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Once Upon a Chapter

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Say Yes to the Marquess: Castles Ever After
Tessa Dare
Ghost Moon - Karen Robards

Olivia Morrison has been summoned home by her dear Aunt Callie. Aunt Callie is ill and Olivia’s grandfather, Big John, is getting on in years. Olivia decides nine years away from the one place she knew as home is long enough. She and her daughter Sara go home to the LaAngelle Plantation she called home as a child. The last night she was in the house she and her stepcousin Seth had gotten into a heated battle. Afterwards, Olivia eloped and hadn’t been back since.


Olivia doesn’t get the welcome home reception she had expected. In fact her grandfather looks at her and has a heart attack on the spot. If it weren’t for Aunt Callie Olivia would have gone back home. She realizes how far she has actually distanced herself and her daughter from her large extended family. Olivia makes an effort to get to know her family again. Shortly after she returns, Olivia starts to have nightmares of her mother’s suicide and always from the perception of an onlooker by the lake. Voices tell her to run from the lake, to run and run far away.


Between the nightmares and her budding attraction to the man she always perceived as a cousin, Olivia has a lot on her plate. She acknowledges that she can’t have feelings for Seth. After all, he’s getting married to another woman in six weeks. Her nightmares bring her heart stopping fear at night and leave her wondering if her mother’s suicide was even a suicide at all.


Oh my! For much of the book, there seem to be three major plot points going on. One takes place in the past and then there seem to be two in the present. Robards can write a stunning plot and I was glued to the book the whole time with a perplexed look on my face. The romance was a little off. It seemed like it took half of the book to find out that they were attracted to each other, another quarter of the book fighting that attraction and then the last quarter was split between the recognition of their love and the ending of the suspense plot.


This book was awesome as far as the suspense plot was concerned. At the end of the book, I was floored. I had a hunch of who the villain would be as far as relation to our heroine, Olivia. I was shocked and pleasantly surprised that the last person I suspected was the bad guy. Believe me, up until the last chapter or two I had several choices to pick from. The ending was deliciously spine tingling. If you like romantic suspense and don’t mind a heavy focus on the suspense and a lesser focus on the romance, you should make it a point to pick this book up.

Source: http://onceuponachapter.com/2010/08/ghost-moon-by-karen-robards.html
The Leopard Prince - Elizabeth Hoyt

Lady Georgina Maitland is eight and twenty and the idea of marriage horrifies her. She is outspoken and isn’t ruled by the social expectations of her time. Her aunt left her a great amount of land with the stipulation that no man may step in and take responsibility for it. George takes in interest in her land and wants to accompany her land steward to her country home to see for herself the day to day tasks that must be taken care of. She finds what she very least expected to find at her country home: love.


Harry Pye has certainly not had an easy life. As a child, he was the gamekeeper’s son with a wealthy household. He loved helping his Da and wondering around the grounds as a young boy. All of that changed one night and both Harry and his father ended up in the poorhouse. Through hard work and good social networking Harry has worked his way up the servant ladder to Lady Georgina Maitland’s land steward. Someone has been attacking the livestock on the estate neighboring Lady Georgina’s and framing Harry. He doesn’t know why but he cannot afford to loose his position in the Maitland home. Harry launches his own investigation to figure it out. Will his new employer trust in him or follow through with society dictates and fire him without any evidence?


“After the carriage wreck and a bit before the horses ran away, Lady Georgina Maitland noticed that her land steward was a man.”


With an opening sentence like that, how can this book be anything but exceptional? Watching George pursue Harry was so amusing. She knew what she wanted and society rules be damned. Harry is actually the one who tried to keep a sense of decorum in the relationship and watching him try to fight off George’s advances brought a smile to my face several times. This romance was truly a heart tugging one and the mystery of the livestock attacks added so much to the book and it certainly was the last person I expected. Hoyt knows how to pen a beautiful romance. The secondary characters were all wonderful and it made me wish for books of their own. I cannot recommend enough Elizabeth Hoyt to any true fan of historical romance. Trust me, she is one you do not want to miss.

Source: http://onceuponachapter.com/2010/08/the-leopard-prince-by-elizabeth-hoyt.html
Sudden Death - Allison Brennan

Megan Elliott is a very successful special agent in the FBI. She takes her cases personally and she never gives up. Never. Megan currently heads the Violent Crimes/Major Offender Squad for the FBI. She takes her job very seriously and runs everything by the book. She doesn’t even bend the rules.


