Dirty Deeds by Loreli James

Landscaper Nathan LeBeau knows exactly how to use his big equipment to make the earth move. The Native American bad-boy has a reputation for getting filthy—in and out of the bedroom. 
So when good-girl Tate Cross needs dirt work done, she hires the wickedly hot and surprisingly intuitive Nathan—secretly hoping she’ll get more than just her flowerbeds plowed. 
Smart and sexy Tate is exactly the type of woman Nathan’s been looking for. But he wants more than another fling, so he digs in his heels to prove to Miss-I-Don’t-Need-Romance that taking things slowly will lead them to something real.
But Tate isn’t interested in being romanced—even when Nathan’s sweet and charming ways are hard to resist. She’ll use every tool at her disposal to convince the former player to play with her and that getting down and dirty together is as real as it gets. — Ridgeview Publishing;2017

Book Review:

Inconsistent, unclear and huh? Overall surmises this story of two reluctant lovers.  When Tate and Nathan first meet, Tate is so nervous she is literally hiding in the bushes.  She was in good company cause Nate was also riddled with insecurities about his Native American heritage.  But they miraculously get over their nerves quickly, making illicit comments about wearing tassels, sharing a beer bottle and being aggressively handsy despite coming into the encounter like 14-year-old virgins.  Tate and Nate, say they want stringless sex, but to prove his ex-girlfriend wrong, Nate throws in some romance for the hell of it.  Making both of them sit through dates and put a lot of effort into a relationship that neither one of them claim to want. Making their motives and end goals unclear.

Read more

Pirate (Sam and Remi Fargo Adventures Book 8) by Clive Clusser and Robin Burcell

An 800-year-old treasure… an ancient cypher wheel… a brutal murder… and a man who will stop at nothing to claim what he considers rightfully his. Husband-and-wife treasure-hunting team Sam and Remi Fargo have gone on impossible missions before and faced many perils, but never have they faced an adversary as determined as the one before them now. The battle will take them halfway around the world, and at its end will be either one of the most glorious finds in history — or certain death.

–G.P. Putnam’s Sons; 2016

Pirate follows the further adventures of millionaire treasure hunters Sam and Remi Fargo, as they race to find a lost medieval treasure.  The light banter and quiet moments of reflection and appreciation between the couple helps solidify the husband and wife’s relationship outside of their titles and their assumptive meanings.  The same could not be said for Remi’s vague relationship with Brie Marshall, who caused the whole adventure by sending the couple to her uncle’s bookstore for a rare first edition book.

Read more

Brazen (Brazen #1) by Maya Banks

One woman’s campaign to win the hearts of the two men she loves. Jasmine left the Sweetwater Ranch and the Morgan brothers, no longer able to bear the painful dilemma of loving them both. After a year away, she gains a new perspective and returns home with one goal. To make Seth and Zane Morgan hers. For her, it’s all or nothing. Jaz may have left an innocent girl, but she’s returned a beautiful, sensual woman. Seth and Zane aren’t prepared for the full-on assault she launches and each battle an attraction they’ve fought for years. 

–Samhain;2008  

Book Review: 

Jaz returns home to Texas after a year in Paris. What she was doing there and how she could afford it, no one knows.  The only discernible skill she seems to possess is playing a horny damsel in distress and that won’t pay for a one-way ticket to Austin let alone France.

Her goal of a polyamorous relationship with the Morgan brothers; Seth and Zane, seemed far-fetched at best.  I know of some kissing cousins, but kissing siblings, brothers…eh I don’t know. Read more

Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon (Meg Langslow, Book #4) by Donna Andrews

The unflappable ornamental blacksmith-turned-detective Meg Langslow returns in this latest bird mystery by award-winning author Donna Andrews. Afficionados of MURDER WITH PEACOCKS and REVENGE OF THE WROUGHT-IRON FLAMINGOS will revel in Andrews’s trademark dry humor, offbeat characters, and disastrous events unfolding at another classic American setting. And we get to peek in on fresh developments in Meg’s romance with her college professor beau Michael, her intrepid partner in detection. Despite the fact that detectives always seem to attract as many murders as they solve, Andrews’s buzzards and loons make for delightful and cozy reading – and a new take on the meaning of birdwatcher. Put on your deerstalker cap, get out your magnifying glass, and pull up an overstuffed chair.—Minotaur Books; 2004

Review:

After sustaining a blacksmith related injury, Meg is offered a position as a switch board receptionist at her brother Rob’s computer gaming company; Mutant Wizards. In addition to answering calls, keeping frenzied fans away and caring for the one winged buzzard that sits in the reception area, Meg is also supposed to investigate ‘something fishy’ that is going on in the office, which is never explained. The something ‘fishy’ ends up being the murder of Ted, the office practical joker. Strangled and left to ride around the automated office mail cart until discovered.

Read more

What You Need (Need You Book 1) by Lorelei James

The Lund family name is synonymous with wealth and power in Minneapolis-St. Paul. As the CFO of Lund Industries, Brady Lund is the poster child for responsibility. But eighty-hour work weeks leave him little time for a life. His brother and cousins stage an intervention and drag him to a seedy nightclub . . . where he sees her: the buttoned-up blonde from the office who’s starred in his fantasies for months. 

