Tag Archive: 4 Horseshoes


From Publisher’s Website

LET’S GIVE ‘EM SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT . . .

If gossip is the lifeblood of a small town, then Lizzy Logan has been its beating heart. After being dumped by her fiancé for another woman, she could have decided to crawl under a rock. But no, she’d rather really set tongues wagging by “moving on” with one of the hottest cowboys in Texas, who happens to live next door at the Lucky Penny Ranch. Those busybodies don’t have to know it’s actually all pretend. And just because Lizzy has no aim to tame her wild, blue-eyed neighbor doesn’t mean she can’t enjoy the ride of her life.

Toby Dawson never was and never will be the settling-down type. But what harm could there be in agreeing to be Lizzy’s pretend boyfriend? They’ll put on a show for a few weeks and be done. Yet the more he gets to know Lizzy-really know her-the harder it is for him to keep his hands off of her in private. Soon this rough-and-ready cowboy is hoping to heal Lizzy’s bruised heart and turn their fake affair into a true romance . . .

My Review:

Hot Cowboy Nights is the second book in Carolyn Brown’s Lucky Penny Ranch Series. So far, of this series, this is my favorite. I loved watching Lizzy rediscover her true self and realize how much of a controlling, emotionally abusive man her ex-fiancé actually was.

I’ve always loved stories with a heroine who knew her worth and was confident in herself and her skills, whatever they might be. Over the past few years, I’ve discovered that I also enjoy stories of heroines who either learn how strong they actually are or rediscover that side of herself, especially if that realization and change is helped by a man who values those traits.

I found myself yelling at Toby. One reason he didn’t want to settle down was because he wanted to always be able to flirt when he was out at the Honky Tonk. He just needed someone to take a 2×4 to the side of his head until he realized that he could still flirt at the Honky Tonk if he settled down. The only difference is that instead of flirting with any female in the bar, he would flirt with his other half.

Since I started reading and reviewing Carolyn’s books, there has been a definite improvement in the story telling. I’ve enjoyed the journey.

While I loved this book, I can’t quite give it 5 Horseshoes. There are some continuity issues in the story. I’m guessing that Lizzy named the kittens with Toby’s help instead of with her sister’s help. There is a conversation with Toby that starts with Lizzy saying she hadn’t named the kittens yet, but by the time they go to pick up Toby’s donkeys, she had. I’m surprised it hadn’t been caught during the final editing, but oh well.

I am really looking forward to the next book in the series, Merry Cowboy Christmas.

I give Hot Cowboy Nights a 4 Horseshoe rating.

 

 

Hot Cowboy Nights is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions. It is also available from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook editions.

 

 

Publication Details:

Author Carolyn Brown
Title Hot Cowboy Nights
Format Ebook
Length 400 Pages
Publication Date May 31, 2016
Publisher Grand Central Publishing
ISBN 978-1-4555-3490-6
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From Author’s Website

A vampire never gets old. But neither do his enemies. When a figure from Ethan’s dark past makes a splashy debut in Chicago, Merit and her Master don’t know whether he’s friend or foe. But they’ll have to figure out soon, because trouble is brewing in the Windy City.

At an exclusive society soiree attended by the upper echelons of the human and supernatural worlds, Merit and Ethan barely stop the assassination of a guest. When the target turns out to be a shady businessman with a criminal edge, Merit suspects a human vendetta. But the assassins have fangs….

The connections to Chicago’s Houses go deeper than Merit knows, and even one wrong move could be her last….

My Review:

First a few things about the series. I originally added the first book, Some Girls Bite to my Goodread To Read list in August 2010. I don’t remember who recommended it to me. For some reason, it got lost in the shuffle of life. Recently, I was looking at Goodreads and discovered the book again. But this time I discovered that there was 11 books, and 3 novellas in the series. I will admit that I read the entire series in approximately 14 days (from initial ebook purchase of the first book to my finishing this book). I love these characters. I love Merit almost as much as I love Kate Daniels from Ilona Andrews. I have a feeling that I will be re-reading this series much like I do the Kate Daniels series.

This series is not a romance series. This series is a Paranormal Fantasy series that does happen to have some romance and sex included. But the romance does not drive the individual books or the series.

Now, on to Dark Debt. This was a great book. While the author does give basic background for first time readers of the series, I would not recommend reading this book without the previous ones, especially Blood Games. Of all of the books in the series, this one’s twists and turns are more complicated that involved than previously. Chloe Neill did an amazing job on this book.
As much as I loved this book, I couldn’t give it 5 Horseshoes. There are some continuity issues. One is series related, but the rest are related to this book only. The series related one is about the existence of Incubi. In book 9, Wild Things, one of the supernatural creatures kidnapped was an Incubus. However, in this book, the reader is told that Incubi do not exist and the legend was created as a way to explain the sexual bent that some vampires’ powers take. While it isn’t a big continuity issue, it still bugged me.