Jack Kincaid is a soldier-for-hire. He only takes jobs that are for the greater good. He has a team he trusts and he knows they would never fail him on a job. He doesn’t play by the rules but rather follows his heart and the consequences be damned. Jack is still trying to put right something that happened so many years ago and was beyond his control. He hasn’t been home, except for weddings and funerals, for 20 years.


Now a vicious pair of killers are cutting a bloody path through the United States killing veterans of the elite Delta Force. If it wasn’t bad enough that they are killing these men who have served for their country, the men are being taped to a chair and brutally tortured before being shot execution style. Megan gets involved in the Sacramento murder and Jack becomes involved when someone near and dear is murdered by the pair.


Can Megan and Jack work together to stop these serial killers before they strike again? Both must make compromises if they want to catch and stop them.


Brennan delivers again. I have read most of her back list and I am always amazed by the plots she creates. She includes high drama and tension with a satisfying ending. Who could ask for more? With Sudden Death, I wasn’t scarred or terrified as I have been before. I was more grossed out. The killers’ particular brand of torture is a personal flip out factor for me. It is very effective and I have no doubt that it could truly be done, it just creeps me out.


Both Megan and Jack are strong characters are they know their own morals and values. They also know which ones they can let bend a little to get the end result that they want. Their attraction is instantaneous but neither wants to bring down that wall of professionalism to explore it….until that wall gets blown apart by desire. Overall this was a great book and one that I think most romantic suspense junkies will appreciate.

Source: http://onceuponachapter.com/2010/08/sudden-death-by-allison-brennan.html
Pleasure Unbound - Larissa Ione

“In a place where ecstasy can cost you your life…Two lovers will dare to risk it all.”


Tayla Mancuso has had a hard life. Her mother was a drug addict and Tayla spent a lot of time in and out of foster homes. When Tayla was fourteen her mother got herself cleaned up and Tayla was able to live with her. When Tayla was sixteen her life changed forever. After that night she vowed never to be vulnerable again. Tayla’s mother was killed by a demon. A group called the Aegis protect the world by slaying the demons who would wreck havoc on innocent humans. Tayla becomes a Guardian within the cell and she’s good at what she does. Lately she’s been going through some strange changes and is losing use of her limbs at the most inopportune times. But what if everything she’s been fighting against, isn’t what she’s always thought it was?


Eidolon is a doctor at the hospital that he founded, Underworld General Hospital. He doesn’t look like your typical demon. Eidolon appears human and a mighty fine on at that. He’s also a Seminus demon. Seminus demons specialize in sex. They’re good at it and that’s good because they require sex often. Eidolon is nearing his Change. If he doesn’t find a female to bond with before the Change, there’s no telling what will happen to him. Bonded Seminus demons live out their lives happily but there isn’t any such thing as divorce in the demon world. Once bonded the only way out is death. If Eidolon doesn’t find a female to bond with, then he will lose his human good looks and be driven to procreate as often as he can. Even if it means he has to rape. Eidolon does not want to become that kind of person.


One night Tayla ends up in UG. A spell within the hospital prevents anyone from killing her. Eidolon saves her when everyone else would have let her die. There’s something about Tayla that draws him. He can’t explain it and neither can she. They couldn’t be more wrong for each other but the heat and chemistry between them make wildfires look tame. How can a demon and a Guardian have a relationship without killing each other?


Pleasure Unbound is the first book that I have read containing demons. It was different at first but after a few chapters, I couldn’t put it down. Ione introduces a new world and two dynamic groups. Throughout the book I was rooting for one team and then I’d learn something new about the other team and I’d switch sides. Ione pens an intense book where her heroine learns that there’s a lot more to the group that she’s been hunting. There are a lot of things that she didn’t know that could have saved a lot of innocent lives. The reader learns these things along with Tayla which makes the book extremely fast paced. As a reader you want to learn more so the pages flip faster. This is the first book in the Demonica series. If the following books are as good as this one, I can’t wait to read the rest of them!

