she could crawl into him, it might just be close enough.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Smashwords


Requested Review: Lauren’s Eyes by Norah Wilson

Format: E-booklaurenseyes
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self Published
Hero: Callum Taggart
Heroine: Lauren Townsend
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: July 31, 2010
Started On: September 28, 2011
Finished On: October 1, 2011

When I first saw Lauren’s Eyes by Norah Wilson, the book failed to catch my eye. Maybe because the book cover that depicted a couple of horses didn’t stir my pick-this-book-up-immediately-radar. But once I read The Merzetti Effect and became drawn towards Norah’s style and the way she presents a story to the reader, I knew I needed to get my hands on every romance that she has published to-date.

The new glossy cover toting man-candy certainly whetted my appetite for more and Lauren’s Eyes made its way to my massive TBR, time and yet again to be bumped up because the story seemed to call something deep inside of me. And now, having read the book from start to finish and having loved every minute of the journey, I have just got to say, Kudos Norah, for a story that hits ALL the right spots head on!

Callum Taggart (Cal) is a rancher who has hit hard times and has resigned himself to taking in tourists to turn his business around. Cal is a man who has so much pain deep inside of him, which he hides from the rest of the world so effectively that even Cal himself doesn’t realize that he hurts for things that he cannot seem to voice. A childhood that had taught Cal the lesson never to depend on anyone else but himself and later on a marriage that had failed miserably has Cal shouldering each and every responsibility without flinching, never trusting anyone else and never really understanding his own worth until Lauren comes into his life and turns everything around.

Lauren Townsend is a 30 year old veterinarian, a gift that makes her susceptible towards the behavior and emotions of animals that makes her very good at what she does. Lauren’s psychic ability makes her sensitive to visions that shows her homicides that until now Lauren has been unable to stop. Her changeling nature has made her a bit of a loner, the past relationships in her life a testament to the fact.

It is Lauren’s psychic visions that brings her to the Foothills Guest Ranch where she meets Cal Taggart, whose silver gaze makes her think of the swirling depths of the Atlantic Ocean, and makes her want to lose every single inhibition she has and say yes to the fire that smolders in Cal’s eyes, promising her a world of pleasure that Lauren has not yet known.

What starts out merely as Lauren’s attempt to save a woman’s life turns into something much bigger and complex as her growing attraction towards Cal makes her want and yearn for much more than the straightforward sexual affair that Cal is ready to offer. For both Cal and Lauren, the desire that they feel for each other that burns hotter and more out of control with each and every encounter slowly chips away their resistance towards letting their hearts get involved.

As trouble continues to mount at the ranch and unexpected guests arrive, it is Lauren that proves at each and every turn that in her Cal has finally found someone he can completely rely on and place his trust in, because in her arms, Cal finally feels as if he has come home.

I started Lauren’s Eyes thinking that I would be getting an enjoyable romantic suspense with a heroine who has psychic abilities posing the usual conflicts that such characters bring to the stories. But, with Norah, I have come to realise that she always has a way of far exceeding my expectations. Reading Lauren’s Eyes was like unwrapping a gift with hidden compartments, each layer that unfolded making the story that much more irresistible.

Cal’s inner tortured nature makes him such a worthy hero to sigh over, his mere presence devastating to the senses. Cal is the type of hero that I can’t get enough of, the type of hero that I wish authors would write more of! Even now, a couple of hours after finishing the book, I find myself thinking of Cal at odd times, thinking of those heady moments he shares with Lauren filled with such raw desire and want that one can’t help but want more of the same. Norah certainly ups the heat in this novel and for those who love blistering heat and passion of the toe curling variety in their romantic suspense, I guarantee that Lauren’s Eyes provides that in spades!

I have identified with the fact that Norah has an innate ability to create heroines who don’t do much fluttering around, wringing their hands bemoaning the fates for putting them in the path of the hero. And true to Norah’s style, Lauren turned out to be such a fantastic heroine, someone that I loved right from the very beginning. Her need to comfort Cal right from the  very beginning made her land in my favorite heroines shelf for now & always!

The ending when it came, had me with tears in my eyes, something that yet again Norah seems to do to me so effortlessly to with her novels.

