Irresistible Force by D.D Ayres

Irresistible Force

By D.D Ayres

Book 1 in the K-9 Rescue Series

Genre: Thriller romance

Expected publication: August 26th 2014 by St. Martin’s Paperbacks

320 pages

A free copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

For Shay Appleton, it’s love at first sight when a gorgeous stray dog is brought into the animal shelter where she works. She just knows he’ll make a terrific watch dog—and with an abusive ex who won’t let go, she needs all the protection she can get. But Shay never suspected that her new pet is actually a trained police K-9 named Bogart—until Bogart’s even more gorgeous, human partner shows up on her doorstep.

Officer James Cannon is one tall, strong alpha male who’s convinced that Shay stole his dog. But once he gets closer to the suspect, he realizes that this stubborn, independent woman not only needs a guard dog, she needs James as well. It seems that someone from her past is stalking her, and threatening her life. When danger meets desire, will James risk his career and his best friend…to protect the woman who’s stolen his heart?

Irresistible Force by D.D Ayres is the first book in the K-9 Rescue series and is D.D Ayres first full length novel. I wasn’t expecting much from it, I never do with debuts, but the story looked good and I really like dogs so I was quite looking forward to this. Overall it wasn’t a bad book but I did have some problems with it, the most notable being that it went a little over the top and didn’t quite know when to stop.

The writing was good and I noticed no major issues or mistakes. It wasn’t the most detailed or beautiful prose of all time but I had no problem following it or envisioning the world the author built.

It was the plot where things went a little wrong for me. It started as a misunderstanding between the two main characters James and Shay over a dog and the issues Shay was having with her ex-boyfriend who was abusive. The growing relationship between the two of them and the problem of the ex would have been enough. Instead it spiralled into madness and I couldn’t keep up with it. It was all a little bit far-fetched especially where Shay was concerned. There were numerous sexual assaults, numerous threats of sexual assault, numerous stalkers (how many stalkers can one person have?), and numerous issues with the police. It was just all over the place and I quickly lost interest as it become more and more unbelievable.

The characters weren’t much better. Shay was all over the place, one minute she was strong and stood up for herself, the next she wouldn’t say boo to a goose and was emotional. It was almost as though the author couldn’t make up her mind if she wanted someone to save Shay or for Shay to save herself. James was a little more stable but I wasn’t overly fond of him either. He was alright, I didn’t like him in the beginning and that bad feeling lingered.

I didn’t get much from the romance either, it moved a little quickly and I wasn’t sure about Shay and James as an item. What I did love was the relationship they each shared with Bogart the dog. He was a great character and his interactions were some of the best in the book.

Irresistible Force is not a bad book and there are sure to be many who enjoy its drama but it was all a little too much for me.

2 stars

Burned by Sarah Morgan

Burned

By Sarah Morgan

Miller Sisters book 2

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Published May 27th 2014 by Cosmo Red Hot Reads from Harlequin

83 pages

A free copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Trainer and martial artist Rosie Miller’s zen is seriously compromised when Hunter Black—her former coach and lover—becomes her new boss. And with all the sexual energy still crackling between them, her poor little zen doesn’t stand a chance. So this time, Rosie is determined to play by her rules….

I am a big romance reader but I am the first to admit that they are not always very relatable or believable. But then just occasionally a romance book comes along that is those things and Burned is one of them. It could have been about me, or you, or any of us really. It is a book about two adults struggling to figure out their feelings for one another. No drama. No angst. Just a romance that could happen to any of us.

Burned works because of its characters. Hunter and Rosie are pretty normal in comparison to many other romantic leads out there. They were in a relationship when they were teens that fell apart, there was no torrid affairs, interfering families, or dramatic misunderstandings to blame. Instead it was the characters fears and insecurities that drove the relationship to end. Years later they find each other again and realise the chemistry is still there but are unsure if a relationship would ever work.

I cannot tell you how refreshing it is to read about two normal, average human beings. It was just so nice not to have all the drama but instead read about how their feels change and adapt to what is happening between them. It was sweet, cute and true, I really enjoyed the change of pace and the normality of it all.

Both characters are lovely but Rosie is particularly great. She is funny and cute but lets her insecurities get the better of her sometimes. Normally that is something that annoys me in a female character but Rosie is aware it’s a problem and she works around it. I also really liked Hunter but because there was no POV from him I felt like I didn’t know him all that well. Normally I don’t mind a single POV but in this book I think it would have worked better if both of them had a say.

Burned is a great book that I would recommend to Romance lovers. I don’t think you will be disappointed in this little jem.

