#ARC Review of A Cowboy to Keep by Karen Rock w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @karenrock5

Can’t stop running from the past 

Dani Crawford has a secret…and if bounty hunter Jackson Cade finds out, he could ruin everything. The scarred yet handsome cowboy has tracked a dangerous criminal to the dude ranch Dani manages, and to get rid of Jack she’ll have to help him catch his man. But the closer they get to cornering their quarry the more Dani wants Jack to stay. Spending time with him is making her long for things she can never have thanks to a past mistake. And if the truth comes out she may be spending her future behind bars rather than safe in her cowboy’s arms…

A COWBOY TO KEEP is the prequel to my upcoming Harlequin Heartwarming ROCKY MOUNTAIN COWBOYS series.

  • Series: Harlequin Heartwarming
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin Heartwarming (February 7, 2017)

Buy Links:

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EXCERPT:

Without warning, Jack laid his thumb on Dani’s lips, as if seeing whether she would pull away. She didn’t. He leaned closer. She wanted to drop her gaze from his but couldn’t. Before, Jack had just been a threat to her secret. Her security. The safe life she’d constructed in this hiding spot. Now all Dani could see were his big dark eyes, the palms of his strong hands, the way his torso shifted under his T-shirt.

Her mind swerved in unexpected directions. She wondered, briefly, what it would feel like if he were to kiss her. She made a small, involuntary sound at the thought.

His lids lowered and he leaned his head into hers. When their lips were almost touching, he cupped the side of her face, the caress achingly tender, and slid his fingers into her hair.

He angled her face upward and brushed his mouth against hers, softly at first, then he lifted her chin and deepened his kiss so that her body trembled. She kissed him back—tentatively and then with a fierce passion, her hand stealing up his neck, her eyes closing. She could feel his heart drum through his shirt, the rush of his breath mingling with hers, the strength of his body as he drew her closer still until she clung to him, her head spinning.

His lips traveled along her jaw and she dug her fingers into his shoulders, needing his strength because her muscles were suddenly limp. Never in her life had a kiss—or a man—affected her this way.

Jack’s hands dropped to her waist and tightened there. In the still air, their breathing was the only sound. Blood throbbed in her veins, pulsed at the base of her throat. She buried her face in his neck and inhaled the clean male scent of his skin. It reminded her of a forest after a storm, strong and pure and good.

Yet he’d denied Dakota’s claim that he was a good man. And the sadness she glimpsed in the corners of his eyes suggested there was more to Jack than an ex-rancher turned tough guy bounty hunter. One she might never get to know.

“You take care of yourself,” he said softly into her hair. Then he pulled back.

Her heart beat erratically as she watched him stride away. She touched her lips, remembering the firm pressure of his. When she’d looked into his sorrowful eyes, a door in her heart had blown open. And when they’d kissed, she’d seen that on the other side of that door was the sky.

The more time she spent with him, the harder it became to hold in her secrets. He made her want to be open and vulnerable. To earn his appreciation honestly, as the person she was, not who he imagined her to be: someone with a spotless past.

Was there a chance he would understand, accept her, care for her, just the way she was?

If he found her picture in his composite sketchbook database, or her warrant, the choice to reveal all would be taken from her.

And so might the man who’d captured her heart.

I have to tell on Ms. Rock.  For some reason when she contacted me to review her latest release, she was a bit timid (I’d say) in regards to whether I’d review it or not.  Really?  If anyone knows, I’m in love with Harlequin Heartwarming line.  Like I told her, it’s better than the Harlequin Romance line.  Heartwarming stories have more depth to them, the romance is slower to build and when you are finished, you have the satisfaction that you have just read an awesome contemporary romance.  It’s clean, emotional and deals with real life situations that anyone can relate to.

Dani and Jack are two flawed characters (at least in their eyes) that meet in the funniest way.  Guns are involved and it’s actually funny.  You get to see what Dani is made of from the get-go and Jack is just out of his league when it comes to Dani.  Just not in the way you think.  Dani is hiding from her past but has built a better life for herself.  Jack is still beating himself up for something that happened to him over two years ago and he has the physical scar to prove it.

What really got me about their story was the mystery/suspense element that I really, really enjoyed.  This is something that Ms. Rock doesn’t write enough of this sub-genre but after reading this, she definitely has a future.  I loved how the cast of characters involved were real players in the mystery and how the present collided with Jack’s past.  Beautifully written, even when it became painful for Jack and Dani.  The climax of the book is just great.  It made Jack realize that Dani is the woman for him but does it push her further away?

Their romance is slow to build but once they realize that it’s there, Ms. Rock writes it sweet but with some hot kisses.  It is Heartwarming, after all.  I can’t wait to see how their relationship continues for the remainder of the series.  Oh yes, this is a prequel to the series featuring the rest of Jack’s family and his ranch.

