Category Archives: Series

The Cuckoo’s Calling

The Cuckoo's Calling

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

I’m late to the party. I totally know, but this J.K. Rowling lady knows what she’s doing. Don’t get me wrong. I adored Harry Potter (cue flashback music: I had to move from Kansas City, MO, to St. Louis, MO, on the day Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was released. The UPS man showed up with my copy at 9:00 a.m. sharp. For the next four hours, I sat in the corner reading, while my husband, father, father-in-law, and sisters packed and loaded up boxes. Listen, a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do, and sometimes it’s sit silently reading for four hours straight and then for the next four hours in the car. Haters gonna hate. Not my problem.) Still, I’d been holding off on The Cuckoo’s Calling for nearly two years. It’s been on my shelf since Christmas Day 2013. I was nervous. I didn’t want to be disenchanted with Ms. Rowling’s writing. I love her too much for a break-up. This month I faced my fear, and praise Jesus I did!

The book begins with a dead body—Lula Landry’s to be specific. It appears the supermodel has committed suicide. Fast forward a year, and the story truly begins. Lula’s brother John hires Cormoran Strike to investigate. John’s convinced it’s murder not suicide. The rest of the world—including Strike and his new secretary—not so much. From there, the methodical mystery takes off. For most of the story, Strike interviews and re-interviews the last ones to see Lula alive. In his spare time, Cormoran is trying to navigate a new world now that he’s lost his fiancée and his home. Robin, his accidental secretary and much more useful than Cormoran thought, becomes a kind of sidekick rather than a paper-pusher/phone-answerer. Slowly but surely, I started noticing holes in the suspects’ stories of Lula’s last night. In fact, I thought I had picked up the thread of the murderer about three-quarters of the way in, but man was I wrong. Strike’s final reveal and confrontation with the killer was a complete surprise to me, but not the kind where I felt cheated. All the breadcrumbs were there. I just didn’t pick them up.

I’ve read reviews claiming this book was slow and focused too much on Cormoran’s actual life versus the mystery. To be honest, the attention to character is what I loved. Cormoran for all his quirks and oddities feels real. A good guy who’s down on his luck. He finds the perfect foil/sidekick in his temporary secretary Robin. I love her, and I totally identify with her fascination with detective work. It also helps that Robin’s inner-Nancy Drew kicks in quickly. What I really love is the chemistry between Robin and Cormoran. Their relationship plays a huge role in why the book works. They fit together well and not in a romantic way (at least not yet—however, I think Ms. Rowling isn’t going to keep that door closed forever). Coromoran and Robin’s connection is truly refreshing. Honestly, the whole book is refreshing. The story definitely reawakened the mystery lover in me. So much so, that I ran to the library this weekend to pick up The Silkworm, so I can be ready for Ms. Rowling’s October release of the third in the series, Career of Evil.

Bottom line, read this book. Read it yesterday.


John, the brother, did it. He wanted her money. The black “suspicious” guy who was on CCTV was a half-brother Lula tracked down. He’s the one that she actually left her fortune too. John also killed his little brother Charlie.

Hard Knocks (Ultimate, 0.5)

Hard Knocks4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Lori Foster is on my list (and not my good one)! Hard Knocks is a tantalizing taste of her new Ultimate Series, and it is so not enough to tide me over to the next book.

Gage Ringer is un-happy, and that’s putting it mildly. A busted eye has sidelined him from his first major fight. To make matters worse, his girl is ignoring him, or at least he thinks she is. Harper Day is a white hot mess of mixed emotions for Gage: lust, love, and frustration. She wants Gage in the worst way, but he’s definitely sending her mixed signals. Harper’s played it cool since Gage’s return to the local gym, but now her lust cannot be controlled. She’s determined to have Gage whether he loves her or not. Gage is more than willing to take Harper up on her offer, but he’s looking for a lot more than a one night stand.

Usually these kinds of communication problems between characters aggravate me. I just want to yell, “Effing talk to each other!” However, the miscommunication between these two characters seems totally plausible. I get why Harper is trying to play it cool. I get why Gage isn’t figuring it out. Both are so wrapped up in their own feelings (for good reason), they can’t see the forest for the trees. Their chemistry is sizzling (so is their sex scene). I loved this story. In other news about this novella, it introduces who I have to imagine are the characters that will star in their own books for Ms. Foster’s Ultimate Series: Armie, Denver, and Stack. So why is Ms. Foster on my list? This book was less than 1000 lines (as compared to say A Dash of Peril being a little over 6000). I want more more more. Unfortunately, I have to wait until the end of the month for the first official novel-sized installment of the series, No Limits (The Ultimate Series begins with Canon, a crossover character from her Love Undercover Series.) Three weeks feels like three months, especially after reading the taste of the No Limits Ms. Foster left at the end of Hard Knocks.

