The Somerset Girls by Lori Foster

No one knows you quite like a sister…
Summer in Sunset, Kentucky, means long, hot days—and sometimes surprising new beginnings. Through it all, the ties of sisterhood will be there, guiding Autumn and Ember to the lives, and loves, they need…
When they’re running the animal-rescue farm they inherited from their grandparents, Autumn and Ember Somerset are perfectly in sync. At all other times, not so much. Dependable Autumn would rather curl up with a good book than paint the town red with Ember. After the disaster that was Autumn’s last relationship, it’s pure self-protection. But when her high school crush comes back to town with his adorable young daughter, igniting memories best left forgotten, there’s only one person Autumn can turn to…
Beneath Ember’s free-spirited facade is a layer of deep hurt. She’ll gladly nudge Autumn toward a second chance. But risk her own heart? Not likely. The closer Autumn gets to her own happily-ever-after, the more Ember wonders what she might be missing—and if it isn’t her time to be bold, too.

I’ve been a fan of Lori Foster for a while now. The first book that I read by her was A Perfect Storm, which happens to be the last book in her Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor series. I know, I know – not the best way to dive into a series, but it got me hooked and I’ve recently started at the beginning of the series, so there is that. What I’ve discovered is that although I love the sweet romances, I think I get wrapped up in the romantic suspense more. For the record, I knew that little tidbit before I picked up The Somerset Girls. My reading’s eclectic, remember? So I won’t turn down a book from pretty much any genre, especially when it’s written by an author I love and this author definitely falls into that category. 😉

Which brings us to The Somerset Girls… It follows two sisters and their search for love… even if they didn’t realize they were looking. Autumn and Ember are almost total opposites. The one thing that they have in common is their fierce love of each other and animals. They’ve also experienced their own share of heartbreak and it’s pretty much turned them off romance – at least they thought that it had. Ember is determined to make sure that Autumn gets another chance at love and Autumn is determined to make sure that Ember gets that same chance. With well-meaning yet clueless parents; a precociously adorable, yet heartbroken little girl; an old flame that knows exactly how much he screwed up the first time around and a farm hand determined to prove he cares and can be trusted to help mend a broken heart, The Somerset Girls was a sweet story filled with love and hope. Aren’t those the best kind?

All Fired Up (Road to Love #3) by Lori Foster

Charlotte Parrish has always wanted a certain kind of man: someone responsible, settled, boring. Bad boys need not apply. But when her car leaves her stranded and a mysterious stranger with brooding eyes and a protective streak comes to her rescue, she can’t deny how drawn she is to him. In town searching for family he’s never met, Mitch is everything she never thought she wanted—and suddenly everything she craves.
Finding his half brothers after all these years is more than Mitch Crews has allowed himself to wish for. Finding love never even crossed his mind…until he meets Charlotte. She’s sweet, warmhearted, sexier than she knows—and too damn good for an ex-con like him. But when his past comes back to haunt him, putting Charlotte—and the family he’s come to care for—in danger, Mitch isn’t playing by the rules. He’s already surrendered his heart, but now he’ll risk his life.

I’ve loved all the books in the Road to Love series so far, but I’ve gotta admit, I think All Fired Up may have been my favorite. It features Charlotte, who has been around since the series began and Mitch, who readers were hinted about at the end of Slow Ride.

Charlotte is the “little sister” to overprotective brothers, Jack and Brodie. She lost her parents when she was younger and was “adopted” by the Crews family with no hesitation whatsoever. Mitch had a plan. He wanted to establish himself and then at least meet his half brothers. That plan fell apart as soon as he ran into Charlotte. He was attracted to her from the start – even before he knew her connection to the Crews brothers. That should have nipped his attraction in the bud, but it soon became impossible to ignore.

When Mitch found out that he’d brought danger to his new family, he planned on keeping it as far away from them as possible, whatever it took. He didn’t know his family well enough to realize that they took care of their own and were more than capable. He didn’t expect the immediate devotion and trust for someone who should have been considered a total stranger. That’s just not how the Crews family worked.

