Come Sundown by Nora Roberts

Book Description:

Published: May 30, 2017

Format: Audio/Audible

Love. Lies. Murder. A lot can happen… COME SUNDOWN

Bodine Longbow loves to rise with the dawn. As the manager of her family’s resort in Western Montana, there just aren’t enough hours in the day – for life, for work, for loved ones. She certainly doesn’t have time for love, not even in the gorgeous shape of her childhood crush Callen Skinner, all grown up and returned to the ranch. Then again, maybe Callen can change her mind, given time…

But when a young woman’s body is discovered on resort land, everything changes. Callen falls under the suspicion of a deputy sheriff with a grudge. And for Bodine’s family, the murder is a shocking reminder of an old loss. Twenty-five years ago, Bodine’s Aunt Alice vanished, never to be heard of again. Could this new tragedy be connected to Alice’s mysterious disappearance?

As events take a dramatic and deadly turn, Bodine and Callen must race to uncover the truth – before the sun sets on their future together.

 

Review –

Nora Roberts always tells a good story that balances romance and suspense, but in this title, the narrative is deeper, the mystery is more layered, and with Alice, Roberts moves into another level of exploring physical and emotional trauma and the powerful healing power of family and love.

If you haven’t guessed-I’ve given this book five stars!  Once I started this book, it was very hard to stop listening, it was seventeen hours and seventeen minutes long, so I had to stop in order to keep up the appearance of do a little something around the house.

Over two decades ago, rebellious Alice Bodine ran away from her Montana home to make her fortune in Hollywood—only to head back three years later. But her return was derailed when she was captured and made prisoner by an off the grid religious fanatic. Flash to the present day, when the Bodine estate is a thriving dude ranch and luxury resort. Bodine Longbow, Alice’s niece, works hard ensuring that the day-to-day operations at the resort run smoothly, even as she comes face-to-face with her childhood crush, Callen Skinner, who has returned to Montana from California. As the attraction builds between Callen and Bodine, Alice miraculously escapes her captor and is welcomed back into the family fold. Her tale of abuse and torture at the hands of her captor coincides with the recent brutal murder of two young women. The suspense continues to rise as law enforcement searches for the killer and Alice’s kidnapper.

The combination of details of ranch/resort life, the strength of the women of the family, mixed with romance and mystery make this a five-star read, for sure.

Definitel   put this one on your TBR list!

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Uses For Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt

Book Description:

Published: January 15, 2016

Anna remembers a time before boys, when she was little and everything made sense. When she and her mom were a family, just the two of them against the world. But now her mom is gone most of the time, chasing the next marriage, bringing home the next stepfather. Anna is left on her own—until she discovers that she can make boys her family. From Desmond to Joey, Todd to Sam, Anna learns that if you give boys what they want, you can get what you need. But the price is high—the other kids make fun of her; the girls call her a slut. Anna’s new friend, Toy, seems to have found a way around the loneliness, but Toy has her own secrets that even Anna can’t know.

Then comes Sam. When Anna actually meets a boy who is more than just useful, whose family eats dinner together, laughs, and tells stories, the truth about love becomes clear. And she finally learns how it feels to have something to lose—and something to offer. Real, shocking, uplifting, and stunningly lyrical, Uses for Boys is a story of breaking down and growing up.

Review –

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This was the most depressing book that I think I have ever read or listened to but it is also very haunting.

In the “tell me again times”, Anna’s mom tells her the story of how she was alone and had always wanted a daughter. But Anna slowly learns the truth, having a daughter is not enough to fill the void inside her mother. So she watches as her mother marries, divorces, marries, divorces, and then spends a great deal of time dating man after man and leaving Anna in the house alone.
Anna often spends night after night alone in the lying house. It looks beautiful, but it is empty. She turns on the TV to fill it with noise. She wanders from room to room. And when nothing she can do fills that emptiness, she begins to try to fill it with boys in much the same way she sees her mother trying to fill her own emptiness with men.

