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samanthabk

Currently reading

The Summer Garden
Paullina Simons
Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
Darynda Jones
The Libertine
Saskia Walker

So Tough to Tame

So Tough to Tame - Victoria Dahl review to come

Sleigh Belles

Sleigh Belles - Beth Albright 3.5 stars review to come
Destiny's Surrender - Beverly Jenkins review to come

Uncommon Passion

Uncommon Passion - Anne Calhoun review to come.
Castaway Cove: A Shelter Bay Novel - JoAnn Ross review to come.

The Dominant (The Submissive Trilogy, #2)

The Dominant (The Submissive Trilogy, #2) - Tara Sue Me Review to come.

Just In Time: An Alaskan Nights Novel

Just In Time - Addison Fox review to come
The Sweetheart Bargain (A Sweetheart Sisters Novel) - Shirley Jump review to come

The Protected

The Protected - Shiloh Walker Agent Vaughnne MacMeans has two options when her boss, Mr. Taylor Jones, approach her with a new assignment. Go babysit some kid or resign. Of course, her boss didn’t say those words but she knows what she has to do. The simple task becomes complicated when she finds herself attracted to the boy’s Guardian.Gus is not sure why the new neighbor sets her sights onto Alex but his job is to make sure that no one knows about Alex’s gift. His past and his enemies might catch up to him if they know what Alex could do. When the danger arrives, Gus has no choice but to trust Vaughnne to help him out of a tough situation. Shiloh Walker has rarely disappointed me. I’m glad she got another winner under her belt. The characters are unique and complex. I like the extra psychic/paranormal element to this romantic suspense. The one thing that did threw me was that instant change of POV. The constant switch sometimes threw me out of the story. I like Vaughnne. She is fierce and brave. She is strong and kick ass. She is passionate about her career and those she loves. I liked Gus just as much as I like Vaughnne. He is head strong, mysterious and sexy. The chemistry between them as they fight off enemies is awesome. I wish there were more intimate scenes with Gus and Vaughnne but I definitely felt the vibes from them. Of course I loved the main characters but I’m very intrigued by Mr. Jones. I want to know more of his background. He’s aloof and direct. He is so hard to read and that makes me more curious. There’s potential for more books and I hope to get a better insight into Mr. Jones.This series is intense, suspenseful and action-packed. I love each book better than the first. I look forward to any upcoming additions to the series.
Stern - Brenda Jackson I love a friends to lovers theme. There is something so great about finding all the qualities you want in a mate and having that solid friendship to rely on. Stern Westmoreland has been best friends with Jovonnie Jones since high school. She is one of the guys. She works in an auto repair shop, goes hunting with the guys and is a good person. When JoJo tells Stern that she needs his help with a make-over, he is taken back. JoJo doesn’t care about her looks or dating. He has a goal to not settle down until his mid-thirties. Will he be the only one fighting the urge to settle down?JoJo is pretty content with her life. She has good friends and a job she loves. She doesn’t ask for much but when she realizes that she has feelings for Stern, she decides to fix herself up to find a man. As she and Stern become closer during the process, she doesn’t know if she should reveal her true feelings. How does one say that they are in love with their best friend? I love the Westmorelands. They are such a fun and loving family. I like seeing the family and catching up on the lives of the previous couples. The characters are pretty likable. Stern is a typical Westmoreland male. He is caring and compassionate. When he falls, he shows it. JoJo is strong and independent. I liked that she stayed true to character as she went through her transformation.My only problem was the lack of action. I need a little drama and angst. JoJo and Stern are pretty laid back and they went with the flow a little too easily, making the romance kind of cheesy. The story is very predictable and tame in some ways.
The Next Best Thing - Kristan Higgins Lucy Lang lost her husband in a car accident. She believes it was destined to happen. Her family is cursed. She decides she can’t live without a husband so she sets her sight on getting remarried and starting a family. Her only obstacle is that she started a “friends with benefits” relationship with her deceased husband’s brother. When she tries to kick him to the curb, things get complicated. First, when I read the blurb in the back of the book, I thought Ethan was some random guy. I felt a little weird reading about her having regular booty calls with him, especially because they were constantly acting like victims throughout the whole book. I hate when a book is not executed properly. The subject matter surrounding Lucy’s grief and guilt over her husband’s death was not handled properly. Lucy and Ethan are a disaster. Lucy is the “victim” of a family curse. She is guilt-ridden and constantly harboring all of these emotions about the death of her husband. I didn’t get how she could have a relationship with his brother. I didn’t like Ethan at all. I hate saying that but it’s true. Generally, when I dislike a hero, it’s because he is a jerk. He has done something to hurt the heroine. In this case, I hated Ethan because he had no spine. Once, Lucy told him to back off, he just scurried off. What? Then she didn’t like that he didn’t fight to get her back, so she set out to get him back. Huh? All of this is acceptable for Ethan. He has this belief that he is the second son, the second best. At one point, I wanted to jump in the book and shake him. Sure, he had to be gentle with Lucy because of her situation but he needed to man up and realize his own worth. The side characters and some of Higgins normal humor helped me through this book. The book dragged in many areas (the beginning) and it was depressing. There are other books that I have enjoyed by Ms. Higgins. I recommend that readers start with those.
