Worth the Wait (Guthrie Brothers #2) by Lori Foster

Single dad Hogan Guthrie is getting his life back on track, and working as the “barbecue master” at a local diner is just a temporary detour. He and restaurant owner Violet Shaw constantly butt heads…until one night they end up mingling other parts instead. Hogan thought he had the recipe for happiness all figured out. But loyal, carefree Violet is daring him to trust his impulses…and see just how sweet small-town living—and loving—can be.
Nathan Hawley traded his SWAT team credentials for a sheriff’s badge, but a gorgeous new neighbor is shaking up his orderly life. Nathan has a hunch there’s more to Brooklin Sweet than meets the eye—but given her caution about getting involved, he has his work cut out for him. Still, there’s something about the elusive beauty Nathan can’t walk away from—and helping her come to terms with her past might pave the way to the future they both secretly long for.

I fell in love with Nathan, Hogan and Violet when readers met them in Don’t Tempt Me, the first book in Lori Foster’s Guthrie Brothers series. Needless to say, I couldn’t wait for all of them to find their HEA. 😉

Hogan was just a little bit broken, which made him more than a little bit leery. He not only wanted to protect his heart, but he had Colt to consider. He went a little bit crazy after he lost his wife. To say he played the field would be putting it mildly. He didn’t want to put his son through any more than he already had. He pretty much met his match with Violet though. She wasn’t looking for anything serious either. Like Hogan, she had her priorities and hers was her diner. That didn’t mean that she didn’t notice her attraction to Hogan. It was kind of impossible to ignore for both of them.

Just like Don’t Tempt Me included not just the romance between Jason and Honor, but Sullivan and Lexie, Worth the Wait had Hogan and Violet sharing the pages with Nathan and Brooklin. I liked how their relationships co-exhisted in Worth the Wait, especially how in the end, all four couples became more like family than just friends.

Given the title of the series and the fact that there are only two Guthrie Brothers, I’m guessing that this is the last of the series. I’ve got to admit though, I wouldn’t object to seeing more of them in the future, especially Colt. 😉

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Hard Justice (Body Armor #2) by Lori Foster

Playing it safe has never felt so dangerous…
Justice Wallington knows how to harness his strength and intimidating size—skills he put to good use first in the MMA cage, and now as a bodyguard at the Body Armor agency. But no opponent has ever left him feeling as off balance as his new client, heiress Fallon Wade. Far from a spoiled princess, she’s sweet and intriguingly innocent. It’s a risk-free assignment, until he’s required to fake a relationship with her in order to blend in. 

Sheltered from the world after a family tragedy, Fallon longs to experience life—going to bars, dancing, talking to strangers. Not easy with a huge, lethal-looking bodyguard shadowing her every move. Justice seems like her polar opposite, but pretending to be a couple stirs undeniable heat. And when danger strikes again, it’s not just her safety in jeopardy, but a passion that’s real, raw and absolutely against the rules…

So, I’ve almost forgiven Lori Foster for ending her Ultimate series. You see, I loved those guys and gals and I just wasn’t ready to say goodbye to them yet. Turns out that Ms. Foster wasn’t quite done with them yet either because they made appearances a couple of times in Leese and Cat’s book (Under Pressure) and readers got to spend even more quality time with them in Hard Justice. That ended up being just an added bonus for Justice and Fallon though because as much as I loved Under Pressure, I think I may have liked Hard Justice even more.

The last thing he expected when he was assigned to protect Fallon was to fall for her. No, he really did expect a spoiled princess and Fallon was anything but. On the flip side, Fallon expected another cookie-cutter body guard who stuck out like a sore thumb. Neither one of them got what they expected. Fallon was down to earth and wanted to be ‘normal.’ Justice was a powerful presence that was hard to ignore. Watching them tip-toe around their mutual attraction was fun.

What was even more fun were the guys’ reactions to Fallon and Justice. He couldn’t hide his true feelings from those who knew him best and they couldn’t resist ragging him about it. They also couldn’t resist Fallon’s charm any more than Justice could. Loving Justice’s friends was a given because readers had already been introduced to most of them, but Justice’s grandmother was a hoot and his mother was amazing. His interaction with both of them just made me fall in love with him more (and it had the same affect on Fallon 😉 ) Fallon’s parents even won me over little by little.

Beyond the characters and the romance, the ‘who-dun-it’ mystery was pretty good too. It was one of those mysteries where you thought you had it figured out, but then there was a twist, and then another one and characters you thought you despised turned out to be not so bad and… you get the picture. Basically, Hard Justice was a great read (not a surprise) and it left me wanting more (also, not a surprise.) I can’t wait to see what this author has in store for the rest of the series because there is definitely more to come.

Under Pressure (Body Armor #1) by Lori Foster

underpressureHe can protect anything except his heart
Leese Phelps’s road hasn’t been an easy one, but it’s brought him to the perfect job — working for the elite Body Armor security agency. And what his newest assignment lacks in size, she makes up for in fire and backbone. But being drawn to Catalina Nicholson is a dangerous complication, especially since it could be the very man who hired Leese who’s threatening her.

What Catalina knows could get her killed. But who’d believe the sordid truth about her powerful stepfather? Beyond Leese’s ripped body and brooding gaze is a man of impeccable honour. He’s the last person she expects to trust — and the first who’s ever made her feel safe. And he’s the only one who can help her expose a deadly secret, if they can just stay alive long enough…

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I have to admit, I was really sad when Lori Foster ended her Ultimate series. Four books just didn’t seem like enough. It did help a little knowing that the characters weren’t being totally abandoned though. Under Pressure not only featured Leese, a member of the Ultimate crew, but readers were treated to tiny glimpses of the rest of the gang. I feel MUCH better now 😉 It’s the little things, really.

So, how was the first book in the Body Armor series? I think I’m going to like this series… really, is anyone surprised? Ex-fighters who aren’t afraid to put themselves on the line to protect. Strong women who will go to any length to stand up for those they care about. Friends who step up without being asked. Witty and smart characters and plenty of heated tension. Bad guys who think they’re above the law and can pretty much do anything they want. What’s not to love?

Needless to say, I loved Leese and Cat and their story. I can’t wait to see what Foster has in store for the rest of the Body Armor crew. Justice is next in Hard Justice. Stay tuned 😉

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Don’t Tempt Me (Guthrie Brothers #1) by Lori Foster

Don'tTemptMeLove comes along when it’s least wanted 
Jason Guthrie has no time for entanglements—between helping out his widowed brother and teenage nephew and getting his hometown back on its feet, his days are spoken for. But his nights are another story… And when his lovely new neighbor, Honor Brown, reluctantly accepts his help in remodeling her house, Jason finds himself wishing his handyman skills could knock down the defenses she keeps building around herself.
Martial arts teacher Sullivan Dean knows real danger when he sees it—even when it takes the form of the gorgeous blonde helping her friend move in across the street. After putting his wayward past behind him to focus on teaching control to troubled kids, Sullivan has learned to avoid party girls like Lexie Perkins. But Sullivan can’t seem to keep his hands off the real woman behind that flirty charm—or keep his heart from landing at her feet…

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Basically, if Lori Foster writes it, I’ll read it. She’s actually one of a very few contemporary romance authors that I follow. I honestly prefer her ‘edgier’ books, but I like her sweet romances too. Even though there’s an element of danger in Don’t Tempt Me, I think this one falls into the ‘sweeter’ category.

The description lets readers know that two romances are the focus of Don’t Tempt Me, but this is pretty much Jason and Honor’s story. Since Sullivan isn’t a ‘Guthrie’, that’s probably why they shared the story. Lexie’s Honor’s best friend though, so having them find their HEA together was kind of appropriate.

