Thursday, September 15, 2016

Rum & Raindrops by Jean Oram

From Goodreads:
One nature guide. One accidental forest fire. And one steamy investigator hot on her tail.

Jen Kulak's good at running from her problems, so when she finds her best friend and boyfriend in bed together she burns rubber, never looking back. When Jen finds the quirky town of Blueberry Springs, she finally feels as though she's found a place she can call home, settle in, and get to know herself. With help from her boss, she rediscovers her love of nature and begins giving wilderness tours, which would be perfect if it weren’t for the fact that she may have accidentally just burned down the forest she depends upon for her fledgling business. And it would figure that Rob Raine, the man of her dreams, also happens to be the fire investigator hot on the case.

Can Jen find the strength to fight the accusations that could cost her everything? Or will she run again, ignoring the sparks that fly between her and Rob, and torching her chances at a happily ever after?

My Take:
I really like Jean Oram's style. Her books are easy to read, easy to get lost in someone else's world and troubles. This one was no different. I immediately liked Jen and Rob.

Jen is a bit of a mess. She doesn't trust anyone, and yet she's still this likable person. You can feel the hope she still has that she will one day find something better than what her history tells her is life. She struggles to stay in Blueberry Springs when everything starts to fall apart. It feels like home, but she feels responsible for the fire. She's certain she didn't start it, but she figures everyone else thinks she did.

Rob is just an all around good guy. He makes you smile in spite of yourself. He's serious about his job though and he knows getting involved with Jen would make things even worse. His heart doesn't quite listen though. The two of them investigate the fire and things just get worse and worse.

The ending to this one was realistic and worth the wait.

I give Rum & Raindrops a solid 4.

1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure

Friday, September 9, 2016

Louisiana Longshot by Jana Deleon

From Goodreads:
It was a hell of a longshot...

CIA Assassin Fortune Redding is about to undertake her most difficult mission ever--in Sinful, Louisiana.

With a leak at the CIA and a price on her head by one of the world's largest arms dealers, Fortune has to go off grid, but she never expected to be this far out of her element. Posing as a former beauty queen turned librarian in a small, bayou town seems worse than death to Fortune, but she's determined to fly below the radar until her boss finds the leak and puts the arms dealer out of play.

Unfortunately, she hasn't even unpacked a suitcase before her newly-inherited dog digs up a human bone in her backyard. Thrust into the middle of a bayou murder mystery, Fortune teams up with a couple of seemingly-sweet old ladies whose looks completely belie their hold on the little town. To top things off, the handsome local deputy is asking her too many questions. If she's not careful, this investigation may blow her cover and get her killed.

Armed with her considerable skills and a group of old ladies referred to by locals as The Geritol Mafia, Fortune has no choice but to solve the murder before it's too late.

My Take:
First off, I've read this one two or three times. That's how much I love it. It's a fast paced hilarious ride! Seriously, not a ton of romance in this first book in the series, but there is some simmering potential. I'm hoping it has a chance to blossom in the next books.

So you may be wondering why I'm posting this on my clean romance blog. Well, sometimes I need a light hearted read full of suspense and the utterly ridiculous. This book was just too fun not to share!

What I really love is the Geritol Mafia. These gals are funnier than any crazy group of women I've ever seen. It doesn't take long before you realize Fortune fits in with them better than anywhere else she ever has. These ladies introduce Fortune to Sinful by telling her to bring her running shoes to church. Then there are the alligators, the secrets, and menthol. You'll just have to read!

Fortune is a hoot. No matter how hard she tries, she just can't lay low. I mean, the whole reason she has to go into hiding is because the guy she was investigating ticked her off and she killed him with her stiletto. My favorite scene is when she sneaks into the deputy's yard and leaves a few pieces of weave behind. Or maybe it's the one where Ida Bell and Fortune get pulled over by Deputy LeBlanc and Fortune is only wearing a garbage bag.

Are you curious yet?

I give Louisiana Longshot a solid 5 because I have read it multiple times, and will read it again. I'm waiting for my reading pile to shrink so I can buy the next few books in the series.

1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Protective One: A Billionaire Bride Pact Romance by Cami Checketts

From Amazon:

Betrayed by an FBI agent while in protective custody, MacKenzie Gunthrie escapes a crime lord and is left hiding from the authorities and her enemies. She finds solace in the peaceful mountain town of Crested Butte, Colorado. With help from a longtime girl's camp friend and a new identity, she's starting to feel safe. The only problem is the overconfident and much too good-looking Isaac Turnbow. Protecting identity has become second nature, but Isaac poses a threat to her heart.

Isaac Turnbow has an undeniable need to convince MacKenzie he’s someone she can trust and kiss, but when well-armed men arrive to disturb their budding relationship, he must prove to her and himself that he can protect her.

This fast-paced, clean Billionaire Bride Pact Romance is a fun and touching read you won’t be able to put down.

My Take:

Here's another clean romance from Cami. She's back to what I think she does best. Suspense! I loved how MacKenzie is skittish throughout the book. There's none of this everything is okay feeling going on--she has anxiety throughout even though she has moments of feeling safe with Isaac. Even Isaac gives her moments of fear. Especially when he's giving Brad exactly what he needs!

Brad is a character we first met in THE INDEPENDENT ONE, another of the billionaire bride pacts. He is a real piece of work and I'm glad he finally gets some of what he deserves by the end. I highly suggest you read that book to appreciate all the Brad scenes in this one.

Back to Mac and Isaac...

Isaac is dreamy in that, cowboy artist, will always watch out for you, kind of way. The fact he's insecure about his abilities. He knows Mac is keeping something secret, but he also knows he needs to slowly gain her trust.

There is great romantic tension and the suspense is just as great. The writing is clean and the fear Mac feels is realistic. I loved the story and read it in one sitting.

The Protective One gets a 4.5!

1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure