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REVIEW: HONOR RECLAIMED by Tonya Burrows

HONOR RECLAIMED

TONYA BURROWS

Publisher:  Entangled

Published Date: May 27, 2014

ISBN:  9781622662548

Genre: Romance

Source: Received for an honest review

Book Description (from Entangled)

Former Marine sniper Seth Harlan is determined to prove that he can still do his job despite his ongoing battle with PTSD. When an old friend contacts HORNET to rescue a black ops soldier, Seth’s stability is strained. He knows all too well what it’s like to rot inside an enemy camp, praying for rescue and waiting for death. And he’s not about to leave a man behind.

Photojournalist Phoebe Leighton just stumbled into the middle of an arms deal. Teaming up with a ragtag team of mercenaries is the last thing she wants to do—especially when she realizes Seth Harlan is assigned to the mission. He may ignite a passion in her she thought long dead, but Phoebe’s hiding a secret that could destroy him.

With a bomb in the mix, HORNET’s mission is suddenly about a lot more than an abandoned soldier. Racing against the clock, Seth, Phoebe, and the rest of the team struggle to stop a ruthless warlord bent on power, revenge…and death.

MY THOUGHTS:

Honor Reclaimed by Tonya Burrows is one of those books you just can’t get out of your head long after you’ve finished reading it.  It’s not just the slow burning romance or the amazing action sequences, or even the unbelievably heartbreaking event near the end.  It’s the whole package; and especially the emotional intensity that pulls the reader through it all, kicking, screaming, begging for mercy and being given no quarter.  Let’s be really honest here:  Honor Reclaimed is not for the faint of heart.  It has a number of potential triggers including PTSD, brain damage, wartime scenarios, spousal, child and animal abuse, psychological and physical torture and their effects.

This is a take no prisoners story from beginning to end.  From the moment Zak makes his decision, this book is off and running full speed.  Then Seth comes along and accelerates it all.  Seth isn’t really part of his HORNET team.  He’s broken, struggling with PTSD, on probation, and really shouldn’t be anywhere near this mission when his own team doesn’t trust him.  The author lays it all out there in all its gory, painful, emotionally distressing beauty.

Phoebe ups the ante with her own story, another broken wing, desperate to make things right again.  Her shame, her desire, her fear: all plastered to the front pages of the news, broadcast through whispers and silent actions, through tears and promises.

As Seth and Phoebe struggle against each other and against their target (who is targeting them in return), so too are the rest of the HORNET team struggling.  Each and every member of the team needs help and each of them show it in subtle and not so subtle ways.  Quinn with his head wound that has left physical limitations; Ian with his attitude.

And as Phoebe and Seth struggle to come together despite the secrets between them, another man lurks in the shadows, a silent wild card waiting to tear your heart out.  The danger of the mission keeps getting worse; the problems of the team members keep interfering; the number of actors growing until everything goes boom and tears the whole structure down.  Only to be rebuilt.

I can’t recommend this book enough.  This book’s rating was dropped from a 5 to a 4.5 because it needs to be read in conjunction with the Wilde Security series (also Tonya Burrows) and should not be read as a standalone in the HORNET series.

 RATING: 4.5

Heat Rating:  Hot, Blood Thirsty

REVIEWED BY: Monique Neaves

Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

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REVIEW: OPENING ACT by Suleikha Snyder

OPENING ACT

SULEIKHA SNYDER

Publisher:  Entangled

Published Date: May 27, 2014

ISBN:  9781622666706

Genre: Romance

Source: Received for an honest review

Book Description (from Entangled)

It’s never the same old song…

Reporter Saroj Shah has been in love with bass player and bartender Adam Harper since her first day of college—seven years ago. Forever thinking of her as part-friend and part-little sister, he’s just been too blind, and too clueless, to see it. Until one pivotal moment pulls her into the spotlight.

The moment Saroj steps on stage, Adam sees his friend in a new light. He can’t take his mind off of her and realizes they could make beautiful music together. But seven years is a long time and Saroj is ready to move on. Adam will have to hit the right note if he wants to prove to Saroj he was worth the wait.

MY THOUGHTS:

Opening Act by Suleikha Snyder breaks all the molds and looks fantastic doing it.  It’s definitely in the New Adult genre, but doesn’t rely on all the “difficult subjects”.  It features a band that isn’t completely dysfunctional.  It has multicultural characters that shine, including the protagonist.  The only problem:  I wanted more, a lot more!

