Category Archives: Random House

Crazy Thing Called Love – Molly O’Keefe – 4.5 stars

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The Blurb:

In this poignant and deeply sensual new contemporary romance—perfect for readers of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Rachel Gibson—Molly O’Keefe proves that lost loves don’t have to stay lost forever.

Dallas TV morning show host Madelyn Cornish is poised, perfect, and unflappable, from her glossy smile to her sleek professionalism. No one knows that her iron will guards a shattered heart and memories of a man she’s determined to lock out. Until that man shows up at a morning meeting like a bad dream: Billy Wilkins, sexy hockey superstar in a tailspin—still skating, still fighting, and still her ex-husband.

Now the producers want this poster child for bad behavior to undergo an on-air makeover, and Billy, who has nothing to lose, agrees to the project. It’s his only chance to get near Maddy again, and to fight for the right things this time around. He believes in the fire in Maddy’s whiskey eyes and the passion that ignites the air between them. This bad-boy heartbreaker wants a last shot to be redeemed by the only thing that matters: Maddy’s love.

“Irresistible and satisfying . . . addictive and sexy romance at its best.”—New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery
 
“Molly O’Keefe is a unique, not-to-be-missed voice in romantic fiction.”—New York Times bestselling author Susan Andersen

My Thoughts:

This is a wonderful story with a huge amount of heart and angst.  It is heartbreaking but beautiful and you really do want to be along for the ride.

 

Billy has hit rock bottom in his career and life.  He doesn’t want to acknowledge it but that is where he is at.  He’s angry, hurt, stubborn and incredibly vulnerable to the one thing he never had as a child, family love.  He decides to play along with a local Dallas morning show and be made over because it gives him a chance to be near the one person who ever meant anything to him and that he knows he treated poorly, Maddy.  He’s so incredibly in love with her and always has been even when he was ignoring her in favor of his own needs at the expense of hers and their marriage.  This is a man who had a horrible childhood and really never learned how to be a grownup or a family man but needs this with all his heart/soul.  I adored seeing him open up to her and fight for what he wanted but still be willing to listen to her this time.  He realizes he made major mistakes in the past (seeing them was painful but needed as it brought the issues more in to focus as we got back to current time) and wants nothing more than to make things right for her.  If this means he gets the only woman he has ever loved and has loved him in return then he’ll be happier for it.  He’s confronted with a lot of items during the story and while he didn’t always handle them the best he was unflinchingly honest in his reactions plus apologies as they were needed.  Such a hurting wonderful man that deserved everything good that comes out of this story.

 

Maddy loved Billy with everything her young heart had to give but he just kept taking, taking, taking and not really giving her anything back other than money.  She ends up leaving him and making a name for herself in a world he is not a part of.  She’s buried her past including her marriage to Billy but seeing him again brings up those feelings of inadequacy and a huge fear that if she lets him in she’ll lose herself again.  I understood where she was coming from in that Billy took up every ounce she had to give when they were younger and didn’t realize that all he gave her in return was things.  She does the show with the intent of just getting it over with but as they work on the show the cracks start to form and who she really is starts to come through.  She’s strong but I loved how as the walls came down and the real woman came out she became someone I would really like to know.  She’s got a huge heart and the only thing that keeps her sane is building a huge wall around it so no one can ever let her down again.  She lashes out at Billy many times during the book and while some were deserved I did get a little pissed that she took so long to come around and see who he really is now versus then.

 

This was a very sweet story that had moments where I was sniffling at all the pain they put each other through due to youth and inexperience.  I think you can read this without reading any of the other stories in the series but read them anyway plus the prequel of Billy and Maddy’s marriage when she was just getting ready to graduate high school.  The prequel will show you how much love they really do have for one another and as many say at times love just isn’t enough but in this case while it wasn’t originally the reunion story is very much worth it.

 

Thanks to NetGalley.com and Random House for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

Highlander Most Wanted – Maya Banks – 5 Stars

Highlander Most Wanted

 

The Blurb:

In Highlander Most Wanted, a reclusive woman content to live in the shadows shows a Highland warrior the true meaning of love.