As a series opener, Don’t Tempt Me did a great job of introducing the characters and helping readers get to know all the brothers pretty well. I liked and pretty much admired them all and can’t wait to get to know them even better. 😉

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Fighting Dirty (Ultimate #4) by Lori Foster

FightingDirtyWith the life he’s led and the muscles he’s gained, Armie Jacobson isn’t afraid of anything. Except maybe Merissa Colter’s effect on him. It’s not just that she’s his best friend’s little sister. Fact is, she deserves better. Women pursue him for one night of pleasure, and that’s all he wants to offer. Until rescuing Merissa from a robbery leads to the most erotic encounter of his life. 
Good girl meets bad boy. It’s a story that rarely ends well. But Merissa is taking matters into her own hands. No matter how he views himself, the Armie she knows is brave, honorable and completely loyal. And as past demons and present-day danger collide, they’re both about to learn what’s truly worth fighting for…

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Armie and Merissa’s book was as long time coming. Lori Foster has been teasing readers with this couple from the beginning of the series. I suppose it’s only fitting that since a Colter started the Ultimate series, another Colter deserved to wrap it up… for that, Ms. Foster is almost forgiven… almost. 🙂

Armie had secrets… secrets that not only made him keep Merissa at arm’s length, but also held him back from making a name for himself in the MMA. Merissa didn’t care though. She knew that Armie was not only a good man, but he was hers. She just had to convince him.

There wasn’t a lot of down time in Fighting Dirty. Readers were clued into who was behind the danger facing this couple a lot sooner than Merissa and Armie… which made it kind of frustrating. Basically because I wanted them to know so… but then the story would have been a lot shorter and since readers had been denied quality Merissa/Armie time for so long, that would have been selfish… right?

Basically, Fighting Dirty was well worth the wait. I loved watching walls around Armie finally crumble. He didn’t give in easy, but he proved more than once that he was totally worthy of not only Merissa’s love, but the rest of their ‘family’ as well. Armie had worked hard to dig himself out from under his past and keep it hidden. In Fighting Dirty he found out that he was more than his past, he finally had a future.

The supporting characters were great as usual and there were even a few cameos from series past. I love how this world is tied so neatly together. Which gives me hope that even though this appears to be the end of the Ultimate series, the new series featuring Leese, Justice, Brand and Miles will be coming soon. Hopefully, we haven’t seen the last of the Ultimate crew. 😉

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Give it Up (Dean Brothers & Friend #1-3) by Lori Foster

GiveItUpGive it Up is a collection of novellas by Lori Foster that gives readers a front row seat to the escapades and romance between two brothers, a best friend and their HEA’s. Each one is a fairly quick read, but none of them are lacking in humor or smexiness. 😉 Below are my reviews of each story in the order they appear in the collection.

He Sees You When You’re Sleeping
What Booker Dean wants for Christmas isn’t under the tree, it’s right next door. Frances Kennedy is everything Booker desires…and the gift he has planned for her involves a lot of delicious unwrapping…

This was the perfect beginning to this collection of novellas. Booker and Frances are perfect together and the story is also a great way to introduce both Cary and Axel. I loved all these guys from the start. ❤

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Some Like It Hot
Family practitioner Cary Rupert wants Nora Chilton so badly he can barely keep a hold of his stethoscope. Now he’s out to prove that when it comes to loving her forever, he’s just what the doctor ordered…

Cary is adorable in Some Like It Hot… and so is Nora. This story shows first hand what happens when a ‘playboy’ falls for a one-lover sweetheart. Nora has a lot to learn and Cary is perfectly willing to be her teacher. 😉

Playing Doctor
Dr. Axel Dean likes his women with sensual moxie, not virginal innocence. But when Libby Preston won’t take no for an answer, Axel is more than willing to administer the cure…

It was so much fun to see Axel finally meet his match. Having it be Libby, for more than one reason, was just icing on the cake.

