Sunrise Key Trilogy by Suzanne Brockmann

Just Finished:

Synopsis: Kissed by a phantom at midnight, she had no choice but to surrender….

When Dr. Marshall Devlin spotted Leila Hunt alone on the dance floor, he yearned to charm the violet-eyed Cinderella into his arms, but how could he court the lady when they fought over everything, and always had? Then the clock struck twelve, and Leila was possessed by the passion of a familiar stranger. He’d captured her lips — and her soul — in a moment of magic, but could she learn to love the man behind the mask?

In a debut that celebrates the delights and disasters of falling in love with the boy next door, Suzanne Brockmann wins every heart! He’d teased and tormented her since childhood, hidden his white-hot desire for the woman she’d become, but once a fleeting embrace threatened to reveal his secret, could he make her his forever?

My Thoughts: I enjoyed Marsh and Leila’s story very much! Theirs was a great tale with just the right amount of obstacles to make this an enjoyable reading experience.

Verdict: This was Very Good and really set the bar for me to want to read other Brockmann tales in the future..

Just Finished:
Synopsis: He knew just the right moves to melt her resistance….

Allowing Simon Hunt to play her partner on her latest assignment probably wasn’t Frankie Paresky’s best idea ever, but the P.I. found it just as hard as most women did to tell him no! When a chase to solve a long-ago mystery sparked a sizzling attraction between old friends, Frankie wavered between pleasure and panic. Could the best bad boy she’d ever known be the man she’d always love?

Utterly seductive, irresistibly inventive, Suzanne Brockmann’s merry romp celebrates a love as torrid as the Florida sun – and as steamily passionate as a first kiss! She’d vowed never to be a notch on anyone’s belt or settle for one night only, but could she turn down a dare that promised a real taste of heaven?

My Thoughts: This was the first book I read in the trilogy, and my least favorite of the three. I admit, the pretty cover sucked me in. But in my own defense, the story sounded right up my alley. The problem was there was no angst, there really was no pinnacle turning point of the story. It just was.

Verdict: This was somewhere between Okay and Good. I liked the characters ~ there just unfortunately wasn’t much of a story there.

Just Finished:
Synopsis: His lips made an offer no woman would dare refuse . . .

Funny, charismatic, and one heck of a temptation, Preston Seaholm made a wickedly sexy hero as he rescued Molly Cassidy from tumbling off the roof! The pretty widow bewitched him with a smile, unaware the tanned sun god was Sunrise Key’s mysterious tycoon — and one of the most eligible bachelors in the country. He needed help fending off unwanted advances, but once he convinced her to play along at pretending they were engaged, would he discover the pleasures of surrendering to her temptation?

Weaving a fast-paced tale as touching as it is passionate, as witty as it is irresistible, Suzanne Brockmann reveals the perfect gift for the man who has everything: true love! He promised her the world if that would make her happy, but would a notorious pirate confess that the only prize he yearned to capture was a lady’s heart?

My Thoughts: This was another awesome tale by Suzanne Brockmann. I enjoyed Pres and Molly very much, as well as Molly’s son Zander. I couldn’t stop reading this once I started and it was a great way to spend a few hours on a rainy day.

Verdict: This was Very Good and was a great story to end the trilogy with.

The Bad Luck Wedding Dress by Geralyn Dawson

Just Finished:
Synopsis: IT WOULD TAKE MORE THAN A LITTLE LUCK TO BRING THEIR TEXAS HEARTS TOGETHER….

They were calling it the Bad Luck Wedding Dress, and Jenny Fortune knew that spelled trouble for her Fort Worth dressmaking shop. Just because the Bailey girls had met with one mishap or another after wearing Jenny’s loveliest creation, her clientele had begun to stay away in droves. Yet Jenny was still betting she could turn her luck around–by wearing the gown herself at her very own wedding. There’s just one hitch: first she has to find a groom…

Trace McBride seemed as likely a candidate as any. An attractive widower raising three little girls who were fast becoming three little outlaws, Trace badly needed a woman’s loving touch. Jenny wasn’t altogether sure she knew how to get a man to propose marriage, but she was willing to take off her spectacles, let down her honey-blond hair, and even give flirtation a try. But when seduction turns into red-hot passion, Jenny will find herself risking everything–even her life–on the chance that she’ll be lucky in love..
My Thoughts: It dawned on me that I own series of books by authors that I’ve never read. This is the start of one them.

I enjoyed this book very much (in spite of the fact that my copy was missing 30 pages and that the binding was skewed on another 10). Trace and Jenny were a great combination and I thought Ms. Dawson did an excellent job with the telling of their story. This tale had as much humor as it did heart which made it a wonderful reading experience for me.

There were also several background characters that made this book so enjoyable ~ the McBride Menaces (Trace’s three daughters) would be at the front of this list. These girls have a gift for mischief and it was so fun reading about their exploits. They all three have stories in the Bad Luck Brides series and I can’t wait to find out how well they grew up.

