Consent (#MeToo #1) by Jason Letts

Would you sign on the dotted line?
Sarah has a painful past and not much hope for the future, especially after being forced out of her job leaves her struggling to make ends meet. She catches a break and lands a position at a tech startup but gets a tip that the staff is toxic to women and the stunningly handsome boss, Keenan Roche, is abusive and controlling.
Rather than run for the hills, Sarah decides this is her chance to strike back and maybe take them all down, but she discovers there might be more to Keenan than what her coworkers and his ex-girlfriends say, if only she’ll agree to find out.

I’ve been a fan of Jason Letts for a while now. My first introduction to this author was with Inevitable, the 1st book in his Inevitable Trilogy. Evidently I was a slacker back in 2011 because I didn’t leave a review. However, I did review both Impossible and Incredible, the 2nd and 3rd books in the series. The #MeToo series takes this author in a totally different direction and I was curious to see how he handled a contemporary setting.

There was a lot to like about Consent. I liked how Sarah was smart about her approach to the office setting, which definitely came from her past experience. Her past experience also made her a little too cautious. It made it really easy for her to latch on to the negativity that Chelsea (the only other woman who worked in the office) fed her. That’s also probably one of the reasons why I didn’t like Chelsea from the beginning. If someone is that miserable in their work place that they have to make everyone else miserable, it makes me wonder why they stick around.

Jason Letts delivered a strong message in Consent. Sometimes it was a little too strong, but it’s one that doesn’t need to continue to be swept under the rug, so I can forgive him for that. Keenan may not have been the monster that Chelsea initially painted, but he was complacent to what was going on in his office, which is in some ways just as bad.

Agency is the next book in the #MeToo series. After reading the description for that one, I’m not sure… However, this author hasn’t let me down yet, so I’ll probably pick it up sooner or later.

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Cooper’s Charm (Love at the Resort #1) by Lori Foster

One summer, two sisters and a chance to start over…
Before the burglary that shattered her confidence, Phoenix Rose had a fiancé, a successful store and a busy, happy existence. After months spent adrift, she takes a job at the lakeside resort of Cooper’s Charm. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, friendly colleagues and a charismatic, widowed boss, Phoenix is slowly inching her way back into the world.
Visiting Cooper’s Charm to check up on her little sister, Ridley Rose impulsively agrees to fill in as housekeeper. Still reeling from an ego-bruising divorce, she finds satisfaction in a job well done—and in the attention of the resort’s handsome scuba instructor.
For Phoenix and Ridley, Cooper’s Charm is supposed to be merely temporary. But this detour may lead to the place they most need to be, where the future is as satisfying as it is surprising…

Two for the price of one! Well, not really, but both sisters find their HEA in Cooper’s Charm.

Phoenix and Cooper’s story was the perfect introduction to Lori Foster’s Love at the Resort series. Phoenix needs more than a change of scenery, she needs a whole new life perspective. She’s finally starting to feel a little bit more like herself, but she’s not quite there yet. Cooper’s Charm might just be the best place to totally heal. She most definitely wasn’t looking for love when she made her move to the RV resort, but her attraction to Cooper was hard to resist.

Cooper was first intrigued by Phoenix’s story, but when he got to know her, the attraction got stronger. He wasn’t looking for love either, but Phoenix was a lot more than he expected her to be.

Then there was Ridley. There was a lot more to her than what was on the surface. The feeling of accomplishment she felt after a few days of work. At first she considered Baxter a challenge, but the attraction between them took them both by surprise.

Cooper’s Charm was basically a sweet romance with a touch of danger and characters that were more like family than co-workers. There was a hint of things to come and I’m looking forward to what Lori Foster has in store for Love at the Resort.

Stand & Deliver (Men of Haven #5) by Rhenna Morgan

Beckett Tate has met his match in colleague Gia Sinclair. He longs to run his hands over each and every one of her lush curves. She’s wicked smart and wicked hot. He’s given her time to get used to the idea of “them,” but her time is up and he’s ready to go all in on claiming what’s his.
Despite her love of all things girlie, Gia’s no typical Southern belle. She’s built her skills and reputation in a field normally dominated by men, and now she has a kick-ass career she loves. She certainly doesn’t need a man to take care of her—especially not one who’s pure alpha. Still, Beckett’s the one man who can satisfy the desires she’s hidden under her tough exterior, and she’s hooked.
Letting Beckett take the lead in the bedroom comes naturally to Gia—not constantly proving herself to him professionally is more of a struggle. And when someone attacks her character and career, Gia and Beckett will have to find a balance: her willingness to let go just a little, with his trust in her abilities and his deep, primal need to protect his woman.

