Review: Holiday Heat: the Men of Starlight Bend

Review: Holiday Heat: the Men of Starlight BendHoliday Heat: The Men of Starlight Bend by Jennifer Ashley, Jennifer Probst, Erin Quinn, Calista Fox, Mary Leo
Series: Riding Hard #3.5
on November 8th 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 241

This is an anthology of 5 novellas which all take place in the small town of Starlight Bend.  They are connected only by the setting, a special Santa and a town Wishing Tree for needy children.

SNOWBOUND IN STARLIGHT BEND by Jennifer Ashley: In this city girl/country boy story, Haley McKee is a CEO from Seattle who ends up stranded in Starlight Bend during a snowstorm. Maddox Campbell rescues her. Maddox is a horse trainer of stunt horses (he provides them to his cousins in Texas — the Riding Hard series Campbells). Maddox has been hurt before by a woman who wouldn’t stay in Starlight Bend and it looks like history might be repeating itself. This was a good story.  Maddox is a good man who has a crusty exterior and a heart of mush.  Haley is a woman who has made a name for herself, but doesn’t have a real purpose to her life. The two are funny and spirited together. This was a very enjoyable tale of two mismatched people.  My only complaint is that I wish there was some view of what their life ultimately would be like because it is hard to figure out how Haley will be happy in town outside of her relationship with Maddox.  Rating: 4 stars.

THE LONG GONE GIRL OF STARLIGHT BEND by Erin Quinn: Kari Dale is a burned out wanderer who co-owns a chain of men’s clothing stores. She has come to Starlight Bend to open a new store and then intends to move on. Tyler Timberlake is a high school history teacher who was born in Starlight Bend, left to pursue bigger dreams, but ended up returning to his hometown to find purpose. This story was good.  The themes of home versus leaving, dreams versus love are well developed in various levels. Kari and Ty are sweet and hot together. I loved the complexity of this story. Rating: 4 stars.

HIS ANGEL OF STARLIGHT BEND by Calista Fox: Dr. Anna Voss is vet in Starlight Bend. One day a boy named Jake comes to her office interested in the animals.  It turns out Jake’s father is the man that Anna loved as a young woman and has never forgotten. Dr. Nicholas Hoffman is a neurosurgeon from New York. He spent time with his grandmother in Starlight Bend but eventually left the town and Anna. The two have loved one another and yet their lives have always seemed to be going in different directions. This was one of my favorite stories of the anthology. These two seem destined to both love one another and be apart. I loved that the story showed that love alone is not enough and being together takes will and determination. Rating: 4.5 stars.

ROPIN’ THE LONE COWBOY OF STARLIGHT BEND by Mary Leo: Jolie Shepard has come to Starlight Bend no knowing what she should do with her life. She’s from Las Vegas and hasn’t connected with a career or a purpose in her life. She meets Red Wiseman when Jolie and Red are both choosing a wish from the Wishing Tree. Red is a man grounded deeply in Starlight Bend where he raises horses and gives riding lessons. The characters in this story were nice (especially Red) but I found Jolie very immature for her age. I have a hard time seeing how things would work out for these two long term, but the story was nice.  Rating: 3 stars.

THE GRINCH OF STARLIGHT BEND BY Jennifer Probst:  Noah Elliott was a generous angel to the community of Starlight Bend until an accident shattered his body and his faith in his fellow man.  He became the Grinch of the town and hides away in his mansion. Josephine “Joey” Whitman is a social worker who chooses a wish from the town Wishing Tree and is determined to make the child’s dream of a carnival happen even if it means bearding the den of the Grinch.  I loved the sweet redemption of this story which had a definite Beauty and the Beast vibe along with the Grinch story. Noah is a man who is looking for someone to redeem his faith in humanity and Joey is the woman who heals his heart.  Sweet and a good conclusion to the anthology.  Rating: 4 stars.


Review: Dark and Damaged: Eight Tortured Heroes of Paranormal Romance: Paranormal Romance Boxed Set

Review: Dark and Damaged: Eight Tortured Heroes of Paranormal Romance: Paranormal Romance Boxed SetDark and Damaged: Eight Tortured Heroes of Paranormal Romance: Paranormal Romance Boxed Set by Jennifer Ashley, Caris Roane, Erin Kellison, Felicity Heaton, Erin Quinn, Laurie London, Bonnie Vanak, Colleen Gleason
Series: , Iron Portal #4, Werewolves of Montana Mating Mini #4, Her Angel #8, Dragons of Bloodfire #1, Beyond #2.5, Gardella Vampire Hunters #7
on June 12th, 2015
Genres: Paranormal

Great Collection of Paranormal Romances

This is a great collection of paranormal romances.