Anna’s story is a series of relationships, very few of them real or fulfilling:
Her mother – absent, distant, unaware
The first boy – a boy who assaults her on the school bus, although she doesn’t realize at the time what it is.
Joey – For a while, he fills the void. But then just as her mother told her all men do, he leaves.
The rapist – he haunts her.
Toy – the best friend, lost herself, but Anna doesn’t recognize this until much later.
Josh – For a while, he too fills the void.
And then Sam – here she sees for the first time what a real family must look like, and it creates in her a longing so real, so palpable that the world around her shifts.

By the time Sam comes along Anna has gotten pregnant and had an abortion but he is a virgin and wants to WAIT for their first time together.  They do wait-for awhile but the temptation is too great and they have sex, whenever and where ever they can. One afternoon Anna goes over to Sam’s house because he is sick and one thing leads to another and they have sex and his mother walks in on them and tells her to leave.  

It’s during this time of depression and loneliness that Anna discovers that Toy is as broken as she is and has been lying about all her romantic boyfriends (none of whom exist). Anna  has been trying  fill the emptiness inside of her with boy after boy after boy until she sees something else and decides she is going to find a way to make it happen for herself, and it’s  important because Anna realizes this for herself and acts upon it for herself.

The book ends with Anna feeling hopeful and that’s something she has never felt before.

Very thought-provoking.

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The Liar by Nora Roberts

Book Description:

Published: April 14, 2015

Shelby Foxworth lost her husband. Then she lost her illusions …

The man who took her from Tennessee to an exclusive Philadelphia suburb left her in crippling debt. He was an adulterer and a liar, and when Shelby tracks down his safe-deposit box, she finds multiple IDs. The man she loved wasn’t just dead. He never really existed.

Shelby takes her three-year-old daughter and heads south to seek comfort in her hometown, where she meets someone new: Griff Lott, a successful contractor. But her husband had secrets she has yet to discover. Even in this small town, surrounded by loved ones, danger is closer than she knows—and threatens Griff, as well. And an attempted murder is only the beginning …

Review –

I was very disappointed in this new release by Nora Roberts. Normally I have nothing but praise for her work but this left me flat. From the very beginning it was so cliché and predictable.

Girl from small town is swept off her feet by rich handsome man from big city and end up married. They live in a big mansion and she has cars, jewels, clothes, anything she could want. They have a baby and he could care less and becomes distance.  He travels  alot on his job and one day goes out for a boat ride in a storm and is “drown”. After his death she discovers nothing they had was real. Everything was on credit and she owes over two million dollars in debt. She sells everything and moves back home to the small town she grew up in, still a million dollars in debt. She meets and handsome contractor who falls for her and her daughter immediately. She finds out her “dead” husband had many identities and they were never really married and on top of that he stole millions of dollars worth of jewelry and stamps and now some bad guys think she knows where it is. Of course, the husband is not dead and you know the rest of the story …

Sorry Ms. Roberts, I gave it three stars ***

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The Heir (Selection #4) by Kiera Cass

Book Description:

Published: May 5, 2015

Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon—and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she’d put off marriage for as long as possible.

But a princess’s life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can’t escape her very own Selection—no matter how fervently she protests.

Eadlyn doesn’t expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn’s heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her . . . and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she’s always thought.

The book begins with Eadlyn explaining that she was born seven minutes before her twin brother, Ahren. Previously, it would be his right to be the heir to the throne of Illéa, but their parents King Maxon Schreave and Queen America Schreave changed the law and made it possible for Eadlyn to be the first female ruler of the country, something that often overwhelms her, but also makes her feel powerful. Maxon and America have two more sons: Kaden, 14, and Osten, 10.

Her father has eliminated the castes, but although people were initially relieved, many citizens begin to riot all over the country due to post-caste discrimination. To distract the attention of the public until they can figure out a way to fix the situation, her parents suggest that Eadlyn should go through her own Selection. Eadlyn strongly opposes to the idea, as she doesn’t feel ready for marriage and she doesn’t want to love and be married with a stranger. However, she reluctantly accepts to have a three month Selection, for the sake of the country and of her parents, who agree that it’s all right if she doesn’t choose anyone in the end.