I may have mentioned once or twice that I love this series. Each book adds another layer to this family. Readers get to know a little bit more about all the members as well as the couple that each book is centered around. It would be impossible to pick a favorite couple out of all the Men of Haven, but if I was pressed, Gia and Beckett would definitely be close to the top.

Readers already knew a little about Gia going into Stand & Deliver. She’d proven herself to the brothers, their significant others and the moms. The tension between her and Beckett was obvious, but relationships and work don’t mix. At least that’s what Gia told herself… over and over and over again. Beckett didn’t have the same qualms. He was ready to stake his claim and everyone knew it. Gia could take care of herself, but when her career and name are in danger, Beckett can’t wait. He shows Gia exactly what family means. Gia had a hard time letting go, but it turns out these two were perfect for each other. ❤

As much as I loved the action, danger, heat and the strong sense of family that is the main theme in all the books in the Men of Haven series, Beckett’s personal story took me by surprise. Every once in a while you read a book that touches you in an unexpected way and that’s exactly what happened to me while reading Stand & Deliver. Beckett suffers from SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder), which I had never even heard of until I read this book. Rhenna Morgan goes into a little bit of detail about this disorder at the end of the book, so if you read Stand & Deliver, don’t skip the back story. There’s not a lot of information about the disorder and it can manifest itself in several different ways. As soon as I finished Gia and Beckett’s story, I called my daughter… and then I emailed Rhenna Morgan. My 3-year-old grandson was recently diagnosed with epilepsy and the medication that he’s currently taking has amplified his anxiety. It’s also intensified his need for a specific type of touch. Since he was very small, when he sits with you or when you hold him, he has to touch your ear. He even pulls at his younger brother’s ears when he’s standing near them. Most of the time you can tell he doesn’t even realize he’s doing it. I know it seems like a small thing, but giving this little “quirk” a name gave it validity. It’s not just a weird little habit, it’s also a physical way for him to cope and something he can’t really control.

One of the reasons why my reading is so eclectic is that I love learning about different cultures, people, lifestyles and places. You never know when one of those stories is going to touch you personally, or give you a different way to look at people that you never considered. You might even learn something that changes your perspective totally. My favorite books are the ones that make me want to learn more even when the story’s over.

Guarded Desire (NM Protectors #1) by Christi Snow

Kidnapped and terrorized, I refuse to let anyone break me. I can stand on my own, no matter what it costs…even if that cost is my life.
Elle…
I was living the life of an ordinary college coed, but that existence was blown wide open when I was kidnapped while visiting my very famous mother, rock-star, ViviAnna.
Now I’m back at college, pretending life is normal while dodging paparazzi and dealing with my face showing up regularly on the nightly news. Trying to find a new balance isn’t happening and the effort to not jump at every shadow or bump in the night is messing with my head more than I ever expected.
Jonah…
I’m a highly trained bodyguard, but that doesn’t mean I want to deal with some spoiled pop princess’s daughter, especially if she’s anything like her handsy mother.
But when I met Elle, she shocked the hell out of me. She’s nice and thoughtful with an incredible inner strength. Even more surprising…she doesn’t want me anywhere near her. But every once in a while I see a flash of fear and vulnerability that make all my protective instincts flare.
I have to protect her.
Because they never caught her kidnapper…
Note: This book is the first in a series of stand-alone, romantic suspense, new adult novels involving sexy bodyguards and the coeds they protect.

I love it when Christi Snow releases a new book. When that new release happens to be the first book in a new series? Even better. 😉

Elle and Jonah each had preconceived opinions about each other. Jonah take on Elle happened before they even met, but it didn’t take him long to realize that there was a lot more to Elle than he first thought. Elle’s opinion of Jonah took a little longer to shake, but she’d been through a lot and she also knew her mother and the people she surrounded herself with. Elle had spent most of her adult life distancing herself from that life. The attraction was there from the start… the trust took a while…

I loved these two from the start. I loved Elle’s determination to get back to a normal life and I loved Jonah’s determination to keep her safe. This couple was the perfect pair to start the NM Protectors series.