Wild Man (Dream Man, #2)

Wild Man4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

I heart Brock Lucas. Sigh.

So, Wild Man picks up maybe six months to a year after Mystery Man leaves off. Brock Lucas was left looking like a total douchebag at the end of that book. (Acting like a crazy drugged kidnapper does that even if you’re working undercover to bring the drug ring down.) Things have not changed at the start of this book. If anything, Brock’s a little bit douchier. He’s about to bring down another major drug ring. This time his cover is boyfriend to the drug boss’s ex-wife, Tess. The thing is, Tess is completely clear of that life, to the point that she doesn’t even know what her ex-husband of five years ago is a drug lord. Four months into the assignment, Brock takes his “boyfriend” duties way too far, just hours before DEA agents invade Tess’s house and take her into custody for questioning. Bastard, right? I know. Fast forward three months. Tess is getting on with her life sans Brock. He’s not happy with the situation, and like any true alpha male hero, he marches into her house and tells her they’re dating again. She’s not so sure, for like five minutes, then they commence building a life together for the rest of the book. There’s not much danger or mystery in this one (unlike the last), but impending doom definitely plays a major role. Tess and Brock have to deal with two psychotic exes, a dad dying of cancer, and a family in shambles before they can get to their happily ever after, which of course they do.

Here’s the deal. There’s not much plot to this book. Everything I described in the first 14 sentences of this review happens in the first two chapters. In a Kristen Ashley book, we know the first two chapters are seriously five percent of the book. The story falls into Ashley’s sweet romance category. You keep reading because you love the characters so much, not because you’re dying to know what happens next. Now at the end there was a liberal dose of scary mystery thrown in, which was good, but not necessary. I was rooting for Brock and Tess from the get go. I love when Ashley has more mature characters (read any character older than 36). Both had dealt with so much crapola in their lives that they were due for some squishy falling in love feelings. I do wish that Brock had to work a little harder to get back in with Tess. It seemed a little unrealistic that Tess fell back into his arms after three months and lots of heartache just because he told her to. Still, I guess it wouldn’t have fit her straight up honest personality if she made him jump through hoops. I loved this book. I love Brock and Tess, and I loved the crossover from the Rock Chick universe. Bottom line, totally read this book. It can stand alone as a fantastic story without reading Mystery Man, but I’d read that book too. (Mainly because I love Kristen Ashley and I’m a fanatic about reading things in order. Both are sort of literary diseases I have to deal with daily.)

First off, Damian does not leave Tess alone. He wants to “save” her from Brock. Second, Olivia is a spoiled brat. Her second husband, Dade, decides to divorce her. He helps Brock and Tess get full custody of Brock’s two boys. Finally, Josiah Burkett (Bree’s rapist) is released from jail unbeknownst to Brock. Burkett’s the one that makes the creepy call to Tess and shoots at Brock. In the end, he kidnaps Tess–Damian dies trying to save her.  The police have to lock Brock down so he doesn’t kill Burkett. Ultimately, Tess saves herself, and Cabe Delgado (Mystery Man) comes to her aid.

In The Mood For Love (Cupcake Lovers, #4)

In the Mood For Love4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

The Cupcake Lovers are back, and this time sweet Sam isn’t leaving until he gets his happy ending.

Okay, I’ve been waiting for this book for a year (read: eternity). It’s the final installment of Beth Ciotta’s Cupcake Lovers, and lots of people are ready for their happy ending (not just Sam and Harper). The book begins with an update on Luke and Rae. Of course they reconciled and are now expecting a baby. After that’s out of the way, we find out Sam has returned to the dating scene and Harper has returned to LA. Sam’s sick of being lonely, sick of being a single parent, and sick of the dates he’s been on. Sam’s realizing he’s looking for a clone of Paula (his dead wife), but anyone who fits the bill is boring. All Sam can really think about is hot sex with Harper, who is the complete opposite of Paula. Still, when Harper returns to town, Sam keeps his distance until he gets a mysterious text sending him speeding to Harper’s home. It turns out Harper’s battling a lot of problems including panic attacks, imminent deportation, and a possible stalker. Sam has an answer for all three, and that plan begins with a marriage of convenience to get a green card and ends with true love.

