Book Review – Paths by Brynne Asher (Vines #2)

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pathsMaya Augustine needed to disappear—her life depended on it.  When her path led her to the middle-of-nowhere Virginia, she found the perfect place to hide.  A woman on the run, Maya had no business befriending anyone, let alone allowing herself to become involved with a man … especially after her last experience.  Even so, she couldn’t help but become obsessed with the bruised, battered, and beautiful killer who walked into her life.

Grady Cain reached rock bottom.  His past finally caught up with him, causing him to lose his edge at work and in life.  Spiraling down a desperate path of remorse and guilt, Grady wasn’t expecting his refuge to come in the form of a woman.  Day in—day out, she was the only thing he’d allowed himself to think about. To focus on. To consume him.

One was running. The other had nothing to run to.  Until these troubled souls crossed paths…And two paths became one.

rating

4 out of 5 stars

review

Book 2 in the Vines series is about Grady Cain, who works with Crew (from book 1).  Grady does security on Crew’s property, and discovered an interest in Addy’s (book 1) new employee, Maya Augustine.  He sees Maya run through the vineyard every day, and every day she takes her order at the restaurant, though he doesn’t really talk to her.

Turns out Maya is on the run.  She left her family and her ex-fiancé behind in Buffalo, and her past catches up with her.  When it does, Grady happens to be at the right place at the right time, and Grady steps in, pretending to be Maya’s boyfriend.  Turns out Maya is a physical therapist in New York, and Grady has a shoulder injury – Addy suggests that Maya help rehabilitate Grady’s arm, since he’s a stubborn man who won’t go to the doctor.

Grady has a past.  A sad past.  He’s shut off from the world, but being with Maya, changes that for him.  He becomes obsessed with protecting Maya from her past.

One of the things I didn’t like about this story was Maya’s mother.  She was a truly horrible person.  Forcing her daughter to marry into a family just because of prestige (in her eyes) is despicable.  I liked Maya’s father and brother – they were normal people.

The suspense in the book was told in a believable way.  It honestly made the story more interesting.  I enjoyed the ending and the book overall.

I’m a big fan of Brynne Asher – I would recommend her Carpino Family series, as well as this series.  This book was good, and I would suggest you grab it!

Happy reading.

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Book Review – Relentless by Lauren Landish

Protecting her would normally be nothing for a man like me . . .When assigned as a bodyguarrelentlessd for Adriana Bertoli, I knew I was in for a world of trouble. With her fiery-red hair, sparkling green eyes, milky white skin, and lush, curvaceous body, she’s a damn knockout.

But she also happens to be the niece of one of the most powerful mob bosses in the Seattle-Tacoma area, Don Carlo — my boss. And he’s made it clear that none of his men are to lay a finger on her.

The man to have that honor would have to be perfect — a warrior and a saint. But sadly, I was no saint.  It should be an easy order to follow. After all, I owed everything to the man, and I’d be nothing without him. But every moment in Adriana’s presence is pure temptation. The longer I’m with her, the more I want her, and I fear it won’t be long before I betray the man who’s like the father I never had.

4 out of 5 stars

Finally, a good book!!!  After reading 3 clunkers in a row, I finally hit pay dirt with Relentless.

The Godfather Part II is my favorite movie, so a mafia romance is right up my alley.  This was really more romantic suspense, but anyway….

Adriana is a college student whose life is suddenly turned upside down when her roommate is murdered, and she realizes she was the intended target.  She has a crazy stalker, who is one of her professors.  Her uncle, leader of the Seattle mafia, assigns Daniel to be her bodyguard.  Daniel and Adriana have always had a flirtation, but being thrown together takes things to a new level.

I have to say, this story wasn’t boring and predictable.  The turn it took surprised me, in a good way.  Daniel was great; he stood up for himself and those who mattered to him.  Adriana was a good character as well, but she was a little too “controlled” by her family for my liking.

Overall, this was a good read and I’ve already downloaded the second book in the series.

Happy reading.

 

Book Review – Vines by Brynne Asher

Goodreads Summary

In the Virginia countryside outside of Washington, DC, Addy Wentworth was on a mission to make a new life for herself. When the opportunity arose, she settled in horse and wine country. Experiencing more than her fair share of tragedy and loss, she had plans for her future, one wherevines failure wasn’t an option. And not just because people and cows were counting on her. She’d poured everything she had into her struggling vineyard, because once she’s in, she’s all in.