Saroj and Adam have known each other for years.  For Saroj, those years have been spent nursing a crush.  For Adam, they have been spent looking at Saroj like a sister and best friend.  It all starts falling apart with a kiss, and not a shared one either.  Suddenly, Adam’s safe little world is rocked and its very foundations are cracking.

Saroj is, in a word, fantastic.  Saroj is, by her own words, an American desi.  Her cultural experiences, her family pressures, her religious observances are an open book and flow naturally through her as a character and through the narrative of the book.  There is no sense that any of it is forced in any way (i.e., “need to add cultural reference here”).  But Saroj doesn’t have a long way to go to complete her character arc.  It is Adam who has to get over his assumptions, Adam who needs to grow, become aware, accept himself as worthy.  This is the crux of the story.

Woven with ease through the book are the various relationships, both Adam’s and Saroj’s.  A deft and delicate hand draws out the plot where it needs to be tense and releases that tension in just the right and at just the right time.  This is a story about growing up, letting go of old ideas, and accepting love.

 RATING: 4

Heat Rating:  Mild

REVIEWED BY: Monique Neaves

Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

DARE TO RESIST by Laura Kaye

DARE TO RESIST

LAURA KAYE

Publisher:  Entangled

Published Date: May 2014

ISBN:  978-1-62266-608-9

Genre: Romance

Source: Received for an honest review

Book Description (from Entangled)

Trapped and tempted, this battle of wills rages all night long…

Kady Dresco and Colton Brooks click on a level that defies logic. There are only two problems. One, he’s her older brother’s irritating best friend, and two, they’re bidding on the same military security services contract.

When the competition heats up, Colton is torn between wanting to strangle Kady (and her annoying brilliance) and kissing her into submission. Which is a bad idea for a million reasons, because Kady’s submission is exactly what he craves. Being trapped in a tiny motel room with the object of his darkest fantasies will require every ounce of his restraint.

Kady doesn’t want his restraint, but Colton knows better. She deserves love, marriage, and a white picket fence—three things Colton can’t give her. But her proximity and the memory of their steamy near-miss three years ago slowly destroys his resolve. And he’s not sure how much longer he can keep his hands off…or his heart closed.

MY THOUGHTS:

Dare to Resist by Laura Kaye is the opening book of the Wedding Dare series.  Kady and Colton are friends and enemies, business rivals and secretly crushing hard on each other.  Colton’s been friends with Kady’s brother forever and he’s been through war.  He’s dominant in bed but he sees Kady as the “girl next door”and oh so pristine.  When Kady and Colton share a hotel room due to some pretty nasty weather, he’s in for the shock of his life.  It seems “good girl” Kady isn’t the good girl he thought she was.  Now it’s on to see how fast he can get her into bed and into him.

Kady and Colton’s familiarity with each other is key to this book.  With the shorter format, there isn’t as much time to really delve deeply into either Kady or Colton so the fact that they share a history really helps.  Both Kady and Colton are whizzes at their jobs and they both have complementary sexual kinks.  In bed and out of it, they match each other.  If only Colton had known before!

All the books in the Wedding Dare series can be read as standalones and you can read this one all by its lonesome. But why would you want to when you can see what hijinks ensue when Kady and Colton tie the knot?  Enjoy a short and hot friends to lovers story now in Dare to Resist and you won’t want to miss what happes with their friends and family.

 RATING: 4

Heat Rating:  Hot

REVIEWED BY: Monique Neaves

Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

FALLING FOR THE GROOMSMAN by Diane Alberts

FALLING FOR THE GROOMSMAN

DIANE ALBERTS

Publisher:  Entangled

Published Date: June 2014

ISBN:  978-1-62266-727-7

Genre: Romance

Source: Received for an honest review

Book Description (from Entangled)

She’s the one that got away. He’s the one she can’t forget.

Photojournalist Christine Forsythe is ready to tackle her naughty little to-do list, and who better to tap for the job than a hot groomsman? But when she crashes into her best friend’s older brother, Christine realizes her list needs updating. And fast. Tyler Dresco took her virginity during the best night of her life, then bolted. Now that they’re trapped together at a destination wedding, she’s going to get her revenge.

Tyler has never forgiven himself for how completely he lost control all those years ago. Being in Christine’s arms had felt right…until he realized what he’d taken from her in the hallway of a cheap motel. And oh, how she’s making him pay for it now. The insatiable heat between them has only grown stronger, but every time things heat up, Christine walks away.