3 stars

Breaking Point by Lindsay Mckenna

Breaking Point

by Lindsay Mckenna

Shadow Warriors book 5

Genre: Military romance

Published: 29th April 2014 by Harlequin HQN

352 Pages

A free copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

In the line of fire…

OPERATION SHADOW WARRIORS

An ongoing U.S. military experiment to test the integration of trained female military operatives in live combat scenarios…

The Alpha Platoon. A unit of Navy SEALs stationed in the unforgiving dryness of Afghanistan…who just learned that their newest team member is a woman. But Bay Thorn has a spine of steel—and the chops to prove it. Without a team to back her up, however, she’s dead in the water. And her only ally is Gabe Griffin, a lone SEAL who is lethal, dangerous and unbearably attractive….

Between the open hostility from her team and the harsh Al Qaeda territory, Gabe is a lifeline for Bay. But mutual respect quickly grows into mutual attraction. And with each day and every assignment, the longing only deepens.

They mustn’t speak of it. Mustn’t act on it. Because in this line of work, falling in love can get you killed.

I have a lot to say about this book so this might get a little long. Also in order to get my point across there may also be a few spoilers too so consider yourself warned.

I firmly believe that woman in the military should be able to fight on the front line. I believe passionately that they would as good as men in a war situation. (I am in the process of joining the military so I know a little about it). For that reason I wanted to read this book, the blurb made it sound like Bay Thorn (The main character) would be on the front line in Afghanistan fighting not only against the bad guys but against a sexist system that believes woman are not capable of handling combat situations. I wanted to see her struggles, I wanted to see her be strong. Apparently I wanted too much.

In the end I didn’t get what I wanted. If I am honest I felt this was a bit of a mess and it was impossible to take seriously.

Firstly the writing was not up to par for a modern day romance. I felt the military talk was great but when it came to the romance it got cheesy and beyond old fashioned. The way the two main characters spoke about their feelings to one another was enough to make me laugh out loud. They couldn’t just sit down like a normal couple instead that had to explain how they made each other feel all the time. It was horrible and it sounded like it belonged in a 1980s mills and boons book.

Secondly the main character was irritating. Bay Thorn is perfection personified she can do no wrong and everyone loves her. In fact I think everyone was put on Earth just to gush about how glorious she is. I loved the way she just strolled into the Navy SEALs and was better than everyone else at everything. She can even out shoot a trained sniper in a shooting competition because her daddy taught her how to hunt. It isn’t always plain sailing, some of the men have some reservations about her being there which to be honest is understandable. But everything turns out ok because Bay gives them cookies, thank god for baked goods. I am surprised she didn’t hand them out in gun fights to tame the enemy. Bay is a fighter, a healer, a natural nurturer. She is hot and down to earth and loyal and everyone thinks the sun shines out of her behind. It was just too much for me I needed her to be tough, to be a dirty fighter and prove to everyone that she had as much right to be there as anyone else. I wanted the journey to be harder than what it was because that is realistic. Instead I got fluff.

The romance suffered because of Bay’s Mary Sue-ness. How Gabe was able to form a sentence in her presence is beyond me. He is so besotted with her I am surprised he could function around her. His only purpose in the whole book was to remind all the readers how fantastic she is. He didn’t do much else to be honest and because of that I couldn’t connect to him at all.

It isn’t all bad news the action scenes were great and I wish there had been more of them. Lindsay McKenna is really good at creating pulse pounding action scenes. There was a helicopter crash that was just fantastic and proved that beneath the cheesy dialogue and Mary Sue characters McKenna is capable of producing some high class writing. The problem is there wasn’t enough moments like these to really make an impact for me.

Although it has nothing to do with the review for this book I have to talk briefly about its follow up. I have heard that the next book in the series is going to feature the same characters again and that Bay will be taken hostage, raped, tortured and then lose her memory. I think this is the worse idea ever not because it’s hard but because I don’t think it is needed. These books would have been great if they had been about the struggle woman face on the front line in the military, isn’t that enough? I get fed up of author’s resorting to rape and violence when they want their female characters to go through a hard time or for a romance to be tested. There was an opportunity to do a lot more with a story like this and I am sad that rape is the way the author has chosen to go.

Breaking Point had some good and bad moments but overall it wasn’t for me.

 2 stars

 

Aiding the Enemy by Julie Rowe

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Aiding the Enemy

By Julie Rowe

War Girls book 3

German-occupied Brussels, Belgium
December 1915

Rose Culver is in grave danger. For months the Red Cross head nurse has been aiding Allied soldiers caught behind enemy lines, helping them flee into neutral Netherlands. It’s only a matter of time until she’s caught. Which makes it the wrong time to fall in love with a handsome German military doctor as devoted to the sanctity of human life as she is.