As I said before, there are so many elements to the story that makes the book what it is, that one needs to read this to uncover and appreciate it for. The characters, the setting and the romance all make for a fantastic read, one I cannot recommend highly enough and cannot applaud Norah enough!

Favorite Quotes

(Cal) “I was thinking, maybe you’d like a livelier mount, since you’re obviously a skilled rider.”
She glanced at him sharply. The fact that he’d paid her a compliment sank in her consternation at the thought of a more forceful mount under her. […]
“Thank you, no. I think I’ll stick with slow and steady.”
His hooded eyes suddenly took on a sleepy, sensual look. “That’s a sensible decision, ma’am. But if you should get a yen for fast and wild, just give me a shout.”

When his hard hand cupped her face, an involuntary shiver raced up her spine, but she made no objection Then his lips were on hers.
It wasn’t what she expected. Instead of hot demand, there was testing, tasting. He shaped her lips with his, tilting his head this way and that, as though searching for the best angle. Her heart pounding, she conceded they were all good. But she wanted more. Without thought, she opened her mouth against his.
She sensed him stiffen, but instead of deepening the kiss, he started to pull back. Abandoning any pretense that she didn’t want this, hadn’t thought about it since the first moment she’d laid eyes on him, she caught his head and really kissed him.

Anywhere, she thought. He could touch her anywhere with that talented mouth, those clever hands. She’d do anything as long as he didn’t stop. On a surge of raw lust, she caught his lower lip between her teeth and bit. His growl thrilled her, but then he flexed a powerful thumb against her throat.

He gathered her carefully into his arms, tucking her head into his shoulder and aligning her frozen limbs with his. She felt stiff enough to shatter, but bit by bit, her muscles began to relax until she lay pliant against him. Pliant and sleeping. It didn’t take very long. Maybe fifteen minutes.
Fifteen minutes for her to regain herself.
Fifteen minutes for him to lose himself.

Her bathrobe came off with one sweep, exposing her silky skin, fragrant from the bath. Perfect, he marveled, even as part of him wondered when his tastes had changed so radically. Small breasts, boyishly slender hips, long, long legs.
Mine! On that fierce thought, he proceeded to brand her with his mouth.

“We had fun, didn’t we?” she said, her eyes glinting. “Well, apart from the last bit.”
Fun? He remembered burying himself inside her and thinking he’d finally come home. He remembered pillowing his head on her breasts and coming apart in her arms. Fun?
She took a step closer, her body language shouting that she was going to lean over the bed rail and kiss him. A long, bittersweet goodbye kiss, no doubt. Jesus, he couldn’t bear it.

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


Requested Review: Protecting Paige by Norah Wilson

Format: E-bookprotectingpaige
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Self-Published
Series: To Serve and Protect, Book 3
Hero: Tommy Godsoe
Heroine: Paige Harmer
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: August 20, 2010
Started On: August 27, 2011
Finished On: August 27, 2011

Protecting Paige, book 3 in the To Serve and Protect series explores the story of how a single mother finds much more than she bargained for in the arms of her sexy and younger neighbor that makes for one of my favorite tropes of romance. 34 year old Paige is a product of the foster care system making a life for herself and her 17 year old son Dillon whom she has brought up on her own after her husband had bailed out on her.

Moving to her new neighborhood, Paige discovers that her neighbor, the taciturn Tommy Godsoe who is recovering from an injury to his hip makes her heart go pitter patter right from the start. Younger than her by a couple of years, Tommy is hellbent on isolating himself to lick his wounds both physical and emotional in private. But in Paige, Tommy discovers a force to be reckoned with as she practically storms her way into his life, making him sit up and take notice of her and Dillon and drawing him into their lives with an effortless ease that leaves him stunned.

When things take a sinister turn and both Paige and Dillon’s lives end up in danger in a plot that Tommy couldn’t have dredged up even in his worst nightmares, Tommy knows that he would die trying to keep the woman who means everything to him alive and well, even if it means pushing his body beyond its limits of endurance after the injury.

