Reviews

ARC Review of Men of Calder County (various authors)

men of calder countyMen of Calder County
Untamed. Unleashed. Unforgettable.Harlie here:  I’ve read the box set.  Some were truly awesome, some I really liked.  I will give a short review of all 13 but at the end of the post I will highlight the ones that really stuck with me.  I also found a couple of authors that I’ve never read but will definitely look into their back list now.  🙂

 

13 titillating tales of love as hot as a Texas summer. Novellas about love and lust, loss and discovery with adventure, action, danger and heart-touching romance that are unforgettable.

Mac by Regina Carlysle. When tragedy strikes Callie’s small family, Mac Bonner proves that heroes can be found in a girl’s own backyard.

Review:  Oh.my.word.  I’ve only know Ms. Carlysle to write truly erotic romance but with her first outing as a “sensual/spicy” writer, she hits this one out of the ball park.  Not to mention that her trademark humor, dialogue and Texas sayings…its all there.  

5harlies

Rand by Ann Jacobs. The fire of some love can’t be extinguished. The only thing that can stand against it are dangers from the past with the power to take everything – even your life.

Review:  This one was interesting.  At times, I didn’t feel the romance between Rand and Lily.  Sure there was lust and the second chance element but it really wasn’t until the very end to it finally come together for me.  

4harlies

Brody by Samantha Cayto. She wanted to make a fresh start, not a new man. The life stepped in and offered more than she ever dreamed.

Review:  I’m such a sucker for an older couple to find love.  Throw in a snarly teenage son, and yep I’m hooked.  Loved the build up (while short) and the dialogue between Heather and her son Christopher.  Plus, there was a point to Christopher’s attitude and I really felt for him.  Great story about finding love and the power of a woman that got tired of being “the trophy”.

5harlies

Zeb by Ciana Stone. There was nothing in Calder County for him. Or so he thought. Until she kissed him. Now if he can keep them both alive there just might be something worth staying for.

Review:  Here’s another suspense story with a friends to lovers trope.  But what really sold me from Ms. Stone was her use of Zeb’s old job that she expertly weaved into this one.  It made it feel authitic and real.  I will definitely being looking for Ms. Stone in the future.

5harlies

David by Lynn LaFleur. David and Kris begin to fall in love while filming their movie. But a killer lurks in the background who is determined to destroy their happiness.

Review:  This story is not for the faint of heart.  Truly erotic in nature (anal play) but also highly romantic.  It what I expect from Ms. LaFleur and she delivers.  Also, didn’t see the twist with the killer.  Great suspense element.

4.5harlies

Wade by Kristin Daniels. Save the girl, make her yours and nail the bad guys? Hell yes. Corral your wayward libido while doing that? Uh, Wade’s working on that one. He might’ve let Cassidy go once, but not this time. He’s a cowboy on a mission, ready take down anyone who gets in his way.

Review:  Another great suspense element that I didn’t see coming.  Great characters and I will definitely be looking up Ms. Daniels in the future.  Plus, who doesn’t love a second chance romance.  🙂

4.5harlies

Rayne breeds horses on the Texas horse ranch he calls home. Darcy prefers to travel and explore the exotic as far from Texas as she can go.
When these two opposites collide, will they discover some common ground or will their differences drive them apart?

Review:  For some reason, I didn’t connect well enough with Rayne.  Darcy was AWESOME!  I related to her wanting to travel and not be “stuck” in Calder County.  The ending was good, too.

4harlies

Valentine by Heather V. Long. He hates Sage Creek, its gossipy old ladies, tired old ranchers, and men who were supposed to be his friends. What he doesn’t hate is the girl whose heart he broke.Problem is whether he’ll be able to win her again.

Review:  Oh, Ms. Long…how she gets what I want in a story.  A bitter man not wanting redemption and Becky, the one he broke, had always loved and wouldn’t let him forget it.  *sigh*  The push and pull between these two was great.  Their history together made for a great reunion story that really pulled at my heart strings.

5harlies

Falcon by Ruth D. Kerce. Sheriff Falcon Savage returns to Calder County to find trouble stalking a woman he loved and left behind. Except his love for her never really died and ultimately it saves them both.