Source: http://onceuponachapter.com/2010/08/pleasure-unbound-by-larissa-ione.html
Willing - Lucy Monroe

“They’re the good guys fighting the bad guys. They’ll get the job done – if the price is right and so is the cause. Meet three sexy men who individually are READY, WILLING, AND ABLE to got the distance – and together, are unstoppable…”


Daniel Black Eagle is a man whose past has made him a man incapable of loving and protecting a woman. He had the chance once and failed her in the worst way possible. he is a man with a temper that has taken years to learn how to control. Daniel joined the Army at the age of 16, lying about his age so he had the chance to join. He later joined the Army Rangers where his commander disciplined Daniel and his temper. He also met up with Wolf and Hotwire in the Rangers and earned his own nickname of Nitro.


Josie McCall has been trained in the art of soldiery since the age of five. Her father, Tyler McCall, is a veteran of the Vietnam War and wanted to raise his daughter to be able to take care of herself in such a cruel world. What Tyler couldn’t have guessed is that to young Josie her father’s love was dependent on her abilities as a solider. Over the years Josie has become one of the best mercs out there. She thought being a merc was the only option available to her. Now she’s quit the mercenary business and is taking college classes in computers.


Tyler is wanting to semi-retire and wants to take on a partner for his mercenary training school. His first choice was his daughter, Josie. Josie is leaving the merc world behind so his second choice is Daniel “Nitro” Black Eagle. Soon after all the legal paperwork is put into place and Daniel is a partner, the merc school is blown to smithereens and it was no accident. Luckily, Josie was staying overnight at the school and able to pull her father to safety and drive him to the emergency room. Tyler sneaks out of the hospital leaving a note for Josie to go through his journals. Now it is up to Josie and Daniel to figure out where Tyler went and who would want him dead.


I’m glad that I decided to continue with the series. Willing was so much better than Ready. Don’t get me wrong, there were still a few eye rolling moments but far less than I was expecting. The plot line was better too. For most of the book I had no clue who had caused the explosion or why and I think that helped to hold my interest. Overall, Willing was a good read. I plan to finish off the series with And Able.

Source: http://onceuponachapter.com/2010/07/willing-by-lucy-monroe.html
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner - Stephenie Meyer

” I watched his body change. He crouched on the roof, one hand gripping the edge. All that strange friendliness disappeared, and he was a hunter. That was something I recognized, something I was comfortable with because I understood it.”


This is the short story of Bree Tanner’s life as a vampire. Most of us who have read the Twilight saga didn’t even remember who Bree was. Maybe it would have been kinder if things had remained that way.


For those of you who don’t know, Bree is a newborn vampire who was created by Victoria. Victoria has scoured Seattle for the dregs of society, looking for people to add to her growing army. Victoria is seeking vengeance against Bella and Edward for killing her lover. An army of crazed newborns is Victoria’s strategy.


This is where we meet Bree. All of the newborns are being kept in the basement by day and allowed to hunt at night. Bree doesn’t trust any of them. Tempers seem to spark easily and there are either fights where limbs are lost of fires start. So Bree hides behind Freaky Fred and keeps to herself.


One night while hunting she meets Diego. Diego isn’t like the others. He’s smart and thinks for himself. He and Bree discuss their lives as vampires and how they both feel there is something much larger in the near future. Diego trusts Riley, their keeper, and thinks they can go to him with some of the information they put together. After Diego goes to Riley, everything seems to snowball and before she knows it, Bree is on the battlefield with the Cullens and surrendering because she doesn’t want to fight. She didn’t know this was what she had been created for and everything she had known was a lie.


Carlisle finds Bree and wants to extend compassion to her. The Volturi arrive on the scene and, well, we all know what happened to Bree from Eclipse. For those who haven’t read Eclipse, the title of this novella should help you draw your own conclusions: The Short Second Life….


I really could have gone without reading this book. There I said it. The pace was fast and it’s a short book so I finished it in one sitting. I can’t seem to shake the feeling of pointlessness. We don’t know much about Bree’s life as a human. What we do know about Bree’s life as a vampire is pretty sad. All Bree knows is hurt and betrayal. When she does have a flicker of hope it’s snuffed out until all she wants is her own death. It’s the story of a girl who didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell and it left a bad taste in my mouth. I adored the Twilight saga and the depressing tale of Bree almost seems like a blemish in the series. I’m sure that there are a lot of people out there who are going to love this book, but I guess it just wasn’t for me.

