Tag Archive | firefighters

Enjoy Tempting Levi: Review, Excerpt & Giveaway!

 

Title: Tempting Levi
Series: Cade Brothers #1
Author: Jules Barnard
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 6, 2017
Blurb
Off-limits never looked so tempting…problem is,
she’s my ex’s little sister.
Cade men are known for two things: arrogance and competitiveness. I grew up in
one of the wealthiest, most dysfunctional families in Lake Tahoe, and all I
wanted was to get the hell out. I thought I’d succeeded. Until an accident
burned up my firefighter ambitions. Then Dad died and left me in charge of the
family’s luxury resort.

Now I’ve got financially uptight advisors telling me what to do, and I need
someone I can trust working at my side. The perfect candidate walks through the
door in her pencil skirt, fitted white blouse, and that mass of wavy blond hair
she tries to contain.

The only problem? She’s my cheating ex’s younger sister.

Hell no. The last thing I need is another Wright female in my life.

But Emily’s good at the job, and she seems trustworthy. I should ignore the
desire I have for her. But after all I’ve lost, I’m tempted by what I can’t
have and ready to stoke the flame that smolders between us. As long as this
Wright sister doesn’t betray me the way the last one did.

Then again, I always liked playing with fire.

 

Purchase Links
99c for a limited time
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Excerpt
She climbed to her feet and leaned into him, tracing the
scar above his eye. “I like this scar.”
He chuckled and dropped his cheek into her hand. “Glad it
pleases someone. It didn’t feel too good when it happened.”
“I don’t like it because you were hurt. It’s just—it brought
you to me. And it reminds me that you’re not the same person I met years ago.
That we’ve both changed… However”—she grinned saucily—“scars are pretty
hot.”
He tugged at her top and kissed her collarbone, tickling her
with his lips, because the naughty man had quickly discovered a sensitive spot.
“My scar looks hot, does it?”
She laughed as he continued to pepper her skin with light
kisses. She lifted her shoulder in defense. “Very sexy.” 
“Hmmm, don’t give me ideas, Emily, or I won’t let you go
home.”
Also Available
Men of Lake Tahoe Series
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
B&N / KOBO / iBOOKS

Author Bio

RITA-nominated author Jules Barnard began her publishing
career in 2014 with her first contemporary series, Men of Lake Tahoe, making it
onto romance bestseller lists. In 2015, she launched, Fates Divided,
the first of a romantic fantasy series Library Journal calls
“…an exciting new fantasy adventure.” Whether she’s writing about
sexy men in Lake Tahoe or a Fae world embedded in a college campus, Jules spins
addictive stories filled with heart and humor.
When she isn’t in her sweatpants writing and rewarding
herself with chocolate, Jules spends her time with her husband and two children
in their small hometown on the California coast. She credits herself with the
ability to read while running on the treadmill or burning dinner.
To learn more about Jules, visit her website at: http://www.julesbarnard.com./
Sign up for Jules’s Newsletter and receive access to
FREE extra scenes!
Author Links

 

BOOK REVIEW

I received a complementary copy of this novel and decided to review it because I honestly enjoyed it.

Overall Rating: 3.5 (sXe)

Quick & Dirty summary: Levi Cade is facing a challenge he’s never faced before. After his father dies and leaves him in charge of the family business, Levi has to don a suit rather than the firefighter’s gear that he planned to wear for the rest of his life. But a career ending injury has Levi giving this desk job a chance. His father has also left him a new assistant in the form of Emily, Levi’s ex-fiancé’s sister. He can respect her skills, but he’s going to stay away from her body… or at least, that’s his plan.

This book has a lot going for it. The writing is smooth, the dialogue is engaging, and the pace is brisk without being rushed. This is a solid start to a new series with all of the Cade brothers coming across the page as unique and interesting. It’s obvious that there are a few books from a previous series, as a couple of the guys are already paired up with their soul mates, but I think that’s great. I’ll look up those books and give them a try since I enjoyed the author’s writing style.

For me, the best part of this book is getting to see the insecurities each of the main characters struggle with. Emily feels like she’s always been in the shadow of her beautiful half sister, never realizing how attractive she is in her own right. Despite that, she is still a confident character in regards to her business credentials and her innovative ideas. I love that complexity. Likewise, Levi is a self-assured leader, but he struggles with his own feelings of inadequacy. He’s so concerned about doing the right thing that he often says the wrong thing. Each character is flawed and I love it.

Lastly, I really love how the novel is interesting and contains conflict without over the top drama. The storyline could have easily dissolved into an episode of Jerry Springer, but Jules Barnard takes it into a heartfelt and authentic direction instead. I think the resolution at the end of the novel is somewhat convenient, but developed in such a way that I’m happy with the way everything turned out.

Is it worth buying? (Kindle $0.99 special)
Yes, this is definitely worth buying at the low price of 99 cents. It’s a nice story that will definitely make you smile in the end.

Something else you might enjoy:
Try Crazy for You by Jennifer Crusie. I love Crusie’s books and always enjoy a good laugh with them.

Fun Flirting with Fire

Hot in Chicago Series, Book 1 by Kate Meader

Contemporary Romance

Flirting with Fire

Overall Rating: 3 (sXe)

Book Cover of Flirting with FireQuick & Dirty summary: Kinsey Taylor is not having a good time in Chicago. First she moves to the Windy City from her hometown of San Francisco for her long-term boyfriend and fiancé, after finding a job and taking a pay cut. Then her fiancé breaks up with her and she can’t get her deposits back because it was too close to the wedding date. Then her handsome but jerk boss makes her rehabilitate bad boy firefighter Luke Almeida. When the sparks between Luke and Kinsey can no longer be contained, their love ignites. But Kinsey’s been burned before and Luke is stuck. He can’t ask her to stay, but can he leave Chicago after Kinsey makes a big sacrifice for him?