If you have never read a Heartwarming book, you are missing out.  If you haven’t read Ms. Rock…SHAME on you.  I’ve been reading her for years and she is one of my favorite authors to read.    *drops mic*

 

A print book to a US or CA winner you choose or an eBook to an INT winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

#Review of Call to Honor: A SEAL Brotherhood Novel #1 by Tawny Weber w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @TawnyWeber

Call to Honor: A SEAL Brotherhood Novel, #1

by Tawny Weber

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GENRE:  Contemporary Romance

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BLURB:

 

“No man left behind” is inscribed in the DNA of every SEAL and Lieutenant Diego Torres is no exception. But with a team member killed—and the body missing— Diego’s honor is sorely tested. Now his career and reputation are on the line, and a traitor is hiding among them. Diego wants answers…and only one woman has them.

Single mom Harper Maclean has two priorities—raising her son Nathan and starting a new life. Her mysterious new neighbor may be impossibly charming, but Diego asks too many questions about her past—and about the father of her child. Questions she fears will reveal her burning attraction for Diego, and ultimately put them all in danger’s path.
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Exclusive Excerpt

Harper stepped through the iron fence and froze.

The new neighbor was in his backyard. Barefoot and shirtless, he wore what looked like black pajama bottoms. He simply flowed across the moon-drenched lawn. Kicks, turns, chops and punches flowed in a seamlessly elegant dance.

Was that martial arts he was doing?

Shirtless.

She couldn’t quite get past that one particular point.

It was too delicious.

But instead of licking her lips, Harper clenched her fists tight at her side.

Why the hell was a man who looked like that living next door to her? More to the point, why did her libido choose now to wake up? Was it some cosmic joke that she’d remember now, despite her claims to the contrary, she was a sexually aware woman who had needs and desires?

Harper watched him do some sort of flip, feet in the air and his body resting on one hand. Muscles rippled, but he wasn’t even breathing hard as he executed an elegant somersault to land, feetfirst on the grass, knees low and arms extended.

Wow.

She’d bet all of her needs and desires could be handled quite nicely by her gorgeous, and quite physically impressive, new neighbor.

Harper would have growled if she weren’t worried the guy would notice the slightest sound and turn around. The last thing she wanted while she was going through this personal crisis was attention.

She wanted to blame Andi. Oh, not for the new neighbor. Arranging for good-looking neighbors wasn’t one of Andi’s oft-bragged about skills. But putting the idea of sex and lust and, yes, dammit, craving, into Harper’s mind so her imagination ran wild when she looked at the new neighbor? That was totally and completely Andi’s fault.

Her stomach tightened with an edgy need she recognized as desire as the guy did a series of kicks, each one higher than the other with the last aimed straight overhead.

Again, wow.

He had tattoos.

A cross riding low on his hip and something tribal circling one bicep.

Who knew tattoos were so sexy?

Sweet Jesus.  I have to admit that I haven’t read Ms. Weber in a while.  Somehow she got out my rotation when it comes to Harlequin books.  And yes, I forgot how delicious her heroes are and that no one write SEALs better than her.  Yes, I put her SEALs up against anyone else.  She’s that good.  So on to the review.

I will admit that I was prepared for a more Blaze type book but what I got was so much more.  This book sets up a plot arc that I’m sure will take more than just one or two books to complete.  *rubs hands together*  Oh my…it is a plot device that we have seen once or twice but the set up in this book is perfect and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out.  The team is perfect together.  Torres, MacGuyver, Prescott, Savino, Ward and the rest of them.  This is a team that I can’t wait to read more of and the women that take them down.  Plus, the villain in the book is well definied and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out.  🙂

Torres and Harper are match made in heaven.  On paper, they don’t seem to fit but once you get through their layers, they are closer to a couple that is destined to be together.  Similar backgrounds and the bravery, fortitude, dedication, and love that they have for their friends.  Plus, there is nothing better than watching a big, bad SEAL brought to his knees by the thought being able to settle down with a woman, her son that the adores and the feelings that come with it.  Torres, just didn’t know what hit him.

Harper is the type of heroine that doesn’t whine, pout but is loyal, funny and fiercely protective of Nathan, her son.  Not to mention that her friend Andi, is a hoot.  Plus, I loved that Harper, after a huge dryspell, was the one that put the moves on Torres.  Oh yes, sex kitten is what she turned out to be.  He He!  I also like Ms. Weber didn’t drag out the black moment between them either.  They had a common goal that they working towards but in no way to she gloss over it.  I loved how it ended but now, I need Prescott’s book.  Plus, I didn’t mention that Andi and MacGuyer…well, I’m sure their book will come later.  🙂

Overall, I missed Ms. Weber and her SEALs.  I will be reading the rest of this series.  Trust me, I will NOT make this mistake again.  She made my heart happy and reading this book for me was like welcoming a long lost friend back into the fold.

