Tag Archives: contemporary romance

Jackson’s Trust…

Jackson's Trust (Fourth Down, #1)Jackson’s Trust by Violet Duke

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I haven’t done a romance review in awhile and I’m glad I had this one to read and review right now, because I really liked this fun and sexy book that’s the first in a new sports series by Violet Duke.  I would have given the book five stars but I felt the beginning was a little slow moving and the ending brought in some unusual events that didn’t seem to mesh with the rest of the story.

That said, all the chapters in between are fabulous fun in a story of brilliant network sports analyst Jackson Gray being asked to mentor newly hired sideline reporter Leila Hart in this football oriented story.  Jackson immediately senses that Leila is hiding a keen understanding of the game and he can’t imagine why.

The two begin a very flirtatious and fun working relationship, both vowing they won’t allow their attraction to turn into anything more. And Jackson admits he has some deep, dark secrets, as well, which we find out about late in the story.  Sports and romance, what could be better?

I received this as an ARC from NetGalley.

Eyes Wide Open, Part 6


He’s still looking at me with that hard look on his face.  “Yeah, sure, hope it doesn’t cause a problem for you with Reggie,” he says cryptically and strides down the hall toward his apartment.  Too late I realize he doesn’t know my friend, Reggie, is really Regina.

Hmm, he’s kind of cute when he’s jealous…


If you haven’t read them yet, catch up with the beginning of Eyes Wide Open, Part 1, Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4 and Part 5

The next time the doorbell rings it really is Reggie and I pull her in for a big hug.  “Yay, you’re here.  It’s been too long since we went out.”  “It has,” she agrees. “And since it’s research for your story, we let the guys buy our drinks, right?”  Reggie and I have known each other since we lived on the same floor freshman year of college. She’s sort of the yin to my yang.

“Of course,” I nod.  “And I can’t thank you enough for having your brother pick up my car.  I didn’t want to have to ask Mike to do it after all the weirdness,” I say.  Reggie shrugs slim shoulders.  “Of course, he didn’t mind.  But what’s up with you and Mike?  I thought you said he was an okay guy.”

I’m embarrassed just thinking about the other night and my striptease for Mike.  I tell Reggie what happened and she’s practically bursting with laughter by the time I’m done.  “For God’s sake, girl, what would you expect him to think?   What guy could refuse boobs shoved up in his face like that?  And you doing a striptease,” she goes off into more peals of laughter.

“Well, I’m not quite sure how to take that,” I say, trying to sound hurt, but I can’t help grinning a little.  It was pretty out of character for me.  Then I show her my gorgeous bouquet and try to explain how Mike acted when I said “Reggie” was coming over and he thought I had a date.

“Well, I’d say he’s definitely interested.  A guy doesn’t buy flowers like that just to say sorry to his neighbor,” she says.  “C’mon, let’s get going and then we can talk some more.  Did you call Uber for a car?”  “I did,” I say.  “I’m glad you’re going with me.  I hate doing this myself.  I know, I know,” I say in answer to her sigh.  “We have to split up when we get there so we’re more approachable.”   Reggie assures me that we’ll be fine and we go outside.

Now, a few hours later, we’re silly and feeling no pain after several drinks at the bar.  The crowd turned out to be a little older, lots of business guys and women, pretty normal.  Except, of course, for the one guy who talks to me.

On the way home, Reggie gets the giggles and even the Uber driver is smiling because it’s hard not to laugh when she starts.   Her blond hair is coming out of it’s messy bun and her mascara might be just a little smeared from wiping the tears out of her eyes so many times.  “That guy,” she keeps repeating.  “That guy was just too much!”

I don’t know why I seem to attract these people.  At first glance Brett had seemed the perfect choice.  I’d seen him from across the room and given him my look and it got his attention right away.   He had that blond, sun streaked surfer look, wide shoulders and beautiful blue eyes.  He smiled and sauntered over to my end of the bar.

We started with the normal stuff, you know, hi, I’m Jamie, hey, Jamie, I’m Brett.  I told him I was a writer, he told me how he picked up road kill raccoons from the side of the road and used them to make coonskin hats to sell, hand to God!   I really didn’t even know what to say to that.  And, big surprise, he lived in a  camper in his sister’s driveway when he wasn’t traveling around looking, I assume, for more road kill.  Then he called me boo.   He wanted to know if I wanted to hang with him.  In his RV.   You know, when he wasn’t sewing dead raccoons into hats.  And I actually ended up buying him a drink, because the raccoon business apparently wasn’t booming.

I clutch Reggie’s arm suddenly.  “I know,” I cry.  “Let’s go see if Mike is working at the golf club bar.”  I smile triumphantly.  “Nah, Jamie,” I don’t think that’s such a great idea,” Reggie says.  “Aww,  c’mon, Reg, it’ll be fun, we can see him and all.  It’ll cheer me up!”  “Oh, boy,” says my snarky friend, rolling her eyes, “that does sound fun, seeing him and all.  I don’t think now’s such a good time to talk to him when you’re just a little bit trashed.”