This book has an excellent balance between sexual tension and sex scenes. In other words, the pace of this book is great. The relationship between Luke and Kinsey builds as they work on his reputation, and then when Kinsey’s job is done, they move on to having a real relationship. Sometimes characters dance around getting into a relationship too much and it drives me crazy. That didn’t happen here which is awesome. Also for a nice change of pace, the use of fire in the title is a useful metaphor for how sexy HOT the sex scenes are rather than just being an overused romance convention.

Towards the end of the novel I was a little annoyed with Kinsey. I just wanted to tell her to get over her ex-fiancé and that Luke isn’t like him. I mean, the ex was a complete douche and she should be too smart to be taken in by his insecure crap. But, I appreciated the underlying issues Kinsey brings up, namely that it can be difficult to be a strong, confident, competitive woman because the stereotype of women is to be the oppose of all those things. There was this wonderful tension between being a feminist and in charge of her career and life, and being a woman who is in love and has to take into account another person’s career and desires. The two don’t HAVE to be at odds, but often times it feels like they are because there’s a sense of losing when you, as a woman, change your life for a man. The resolution of this tension is great in the novel. I just love it and I absolutely agree with it (a bonus!).

Also, if you’ve been reading my blog posts, I’m happy to report that in this novel, Luke enjoys Kinsey’s boy short panties. He doesn’t know what the hell they are, but he thinks they are sexy! Finally! Thanks Kate Meader! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can read the post here.

Lastly, isn’t that cover H-O-T hot?!

Is it worth buying? (Kindle $1.99)

Yes, absolutely. This is a case of a good book at an excellent price. Warning though, the second book in the series is $6.99. So if you get hooked on this series, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Something else you might enjoy:

Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts is amazing. The fire fighters aren’t just traditional fire fighters but fire jumpers, who jump out of planes to help put out fires. Amazing! And a well written novel by a classic romance author.

Super Short Shifter Series

Fire Bears by T.S. Joyce

Overall Series Rating: (3) (sXe)

Each of the three books that make up this series are short. At around 130 pages, each book focuses on one of the Keller brothers. The brothers are bear shifters who have been firefighters for generations. They are also controlled by a government agency that uses them as their own personal mercenaries, except these men do not get paid, they only get threatened with exposure and death. The series rating is higher than the individual book ratings because, in this particular case, the sum total is greater than its individual parts. Each of the books has the same problem–pacing and character development is sketchy and off putting. The central problem for the couples is superficial in most cases and is quickly eclipsed by the bigger problem of government control. But, like most shifter books, the allegory of shifter discrimination and hatred is a relevant one for racism and extremism today. It is this larger story of shifter integration into larger society that saves this series from banality and smut. Without that larger storyline connecting the books together, these short stories would seem like thinly veiled porn.

I am not going to review the individual books because my likes and dislikes are basically the same for all three novels. The primary characters have very little development. Instead of revealing characteristics through action, the author depends heavily on dialogue. Love is instantaneously, which is explained as ordinary due to shifter nature, but is unconvincing. The obstacles in each novel is glossed over in a way that makes them all unevenly paced. Action-action-action is followed by sappy dialogue and sex scenes. Despite all of this, Joyce does a great job of teasing out some of the issues with shifter-human integration. It’s sort of the X-Men argument, except a Magneto hasn’t appeared. Instead it is a test of humanity as to how the public deals with shifters and strongly echoes the central issues of slavery, racism, and homophobia. Tackling these big issues isn’t something most romance authors attempt and I admire Joyce for that. She really takes the possibilities of the genre to its fullest potential.

This series is a good example of why I don’t trust amazon reviews. The first book enjoys a 4.5 star rating from 146 reviewers. I’m not sure how that is possible, but it is. I don’t think I am that harsh of a critic, but my ratings are consistently lower than the Amazon reviews. And I have been stuck with many a terrible book because I trusted the Amazon reviews, which is why I am so glad I don’t pay for these books anymore. Although, I have to say, this series is very reasonably priced at $0.99 a book which isn’t too bad for fun, easy reads. That being said, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the books. There are too many negatives and not enough positives for me to encourage anyone to read them.


Bear My Soul (2)

Rory has kept her son Aaron a secret from Aaron’s father, Cody Keller, for five years. But as her son grows older and bigger it becomes harder and harder for Rory to keep Aaron’s shifter nature a secret. In desperation Rory seeks Cody out to see if he can help her son through his painful transformation from boy to bear. Cody is shocked and hurt that he was kept from his son, bitter that he cannot see Aaron grow up from an infant. However, when government forces threaten Aaron’s safety, Cody and Rory quickly realize they will do anything to keep their son safe.


Bear the Burn (2)

Quinn is searching for a new start as a veterinarian’s technician after a heartbreaking loss. When she meets Dade Keller she is embarrassed being caught in a private display of emotion. Dade wants to stay away from Quinn to keep her safe but cannot deny that his bear has picked Quinn as his mate. Despite Dade’s efforts to be distant, Quinn is a target and in order to save her he must turn her into a bear shifter. In doing so he challenges the hold the government has on the Keller pack and his own hold on his emotional walls.  Quinn will need to reveal her inner strength in order to protect the pack that has accepted her as their own.


Bear the Heat (3)

Boone has nightmares about losing his entire family to the secret government agency that is trying to control the bear shifter population. Cora is a reporter who broke the bear shifter story, trying to walk the line of reporting while also tempering the public’s knee-jerk hateful response to shifters. As Cora and Boone work together to help people see shifters as people, not animals, they realize their deep connection. This makes Cora a target and Boone struggles not to allow his fears to dictate his decisions. This was my favorite of the series probably because the underlying theme of acceptance was emphasized.