 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

New York Times and USA TODAY Bestselling author of more than forty books, Tawny Weber loves writing about sexy heroes, most notably her popular Navy SEALs series.  Her sassy, emotional romances are filled with men dedicated to being the best—and women determined to have the best.  Tawny credits her ex-military alpha husband for inspiration in her writing, and in her life.   The recipient of numerous writing accolades, including Romantic Times Reviewers Choice and in addition to the NY Times and USA Today bestseller lists, Tawny has also hit the number one spot on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  

 

A homeschooling mom, Tawny enjoys scrapbooking, gardening and spending time with her family and dogs in her Northern California home.

 

You can find Tawny on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.   

 

Website:  http://tawnyweber.com

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/TawnyWeber.RomanceAuthor

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/TawnyWeber

Pinterest:   http://pinterest.com/tawnyweber/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/513828.Tawny_Weber

 

Call to Honor : http://tawnyweber.com/cth

Amazon : http://tawnyweber.com/CHaz1

B&N : http://tawnyweber.com/CHbn1

iBooks : http://tawnyweber.com/CHiB1

Kobo : http://tawnyweber.com/CHk1

Harlequin : http://atwnyweber.com/CHh1

Goodreads : http://tawnyweber.com/CtHG

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE


Tawny will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

 

Best of 2016! @entangledpub @HarlequinHeartwarmingAuthors @vastine7 @RachelBrimble @CLSkaggs @BooksBy_Sarah @RebeccaYarros @Sherilee_Gray @AdriennGiordano @MimiJeanRomance @MsMonicaMurphy @KTCastle_author @AlisonBliss2 @kennedyfoxbooks @CateBeauman @Naima_Simone

Shocked?  You should be because I don’t do lists on the blog when it comes to the “best of”.  I never have and I swore that I wouldn’t do it either.  I feel like these kinds of lists are just bragging to other bloggers that you are better than they are.  Bloggers are a different breed.  I’ve been bullied by authors, publishers, and bloggers since I started blogging 9 years ago.  I’ve almost quit a few times, too.  Jealousy has reared its ugly head, too.  I had to come to the realization that I will never be one of the “popular” blogs.  I don’t go to cons where most of the “popular” go to and let’s face it, suck up to authors and publishers.  They promise the world to them and most of the time they deliver.  Blogs like mine don’t operate like that and I won’t sell my soul to be that blogger.

I have not and will not become a minion and I have my opinion, which is quite different from everyone else.  I’m good with this because if you ever met me in person…what you see is what you get.  Bad behavior is something that I can’t comprehend nor do I condone.  I have many popular authors that other bloggers seem to adore that I won’t touch with a ten-foot pole.  They burned me earlier in my blogging career and therefore, they are not welcome on the blog…ever!

So enough of my tirade.  Here are my choices for the year 2016.  In no particular order:

 

Catch a Fallen Star by Amy Vastine.  Yes, it’s a Harlequin Heartwarming and its sweet.  But this book is pure perfection when it comes to the line.  Perfectly written, solid characters and a story that will tug at your heart.  Plus, it’s got the kind of romance that just sneaks up on you. (Contemporary Romance, Sweet, series)

 

The Lucie Rizzo Series by Adrienne Giordano.  Okay, so she writes Harlequin Intrigue but this series is a mystery series with romantic elements with laugh out loud comedy.  It’s set in Chicago and deals with an Italian mob princess that is out and in love with an Irish cop.  And the mysteries revolve around her dog business.  I seriously can’t make this up but Ms. Giordano did and it’s the best. (Mystery, comedy, romance, series, sensual)

 

Saved by the Fireman by Rachel Brimble.  My English Rose is the best.  I’ve been with her since she started writing for the Wild Rose Press and she never disappoints.  Never.  And this Harlequin Superromance series is the best.  I love Templeton Cove. (Contemporary Romance, sensual, series)

 

Breaking Him by Sherilee Gray.  This is one of the launch books for Entangled Publishing’s Scorched line.  Now, you know that I don’t review erotic anymore but the blurb intrigued me.  Beautifully written erotic romance where the sex actually makes sense and is necessary.  It’s raw, highly emotional and you will swoon throughout the whole book.  It’s all about trust. (Contemporary Romance, erotic)

 

Size Matters by Alison Bliss.  Good lord, I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much reading a book.  This is the book that you need to read if you have ever had body image issues (ME).  Ms. Bliss has written a book that everyone one of us needs to read and realize that yes, size matters but it only matters to yourself. (Contemporary Romantic Comedy, spicy, series)