The book related continuity issues mostly had to deal with Merit’s wardrobe. While most nights she is dressed in her beautiful new leathers (which actually don’t get mentioned as being her new ones since she was gifted them) there are a few times that she wears the House’s standard uniform, a black suit. There is one scene where she is wearing the suit and ends up chasing a perp. After the unsuccessful chase, there are mentions of her wearing her leathers. Once again, for most people not a big deal, but for me…… I feel that this should have been caught in the various levels of editing that takes place. There are other continuity things but I can’t think of them at this time.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed this book and can’t wait for the next book to come out in March 2016.

I give Dark Debt a 4 Horseshoe rating.

This book was purchased by the reviewer.

Dark Debt is available from Amazon in Kindle and Print editions. Also available from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook editions.

Publication Details:

Author Chloe Neill
Title Dark Debt
Format Ebook
Length 295 Pages
Publication Date March 2015
Publisher New American Library
ISBN 978-0-6981-8071-0

From Author’s Website

My name is Alana Devereaux. I enjoy the simple things in life, walks in the park, sky gazing, and ripping a demon’s heart out through its chest. I am a demon slayer, the last of my kind, and I have been sent back through time to save your world. How am I doing so far? My time travel went haywire, all the signs I needed to stop the prophecy have passed, and the only way I can save my world is by keeping yours from ending. Then there’s Gaelen, most days I want to deck him. He hides his true motives and if it was not for the intel he had, I would be rid of him. Any day in my life without a demon attack is a good day; I haven’t had a whole lot of those lately. The only problem is, if I don’t stop the Mutari, the world will burn.

My Review:

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I liked the characters and the premise of the book. I found the world interesting and definitely would like to read more about this world. I will be reading the prequel novella, and the sequel once it is published.

I’m not quite sure how to categorize this book. There is a dystopian Urban Fantasy future but then the main character is sent back in time to prevent the event that caused the dystopian future. I wouldn’t list it as a romance novel, because the relationship between Alana and Gaelen wasn’t the core of the story. The core was stopping the disaster that was coming. It was very similar to Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniel series, in that it has romance but it isn’t the driving force of the book.

I did find some issues. This novel could have gone through one more time with a copy editor. I found wrong words (using triskette instead of triskele) and some phrasing that didn’t make sense. There is one scene where there is a slight tense change during an observation that Alana makes and it makes is seem like she was comparing the situation to a previous time instead of seeing it for the first time.

This story is in the First Person Point of View, which I have no issues with, and I have no problem with switching between First and Third Person Point of View. (My favorite author jumps between the two regularly, but it is done by chapter usually.) My problem was the occasional jump to Third Person Point of View to provide information that the author felt was vital to the story. Since my first read through, I have read parts again, including a couple of the Third Person Point of View scenes. I’ve decided that the Third Person Point of View scenes are not needed. They really don’t provide information that the main character doesn’t figure out later, except for one scene which I still can’t figure out why the information was revealed in this book.

You might look at my rating and wonder why I gave the rating I did after listing the problems I found. Well, let me explain it. I felt that this book was better than a 3 Horseshoe rating but not quiet a 4 Horseshoe rating, but I couldn’t bring myself to do a 3 ½ Horseshoe rating only because you can’t have half of a horseshoe. (I know. There aren’t very many 5 legged horses out there….) Because of my waffling, I talked to my husband about my dilemma. He stated that most people won’t pick up on the things I do. He had me rate the book as if I was an average reader.

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I give Anointed a 4 Horseshoe rating.

Anointed is available from Amazon in Kindle and Print editions. Also available from Barnes and Noble in Nook and Print.

Publication Details:

Author Maggie Mae Gallagher
Title Anointed
Format Ebook
Length 401 Pages
Publication Date February 2014
Publisher Self Published
ISBN 978-0-9914-8171-2

From Author’s Website

As the person responsible for taking down a brutal human trafficker, Alice Appleton fears retaliation at every turn. No one knows about her past, which is exactly how she prefers it…until the sexy cop next door comes knocking.

Detective Reese Bareden thinks he knows what makes women tick, but his ever-elusive neighbor keeps him guessing like no other. Is his goal to unmask Alice’s secrets? Or protect her from a dangerous new threat? One thing is certain: their chemistry is a time bomb waiting to explode. And with no one to trust but each other, Reese and Alice are soon drawn into a deadly maze of corruption, intrigue and desire-and into the line of fire….