What drew me in with Protecting Paige was in fact Paige’s character that is hard not to fall in love with. She may not be a beauty in the classic sense but on the inside she is a beauty that few can compete with. Growing up in the foster care system and later being abandoned by her husband of 3 years in favor of alcohol may have left its mark on Paige, but she doesn’t let it define who she is and that’s one of the reasons why I tumbled in love with her character as the story progressed.

Paige is one determined chick when it comes to those she loves and is protective towards and when she sets her sights on her sexy neighbor who could seriously give a Calvin Klein model a run for his money and looks like he is in dire need of some TLC, Paige bulldozes her way into his life, refuses to give him a chance to say no and worms her way into his emotions and heart just like that. I have got to say that Norah has a talent when it comes to consistently delivering heroines that readers can relate to and Paige is in no way an exception to this rule.

Tommy’s character is a sneaky one I tell you. At the beginning he is grumpy, surly and right in your face rude because his life has turned upside down with a work injury from which he doesn’t  hope he would recover from. But beneath all that surly attitude lies a heart that is steeped in fear of never measuring up, of always failing to meet the expectations of those that depend on him; a remnant residue of a childhood spent with a father who had demanded so much more than a little boy was capable of giving. It is Paige who brings a ray of sunshine into the bleak existence of his own making and it is in her that Tommy finds a reason to try again, to not let the blackhole that his life has become consume him until he has nothing left to give.

I loved the action aspect of this novel that explores the use of canines in police work which is a vital facet of the daily grind of law enforcement agencies. The interesting explanations of dog handling, the full of life relationship between a dog and its handler which is explored to just the right extent lent something extra to this novel that made things that much more compelling for me as the reader.

And of course, worthy of a mention is the secondary romance that develops between Dillon and Rachel, a character whose entrance into the story opens up a lot of possibilities. Maybe if we are very lucky, one day, Norah might write a story for Rachel and Dillon. A girl can always hope!

Recommended for fans of the series, fans of Norah Wilson and fans of younger hero and older heroine romances. This one’s seriously good!

Favorite Quotes

Her lips parted on a shocked gasp, and he took full advantage, sweeping into her mouth. She tasted of surprise and cinnamon and an unexpected innocence, which took the edge off his anger, but did nothing to dull the keenness of his intent. He grasped her face, tilting it for better access to her mouth, and proceeded to kiss her with deliberate, frank eroticism. No gentle request, no teasing enticement, no sweet cling of lips. Just pure, driving sexual demand.

Her tongue was in his mouth, and oh, Jesus, God, she tasted good. Like coffee and brandy and woman. Any thought of resistance fled.
She kissed him endlessly, again and again and again, like she was starving. Like she might never get enough. Like she could eat him alive. It was the sexiest thing he’d ever known.

(Danni) “I was kinda busy on the way back, too,” she admitted, her face reddening.
Tommy frowned. “I thought you said Dillon was passed out?”
“He was, but Derek wasn’t.” She grimaced. “I guess he got a little hot and bothered by the action in the back seat and wanted a little for himself.”
“Chrissakes,” exploded Ray. “Did anyone not get blown on this trip?”
Danni’s gaze came up then, her eyes glinting with tears and suppressed anger. “Yeah. Those of us without dicks.”

Requested Review: Saving Grace by Norah Wilson

Format: E-booksavinggrace
Read with: IBOOKS for IPAD
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Self-Published
Series: To Serve and Protect, Book 2
Hero: Raymond Morgan
Heroine: Grace Morgan
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: August 17, 2010
Started On: August 26, 2011
Finished On: August 26, 2011

Saving Grace is book 2 in the To Serve and Protect series by Norah Wilson. If you have already read book 1 i.e. Guarding Suzannah, you would have already met both Ray and Grace Morgan who were a couple even then. At first, I was surprised to know that book 2 would focus on Grace and Ray, a couple who already seemed to have everything going for them. Little did I know that there was indeed a story worth telling, and a lot of hurdles to be crossed before they both could embrace their love for each other in the truest form.

Saving Grace starts at a point that we rarely come across in romance novels. Ray who is reeling from the bombshell that Grace, his wife of 4 years has left him for another man gets the news that Grace has been involved in an accident. Helpless to do anything else, Ray makes his way towards the hospital, reluctant as he is to put his already bruised and battered emotions on the line. There he finds out that Grace has no recollection whatsoever of leaving him, nor that of her association with any other man apart from her husband.