Eventually, 35 men are randomly selected, among them Kile Woodwork, son of Carter and Marlee Woodwork. He strongly rejects his selection, insisting that he didn’t actually apply for it. However, since his name was announced publicly, he is forced to participate, much to his and Eadlyn’s resentment, as the two dislike each other, even though they have been raised together in the palace.

During the first interview with the Selected Suitors, some of the Selected catch Eadlyn’s attention, like the politeHale Garner, the over-confident Ean Cabel and the always-happy Swendish Henri Jaakoppi who can only speak limited-English, and participates in the Selection with the help of his translator, Erik.

To impress the country, she organizes a parade through the city, so that people can admire her and the Selected Men. The parade is ruined when some people from the crowd throw food to her, insulting her and demanding jobs. Eadlyn starts to realize that part of the population dislikes her, so Ahren suggests that she should not appear so distant and scowling, especially in the photos of the Selection.

To pique the people’s interest, Eadlyn publicly eliminates 11 of the Suitors, a rather drastic cut. Unfortunately, the papers criticize her again as a smug, strict princess, uninterested in her own Selection. Deciding then to give some romance to the public, even if she isn’t interested in these men, Eadlyn asks from Kile, the only Selected Man she knows, to kiss her in front of a hidden photographer. The kiss leaves her unsettled, as she didn’t expect to like it so much.

Eadlyn then goes on a date with Hale. They talk about his life and family, but when he asks about her fashion sketches, a hobby of her, she is afraid of opening herself to him and she leaves. She has another date with Baden Trains, playing music together. She asks from Kile one more time to kiss her, insisting however that she doesn’t like him and she won’t choose him. She later goes on a movie date with Jack Ranger. When he touches her inappropriately against her will, she panics and kicks him out of the Selection.

During a horse riding date with Ean, he understands that Eadlyn doesn’t actually want the Selection. He proposes to her that, if she finds no one suitable in the group, she can choose him. While he can settle in a comfortable life as her prince consort, she will be free to reign however she wants without ever loving him, as he believes love to be overrated.

Later, Eadlyn cooks in the palace kitchen with Kile, Burke Renn, Fox Wesley, Henri and Erik. However, Burke gets angry when Henri, being a professional cook, makes an exceptional dessert, while Burke’s appetizers with Fox were mediocre. He punches Fox and accidentally pushes Eadlyn to the floor during the fight, while Kile and Henri try to suppress him. Erik takes Eadlyn away from the brawl and into her room. He reveals that his given name is Eikko. She thanks him for his help and as they bond their hands, she realizes his kind nature.

Burke is sent home, but Eadlyn talks with Fox and after learning about his poor background, she decides to let him stay, as he wasn’t really responsible for the fight. Eadlyn has one more make out session with Kile, but this time she talks with him about the Selection, realizing that it’s easy to share her thoughts with him and admitting that she is glad he was selected.

Eadlyn learns that people in the poorer provinces are uprising to end the monarchy, as they didn’t benefit from the caste dissolution and they think that the King doesn’t care about them. Later that night, Eadlyn finds Henri cooking in the kitchen. After cooking together, they share a hesitant, romantic kiss. However, Eadlyn is still afraid of falling in love, although she finally realizes that she really likes some of these men.

Baden announces to Eadlyn he wants to leave from the Selection, feeling ignored by her and displeased that she didn’t pay attention earlier to his date invitation. He accuses her of being pushy and selfish. Hurt by his words, she cries in her room, realizing that probably a lot of people have this opinion of her. At that moment, Erik appears and comforts her. He mentions that Henri thought she was upset by their kiss, but Eadlyn assures him that Henri is one of the kindest people she had ever met. Erik reveals that Henri admires her and desires to be her husband, but then he adds that Henri’s language barrier will be a long-term obstacle if she develops feelings for him, too. He offers to be her friend and she happily accepts.

Eadlyn talks with Kile who comforts her, both of them admitting that they now want to participate in the Selection, even though she is still afraid to open herself to the boys. As he is studying architecture, he reveals to her a design idea to create small houses for industrial workers in the poorer provinces.