My Review:

Lori Foster has a definite writing style. One that makes her stories a comfort type read but exciting and new at the same time.

All of the characters had a fun and interesting chemistry. Ms. Foster did a wonderful job allowing Alice to be both cautious due to her past, but also wanting to be a stronger more independent woman. Even though he was an alpha male and a police detective, Reese’s need to protect Alice was never over baring.

I liked how Ms. Foster brought a character from the Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor series and made her the heroine of this series. It allowed readers who felt sorry for Alice in Trace of Fever to see Alice change in to the strong woman that Reese falls in love with. It doesn’t hurt that we get to see Trace in this book as well.

The story was fun and exciting with some twists and turns. Even though I figured out the mystery, I still enjoyed the book.

I’m looking forward to Rowdy’s book, Getting Rowdy, in September.

I give Bare It All a 4 Horseshoe rating.

Bare It All is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions.

Bare It All is available from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook

Part of the BookTrib Blog Tour

Publication Details:

Author Lori Foster
Title Bare It All
Format Print
Length 473 Pages
Publication Date May 2013
Publisher HQN
ISBN 978-03737-7761-7

From Publisher’s Website

‘Tis the season for…

◇ A matchmaking grandma on a long-distance mission

◇ Mistletoe Temptation in every doorway

◇ A sexy cowboy with a killer smile

When Gran Presely agrees to sell Creed Riley the Rockin’ C Ranch for a song at Christmastime, he can hardly believe his good fortune. There’s just one little catch — her tantalizing granddaughter Sage is part of the deal…

My Review:

This was a fun holiday book. A plotting grandmother who wants to sell her ranch and see her granddaughter married to the man she is selling the ranch to. This had one of my favorite winter story tropes; boy and girl are isolated from everyone due to being snowed in. Their first night, Creed was a charming and accommodating cowboy, while Sage was being a shrew. Sage really doesn’t want her grandmother to sell the ranch and plans to do anything to run this cowboy off.

Sage is an artist and needs to create art in order to not go crazy while being snowed in. Ms. Brown did a wonderful job of describing Sage’s creative process and describing the paintings. Just from those descriptions, I would love to own some of Sage’s work. I enjoyed the regular appearance of mistletoe in the story. Each time we see the plant, it adds inspiration to Sage’s work and to her relationship with Creed.

Gran Presely really knows how to make a match that will last a lifetime.

I give Mistletoe Cowboy a 4 Horseshoe rating.

Mistletoe Cowboy is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions.

Mistletoe Cowboy is also available from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook editions.

Publication Details:

Author Carolyn Brown
Title Mistletoe Cowboy
Format Print
Length 333 Pages
Publication Date October 2012
Publisher Sourcebooks Casblanca
ISBN 9781402270154

From Back Cover

IN THE WRONG PLACE

Roberta didn’t mean to hurt anyone. But the night that masked bandits raided her ranch, it was hard to tell friend from foe. She didn’t know Nate Dolan was only trying to help when she shot him in the leg. And when he offers to help her catch the culprits, she only feels guiltier. The absolute least she can do is nurse the rugged cowboy back to health…

WITH ALL THE RIGHT MOVES

Nate has been on the vengeance trail so long, he nearly forgot what a real home looked like. And Roberta is a mighty fine incentive to stay put for a while – even if she has a stubborn streak as wide as the great state of Texas. She might be convinced she’s healing the wound in his leg, but neither of them knows she’s also soothing the hurt in his heart.

My Review:

This was a fun, sweet, historical western romance. It has been a long time since I last read a Leigh Greenwood book. He still has the romantic touch that many readers expect.

This story is part of Mr. Greenwood’s Night Riders series. The Night Riders were a group of Confederate raiders, the original special ops. This story takes place in 1873, approximately 8 years after the Civil War, in South Texas where the Night Riders settled.

Mr. Greenwood has created two stubborn main characters whose banter was fun to read. The setting was amazingly authentic. You could almost believe you were able to visit that small town in the middle of nowhere Texas. He also created characters you would find in modern small towns. The realism he brings to the story shows how much research he put in to this story.

The suspense of who killed Roberta’s father lead to an interesting and fast paced story. Then you throw in the villain that Nate has been tracking since the end of the war, the one that Nate and the other Night Rider’s need revenge against. You have a story that parts of it will leave you sitting at the edge of your seat.

