Divided Loyalties – A Romance Novel Addicts Anonymous Book Review

Rose Rating: Four Roses

 

Title: Divided Loyalties

Author: Mary K Tilghman

Genre: Historical Fiction / Historical Romance 

Synopsis:

When Union and Confederate soldiers march by eighteen-year-old Maureen’s Sharpsburg farm, she must choose where her loyalties lie. Will she stand with family or country?

After the Battle of Antietam, Maureen decides to listen to her heart and volunteer as a battlefield nurse. But her father forbids it and demands she stay home to help care for the farm. The young soldier who loves her fears for her safety. Danger and disease follow her every step of the way.

Illness and a tragic turn of events threaten to derail Maureen’s mission. When the young woman finds herself a patient in her own hospital, burning up with fever, she questions whether she can go on. In these, the darkest of days, Maureen struggles to summon the strength she needs for the work she is called to do.

What I Loved About this Book: 

Divided Loyalties is the perfect title in that this story explores the heartbreak that resulted from having friends and neighbors fight on opposites sides of the Civil War. The book also provided an interesting perspective from an immigrant family who left Ireland to avoid the famine and found themselves wanting to defend their new country. I enjoyed the bravery and strength of the main character, Maureen, who served as a nurse during the war despite her father’s well-meaning but fierce objections. She also defied her would-be suitor, Patrick, who made an ill-fated attempt to dissuade her from helping the wounded soldiers. Though this book is characterized as a historical romance, the romance is essentially a minor subplot, and I wouldn’t necessarily call this a romance novel. That being said, it is still an excellent novel and well worth the read. 

Sexual Content: None.

Overall: Light on romance, but an enjoyable read. 

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A Dance in Time – Romance Novel Addicts Anonymous Book Review

Rose Rating – Four Roses

Title: A Dance in Time 

Author: Leslie Hachtel

Genre: Time Travel Romance

Synopsis:

Lady Grace imagines escaping her cruel husband and miserable life. A portal into the past offers her so much more than she bargained for. Including meeting the man of her dreams whose life is at risk. Can she save him? Can he rescue her?

What I Loved About this Book:

I do love a good time-travel story! Pierce is a sexy, good-guy Pirate who falls for a woman who has traveled back in time via a magic portal in her home. Grace is a terrific heroine who is understandably a somewhat weak character in the beginning. She is abused and tormented by her husband (include off-page rape, which was glossed over a bit too easily I thought. Grace didn’t seem to suffer all that much trauma from being sexually assaulted, and that didn’t really ring true for me). By the end of the book, Grace really came into her own and became a fighter, which I loved. I also really enjoyed her friendship with Edward, her young time-traveling companion. The romance between Pierce and Grace was sweet and sensual, and worked well for me.

What Could Have Been Better:

This couple had a serious case of insta-love. They pretty much took one look at each other and decided they couldn’t live without each other. Individually, their characters were so well-developed that I would have liked to have seen more detail concerning their blossoming romance.

Sexual Content: Some hints of sensuality, but that’s it. 

Overall: A sweet, sensual, and romantic time-travel story. 

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Tell Me What You Want – Romance Novel Addicts Anonymous Book Review

RNAA Rose Rating – Four Roses

 

Title: Tell Me What You Want

Author: Susan Sheehey

Genre: Small Town Romance

Synopsis:

The Cardinal rule for Knights is never fall for a client. But in a business were rules are meant to be broken, how can he resist…

Book One – Renner
Showing a woman her worth is his specialty.

Renner Shaw’s priority as a Knight—a luxury escort with Knights of Texas—is making clients feel safe and secure. 
Intimacy is a perk, and one of his fortes. A position he was surprised to be well suited for with his charm and unrivaled focus. But he never expected the likes of Cassie Summer to come calling.
Cassie never expected to call an escort for the sole purpose of helping her sleep after a sudden tragedy. She certainly never anticipated the sizzling Renner Shaw would be the light that helps guide her out of grief. Only, it may be too late to salvage her splintered heart.
Making his client feel safe and secure is harder than Renner ever imagined, but he’s determined to fulfill his role to perfection. To change her gray and dreary world into one of colorful pleasure.

Knights of Texas novella series
These noble protectors of pleasure bring their expertise and determination to showing a woman her true worth. 
Revealing a woman’s value is their devoted mission, and these southern charmers can all but guarantee kindling a woman’s heart.

What I Loved About this Book:

This book portrays grief realistically and doesn’t pull punches when it comes to showing what it’s like to have your husband taken from you suddenly. The hero, Renner, is sexy, as well as being physically and emotionally protective. He works for an escort service, specializing in clients who desire military men. A former marine and bodyguard, protecting others is in his nature. I liked Renner and enjoyed reading about him, and I liked the premise of this book.

What Could Have Been Better:

The book is quite short. To be fair, it is billed as a novella, so I suppose I shouldn’t complain. Even so, the writing was terrific and I felt there was plenty of room to expand on the characters. I would have loved to have gotten to know the heroine, Cassie, a bit better. All we really know about her is that she was a devoted wife and a wonderful mother. We don’t get much insight into her other than her grief. We don’t get to explore her hopes and dreams, her career, her past, or anything like that so it makes it a little harder to lose yourself in the romance. Renner loves her for her devotion to her family, but what else? Even though it is part of a series, the book does not end on a cliffhanger, which is good.

Sexual Content: Just a little, and it was relatively mild.

Overall: A well-written, bittersweet story with a sexy hero that can be read in one sitting.

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Believing in Wishes by Jennifer DeCuir – Romance Novel Addicts Anonymous Book Review

RNAA Rose Rating – Four Roses

Title: Believing in Wishes

Author: Jennifer Decuir

Genre: Small Town Romance

Synopsis:

Fairies and wishing circles don’t belong in Tully’s Grove!

That’s the last thing Olivia Donnelly expects to hear from her new neighbor, Tristan Moss. An artisan, she specifically moved here to start her own business crafting fairy gardens because the residents embrace the fae folk. With a young daughter to support and a fixer-upper draining her bank account, Olivia can’t afford to let the town’s veterinary euthanize her dreams, even if he is too sexy for her own good.

Tristan may have a heart of gold, but those conniving fairies betrayed his trust as a child, and he refuses to let them disappoint his daughter as well. His plan is simple: he’ll run for chamber of commerce president and use his platform to remove the fairy theme. It’s better for tourism branding, better for his peace of mind … and a dagger to his plucky neighbor’s plans.

Can Olivia and Tristan find a way to heal the wounds from his past before he puts her out of business? It might take more than a pinch of fairy magic to pull this one off.

What I Loved About this Book:

This was an intriguing book with a clever twist on the small town romance trope. This particular town’s claim to fame is its fairies. Not only do these magical creatures exist, but they will grant one wish per person. The author sets up some great conflict in that the romantic leads, Tristan and Olivia, have goals that are entirely at odds. Olivia’s dream is to open a business selling specialized fairy gardens, while all Tristan wants is to get rid of the fairies and any mention of them throughout the town. If he becomes head of the Chamber of Commerce, he may just be able to pull that off. Both single parents, both Tristan and Olivia are likeable, well-developed characters with pasts that still haunt them. The two made a wonderful couple, and I enjoyed reading the tale of their blossoming romance. 

What Could Have Been Better:

The romance moved a bit slowly, and it took quite a while for the two lovers to get together. I felt like there was enough good conflict in the book that the two could have become a couple earlier in the story, and it still would have worked as an engaging story. 

Sexual Content: Just a little, and it was relatively mild.

Overall: An engaging, sweet story with a clever twist of magic.

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Two Minutes to Midnight – Romance Novel Addicts Anonymous Book Review

RNAA Rose Rating: Four Roses 

Title: Two Minutes to Midnight

Author: Willow Salix

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis: 

Two Minutes To Midnight a Carpe Noctem Novel, the first in a brand new series from DragonCat Press.

Topaz Thompson was happy as she was, thank you very much. A string of bad relationships and disastrous blind dates has done little to restore her faith in a happy ever after. And now here she is, spending her holiday time going on yet another wild goose chase of the supernatural kind. The last thing she expects to find in a pretentious goth club in Edinburgh, is the man of her dreams.

Logan McGregor had always known he could never love anyone as much as he loved his wife, who was tragically murdered many years before. So imagine his surprise when the beautiful Topaz crosses his path, stirring up long forgotten feelings, showing him that there might be hope after all.

This is a story of a love that spans centuries, proving that when fate has you in her sights, not even death can keep you apart, true love will always win out.

A Soul Mate is forever.

What I Loved About this Book:  

This was a highly entertaining, sexy, and romantic read. It featured a strong female character, a witch, who falls in love with a vampire. The hero in the book is sexy and strong, and the two leads make a terrific couple you can really root for. The book had the perfect amount of worldbuilding for my tastes; enough to set the scene but not so much that it was boring or overwhelmingly detailed. 

