seal’s honor, by elle james

seal's honoringredients:
Drama, humor, and action.

servings:
If you like a predictable military story with a fair amount of s*x, get your hands on this one.

rating:

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preparation:
Tuck is a the leader of a top-notch Navy SEAL team and Delaney, aka Razor, is one of the very few female Army pilots flying at all, let alone extraction missions. They both agree that being involved with each other is something that can’t be discovered by either of their teams/military brethren and neither is interested in a long-term relationship. After all, with the types of missions they’re involved in, no one is promised tomorrow.

But not all of Tuck’s teammates have that same philosophy. Cory, aka Reaper, not only disagrees with Tuck’s don’t get too close way of thinking, but he too sees what is so special about Delaney and isn’t afraid to show it. And Reaper being Tuck’s best friend, doesn’t help the already tenuous situation.

With marriage proposals, crew losses, and injuries this is an action-packed novel; and a brief one too. The story is very predictable and the characters could use a bit more depth, especially Tuck. Because the book is so short, it doesn’t give you a chance to really get to know and like them so you’re not very vested in what happens to them.

I had the pleasure of meeting the author of Seal’s Honor at a book convention and she was so awesome in person that I downloaded the book as we were standing in line for a session. As such, it pains me that I couldn’t write a more stellar review for the book. It’s the first in a series and I can only hope that the others get better as the stories progress. However, I myself will cease and desist with this book.

difficulty level:
Medium. There was an annoyance factor with this book, primarily due to the hero’s behavior, which made it difficult to read at times.

total surrender, by rebecca zanetti

Total SurrenderWhile I’ve never fancied myself a big paranormal fan–with the exception of J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood–the genetically enhanced Dean siblings in Rebecca Zanetti’s Sin Brothers series quickly found a place in my heart when I read the 3rd book, first. (Yes, out-of-order–it happens.) This may factor in to Nate being my favorite brother, though 4 books later, I love them all.

Zanetti, initially said that Total Surrender was the final book in the series, but clearly after reading it, there is so much she could do to extend this series. The new characters, unresolved storylines, the 4 original brothers… Apparently I wasn’t the only one having these thoughts of grandeur because I recently read that she’s now thinking about keeping the story going. Guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens–I’ll definitely be on the lookout. But on to the story at hand.

Total Surrender is about Jory, the brother who’s been missing for 2 years, and was presumed dead until Shane, in Forgotten Sins, realizes that maybe Jory’s alive after all. And in fact, he is. He was shot by a woman, he’s been in a coma for a very long time, and he is currently a prisoner of The Commander.

Speaking of the commander… Queue Piper. A hacker whose exceptional computer skills actually rival those of Jory. But Piper’s parentage is a complicating factor in her relationship with Jory because she’s the commander’s daughter. Yes, his daughter. And she’s quickly about to learn who her father REALLY is while faced with the challenge of choosing love or family, at the same time, coming to a hard truth about her mother–that was a zinger!

Yes, this is definitely part love story, but with only a week left before the brother’s kill-chips explode, severing their spines and instantly ending their lives, it’s almost secondary. Throw in the  added complication of Jory’s chip, in particular, and the angst and ticking clock make for a non-stop race against the clock.

I refuse to accept that I have become soft and super sensitive as I age–I was a die-hard Sons of Anarchy fan for crying out loud! But seriously, once again, I found myself in tears, on more than one occasion while reading this one. I blame these incredibly talented authors for evoking such emotion through their writing. There were definitely some heart-wrenching moments in this book. Jory may be the little brother, but he’s a force to be reckoned with and his love and devotion in saving his brother’s lives, at the same time realizing he doesn’t have a future with Piper…Keep the tissues nearby.

Overall, Total Surrender is a high-speed, action-packed story with serious sizzle thrown in. If this is the last in the series, it does not disappoint, but I for one hope that Zanetti has more up her sleeve.

rating:

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Book Review: The Sin Brothers Series

ZanettiForgottenSins  zanetti_sweetrevenge_ebook1I FINALLY read the first two books in The Sin Brothers series. And I wasn’t disappointed. The 4th book in the series will be released in March 2015. Let’s dive in.

 

Forgotten SinsIn a Nutshell
Shane Dean is clearly a trained killer. A highly skilled soldier, able to carry out any mission put in front of him. He knows how to interrogate a man to get the exact information he needs from him. What he doesn’t know, is who he is.

Shane has no recollection of his brothers. Why he’s as skilled as he is. What kind of mission he is carrying out. And he certainly doesn’t remember the wife he walked out on, Josie.

Josie, is a CPA looking to advance her career at the accounting firm she works for and forget the heartbreak she’s endured since her husband left her, 2 years ago. She’s tried to move. She has a male friend. She even filed divorce papers.

When Shane and Joie are reunited, things don’t go quite as either of them would have thought they would. And then there are those dead bodies that may or may not have something to do with Shane…

Sweet RevengeIn a Nutshell
Matt Dean is on a mission. There’s a kill chip in his spine and his brother’s spines and he needs to find the doctor who implanted them, so she can take them out. Like all of his brothers, Matt is not only well versed in carrying out highly dangerous missions, but also those that require a more gentle and seductive touch. He’ll employ whatever tactics he needs to in order to save his family–his brothers are more important than anything, even love…

In walks bar owner Laney Jacobs. Or rather, Matt walks into the bar owned by Laney Jacobs. He knows that she’s not who she says she is, and could be hiding in plain sight as the very doctor he’s seeking. Laney is indeed hiding something, but it’s more than Matt has bargained for.

Laney, is seemingly kind-hearted. She feeds the homeless. Helps those less fortunate than her with school supplies. All while letting them maintain their dignity and without any sort of judgement. But is Laney too good to be true?

