The Coming Home Series Boxed Set – Coming Home #1-3 by Meli Raine

Returning home to everything and everyone she had left behind was not something that Carrie Myerson expected to do, but now that she is, she plans on finally uncovering what really happened three years ago.

Finding Carrie stranded on the side of the round after she walked away from him without so much as a goodbye three years ago, has Mark Paulson wondering why she is back and how he is going to keep her safe.

Searching for the truth has never been so dangerous.  Drug lords, sex slave traffickers, and kidnapped women with limbs missing.  There is more going on in this town than first appears.

This series box set combines the Coming Home trilogy: Return, Revenge, Reunion

REVIEW

Mark and Callie are intriguing characters who have a mixed and unusual past.  Mark is full of secrets but gradually opens up to Callie who finds that the man she once loved isn’t who she believes him to be.  The  connection between the two is instant and old feelings are hard to hide.

The story is engaging and action packed.  Some of the things that happen come as a complete surprise.  As I was reading I thought, ‘there is now way the author would do that to this character’ but knowing the author through other books I really shouldn’t be surprised.

The romance is sizzling.  Mark and Callie have been apart for three years but their passion has never faded.  In the middle of chaos, when evil is out to get you, the only thing two people in love can do is have some hot,  heart-pounding sex followed by some emotion-filled love-making.

There are currently three series written by Meli Raine that all link together through their characters.  In my wisdom I have actually been reading them in reverse.  I started with the Harmless series which was based around Drew and Lindsay, but also included Mark Paulson.  Mark is the main character in the Coming Home series with Callie and also involves his brother Chase who is the star of the Breaking Free series.  I love it when authors do this, bringing together characters and advancing their stories alongside others.  I will be reading the Breaking Free series in the future.

 

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Protecting Caroline – SEAL of Protection #1 by Susan Stoker

Matthew Steel, known as Wolf to his team, had been in many tight situations as a SEAL before but not as tight as sitting in the middle seat on a commercial flight.  Being a SEAL also meant he was used to women flirting with him on a regular basis so, when the women in the seat next to him touches his arm he is all set to dissuade her, until the words “Do you want to switch seats” comes out of her mouth.

Caroline Martin can fade into any background without even trying.  She is plain, average, uninteresting. When the big guy takes the middle seat on the plane she knows she cannot let him suffer but can she pluck up the courage to actually speak to him.  No good-looking man, like him, would take notice of her.

The last thing either of them expects is a terrorist attack on their plane and when Caroline puts her life on the line, Wolf knows he would do anything to protect this women.

REVIEW

Caroline and Matthew’s story is a great start to this series.  We meet all the members of the SEAL team with teasers into their backgrounds but the main focus is on Wolf (Matthew) and Ice (Caroline).

Matthew is a hard as nails SEAL with a heart of gold, he just needs a good women to share it with.  Finding Caroline on the plane is the best thing that to ever happen to him but when someone wants to take her away he does everything he can to protect her. Caroline can’t believe that someone like Matthew would be interested in her, a geeky chemist with average looks, but Matthew sees this woman as beautiful on the inside and out.

I really liked the character of Caroline.  She was not pretentious, knew how people viewed her, and put everyone else above herself.  She took everything that was thrown at her to protect those she cared about.  The connection between herself and Wolf is not some much electric as a slow, subtle burn.

There is no actual sex scenes within the story although there are some sexual references and some hot kissing moments.

The next in the series is ‘Protecting Alabama’ which I will be reading soon.

Confessions of a Reformed Tom Cat – Wingmen #2 by Daisy Prescott

Thomas Clifford Donnely, also known as TC – Tom Cat, enjoys the attention of the ladies. Working his way around the island, he has himself a few regular hook-ups but likes to try something new when he can..yes, he is a Man Whore.

Hailey King has had a crush on Tom since they where in high school, however with her tomboy antics and being his sister’s best friend she stayed well under his radar.  Returning to the her childhood island was always something she dreamed of doing, breaking up with her no-good fiancé was not.

In a moment of drunken madness, Hailey tracks down Tom and so begins a sex-with-no-strings relationship.  But what happens when feelings and emotions start to get involved. Can Hailey trust Tom to give up his Tom Cat ways?  Will Tom succumb to his deep down emotions and find his “One True Love”?

REVIEW

I do enjoy reading books from the man’s point of view.  Tom is your typical attractive man who knows it.  He doesn’t want relationships he just wants to have fun but age is not on his side anymore and, with his best friend settling down, it starts to dawn on him that his old ways aren’t so much fun anymore.  Hailey is a great female counterpart to Tom. She doesn’t take any of his nonsense, she is fun, flirty and welds! With lots in common is it no wonder that these two have such a great connection.

There are some very fun scenes in this book that had me laughing, specifically the hot tub moment – “I’m Naked!”.

If you like your men cocky, arrogant and bearded then you will love this book, Tom is all three.  An enjoyable comedy romance from Tom’s point of view. His former Wingman and new girlfriend also make an appearance and I will definitely be reading  John and Diane’s story soon.

Thank You for Holding – On Hold #2 by Julia Kent, Elisa Reed

Carrie Shelton thought she had the perfect life. Perfect job, perfect friends and, more importantly, perfect boyfriend.  Right until the moment he dumps her…for another man.

Ryan Donovan has been Carrie’s best male friend since the day they both started at the O Spa together but deep down he has always wanted more.  When Carrie’s boyfriend leaves her just before she is due to be in his sisters wedding, Ryan offers to take her as a “pretend” date.