Lennox Greene is a woman with a rebellious past, which she conceals beneath her conservative clothes. She knows flirting with her sexy-but all-business boss during working hours is a bad idea. So when Brady shows up at her favorite dive bar and catches her cutting loose, she throws caution aside and dares him to do the same. 

After sparks fly, Brady finds that keeping his hands off Lennox during office hours is harder than expected. Though she makes him feel alive for the first time in years, part of him wonders if she’s just using him to get ahead. And Lennox must figure out whether Brady wants her for the accomplished woman she is—or the bad girl she was.—LJLA,LLC;2014

Book Review:

What You Need switches between the prospective of Lennox Greene; the reformed bad girl, and Brady Lund; the uptight CFO. Or so he says. When the story comes from Brady’s point of view, we are repeatedly told that he is a loner and has always been awkward.  To a point that his family has an intervention, confronting him on his anti-social, workaholic behavior. But as soon as he comes in contact with Lennox, he is as smooth as Issac Hayes. He says all the right things and is very forward with Lennox about his intentions for her. He is suave. Planning exciting dates, dancing the tango and whisking her off to grand locations. But he’s boring and awkward? Read more

Keep Your Friends Close by Paula Daly

Natty and Sean Wainwright have a rock-solid marriage and family. When their younger daughter falls ill on an overseas school trip, Natty rushes to her side. Luckily, Natty’s best friend from college, Eve Dalladay, is visiting and offers to stay with Sean to lend a hand in the Wainwright household. But Natty returns home to find that Sean has fallen in love with Eve. Natty attempts to start anew, but Eve is there to knock her down again. Then Natty receives a mysterious note that says Eve has done this before and the consequences were fatal. On a mission to reveal Eve as a vindictive serial mistress, Natty must navigate through a treacherous maze of secrets and lies that threatens her life and the safety of her loved ones.—Grove Press; 2014

Book Review:

The issues and trains of thought presented in Keep Your Friends Close are extremely relateable. Trying to be the perfect mother and wife. Having to do everything yourself, because no one can do it as good as you. Needing to create the perfect life to impress and prove everyone wrong or right. Eve took that perfect life away from Natty Wainwright by turning her husband Sean’s head.
Read more

The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning.

Now, she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They’ve killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.

When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it’s her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous.

Resolving to meet the threat head-on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of.                                                   — Little, Brown and Company; 2016

Review:

Despite not caring for the Twilight series, that Meyer is most famously known for, I did overall enjoy The Host, which prompted me to give The Chemist a chance.

The book starts off slow as Meyer pats herself on the pat for several pages to tell you of all the cool devices her leading lady Juliana,…er ah Alex  – whatever her name is, comes up with to safe guard herself against the unnamed government agency that is out to finish the job of killing her.  Despite all the precautions of booby trapped doors and poisoned jewelry, she forgot to fail safe herself against her own stupidity.   Read more

Madame X (Madame X Book 1) by Jasinda Wilder

Hired to transform the uncultured, inept sons of the wealthy and powerful into decisive, confident men, Madame X is a master of the art of control. With a single glance she can cut you down to nothing, or make you feel like a king.

But there is only one man who can claim her body—and her soul.

Undone time and again by his exquisite dominance, X craves and fears his desire in equal measure. And while she longs for a different path, X has never known anything or anyone else—until now…                                                                                  —Berkley;2015

Review:

Wilder does a great job of illustrating the two sides of Madame X. The stone faced professional behavior consultant she shows her clients and the vulnerable woman who is growing frustrated with the limits of her life, when she is alone.  Read more

Brown-Eyed Girl (The Travises Book 4) by Lisa Kleypas

Wedding planner Avery Crosslin may be a rising star in Houston society, but she doesn’t believe in love–at least not for herself. When she meets wealthy bachelor Joe Travis and mistakes him for a wedding photographer, she has no intention of letting him sweep her off her feet. But Joe is a man who goes after what he wants, and Avery can’t resist the temptation of a sexy southern charmer and a hot summer evening.

After a one night stand, however, Avery is determined to keep it from happening again. A man like Joe can only mean trouble for a woman like her, and she can’t afford distractions. She’s been hired to plan the wedding of the year–a make-or-break event.

But complications start piling up fast, putting the wedding in jeopardy, especially when shocking secrets of the bride come to light. And as Joe makes it clear that he’s not going to give up easily, Avery is forced to confront the insecurities and beliefs that stem from a past she would do anything to forget.

The situation reaches a breaking point, and Avery faces the toughest choice of her life. Only by putting her career on the line and risking everything–including her well-guarded heart–will she find out what matters most.                                                                                — Piatkus;2015

Review:

Avery’s history with men has given her good reason to be hesitant about starting a relationship with Joe, let alone anyone. That doesn’t give her a good reason to be rude and patronizing to him. “Oh you’re one of those Travises?”or “You’re clearly a player.” and other condescending remarks. In addition to being rude, Avery doesn’t mean what she says and her words don’t match her actions. She tells Joe there is no chance of a relationship between them, even petulantly tells him that she wouldn’t touch him with a 10 foot poll, but then pouts when he doesn’t call and is confused why he won’t kiss her. Read more