I adored this book. It really was like eating a cupcake. I knew there was going to be a sweet fluffy ending. Knowing everything was going to work out was the icing on the cake. Seriously, it’s the best brain candy I’ve read all summer (maybe because of the built up anticipation, but maybe because it’s just that charming). Harper and Sam burn up the pages with their chemistry. Their hot and surprisingly chaste courtship only deepened their connection. I couldn’t help but root for the two of them. I love them. I want them to be happy. I want them to be real and be my friends in real life. I also want them to make me cupcakes. The story is sort of uneventful. There is a conflict, but it’s handled in a mature adult way. Neither character goes out of the way to hide something from the other. Both are careful of the other’s feelings. It’s truly just a love story. That may seem boring, but to me it was a breath of fresh air. Most romance stories I read are filled with grown people making the decisions of a precocious four-year-olds. What made me love this book even more are the Easter Eggs Ciotta hides within the main story line. Adam’s happy ending is cute. I’ve been worried about him since Jayce came back into Rocky’s life. Daisy’s continuing love story and search for herself is endearing. Seriously, though, who wouldn’t love a blue sparkly haired old lady? Bottom line, read this book. It’s a totally satisfying end to the Cupcake Lovers series. If you haven’t read the first three and a half (reviews up later this week), start with those, so you can get the most out of this one. Also, I’m totally going to bake some the gingerbread cupcakes from the recipe in the back of the book. Happy reading (and baking if you so choose).

Harper had a former fiancée. He was a soldier who suffered from PTSD. He snapped and committed suicide by police. His dad blames Harper. Ultimately, Sam has a come to Jesus talk with the dad and calms him down. Sam and Harper get married. In the epilogue, she gets pregnant. Adam and Peppy fall in love. It seems that Nash and the new waitress will fall in love. Daisy marries Vince, and she doesn’t die even though it seems like there’s foreshadowing to her death the whole book. Maybe I’m just morbid. 

Something To Talk About (Plum Orchard, #2)

Something To Talk About

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Okay, remember when I said Talk Dirty To Me was a solid summer read…..well forget that. Talk Dirty To Me is a total set up for the much better (I mean the first book was fine, just not the best I’d ever read) sequel Something To Talk About.

First, be ready for nearly two solid chapters of hardcore summarizing from the first book. Totally annoying, but well worth the wait. It’s been two months since we left Plum Orchard, and Emmaline Amos’s life has not improved. Her boys are getting bullied daily for their father’s sexuality. That father is all but non-existent when it comes to fiscally or emotionally supporting his sons. The whole town is talking about Em like she’s a hussy since she works for Call Girls. To make matters worse, Em thinks she might actually be a hussy because she really wants to get laid. Enter Jax Hawthorne. They shared a sexy stare right before Em lived the most embarrassing moment of her life. Now they’re coworkers at a phone sex company. Awkward. Still, Jax makes all the right moves. Em eventually falls for his charms, but she insists on sex with no strings. Being a single dad, Jax can live with that. Unfortunately, it’s hard to keep it simply sexual, when both Em and Jax need each other for much more.

I loved Emmaline from the first book. She was a chronic scene stealer. I am so happy she has her own book. Jax is super hot, and the good dad in him makes him super hotter. I loved his relationship with Maizy. His fierce protectiveness is endearing. Seriously, you’ll fall in love with Jax at first read. Em’s life is complicated, at least for her. She is testing out her new life as an independent, single woman. My heart broke for her as she tried to deal with her boys problems. Luckily Jax and the amazing Maizy go to bat for Em and her boys. Bottom line, this book seems like a pretty cut and dried romance, but the hero and the heroine have lots of growing to do and lots of secrets to unravel. The sex was fantastic, way more believable than the last book (these two characters at least like each other), and there’s way more of it. Em’s final confrontation with the awful Louella is totally kickass. I’m interested to see where she goes next as a villain. The super surprise at the end with Dixie is equally fab, if contrived. I may love a romance, but I adore the story of best friends falling deeper in love with each other. Dixie and Em forever!