“Okay,”  I say brightly, “I’ll text him then, just to see if he misses me.”  Reggie snatches my phone out of my hand and luckily we pull up in front of my building before I smack her to get my phone back.  “What the hell, Reg?” I yelp.  “Give it back.”  “In a minute,” she says.  “Let’s go inside and make some coffee.”  “Okay,” I say, “Do you want to stay over so you don’t have to drive home?”  While she thinks about it, I unlock my door and we go in to make coffee.  And I snatch my phone back and before she can stop me I send Mike a text, “Are you working?  Do you miss me?”

~ Diane D.

New Release Blast and Giveaway for a Great Cause…

I  don’t have a review yet to share because I just bought my copy. However, ALL PROCEEDS from the sale of this book will go to America’s VetDog’s.  That’s only $.99,  people, to help such a wonderful organization.  I hope you will check it out and then purchase a copy and/or make a donation!  And many thanks to Tasty Tours and these three authors, Lindsay McKenna, Chris Keniston and Susan Stoker for getting behind a great cause!!
America’s VetDog’s Mission: To help those who have served our country honorably live with dignity and independence.
America’s VetDogs® is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that serves the needs of disabled veterans from all eras who have honorably served our country. VetDogs provides guide dogs for individuals who are blind or have low vision; hearing dogs for those who have lost their hearing later in life; service dogs for those with other physical disabilities; facility dogs as part of the rehabilitation process in military and VA hospitals, and PTSD service dogs to help mitigate the effects of PTSD in America effort to provide the emotional and physical support needed.
In 2013, America’s VetDogs (an affiliate of and managed by the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind) became the second assistance dog school (the Guide Dog Foundation is the other) in the United States to be certified by the International Guide Dog Federation and
Assistance Dogs International.
For more information
about this organization or how to donate go to  

Enter to Win a $10.00 Amazon eGift Card
and Grab a Copy of SAVED BY A SEAL for ONLY $0.99 
100% of Proceeds going to America’s Vet Dogs


3 First-In-Series Novels
NOWHERE TO HIDE by Lindsay McKenna
ALOHA TEXAS by Chris Keniston
Released February 6th, 2016


Three New York Times / USA TODAY Bestselling authors have joined forces to give back to the military veterans who have given so much to their country. Lindsay McKenna, Chris Keniston and Susan Stoker bring you SAVED BY A SEAL, a first in series box set.  Join these authors and their SEAL heroes from the very beginning of their bestselling romance series.
by Lindsay McKenna 
Book 1, Delos Series
Lia Cassidy left the Army scarredphysically and emotionally after a vicious attack by two fellow soldiers. She turns to helping others, working at a Delos Home School Charity in Costa Rica
that aids abused women and children. But when the deadly drug lord, La Arana, attacks the school, Lia finds herself on the run for her life. The only person she can trust is the ex-SEAL sent to protect her.
Cav Jordan is strong, honorable and gorgeous…and intrigued by Lia. He knows she has suffered pain in her past, and he is determined to break through her barriers and earn her trust. But as Cav
slowly chips away at the walls Lia has built, ghosts from her past threaten to destroy their fragile relationship.
by Chris Keniston 
1, Aloha Series
Former navy diver Nicholas Harper
likes his new world as captain of a dive boat in Hawaii.
Powerhouse attorney Kara Lynn O’Conner’s world revolves around her small Texas town where life is easy and safe.
Six year old Bradley Cooper is about to change everything.
by Susan Stoker 
Book 1, SEAL of Protection Series
Matthew “Wolf” Steel hated flying commercial. Luckily his job as a Navy SEAL meant he didn’t have to do it very often. He’d been unlucky enough to be assigned a middle seat on the cramped jet, but fortunately for him, the woman next to him was willing to switch seats with him. Hoping for a relaxing flight, Wolf was pleasantly surprised at the good conversation and sense of humor the woman had as they flew 36,000 feet over the countryside.
When Caroline boarded the plane to Virginia to move across the country for her new job she never expected to be seated next to the hottest guy she’d ever seen. She also never expected he’d be so easy to talk to. She knew he’d never be interested in talking to her if he hadn’t been trapped in the seat next to her, but it was a nice way to spend a long plane ride.
Neither Wolf nor Caroline were prepared for a terrorist hijacking of their plane, but if Caroline thought that would be the last time she’d see, or need, Wolf, she’d be sorely mistaken.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lindsay McKenna lives her life as a risk taker, and it shines
through the books she loves to write: romance, adventure and suspense. She started writing at age thirteen and continues to hone her writing skills to this day. She sold her first romance novel in 1981. The rest is history.
Because she went into the military, this experience became the backbone of her writing—she is credited with writing the first military romance novel (Captive of Fate, 1983, Silhouette Special
Edition) and has created a thriving sub-genre within the romance field! As  New York Times Best Selling author, she has sold 23 million books and in 32 foreign languages in her career thus far. Her many experiences in the U.S. Navy are backdrop for her understanding of the military in general, and also her very successful Morgan’s Mercenaries, which is an ongoing series in Silhouette to this day! Forty-five books strong!
Lindsay has gone Indie in 2015 and has created a new family saga on par with Morgan’s Mercenaries It is known as the DELOS SERIES. There will be paperback and eBooks created under Blue Turtle Publishing, her company for her fans. Readers who love Morgan and his family are bound to fall in love with the Culver family. Delos is romantic suspense, which Lindsay is well known for. It took her five years to create and bring DELOS to her readers. It was worth the wait, but we’ll let you decide that.
Lindsay loves to hear from her readers and loves to know what they’d like to see her write next. Stay up with the latest on the Delos Series here. Please visit her Web site at www.lindsaymckenna.com. And be sure to sign up for her free quarterly newsletter. It contains exclusive content found nowhere else on the Net. Plus, giveaways and other surprises, to her loyal and faithful subscribers!
A native New Yorker, Chris Keniston was on her way to Australia when she fell in love with North Texas. Little did she know the balmy seventy-degree October days would turn into fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk heat in August!
Twenty years later, she started scribbling short stories about her favorite TV shows, giving them lives more to her liking – and the elusive happy ending. Not long after, a dear friend dragged her to a local writers’ meeting. After winning multiple writing contests and making the finals in the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious
Golden Heart contest, she now spends her days, and nights, writing contemporary romantic fiction with lots of emotion, plenty of surprises, and, of course, the happily ever after.
Chris lives in suburban Dallas with her husband, two human children, and two canine children. Though she loves her puppies equally, she admits being especially attached to her German
Shepherd rescue named Gunny. After all, even dogs deserve a happily ever after.
New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling
Author, Susan Stoker has a heart as big as the state of Texas
where she lives, but this all American girl has also spent the last fourteen years living in Missouri, California, Colorado, and Indiana. She’s married to a retired Army man who now gets to follow her around the country.
She debuted her first series in 2014 and quickly followed that up
with the SEAL of Protection Series, which solidified her love of writing and creating stories readers can get lost in.