Nursing Grace back to health as she struggles to deal with her memory loss seems to be the cruelest form of torture for Ray who can’t help but feel protective towards his wife even though his heart practically bleeds every time he lays eyes on her. Grace who has no idea of what she has done to earn that cold and distant aloofness that she finds in Ray’s eyes is determined that she wouldn’t lose the man she loves in this world above everything else.

When Ray comes face to face with the fact that both their lives are in danger, and that there is no way of identifying the threat as long as Grace’s memory keeps eluding her, both of them are forced to go into hiding to figure out what to do and to evade those who are hellbent on seeing them buried six feet under. It is this period of forced intimacy that proves to be the pivotal point in the healing process of their relationship, a journey that just left a permanent lump in my throat as I read along.

I loved the way how Norah managed to completely surprise me with this one. I was prepared for more of the same as Guarding Suzannah when I picked this one up. But boy, was I proven wrong right from the first page itself when emotions seeped right through my e-reader and made me impatient to find out every little bit I could about both Ray and Grace. In the end, I couldn’t have asked for a better story, nor a better or more fitting ending for a couple who literally goes through emotional hell and back to finally reach their very well deserved happily ever after. And for someone who rarely cries over books or movies, Norah definitely managed to do just that to me today.

The one thing that totally made the book for me was Ray’s character. From the first page itself, oh wait let me backtrack, ever since I encountered his character in Guarding Suzannah, I have been dying to know what would make the overly polished and controlled Raymond Morgan tick. And Norah certainly delivered on all counts with his character as he totally and irrevocably laid seige on every single emotion I had left to spare and then some. He is tender, generous, kind and on top of all that the way he takes care of Grace even when his heart is being torn into pieces just makes him one of the best heroes ever! And when he does finally let go of his legendary control in the bedroom, all my senses joined up and chanted, “Oh yes Ray baby, you should let go more often!”.

Grace’s character is not one to be left behind as I gush on about the things that worked for me. When I started reading, I was totally prepared to hate Grace’s guts cos in my world, there is nothing worse than hurting a delcious hero for whom my heart just bleeds. But then again, I should have known better and from the moment Grace finds comfort in Ray’s arms whilst at the hospital, I knew absolutely that there was no way that this woman could hurt the man she loves intentionally. I found myself in awe of the way Grace shaped up to a totally new and better version, one with a backbone of steel that earned my wholehearted approval as she sets out to right what she has done wrong and of course make Ray give ALL of himself to her.

Recommended for fans of delicious heroes, fans of romantic suspense and of course fans of the series and Norah Wilson. This is a series that I have a feeling will just continue to get better with each book!

Favorite Quotes

Hot and fierce and impossibly arousing, it was like that day in the car outside the motel. Elemental.
Yes, he was angry; she could feel it in his coiled muscles, taste it in the demand of his mouth and the bite of the hand cupping her head. But it didn’t matter. Anger was honest. Anger was real. Right now, she’d take it.
Ray’s hand raked up under the hem of her loose boxers to squeeze her bottom and she arched into him. Oh, yes, she’d definitely take it!

He caught her hand. “What do you want from me, Grace?”
That was easy. “Everything.” She wanted to touch his chest, but since he held her hand prisoner, she insinuated one leg between his legs, delighting in what it did to his breathing. “I don’t want you to hold anything back. I don’t want you to be so careful with me all the time.”
“I want you to give me as much as I can take, and then I want you to give me more.”
“Like I did last night?”
His voice was rough, laced with self-disgust. God help her, she’d never loved him more.

“I hope you’re ready for me,” he rasped, rolling her under him, “‘cuz in about five seconds, I’m gonna be inside you.”
“Ray Morgan, I was born ready for you,” she breathed against his ear, even as she guided him to her entrance.
He slid home with one strong thrust. Both of them froze.