Tara’s Take
Last month, I reviewed Blind Faith by Rebecca Zanetti. LOVED it! It’s the 3rd book in The Sin Brothers series. Hence, I thought it prudent to go back and start at the beginning.

Forgotten Sins and Sweet Revenge are fun reads and provide more insight and background on the bothers Dean. In addition, Zanetti’s writing style clearly evolved by the time she wrote Blind Faith. These first two books in the series have a bit of repetition. While Shane Dean may have amnesia, the reader is repeatedly reminded of his condition. Similarly, in Sweet Revenge, we never forget that Matt is on a mission and his brothers mean more to him than anything. It was also made clear that Matt’s feelings for Laney were conflicted. So conflicted, that it was hard for the reader to determine how Matt felt.

That said, overall, the series is one to take notice of. The interaction between brothers is amusing. The heroines are strong women, who seem to constantly point guns at the brothers… There’s mystery and intrigue; and just the right amount of sexiness.

If you haven’t tried this series, give it a whirl–you’ll enjoy the ride.

Book Review: Blind Faith

blind faithIn a Nutshell
I was sent this book from a publisher on NetGalley. Aside from the fact that I was curious because it was only the 2nd unrequested book I had received, I was also intrigued when I researched the premise.

Blind Faith by Rebecca Zanetti is the 3rd book in the Sin Brothers series and tells the story of Nate–a futuristic soldier created in a ‘test tube’–and Audrey–the daughter of the scientist who created Nate. (I know, it sounds odd, bear with me.)

Nate has a kill chip implanted in him, as do both of his brothers. Long ago, he and Audrey were a couple. Even though he was supposedly created as a killing machine with no feelings, he fell in love. But circumstances pushed Audrey and Nate apart and now he’s racing against time to not only find the computer program to shut down the kill chips before he and his brothers perish, but he’s also in search of the child he and Audrey conceived, who he’s never met.

Tara’s Take
This is not a typical love story.  And this is not a book that I expected to like. I don’t do dystopian, futuristic, fantasy type stories–yes, I’m the only person on the planet that didn’t like The Hunger Games, but this one drew me in. Not having read the first two books, it was relatively easy to catch up on the storyline. The characters were likable and the plot was intriguing enough to make me want to read the 1st two books.

Even though Nate and his brothers were created by a ‘mad scientist’ and there’s a villain called the Commander that everyone fears–this is a pretty ‘normal’ love story/suspense book. The story has a good pace and it’s not too far out there. (Plus there are no children killing each other to stay alive–just sayin’.)

Blind Faith is a fast paced, easy read that’s interesting, funny, and provides the right combination of intrigue and romance. There are some hot alpha males and a strong-willed heroine with a brain. I’m looking forward to reading the first 2 books in the series and I can’t wait to read the 4th whenever it comes out. Yes, this isn’t the end of the line for the Sin Brothers and I can’t wait until they return!

 

Book Review: The Professional

The Professional part 1 The Professional part 2
The Professional part 3I have been obsessed with the mob for as long as I can remember. I can recite every line from The Godfather from start to finish. Goodfellas, Casino, you name it–I love it. (I know, the brutality of such movies is in stark contrast to the happily ever after romance novels I usually review here…I’m just full of contradictions…) That’s why when I heard about The Professional, I got very excited and for good reason. It’s a romance novel about a couple in the Russian mob–nice twist right? The author, Kresley Cole, released the book in 3 parts over a series of several weeks. The complete book will be published in May–but who could wait that long?!?!

The Professional, part 1:
In the first novella we meet Natalie. She’s a 24-year old, mid-western, hard working, graduate student who’s on a mission. While she loves her adoptive parents she yearns to know who her biological mother and father are and why they gave her up. Oh, and she’s a virgin. I know, I know…we’ve heard it all before, trust me, this time it’s different–honest. She gets the shock of her life when she’s essentially kidnapped–by Sevastyan–and transported via private jet to meet her Russian mobster father. And what a plane ride it is…

The Professional, part 2:
In part 2, the intensity between Natalie and Sevastyan–who by the way is Natalie’s father’s right hand man and top enforcer–heats up, a lot. But there’s also this guy Philip, who is vying for Natalie’s attention, though you have to wonder if his intentions are pure. Natalie gets to know her father, Kovalev, and learns about her mother. But being a Russian Mafia Princess sometimes isn’t all it’s cracked up to be…

The Professional, part 3:
The conclusion keeps you on edge the entire time. Natalie and Sevastyan are on the run–and not because they’re two unrequited lovers who want to be together. They are learning more and more about each other and whether or not their ‘relationship’ can survive the world they’re immersed in.

Tara’s Take
I love this book, this story. Sevastyan was no joke–but then, as a mob enforcer, you kind of can’t be. He’s a Siberian mystery and at the same time he’s blunt, forthright, and has a take no prisoners attitude. Natalie is a lot of fun and she is no door mat. Her reactions to Sevastyan are actually quite normal. Attraction or not, if you try to kidnap someone the first reaction one might have is to, RUN! So she does.

Now that I’ve read each installment on its own, I’m planning to go back and read the book as one entity. While overall, I have nothing but praise for the book and no qualms about recommending it, I will say that Sevastyan in book 3 is a bit ‘over-the-top’ with his behavior towards the possibility of losing Natalie. Possessive, alpha male, enforcer–yeah, yeah, I get all that. However, his responses and actions may translate and flow a bit better when the book is read as 1 cohesive unit instead of individual pieces.

That said, Cole had me waiting on the edge of my seat waiting for each installment to be released. She did an awesome job of interweaving a complex story line with fun, sexiness, and danger. I’m in the process of turning my living room into a library and without a doubt, this will be one of the books on my shelves!