Review: Run To Ground by Katie Ruggle

Reviewed by Joanna

This author is an expert in small town, sweet n’ slow burn romances, centered around emergency services (first responders) in one form or another. I loved her Search and Rescue series, and I enjoyed the first in this series too.

We kick off the review with a kidnapping. Jules, a twenty-something accountant to the mob, takes her four younger siblings from school and runs. She has help from the brother of the mafia-type chap she cooked the books for, though she’s an otherwise law-abiding woman. The kids’ living situation was untenable, and Jules did the right thing. [Read more…]

Review: Dirty Like Brody by Jaine Diamond

Reviewed by Joanna

Enjoy a rock star romance? This is book two of a series I’ve been enjoying. It’s got a host of sexy musicians, big love with a helping of angst, plus an a-hole heroine who needs to sort herself the flip out.

This book follows Jessa, successful model and former songwriter to Dirty, the band she was in with her older brother. Our girl is all kinds of complicated, including with her relationship with Brody. Dark-haired, blue-eyed brooding, angry Brody. Mmmm. He’s the band’s manager and in the past he and Jessa had a thing. She ran out on him and broke his heart, but she also hurt and alienated herself from her family and friends, unable to stay near them and unable to tell them why she had to go. It’s the big mystery of the book. [Read more…]

Review: Lost Without You by Molly O’Keefe

Reviewed by Joanna

Seven years after losing contact with the love of his short teenage life, Tommy is forced to deliver on a debt he owes, and in doing so he has to decide which is more important: his love, or his life.

In the short prequel to this tale, The Debt, free separately and included as the first part of this novel, Tommy and Beth were teenagers falling deeply in love with one another, against the backdrop of being residents of the St. Jude’s Home for Court Placed Juveniles. This detestable, abusive environment made it all the more difficult for them to be together, and they were discovered and punished by the vile and evil Pastor who ran the home. Poised to rape Beth, the Pastor is killed by the teenagers. I celebrated his death and only wish it had taken the b****** longer to die. [Read more…]

Review: My Roommate’s Girl by Julianna Keyes

Reviewed by Joanna

This was a surprise release for me, and as I love this author’s New Adult work, it was all I could do to hold my attention on my existing read when this landed in my Kindle. The premise, with a rough-around-the-edges tattooed hero whose hair in that lovely shade of dirty dirty blond had me excited. Who needs an attention span? The other book got ditched at 50%.

Aiden is at Holsom College at the behest of a judge. It was either go get an education or spend your life in and out of prison. Our boy might like boosting cars, but he ain’t dumb, and he takes the right choice, joining a program for educating ex-juvie / ex-con young people. I love a world where this exists.

In his third year, he moves into a shared apartment with Jerry. In the spirit of taking things that aren’t his, Aiden sees Aster, Jerry’s gorgeous and polished girlfriend, and decides he must sleep with her. He might’ve stopped stealing cars but, for one hot night, he has to steal the girl. [Read more…]

Review: Love Rewritten by J. Saman

Reviewed by Joanna

Here’s another college NA tale for your delectation, with the trope of brother’s best friend as our hostile hero. Do you like this kind of guy? I do, as long as there’s good reason for the grumps, and they make up for it with Big Love by the end of the book.

Abby lives at the edge of campus in a three bedroom apartment with Aubrey, her twin. She’s ‘edgy’ in that she wears punky clothes, dyes streaks in her hair and has tattoos, and she has no idea that Aubrey’s best friend, Xander, is totally into her.

Now Xander is of course lovely to look at, but he’s a miserable fellow and frequently mean to Abby. Abby has no idea why. She just knows it hurts and she thinks he hates her. [Read more…]

Review: The Hero by Robyn Carr

Reviewed by Joanna

Continuing the saga of the residents of the beautiful Thunder Point, Oregon, we start this tale with a new character – Devon. She’s a member of a cult, having fallen for the leader Jacob and gotten pregnant with his kid. By the time she realizes he isn’t a one woman kinda guy, she’s living in his compound with his other women and kids and unable to leave. Men with guns ‘protect’ the fenced off land, and the only time Devon is allowed out is to take their crops to a farmers market. Her kid, Mercy, isn’t allowed to go.

Luckily there’s a mole on the inside. Laine helps her escape and Devon runs away with her daughter, to be picked up by the side of the road by Rawley, resident of Thunder Bay. Now Rawley was featured in the first two books. He’s an old fellow, ex-military, having served in Vietnam, and he knows what it is to be homeless and wanting. He takes Devon and Mercy home and looks after them. [Read more…]

Review: The Debt by Molly O’Keefe

Reviewed by Joanna

This book is a short, free (at time of writing) prequel to the new series Molly O’Keefe is launching rapid-fire over the next few weeks. As I started it, I knew two things. One: it was going to be a big tease, and two: it was going to hurt to read it.

See, the story is set around a group of teenagers living in a foster care home in San Francisco. St. Jude’s Home for Court Placed Juveniles. Tommy and Beth are in love, sharing stolen kisses in the art room at school. They can’t date, as the husband and wife who run the home wouldn’t allow it.

They rule the place with an iron fist. [Read more…]

Review: How Not to Let Go by Emily Foster

Reviewed by Joanna

This book is the second part (woo finally a HEA!) to How Not to Fall, the tale where open and honest Annie falls for can’t-love-too-tormented Charles. This pair of smart cookies are medical students – Charles postdoc, Annie just entering medical school. At the end of book one (look away now if you love NA and haven’t read it!) Annie leaves Indiana – and Charles – for Boston and 8 years of her doctoral degree. He told her he couldn’t commit as after an awful childhood, he’s emotionally incapable. Attachment-avoidant. No possibility of him falling in love.

Ah, the bigger they come… [Read more…]

Review: The Newcomer by Robyn Carr

Reviewed by Joanna

Here’s another edition of the lives of a small beach town and its residents. In the last book, Mac, the deputy of lovely and tranquil Thunder Point, finally managed to get himself together and ask out Gina, the woman he’s been in love with forever. Their lives are complicated, with his three motherless children and her one fatherless daughter to think about, plus his aunt, her mom and a couple of big dogs they’ll need to sidestep if they’re going to make a go of their relationship.

As this is all settling down, a beautiful woman walks into Gina’s diner. It’s Cee Jay, Mac’s ex-wife. And she wants back in. [Read more…]

Review: The Wanderer by Robyn Carr

Reviewed by Joanna

Here’s a location-strong community-style slow-mo romance, which I wandered through a little confused by, but ended up in love with.

The story is contemporary with an old fashioned feel, where women do girl talk and shopping, guys drink beer and members of the opposite sex don’t quite communicate right. I don’t mean to misrepresent the book – Sarah, our main heroine, is a helicopter pilot, as previously was Cooper, our main hero. But Sarah’s also a mom (well, raising her brother from when he was 6 years old) and managing a household. Coop’s a drifter, and talks like he’s 70 though he’s not quite 40. Fortunately he’s handsome and honorable, and interesting enough to draw me in. [Read more…]