Then, suddenly, she was convulsing around him, shimmering, flying apart. Seconds later, he followed, his own release ripping the lid right off his world.
Slowly, like a feather on the breeze, he felt his spirit lilt back and forth until finally it settled to earth again.
Incredible. He’d just had the hottest sex of his life, and he’d had it with his wife of almost five years.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes&Noble


Requested Review: Guarding Suzannah by Norah Wilson

Format: E-bookguardingsuzannah
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Self-Published
Series: To Serve and Protect, Book 1
Hero: John Quigley
Heroine: Suzannah Phelps
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: August 14, 2010
Started On: August 6, 2011
Finished On: August 6, 2011

Guarding Suzannah by Norah Wilson is the 1st book in her To Serve and Protect Series. Suzannah Phelps is the beautiful and brilliant criminal defense attorney nicknamed the “Ice Princess” and “She-Rex” because of her ability to shred cops in witness stands. Her success rate at the courts comes with a price that sometimes leaves a feeling of discontentment deep within her rather than one of elation. Rich, sophisticated and the daughter of a judge who comes from a long line of judges, Suzannah is being stalked by an unknown assailant that scares her more than she is willing to let on.

Detective John Quigley of the St. Cloud Police Department knows deep in his gut that the sleek and beautiful Suzannah is so way out of his league that it isn’t even funny to think about. But John being the masochist he is cannot help but be drawn towards the woman who had made him sit up and take notice of her when he had being the one who had come up with the short end of the straw when placed in the witness stand and quizzed by none other than the woman herself. Though John knows that nothing much can come out of his fascination with a woman who barely seems to notice that he even exists, that doesn’t stop him from cluing in on Suzannah’s fear of a stalker that she refuses to report to the police.

With no way of protecting her unless Suzannah reports about her stalker to the police, John does the next best thing and proposes that he take on the job, pretending to be her boyfriend for the duration to keep the vicious stalker at bay. Suzannah is not the easiest woman to offer help to and John finds himself infuriated and aroused at the same time by a woman whose stubbornness makes him want to shake her and kiss her senseless.

Though Suzannah knows she is not the passionate type, she can’t help but be drawn to explore the coil of desire that slumbers and unfurls slowly deep inside of her when John makes no secret of how much he desires her and has no qualms about showing her just how passionate she can be in the arms of the right man for her. As their desire for each other reach new heights, so does the stalker up the stakes forcing John to pull out all the stops to draw out a mad man willing to do anything to make Suzannah suffer as he has.

Guarding Suzannah is my first taste of romantic suspense by Norah Wilson who wowed me by her paranormal vampire romance The Merzetti Effect which I reviewed sometime last month. Though Guarding Suzannah doesn’t make it to the 5-star mark for me, it still managed to keep me riveted on the passion that explodes between two people whom the rest of the world may deem unsuitable because of their differences and of course intrigued me enough to keep continually guessing on who the stalker could be. The twist towards the end certainly managed to surprise me, which is ALWAYS a good thing when it comes to romantic suspense.

John is such a great hero. Tender, possessive, protective and has that sexy vibe that makes a girl’s toes curl inward. Suzannah at first comes off perfectly as her “Ice Princess” persona which starts to shed layer by layer until we are left with a woman who yearns for the love of a man like John just like every other girl. Her gutsy nature coupled with her vulnerability won me over and if that didn’t do the job for me, then what Suzannah was willing to sacrifice towards the end for her love for John definitely sealed the deal for me.

Witty banter & toe-tingling passion with just the right amount of suspense thrown into make things interesting, Guarding Suzannah is a book for those who love romantic suspense that evolves slowly, but leaves you with a good buzz all around once you are done. And one of the best things about Guarding Suzannah for me was to read a romance between two people who bring no prior baggage into the relationship which was a refreshing change from the norm.

I am definitely getting myself the rest of the books in the series, the next one being Saving Grace which I am very much interested in reading as both the hero and heroine from Saving Grace have already appeared in Guarding Suzannah, enticing me all that much more to know their story. And I’ve just got to say this, I love me an author who gives a beautiful epilogue that ties up everything towards the end and Norah, you’ve definitely done that with Guarding Suzannah which makes me one happy chick all around!