 

Bridesmaid Checklist:  Marisol’s Wedding by KT Castle.  This author sneaked up on me.  I read the first book in the series and while I loved it, one of the girls was awful.  Non redeeming.  Still not after this book but her behavior from the first book makes sense.  You need to read this series. (Contemporary Romance, spicy/sensual, series)

 

The Bachelor’s Auction by Naima Simone.  Yes, it’s Indulgence by Entangled.  They are my crack.  Tropy, sexy and just what I expect from the line.  This one was a treat.  It’s a childhood friend’s to lovers trope that is written beautifully.  You feel the love from the first encounter and it never lets up. (Contemporary Romance, spicy, series)

 

The Bridal Bouquet by Tara Randal.  It’s another Harlequin Heartwarming, sue me.  I love this line and this one deals with the bridal industry and a cop that is investigating a drug ring.  Seriously.  What makes this book special is that love is based on trust.  Not just from a lover but from your family, too.  Important message…that was well received.  (Contemporary Romance, sweet, series)

The Bodyguards of L.A. County Series by Cate Beauman.  Romantic suspense is what I cut my teeth on and Ms. Beauman doesn’t disappoint.  My favorite in the series is Falling for Sarah.  Beautifully written, creepy villain and a love story so romantic that you won’t believe it’s a suspense book.  (Romantic Suspense, series, spicy)

 

God of Wine (Immortal Matchmakers series) by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff.  Paranormal is not my favorite but I just had to read this one based on the blurb alone.  I nearly peed my pants when I read this one.  Laugh out loud funny, features a heroine that is older and the secondary characters are the best. (Paranormal Romance, spicy, series, comedy)

Not a Hero by Sarah Robinson.  This book has all the feels.  A hero that has his demons from coming back from the war.  A heroine that won’t let him fail and secondary characters that are spot on.  If you are looking for a military romance, this one is for you. (Contemporary Romance, spicy, military)

Checkmate Duet:  This is War & This is Love by Kennedy Fox.  Travis and Viola.  The perfect enemies to lovers story PERIOD.  No one else comes close.  These women obliterated the trope and made it their own.  I dare you to read it and disagree with me.  I double dog dare you. (Contemporary Romance, series, spicy/erotic)

Unforgettable (Untouchables series) by Cindy Skaggs.  Again, romantic suspense at it’s best.  This one involves the mob. Like I told Ms. Skaggs, I base all of my romantic suspense heroes to Noah Clayborne from Julie Garwood’s Buchanan’s series.  Blake comes very, very close to Noah.  Yes, Blake is that awesome of a hero.  (Romantic Suspense, series, spicy)

 

 

Lastly, I have two surprises for the list.  As most know, I don’t read YA/NA because most authors bring too much angst for me to the book.  I had a great childhood and my 20’s were a lot of fun.  Okay, almost too much fun.  But I wasn’t abused, didn’t do drugs, etc. so I pretty much stopped reading the genres.  Again, I was happy so I want my characters to have fun.

 

More Than Friends (Friends #2) by Monica Murphy.  Like I said in my review, she “get’s” it.  One of the most realistic books that I have ever read.  It felt like I was reading about my own friends from high school and I’ve been out of high school for 32 years.  Plus, Tuttle and Mandy.  Enough said.  A teen romance that is swoon worthy, believable and I need the sequel like yesterday.  (Contemporary Young Adult, sensual, series)

Wilder (the Renegades #1) by Rebecca Yarros.  Dear Lord in Heaven.  Wilder.  Wilder.  Wilder.  Extreme sports, college on a cruise ship and chemistry between people that will not be denied.  And to think that Nova’s story is coming next month.  I’m not sure the Kindle will be able to keep up.  (Contemporary New Adult, spicy, series)

So I bet you are wondering where the other genres are like historical, sci/fi, fantasy, etc.  I read them but I have learned from my readers to the blog, that their tastes are my tastes.  If you are looking for m/m, erotic/BDSM, go to http://www.harliewilliams.wordpress.com.  I review them over there.  Plus, I review on Amazon under the name Brian’s Mom.

And yes, this blogger listens to what her reader’s comment/read/share when it comes to content.  I started this blog for me to share my love of what I like to read.  Again, not popular by industry standards but at the readers that I have, appreciate me.  As do the authors.

 

So there you go.  My top 14 books of 2016.  Every one of these books is on my keeper shelf.  Do yourself a favor and find that one author that you have NEVER heard about and read the book.  Or pick a genre that you normally don’t read and take a chance.  You might surprise yourself.  I know that I did and I’m glad that I gave some genres another chance.  I know that authors appreciate it when someone finds their little gem of a book and reads it.