What Could Have Been Better: 

There were a few too many typos. The writing was quite good, but the book could have done with maybe one more proofread by a professional editor. 

Sexual Content: Yes. Steamy, sexy, well-written sex scenes. 

Overall: 

An entertaining, sexy paranormal romance with the perfect amount of worldbuilding. I would recommend this book even for those who don’t normally read paranormal romance. 

Related links:

Two Minutes to Midnight on Amazon or Kindle Unlimited.

Author Website.

Goodreads.

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A Kiss in the Shadows – Romance Novel Addicts Anonymous Book Review

RNAA Rose Rating – Four Roses

Title: A Kiss in the Shadows

Author: Eve Kincaid

Genre: Romantic Suspense/ Thriller

Synopsis: 

A woman afraid to trust…
Erin Grady will do anything to bring a mental health clinic to Lost Coast Harbor, even if it means accepting money from the local police chief—the father who abandoned her. She’s willing to overlook where the money came from, until a determined and very sexy prosecutor literally crashes into her life…

A man tempted by desire…
Will Patton is desperate to leave the small town of Lost Coast Harbor and rebuild his struggling legal career. To do that, he must expose the dirty police chief—but he never expected to be so drawn to the man’s irresistible daughter. 

A town full of corruption… 
The darkness in Lost Coast Harbor runs deep and wide—and exposing the truth will require Erin and Will to reveal their hearts…no matter the risk.

What I Loved About this Book:

This book works well as a page-turning thriller with some surprises thrown in. The heroine, Erin, is strong and independent, which is always a plus for me. She has a good heart, as her main goal in life is to open a clinic for the mentally ill in her small town. The romance is both sweet and steamy, which is my favorite kind of romance. The hero, Will, is strong and protective but not an alphahole, which I liked.

What Could Have Been Better:

This book was heavy on the thriller plot, and relatively light on the romance overall. The couple spent a fair amount of time in the book apart. MINOR SPOILER. There was a point toward the very end where the main crisis had passed where the hero just abruptly stopped talking to the heroine for no apparent reason. I guess it was supposed to be for dramatic tension purposes, but it really didn’t make any sense to me.

Sexual Content: Yes.

Overall: 

A good, fast-paced thriller with sweet, steamy romance.

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Wanderer: The Moncrief Legends by Carol Sabel Blodgett – Romance Novel Addicts Anonymous Book Review

RNAA Rating – Five Roses

   

Title: Wanderer: The Moncrief Legends

Author: Carol Sabel Blodgett

Genre: Romantic Suspense/Thriller/ Paranormal

Synopsis: 

Beyond the wall of computers, all the books rested. Perhaps I belonged to every one of them. Fiction: Immortals aren’t real. Romance: I had a lovely wife who I adored. Horror: She died, in my bed, with my best friend. Mythology: I wish all of this was a myth. There she was. Curled up in an overstuffed chair. Like a child, I darted between the rows of books. She would give the occasional smile as she read. We stayed like this for some time—her reading, me watching. This was exciting. A new person. She was beautiful. That was three days ago. I’ve been reduced to watching her from afar, from this secluded spot across the street from her house. I’m Seth. I was named after Adam and Eve’s third child. It’s been centuries since I’ve been with a woman. Immortality can be a nuisance like that. The time, where does it go? I must make her mine. Some would say that I stalk. I don’t see it that way at all.

What I Loved About this Book: 

This is an expertly-crafted supernatural thriller/suspense novel that will keep you guessing until the very last page. The book features well-drawn characters that are unusual yet relatable and are easy to root for. Lots of terrific twists and turns, and room for plenty more in the series. Don’t miss this one!

What Could Have Been Better:

This book was a bit darker than what I usually read, but that’s not really a criticism of the book. It’s more of a personal preference. 

Sexual Content: Yes. 

Overall: An intense, romantic, intriguing read. 

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Pairing Off by Elizabeth Harmon – Romance Novel Addicts Book Review

 

RNAA Rating – Five Roses

 

Title: Pairing Off

Author: Elizabeth Harmon

Genre: Sports/Figure Skating/Contemporary Romance

Synopsis:

American figure skater Carrie Parker’s Winter Games dreams were dashed when her philandering partner caused one of the greatest scandals in skating history. Blacklisted from competing in the United States, her career is over…until she receives a mysterious invitation and is paired with the most infuriating, talented—and handsome—skater she’s ever met.