Then there were the supporting characters. Even though the books in this series are considered stand alone, I’m really looking forward to get to know at least a couple of them better in future books. I can’t wait to see what Christi Snow has in store for this series next.

Fast Burn (Body Armor #4) by Lori Foster

For the woman who’s his perfect match, he’s willing to break the rules…
The moment Brand Berry meets beautiful, driven Sahara Silver, the connection between them is electric. It’s also something he can’t pursue. Sahara wants him, sure—to join Body Armor, where his MMA skills, size and cocky attitude make him perfect for her elite crew of bodyguards. For Sahara, the agency always comes first, and Brand needs more. Yet when she’s kidnapped by men searching for her missing brother, he doesn’t hesitate.
Somewhere along the way, flirting with Brand for the sake of business turned very personal. Despite his refusal to join Body Armor, it’s Brand who steps up when Sahara needs him most. Now there’s no more time for games, and no point denying the hunger they both feel. They’ll escape together or not at all. But if they survive, can Sahara finally surrender control to claim this blazing passion?

I’m always sorry to know that a series is ending, especially one of Lori Foster’s. I felt that way when the Ultimate series ended, but the Body Armor series softened the blow a little since there was a connection between the two. I suppose if the series had to come to an end, Brand and Sahara’s story was the perfect way to wrap things up.

Both Brand and Sahara have been around for a while. Sahara has been front and center since she ran the Body Armor company. Brand’s been the one man she’s wanted to bring in for a while, but he’s always balked. Even though she knows his reasons, she still wants him on her team and in her life. When Sahara becomes a target, Brand won’t leave her side whether he’s an official body guard or not.

There’s plenty of danger, mystery, heat, intrigue and that family connection that I’ve come to not only expect, but look forward to from this author in Fast Burn. Honestly, both Sahara and Brand took me by surprise. I didn’t expect to feel as connected to these two as I did. It’s not that I didn’t like Sahara, but she was the boss, so it was hard to really get to know her. It was obvious that she cared about all the guys she employed, as well as their families, but she was so strong and independent, it was hard to feel a closeness to her. Her personality really came through in Fast Burn. Brand’s character was the same, but readers knew even less about him until this book. I ended up falling in love with them both.

So, yeah… I’m sorry that the Body Armor series has come to an end, but I’m sure whatever Lori Foster has in store for readers next will be worth it. There’s at least one character from Fast Burn that I hope gets a chance to redeem himself, but only time will tell. 😉

When Love Comes Back (When the Mission Ends #5) by Christi Snow

He was her biggest mistake.
She was his biggest regret.
Once upon a time Felicia Parks and Gage Winston were each other’s everything. But one drunken night, Gage ruined it all and broke Felicia’s heart.
That was a long time ago and they’ve both moved on, never expecting to see one another again.
But as the new wing commander at the local Air Force base, Gage finds something on this assignment that he never expected…his first love.
The problem…she’s in love with someone else.
Fate can be a lover’s best friend, but karma can be a vengeful enemy….
And a dangerous obsession threatens it all.

Oh, this was a scary one going in. From the description I just knew that Felicia and Gage needed to be together. I was prepared to be all in and want their HEA from the beginning… it would have been so much easier if Steve had been a jerk and all Felicia needed to do was see the light and dump him – but he wasn’t. He was a great guy and he deserved to be loved, he just wasn’t the right guy for Felicia… and that kinda sucked. So, in case you’re wondering, Christi Snow gets to hold onto her #EvilAuthor title just a little bit longer.

Actually, all the characters in When Love Comes Back were great. I loved Gage’s kids and having Felicia’s best friend around to bounce her feelings off gave an alternate perspective that really added to the story. Getting POVs from both Felicia and Gage helped a lot as well. There were also flash backs that shed some light on what happened in Gage and Felicia’s past. It also proved that as much as Gage screwed up, he wasn’t the only one who made some mistakes and hasty decisions.