Eadlyn invites to the palace the French princess Camille, daughter of Queen Daphne and heir to the throne of France. Camille is in a relationship with Ahren, the two of them have been completely in love for years. This makes Eadlyn uncomfortable and slightly jealous that she has never felt such love, and that Camille holds an equal standing to her in Ahren’s life. Even more, Camille is always and effortlessly kind and cheerful and people love her, exactly the characteristics that Eadlyn wishes to have.

During a party made in honor of Camille, Eadlyn finds Erik, looking handsome in his formal suit. After confiding to him her thoughts about Camille, he reassures her that she shouldn’t want to imitate the French princess, because being herself is more than enough. Holding her hand and hesitantly stroking it, he admits that he didn’t put his name in the Selection, because he is not someone important, but Eadlyn insists that “he is Eikko”: being himself is enough too. She later dances happily with Henri, noticing though that Erik watches them with a sad smile.

Eadlyn advises Ahren to break up with Camille, stating that maybe she is not the one for him, making him sad. During the dinner next night, Gavril Fadaye announces to Maxon, America and Eadlyn that Ahren eloped with Camille: they had left Illéa and secretly got married in France, after Queen Daphne gave them her official approval. Eadlyn runs to her room, where she finds a letter from Ahren.

In the letter, after begging for her and their parents’ forgiveness, Ahren explains that he decided to marry Camille, after Eadlyn told him to leave her. He realized that his sister disliked his girlfriend only because she was afraid that Camille would “steal” Ahren from Eadlyn. Eadlyn wanted her brother so much in her life, asking so many things from him that she would maybe even force him to take the throne for her sake. So, much as he loved his sister, he eventually chose his soul mate. He points to Eadlyn that while Camille is open to her people and handles her power with humility, Eadlyn keeps people at distance and wields her power like a sword. As a result, many provinces don’t want her as their future ruler and she is one of the reasons they are now in a riot. Thus, Ahren advises her to open herself to her people, to be brave and feminine at the same time and above all to find love in her life.

Eadlyn is angry and hurt by his words and his departure, but when she goes to her parents’ room to inform them about the letter, she finds photos of them during their own Selection, their wedding and the birth of their children. Eadlyn recognizes that her father had modeled this room as a shrine of his love for her mother. Fully realizing now the love her parents share, she can understand why Ahren chose his girlfriend over his family.

At that moment though, she learns that her mother has had a heart attack, after hearing about Ahren’s elopement. She runs to the hospital wing, where she finds her father crying and General Leger comforting him, both of them hoping for the best. Marlee, Kaden, May and the Selected Men also come to pray for America’s recovery. Afraid of losing her mother and after seeing all those people around her and the bonds they share with each other, Eadlyn finally realizes the importance of love in her life. She decides that she wants to find in the Selection someone who will love her, stating that at the end of the Selection, she “will have a wedding ring on her finger.”

Review –

I love the Selection Series but  didn’t know if I would be able to get my head into this story but it  was so well written and the characters and their  actions just flowed so easily that once I picked it up I couldn’t put it down.

  Since this book was just released in May that means it will be next year before we find out if Queen America lives or dies. I can’t wait.!!!

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Cameron’s Contract (Enthrall Novella #2) by Vanessa Fewings

Book Description:

Published: June 21, 2015

Enemies swirl. Boundaries break. Love shatters.

The master is being challenged like never before, but those who claw for his possessions will feel his wrath. Billionaire Cameron Cole is a man without equal. For his true wealth is his intellect.

Words bind, and once ink soaks paper, lives change.

With Cameron’s Contract, the second novella in the bestselling Enthrall Sessions, author Vanessa Fewings raises the stakes and deepens the passion for a world-renowned psychiatrist and his beloved submissive.

Review –

I was very disappointed with this installment in the Enthrall Series because it dealt mostly with the business side of Cameron’s life and not the BDSM club life but his father’s Coffee and Tea business life. Mia, of course, played a strong part and I enjoyed the ending but even so I was left wanting. Hoping for better in the next one.

