Review: TAKE ME BACK by Rosalind James

In Take Me Back by Rosalind James, Hallie Cavanaugh swore she would never go back to Paradise, Idaho, where she grew up. When her father, and abusive and all around vile man, passes away under questionable circumstances, Hallie is guilted into returning for the funeral and reading of the will. The will divides the estate among the survivors, but Hallie ‘s inheritance comes with a huge catch. She has to live in Paradise for 6 months in her father’s home and she is not allowed to have sexual relations with Jim Lawson Jim, a veteran and deputy sheriff just wants to be left alone to raise his daughter. Hallie ‘s return to Paradise brings up too much of his bad boy past. When someone starts to threaten Hallie though, Jim takes a personal interest in her safety. Who is threatening Hallie? Can Hallie and Jim resist temptation so that Hallie will inherit?

Watching Hallie take control and triumph over her evil and disgusting father was very satisfying. Instead of running from her unpleasant memories of him, she confronts her fears and in turn empowers herself. My favorite part of her transformation was when she gave away her father’s prized and very expensive F-150 to his cleaning lady when she learned the single mother needed reliable transportation. Old Henry was definitely spinning in his grave when Hallie did that.

The chemistry between Hallie and Jim is electric. These two characters had a bit if a thing going on in high school until Hallie’s father forced Jim to leave town. Unable to forget their one night stand, these two dance around the inevitable knowing it could cost Hallie millions of dollars . The sexual tension is so thick in parts of the book that it becomes palpable to the reader.

The suspense portion of the book was very enjoyable as well. What started out as harmless threats to Hallie quickly escalates. Jim tries desperately to take a back seat in the investigation but his alpha male side won’t let him stand idly by while his woman is threatened. James dies a great job of teasing out who the threat is until the very last end and it wasn’t at all who I expected.

Take Me Back is the fourth book in the Paradise, Idaho series by Rosalind James but it can be read as a standalone. James has created an intriguing world of secrets and romance that will suck you into from the first sentence. Anyone who likes contemporary romance/romantic suspense will enjoy this book.

Title: Take Me Back

Author: Rosalind James

Category: Contemporary Romance

Source: ARC via NetGalley

Review: UNEXPECTEDLY HERS by Jamie Beck

In Unexpectedly Hers by Jamie Beck, Emma Duffy enjoys leading a quiet life by day managing her family’s inn and at night writing erotic romance that no one knows she pens. When her mom goes off on a road trip and leaves Emma to handle the month long booking of a professional snow border and his video crew, Emma doesn’t think much of it. Until she realizes who the snow border is. Wyatt Lawson and Emma had a one night stand years ago and he became the inspiration for her novel. Fortunately Wyatt doesn’t seem to remember Emma or their night together. He is more focused on reviving his career after a two year leave to take care of his injured brother. As Wyatt gets to know the frumpy Emma, sparks start to fly. Will Wyatt remember Emma? Will Emma’s secret career be revealed?

Poor Emma. She had been pigeon holed to occupy a certain role her entire life and felt compelled to meet those expectations. She keeps a very low profile and dresses conservatively to please her religious mother. It was so gratifying to watch Emma throw off those constraints and begin to live her life.

Wyatt has a lot on his plate at the moment. He is transitioning to a new sport and is determined to be a success. He is also trying to get his brother Ryder, who suffered a traumatic brain injury during a snow boarding competition, back to living his life. What Wyatt doesn’t get is that Ryder wants nothing to do with the sport or Wyatt’s movie about his come back. It takes Emma’s intervention and Ryder blowing up at Wyatt for Wyatt to understand.

The romance between Wyatt and Emma was fun to watch play out. Emma has a hard time at first separating her fantasy hero from the real life Wyatt. She also knows that Wyatt is just temporary since he has a new girl in every town he competes in. When Wyatt starts to want more, Emma pushes him away unsure how he will fit in her life and what he will do if he ever finds out about her book.

Unexpectedly Hers is the third book in the Sterling Canyon series by Jamie Beck and it can be read as a standalone. Emma and Wyatt’s story will grab you by the hand and keep you reading until the final satisfying page. If you love contemporary romance, this book would be a great read for you.

Title: Unexpectedly Hers

Author: Jamie Beck

Category: Contemporary Romance

Source: ARC via NetGalley

Review: MONTANA MORNINGS by Kim Law

In Montana Mornings by Kim Law, Gabe Wilde is all about change at this point in his life. In the middle of a divorce, Gabe moves himself and his young daughter, Jenna back home to Bitch Bay, Montana, where he begins his new career as a high school science teacher. Erica Bird is also in the middle of some life changes. Erica resigned from her tenured teaching position and accepts a long term substitution job in Birch Bay. When she moves in to her new home, she can’t help but notice her hot neighbor across the street. Then she realizes that her neighbor is Gabe, who is an ex boyfriend from college and it turns out Jenna is in her class. Will Erica and Gabe get a second chance at love?

What struck me the most about this book and what made it so enjoyable was that it was centered on two mature adults in their 30s with very realistic problems. It made for a very refreshing change for me and for a engrossing read.

One of the main issues in this book is the failed marriages of both characters. Erica discovered the hard way that her husband was cheating on her and got the other woman pregnant. Gabe realize after moving to California to make his wife happy that she would never be happy with him and that she was a horrible mother to their daughter. While it sounds depressing, the way Law presents their failures comes across as a chance for the characters to make positive changes in their lives.