After giving himself wholly to the job for ten years, Crew Vega was done. He’d fulfilled his commitment, done his duty, gone above and beyond to settle the score. And the score was high. All he had to do was train his replacements and he’d be out for good.

He had a plan, one that didn’t include getting involved with his new neighbor, a woman who not only kept cows for pets, but treasured her employees as family, and understood him better than anyone ever had before. But when he learned a high level CIA target being investigated for treason was keeping tabs on her?   No, he never planned on that.   And like everything Crew Vega did in life, when he goes in, he’s all in.

Rating

4 out of 5 stars

Review

I was a huge fan of the Carpino Series by Brynne Asher, so when I saw she had a new series, I was very excited.

Vines is the story of Addy Wentworth, owner of a vineyard in Virginia.  While walking with her cows, she runs into her new neighbor, Crew Vega.  Addy doesn’t want anything to do with Crew, but he eventually becomes part of her circle.

Addy has a secret; I can’t say what it is, because it would be a spoiler, but it’s not what you would think.  Crew also has some skeletons in his closet.  These make the story very interesting.

I liked both Crew and Addy.  Addy’s group of friends (who are also her employees) were fun and sweet people.  They all had her best interests at heart.  Crew’s friends Grady and Asa were good guys as well.

Overall, this was a good story, very sweet with a little suspense, and I’m excited for the next book.

Happy reading.

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Book Review – Crave by Megan O’Brien

Goodreads Summary

I didn’t realize I was falling, not until my heart was lost in love with him.

After years of close friendship with former Marine and security specialist, Sid Masters, Samantha McAllister finds herself grappling with feelings far beyond friendship. After a line is crossed, Sam’s heart is broken in the process.craxer

When Sam gets caught up in a web of deceit and violence that brings the Russian mafia to her door, Sid will stop at nothing to protect her. Samantha belongs with Sid; she just doesn’t know it yet. He’s determined to show her. With the men of Talon at his back, Sid fights to protect his girl and to reclaim her heart. This is the story of Sam and Sid.

Rating 

4 out of 5 stars

Review

Book One in the Talon Security series, which is a spin-off of the Ride series, is the story of Sam McAllister, who is the best friend of Piper Owens (Ryker) and Sid Masters.  Sam and Sid have known each other for years, are best friends and were in a band, along with Sid’s brother Caden.

Sam finally works up the nerve to tell Sid how she feels, and things don’t go well.  Fast forward six months and Sam gets caught up in a situation with her boss that brings a mess to her doorstep, and brings Sid back into her life.  Sid quit the band is now works for Talon Security, which is owned by Sam’s brother Travis.  Sid is a former marine and a real badass alpha male:)

This book was pretty predictable, but it didn’t take aware from the story.  I really liked Sam and Sid a lot.  I liked that this book had some romantic suspense elements in it.  I’m excited to see this series continue – lots of single men at Talon!!

Happy reading.

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Book Review – Abruption by Riley Mackenzie

Goodreads Summary

Everyone has a plan.  Dr. Guy Hunter secures his dream abruptionfellowship with a beautiful free spirit by his side. Two unexpected blue lines don’t even shake his resolve—he is on his way to having it all. Until he isn’t.

Abruption: a sudden breaking off

Jules Chiappetti loves her boisterous over-involved Italian family but is determined to pave her own way. An MBA and boardroom job is her ticket out. Until it isn’t.

Abruption: an unexpected event

Four years later, Guy is consumed by the challenges of being a single father, still struggling with the aftermath that derailed his life and left his son with special needs. He doesn’t realize his world went dark the same day his wife’s did, until Jules, his son’s new nurse, shows him the light.

Rating

5 out of 5 stars

Review

This is one of the best books I’ve read in a really long time.  Abruption is the story of Dr. Guy Hunter, single father to a 4 and 3 year old – and his 3 year old  son Finn has special needs.    He is struggling to go day-to-day as a single dad. One day, his son ends up in the hospital, and Guy meets the new nurse, Jules.

Jules is the heroine of this book, and a great one.  Jules makes Finn feel special and comfortable immediately.  She went back to school in her mid-20’s to become a pediatric nurse.  Upon meeting Guy for the first time, Jules doesn’t have the best impression – he’s a real dick to her.

Jules obviously has a secret – and it’s a spoiler, so I won’t share, but it was not what I expected.  Jules was one of the COOOLEST heroines I’ve read in a long time.  She jumped head first into a relationship with a single father, and treated his kids like they were her own.  She came from a huge Italian family (and the way the author wrote her parents broken English was really adorable).