When Love Comes Back had everything that I’ve enjoyed in the other books in the When the Mission Ends series. Romance, a little bit of danger and characters who are really easy to fall for. It can most definitely be read as a stand alone, but I’ve been a fan of this author’s writing since prologue in the first book in this series, so of course I’m going to recommend that you start at the beginning with Operation: End Game – you can thank me later 😉

When you finish When Love Comes Back, make sure you read the author’s notes at the end. There are a couple of characters in this one that I really want to see more of. You know those characters that kind of jump off the page and demand to be heard? Or the ones that really need an HEA of their very own? Yeah, I’m really looking forward to what comes next 😉

Paradise Found by Sarah O’Rourke

Samantha “The Body” Dixon had once been a famous runway model who’d walked every catwalk from Paris to Milan and back again, but when her career abruptly comes to a screeching halt, she’s out to prove she’s got a whole lot more to offer than just a pretty face and killer rack.
Benjamin Atkins might have once been the most in demand photographer in the fashion industry, but times have changed and he’d learned the hard way to value substance over style. Now, he’s built a new life doing what he loves in the beautiful town of Paradise, TN.
When these two ex-lovers reconnect after a bitter break-up, can their broken hearts find a way back to their own personal paradise found?

Confession time… I’m way behind in reading the Passion in Paradise series by Sarah O’Rourke. I know that the “Too many books, too little time” excuse is WAY overused, but it’s honestly the only one I’ve got. *hangs head in shame* So far I’ve read Cain’s Salvation and Hard as Stone. Even though Paradise Found isn’t exactly part of the same series, it is set in the same town (obviously) with a lot of the same characters. So… the good news is, this short, sweet little jaunt back into Paradise made me want to go back and check out the books I’ve missed. 😉

The prologue of Paradise Found was heartbreaking and from that moment on, I was hooked. I just had to find out how this author duo was going to fix this for Ben and Sami – because things most definitely needed fixing. I didn’t exactly agree with how either character handled things, but hind sight’s 20/20 so I’ll cut them a little slack. All I gotta say is thank goodness their friends had their back. Otherwise fate may have taken forever to get these two back together.

Which brings me to the supporting characters. Some of them are obviously from previous books, which gives me even more incentive to take a trip back to Paradise, but Sami’s friends were some of my favorites – especially Mannie. I kinda had a soft spot for him and I really hope he and his man make a trip back to Paradise. I have to say, one of my favorite couples showed up at the end… Orla and Jethro – Sami’s introduction to them was priceless. For that reason only, I’m going to try to start my return to Paradise with Wed by Wednesday – the prequel to the Passion in Paradise series.

So, to wrap things up, Paradise Found was short, but it wasn’t lacking. I got really mad at BOTH the characters from time to time, but no one’s perfect. It was a great little escape into a town full of quirky characters who had a hard time staying out of each other’s business, but they had big hearts so that little flaw was pretty easy to forgive. 😉

Tempted & Taken (Men of Haven #4) by Rhenna Morgan

There’s no code Knox Torren can’t break. He knows no limits when it comes to uncovering intel, especially on anyone who crosses his family. But a skip tracer with a sketchy history presents a puzzle he can’t solve. When he finally meets the statuesque blonde with the intoxicating Russian accent, he’ll try anything to unearth her secrets. Darya Volkova has been living under an assumed identity for years. Searching for a job that will take her out of the dangerous life she’s built, she has her sights set on Knox: the best hacker in the business. From their first meeting, though, something far more intimate than a professional connection develops.  Darya must overcome still-healing wounds to trust that Knox will take care of her in all the ways she needs. And Knox will do whatever it takes to make sure whatever—or whomever—she’s running from never touches his woman again. 

I’ve said it before (pretty much with every review I’ve written in this series) but each book in this series gets better and better. To be honest, that may be because the characters are becoming closer to both each other and the reader. Which means that they’re becoming more and more like family. The Men of Haven have considered themselves family for a long time, but as they add their significant others to the mix, that sense gets even stronger.

I loved watching Knox reluctantly fall for Darya. Once he was hooked though, there was no turning back. She was his, no argument. His brothers saw it coming way before he did, which was fun.

Darya’s back story was heartbreaking, but it didn’t break her. It just made her more determined not to waste a minute of the life she’d been given and always remember the people in her past who had made it possible. She was a hard character to not admire.

