Review: Have Yourself a Marine Christmas by Heather Long

have yourself a marine christmasReviewed by Shelly

I drop in and out of this series constantly and I’ve never had a ‘what’s going on?’ feeling. As book 20 in the series, I think Long’s writing continues to convey some of the angst and issues that many of us civilians assume happens to our soldiers, be they male or female. This is a Christmas story, but don’t let that hold you back from reading out of the season.

Ryan ‘Rebel’ Edward Brun is a year from his last deployment. He’s been at Mike’s Place convalescing since losing both legs, above the knees, to an IED. Having always been knows as the prankster in his group of friends and fellow soldiers, it’s disconcerting to Noel Torres, his nurse case manager, that he’s not enjoying the decorations and overall cheerful spirit of Christmas. [Read more…]

Review: Desert Wolf by Heather Long

desert wolfReviewed by Jen

When I started this book, I had no idea that it was the eighth installment in a series. It held up ok as a standalone, although it was pretty obvious there was backstory I was unfamiliar with. That’s not what kept me from loving the book, though. The pacing was uneven. But worse, I never really connected with this romance and I felt like there were holes in the story that had nothing to do with the 7 books I skipped over.

Our hero is Cassius, Alpha of a pack known for its violence and brutality. He has called a neighboring pack for a favor; he wants to borrow their Omega to help transform his pack to something better. Sovvan is that Omega. She risks her own safety to meet with Cassius and hear his request. And when confronted with his stark need, she can’t say no. [Read more…]

Review: Some Like It Deadly by Heather Long

some like it deadlyReviewed by Shelly

Heather Long is one of those authors that I will usually read regardless of premise because her writing has not disappointed me – yet. When I saw the blurb for this one, I had to read it and I’m glad I did. Even though I’ve not read the first couple of stories in the ‘Going Royal’ series, I had no trouble following or understanding the main or supporting characters. [Read more…]

Review: Marine with Benefits

marine with benefitsReviewed by Shelly

This is the 16th story in the Always a Marine series from Heather Long and it tells the story of physical therapist Kara and marine Derek. Working at Mike’s Place as a physical therapist Kara’s life is at a standstill; including her unrequited love for her brother’s best friend, Derek. The only thing left to do is to get over him and the only way to do that is to go to Madame Eve. Derek has always had a thing for Kara, but he made a promise to his best friend, Keith, that he’s not willing to break – until he sees an all grown up Kara.

Long has a way with novellas, I’m always amazed that she can put together such a good story in so few words. Kara is a very likable heroine which with these short stories can be a little tricky to pull off, especially with the whole unrequited love an’ all. [Read more…]

Review: No Regrets, No Surrender

Reviewed by Shelly

Picking up about a year after Retreat Hell! She Just Got Here (Always a Marine #2), Jasmine Winters, Logan Cavanaugh and Zach Evans return with a longer look at how their happily ever after happens. When I saw this story, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was significantly longer than the others that I read in the series.

Logan and Zach have patiently waited for Jazz’s return. They’ve met her at a couple overseas locations where she was able to meet them. At this point, my big questions were – how would this ménage work if Logan and Zach are having exclusively individual relationships with Jazz? I mean, how would it work when they’re all living in the same household if a pattern of two and not three had been practiced?

I gotta tell ya folks, I don’t know Long’s background with the military or if she’s just done a ton of research, but she’ll make a you cry like a two year old throwing a tantrum. When Jazz has to come back from her assignment after an IED explosion, I had no clue how I would handle it and folks I didn’t handle it well. When Jazz meets the guys at the airport and she’s in uniform in a wheelchair with her escorts, I had to take a break, go get a glass of water and a box of tissues. I could go on about how war is hell, but we all know that, and that’s not what this story is about. Instead it’s about Jazz letting Logan and Zach into her heart and letting them help her overcome her challenges.