I did come across something that did bother me. At one point, while caring for Nate, Roberta makes him rice pudding. I was very surprised by the availability of rice in Texas in the late 1800s. After not being able to find anything about when rice was available in Texas, I asked Twitter. Someone pointed out that the Carolinas have had rice since almost the 1600s, possibly brought to the “New World” by Spanish Conquistadors. We hypothesized that after the Civil War, it was possible that those who fled the Carolinas for land out west might have taken rice seed stock with them. When I’m reading a book and something doesn’t seem right, it jerks me out of the story and then I start worrying about that one piece of information. When I get jerked out of the story, it diminishes the enjoyment of the book for me.

I give Heart of a Texan a 4 Horseshoe rating.

Heart of a Texan is available from Amazon Print and in Kindle editions.

Publication Details:

Author Leigh Greenwood
Title Heart of a Texan
Format Print
Length 353 Pages
Publication Date November 2012
Publisher Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 978-1-4022-6399-6

From Publisher’s Website

It was only supposed to last one night…

Roxanne Stokes doesn’t believe in love. She does, however, believe in the sexy-as-sin stranger who literally knocks her off her feet in front of a nightclub. The chemistry sparking between them takes her breath away, and she’ll do anything to ease the pain in his eyes… until she realizes the handsome stranger is her best friend’s older brother who’s just come home from war.

Ian Walser had no idea the gorgeous woman he slept with the night of his homecoming party was his little sister’s best friend—or that she’d be gone before morning. Roxanne’s touch soothes him in a way nothing else can, and he’s not ready to walk away from that yet. Not when spending time with her gave Ian a glimpse of everything he’s ever wanted.

When his sister unwittingly pushes them together, he sees his chance. But convincing a woman who doesn’t believe in love that she’s his Mrs. Right might be harder than any mission Ian’s undertaken. Good thing this soldier likes a challenge…

My Review:

Chasing Mrs. Right is the second on Katee Robert’s Come Undone series. I never read the first book, but I did not feel I needed to in order to enjoy this book.

This book was an enjoyable read with fun characters that just burned up the pages with their sexual attraction. It was refreshing to read a story about a woman who is reluctant to be in a long term relationship and the man being almost desperate for one. However, I did find myself frustrated a few times with Roxanne and her lack of trust in relationships and love.

I was intrigued with this story because of the notion that it was a one night stand between two strangers who ended up having something in common. Ms. Robert beautifully wrote the scene where Ian discovers that Roxanne was his little sister’s best friend. Going in to it, the reader really doesn’t know how Ian will react to the discovery. But boy did he react, and boy was it yummy.

I did find their declaration of love a little early in the relationship, especially for Roxanne who has a phobia about relationships. I also found the crisis to be predictable. But the resolution to the crisis gave me a warm fuzzy.

The banter between the characters was fun and witty. There are some great lines throughout the book. One exchange that I bookmarked on my Nook (page 77):

“This.” She slapped his stomach, but not hard enough to sting. “Who the hell has a freaking eightpack? They’re like unicorns. They don’t exist. No, that’s not right. I’m sure there are guys who have them, but they’re the kind of guy who is obviously compensating for something. You aren’t.”
“So what you’re saying is that I’m a unicorn…”
“A sexy unicorn.” She touched the top of his towel and stopped.

I would recommend that you plan on reading this book cover to cover in almost one sitting. You will be glad that you gave the sexy unicorn and Roxanne your time.

Chasing Mrs. Right is my Friday 56 this week.

I give Chasing Mrs. Right a 4 Horseshoe rating.

Chasing Mrs. Right is available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble in ebook editions.

Publication Details:

Author Katee Robert
Title Chasing Mrs. Right
Format Ebook
Publication Date March 2013
Publisher Entangled Publishing, LLC.
ISBN 978-1-6226-6787-1


From Publisher’s Website

THE SECRETS SHE’S UNCOVERiNG WILL BE HIS TO KEEP…
Centuries ago, when their ship crashed to Earth, paranormals of all types settled secretly into our world, quietly going about their business with humans none the wiser. Self-ruling and careful to stay below the radar, all is threatened when Valkyrie archaeologist Lorin Schlessinger and her werewolf geologist partner Gabe Lupinsky inadvertently draw evil attention to Earth and its treasured natural resources.

My Review:

I enjoyed this story.  At first, I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy a Beta Hero, but I did enjoy Gabe.  He isn’t my favorite male werewolf but I did enjoy his journey.  I felt that Lorin was a bit too much of an Alpha for him.  I wasn’t sure how they would be HEAs, but Ms. Hogan did a nice job of resolving their differences enough for them to be together.