That thin line that the brothers crossed from time to time to protect those they loved was stretched to its limit in Tempted & Taken. It proved once again what lengths they would go to in order to protect the innocent at the cost of the threat. They made some unexpected allies who they probably haven’t seen the last of, which could prove to make things even more interesting for the Men of Haven.

Speaking of which, the next book in the series, Stand & Deliver, features Beck and Gia… interesting indeed 😉

Close Contact (Body Armor #3) by Lori Foster

MMA fighter Miles Dartman’s casual arrangement with personal shopper Maxi Nevar would be many men’s fantasy. She seeks him out, they have mindblowing sex, she leaves. Rinse, repeat. Yet lately, Miles wants more. And when Maxi requests his services via the Body Armor security agency, he’s ready to finally break through her defenses—and protect her day and night.
Receiving a large inheritance has brought chaos and uncertainty into Maxi’s life. Her ex has resurfaced, along with lots of former “friends,” and someone is making mysterious threats. Then there’s Miles, who doesn’t ask for anything…except her trust. Pleasure is easy. Now Maxi has to give her heart as well as her body…or risk losing a man who could be everything she needs.

I think I’ve said this before, but this series gets better with each new book that’s added. Of course, that’s pretty much the norm for me when it comes to any Lori Foster series, so I shouldn’t be surprised.

I loved the relationship between Maxi and Miles. They really wanted the same thing, but they were crappy at picking up the cues from each other. Their friends saw through them first, which was fun. They had serious problems to figure out first though. Like who was terrorizing Maxi and trying to get her to break her promise to her grandmother. It was more than that though. She honestly loved the farm her grandmother had left her and she wasn’t about to back down. Which meant that Miles, Body Armor and his friends weren’t giving up either. Not until whoever was threatening Maxi was taken care of – for good.

Once again, the sense of family was front and center. Not only the guys (and gals) from Body Armor, but Miles’ family from his MMA days. Which, by the way, was absolutely fine with me because I wasn’t ready to say good-bye to that bunch and having them drop in from time to time is the perfect consolation. 😉

The sweet (and hot) romance between Maxi and Miles, along with the suspense, danger and mystery kept the pages turning. There were quite a few bad guys to choose from in Close Contact so it was fun trying to figure out who the baddest of the bad really was. I almost saw it coming, but not quite.

The next book in the Body Armor series is Fast Burn and I really can’t wait for this one. I can’t think of a more appropriate title for whatever Lori Foster has in store for Sahara and Brand. 😉

Tequila Sunrise (Agents Irish & Whiskey #4) by Layla Reyne

Former FBI agent Melissa “Mel” Cruz spent years skirting the line between life and death, knowing the next assignment might be her last. Back from overseas and eager to enjoy life outside the Bureau, she’s ready to give Danny Talley a Christmas Eve he’ll never forget.
A proven asset in high stakes missions, Danny’s known for having the skill and brains to get the job done. When the Talley Flag Ship is hijacked during the company holiday party, he’ll do anything to save his family, his love, and everything they’ve all worked so hard to build. But their enemies have a secondary protocol—leave no survivors—and that plan is already in play.
Navigating through a tangled web of lies and betrayal, Mel and Danny race against the clock to retake the ship before their future goes up in flames. As the seconds tick down, they’re forced to face their greatest fear—losing each other.

This may have been a short and sweet glimpse of Danny and Mel, but there was most definitely nothing lacking. I also made a point of tagging this one M/F Romance because the rest of the books in the series were all M/M and featured Mel’s brother-in-law and Danny’s brother. Although Aidan and Jamie played important roles in Tequila Sunrise, this book was all Danny and Mel’s and I loved every minute of it. 😉

Readers were not only treated to a new story in this series, but they were given tidbits of Danny and Mel’s history from the beginning of the series. It’s kinda fun to see things that you didn’t know were happening in the ‘shadows’ to other characters in the same time frame. The really great part about this holiday read was that it gave readers some extra time with characters that they may not have been quite ready to say goodbye to when the series ended.

Nothing’s easy when it comes to this family, but the one thing that they never have to worry about is doing it alone. They always have each other’s back and giving up isn’t part of their mindset – even when the odds seem to be totally against them.

Getting to know Mel and Danny a little better was a great way to put the finishing touch on this great series. I can’t wait to see what Layla Reyne has in store for readers next.