For such a sensitive topic, it’s a relatively short read, but Long gets a lot done. She doesn’t mince words with the description of the wounds and the subsequent traumas (strokes, seizures) that happen. Jazz – a marine you are – had a lot to go through to get her mind right so the body can follow and lucky girl, the good news is that Logan and Zach had her back 110% of the way. Even in the bedroom, the dynamics had to change because of Jazz’s injuries but the way Long handled the limitations was well done.

Of the two guys, Logan was the one with the physical injuries from his time in active duty, and he had more than enough patience, love and support to offer Jazz. And Zach, oh my, what a man – he was my favorite. He doesn’t have the physical restrictions that Jazz or Logan have and I think that put him on the back burner more than he should be, but when he feels the need to express himself he does it quite well. Oorah!

If there was a way to have a prequel for Logan and Zach’s story I would love to read that. But that would be hard to do because these guys are straight and that really wouldn’t make for fun reading or would it? Never say never.

Happy Reading folks!

Rating: B+

Click to purchase: Amazon
No Regrets, No Surrender
by Heather Long
Release Date: November 17, 2012
Publisher: Decadent Publishing

Review: Retreat Hell! She Just Got Here

Reviewed by Shelly

Stories about female Marines are few and far between. As a matter of fact, Long is the only one I can find who writes about active Marines who are female. I recently read another one of these series and couldn’t help but look for more and –yeah for me– I found this one.

While on leave, GySgt Jasmine ‘Jazz’ Winters has been set up for a One Night Stand, by of all people – her own mother. She’s requested not just one man but two (not sure Mom knows about that) because why not?  It’s a fantasy night! Logan Cavanaugh and Zach Evans are former Marines themselves. Logan was wounded during their last tour and was discharged on permanent disability because of his injuries. Zach goes where Logan goes. He’s the light to Logan’s dark and what a great contrast he is – yummy.

Theses three really electrify the pages, so by the time the sex scene came around, I was on pins and needles to see how that would turn out. Oh, my goodness Logan you are the man!

The only thing missing for me in this short story was finding out the back story to Logan and Zach’s relationship. My curiosity is still high, so now I’m gonna find their follow up story – ‘No Regrets, No Surrender (Always a Marine, #6)’.

Happy Reading folks!

Rating: B

Click to purchase: Amazon
Retreat Hell! She Just Got Here
by Heather Long
Release Date: April 21, 2012
Publisher: Decadent Publishing

Review: Combat Barbie

Reviewed by Shelly

What a nice change of pace! The title piqued my initial interest and the cover isn’t bad either. Even though this is the 11th installment in the ‘Always a Marine’ series, I didn’t feel as if I was missing out on anything by not reading the first few books. This was a very satisfying read, but make no mistake – I do want more.

Marine, Mary ‘Stormer’ Phillips is home on leave. It’s been ten years since high school and while she loves her parents and wants to be the good daughter, she takes a break to go for a run. During her run she sees her favorite Coffee Shop, so an interlude is a must. While in line Mary runs into an old school friend, Kyle Stewart. Kyle is all grown up and has shed the nerd-look he had going on in high school. Never having the nerve to ask Mary out while in school, Kyle is bound and determined to not let her get away this time around.

I absolutely enjoyed both Mary and Kyle. Mary’s past as a beauty queen is truly fascinating and at first glance seems so contradictory to her military career. Though a short story, the reasons behind Mary’s decisions are well conveyed. She’s career military and until she’s unable to do that she will continue to improve lives and make real changes where she can. There’s a scene where she’s talking with Kyle about part of her time overseas and the dialogue is so clear and heartfelt, I couldn’t help but be moved.

Kyle is a guy who’s has done very well for himself. You can always tell a lot about a man by the way he treats his mother, and Kyle is good man. He’s a good foil for Mary — not overly aggressive and not in any way passive. I liked these two a lot and I’m hoping I read more of this couple in future stories.

I’m off to find more of this series.

Happy Reading folks!

Rating: B

Click to purchase: Amazon
Combat Barbie
by Heather Long
Release Date: February 25, 2013
Publisher: Decadent Publishing