Verdict: This was Very Good. Next up will be Trace’s twin brother’s story, The Bad Luck Wedding Cake. I’m looking forward to reading about the further exploits of the McBride family.

Dare to Love by Jaci Burton

Just Finished:

Synopsis: A romantic game of chicken—and they’re both too stubborn to flinch.

Lucy Fairchild, lawyer and heiress to the Fairchild fortune, has just had the worst day of her life. Her father has found the perfect man for her to marry. Yes, she’s thirty and single, but that doesn’t give her father the right to run her life. She’ll choose her own husband—someday.

Jake Dalton is struggling to make his fledgling construction company a success. Ever mindful of his father’s derogatory comments that he’d never amount to anything, he’s spent his entire life trying to prove he’s not a failure.

From their first meeting on a construction site, verbal sparks fly. Their argument escalates into a dare for a date—and the game is on. Lucy thinks Jake is the perfect fake boyfriend to parade around in the hopes of getting her father off her back. Jake is amused by the chance to annoy both Lucy and her dad—he doesn’t intend to take the dating thing seriously.

But the heart is a fickle thing, and not above playing dirty. In their quest to prove something—to each other, or maybe to themselves—they find themselves building a case…for love.

And suddenly all the rules have changed.

My Thoughts: Jaci Burton is a new-to-me author. I picked up a few (well, actually three) of her ebooks awhile ago and have been anxious to read them. Dare to Love was the first that I tried. Honestly, I enjoyed it so much I could not stop reading it. So much so, I was almost late for work yesterday because of it (note to self: you really have to stop reading in the bathroom on workdays!).

Lucy and Jake are a great pairing. Sparks flew from their first meeting and just continued from there. I love the concept that their romance started on a dare ~ Jake dared Lucy to go out with him and she surprised them both by saying yes. The banter continued from their first date, to the forming of their friendship, and to everything else after that. I thought this was a great story and I’m so glad that I chose this as my introduction to Jaci Burton’s storytelling. She has a great writing style and the story just flowed.

Verdict: The story was Very Good. I’m glad I have two more of Jaci’s books in my TBR pile. I look forward to reading them soon!

PS ~ I really want a trampoline now.

For the Love of Pete by Julia Harper

Just Finished:Synopsis: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN OPPOSITES ATTRACT?
Free-spirited Zoey Adler is about to hijack a federal agent. And not just any federal agent, but very Special Agent Dante Torelli, a man whose designer suits and Italian shoes are more GQ than FBI. But when her baby niece, Pete, is snatched right in front of her eyes, Zoey doesn’t hesitate to scramble into Dante’s spotless BMW. She needs his help to rescue the baby . . . if only she can ignore his Lips of Sin.

OH, BABY!
Dante’s original mission is down the drain and he’s dodging bullets with a loopy redhead by his side. He likes quiet. She never shuts up. He likes to follow the rules. She throws the rules out the window. But these opposites do more than attract—they ignite. With a henpecked hit man running wild, cooking-obsessed matrons chasing down contraband spices, and a relentless killer tracking them all, Dante and Zoey will risk everything—for themselves and . . .

FOR THE LOVE OF PETE

My Thoughts: I enjoyed Dante and Zoey ~ perfect opposites that made this story very fun to read. Dante is an uptight, buttoned down FBI agent; Zoey is a free-spirited health food worker who likes greasy drive-ins and Twizzlers. As if that wasn’t fun enough, add in a hen-pecked mobster and his son, two Indian sisters-in law (the Guptas) in search of their stolen saffron, and a crazy road trip tying in all of these elements and it made for a great ride.

Dante and Zoey’s story was built slowly enough to be believable, yet fast enough to keep it interesting. Their verbal sparring was fun and I as the reader enjoyed the little undercurrents with every argument they had.

The Guptas added some fun comic relief. They were two elderly sisters-in-law who had come to America to open an Indian restaurant. And of course to do that, they needed to very, very best ingredients indeed. These two characters just seemed to meld right into the madness of the story and added a great element.

The henpecked mobster, Neil, was a fun addition as well. His wife, Ashley, was nothing like I expected and it was fun seeing him grab excuse after excuse in order to try to appease her.

True, there were many elements to this story ~ definitely a lot of layers. Nevertheless, it was easy to follow and made for a fun romp.

Verdict: The story was Very Good. I really enjoyed it and now must hunt down Julia’s other story, Hot, so I can read that too!

Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James

Just Finished:
Synopsis: COOL. CALM. COLLECTED…
Nothing fazes Taylor Donovan. In the courtroom she never lets the opposition see her sweat. In her personal life, she never lets any man rattle her—not even her cheating ex-fiancé. So when she’s assigned to coach People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” for his role in his next big legal thriller, she refuses to fall for the Hollywood heartthrob’s charms. Even if he is the Jason Andrews.