Genevieve McInnes is locked behind the fortified walls of McHugh Keep, captive of a cruel laird who takes great pleasure in ruining her for any other man. Yet when Bowen Montgomery storms the gates on a mission of clan warfare, Genevieve finds that her spirit is bent but not broken. Still, her path toward freedom remains uncertain. Unable to bear the shame of returning to a family that believes her dead or to abandon others at the keep to an imposing new laird, Genevieve opts for the peaceful life of an abbess. But Bowen’s rugged sensuality stirs something deep inside her that longs to be awakened by his patient, gentle caress—something warm, wicked, and tempting.

Bowen seizes his enemy’s keep, unprepared for the brooding and reclusive woman who captures his heart. He’s enchanted by her fierce determination, her unusual beauty, and her quiet, unfailing strength. But wooing her will take more than a seasoned seducer’s skill. For loving Genevieve, he discovers, means giving her back the freedom that was stolen from her—even if it means losing her forever.

My Thoughts:

I have to say I enjoyed Never Seduce a Scot but something about this one made me sniffle and moved me more than the other lovely story did.  We have two people who are such strong personalities that watching them fall in love with one another even with what seems to be insurmountable odds was joyous to see.

 

You do need to read Never Seduce a Scot before this just to have the background of the clans and the horrible things that Patrick and Ian McHugh did to innocents surrounding them.  One by his deeds and the other for his own cowardice in not being able to stand up to the monster he sired.

Genevieve McInnis has been through hell and back at the hands of Ian McHugh.  She bears not only physical scars but deep psychological ones at the hands of Ian and others within the clan.  She’s not been broken however even though the clan has treated her like nothing more than his whore even though they knew the truth in what he took from her.  She became his possession and toy to do with as he chose but when she saw a chance to get her freedom she did what she had to to secure it.  This came at a great mental cost to her and I loved how she was willing to take any punishment that the Montgomery and Armstrong clans want to dole out to her.  She is such an amazingly strong woman with an amazing amount of compassion for even those who have done nothing but wrong her and seeing her find someone to finally be the champion she has not had for the year of imprisonment was heartbreakingly beautiful.

Bowen….  dear gawd..  I thought I adored Graeme (I did by the way) but there is something in the way this man can see how wounded she is and treat her with such gentleness but as a woman and not a broken one at that.  He does want to heal her but also wants to see her thrive and find happiness even if it means standing up to those he loves most in the world.  Granted she becomes his world as we read their tale but until her nothing meant more to him than his family.  He brings her out of her shell by treating her as she deserves to be treated.  A truly innocent woman who did nothing to deserve the horror she survived other than catching the eye of a monster.  He’s loyal but also is willing to sit back and truly listen to what happened before he makes judgement which is what made him be something so spectacular.  I adored how much he was willing to do in order to give her what she really needed even if it meant letting her go.

 

I’m going to stop here before I babble on and on about this story but suffice it to say I would recommend this series even if you aren’t a huge historical fan.  There is something truly heartwarming about watching these amazing people interact and fall in love that makes me smile.

 

Thanks to NetGalley.com and Random House Publishing Group for giving me the chance to read this wonderful book in exchange for my honest review.  I cannot gush enough over this lovely story even with the darkness that also is a major part in it.

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Guest Post – Ruthie Knox – Contest!!!!!

15761442I am a lucky lucky blogger today to have Ruthie Knox making an appearance.  I don’t know about you but I fell in love with her when I read About Last Night with her yummy hero City and have not looked back.  With that being said here she is:

 

Hello, fellow Bookaholics!

 

I’m here today to talk about Along Came Trouble, my latest novel (and longest so far). Out next week from Loveswept (Random House), it’s the second story in my Camelot series.

 

Along Came Trouble is about what happens when a woman meets the right man at the wrong time and has to decide how much of herself to give him when she doesn’t feel like she’s got any self to spare. And most of all it’s about how hard it is to find a balance between dependence, independence, and interdependence—and how love can lift our burdens and help us become better versions of ourselves, if we are brave enough to let it.

 

Because Steph was such a sucker for the book’s hero, Caleb, I picked an excerpt that gives you a sense of what he’s like. In this scene, he’s just met Ellen, moved into full-on “here’s how I’m going to make you safe” mode, and gotten shut down. All in the span of about two minutes. Now he’s regrouping . . .

 

Caleb didn’t know what had happened. A minute ago, Ellen had been high-fiving him. Now she was narrowing her eyes and bracing her bare feet in the grass as though she anticipated an assault.

“You can’t fire me.”

“Well, make up your mind,” she said. “Either you work for me, in which case you’re fired, or you work for somebody else, in which case you’re trespassing.”