I think that’s what made me love this series so much. The strong sense of family that came from all the Crews members. I had only one little issue with the family aspect and it centered around forgiveness. I’m not going to give it away. I think most readers will know what I’m talking about when they get to it. It wasn’t enough to tarnish my love for this series or All Fired Up. As usual, I can’t wait to see what Lori Foster has in store for readers next.

Sisters of Summer’s End (Summer Resort #2) by Lori Foster

As the summer ends, friendship begins…When single mom Joy Lee abandoned her old life to take a job at a lakeside resort, she found something that her family’s wealth and influence could never buy: peace of mind. Not easy to come by for the once-burned divorce who keeps everyone at a distance. But when her new friend, Maris, dares her to take a chance with the drive-in’s charismatic new owner, everything changes for Joy and her young son. A difficult childhood has left Maris Kennedy with definite priorities. Her job running Summer’s End, the camp store and cafe, comes first. Always. Nothing could ever make her risk that hard-won security–especially not her free-spirited colleague. But the more she encourages Joy to open herself up to new experiences, the more Maris begins to wonder what she, too, might be missing. Learning how to trust will bring Joy and Maris together.
And soon they form a friendship that leaves them as close as sisters–and open to love where they least expect it…in Summer’s End.

I’ve really enjoyed the Summer Resort series, which started with Cooper’s Charm. I think that Sisters of Summer’s End may have been even sweeter than the first book. For one thing, the only real conflict in this one was emotional. There was a touch of danger in Cooper’s Charm that was absent in the second book. That’s not a complaint though. Although I love Lori Foster’s suspenseful books a little more, the sweet ones definitely have their own appeal 😉

Just like Cooper’s Charm, there were two couples featured in Sisters of Summer’s End and I enjoyed both of them. Both women had interesting back stories and both men were determined to find a way into both of their hearts.

I’m not sure if there’s more to come with the Summer Resort series, but I have no doubt that there’s much more to come from Lori Foster, regardless.

Driven to Distraction (Road to Love #1) by Lori Foster

When desire gets this hot, you’d better buckle up…
Mary Daniels doesn’t let anything get in the way of her job acquiring rare artifacts for her wealthy boss. But this particular obstacle—huge, hard-muscled, unashamedly masculine—is impossible to ignore. Stuck in a cramped car with Brodie Crews for hours en route to their new assignment, Mary feels her carefully crafted persona—and her trademark self-control—is slipping, and she won’t allow it.
Brodie can’t imagine what secret in Mary’s past has left her so buttoned-up, though he’d dearly love to find out. Maybe then she’d trust him enough to explore their explosive chemistry. But he needs this job, so he’ll play by her rules and bide his time…until an enemy determined to outwit them strikes and he needs to get close—in every way—to protect her. Otherwise they could lose much more than a precious collectible. They could lose it all.

I always get excited when I find out that Lori Foster has started a new series. It almost takes the sting out of one of her series ending. 😉 (Just kidding – I mean I can always go back and for a re-read…)

Mary and Brodie had a rough start. Brodie thought she was stuffy and Mary thought he was not professional in the slightest. She would have much preferred working with his brother. Her boss was specific in his request for Brodie though, so she didn’t have a choice. She didn’t have to like it though and she made that pretty clear from the start. It wasn’t like Brodie was excited about the prospect of spending so much time with Mary, but he had to admit she was a mystery that he definitely wanted to solve. He knew there was more behind her than she revealed. He considered it a challenge.

The more these two spent time together though, the more they couldn’t deny the attraction. Beyond the budding romance between Brodie and Mary there was a lot going on in Driven to Distraction. Mary had a few hang-ups and emotional attachment of any kind was one of them. It took her a while to realize that there was more than one way to define family. She had more than she realized and she gained even more with her connection to Brodie. There was also the element of danger and craziness surrounding Mary’s boss’s obsession. It definitely kept things interesting.

I know that there’s at least one more book in this series that will be centered on Brodie’s brother, Jack. I personally can’t wait for the Road to Love series to continue with Slow Ride. 😉

 

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.

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. 😉

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. 😉

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. 😉

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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