LION EYES by Jennifer Ashley: Bree is a shifters groupie who finds herself with a lion shifter in her truck. He is running from someone and demands that she drive. Seamus is being chased by the authorities who believe he has committed a murder. I really liked the romance between Bree and Seamus. He has an interesting story being part of the renegade uncollared shifters. I also really enjoyed the appearances by Shifter favorites. I thought that Seamus was sweet. This is Book 6.6 of the Shifters Unbound series. Rating: 4.25.

BLOOD FLAME by Caris Roane: Vampire Officer James Conner of the Crescent Border Patrol is a widower. Iris Meldeere is a witch who is a Tribunal Public Safety Officer. In a world where vampires kill witches and witches return the favor, James and Iris at best work reluctantly with one another and more likely have to fight the instinct to kill one another. Thrust into a situation where there are unnatural interactions between vampires and witches and someone seems willing to kill both, Iris and James find that they may have more in common than wanting to kill one another. This story was an interesting introduction to this world but not knowing about this world before, it felt too complicated and took a little away from the romance of the story trying to figure out the rules of the world. This is part of the Flame Series. Rating: 3.5 stars.

TEMPTED BY FIRE by Erin Kellison: Dragon Shifter Thane Ryce Ealdian is determined to avenge the death of his wife and son. When their bodies are discovered, a dispute between Thane and another family over possession of the remains leads to the intervention of Emerson Clark who is a mediator. Orphaned as a child, Emerson knows that she is a bloodkin dragon but doubts whether or not it is true. The story is sexy and intense and I found it an enjoyable read. This is part of the Dragons of Bloodfire series. Rating: 4 stars.

HER SINFUL ANGEL by Felicity Heaton: Lucifer, the king of Hell, is a fallen angel. One day a mortal woman, Nina, is left unconscious in his courtyard. Lucifer is not as evil as might be portrayed but rather has made some bad decisions in his life. Nina has been brought to him for a purpose and he intends to discover what that is. This book has great characters and I was sucked right into the story. Lucifer is a compelling character with an interesting back story. Immediately after finishing this story, I bought the rest of the series. There are mentions of other characters who have stories written about them. Their appearance made me interested in reading their stories, but I didn’t feel that I needed to know that background in order to appreciate this story. This is book 8 in the Her Angel Series. Rating: 4.5 stars.

THE RESURRECTION OF SAM SLOAN by Erin Quinn: Maggie Sloan was left by her husband when he abandoned her and his two children. A year later she is called to his hospital bedside when he is dying from a gunshot wound. Just at the moment of death, Reaper becomes trapped in Sam Sloan’s body when he wants to touch Maggie. When Maggie brings her husband home, she realizes that he is different from the man she knew. The family is threatened by something dark and sinister. This was an interesting story of resurrection and rebirth and also a suspenseful mystery. I liked the story but felt some distance from Reaper even as the story progressed. I did think the romance between these two worked. This is book 2.5 in the Beyond Series. Rating: 3.5 stars.

REBEL’S DESIRE by Laurie London: Toryn Flynn is an Iron Guild Warrior and Keely Weber runs a bookstore with her sister. Keely and her sister were kicked out by their father when it was discovered that they were Talents. When Keely’s sister is kidnapped in order to be sold into the sex trade. Toryn agrees to help Keely find her sister. This was an intriguing story that made me want to read more of the series. I thought the characters were well defined and interesting. This is book 4 of the Iron Portal series. Rating: 4 stars.

REDEMPTION by Bonnie Vanak: Robert Keynes is an Alpha wolf cursed after his Mage lover destroyed the land to which his pack is connected. He desperately needs to break the curse and believes that Aurora Seville, herself a Mage, is the one to do it. I found this story compelling. Both characters have secrets that are slowly revealed in the story. This story is book 4 of the Montana Mating Mini which is connected to the Werewolves of Montana series. Rating: 4.25 stars.

RAGING DAWN by Colleen Gleason: Max Dawson is a vampire hunter whose wife was killed by vampires. Savina Eleaisa has a plan to help kill the vampire that destroyed Max’s family — she intends to seduce the vampire. Very intriguing story with rich characters. Definitely wanted more. A Gardella Vampire Hunters novella. Rating: 4.25 stars.