Now I’m onto the third installment where Marybell (I always think of her as a punk rock Tinkerbell character) finds her handsome man while her past catches up to her.

Okay, so there was a lot in this one. First, Maizy isn’t Jax’s biological daughter. Her parents are Jax’s ex-girlfriend Reece and his ex-best friend Jake. Jax gets custody after Reece walks out on her family and Jake dies in a car accident. Em’s mom is the one telling the boys it’s Em’s fault their father is a cross dresser. Em’s mom also had an affair with Dixie’s dad while he was married. Dixie is Em’s half-sister. Em’s ex-husband gets his shit together as a father in the end, and they all live happily ever after (of course). 

Talk Dirty To Me (Plum Orchard, #1)

Talk Dirty To Me

3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

I picked up Talk Dirty To Me for a quick vaca read the night before I left for Disney World. So 400 pages may not be the best choice for a week in the Happiest Place on Earth, but it definitely kept me hooked despite my week-long, utter exhaustion (and I totally finished it the day after returning home).

Dixie Davis spent her youth being the meanest girl in Plum Orchard. She lied, cheated, and manipulated her way to the top. Now, in her 30’s, she returns home broke, friendless, and heartsick. Through an unusual turn of events and her devastating debt, Dixie is forced to compete with her ex-fiancée to win a multimillion dollar phone sex company. All she has to do is bring in more new clients than Caine Donovan. It should be easy, right? Still, Caine is determined to win. Dixie’s lies broke his heart and his spirit 10 years ago, and he’s ready for a little payback. He doesn’t believe Dixie is any different than the day she rode out of town. He wants to stomp her dreams of financial solvency and send her right back to the big city where she belongs. Still, this new kinder, sweeter version of Dixie is getting under his skin. Will Caine be able to stop himself from falling head over heels in love with her, again?

Here’s the deal, the premise is totally ridiculous. (I think I say that at the beginning of every review I write.) If you can just hold on for a chapter or two, though, the story will pick right up. Dixie has no pride when it comes to making ends meet. It made me fall in love with her almost immediately. On the other hand, Caine is pretty unlikable at first. His anger borders on the psychotic. He keeps referring to “the bet” that drove them apart as the cause of his heartlessness, but you don’t get to know what “the bet” is until halfway through. It is pretty bad and makes Caine’s behavior more explainable. Still, Dixie wears his defenses down. In the end, their romance is sweet and seductive. There are a million flashbacks to Dixie’s mean girl days. Many made me laugh out loud. Still the person who really steals the show is Emmaline. She’s a supporting character in this book. Still her budding friendship with Dixie is almost sweeter than the love story. Also, Emmaline is the funniest character in the book. She uses great one-liners to poke at Dixie and Caine (aka Mr. Smexy). Her back story is painful, and I really wanted to see her get a happy ending (which she did with Dixie), too. However, I’m going to have to wait for the next book for that to happen.

Guess what’s next up on my reading list….

Bottom line, this is a solid summer read, and I’m starting Something To Talk About as soon as this is posted.

Of course Dixie wins. Actually, Caine starts throwing the challenge two weeks in. That’s when he starts calling into Mistress Taboo under the guise of Walker. That’s right, he’s Walker. The mysterious messages from beyond the grave are actually being sent by Sanjeev. Louella hired an investigator to get the goods on Emmaline’s husband and frame Dixie.


Jagged (Colorado Mountain, #5)


3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

Welcome back to Graham Reece, survivor of a crazy ax murderer from For You! You know Reece. He’s the guy Feb Owens hooked up with prior to being stalked by a serial murderer and getting back together with Colt.

Reece is clearly not in a good place when he shows up at the door of Zara Cinders, the woman he let walk away three years earlier. To make matters worse, Zara’s in no state to help him. She’s divorced, lost her store, and is about to lose her home. She’s sworn off men for good, and there’s no way she’s letting Reece back in after he broke her heart. Five months later, Reece returns determined to keep Zara in his life. For now, that means giving her a safe place to crash while she gets back on her feet. Later, he hopes it means sharing his life, his bed, and his heart. Despite his plan to protect Zara, fate steps in and shatters what little inner peace she has left while taking away the only family she’s ever known. Now it’s Reece’s job to make Zara see he’s the one for her and that together, they can do anything, including building a new if unconventional family.