Source: http://onceuponachapter.com/2010/07/the-short-second-life-of-bree-tanner-by-stephenie-meyer.html
And Able - Lucy Monroe

“They’re the good guys fighting the bad guys. They’ll get the job done – if the price is right and so is the cause. Meet three sexy men who individually are READY, WILLING, AND ABLE to got the distance – and together, are unstoppable…”


Brett “Hotwire” Adams has met his match in Claire Sharp. Brett is a former mercenary. He is starting up a security specialists company with a good friend and former mercenary partner. Life handed Claire Sharp the responsibilities of an adult at an early age. She has learned to depend on herself for anything she needs. She’s a vegetarian and one step away from being a pacifist (as far as Hotwire’s concerned). There couldn’t be two people more different from each other and maybe that’s why the sparks fly when they’re in same room together.


Hotwire has a real problem with Claire’s independent attitude. He doesn’t like that she won’t ask for help from anyone and feels like she’s being a large burden when she does. He also doesn’t like her living alone so soon after a terrorist group robbed the place where she lives. He does the only thing he can do, sets up a great security system and puts a can of mace in each room of the house.


Claire thinks Hotwire’s concerns are unwarranted. The four culprits from the terrorist group are in federal prison. No one could possibly be interested in coming back. Claire works in an assisted living facility and there are two residents who are as close as family to Claire. Lester and Queenie are like the father and mother figures Claire wished she had as a child. One night, Lester passes away from a heart attack and Claire is devastated. Later that night, Claire is thankful for Hotwire’s safety measures. She wakes up with someone trying to suffocate her with a pillow and wards off her attacker with the mace left in the bedroom. Claire wakes up in the emergency room with a small concussion.


Claire doesn’t understand why someone would come after her. She has no family ties, she’s a full-time college student and she works in an assisted living facility. What could she have possibly done to attract such negative attention? Hotwire isn’t sure why someone is after Claire but he doesn’t intend to let it happen again. Until her attacker is behind bars he and Claire are going to be joined at the hip.


This was without a doubt my favorite book in the series. The tension between Hotwire and Claire is real and you’re swept up for the ride. And Able is filled with suspense, sexual tension, murder, assassins, and government conspiracies. There was also a great mystery to Hotwire and Claire’s characters. We were introduced to them in the first two books but not much was mentioned of their pasts which also intrigued me. I actually wanted to know who these people were and what their stories were. Both Hotwire and Claire’s past helped to explain the people that they came to be. The plot was great and I had a hard time putting the book down. Getting to this book was well worth the time and effort I put into the first two books!

Source: http://onceuponachapter.com/2010/07/and-able-by-lucy-monroe.html
The Hunted - Rachel Lee

“Her story sets off a violent spark. His investigation puts them in the line of fire.”

Erin McKenna is the reporter who broke the huge fraud story on Mercator. Mercator is a huge mega corporation whose biggest clients are government arms contracts. Mercator is how being prosecuted on the fraud chargers and Erin is a star witness. But Mercator got it wrong. Erin is attacked and robbed after she testified. Unless….

Jerrod Westlake is the FBI agent making sure that Erin testifies. He arrives on the scene right after Erin is attacked. Jerrord’s been around long enough to realize that something isn’t on the up and up. If it was a simple burglary, why didn’t they take the TV and DVDs?


Erin is sitting on a huge story. Contract fraud was just the top of the iceberg for Mercator. The story is so huge, not many people know about it. One leak could be fatal to the story. Erin’s source is very cautious and for good reason because Mercator is sweetening foreign arms contracts with young girls.


Jerrod has a reputation for finding and rescuing lost and kidnapped children. After all, he has a debt to pay. Can Erin and Jerrod break through Mercator’s security to rescue the next “shipment” in time?


The Hunted grabs you from page 1 and only lets go when it wants to. This book is not for the faint of heart. I consider myself pretty open to authors’ using the shadier side of humanity to enhance their stories. There were a few parts to this book that really made me squirm and some where I just had to put the book down and come back to it. There were probably details I could have done without but they also made the villains that much more horrifying.


If you like a good shot of dark reality in your fiction, this was a great story. If you don’t like the real world butting into your escapism, pass on this one. As for me? I fall in between. I’ll read Rachel Lee again but I’ll wait until I’m in the mood for something grittier.