Another problem in the book is how Gabe’s divorce is affecting Jenna. Law has written a very realistic character in Jenna, showing her acting out and being angry. Gabe struggles a lot with how to help his daughter and even gets into a disagreement with Erica when she attempts to give him advice. My heart simply broke for poor Jenna and I was so relieved when she stopped being so angry at the end of the book.

Montana Mornings by Kim Law is the third book in the Wildes of Birch Bay and can be read as a standalone. Law does a wonderful job of creating two mature characters going through realistic issues in their lives, which makes for a page turner of a read. Anyone who loves contemporary romance or second chance romance would enjoy this book.

Title: Montana Mornings

Author: Kim Law

Category: Contemporary Romance

Source: ARC via NetGalley

Review: THE WITCH WITH NO NAME by Kim Harrison

In The Witch with No Name by Kim Harrison, Rachel Morgan is perhaps the most famous witch in all of Cincinnati. Unfortunately that has brought her the unwelcome attention of master vampire Rynn Cormel. Cormel believes that Rachel knows how to find the lost souls of the vampires and he issues an ultimatum to do it or she dies. Rachel has more at stake though because of Ivy, her best friend and business partner, being a living vampire. Plus Ivy’s girlfriend, Nina has been taken over by master vampire Felix. Rachel decides to start with Felix but getting his soul to him will come with a very heavy price. Rachel must turn to Landon, the current head of the elven dewar for help and he sees it as an opportunity to destroy Rachel and the demons. Will Rachel find a way to save the souls of the vampires? Can she stop Landon and his evil plans?

I put off reading this book for a very long time because I didn’t want the series to end. Rachel, Ivy, Jenks, Al, Bis, and Trent have become some of my favorite characters in the Paranormal genre. With Harrison releasing a prequel to the series in February, I knew it was time to say goodbye to my beloved friends in the Hollows.

One of the things I love about Rachel is how she rolls with the punches. Rachel is not perfect and she makes mistakes, but she always deals with those mistakes to the best of her ability. On a few occasions, Harrison has even allowed Rachel to not have a happy resolution.

In this book, the romance between Trent and Rachel is front and center. I wasn’t always a fan of this romance because I absolutely loved the relationship between Kisten and Rachel, but it wasn’t meant to be. However, in this book, I started to enjoy their romance and felt that it was a good fit for both of them.

One of the things Rachel struggles with throughout the story is how much her relationship with Trent is costing him. Trent has given up everything to be with her. Rachel constantly questions if that is the best thing especially since it cost him his position of power within the dewar and put Landon in charge.

My favorite part of the whole book was actually the final chapter. Harrison did a fantastic job of tying up all the lose ends. The entire book is a satisfying conclusion to a very beloved series.

The Witch with No Name is the final book in the Hollows series by Kim Harrison. If you are looking for a phenomenal series withinteresting stories and great characters that become dear friends, this series is for you.

Title: The Witch with No Name

Author: Kim Harrison

Category: Paranormal Romance

Source: Checked out from library

Review: NIGHTBRED by Lynn Viehl

In Nightbred by Lynn Viehl, Jamys Durand, an immortal Darkyn, is in limbo. Fiercely protected by his father, Jamys has had no chance to prove himself as a warrior and gain his own territory. When an announcement from the High Lord arrives promising territory to anyone who can find a lost Knights Templars treasure, Jamys sees it as the perfect opportunity to finally be taken seriously and perhaps win the heart of the human girl he loves. Chris Lang has done a lot of growing up since her and Jamys met three years ago. Secretly in love with Jamys, Chris decides to take on the onerous task of becoming a tresora , in hopes that she may get to serve Jamys. When her last task puts her at odds with Jamys, Chris has a huge decision to make. Will Chris complete her training? Will the lost treasure be recovered?

I was really sad when the Darkyn series ended. Viehl has created a very unique take on vampire mythology by combining it with history, which made me completely enamored of the series. Fortunately, the Lords of the Darkyn continues in that same vein.

Readers first met Jamys in the Darkyn series where he was recovering from being tortured by the Brethren. In this book, he is definitely more confident but frustrated by the roll his father has forced him into. Once Jamys learns of the treasure hunt, Jamys risks everything by defying his father and leaving their territory without permission.

Like Jamys, Chris has done a lot of growing up since we last met her. She has shed her Goth persona and is determined to become a tresora , a human servant to the Darkyn. The only thing that distracts her from her end game is when Jamys shows up unexpectedly. Chris struggles for a bit trying to decide if she wants to be a tresora and lose Jamys or help him in his quest and not become a tresora.

In addition to getting to read about Jamys and Chris again, Lucan and Sam also make an appearance in this book with a secondary plot. Sam and Lucan are still as lovable as ever. When Lucan begins to act abnormal, Sam has to figure out what is causing the strange behavior before Lucan does something he may regret.

Nightbred is the second book in the Lords of the Darkyn series ( not a standalone read! The Darkyn series should be read entirely before this series). Viehl continues to weave her magic with this dark PNR series. If you love vampires and history, Viehl is a writer that you need to read.

Title: Nightbred

Author: Lynn Viehl

Category: Paranormal Romance

Source: Checked out from library

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