Sunday, August 5, 2012

That Thing Called Love, by Susan Andersen


That Thing Called Love, by Susan Andersen

Rating: B+, Hot


Renowned photographer Jake Bradshaw has returned to Razor Bay after a 13 year absence. His wife died in childbirth when his son Austin was born. Jake was only 18 at the time, and his wife’s parents convinced him they could care for Austin so Jake could go to college. Well, that was then….this is now! The Grandparents have passed away, and Jake is called upon to parent Austin. Jenny Salazaar is Austin’s legal guardian, and none too happy to see the globe trotting Jake blow in to town. Jake’s plan is to get to know Austin, and then move him to New York City, which Jake calls home.


Jenny slowly comes to the realization that Jake can take Austin at any time, so she decides to work with him, to form a relationship with Austin. Austin is a very mature 13 year old, and does not react well to Jake’s plan to move with him to New York. In fact, at times Austin is better at forging ahead with their relationship than Jake is. However, throughout the course of the story, we find out that the grandparents were instrumental in keeping Jake from returning to Razor Bay and his son. At this turning point, Jake had my sympathy and his work cut out for him, proving to everyone that he could be a capable parent to Austin.


Soon, sparks fly between Jake and Jenny. The conflict between them is very well fleshed out. Jenny needs the stability her life in Razor Bay offers her, while Jake is such a free spirit. They slowly start to resolve their issues, out of consideration for Austin. Both Jake and Jenny need to sacrifice for the best resolution of Austin’s future. Jake especially has to work hard to repair broken promises, but he comes out a better man for it. Will Jake and Jenny be able to meet halfway, and stay together in Razor Bay with Austin? At times, the odds sure are stacked against them.


Jake’s half brother Max provides comic relief throughout the book, and I sure hope the next book is about Max! This book is a magnificent beginning to a new series that I look forward to!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Wrangler, by Lindsay McKenna

My rating:  4 stars, Warm
Publication date: 6/19/2012
 Location: Jackson Hole WY

 Cast of Characters: Hero: Griff McPherson, out of work Wall Street banker, fraternal twin to Slade. The boys were separated at age 5 when parents killed in a car accident, one raised in Jackson Hole and Griff in the East Coast.
 Heroine: Val Hunter, retired Air Force Lieutenant
Gus (Augusta) – Val’s grandmother
 Curt Downing – Nefarious neighboring rancher, always up to no good
 Buck Hunter – Val’s abusive father 

Val gets a call from Grandmother Gus to come and help out with the Bar H Ranch, as she has sustained an injury and needs help. Val left Jackson Hole and never looked back, after her father abused both her and her mother. Griff has recently returned to the area, after the loss of his job in the Wall Street collapse, and is picking up work at the Horse Emporium. His brother Slade (see The Last Cowboy) is none too happy to welcome Griff home. A few years back, Slade asked Griff for a loan, back in the days that Griff had plenty of money, and Griff declined.

Griff works hard to prove that he has what it takes to leave the East Coast, and live the life of a rancher in Wyoming. No one makes this transition easy for him, and he goes above and beyond when it comes to helping others out. In my opinion, everyone in the book makes it difficult for Griff to prove himself, and at times I found that a bit hard to swallow. Grandma Gus really puts her faith in him, which in turn makes it a bit easier for Val to trust him.

An FBI agent working in the area has asked Griff to help keep an eye on the nefarious Curt Downing, ever the wheeler and dealer. This proves to be an easy assignment, since Downing is forever trying to buy the Bar H ranch from Gus. When Gus turns him down again, Downing heads  to his realtor, trying to get him to help put together an offer Gus can’t refuse. Little does he know………that isn’t about to happen!

Strange happenings continue in the area, including a fire at the cabins Val was building on the lake. There seem to be bad guys everywhere, and the question is who really is behind everything bad that keeps happening? During this time, Griff is there for Val every step of the way. Slow but sure, their relationship builds. Griff is very considerate of Val’s background, and a most patient man.  

This story line progresses very nicely, picking up where The Last Cowboy left off. We still have some surprises to come in the next book, and I will be looking forward to that a lot. Maybe even a wedding!!

 Book provided by NetGalley for an honest review. 

Call Me Wild, by Robin Kaye

CALL ME WILD, by Robin Kaye
Publish Date:  8/7/2012
2nd in her Domestic Gods Gone Wild series

Those Kincaid brothers are just irresistible! Out of work sports journalist Jesse is staying at her pal’s vacant house in Boise. She is on a coffee run to the Starbucks when she literally runs in to Fisher. He flirts, she pegs him for a surfer dude. The incidental run ins keep happening. Next time is at the grocery store, where Fisher labels Jessie’s cart as "what not to eat". You have to give the guy credit where credit is due. He is humorous and witty. Oh, and a ten plus on the attractive scale!

Jessie has had a tough life, and this is fleshed out quite well. Beginning with her family, the high school boyfriend, and loss of her job, I can well understand why she takes advantage of pal Andrew’s offer to stay at his house while she gets her act together. Jessie needs some quick cash, so she is going to try her hand at writing a romance novel, even though she has never read one. How hard can it be? Well, since her life is quite lacking in that department, she finds it much more difficult than she imagined.

Jessie meets Karma and is telling her about her so called “stalker”, calling him" thick or mentally challenged, and living with his mother."   Karma is trying not to crack up laughing, since she knows the ‘stalker” is her brother Fisher, and Jessie has no idea they are related. Karma convinces Jessie they need a girls weekend at brother Hunter’s wilderness cabin. Karma is tricky, and setting Jessie up. And oh boy - what a setup it is!

We know Fisher is a great guy, who has many admirable talents. This series isn’t called the Domestic Gods Gone Wild for nothing!! Will Fisher be able to wow Jessie?  Karma of course, was a no show, but Fisher made it to the cabin in the woods.   Jessie emotionally breaks down while with Fisher, and instead of turning to him, she turns to Andrew. At first, I didn’t like Jessie for that. But on the other hand, she has only known Fisher a handful of days. Fisher is injured while at the cabin, and when Jessie takes him to the ER for treatment, she finds out that he is a doctor, and that he doesn’t live off a trust fund or with his mama!

All the assumptions Jessie makes about Fisher are hysterical, along with his response to every thing she throws his way. One thing I love about Robin Kaye’s books is the lighthearted humor and bantering with the main characters. This book just left me wanting more of the Kincaid family!