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Tough Love (Ultimate #3) by Lori Foster – Bout of Books 14 Review

ToughLoveVanity Baker loves a good, clean match, but she’s not above playing a little dirty. She’s wanted Stack “The Wolf” Hannigan from day one. Seems as though the best way to corral the famously commitment-phobic fighter is to insist on keeping it casual. And her plan works—deliciously well—until Stack’s past steps out of the shadows.
Stack learned early to stay free of attachments. But with sexy, forthright Vanity, he’s the one always left wanting more. Then his troublemaking family comes back into the picture, threatening everything Stack cares about—Vanity included. Suddenly he realizes they’re much more than friends with benefits. He’s ready to go to the mat for her…but will it be in time to protect the woman who’s tamed him for good?

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1The more I get to know these fighters, their ladies and their families, the more I love them.  Tough Love started pretty much where Holding Strong left off… at Cannon and Yvette’s wedding.

I loved Vanity’s tactics, but honestly, Stack wasn’t quite as hard to ‘catch’ as she thought. He just needed a little bit of convincing. Once they finally got together (really, it felt like it was never going to happen – even after their book started) the outcome was inevitable. If there ever was a girl made for Stack, Vanity was it.

As usual, the supporting characters were more than just window dressing. Both the new and the familiar characters added a lot to the story. These guys and their strength, loyalty and sense of family are impressive. If I had one complaint… actually more than one, but I’ll get to the other one in just a minute… it would be that just once I’d like the guy in one of these relationships to make the stupid mistake that almost breaks them up. Other than over reacting to the girl’s stupid mistake that is. This isn’t the first time I wanted to jump into a book and shake someone before they did something that jeopardized everything. Okay, so it doesn’t happen all the time and I know that it wouldn’t be much of a story if there wasn’t some conflict somewhere, but it really makes me cringe when someone as smart as Vanity does something as stupid as… well, you’ll have to read Tough Love to find out.

As for my other complaint… I wanted more. *sigh* Things just sort of wrapped up at the end and I still had some questions and I want to know how things work out after all the dust settles… with everyone. Speaking of which, rumor has it that Armie and Merissa are next. Finally! If you’ve been following this series, I bet you can’t wait for Fighting Dirty. 😉

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Holding Strong (Ultimate #2) by Lori Foster

HoldingStrongAn up-and-coming MMA fighter wants more than just one night from a woman fleeing her past in New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster’s irresistible new novel

Heavyweight fighter Denver Lewis plays real nice, but he doesn’t share. That’s why he’s been avoiding top-notch flirt Cherry Peyton. But a man can only resist those lush curves for so long. Their encounter surpasses all his fantasies, bringing out protective urges that Cherry’s about to need more than she knows…

Denver’s combination of pure muscle and unexpected tenderness has been driving Cherry wild. Yet no sooner does she get what she’s been craving than old troubles show up on her doorstep. And this time, Cherry can’t hide behind a carefree facade. Because the man by her side is one who’ll fight like hell to keep her safe…if only she’ll trust him enough to let him…

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Holding Strong was a book full of misunderstandings and not just the ones between Cherry and Denver. That’s what I like about this series though. No, not the misunderstandings. Those drive me nuts. I want to put the characters in a room, shut the door and make them talk about how they really feel. That wouldn’t make for much of a book though, but it does say something about Lori Foster’s writing. She’s made me care about these characters, which is something that I sometimes both love and hate her for. 😉 What I liked was that readers don’t just get Cherry and Denver’s story. We also get bits and pieces of the inner turmoil going on with everyone else.

It should be no secret by now that Cherry and Denver both had feelings for each other. Feelings that everyone knew about except for them. That’s usually how it works though and if that was the only obstacle keeping them apart it would have been an easy fix. Nothings ever that easy though. Sometimes family is more than blood – and sometimes that can be either good or bad. It went both ways in Holding Strong.