Source: http://onceuponachapter.com/2010/07/the-hunted-by-rachel-lee.html
The Raven Prince - Elizabeth Hoyt

Anna Wren has been widowed for 6 years. Funds have steadily been getting lower and lower. Circumstances have gotten to the point where Anna must take a position or run the risk of not being able to provide for her small home. Anna cares for her mother-in-law and a young girl they took in when she had no where to go. Anna and Mother Wren are training Fanny for a house servant position but the young girl isn’t ready to make it in the working world yet. Anna goes to town to find a position.


Edward de Raff has, after nearly two decades, decided to return to his family home. The manor holds fond memories of his childhood, that is until his last memories of the manor. Edward de Raff, Earl of Swartingham, is the sole survivor of the small pox that swept his house during childhood. He has decided to return to his home, marry and fill the halls with the laughter of children once again. This may prove more difficult than it sounds. Finding someone to marry an earl should be quite simple. Edward has a scarred face from his childhood illness and a temper to go with it. His second secretary has been mysteriously called away in the night and won’t be returning for the position. Edward tells his steward to find him a replacement by end of day to start the next day.

Happily Edward’s steward and Anna collide on a street corner. Before the steward quite knows what happened, Anna has the position as the Earl of Swartingham’s secretary.  The story that follows is the stuff fairy tales are made of.


*Sigh* The Raven Prince swept me up and took me to a place far far away. It has all the properties of a great historical: a hero who most think arrogant but he needs reassurance, a heroine who is afraid she isn’t lovable because of her “flaws”, a wonderful setting and fantastic secondary characters. The best part about this book is watching two people fight a losing battle. Their love of each other is going to surmount any obstacles they put up and it is heart-warming to watch those obstacles fall. This was my first Elizabeth Hoyt novel and it certainly won’t be my last. If you have yet to read Elizabeth Hoyt, I can’t suggest enough that you do!

Source: http://onceuponachapter.com/2010/07/the-raven-prince-by-elizabeth-hoyt.html
Ready - Lucy Monroe

“They’re the good guys fighting the bad guys. They’ll get the job done – if the price is right and so is the case. Meet three sexy men who are READY, WILLING, and ABLE to go the distance – and together, are unstoppable…”


Lise Barton is an author on a deadline. She also has a lot more stress in her life than meeting her deadline. Lise has recently relocated from her family home in Texas to a lonely apartment complex in Seattle, Washington. She made the choice to move because her stalker threatened her family. If she moved away she could keep them safe. Lise didn’t tell her family why she was moving. She didn’t want them to worry.


Joshua Watt spent 6 years as an Army Ranger. When he didn’t re-up, he decided to become a mercenary with his Ranger buddies Hotwire and Nitro. (In case you’re wondering, Joshua’s nickname is Wolf.) His latest mission required that he extract a small boy from a jungle where he was being held for ransom. Joshua is going to spend Thanksgiving with his sister Bella (also Lise’s sister-in-law). Bella requests that Joshua pick up Lise first. Lise, of course, wasn’t going to go home and put her family at risk.


When Joshua reaches Lise’s apartment and almost looses his head to a poker iron, he demands an explanation. Lise tells him the whole story about her stalker, including the two police officials who wouldn’t investigate her complaint. Joshua instantly puts his team on the case and refuses to let Lise pay him.


Much of the book is based around Joshua and Lise finding Lise’s stalker. The bad guy wasn’t much of a surprise and from the first few snippets of story told from his point of view, he was easy to pin down. Not his exact identity but his personality and motive.

Well, I’ve checked around the web and it seems most people enjoyed this book.


Obviously I was in a funk when I read this. Ready was filled with a lot of moments that made me roll my eyes and I thought that both main characters did some pretty stupid things. For me this book was working on a solid D until the ending which bumped it up to a C. I’m a sucker for a good ending. It appears I’m in the minority with my opinion of this book so I’m going to continue with this series and give book #2 a shot.

Source: http://onceuponachapter.com/2010/06/ready-by-lucy-monroe.html
His at Night - Sherry Thomas

“Forced into a marriage of convenience, Elissande and Vere are each about to discover that they’re not the only one with a hidden agenda. With seduction their only weapon – and a dark secret from the past endangering both their lives – can they learn to trust each other even as they surrender to a passion that won’t be denied?”