Taking Fire…

Taking Fire (One-Eyed Jacks, #4)Taking Fire by Cindy Gerard

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One of my favorite authors, Cindy Gerard, is a master of the sexy, action-packed alpha male novel and she proves it again with her new book, releasing today! Former special ops turned government contractor, Bobby Taggart meets a beautiful Israeli while on assignment in Kabul. He knows she’s working hard to get his attention but he can’t figure out what her end game is. And soon it doesn’t matter as he finds himself falling hard for the sexiest woman he’s ever met.

But when Talia Levine uses him to lead her elite organization to find and kill a man that the Americans wanted alive for questioning, Bobby can’t believe he’s been played. And when he gets back to the hotel room where they’d had some extremely hot nights, there’s no trace of her.

Fast forward six years to when Talia and Bobby meet up by chance right before the embassy in Oman that they’re in is bombed. Forced together to help each other escape, Bobby soon finds that Talia’s young son was kidnapped and the bombing was targeting her in retaliation for the assassination her organization committed six years earlier. She is nearly hysterical when her son’s bodyguard is found murdered and she knows who’s taken her son. Bobby is still furious with her for what happened years ago when she put a tracker in his phone, but he sympathizes with her fear for her son — a son that is just about the right age to be his…

I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley.

Reviewing Kiss Me in Christmas…

Kiss Me in Christmas (Christmas, Colorado, #6)Kiss Me in Christmas by Debbie Mason

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was one of my favorites of the Christmas series that I’ve read so far. Chloe O’Connor and her twin sister Cat were introduced in a previous book, but this one works fine as a standalone.

Chloe is a well-known soap opera star, a diva who made a lot of people’s lives difficult, so the rest of the cast don’t really mind too much when her character is killed off. But Chloe hates it because her soap opera character is her life, her identity. So she’s licking her wounds by the time she returns home to Christmas, Colorado where her mother insists she make an appearance at her sister’s engagement party. She’s especially overwrought about seeing Easton McBride, the former high school football player she had a crush on back in school the whole while she was a chubby, bespectacled duckling who turned into a gorgeous swan her senior year. But she played a dangerous jealous prank on Easton, pretending to be Cat, after he dated her self-confident cheerleader twin, pretty much ending all hope of her and Easton remaining friends.

Easton is working in security after injuring his leg badly while serving in the Middle East and he doesn’t want anyone’s pity, particularly haughty Chloe O’Connor’s. It’s easy to dislike someone like Chloe, but in this book we see glimpses of a sweet and generous girl she really is, one who never felt good enough growing up. She had heart problems as a small child and suffers from severe panic attacks because of it. But no one’s ever figured that out before Easton, preferring to think our little diva is just a huge drama queen.

The sparks really start to fly when Easton decides to teach Chloe a lesson for acting the way she did in high school and his little prank backfires completely on him when he starts seeing her as the sweet girl he played chess with back in high school and falling in love.  But what chance do Easton and Chloe have at a relationship when her life is in L. A. and the acting world and his is firmly entrenched in Christmas?  It’s a cute book that had me rooting for the seemingly spoiled little diva!

I received this as an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.