I really love this crew of fighters and their friends. I love the interactions between them and their families and friends. I especially love the little sneak peeks we get of previous characters from not just this series but previous series as well. Cannon and crew have an entire community backing them and the way that trouble seems to follow them, that’s a very good thing.

It looks like Vanity and Stack are next, which promises to be an interesting match. It also means that a couple other characters will be playing cat and mouse for a little while longer. I’m not sure which one I’m looking forward to more. 😉

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No Limits (Ultimate #1) by Lori Foster

NoLimitsCannon Colter is quintessential hero material: chiseled jawline, shredded body—the works. He’s also the guy who rescued Yvette Sweeny from kidnappers, only to put an end to her romantic dreams. These days, she’s older, smarter, determined to face whatever life throws her way. Even the prospect of sharing a house and business with Cannon. 

Cannon knew Yvette wanted him three years ago. But she was young—and some things are worth waiting for. Thrown together by her grandfather’s legacy, he realizes how deep Yvette’s scars really go, and how much danger lurks in their quiet town. As pent-up desire explodes between them, protecting her becomes the only fight that matters. And he’ll break all the rules to do it…

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Cannon Colter was first introduced in Lori Foster’s Love Undercover series. (I love these series crossovers 😉 ) When readers first met him, he was more than just a little mysterious – maybe even dangerous. As his character developed, it quickly became apparent that there was a lot more to Cannon than the street smart kid that he first appeared to be. At the end of Dash of Peril, Lori Foster let readers know that Cannon and his friends were going to get their own series. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised ;).

No Limits is the perfect introduction to the Ultimate series. If you want a taste of what the series is about, you can start with the prequel novella, Hard Knocks. Cannon and Yvette have known each other for years. She was an infatuated teenager and Cannon played the role of protector. They had been attracted to each other for years, but the timing was never right. Their connection was strong and the outcome was inevitable, but as usual, it’s not always the destination, but the journey and nobody does that quite as well as Lori Foster.

Besides the romance between Cannon and Yvette, there was a lot of other drama going on in No Limits. More characters were introduced and there was unexpected danger and some twists that I honestly didn’t see coming. Yeah, this was a great beginning and I can’t wait to see what this author has in store for readers next.

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Hard Knocks (Ultimate #0.5) by Lori Foster

HardKnocksPower. Brute strength. Unforgettable moves. It’s no wonder Harper Gates hasn’t been able to get her fling with Gage “Savage” Ringer out of her head. Months have passed since she laid eyes—or any other body parts—on him. Months without a word of contact… until, sidelined by injury, he comes back to town.

Staying focused on his training seemed like a smart move to Gage, even if he thought about Harper every day. Seeing her again only makes it clear how much is at stake. He’s got one night to earn back her trust. One night to show her that behind his breathtaking skill and ripped body is a man who’ll give her everything she needs.

Have you ever picked up a book just because of the author? I know, that’s a really silly question, of course you have. That’s one of the main reasons why I picked up Hard Knocks. Imagine my surprise when I realized that this little novella was the beginning of a series that I’ve been looking forward to. I knew it was coming, I just wasn’t paying attention when I picked it up.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Hard Knocks is the prequel novella to Lori Foster’s Ultimate series. It’s an excellent opening even though it only mentions the characters that I’m most looking forward to seeing more of…namely Cannon. That’s okay though because Hard Knocks gave readers a lot to look forward to in the series. New characters as well as the promise of cameos from Foster’s Love Undercover series, which is where Cannon was first introduced.  Gage and Harper give you just a taste of this world, but it wasn’t lacking. There was plenty of heat between these two. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for not only the characters that readers already know, but the new ones that we’re sure to become just as inevitably attached.

Cannon’s book, the first official book in the series, No Limits, is due to be released near the end of August. You can get a feel for the series a little bit sooner when Hard Knocks is released on August 4.

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