The Marquess of Vere, to most people, is a man that should not be taken too seriously. It’s common knowledge that Lord Vere was a brilliant man in his younger years. A riding accident that occurred while Vere was in the prime of his life left him addled in the head. Vere was never quite the same. Most people perceive him to be an idiot but what most people do not know is that Lord Vere prefers it that way. Lord Vere works for the Crown and is a spy. The guise of the idiot allows him to learn vital information without raising suspicions. His latest case is against Edmund Douglas, a man who earned his wealth from a diamond mine in South Africa. Douglas is now suspected of extorting the diamond jewelers of Antwerp.


Elissande Edgerton has been kept under lock and key in her uncle’s home for the past eight years. Her Aunt Rachel is her only solace. Most would see Aunt Rachel as a burden as she is unable to care for herself and is addicted to laudanum. Elissande dreams of the day when she and Aunt Rachel will escape the evil clutches of her Uncle Edmund. Uncle Edmund demands that he be shown the love and respect that are due him and so Elissande plays the part of the doting niece to survive.


Vere and his associates plan a rat infestation in a home near Douglas’ hoping to be allowed to stay at Douglas’ home and gather incriminating evidence against their host. The infestation occurs during one of Douglas’ business trips and Elissande sees an opportunity to escape. Elissande allows the party to stay in hopes of catching a husband and escaping Uncle Edmund forever. Elissande ends up with more than she bargained for when she starts her entrapment.


For starters, she sets her sights on Lord Vere. His title and wealth could protect her from her uncle. After their first discussion together, Elissande decides that she must settle for Lord Vere’s younger brother Freddie. Thankfully, she does have an infatuation with Freddie so even though he isn’t titled she can still have a good relationship with him. She asks Freddie to meet with her in the library long after every one has gone to bed in the hopes of setting up her trap. In the end, she ends up entrapping Lord Vere.


What follows is a wonderful love story about two people who don’t know anything about the other except the masks that they wear. Along the way, they learn each other’s hopes, fears and secrets.


This is my first book by Sherry Thomas but it certainly won’t be my last. Thomas brilliantly brings together two people who are so alike and yet neither one knows it. Both Vere and Elissande wear masks and no one gets to see what is behind them. Watching these two grow and learn about each other is a treat. Edmund Douglas, Thomas’ villain is evil and gives you chills but he isn’t larger than life. There could be an Edmund Douglas in your own city and that in my opinion is what makes him all the more terrifying. If you consider yourself a fan of historical romance I strongly suggest that you do not pass this novel by.

Source: http://onceuponachapter.com/2010/06/his-at-night-by-sherry-thomas.html
Hot on Her Heels - Susan Mallery

For the past several years Garth Duncan has had one goal that he has worked day and night tirelessly for: take down the Titan family. Take them down one at a time and attack their weak spots. Garth lent Lexi $2 million dollars (anonymously of course) with the condition that it was callable with very little notice. He spread rumors and lies about the foundation that Sky runs. The foundation feeds hungry children in the United States. The rumors have no base in truth but to a non-profit organization it’s enough to dry up donations, support and have long time staff resign. Izzy was temporarily blinded in an explosion on the off-shore oil rig she worked on.


Dana Birch works for the Titanville police. Dana struck an unlikely friendship with Lexi in grade school and has been best friends with the sisters ever since. In fact, the Titan sisters are really the only family she has and no one hurts her family and gets away with it. Dana uses every legal channel she can and calls in every favor ever owed to her to try and put Garth Duncan behind bars. There are just a few issues.


All of Dana’s paperwork isn’t enough to keep Garth in jail. Izzy is just fine with that. Garth has told Izzy that he did not have anything to do with the explosion but owns up to everything else. It is then that Izzy decides she and her sisters should bring Garth into the family. She’ll love him into submission if she has to. Lexi and Skye aren’t so sure. They ask Dana to tail Garth and determine if he’s a lost cause or not.


Neither Garth nor Dana expect the instant fiery passion that seems to ignite with just one touch. Dana can’t forget why she’s tracking and spending time with Garth. Garth can’t give up his dream of revenge against Jed Titan. Dana is a deputy for a small town police department. Garth is a multi-million dollar business tycoon. Garth has tried to destroy the people that Dana loves. With so much working against them, how can any relationship last between them?