With every encounter, things go a little bit further until Christine’s caught in her own trap of seduction. And before their time’s up, Tyler’s not the only one wanting more…

MY THOUGHTS:

Falling for the Groomsman by Diane Alberts is Book 1 of the Wedding Dare series.  Kady and Colton are getting married and to celebrate, they and their wedding party are spending a week at a resort.  Family and best friends round out the wedding party and when sparks fly, they fly hot.  Tyler, Kady’s brother, is one of Colton’s groomsmen.  When the bachelorette party gets crashed by Colton and his entourage, betting starts and feelings start heating up.  Christine is one of Kady’s oldest friends but she is keeping a serious secret.  Tyler was her first and when he ran away right after, he hurt her badly.  Now, older and wiser, Christine is determined to stay far away from the tempting groomsman.  But Tyler has other ideas.  As the days at the resort get crazier, and Kady starts matchmaking, Christine and Tyler find themselves in increasingly close quarters.

This was probably not the best book to use as Book 1 in the series since the premise so closely matches the opening novella’s.  As with Kady and Colton’s book, this one benefits from the fact that Tyler and Christine have a history and like Kady and Colton, that history also serves as the issue between them.  While it is an enjoyable book in its own right, reading them back to back meant this one lacked a bit of punch.

 RATING: 3

Heat Rating:  Hot

REVIEWED BY: Monique Neaves

Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

BAITING THE MAID OF HONOR by Tessa Bailey

BAITING THE MAID OF HONOR

TESSA BAILEY

Publisher:  Entangled

Published Date: June 2014

ISBN:  978-1-62266-726-0

Genre: Romance

Source: Received for an honest review

Book Description (from Entangled)

He’ll own her from the very first touch.

Julie Piper and Reed Lawson have nothing in common. She’s a people-pleasing sorority girl hiding behind her perfect mask. He’s a take-no-prisoners SWAT commander who isolates himself from the world. But when they’re forced together at their friends’ posh destination wedding, one thing is clear—Reed wants Julie more than he wants his next breath. Which is why he’s not about to stand by when she’s dared to seduce another man.

Julie wants neat, tidy sex, so she could get back to what she does best—making everybody else happy. She never expected to slip into a dark bedroom and have her mind blown by rough, demanding hands, and a sinfully filthy mouth—neither of which belong to the best man.

One night should have been all Reed needed to get the blond temptress out of his system, but when one taste is nowhere near enough, he’ll be forced confront the effects of his hellish past. One that may push Julie away forever…just when he realizes he can’t live without her.

MY THOUGHTS:

Baiting the Maid of Honor by Tessa Bailey is Book 2 of the Wedding Dare series and a stand out book in terms of emotional punch.  Kady and Colton’s destination wedding festivities are bringing their friends and families together as groomsmen and bridesmaids.  Reed, tough as nails SWAT commander is one of Colton’s oldest friends.  From the first moment he sees Julie, the sparks fly and they both sizzle on the page.  Julie is a socialite princess, so caught up in pleasing people and doing the right thing that Reed is completely out of her comfort zone.

Reed, like Colton before him, has a strong dominant streak.  Unlike Colton, that streak is at least partly attributable to his very difficult past.  Reed’s always seen the worst of humanity, even in his earliest days.  Julie’s never been around the worst of humanity.  But they turn each other on in all the right ways even as they try to turn each other off and away from themselves.  Reed’s deep-seated insecurities and that huge chip on his shoulder lead him to hurt Julie badly.  But he is also the one who sees her behind the mask she wears.  Julie’s mask is driving her and her friends crazy, but it is Reed who forces her to really look at herself.

They play off each other beautifully and the past scars for both add a wonderful layer on top.  This is arguably the best book of this series with its angsty characters with no prior history.  Two wounded souls finding all the right notes: more please.

 RATING: 4

Heat Rating:  Hot

REVIEWED BY: Monique Neaves

Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

SEDUCING THE BRIDESMAID by Katee Robert

SEDUCING THE BRIDESMAID

KATEE ROBERT

Publisher:  Entangled

Published Date: June 2014

ISBN:  978-1-62266-728-4

Genre: Romance

Source: Received for an honest review

Book Description (from Entangled)

She has a plan. He’s about to change it.

Regan Wakefield is a headhunter in both name and personality: driven, motivated, and unafraid to pursue what—and who—she wants. Naturally, she’s thrilled when her friend’s wedding offers her an opportunity to score Logan McCade, the practically perfect best man. Unfortunately, groomsman Brock McNeil keeps getting in her way, riling her up in the most delicious of ways. But Brock’s smooth southern charm isn’t part of the plan…so how exactly did they end up having searing-hot sex?