Lorin is a very strong character and very sure of herself and her work.  Sometimes it was over bearing and me a tad sick of her.  But eventually she mellowed out.  I think Gabe helped with that.

Over all it was a well written story with an interesting premise as to how the supernatural beings came to be on earth. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this series.

I give Chase Me a 4 Horseshoe rating.

Chase Me is available from Amazon in Print
and Kindle
editions. 

Publication Details:

Author
Tamara Hogan
Title
Chase Me
Format
Print
Length
331 Pages
Publication Date
June 2012
Publisher
Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN
978-1-4022-4604-3

From Publisher’s Website

A HEATED RIVALRY…

Morrigan McNab is a Highland lady, robbed of her birthright and with no choice but to fight alongside her brothers to protect their impoverished clan. When she encounters Sir Jacques Dragonet, she discovers her fiercest opponent…

IS GETTING EVEN HOTTER…

Sir Jacques Dragonet will give his life to defend Scotland from the English. He can’t stop himself from admiring the beautiful Highland lass who wields her weapons as skillfully as he does, and endangers his heart even more than his life…

My Review:

True Highland Spirit follows a character readers were introduced to in The Highlander’s Heart. In that book, Morrigan was very much the Anti-Hero. I was a little worried about when I found out she would be the star of her own book. But Ms. Forester did a wonderful job of making sure Morrigan had redeeming qualities.

Morrigan wants to help her clan regain its pride and financial stability. But both are harder than Morrigan and her brothers ever expected. They impersonate highway men to get the money needed to care for their clan, as well as having to deal with a mysterious bishop who demands they perform specific deeds. With both of her brothers gone from the clan seat, Morrigan is left to defend and provide for her clan.

She is approached by Sir Dragonet, who wanders the country to check individual clans’ loyalty to the King of Scotland and to Scottish freedom from England. Morrigan leads her men in to battle against the English to prove their loyalty, but at the same time Morrigan is loses her heart to the French knight.

Jacques and Morrigan are truly a great pair. He admires and understands her need to fight with and for her clan. She admires his need to make a better life for himself by helping the Scottish cause.

I enjoyed this book, especially Morrigan’s journey from being resigned to a life as a warrior Maiden to falling in love.

I give True Highland Spirit a 4 Horseshoe rating.

True Highland Spirit is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions.

Publication Details:

Author Amanda Forester
Title True Highland Spirit
Format Print
Length 416 Pages
Publication Date March 2012
Publisher Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 978-1-4022-5307-2

On June 1st, Linda Lael Miller will be visiting PonyTails to answer a few interview questions and provide an excerpt of Big Sky Country. Be sure to join us!

From Author’s Website

The illegitimate son of a wealthy rancher, Sheriff Slade Barlow grew up in a trailer hitched to the Curly-Burly hair salon his mother runs. He was never acknowledged by his father…until now. Suddenly, Slade has inherited half of Whisper Creek Ranch, one of the most prosperous in Parable, Montana. That doesn’t sit well with his half brother, Hutch, who grew up with all the rights of a Carmody—including the affections of Joslyn Kirk, homecoming queen, rodeo queen, beauty queen, whom Slade has never forgotten.

But Joslyn is barely holding her head up these days as she works to pay back everyone her crooked stepfather cheated. With a town to protect, plus a rebellious teenage stepdaughter, Slade has his hands full. But someone has to convince Joslyn that she’s responsible only for her own actions—such as her effect on this lawman’s guarded heart.

My Review:

Linda Lael Miller has a definite formula that works for her. It starts with a stray pet or two, add a troubled teen or a single parent, and a sibling rivalry of some sort. Mix it all up and place it in a rural setting and you’ll have her Contemporary Westerns. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great formula, but I would like to see her branch out from it.

This book was an enjoyable read. The pacing was good and the characters believable. Ms. Miller as always does a wonderful job with bringing the rural towns she creates to life. Parable would be a place that I would love to live near. But just like Slade, I’d want my own ranch.

There are a few things that I would have liked Ms. Miller to have expanded on, but they in no way took away from the enjoyment of the story. My only real issue with the story is that the last 30 pages didn’t really flow. I felt that Ms. Miller realized she was almost to her word count, but the story wasn’t done and she forced the story to finish in those pages.

I give Big Sky Country a 4 Horseshoe rating.

Big Sky Country is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions.

Publication Details:

Author Linda Lael Miller
Title Big Sky Country
Format Print
Length 377 Pages
Publication Date May 29, 2012
Publisher HQN
ISBN 978-1-3737-7643-6