The Great War has caused Dr. Herman Geoff to question everything he once believed. He knows Rose has been hiding British soldiers in her hospital—he’s even treated some of them, refusing to go against his own Hippocratic oath. As a doctor, he admires Rose’s skill and conviction. As a man, he can no longer deny his attraction to her. But when Rose is arrested for treason, Herman must choose between love for her and duty to his country…

Published October 7th 2013 by Carina Press

I like war romances. The thought of two people finding love in a time of fear and danger really appeals to me so I was quite looking forward to reading this novella. Aiding the Enemy had an interesting premise and it was interesting enough but I couldn’t help feeling that there was wasted potential here.

This book is a short, fluffy romance that lacked some depth but for the most part it was fine and as a novella it ticked all the boxes. My problem with this book was that it could have been so much more. I would have really loved this as a full length historical romance novel, I think it is really what the story deserved. The fact that it is a story about a German Doctor and an English nurse who fall in love is enough to justify a longer length. On top of that there were so many other elements that really needed a little more space. It all felt a little condensed and rushed. A lot is pushed aside to get the romance in and a lot of the romance is underdeveloped to get the plot in. The romance also felt a little forced (again due to the length) and I failed to feel the chemistry between the characters.

The writing was of a good standard. Rowe has done a nice job with the descriptions and atmosphere of the story. She made the war time hospital sound horrific and some bits are definitely not for the faint hearted. The characters were alright. I liked both Rose and Herman but I didn’t love them. I found their voices to similar and I struggled to notice any cultural differences between them.

Aiding the Enemy is an entertaining enough novella that kept me interested but it had the potential to be a lot more.

3 stars

Find out more

Goodreads, Amazon UK, Author’s Website, Author’s Twitter

FBI/US Attorney series – by Julie James

Title FBI/US Attorney series

Author: Julie James

My rating 4/5 for the whole series.

Something About You: Of all the hotel rooms rented by all the adulterous politicians in Chicago, female Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde had to choose the one next to 1308, where some hot-and-heavy lovemaking ends with a death. And of all the FBI agents in Illinois, it had to be Special Agent Jack Pallas who gets assigned to this high-profile homicide. The same Jack Pallas who still blames Cameron for a botched crackdown three years ago- and for nearly ruining his career.  Work with Cameron Lynde? Are they kidding? Maybe, Jack thinks, this is some kind of welcome-back prank after his stint away from Chicago. But it’s no joke; the pair is going to have to put their rocky past behind them and focus on the case at hand. That is, if they can cut back on the razor-sharp jibes- and smother the flame of their sizzling-hot sexual tension.

A Lot Like Love: Jordan Rhodes is invited to all of Chicago’s best parties, but there’s only one the FBI wants to crash. To get her brother out of jail, she agrees to take Agent McCall as her date. But when the mission gets botched, requiring their “relationship” to continue, it starts to feel less like an investigation-and a lot like something else.

About That Night:  Though Rylann Pierce tried to fight the sparks she felt for billionaire heir Kyle Rhodes the night they met, their sizzling chemistry was undeniable. But after being stood up on their first date, Rylann never expected to see him again. So when she finds herself face to face with Kyle in a courthouse nine years later, she’s stunned. More troubling to the beautiful Assistant U.S. Attorney is that she’s still wildly attracted to him.  Just released from prison, Kyle Rhodes isn’t thrilled to be the star witness in a high-profile criminal case — but when Rylann comes knocking at his door, he finds she may be the one lawyer he can’t say no to. Still as gorgeous and sharp-tongued as ever, she lays down the law: she doesn’t mix business with pleasure. But Kyle won’t give up on something he wants — and what he wants is the one woman he’s never forgotten.

I could not have a book blog and not say something about the FBI/US Attorney series by Julie James.  I really, really like these books.  As contemporary fiction goes they are pretty awesome and pack a punch that a lot of other books in the genre just do not have.

So why do I like this series so much? I will start with the ease of James’s writing.  She manages to put together detailed descriptions, tense moments, erotica and snappy dialogue seamlessly.  These books never stray into cheesy, over the top territory.  Somehow James manages to keep the flow of the books going and it never fails, not once in the three books in this series.

She crosses the clichés without harm and dares to do things a little bit differently.  These books are also a lot funnier than they have any right to be, which I absolutely love.

James manages to create characters that you care about.   Every single one is likeable and easy to get behind.  What helps is then fact that at least one of the main characters

(in a secondary role) in the book before so you are already familiar with them.

The romance in every book is believable.  The sex scenes are hot but not overdone and bogged down with too much detail.  You are given the perfect amount of loving at perfect moments in the book.  (Not nearly the whole second half like a lot of other romance novels)

Sure these books are not perfect, they are not going to win major awards but they are great fun.  If you like crime/romance then I think you would love these books.

Goodreads