Book Review-About That Kiss by Jill Shalvis

About That Kiss is a charming and sweet romance that will leave you with a smile on your face and a book that will evoke hoots of laughter and smiles all around…perfect book to get you out of the winter blues

I haven’t read Jill Shalvis in a while, I will admit that I didn’t get a kick out of book one, so I have been nervous to get back into this series but I can say that I really enjoyed About That Kiss way more than I was expecting too. I really have to be in the mood to enjoy Jill Shalvis and I think I was in the “right” mood for this book. And I am so happy that I really enjoyed this as much as I did. It was a bit different than what I was expecting, but I was pretty happy with out it played out in the end.

Both Joe and Kylie have a love/hate relationship going on. They have a great kiss which is why the title is so aptly named “about that kiss” because honestly they keep going back to that moment. Joe has a few alpha male tendacies, he has never taken it seriously with a woman before so of course he is way out of his element with Kylie. Now Kylie has had her sights set on her boss, but the way that Joe kisses her changes everything even though she knows that Joe doesn’t do relationships or long term….EVER!! And boy she feels like she is walking down a path that is so unknown.

What really made this book WOW the reader, is the chemistry that these two have. I do have to say that I LOVED their interchanges and boy these kissing changes are powerful I can tell you that much. Definitely blew me away and yeah I liked Joe’s character because his whole take control and kiss the gal against the wall or inside a closet…totally did it for me. And I really got a kick out of seeing them solve a mystery together and develop some true heartfelt feelings for each other along the way. There was an almost “poignant” feel to their relationship and I just adored the way this story developed especially the romance of the story was so “on key” and I have to say Bravo to Jill Shalvis for making this book so special for me.

About Jill Shalvis

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras with her family and far too many assorted quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental.

Look for Jill's latest, ONE IN A MILLION, on shelves and e-readers now, and get all her bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold.

Visit Jill's website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

Book Review-Beyond Scandal and Desire by Lorraine Heath

Lorraine Heath introduces us to a sensual love affair that takes us back in time to the spicy Victorian Era in London, England. A time of growth in the sciences, politics, and human rights. These two people come together and learn to fight with having all of society against them being together…

HOLY SMOKES!!! This book just blew me away here, and I just didn’t want to put it away. I have had such admiration for Lorraine Heath, and over the years she has become one of my favorites here. She has such a solid talent in writing historical romances, and I got a kick out of her delving into the Victorian Era. This story introduces the reader to an aspect of Victorian culture that very few know about…baby farmers. This is actually a very heartwrenching aspect of society and one of the “skeletons” on England and I was really happy that Lorraine Heath did such great research here and implemented this aspect into the story.

Our wonderful key players in the story are:

  • Mick Trewlove, is a commoner, he was deposited and abandoned by his real parents to be thrown away to a baby farm, but his adopted mother took him in and raised him along with his siblings. Mick has created his own wealth and power but is out for revenge so his father will finally admit that Mick is his son.
  • Aslyn Hastings, is part of the Ton, her parents died and she was brought in and became the war of the Duke and Duchess of Hedley. Even though she has always has done what was expected of her, she dreams of adventure and passion.

Beyond Scandal and Desire is such a sensational romance and I totally got a kick out of this book and I honestly didn’t want it to end. This story made me realize why I fell in love with Lorraine Heath in the first place and this book was pretty epic in its own way.

This story begins when our hero Mick, is out on his journey for revenge and to be claimed by his real father. So his plan is to make his “brother” lose everything including his almost betrothed. Aslyn has always known that her future is to marry the Duke’s son, even though she doesn’t love him the way that a woman should love the man she is supposed to marry. When she meets Mick in the gardens, she is intrigued because he stirs desire, passion that she has never felt before.

She could practically see it coming from him in waves that had the power to encompass everything around him–including herself. She wanted to experience that power, be drawn into it, captured by it, seduced within it.

Through a set of events, Mick and Aslyn run into each other and the chemistry between them in obvious even though Aslyn knows she is supposed to marry another man, she honestly doesn’t feel like she can. Especially when her betrothed starts to change when his desperation for gambling takes a twist. The man that she really wants is Mick, a man that the Duke and his wife DONT approve of. But Mick is the man that she is beginning to love and wants to fight for them. But she will find out that Mick has a mission, one that could bring downfall to the family that she loves dearly.

Mick couldn’t help but wonder if sometimes heartache was needed in order to move forward.