There was a plot twist in this book that was so unexpected but utterly believable.  Again, won’t spoil, but just wow.  This story was just great, and one that will stick with you after you finish it.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone.

Property Of by C.P. Smith

Goodreads Summary

Author Nicola Royse dreamed of Scottish Highlanders as a teen then wrote about them as an adult. Always looking but never finding her own White Knight, she still held out hope that he would one day ride up on his trusty steed. He rode up all right, on a silver Harley with heat in his eyes and a detective’s badge on his hip while she and her friends plotted her first contemporary romantic suspense. Of course, life couldn’t’ imitate art without a killer on the loose, one that had Nicola and her friends in his sights. Detective Dallas Vaughn dedicated his life to catching killers. Then one day he bumped into the girl-next-door, and all that changed. Now he’s her White Knight fighting against a Dark Prince—one who would love to see her dead.

Rating

4 out of 5 stars

Review

This is the third book I’ve read by C.P. Smith, and the woman can write an write an alpha male to rival Kristen Ashley any day in my opinion.

Property Of is the story of Nicola Royce, an author of romance novels about Highlanders.  When Nicola starts writing a book, she gets lost in her own little world and forgets that there is a life outside of her house.  She calls her best friend Kasey, and arranges to meet her and their other girlfriends for coffee.  On the way, Nicola literally bumps into Dallas Vaughan, causing him to spill coffee all over himself.

When Nicola meets up with her friends, they decide that they want to write a contemporary romance novel and want to “catfish” on dating websites.  Nicola and her five friends each take pictures of a certain body part and create Taryn, the woman they use to troll the dating sites. This proves to be a bad idea.

In the meantime, Nicola runs into Dallas again, and causes him to spill on himself – again.  She reaches out to the local police lieutenant to see if he will allow her to meet with a detective for research.  The Lt. agrees and assigns her to Bill Reed – who happens to be Dallas Vaughan’s partner.

Dallas is a total alpha male.  He decided he wanted Nicola and guess what – he was going to make her his, no matter what.  Nicola was a little insecure, which was annoying.  There was also a lot of italicized text with her thinking like a maiden in one of her Highlander books – found that really annoying too.  The who-dunnit was a little easy to figure out, but that didn’t take away from the story.  Dallas and Nicole were likable characters.

I would recommend this book.  Love C.P. Smith’s books.

Surviving Raine by Shay Savage

Goodreads Summary

As the captain of a schooner catering to the elite on the Caribbean Seas, Sebastian Stark does his best to avoid any human encounters. Interacting with people isn’t his thing, and he prefers the company of a bottle of vodka, a shot glass, and maybe a whore. There’s no doubt he’s hiding from a checkered past, but he does well keeping everything to himself…

…until the night his schooner capsizes, and he’s stuck on a life raft with one of the passengers.

Raine’s young, she’s cute, and Bastian would probably be into her if he wasn’t suffering from alcohol withdrawal. As the days pass, DTs, starvation, and dehydration become the norm. Even the most closed person starts to open up when he thinks he’s going to die, but when she realizes their traumatic pasts are connected, it’s no longer the elements that have Bastian concerned.

He has no idea how he’s going to Survive Raine.

Rating

5 out of 5 stars

Review

Sebastian Stark is a DICK.  A big dick.  Bastian is the captain of a schooner in the Caribbean, who loves alcohol and women.  He is out on a voyage, when all of a sudden, his boat capsizes and he is out at sea on a life raft.  Then he sees Raine floating in the water, and jumps in and saves her.  Thus begins their journey….

Bastian has had a rough life and does not trust people.  Raine is on the cruise at her best friend’s insistence, due to morning the death of her father.  She has a to rely on Bastian to help her survive.  Bastian’s survival skills are pretty impressive.  I’m not sure how much research the author had to do, but she sure made everything seem believable.  Days turn into weeks, and Bastian’s detox was tough, on both him and Raine.  Eventually, he begins to open up to her.

Bastian’s transformation during the course of this book was really incredible.  Raine was a great character, wise beyond her 20 years and tough as nails.  I loved that she didn’t put up with Bastian’s shit, and there was a lot of it!  I loved the way their relationship developed.  Some of Bastian’s insecurities were a little annoying at times, but it was understandable given his upbringing.  I loved that this story was told from Bastian’s POV and I loved the way each chapter ended!  I also loved that there is clearly going to be a second book.  This is the first 5 star book I’ve read in a long time, and I would highly recommend it!