Out of The Lone Star Sisters series, Hot on Her Heels is my favorite. Mallery pens a beautiful story of redemption that seems impossible. She has cleverly set us up to take the fall. In the previous three entries we have been taught to hate Garth. We’ve seen him at his worst. In Hot on Her Heels, we see a man who is determined to get what he wants but realizes the cost might have been much higher than he originally thought. He has past hurts and he does have feelings. Dana is the perfect heroine for Garth. Their story is truly beautiful. Readers who haven’t read the first three books may not get the full feel of the redemption story. It is worth the time to sit down and catch up with the Titan girls.


Favorite Quote:
“Thanks, but I’ll be fine.”
She walked to the door, then faced him again. “It’s funny. That’s exactly what everyone thinks right before they fall.”
– Garth is telling Izzy not to worry about his heart.

Source: http://onceuponachapter.com/2010/06/hot-on-her-heels-by-susan-mallery.html
A Wallflower Christmas - Lisa Kleypas

“The Wallflowers are four young ladies in London who banded together in their wild and wickedly wonderful searches for true love. Now happily married, they join together once again to help one of the world’s most notorious rogues realize that happiness might be right under the mistletoe….”


Rafe Bowman has spent his entire life in the shadow of his father, Thomas Bowman. As Bowman’s oldest son, much was expected from Rafe. Rafe’s childhood was spent with tutors. He was not allowed many toys and he rarely was allowed to spend time with his four younger siblings. Rafe’s best was never good enough and his mistakes brought about severe reprimands.


Realizing he’d never have a place in his father’s lucrative soap manufacturing business, Rafe sets out to make his own fortune. He makes his fortune by investing in the stock market and misleading guilible men into the wrong ones. In America, he leads the life of a rogue and gains the reputation of one to boot. After Rafe has made his own fortune, Thomas makes him an offer: marry Lady Natalie Blandford and Rafe will have a partnership in the family business and it’s the onl way Rafe will get it.


Hannah Appleton is the poor country cousin of Lady Natalie Blandford and Natalie’s companion. Lillian Bowman invites Hannah over for tea so that she, Annabelle, and Evie can learn more about Natlie. The morethey know, the more they can help Rafe with his courtship. When Hannah arrives, she and Rafe take an instant disliking of each other. Sparks fly and the quarrel between them is heated and crackling with tension. After the tea, Hannah decides she must do what she can to prevent a union between Natalie and Rafe.


Hannah is a sweet, caring and selfless girl and that is what Rafe is so attracted to. He can’t help but get her riled up from time to time. Hannah is also opinionatedas well and unlike most youn English misses, she isn’t afraid to tell a man how she feels. Rafe is fascinated by her, but he is all but bethrothed to her cousin. Rafe must choose: his father’s business or love?


I adored Hannah and Rafe’s story! A Wallflower Christmas is the perfect blend of everything I love as a reader. It’s a reunion of favorite characters, a Christmas celebration and a great romance story all rolled into one. The four original Wallflowers become Hannah’s supporters when she feels like she has no one to turn to. There are several tender moments that had my eyes welling up and even though I write this in May, there were also moments that reminded me of all the wonderful meaningful traditions of the Christmas season. For it’s 213 pages A Wallflower Christmas is well worth the investment!

Source: http://onceuponachapter.com/2010/05/a-wallflower-christmas-by-lisa-kleypas.html
Marked - Elisabeth Naughton

“From the moment he walked into the club, Casey knew this guy was different. Men like that just didn’t exist in real life – silky shoulder-length hair, chest impossibly broad, and a predatory manner that just screamed dark and dangerous. He was looking for something. Her.”


It’s definitely not a normal night at XScream, the strip club where Casey works. She’s used to the college idiots who make her job hell, but not the gorgeous blonde woman who moves discreetly towards the back of the club. Casey also isn’t used to the type of man, scratch that, Greek sex-god, who stalks in after the blonde.


Theron is the leader of the Argonauts. The Argonauts are a group of seven who are descendants of the heroes of Greek mythology. Theron descends from the line of Heracles. Their role is to protect their kingdom of Argolea, a kingdom separate from the human realm. Atalanta, a fallen Greek heroine, has vowed she will take her vengeance against the Argonauts, Argoleans and any one else who stands in her way. She has never gotten over not being chosen as one of the original seven Argonauts. Atalanta has waged her war for thousands of years.