Favorite Quotes

The look he shot was incredulous in the extreme. “You have a filing system for your shoes?”
She lifted her chin, daring him to make something of it. “I can see the concept of organization is a foreign one, Detective, but there’s nothing wrong with knowing what goes where. In fact, there can be some bonuses to being a little anal about this stuff.”

Her hand came up to touch his face and he was lost. Groaning, he went for her upturned mouth, covering it hotly.
She threw herself into the kiss. There was no other way to describe it. Even as he plundered that lush, bourbon-ripe mouth, she plundered right back, giving as good as she got. And all the while, her hands slid through his hair, shaping his skull, pulling him closer.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Kobo


Requested Review: The Merzetti Effect by Norah Wilson

Format: E-bookthemerzettieffect
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Self-Published
Series: A Vampire Romance, Book 1
Hero: Dr. Delano Bowen
Heroine: Ainsley Crawford
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: June 6, 2011
Started On: July 20, 2011
Finished On: July 21, 2011

The Merzetti Effect is a novel that caught my eye whilst I was browsing through Amazon’s book recommendations. Long before that Norah Wilson landed in my list of authors to try out after seeing a review of her romantic suspense novel Guarding Suzannah by author Pamela Clare up on Goodreads. Reading the blurb of The Merzetti Effect sealed the deal for me and to my utter surprise and delight I managed to get this little birdie from the amazing Norah herself who approached me for a review. The rest as they say is history and ever since I turned page 1 and lost myself in Norah’s unique take on the world of vampires, there was no turning back for me – ever.

Ainsley Crawford has just lost her job working as an OR nurse in a Level 1 Trauma Center and the job offer by a Dr. Delano Bowen seems like a godsend to her until she is attacked by a rogue vampire as she makes her way for the job interview. Her savior comes in the form of her prospective employer himself who makes Ainsley think the most inappropriate thoughts of them tangled in the sheets, all sweaty and naked when she fully lays her eyes on the enigmatic and compelling man with an intensity in his eyes that takes her breath away.

Delano is a more than 200 year old vampire who believes that in Ainsley’s blood lies the cure from the virus that rages inside a vampire that drives them to sate their thirst for blood. Though Delano would go to any lengths to keep Ainsley by his side and wants her to remain totally unaware of the potency of her blood on his species, the one thing that Delano never counted on was his libido to sit up and take notice of the one woman whose blood might mean the end of his life.

Undying need and red-hot desire grows stronger and binds both Ainsley and Delano together until the explosive culmination of their mutual want which kickstarts a series of events that Delano never foresaw, nearly bringing him to his knees when his old enemy comes to seek Ainsley for himself, to eradicate the one thing that could destroy his blood thirsty rampage on Earth forever.

The Merzetti Effect is an amazing paranormal romance that introduces us into a fresh take on the lives of vampires, with a few surprises thrown into the mix. Delano is a hero with whom I fell head-over-fangs in love with right from the very first encounter. His intensity, utter control which shreds to pieces with Ainsley and his devotion to do good and right the wrongs done by his species no matter what makes him one of my favorite vampire heroes. And of course I freely admit to the fact that the way he seduces and is in turn seduced by Ainsley was out of this world hot, rendering me into this puddle of goo half way through.

Ainsley is the type of heroine that earns my love and wholehearted approval because there are so many endearing characteristics that makes up who she is. Her fierce loyalty towards those she holds dear, the way she wants to comfort a two century old vampire with whom a deep connection is forged and the way she completely gives into the love that overtakes her without playing coy games is what I loved most about her.

With this novel, Norah has enticed me to want to know more about each and every character that she has introduced along the way. I will definitely be on the look out for future books in this ‘series’ and am definitely a fan of Norah Wilson if the complete and utter ease with which she drew me into the story is anything to judge her other books by. Very highly recommended for fans of vampire romances. This is one book you ought not miss!

Favorite Quotes

And heaven help him, there was that pain again, the one that pierced him to his very marrow and started all that emotion bleeding out of him.
Dammit, he loved her.
He’d been denying it for weeks now, but he could deny it no longer.
Not the giddy drug of infatuation. Not the mind-blowing drive of unadulterated lust. Not the bone-deep need to possess.
It was all of those things wrapped up together, but so much more. It was simple, really. She had somehow become all that mattered.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble