Book Review: La Vie en Rose by Lydia Michaels

La Vie en Rose (Life in Pink) by Lydia Michaels

La Vie en Rose

Publisher & Release: Self-Published, April 12, 2016

Time and setting: Present day, NYC

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Length:  380 pages

Heat Level: 2 Flames

Rating: 5 Gold Crowns

Book Description: 

Emma Sanders has always dreamt of being a bride, wearing fancy gowns, pretty pearls, and—of course—falling madly in love. Then life happened. Finding herself one fiancé short of her happily ever after, she leaves the fairy tales behind. Some days are simply too perilous for pink gowns and pearls.

 Riley Lockhart is the sort of man who can make a woman lower her gaze with only a smile. That he doesn’t realize his charm makes him all the more enchanting. Determined to save Emma the pain of her breakup, he steps in as a friend but soon finds himself wanting more.

 She was just a girl, but she somehow winds up being the strongest woman he’s ever known. Losing her is not an option and when life can’t be tied neatly in a pretty little bow, he holds tight to all that he loves most in this world—his Emma. His hero.

 Sometimes the greatest scars are worn on the inside.

 Buy Link:

http://smile.amazon.com/Vie-Rose-Life-Pink-ebook/dp/B01B6KXZO0

Add to Goodreads:

 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27866743-la-vie-en-rose-life-in-pink

Vikki’s Musings

 When I received a request from Ms. Michaels to read La Vie en Rose in exchange for an honest review, at first, I was not sure it would be a book I would enjoy since women’s fiction is not my first choice, but am I thrilled I accepted. This book resonated with me on a deeper level than I usually experience. I truly believe this is a story that all women need to read.

The book is fast-paced and enthralling. This story is much more than a romance, even though, love is the central theme in this book. It’s much more a story of friendship, loyalty, and true affection. Not just between Emma and Riley, but between a brother and sister and true friendship between Emma and Riley’s sister, Rarity. It’s a story of triumphing over extreme adversity and coming out an even stronger person than Emma was before her horrifying, life-threatening experience.

I’m being vague on purpose because I do not want to give anything away. La Vie en Rose is a book you will not want to miss, and you need to have the full benefit of the twists and turns of this amazing book.

Emma starts out as a bit of an air-head, even somewhat shallow, but when she is faced with a devastating situation, she finds out that she is made of steel under all her girlish ways. She’s a character that will have you laughing so hard, tears will roll down your face, but then when the unimaginable happens, she will have you crying just hard. I felt the full gambit of emotions with this unforgettable character.

Riley Lockhart has it all. He’s hilarious, endearing, loyal and determined. His character is a true delight. When he is faced with Emma’s situation, he swiftly changes gears and gives Emma all the support and love she needs to get through her ordeal. Riley loves Emma the way every woman wants to be loved!

I am truly grateful I had a chance to read this incredible book. If you enjoy a story with deep emotion that will pull at your heartstrings, yet one that has too many humorous moments to count, along with a multitude of issues presented with supreme tact and compassion, then you will absolutely want to read this book. If I could give it more than 5 Gold Crowns I would give it 10! This story may very well be the best book I read this year. It is definitely one I will read again and again. Happy reading!

 

 

 

 

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Book & Audio Review: The Doctor Wears a Stetson by Anne Marie Novak

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The Doctor Wears  a Stetson

Book Blitz: Lord Bachelor by Tammy L. Bailey

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Book & Audio Book Review: Someone Like Her by Sandra Owens

Someone Like Her by Sandra Owens

 Someone Like Her

Publisher & Release Montlake Romance, January 6, 2015

Time and setting: Present day, Pensacola, Florida

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Length:  305 pages

Heat Level: 2 Flames

Rating: 4.5 Gold Crowns

Book Description: 

Known to the K2 Special Services team as Romeo, ex-Navy SEAL Jake Buchanan may spend his downtime living up to his nickname, but there’s one woman who sets his heart racing like no one else can: Maria Kincaid. Unfortunately, his boss—her brother—has made it crystal clear that she’s off-limits. Jake doesn’t do commitment, while Maria is the type of woman who deserves a promise of forever. Yet Maria finds herself drawn to Jake, the man who stares at her with a desire she wishes he’d act on.

 Still haunted by her horrific childhood, Maria goes searching for the father she’s never met—and stumbles into a nightmarish experience. With her life in grave danger, she reaches out to Jake, her brother’s second-in-command. Jake figures he can help Maria without giving in to temptation. But some things are easier said than done.

 Buy Links:

Amazon: http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00M4DE55M

Audible: http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Someone-like-Her-Audiobook/B00T3A74JI

Add to Goodreads:

 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22877453-someone-like-her

Vikki’s Musings

 I am so glad I decided to revisit the K2 Special Forces series by Sandra Owens. They are available through the Kindle-Unlimited program, and the audio version is only $1.99. I just loved Maria and Jake’s story!

This story is fast-paced and pulled me in from the first page and kept my interest through the entire book. I thoroughly enjoyed the tidbits about Pensacola. I actually lived there for seven years, and Ms. Owens descriptions brought back many fond memories for me.

Maria Kincaid is a wonderful heroine. She definitely did not have an easy time growing up with a prostitute for a mother. Thank goodness she had her brother Logan to protect her. She has a lot of misconceptions because of her mother when it comes to sexual matters and no wonder. While she struggles with self-esteem in that area, she excels in matters of business. She is graduating from law school and ready to join her brother at K2. I liked her fearless attitude a lot, and her determination to protect the young girl Ashley.

Jake is your typical bad boy when it comes to women, but underneath, he is a loyal friend and would never intentionally hurt a woman. He was always careful to make sure his women knew the score. With Maria, he realizes something is different. Besides, she’s off limits since his boss is her brother. I would have liked a bit more backstory on why he was such a player.

The chemistry between Maria and Jake threatened to set my ears on fire! They are fantastic together and I really wanted them to have their happy ending. Both of them have been fighting the attraction between them for several years, and when Maria calls him for help, the spark ignites.

I listened to the narrative by Amy McFadden and Mikael Naramore and enjoyed it tremendously. Ms. McFadden reads with just the right amount of emotion without going too far. I also enjoyed Mr. Naramore’s performance in this one more than I did in Lost in Her.

I enjoyed Someone Like Her a great deal. If you are looking for a book with an engaging love story, plenty of action and interesting characters, then you will definitely want to read this book. Happy reading!

 

Thanks, K.J. Pierce

http://misplacedmisfit.com/2016/02/22/a-new-beginning-or-a-life-stuck-in-the-past-a-new-beginning-for-nanci-by-vikki-mccombie/#comment-641VikkiCover-ebookfinal

Book & Audio Review: Intimate Enemies by Joan Swan

Intimate Enemies by Joan Swan

(Covert Affairs, Book 1)

Intimate Enemies by Joan Swan

Publisher & Release Date: Cygnet Books, November 9, 2013

Time and setting: Present Day, Baja, Mexico

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Erotic/Romantic SuspenseLength:  362 pages

Heat Level: 3 Flames

Rating: 5 Gold Crowns

Book Description: 

She is on a quest for answers; answers that could just get her killed.

 Six months after the mysterious yacht explosion that killed Cassie Christo’s mother and stepbrother, authorities still have no answers to the cause. Searching for closure, Cassie returns to her childhood home on the Pacific Coast of Baja, Mexico, where she launches her own investigation into the accident. She never expected to find an adversary in the man who had once touched her heart with kindness in her darkest moment.

 Rio’s been fantasizing about reconnecting with Cassie for months. But not here and sure as hell not now. As an undercover agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, he’s working the biggest sting operation in all of northern Mexico, and he definitely doesn’t have time for the wild attraction he feels for Cassie.

 Not only is his cover on the line, so is his heart. Because as the end of a yearlong operation draws closer, Rio knows if he tells Cassie the truth about who and what he is, it won’t only jeopardize his mission, it may result in him losing her forever. And if he doesn’t, his lies and deception could get them both killed.

Buy Links:

 Amazon: http://smile.amazon.com/Intimate-Enemies-Covert-Affairs-Book-ebook/dp/B008MXK3L8/

Audible: http://www.audible.com/pd/Mysteries-Thrillers/Intimate-Enemies-Audiobook/B00IK4L494

 Add to Goodreads:

 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16230767-intimate-enemies

Vikki’s Musings

I recently read Reckless by Skye Jordan and thoroughly enjoyed it. I discovered she also writes as Joan Swan and when I read the book description for Intimate Enemies, I was intrigued. Since it also had the audio version, I downloaded it. I am so glad I found this book!

The story pulled me in from the first scene and kept me glued to my seat until the end. The pacing is very fast with lots of action and highly emotion. This is an excellent romantic suspense novel. Ms. Swan’s vivid description of the Baja area is excellent, giving an idea what it must be like to live there with the gangs and drug cartels ruling the streets.

I liked Cassie’s character, even though at times, she didn’t make  the best decisions, especially when it came to her safety. She is fearless to the point she puts her life in danger and the man who is supposed to be protecting her. I could feel her anguish over her mother and step-brothers’ deaths keenly. Her compassion for her cousin, her desire to help the poor, makes her a great heroine.

Now, Rio Santana is everything I love in a book boyfriend. He’s tall, dark and handsome as sin. He’s brave, loyal and determined to keep Cassie safe, even when she rushes in where angels fear to tread. I love a warrior character archetype and Rio fits it perfectly. And when you add in some bad boy, it’s enough to make a girl reach for her fan!

Intimate Enemies is an emotionally-charged love story. I could feel the sexual tension between Rio and Cassie in every scene. The love scenes are erotic, yet they are not all about the sex. The love growing between Cassie and Rio jumped off the page.

I listened to the audio version, and I really liked Christa G. Lewis. She reads with a great deal of emotion and tension radiated in her voice during the suspenseful scenes. I particularly enjoyed all the accents, and her voice tone for Rio is perfection. I will certainly look for other books narrated by her.

If you love erotic romances with lots of action and suspense, and a romantic love story, then you will love Intimate Enemies as much as I did. While this is the first book I’ve read by Ms. Swan, it will not be the last. Happy reading!

Book Review: Rescue Me by Lara Van Hulten

Rescue Me by Lara Van Hulzen

 Recue Me

Publisher & Release Date: Self-published, November 3, 2015

Time and setting: Present Day, Lake Tahoe

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Inspirational

Length:  181 pages

Heat Level: 1 Sweet Heart

Rating: 4 Gold Crowns

Book Description:

Keith is a soldier with a wounded heart.

 Torie’s secrets haunt her.

 Can they trust love enough to mend what’s broken?

 Torie Walker is a police officer with a past she’d like to stay hidden from. Staying at her best friend’s cabin in the mountains over Christmas is just what she needs. However, when a handsome cowboy saunters into her life, she takes the risk and trusts him with her secrets.

 Keith Scott is a United States Marine. Home for the holidays, he intends to spend a quiet Christmas with his family. What he doesn’t plan on is Torie Walker, a woman who mends his heart and makes him want to love again.

 Buy Link:

 http://smile.amazon.com/Rescue-Me-Men-Honor-Book-ebook/dp/B013S2B4MO/

Add to Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27418297-rescue-me

EXCERPT:

He bent down and picked up the book she’d dropped and handed it to her. “Here you go.” He looked at the cover.  “Historical fiction? Hmmm, I’d see you more as a True Crime kind of girl.”

She smiled, her heart rate slowed, returning to normal. “One would think so, right? But no, I get enough of that at work.”

He nodded at shoved his hands in his jean pockets. “Makes sense now that you say it. People always think I’d want a military book to escape. Not sure how they figure that, but they mean well.” Sadness flashed in his eyes for a moment then was gone. Torie could only imagine what he’d seen and done as a soldier. The idea of Keith in harm’s way made her stomach turn. She shivered at the thought of the danger he faced in his job.

“Are you cold? They have fresh coffee here. It’s good too.” He winked at her.

She shook her head. “Um, no thanks. I’m good. I’m jumpy as it is, apparently. No more caffeine for me.”

He smiled. “What kind of book are you looking for if you don’t read military?”

“Well, I know it’s sort of stereotypical, but I like old westerns. Louis L’Amour, that kind of thing.” He leaned towards her and whispered, “And sometimes I like Science Fiction. But let’s keep that between us.”