Regan may pretend the erotic electricity sparking between them is merely a distraction, but Brock knows better. She refuses to see beyond the devil-may-care façade he presents to the world, while he sees straight through hers. Changing her mind—and getting under her skin—is a challenge he can’t resist. And when he wins, Brock will do whatever it takes to convince Regan that the best man for her is him.

MY THOUGHTS:

Seducing the Bridesmaid by Katee Robert is Book 3 of the Wedding Dare series and a close second in terms of emotional punch.  Kady and Colton’s destination wedding festivities are bringing their friends and families quite a bit of romance.  Brock is the third part of the Colton, Reed, Brock trio.  Though he comes from money, he’s seen things that he can’t forget and he lives by his own set of rules.  The screw up of the family, Brock has serious issues with his own mask.  When he sees sexy Regan wearing one of her own, he decides to tear it off and show her everything she can be.

Regan is one of the most determined people ever.  She comes from nothing but hard work and she lives by her plan and her work.  She takes one look at Brock and dismisses him like everyone else.  But Brock wants someone who can see the real him and he’s convinced Regan is the one.  I never warmed up well to Regan, even in her own book and so I was never sold on Brock and Regan getting an HEA.  For one thing, Regan never sees through Brock on her own.  I felt Brock deserved better than that.

Each book contains tidbits from the other books as they all happen simultaneously.  Colton, Reed, and Brock’s friendship looms large in this installment in a way that really is very emotional.  I though that part of Brock was handled very well and I really liked seeing how events that happened to one character shaped another character’s life.  It made the series feel more intertwined.

 RATING: 4

Heat Rating:  Hot

REVIEWED BY: Monique Neaves

Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

BEST MAN WITH BENEFITS by Samanthe Beck

BEST MAN WITH BENEFITS

SAMANTHE BECK

Publisher:  Entangled

Published Date: June 2014

ISBN:  978-1-62266-729-1

Genre: Romance

Source: Received for an honest review

Book Description (from Entangled)

How far can one favor go…

Logan McCade arrives at his best friend’s wedding overworked and in desperate need of a vacation, only to discover his best man duties have been…expanded. He must coax Colton’s little sister out of her shell so she doesn’t hide in her room all week. Logan figures he can handle one introverted bridesmaid, but he’s not expecting how much he enjoys “handling” Sophie…or how much she enjoys being handled.

Socializing has never been web designer Sophie Brooks’s strong suit, but she’s determined to shed her wallflower image and embrace the “New Sophie”—a feat made easier with the supremely sexy Logan McCade tempting her to explore all her forbidden fantasies. If she’s not careful, she just might fall for the best man.
Sophie’s sweet, sexy, and delectably awkward demeanor brings much-needed calm to Logan’s hectic life. With the nuptials only days away, Logan is forced to face the possibility that his favor to a friend might have become something else entirely…and that he’s not willing to let Sophie go. Ever.

MY THOUGHTS:

Best Man with Benefits by Samanthe Beck concludes the Wedding Dare series.  Colton’s little sister Sophie is shy and just beginning to try and be more assertive.  Colton wants to make sure she has a good time during the festivities and doesn’t try and skip out of them.  He asks best man and best friend Logan to do the honors.  Logan is seriously overstressed with his company.  Sure he built it up by himself and sure it’s really hit the big time, but now he doesn’t even have time to do the things he loves, the whole reason he started the company in the first place.

No doubt Colton realized this too and figured asking Logan to look out for Sophie was a way to kill two birds with one stone. He just didn’t realize how well it would work.  Sophie is really into Logan and boy is he ever into her.  But every time things start to get comfy cozy, work intrudes.  Good thing Sophie isn’t too demanding, she’d have left Logan in her dust.  Once Logan figures out Sophie’s the one for him, he needs to figure out what he’s going to do because he needs some serious time for her.  The “big misunderstanding” happens late in the game and by the time it happens, it’s pretty obvious that it will be resolved quickly.

The epilogue completing the series was cute and funny and really brought the whole series to a close in a nice package.  It was a very enjoyable series and the hook was cute.  I’d definitely recommend the series for a nice relaxing read this summer.