I heart when Kristen Ashley gives tangential characters from other books their own story. Reece is super sweet, and Zara is heartbreakingly lonely. It’s easy to see how they fit together and build a life. What’s harder to take is Reece’s feelings on Feb. The two characters have a huge blowout about his relationship with the former heroine. I guess he makes it clear that February isn’t his love, but in a really round about Denver speak man way.  I’m not sure I could have let go of my concerns based on Reece’s explanation. In other news, I love the return of Nina and Max. The scene at the Rooster is high-larious (as always). Bottom line, this is a really sweet love story. While there’s some mystery to it, no one’s life is ever in danger. No one’s running from any insane bad guy. It was sort of a nice break from the usual kidnapping routine in these books. Still without the typical drama, it wasn’t one of my all time favorites. Don’t get me wrong it’s a great book and a fitting next step in the series. Still almost anything is a little let down after reading the phenomenal Lady Luck and Breathe. This is a stand out series overall. You know me, though, I’m sort of a Kristen Ashley junkie.

Breathe (Colorado Mountain, #4)

Breathe4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Lady Luck may be my favorite Kristen Ashley book, but, holy moly, Breathe comes in a close second. Usually, I’m a sucker for the anti-hero, but Chace Keaton’s sincerity definitely makes me rethink my bad boy addiction.

So the story picks up about six months after Lady Luck leaves off (pre-epilogue). Ty and Lexi are expecting their first baby. In the meantime, Lexi’s trying to hook Chace Keaton up with the town’s librarian. Faye has been crushing on Chace since she was 13 years old. For the last seven months, she’s actively been trying to win Chace’s attention without success. Her latest idea is to find the person responsible for his ex-wife’s murder. Needless to say, Chace is unhappy when he finds out this plan. Still, the search for a murderer/rapist quickly gets put on the backburner when Faye comes to the rescue of an abused little boy. She and Chace are determined to set the young man back to rights and find the person responsible for his injuries. While the couple bonds over the boy, the ones responsible for Chace’s dead wife have not changed their focus. They want their secrets safe, and they’re willing to take away what Chace values most to get the job done.

Like I said before, Chace is a good-guy dreamboat. I would swoon for him in real life (because I like the literary bad boys, but in real life I love the honest to goodness sweet ones). Still, Chace is only about a third of the reason to like the book. Faye is the best heroine ever. I loved all references to her nerdiness. I totally geek out for Psych and Battlestar Galactica. I love when she breaks down Chace’s father Darth Vader style.  I think if I had auburn hair and lived in Colorado I would so be this woman. She was totally relatable to my life. The third reason to immediately read this book is the story. It was a little out there, but I loved the surprise identity of SerenityWash at the end. I also liked the epilogue when Misty’s story and the story of the young man come full circle. Definitely do not miss this book.

Malachi (Jeremiah) keeps going back to the abuser’s home because his sister is there, and he wants to rescue her. The crazy abuser lady murdered the children’s mother and had been keeping the kids in the basement. That is until Malachi (Jeremiah) saw Misty getting raped and murdered in the woods. He told crazy lady, and she kicked him out saying he was the devil. Chace and Deck do get to Faye in time, but only because Ally Nightengale (aka SerenityWash) rides in to save the day.


Lady Luck (Colorado Mountain, #3)

Lady Luck

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Okay, I love Kristen Ashley, but I gotta tell you, this is the ABSOLUTE, no doubt about it, best book she has written (at least that I’ve read so far).  It is super hot. It is super sweet, and it is super heartbreaking.

Ty Walker is a man done wrong.  After serving five years for a crime he did not commit, he walks straight out to Lexi Berry.  Lexi’s life hasn’t been so good the last five years either.  After her pimp boyfriend was murdered on the job, his drug dealer best friend has made it his business to keep Lexi on a short leash. Her latest assignment: pick up a convicted killer and take him where he wants to go. Ty’s destination of choice: a Las Vegas wedding chapel. Ty needs a rock solid alibi for his grand plan ‘o vengeance, and a new wife fits the bill. What follows is the most bizarre and engaging whirlwind romance ever. That is until Ty (or arguably Lexi) screws it up. In the end, Ty has to decide which is more important Lexi or his revenge. The answer seems simple, but not when dirty cops, drug dealers, and a mysterious stranger are on your tail.