Review:  This one is the funniest out of the bunch.  Second chance trope and not to mention that most of the town thinks Izzy is a nutcase.  Great suspense element, too.  Yes, humor and suspense in one story.  Loved it!

5harlies

Jack by Tilly Greene
Jack Murphy knows he’d made a mistake years ago when he pushed aside the cute brunette, now he wants a second chance.

Review:  Jeez this book was hot!  And I mean smoking.  Rina and Jack were the hottest couple in the set.  🙂  But they were also a very good romance that builds in the story.  Plus, throw in old world parents and some scary mobsters…oh yes, I’m there and so will you be.

5harlies

Flint by Fran Lee…Flint is as hard as his namesake, until one tiny spitfire with a black eye worms her way under that shell…

Review:  I will admit that I adore Ms. Lee’s characters.  She took on a subject that most writers skim on and built the romance around it.  Great character growth and come on…you doesn’t like a hard man being brought to his knees by a woman. Lily is a great character despite what she went through.  

5harlies

Mason by Gayle Donnelly. Local cop, Mason, has big trouble. Not only must he solve a case of vandalism, but he needs to convince his meddling mom that he doesn’t need to be married off. But when an old love comes back to town, he might have to re-think that.

Review:  This is one of those stories that just grabs you and never lets you go.  Adored Mason and Melanie together.  Not to mention that Wanda, Mason’s mom was a hoot.  She knew what she was doing.  

5harlies

Chase by Robyn Mackenzie. Chase Collier’s greatest fantasy from the past has finally returned after ten long years and this time, he has no intention of letting her slip away. But is their incendiary connection enough to finally lay to rest past hurts in order for them to follow their hearts?

Review:  So I finished reading Mason and much to my delight, he and Melanie show up in this one.  Of course, I’m a bit dense and didn’t realize that Ms. Mackenzie and Ms. Donnelly are writing partners.  Of course, Chase and Shay were perfect together.  Now I need Connor’s story.  Please, Ms. Mackenzie.  The sense of family and friendship is prevelant within both of these stories.  And OMG…Black’s was mentioned.  My hubs and I finally made it Black’s on the way back from vacation.  Heaven…try their Shiner Bock sausage.  🙂

5harlies

Overall rating:

4.69 Harlies  (I know, weird!) And I highly recommend the whole box set.

recommend-harlies- new

 Okay, here are my overall thoughts.  Ms. Carlysle dealt with death and also had children in her story.  Great arc with the children and she handled the death with grace with and without the children.  Also, she is so worried that I wouldn’t like it because it wasn’t “hot”.  Whatever, she can still tell a great story not matter how much sex is in the book.
Ms. Lee’s handling of Lily’s awful stepfather was superbly handled.  Lily is a survivor but can still be vulnerable.  I also like Lily telling Flint what she wanted in bed and what was off limits.  Most men wouldn’t care.  Flint did.
Ms. Long just writes so beautifully.  Not every one of her stories has raunchy sex but with Valentine that’s just part of his personality and I loved that about him.  He was who he was but Becky also knew the man that he could be, too.  
Lastly, Mason and Chase’s stories were a perfect way to end the box set.  The can be read as stand alones but personally, I would read them back to back.  The intertwine with each other in very subtle ways.  Love that when authors do that.  But it also leads me to the one thing that I would have wanted…that more of the men knew each other.  

 

2 thoughts on “ARC Review of Men of Calder County (various authors)”

  1. Hi, Harlie–

    Thanks so much for your glowing review of MEN OF CALDER COUNTY. Thirteen stories, and none of them less than fours–thank you very much! I’m heading back to my roots–sensual romances with stories instead of the BDSM and futuristic moresexmoresex, etc. that I’ve been writing for the past few years! I hope you’ll want to check out Rand’s sequel, a full-length story about his big sister and the rodeo star she loved but left!

    1. I know and I think its wonderful that you are moving into a different direction. 🙂 I’m not reading the “more sex” books that much anymore.

      Linkage please on Rand’s sister’s book, if you have it. My readers would like it.

      Harlie

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