I was really intrigued by the turn of events that bring this couple together. There were such sensuality and endearing romantic qualities that pulled me into this story so completely. I just loved every moment that Mick and Aslyn have together. From the sexy flirting to Mick showing Aslyn another side to him, to a journey of forgiveness and redemption. I really was cheering for these two from the beginning. There was such class to their relationship. I really adored the way that they court and fall in love. There were so many tender moments that made me “sigh” in that sweet romantic way that gives you all the warm fuzzies. This is the epitome of ROMANCE and as I was reading this delightful story, I was reminded of this author, the reason I love romance in fiction and why it does so much for me. This book just made me happy, grinning all the way, and I immersed myself completely in this beautiful story.

I don’t care. When I am with you, I feel as though, for the first time in my life, I am real, I am seen. It’s difficult to explain, but I want to experience everything with you that a woman can experience.

I really fell in love with the siblings though, and seeing their eccentricities and their bond as a family even if it’s not by blood. I love how protective Mick is of them and even though they frustrate him at times, he is all about giving them what they dream and desire. Especially to his sisters, he would do anything for even if it means buying a parasol or helping a sister set up a bar. And I felt that Lorraine Heath did a tremendous job in showing the tragic elements of Baby Farming. It definitely broke my heart seeing it in this story and how society viewed children born “on the other side of the blanket” as it were.

Overall Beyond Scandal and Desire is a stunning beginning to a new series, a story of true heart, hidden secrets and a true love affair that sings to your heart!!! INCREDIBLY HEARTFELT!

If I touch you, Aslyn, I’m not going to stop touching you until I’ve touched every aspect of you

About Lorraine Heath

Also writes Young Adult under Rachel Hawthorne, Jade Parker, and with her son as J.A. London)

Lorraine Heath has always had a soft spot for emotional love stories. No doubt because growing up, watching movies with her mom, she was taught that the best movies "won't half make you cry."

She is the daughter of a British beauty (her mom won second place in a beauty contest sponsored by Max Factor® during which she received a kiss from Caesar Romero--Joker on the original Batman TV series) and a Texan who was stationed at Bovingdon while serving in the air force. Lorraine was born in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, but soon after moved to Texas. Her "dual" nationality has given her a love for all things British and Texan, and she enjoys weaving both heritages through her stories.

When she received her BA degree in psychology from the University of Texas, she had no idea she had gained a foundation that would help her to create believable characters—characters that are often described as “real people.” Her novels have appeared on bestseller lists, including USA Today, Waldenbooks, and most recently, the New York Times.

Book Review-When You Love A Scotsman by Hannah Howell

In When You Love A Scotsman is a thrilling, on the edge of your seat historical romance that will take you back to the turbulent times of the Civil War that torn the American country apart. This is not as story that is easy or kind….its tough and hard and brave and courageous.

The wonderful courageous characters that become the key players are:

  • Abigail Jenson, our lovely heroine, who has become orphaned due to the horrors of war in losing her parents. A kind and loving woman who adores her family.
  •        Matthew McEnroy, our courageous hero, is one of the seven brothers that have migrated from Scotland and is serving in the military to help fight the rebels or anyone that wreaks havoc on innocents.

This was a magnificent story and I honestly just couldn’t contain my love for this story and most especially the built up of the plot. It starts out pretty intensely where we see Abigail lose her parents and is rescued by a handsome soldier. A soldier that ends up taking her to a safe haven. A haven where his unit is stationed in the same town as Abigail’s. Matthew begins to slowly court Abigail, because he feels a strong connection to Abigail and wants to see where it can lead. Especially in seeing the way his older brother found his happiness in his new family. But there is danger around them, and Abigail and Matthew are drawn together by a certain set of circumstances and they act on those peaceful moments that are rare.

There were many aspects of this story that I truly adored. This has some endearing qualities that only a reader sees in a Hannah Howell book. I truly had a true connection to pretty much every character in this book Of course, we have our main couple here who on their own as individuals, and are majestic when they are together. They really balance each other in certain ways and I loved their chemistry. They have the same goals and I liked that they just fit so right for one another and their love story is one you can slowly ease yourself into. But then we have some other side characters that were heartbreaking at times and sweet and pretty hilarious in other moments. I LOVED the kids in this book, most especially Noah. He was such a darling little boy, who had lost so much but still had a sense of innocence and charm and was always getting into trouble.

I had only one major issue which probably won’t be a surprise to many of you who know my certain obsessions when it comes to historical romance. In this book, what I couldn’t stand was how quick these two have sex. Yes, it happens VERY quickly, way faster than I would have preferred. And quite honestly, it just had too much of a modern feel to it. Honestly, this would never have happened back in this time period. Mostly because of the risks involved and back in this era, marriage happened before becoming intimate. That is just how the culture and society worked even in the worst of circumstances. So it just didn’t feel right when these two just happen to jump into bed together or whereever they could get themselves alone and they aren’t the only couple that we see this happen. But the author did make an effort to show how society did frown upon these actions but Abigail and Matthew tended to be way too careless in my opinion and I just couldn’t truly be okay with this in a historical romance where certain expectations weren’t something you messed with.