How to Marry a Highlander - Katharine Ashe Teresa Finch-Freeworth is neither wealthy nor pompous. She is desperate to find a suitable husband before her parents marry her off to someone she does not love. She is a bit brazen at times and fearless but she is a good person. When Teresa learns that Duncan needs help marrying off his sisters, she jumps to the chance to help him. The only thing she asks for in returns is some hot kisses. Duncan, the Earl of Eads, is a poor Scot residing in England. Duncan’s main concern is the seven sisters that he has to take care of. He has little time to worry about himself or his scandalous reputation. Duncan is impressed by Teresa’s proposition. He has no intentions of honoring it so he ups the challenge by making Teresa promise to do this in a short period of time.Even though I did not read the other books in this series, I did not feel lost in the series. Duncan is a strong male character. Most of his “scandalous” reputation is based on speculations and half truths. He is a gentle being that truly cares for his sisters. Teresa is a refreshing character. She is slightly different from any of the other heroines that I’ve read in a historical. She is bold and confident. She knows that she wants Duncan and she is willing to put herself out there to get him. She finds herself in some funny situations that bring some life and humor into this short story. There is no major conflict in this story. Instead the story is loosely based on humor and the slow realization that Teresa and Duncan are falling in love. While I like my story with a dose of conflict or angst, I did not think that something was lacking.Though a short read, I am satisfied with how everything resolved itself at the end. I’m eager to read the other books in the series.
Crave - Monica  Murphy Archer Bancroft and his friends are proud bachelors. Single, rich and loving life is basically the motto that they live by. At a mutual friend’s wedding, his friends bet that he will be the next bachelor to fall a victim to love. The last man in their group to remain standing will win a million dollars (kind of steep!). Archer is confident that he will win. After all, he loves the life that he is living. He just doesn’t expect to grow feelings for his best friend’s sister, Ivy. There has been some attraction to Ivy, especially now that she has grown into an extremely attractive and successful woman. Archer can’t resist touching and kissing Ivy. When one night of passion progresses into more, Archer has to figure out a way to have it all. Ivy challenges Archer. She knows the kind of man he is and tries very hard to resist. I like that she throws caution to the wind to give into her impulses. She is definitely not afraid of her brother. The story flows nicely for a short read, switching from both characters’ point of view. I didn’t feel as though more should have been added. The author does a great job with the pacing. Despite my own pre-judgment, the sex is steamy without being explicit.I recommend this nice and quick read for those who need a little pick me up. I look forward to Gabe and Matt’s stories.
The Highlander's Desire - Margo Maguire Years ago, Lachann MacMillian watched the woman he loved marry another man. The pain has caused his heart to go cold. Vowing to never love like that again, Lachann has thrown himself into fighting for his family. The clans are torn apart and Lachann finds himself promising to enter into a loveless marriage for the sake of land. He is all set to marry Catriona, daughter of the Laird of Kilogorra until he meets Anna MacIver.Anna longs for the day that she can leave her Uncle’s house but she doesn’t want to leave without her best friend who is suffering at the hands of her abusive husband. Instead of running away from her hellish life, Anna stays in the home as a mere servant. Her jealous step sister, Catriona, makes her suffer at every chance she gets. When the Highlander arrives to take Catriona’s hand in marriage, Anna suddenly wishes that Lachann would take her away.To make matters even worst, Cullen Macauley enters the picture to ask for Catriona’s hand as well. Catriona is a bitter and vile woman. Jealous that she does not have Anna’s beauty, she sets out to play the men against each other. Meanwhile, she doesn’t catch on that Anna and Lachann are starting to fall in love.I love a highlander story. What’s not to love about it? While this story did not leave me overjoyed, I felt satisfied with how the story unfolded. The story has potential. There are two main characters that want to be together. There is a villain…Cullen? See, that’s where the problem lies. I enjoyed when Cullen pops up in the story. He starts off as a great villain. He is the man that stole the woman that Lachann’s love. He has all the meat of a great villain but he is quickly overshadowed by Catriona and her antics. At one point, I forgot that Cullen even exists. Overall, I still enjoyed this story. Anna and Lachann deserved a happy ending. I recommend this for those who like a solid highlander story.

That Thing Called Love

That Thing Called Love - Susan Andersen 2.5 stars.
The Apple Orchard - Susan Wiggs Review to come.