 RATING: 3

Heat Rating:  Hot

REVIEWED BY: Monique Neaves

Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

RESOLUTIONS by Teri Riggs

RESOLUTIONS

TERI RIGGS

Website: http://teri-riggs.com/

Publisher:  Decadent Publishing

Published Date: December 24, 2013

ISBN:  9781613336069

Genre: Romance

Source: Received for an honest review

Book Description (from Decadent)

DEA agent Eve Taylor has had her fill of alpha males. When Resolutions’ operative and former lover, Dillon “Mac” McKenna, threatened her hard-earned independence, she ran. On a mission to gather evidence against a Colombian drug-lord, Eve discovers the drug-lord is helping terrorists plan an attack on American soil. Before she can escape with the vital information, she’s captured and comes face to face with her mortality…

As a teen, Mac watched his family fall apart after his mother died doing dangerous U.N. work. The possibility of losing Eve to a mission ignited an overwhelming need to protect her. When he forced her to choose him or her job, she walked away. Two years later, it seems all his nightmares have come true and he’s tasked with rescuing her from a Colombian prison. Mac has never stopped loving Eve, but does he dare risk his heart when he’s so terrified of losing…

On the run, Mac and Eve must learn to trust each other again in order to stay alive.

MY THOUGHTS:

Resolutions by Teri Riggs is a fast-paced thriller with enough twists and turns that the reader will be surprised again and again.  This is romantic suspense as it is meant to be: sexy and dangerous, gritty yet loving, and ultimately very satisfying.

Eve Taylor is a strong woman, capable and determined.  She’s a good leader and a great DEA agent.  There’s just one thing wrong.  The man she loves doesn’t want her to be those things.  He wants her to be safe and secure, protected.  When a raid goes bad and Eve is stranded and taken prisoner, all his worst fears come into play.  Mac loves Eve with everything in him, but he needs her to be safe, until that is, he sees her in action.  The underlying issue between Eve and Mac is her job and his need for her safety.

This is a wild ride, romantic thriller, not a character-driven, relationship building type of book.  That’s exactly what it needs to be.  The gritty chase, the danger, the fear:  they fuel the plot and characters with a high octane blend that keeps the pages turning.  There’s no putting this book down once you start, if only to find out who is wreaking havoc.  The scorching scenes between Eve and Mac are tempered with gentle loving as they fall back into old rhythms and habits.  A fiendish drug lord, a rogue agent, and a great team round out the cast of characters.

If you like romantic suspense, you’ll definitely want to read Resolutions.

RATING: 4

Heat Rating:  Hot

REVIEWED BY: Monique Neaves

Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

MAXIMUM MEMORIES by Abby Gordon

MAXIMUM MEMORIES

ABBY GORDON

Website: http://abbysgardennook.blogspot.com/

Publisher:  Wild Rose Press

Published Date: November 23, 2013

ASIN:  B00GVKMG8W

Genre: Romance

Source: Received for an honest review

Book Description (from Amazon)

Blamed for the failure of her first mission, Ginny Erickson left the dark and tenuous world of special operations and focused on the one thing that mattered most. Ever since, she’s lived in fear that she could lose it all to the man who turned her world upside down ten years ago.

Tormented with partial amnesia, Max Shannon finds himself reunited with the woman he believes abandoned him when he needed her most. Buckling under the weight of a decade of secrets, Max is forced to fight side-by-side with the one woman he could never forget.

MY THOUGHTS:

Maximum Memories by Abby Gordon is a page turner of a thriller.  This is an angsty thrill ride into a rabbit hole of epic proportions.  It all seems so easy at first:  terrorist is targeting those who last came after him.  Reunite former lovers and partners to protect them at stop the terrorist.  But, of course, it couldn’t be that simple.  Instead, the longer the story goes on, the more complicated and complex the picture becomes.

Ginny Erickson has a secret, a very big secret.  To protect herself and that secret,  and because she is accused of gross negligence in her last mission, she stops being an operative and becomes an analyst.  When the terrorist she targeted in her last mission comes out of hiding, so do her many, many secrets.  Max has the unfortunate task of protecting his former lover from said terrorist.  When that protection goes south, even more secrets are uncovered, the types of secrets that carry threats and cost lives in the cutthroat business of spy vs. spy.

More thriller than romance, the ultimate question is whose secrets will destroy everything first.  Max can’t remember the last mission but has to piece things back together.  Ginny has to find a way to trust Max and trust others she’s not so certain of anymore.  Everyone wants to catch the terrorist.  Or do they?

RATING: 3

Heat Rating:  Hot

REVIEWED BY: Monique Neaves

Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

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