Ty is a total Hottie McHotterson, but you gotta be ready for his dirty mouth. This is the raunchiest talking, especially his “endearments” for ladies,  hero I’ve ever read from Kristen Ashley, and I’ve read a few.  It’s totally explainable once you get his back story, but that mouth gets Ty in trouble more than once. Still, he’s so sweet to Lexie (most of the time) and he wants to be loved so much, it’s easy to get over his dirty mouth, especially when it’s responsible for so much dirty sex. Lexie is a total goof. I loved her from the start. She’s definitely making lemonade from a life of lemons. She’s believable and smart. She’s got a backbone of steel too.

Now, while I loved the characters (as always with KA books), what really sold this book was the heartbreak. Lexie and Ty’s rocky relationship definitely has some down swings. The final one broke my heart. I could feel Lexie shutting down. I could hear her empty voice. I love a really good break up, and there are so few gut-wrenching ones in most romance stories.

If you only read one love story this year, this is the one. If you only read one KA book, this is seriously the one. It’s the best ever. (Sigh!)

First, Ty gets his name cleared (of course)! He does this using Tate’s plan which means it’s all on the up and up. Second, Chace Keaton, Misty’s husband, was forced into marrying her and is actually working undercover for the federal government to clean up the Carnal Police Department. Third, Arnie Fuller is the one who kidnaps Lexi.  Ty’s father saves her, and Lexi ultimately shoots Arnie dead.

Mystery Man (Dream Man, #1)

mystery man

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Good thing Cabe “Hawk” Delgado is the hottest guy on the fictional planet, or this book wouldn’t work at all.

Gwen is unlucky in love (huge understatement), so when a sexy stranger offers up a one night stand, she thinks it’s the perfect solution to her dry spell. Fast forward a year and a half, Mystery Man is still showing up for nights of spectacular sex, and Gwen still doesn’t know his name. (I know, right. It’s a tough set up, but it will be worth your suspension of disbelief, I promise.) Despite her X-rated nights, Gwen still lives her days as a regular person with a job and friends and family. Really, everything else about her life is normal, until her sister’s best friend shows up threatening to hurt Gwen if she doesn’t produce her sister. Unexpectedly, Gwen’s Mystery Man shows up in the daylight hours after this threat and decides he’s going to protect Gwen from the consequences of her sister’s dangerous actions. Gwen’s not so sure she wants Mystery Man’s (aka Hawk) help, especially since a handsome detective and a bad boy biker have are offering her their own brand of safety. What’s a woman to do?

Like I said, the initial premise is super hard to swallow. If some dude was sneaking into my house regularly with the intent of getting lucky, I’m sure the police would be on my speed dial. If you can get past that particular reading speed bump, this is a fast-paced, fun story. Hawk is hot and has maybe the saddest back story I’ve ever read. While he protects Gwen and her family from some serious bad guys, Gwen is the one really doing the heavy lifting trying to bring Hawk to the other side of a soul sucking tragedy. The ending is of course happy (or I wouldn’t recommend it). The novel sets up a fabulous series of stories which focus on scary dudes trying to keep the world a little safer and the women who can help them lighten that load. Read these books!!!


Plot: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

This book grabbed me by the throat about a chapter in and didn’t let go. Every time I thought I knew where the story was going, I got thrown for a loop. Gwen’s little sister is a perfect foil for Gwen’s do-gooder nature. The side plot of three men trying to win Gwen’s affection keeps the slower paced parts of the mystery moving. I did not want to put this book down.

Writing: 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

This is your typical Kristen Ashley novel. There’s a bit too much verbiage about the decoration of Gwen’s home and what she chooses to where. Hawk uses the word babe as subject, verb, and adjective. Still, this lady knows how to tell a story.

Characters: 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Characters are where all KA books knock it out of the ball park. I loved the Hawk and Gwen, of course, but the side characters make the book sparkle. I love two of the three other “dream men” in the book. Gwen’s family is believable and tender. I especially love her step mom. She’s a breath of fresh air from the typical evil step mom script.

Hawk is a former soldier. His wife and child were murdered while he was on active duty in Iraq. The murder stemmed from his wife’s brother’s actions. He was involved in drug dealing or something. I’m not sure it matters. Gwen gets kidnapped, and Hawk breaks up with her the next morning because he can’t handle the similarities of the situation. Tack takes over as the romantic lead, until Hawk sees her kissing him. Then he decides to man up and figure out his way through the grief.