Trespassing? “I had your permission to step onto the property.”

“I’m revoking it.”

He checked her expression again. Dead serious. Ellen didn’t want him here.

Tough luck for her, because she had him whether she wanted him or not. He needed this account for about five different reasons, all of them nonnegotiable. Breckenridge said Ellen Callahan had to be kept out of harm’s way, and he was the man for the job.

The trick, apparently, was going to be getting Ellen to accept that. She might dress like a bohemian, but the woman had a drill sergeant’s mouth. Fifteen years in the military police had taught him to tread softly around a mouth like that.

He glanced at his watch, then over at Carly’s place. He’d told her he’d be by at eight to talk about security, but this was more important. He could spare a few more minutes.

So what’s going to work on you, Ellen?

Not brute force, obviously. You couldn’t club a woman over the head and force her to accept your protection. If that were an option, he’d have done it to his mom and both his sisters months ago. Feisty lot, the Clarks. Probably explained why he liked women with a bit of steel in their spines.

Because he already liked Ellen Callahan. He’d seen her around town with a towheaded toddler who had to be her son, and she’d certainly caught his eye. Under different circumstances, he might have started angling for her phone number the second he’d witnessed her trying to topple that photographer with her kneecaps. Unfortunately, circumstances being what they were, she was off-limits.

That didn’t mean he couldn’t turn on the charm. Caleb was a big believer in catching flies with honey.

 

About the Book

Along Came Trouble by Ruthie Knox

Camelot series, book 2

Releases March 11, 2013

 

Ruthie Knox’s Camelot series continues in this sizzling eBook original novel, featuring two headstrong souls who bump heads—and bodies—as temptation and lust bring nothing but delicious trouble.

 

An accomplished lawyer and driven single mother, Ellen Callahan isn’t looking for any help. She’s doing just fine on her own. So Ellen’s more than a little peeved when her brother, an international pop star, hires a security guard to protect her from a prying press that will stop at nothing to dig up dirt on him. But when the tanned and toned Caleb Clark shows up at her door, Ellen might just have to plead the fifth.

 

Back home after a deployment in Iraq and looking for work as a civilian, Caleb signs on as Ellen’s bodyguard. After combat in the hot desert sun, this job should be a breeze. But guarding the willful beauty is harder than he imagined—and Caleb can’t resist the temptation to mix business with pleasure. With their desires growing more undeniable by the day, Ellen and Caleb give in to an evening of steamy passion. But will they ever be able to share more than just a one-night stand?

 

E-book. 350 pp. ISBN 978-0-345-54161-1.

 

 

Buy the book from  Amazon (US) |   Barnes & Noble |   iTunes BookstoreAmazon (UK) |   Amazon (Canada) |   Other buy links via Random House

 

About Ruthie

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Ruthie Knox graduated from Grinnell College as an English and history double major and went on to earn a Ph.D. in modern British history that she’s put to remarkably little use. She debuted as a romance novelist with Ride with Me—probably the only existing cross-country bicycling love story yet to be penned—and followed it up with About Last Night, which features a sizzling British banker hero with the unlikely name of Neville. Other publications include Room at the Inn (a Christmas novella) and How To Misbehave, book 1 in the Camelot series. She moonlights as a mother, Tweets incessantly, and bakes a mean focaccia.

 

I can’t thank her enough for appearing and I hope you love Caleb and Ellen as much as I did.  As a special treat because I love this series so much (I know it’s early but trust me it hits you) I’m going to give one lucky commentor a copy of Tony/Amber’s story, How to Misbehave, and once it releases a copy of this one in e-format for either Nook or Kindle.  

My question for you is…  What makes you swoon over a hero in a book?  Are you an Alpha adorer or does a man who has softer edges appeal to you?

Contest is open until release day, March 11, 2013 at midnight Central.  

Along Came Trouble – Ruthie Knox – 4 Stars

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The Blurb:

Ruthie Knox’s Camelot series continues in this sizzling eBook original novel, featuring two headstrong souls who bump heads—and bodies—as temptation and lust bring nothing but delicious trouble.

An accomplished lawyer and driven single mother, Ellen Callahan isn’t looking for any help. She’s doing just fine on her own. So Ellen’s more than a little peeved when her brother, an international pop star, hires a security guard to protect her from a prying press that will stop at nothing to dig up dirt on him. But when the tanned and toned Caleb Clark shows up at her door, Ellen might just have to plead the fifth.