“Your secret is safe with me,” Torie whispered back. She couldn’t help but soak in the irony of this enormous mountain of a man whispering like a little boy about his secret love of Science Fiction. Keith was living proof that you can’t always judge a book by its cover. His cover was enticing and the inside story was something she definitely wanted to read more about.

He stood straight again. “I’m here today though looking for a book for my mom for Christmas.”

“Oh, that’s nice. What does she like to read?”

He frowned. “Romance novels.”

Torie laughed out loud. The woman working behind the desk gave them a look but then continued with her task.

“Hey now. I didn’t say I was reading them.”

“I know.” Torie couldn’t stop laughing. “I’m just picturing you standing in front of the romance novel section of a store and getting some . . . stares.” But mainly because he belonged on a cover. She didn’t add that last part, of course, but her brain sure went there. Keith without a shirt on had to be romance novel worthy. Her cheeks warmed at the thought. “I don’t know much about that genre but Aimee reads them all the time. I could try and help you pick some for your mom.” The relief that washed over his features was priceless. This fierce warrior in front of her wound up tighter than a drum over picking a book had her laughing again.

“What? Why are you laughing again?”

“Nothing. I think it’s nice, actually, that you would go to such lengths of discomfort to get your mom a Christmas gift.”

He smiled and looked at his boots. “Yeah, well . . .”

Ah, a rough exterior with a soft, gooey center. Keith was becoming more and more appealing by the minute.

 Vikki’s Musings

When I was offered the chance to read Rescue Me in exchange for an honest review, the book description intrigued me. I enjoy inspirational novels and this sounded like it would be different than what is the norm for that sub-genre. I thoroughly enjoyed Rescue Me.

Torie Walker is on Christmas vacation from her job as a police officer in San Diego. She’s come to Lake Tahoe to stay at her best friend’s cabin while Aimee is on her honeymoon. She met Aimee’s brother-in-law, Keith Scott, several months earlier. When he shows up at her cabin to check on her, she feels drawn to him in a way that has never happened before.

Home on leave from the United States Marines, Keith finds the tall, slender Torie entrancing, but he’s had his heart broken in the past. With his dangerous job, he believes he needs to stay out of a relationship. As they spend time together, he begins to question that decision, especially after she opens up and tells him her secrets.

Can two emotionally wounded people learn to open their hearts to each other, and find the wonderful plan God has for them, or will they allow fear to stand in the way?

This is a sweet, emotionally-charged romance that gently unfolds as Torie and Keith learn to trust each other. The pacing is nice and steady, and it kept my interest from start to finish.  While this is a faith based love story, both characters believe from the start, so their faith is sprinkled in a bit at a time with a reference to reading their bible and turning to prayer. I enjoyed that part of the story a great deal.

Torie’s character is troubled from events she had no control over as a child. Those events make it very difficult to allow someone into her life. Other than her best friend, she’s a loner because she has never had anyone she could depend on before she meets Keith.

Keith is a wonderful hero. He is dedicated to his faith, a considerate son, and a loyal friend. His heart was broken by his ex-wife, so at first he has a hard time trusting that Torie is the right woman for him. As they spend time together each day during the Christmas season, he is able to see the caring person Torie is, and that it’s worth taking a risk. His attraction to her is more tender than sensual as I would expect in an inspirational novel.

I did have one minor problem with the book. Personally, I would have liked more information concerning Keith’s role with the Marines. It seemed like he spent all his time in between missions helping out on his parent’s ranch. I’m thinking he would have regular duties when not involved in a covert operation. He has his own home there. It could be that his base was nearby, which would allow him to be home a lot. That just wasn’t mentioned in the book.

Nonetheless, this is an enjoyable read for the holidays, and I am glad I read it. I liked all the characters in Rescue Me, and plan to read the other books in this series. Happy reading!

Author Bio:Van Hulzen Author Photo

 Lara Van Hulzen received her BA in Journalism from Point Loma Nazarene University in 1994. Her first published article was when she was a senior in high school. She has worked as a book reviewer for the past 18 years with various organizations such as Crossings Doubleday, YouthWorker Journal, and Radian Lit. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Inspired Christian Writers, and American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband three children in Northern California.

Social Media:

 http://www.laramvanhulzen.com/

http://assistant.vanhulzen@gmail.com

twitter.com/laravanhulzen

facebook.com/laravanhulzen

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