With neither side knowing that the other wants more than the fake relationship they are portraying, can they overcome fears and past failures to confront their futures?

REVIEW

Brilliant follow up to Our Options Have Changed where we first met Carrie and Ryan.  Now it’s time for their story and what a story it is.

Ryan has always loved Carrie, Carrie has always had feelings for Ryan, neither has the guts to tell the other for fear of rejection and spoiling what they already have.  It takes Carrie’s boyfriend coming out, a weekend wedding, and the help of close friends to make them realise what is right in front of them.

Poor Carrie always wants to see the best in people, even missing the fact that her boyfriend is more effeminate than she is and constantly checking out the ‘costumes’at O when he visits her.   Ryan is the misunderstood hero of the hour.  Not the playboy he is made out to be because, quiet frankly, he is too in love with Carrie.

Their journey is one of hurt, laughter, embarrassment and joy, but ultimately love and I felt each and every one of these as I read this book.  I also never realised that donuts could be so… versatile!

 

 

Break Me – Corrupted Hearts #2 by Tiffany Snow

China Mack is an OCD, geek-girl, computer genius who’s life has recently taken some expected turns. Having left Cysnet to head up a highly-secretive government project, she is trying to adapt not only to her new role but also her new partner, Clark.

Being in a relationship with her former boss, Jackson Cooper, is also unfamiliar territory for China and things just seem to be going a little to fast for her to keep up.

When a Chinese business man, Simon Lu, makes an appearance on American soil everyone goes on high alert but soon China’s protective walls come crashing down around her.

REVIEW

I make no secret of how much of a Tiffany Snow fan I am and it continues with this series. There is so much I want to say about where this story goes but I try really hard not to give away any spoilers, so I will do my best to convey my thoughts with this in mind.

China is a lovely character, her quirks and OCDness brings out a special side to her that shouldn’t be changed.  She has had to adapt to new and unfamiliar situations in this part of the story and it is interesting to see how she deals with them.  The two relationships she has going on are highly different and both men treat her in their own unique ways. Jackson, former boss and current boyfriend, has a kinship to China in so far as they are both techies, child prodigies and were both bullied at school.  Clark, former neighbour and current work partner, has been there when China experienced some of her most traumatic and frightening moments and showed his more caring side .

I always have a favourite picked out in these love triangles and I have to admit that I have a thing for the bad-boy.  All the way through this book Clark was pulling on my heart-strings,  then Jackson would go and do something really sweet and I’d think well that settles it then, but always it came back to Clark so I am going to say here and now…TeamClark!  (I am and always will be TeamKade).

As is the style of these stories, the heroine normally ends up getting hurt somehow and this series is no exception, so prepare for China to have a rough time of it.

Couple of things I have to say before I finish…

Mr. President (the one in the book) –  I am so happy for you.

And – I KNEW IT!

Professed by Nicola Rendell

Naomi Costa normally kept herself to herself until she received a mysterious invitation to a ball.  Following the directions (almost) she encounters a masked stranger who’s connection she cannot deny.  Following a night of uninhibited passion she meets the new college Master…the masked man.

Dr. Ben Beck never considered himself much of an academic until his book became a best seller. Receiving the invitation to the ball was an unexpected surprise, as was meeting the enchanting girl.  Finding out she was one of his students should have prevented any further attraction but neither could keep their hands off each other.

As their passion escalates they have to decide what is more important – their love or their careers?

REVIEW

This book had promise and the story line had ponential but it was let down, in my opinion, by a few aspects.  The main one being the ball.  I still don’t understand the relevance of the masked ball other than to get the two main characters together.  The whole set up just seemed a little weird and unnecessary. Naomi and Ben would have met on campus and the attraction would have been there no matter what. The continual on-off aspect got a bit much after a while as well.  There was confessions of love and ‘I’ll never leave’, then the next thing one is leaving the other.

On the whole it is a good story, if you can get past the bits above.

 

 

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Miss Elizabeth Bennet, second of five daughters, prides herself on her judge of character and sensible decisions with regard to courtship and male attentiveness.  When first encountering Mr Darcy, she finds a very proud and aloof man who views those in country society as beneath him.  This is further enhanced by his unwillingness to dance and converse.

During the course of their encounters a love/hate relationship evolves which will bring both parties to question their current thoughts and opinions on not just themselves but those around them.

Can the prejudice of one see beyond the pride of the other?

REVIEW

This is most definitely a classic for a reason.  Jane Austen was a highly accomplished writer for her time and I often wonder what she would write if she were here today.

The story itself is built on the opinions and characteristics given by people, which influences the lives and loves of others.  Jane and Mr Bingley’s relationship is influenced by Mr Darcy and Miss Bingley, whilst Mr Darcy and Elizabeth have the opinions of her entire family, especially her mother, his aunt, and Mr Wickham to contend with.

The writing is as you could imagine for the era  and can take some getting used to, but the story line itself is interesting and engaging.  The characters are a mixed bunch and it does not shy away from the vices of the day, the behaviours of Mr Wickham and Lydia are good examples. How Elizabeth kept her calm around her mother is anyone’s guess, Mrs Bennet would test the patience of even Jane!  Some of the things that she says about Mr Darcy makes you wonder why he ever came back.

I will be honest, it can be slow in parts but there is a steady progression and build up to the final part.  The love that is discussed between the characters is very subtle and referred to with glances and smiles more than words.

I love a lot of the romances that are written nowadays but it is nice to go back to basics and read how love was over 200 years ago.