However I truly enjoyed this story overall, there was so many thrills and adventures and this author takes us on the realistic views of how the Civil War was and how it divided family and left hundreds of women and children without parents or families or homes. I can’t wait for book three in this endearing family of seven Scottish brothers.

About Hannah Howell

After five years and many rejections, I finally got my first book on the stands in 1988 – Amber Flame – from Leisure Books (reissued a while back under the title His Bonnie Bride). Also the western – A Taste of Fire published by Kensington in 1988. (and reissued by them several times since then) After about 10 years of writing English, Scottish and western historicals for several publishers (even venturing into the occasional pen-name) I settled in at Kensington writing Scottish historicals. Thus was born the great Murray clan (and a very prolific clan as well.) In June 2009 I started a series set in late-Georgian England concerning two connected families – the Wherlockes and the Vaughns. The first – If he’s Wicked – was that June, the latest – If He’s Tempted – was released April 2013. My cunning plan is to then do one of the Wherlockes and one of the Murrays each year. We’ll see how that works.

I grew up in New England and my family (on the maternal side) has been here since the 1630s. The paternal side is half Nova Scotian and half English. Met the hubby in England on a trip to meet and greet the English side of the family, bought him a drink in a pub, and the rest is history. Been married for 42+ years now. I have two sons, one a graphic artist (Sam) and one a mechanical engineer (Keir), a daughter-in-law who is a teacher (Beth), and three stunningly attractive, highly intelligent grandchildren (boast much?) – Benjamin, Jennifer, and Evelyn Rose. And they all live within driving distance – hooray. Being mildly insane I also have five cats – Matilda (high strung), Shadow (who is a little ferally and lives under a chair in my living-room because she does not like the ‘kittens’ I brought home years ago.), the demonic duo – Jackson and Perkins, and the latest addition, Mungo.

When I am not writing – which isn’t often – I play games on the computer, play the piano (took 13 years of lessons when growing up), crochet (very addicting), read, and garden (some day I will conquer the demon weed).

Book Review-The Cowboy Who Came Calling by Linda Broday

In The Cowboy Who Came Calling we have the second book in the Texas Heroes series. this book features a passionate and drama filled story that will definitely test your emotions and mood.

Our key players that take an active role are:

  • Glory Day, our heroine, who is starting to lose her vision and having to take charge of her family with her father sick and in jail.
  • Luke McClain, our hero, who is a ex Texas Ranger, he is on the hunt for a criminal that can clear his name.

Glory Day, is responsible for taking care of her family. With her father been arrested and sick in jail, her mother inconsolable, Glory is doing everything she can to take care of her mother and sisters. And soon their home is going to be foreclosed if they don’t come up with the funds. When Glory stumbles across a criminal with a high reward, she faces off with a mysterious cowoby who wants the same man for himself and he then gets shot in the crossfire.

At first these two aren’t a huge fan of each other, more on Glory’s side than on Luke. Despite the fact that Luke has been shot because of Glory, you would think that he would have more negative feelings toward Glory but he doesn’t. There is a strong attraction between them, but Glory is cynical and stubborn especially when it comes to the male species. I wouldn’t say I liked Glory at all. Her personality was a bit too rough for my liking. She is the first heroine from Linda Broday that I really struggled with in ways that I didn’t want to struggle but it kept happening, and she was way too stubborn for her own good.

I did however fall heavily for our hero, who is beyond honorable. Despite the way that Glory is so suspsicious of him and his actions, he tends to prove so kind and understanding and doesn’t judge her at all. I loved that about him, when he was way too nice for Glory in my opinion. I also admired how much he gives back to Glory and her family, in ways that he didn’t even need to but he did it because of his caring and affection for them and because he is a man of honor and I adored that.

There were many wonderful moments between these two, and I just loved the setting and the heroine dealing with being blind and the struggles that come along with that. The romance that built between these two was simply wonderful and once Glory overcame her stubborness and mistrust than their relationship really flourished and once that moment happens I didn’t want to put this one away.  AN INTRIGUING ROMANTIC TALE IN THE AMERICAN WEST!!!

About Linda Broday

I live in the Texas Panhandle on land they call the Llano Estacado where the Native Americans once roamed. History is so thick here with the ghosts of the people who settled this land. I love writing western historical romance and can't imagine writing anything else. I love a man in a Stetson and tight pants. Cowboys also get me fired up.