Casey has never felt that she fit in anywhere. The same night that Theron enters the club, Casey saves him from things she can’t possibly explain. These monsters are daemons and Atalanta’s minions. Casey has no clue about everything she’s about to step into, but she’s inexplicably drawn to Theron for reasons she can’t explain. Casey is an important piece to the survival of the Argoleans but at what cost?


I’m glad this is the first book in a series. There is much to look forward to. Elisabeth Naughton blends Greek mythology, romance and a gritty generations long war with ease. The plot line is stellar and original. I only have one minor complaint: the heroine is quite often referred to as Casey and Acacia, sometimes even on the same page. With that being said, there are several things to be pleased with in Marked. Naughton has been able to establish a world unfamiliar to our own but doesn’t spend unnecessary time world building. Argolea is easy to visualize and is beautiful. The vocabulary is also easy to grasp. There are very few unfamiliar words to learn and there is a helpful one page glossary at the end of the novel.


Overall, if you’re a fan of paranormal romance, Marked is a book you do not want to miss!

Source: http://onceuponachapter.com/2010/05/marked-by-elisabeth-naughton.html
Scandal in Spring - Lisa Kleypas

Daisy Bowman is the last of the wallflowers to find wedded bliss. Her father, Thomas Bowman, is tired of spending money on gowns, balls, and everything needed to land Daisy a titled husband. Thomas hands down an ultimatum to Daisy; find the husband she wants to marry by the end of May or marry his choice: Matthew Swift.


Daisy can’t imagine being married to her father’s right hand man. What she knows about Matthew she doesn’t like. Matthew is dependable and Thomas holds him in high esteem. Surely this means that Matthew must be a lot like Thomas. As time passes, Daisy learns she could be wrong.


Matthew has much to gain by marrying Daisy. He will gain the company when Thomas passes, but more importantly he has the opportunity he never thought possible. Matthew has loved Daisy for years from a safe distance. He knows he can’t ever get close to Daisy; his past could catch up with him any time and he wouldn’t want to taint her life that way. Can these two work through so much to find true love in the end?

I was very much looking forward to Daisy’s story and I wasn’t disappointed. Daisy is a strong character and we get to visit Annabelle, Lillian and Evie again. Matthew’s past is not as terrible as it is made out to be. Overall, Scandal in Spring is a delightful trip back to England. The Wallflower series is a good one and I’m sad to know that there is only one more story to read after this.

Source: http://onceuponachapter.com/2010/05/scandal-in-spring-by-lisa-kleypas.html
Lover Mine - J.R. Ward

The battle between good and evil rages on in the newest installment of J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Lover Mine is John Matthew and Xhex’s story. In previous books, these two have shared intense fellings for each other but did not establish a permanent relationship. At the end of Lover Avenged Xhex was kidnapped by Lash when the Brotherhoods stormed the sympath colony to save Rhevenge. Lash is the ForeLesser and bad boy son of the Omega.


Lover Mine by JR Ward picks up right where Lover Avenged left off. John is fervently looking for Xhex. His hope is to find her alive, but being out in the field with the Brotherhood, John realizes he very well just may be searching for a body. John seeks out Trez and iAm to try and get any information that may help locate Xhex. The Shadows have information about a drug meeting between Lash and Caldwell’s biggest importer. From this meeting John and the Brothers are able to track Mr. D (Lash’s second in command) back to a non-descript brownstone. It’s obvious that Xhex had been kept here, but because of Lash’s spell, no one can see that she’s still there and they leave without her.


There are also several secondary story lines that weave into the main story. Depending on what kind of reader you are, this will either distract from or enhance the main story. For me, it made it better and did not detract from the main story at all.


My interest in this series has been heightened again because of Lover Mine. There are so many questions that I would like to have answered and so many happily ever afters I still want to see. I took my time reading this book so I could savor it. The writing is superb and flows well. New elements were added to the series, conflicts resolved and yet there are still things that hold my interest. I cannot wait for the next book. Lover Mine is an amazing story and Ward is such a talented author. I’ve heard several people say that after the last couple of books, they were giving up on the series. To those people, please read Lover Mine before you make that decision. In the end Lover Mine really adds to the continuing saga of the Black Dagger Brotherhood and will have a place on my keeper shelf.

Source: http://onceuponachapter.com/2010/05/lover-mine-by-jr-ward.html