Back home after a deployment in Iraq and looking for work as a civilian, Caleb signs on as Ellen’s bodyguard. After combat in the hot desert sun, this job should be a breeze. But guarding the willful beauty is harder than he imagined—and Caleb can’t resist the temptation to mix business with pleasure. With their desires growing more undeniable by the day, Ellen and Caleb give in to an evening of steamy passion. But will they ever be able to share more than just a one-night stand?

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from these Loveswept titles: How to Misbehave, Flirting with Disaster, and About Last Night.

 

My Thoughts:

What can I say?  I’m addicted to Ruthie Knox and she can keep providing me with more things to feed the addiction.  This one is no exception and while I can understand people having issues with the heroine I also have to say she made some sense even when she is being stubborn.

 

Ellen has always just rolled with the punches to the point where when she finally stood up for herself she built huge walls around her heart and soul.  She’s not happy when she has to deal with a pushy security guy trying to tell her what she has to do to her house to protect herself from the paparazzi that are descending on her small town because her pop-star brother just had to get involved with her pregnant neighbor.  She does everything to push the man away even though her insides turn to mush when he talks to her and spends time with her.  While I understood why she was the way she was I still think he is a saint to be so patient and understanding with her.  He puts up with a lot from her and even spends time with her young son, Henry (who he calls by a nickname she doesn’t like).  She has a lot on her plate and I admire her tenacity when dealing with unscrupulous record companies on behalf of young stars plus dealing with the asshole known as the ex-husband.  She’s feisty but very vulnerable to someone that actually shows her that she is valuable in her own right.

 

Caleb… sigh…  Caleb… sigh.  I had to say that a few times because he’s just so swoon-worthy.  He has his moments of being a complete and utter idiot but I chalk that up to being male.  He tolerates her not letting him do his job to protect her while at the same time negotiating to get this prickly woman to bend just a touch to make the needed changes.  He doesn’t want to take her life over but between his job and feelings that rapidly develop for her make him do some things that she just can’t stand.  He’s so sweet when he takes what she is willing to offer him in hopes that she will realize what he wants from her isn’t just play but real.  I just can’t say enough about how good of a man he is so I am not going to babble on about his good traits as I could keep going for hours…..

 

Add to the story a pampered pop-star brother, smart-ass neighbor and a highly entertaining Nana, well then you just have stories that make you happy and swoon.  All parties in this book are worth mention but I’m trying to be good and not babble.

 

Thanks to NetGalley.com, Random House and Ruthie Knox for giving me the privilege of reading this one early in exchange for my honest review.  I adored this and think you will as well.

 

 

 

How to Misbehave – Ruthie Knox – 5 stars

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I have to admit I’m a huge Ruthie Knox fan.  I mean she just has a way to get you to love these damaged heroes and their equally messed up heroines.  In this case we have a heroine who is the epitome of a good girl that wants to be bad and a hero who is a good guy convinced that he’s unworthy of such a good girl.  The insecurities both main characters have made this a quick lovely novella that had a nice amount of heat but a huge amount of heart.

Amber has had fantasies about the contractor, Tony, working on the community center when a tornado warning forces both of them to take cover in the basement of the building.  The dark spooky basement of their building.  While they wait out the storm she helps Tony work through his issues of being in dark enclosed spaces and they discover a mutual attraction burning between them.  After they emerge from the basement they discover her car has been damaged by the storm and he being the good guy he is offers to take her home.  You’ll love his inner dialogue as he tries to do what is right by her even though he wants her so badly it makes him want more than he thought he could ever give.  You’ll be happy to note that she gets to be taught how to misbehave quite thoroughly (huge grin).

Tony has a lot of issues to work through but he doesn’t hide from Amber nor does he try to do like some other romance heroes and blame his issues on the heroine.  He knows what he needs to do but is afraid to take that step and acknowledge that he isn’t his past but has grown up to be an incredibly sweet, nice man.  I loved this novella and cannot recommend it enough to those who love humor, heat plus heart in a quick read.

 

Special thanks to Ruthie Knox, NetGalley.com and the wonderful people at Random House (Sue..  you know you are wonderfully amazing) for giving me the chance to continue my fan girl love for Ruthie’s work in exchange for my honest review.

Kindle

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