Russian champion Anton Belikov knows sacrifice. He gave up a normal life and any hope of a meaningful relationship to pursue his dream. And he’s come close—with a silver medal already under his belt, the next stop is the gold. All he needs is a partner. While he’s never forgotten the young American skater he seduced one long-ago night in Amsterdam, he never expected to be confronted with their past…never mind share the ice with her.

When what starts as a publicity stunt grows into something real, Carrie and Anton’s partnership will test their loyalties to family, country and each other. With only a few months to train for the competition of a lifetime, can they master technique and their emotions, or will they lose their footing and fall victim to the heartaches of their pasts?

What I Loved About this Book:

This was one of those books where I found myself getting annoyed when I had to do other things when all I wanted to do was sit down and read! I absolutely loved this sweet and sexy romance. Anton is my favorite kind of romantic hero; strong, sweet, and protective of the woman he loves. This book was engaging from the very beginning with well-developed characters and a nice, steady pace. Lots of conflict and drama and, for the most part, the author avoided the whole “most of the conflict is based on a misunderstanding” plotline. There were plenty of opportunities in this book for her to go that route, and I was pleasantly surprised that she didn’t. 

What Could Have Been Better:

There was very little that I didn’t like about this book. I will say that (SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER AHEAD!) was that the ending was just the tiniest bit too perfect. Carrie’s father had a pretty sudden change of heart and her being pregnant with twins was just a tad over the top. That being said, I wanted a happy ending and that’s what I got. 

Sexual Content: Yes, but not super-explicit. 

Overall: A highly engaging read and one of the best books I’ve read in quite some time.

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Penalty by Jacob Chance – Romance Novel Addicts Anonymous Book Review

RNAA Rating – Three Roses

 

Title: Penalty

Author: Jacob Chance

Genre:  Contemporary/Sports Romance

Synopsis:

He’s the bad boy quarterback of Boston University’s football team. As the son of a former NFL player, he’s showered with attention and praise twenty-four-seven. One flash of his smile and all the girls fall at his feet – or should I say to their knees? 
And then there’s me.

Brady Lincoln is the last person I want attention from. He’s the kind of guy my father warned me about. His play on the field is legendary and his play with the ladies, even more so. I’ve managed to stay off his radar until recently. 

What happens when the cocky quarterback breaks all the rules to win my heart? 

What I Loved About this Book: 

The main characters, Harlow and Brady, had great chemistry. I do enjoy a good sports romance, and this one was well written. There was an interesting twist toward the end that I didn’t see coming, and it’s always nice to be surprised.

What Could Have Been Better: 

I would have liked to see a bit more character development, though, as the leads had a lot of the usual characteristics you find in romance novels. Mainly, it was the bad boy who gets around and the innocent, good girl.

Sexual Content: Yes, explicit.

Overall: This was a sexy, entertaining read. 

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Hard for My Boss by Daryl Banner – Romance Novel Addicts Anonymous Book Review

RNAA Rating – Five Roses

   

Title: Hard for My Boss

Author: Daryl Banner

Genre: M/M romance

Synopsis: Trevor, the young summer intern, is totally SCREWED.
Working at Gage Communications is an opportunity of a lifetime.
But will Trevor be able to handle it? Or will he succumb to the tension?
The tension is in his pants, by the way.
Between a heavy workload and a hunky, controlling boss, Trevor’s summer just got a lot hotter and harder than he bargained for.

What I Loved About this Book: 

I admit am not a big fan of the alphahole trope. I know lots of romance readers love it, but to me being cocky and rude is just not sexy. In this book, Ben was bigger, stronger, and more powerful than Trevor, and I loved, loved, LOVED that Trevor did NOT bow to his will. At least not at first. This was a terrific read through and through. It had a HEA, but was pretty unpredictable which was a pleasant surprise. There were some cool twists with both characters and plot, which made this a truly page-turningly good read. 

What Could Have Been Better: 

A minor formatting quibble, but there is an extra space in between each paragraph. It’s technically not proper formatting and I find it distracting to read. Normally, this is an automatic no for me on the book, but I’ve read another book from this author (that was properly formatted) so I gave this one a chance. I’m glad I did. 

Sexual Content: Yes. Explicit.

Overall: A terrific read from beginning to end. Character is really a strong point in this one. Highly recommended.

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