CONFIDENT. FAMOUS. IRRESISTIBLE…
Jason Andrews is used to having women fall at his feet. When Taylor Donovan gives him the cold shoulder, he’s thrown for a loop. She’s unlike any other woman he’s ever met: uninterested in the limelight, seemingly immune to his advances, and shockingly capable of saying no to him. She’s the perfect challenge. And the more she rejects him, the more he begins to realize she may just be his perfect match…

My Thoughts: The banter got me first. I’m a fan of quick wit, so I really enjoyed how the two leads continuously tried to one-up each other. This book was fun from beginning to end ~ so much so, I could not put it down once I started reading it. Taylor and Jason were strong, independent, and successful characters so it was a delight watching them both change as the story progressed. And as far as chemistry?? These characters had it virtually leaping off the pages.

Verdict: This was Very Good. I enjoyed the banter between the two characters and was thoroughly entertained throughout the whole book. I cannot wait to read more from Ms. James in the future.

The Stranger in Her Bed by Janet Chapman

Just Finished:
Synopsis: When Ethan agreed to work at a sawmill his family is purchasing, he didn’t foresee getting fired on his first day. He should be mad at the fiercely outspoken female foreman, but something about her seems disconcertingly familiar–even though Ethan is sure he’d remember meeting a stunning beauty like Anna Segee before.

Anna has never forgotten Ethan–or the schoolgirl crush she had on him before her father whisked her off to Canada. Now the shy, gangly girl is grown up and back in Oak Grove with a new name, new confidence and a newly inherited mill of her own. Her superb reputation in a male-dominated industry hasn’t come easy, but even harder will be ignoring the sexy man Ethan has become….

My Thoughts: Janet Chapman only mildly disappointed me with this second installment of The Logger series (I’ll get to that in a moment). The book gets off to a fun start when Anna Segee fires Ethan for stepping in front of her loader, not knowing that his family is the new owner of the sawmill and, in essence, are her new bosses.

From there, the arguments just keep getting better. The fun just keeps on coming when Ethan moves into an empty cabin at Abby’s property, but invites himself to sleep in her home because the cabin isn’t exactly up to code for anyone to live in. Anna finds him to be as overbearing as her father and four over-protective brothers that she left behind.

I enjoyed the sparks between Anna and Ethan from the start. In that, Janet Chapman didn’t disappoint. What I didn’t like really had nothing to do with the story. It was the fact that Paul, the playboy of the Knight family, wouldn’t be getting his own story. His HEA was tidily pieced together in just a few pages of this book, and really disappointed me. I wanted to see Paul fall for a strong woman just like his brothers Ethan and Alex did.

Like I said, the only disappointment I felt had nothing to do with Ethan and Anna. Their story was excellent and kept me engaged from beginning to end.

Verdict: This was Very Good. I highly recommend it!

The Seduction of His Wife by Janet Chapman

Just Finished:
Synopsis: He set out to seduce her for all the wrong reasons — but found himself falling in love with her for all the right ones.

Alex Knight is dead — or so everyone thinks. A widowed logger baron with a risk-taking streak, he took on a South American engineering project and was reported dead after a rebel attack. So when he turns up back in Maine very much alive, his grieving family is shocked. But the biggest shock is Alex’s, when he discovers he’s now married — to a woman he’s never met.

Sarah Banks is ready for a change from running a quiet Bed & Breakfast, and working for the Knight family offers not only a bigger opportunity, but also the family life she yearns for. So she’s glad to help secure custody of Alex’s orphaned children, whom she’s come to love, by marrying their father by proxy before he’s legally declared dead. But when Alex returns, the sexy, determined woodsman upends all of Sarah’s plans. Because suddenly she’s married to a passionate stranger with an easy smile…and tumbling headlong into a fiery dance of seduction.

My Thoughts: I don’t think I’ve ever read a story before where the hero was presumed dead and comes home to find himself married to a woman he’s never met. I’m sure there may be more books like this out there, but I’ve never read them. So, I was interested in how JC was going to pull this unbelievable theme off. But then I started reading and from Sarah and Alex’s first meeting I was hooked. They had unbelievable chemistry right from the start that just continued to grow as the book went on.

Then there is the rest of the Knight family: Grady, the matchmaking schemer of a patriarch; Ethan, the gun-shy middle brother; and Paul, the youngest brother, a flirtatious lady’s man who is never at a loss for a date; and Tucker & Delaney, Alex’s children that Sarah adopted when she believed him to be dead. There are also the two side characters: John Tate, the local sheriff and Daniel Reed, the local Fish & Game Warden. I can only hope that they will all eventually get their own stories.

Alex was an awesome hero. I love how he and Sarah would try to best each other by coming to the rescue of each other, all ideas they each got by reading Sarah’s romance books. It was just hilarious. I had several laugh out loud moments as the two continuously tried to one-up each other throughout almost the whole length of the book.

Verdict: This was Very Good. I didn’t want this story to end. I got sucked in to the world of the Knight family and their Maine home from the very beginning and could not put the book down. I am anxiously looking forward to reading Ethan’s story, The Stranger in Her Bed, and sincerely hope that Ms. Chapman finishes this series.