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Zombelina by Kristyn Crow

Book Description:

Published: July 9, 2013

Zombelina loves to dance. She moonwalks with mummies and boogies with bats. She spins like a specter and glides like a ghost and loves to dance for her family the most. When Zombelina enrolls in a ballet class for real girls, her dancing gives everyone the chills! But when her first recital brings on a case of stage fright, her zombie moans and ghoulish groans scare her audience away. Only her devoted family’s cheers, in their special spooky way, help Zombelina dance the ballet debut of her dreams.

Introducing the most adorable zombie to ever grace the dance floor, Kristyn Crow’s pitch-perfect rhyme and Molly Idle’s charmingly spook-tacular illustrations will make every reader want to sway and sashay in their own zombie trance.

Review –

I found this book free online at my virtual library site and had to check it out.

While it is an e-book, it is narrated to you and you see all of the beautifully illustrated pictures as the story progresses.

If you think the idea of a zombie ballerina isn’t very appealing, think again. Zombies have been very popular in our culture for the last several years just like vampires so must young children know what a zombie is.

Zombelina wants to be a ballerina and gets to take lessons but all the other students don’t like her but she practices and becomes very good. When the night of the recital comes she gets severe stage fright and all of the people in the audience run out scared to death at the sight of her. She just stands there, on stage, but when she sees her Zombie family in attendance it gives her the courage to perform and she is wonderful.

This is truly a sweet book and very likable and other reader must think so too because Zombelina Dances The Nutcracker was published this year and I’m sure there will be more to come.

I love it.

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The Agreement(Unrestrained #1) by S. E. Lund

Book Description

March 28, 2013
Kate McDermott is a good girl who has done everything she can to please her very powerful and domineering father — a Justice on New York’s Supreme Court with hopes for political office. When she decides to write an article about BDSM in popular culture, she tells herself it’s just research and nothing personal for she can’t afford to become the target of gossip or scandal. She hopes that the carefully worded agreement she writes up will keep her relationship with the Dominant she will interview strictly professional.

Then ‘Master D’ – Drake Morgan – walks into the interview and Kate is mortified for not only is he gorgeous, he’s the son of her father’s best and oldest friend…

Drake Morgan, MD, bass player, philanthropist – Dominant. Known as Master ‘D’ in Manhattan’s BDSM Community, Drake must keep the kinky side of his life secret to protect his very successful career as a neurosurgeon. After a heartbreaking divorce, Drake doesn’t do girlfriends, he doesn’t do sleepovers, and he certainly doesn’t do breakfast in bed the morning after. He keeps everything in his well-ordered life separate and under his firm control.

Then Kate McDermott crosses his path and screws everything up. Now, nothing is neat and tidy anymore, and no longer under control for Drake is smitten and things are going to get messy…

From USA Today and Amazon Bestselling Romance author S. E. Lund comes a story of two people who find themselves in each other’s arms. The Agreement will stay with you long after you read the final page.

Review –
I’m new to reading erotic romances so I don’t have many to go by, but, I rated this one five stars *****.
I could not put this book down.  
Dr. Drake Morgan  is a man’s man, a neurosurgeon, gives to charities and a Dom to boot. He needs a new sub and his long time friend wants him to meet a girl who supposedly wants to do a research paper on the BDSM lifestyle. Little do either of them know that they know each other and both are embarrassed at first. Drake does his best to ease the fears of Kate (Katherine) and convince her to submit to him.  She tries but is not a good sub(too willful and asks too many questions) and he’s a lenient Dom with her because he’s falling for her, which goes against everything he believes in.
It’s a great story and when I came to the end I had to download the next book and keep reading.  I think I’ve in love with Drake Morgan!
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Born In Shame (Born In Trilogy #3) by Nora Roberts

Book Description:

Published: 1996

A talented graphic artist, Shannon Bodine’s life revolved around her job at a prestigious New York advertising agency. But her world was turned upside down whe she learned the identity of her real father: Thomas Concannon. Respecting her late mother’s last wish, Shannon reluctantly traveled to County Clare. There, her loneliness and shame melted away in the embrace of the family she never knew existed. And amid the lush Irish landscape steeped in mysticism and legend, she discovered the possibility of a love that was meant to be…

 

Review –

A wonderful conclusion to a romantic Irish series by Nora Roberts. No one can tell a tale the way she does. Fantastic read.

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Bound (Forbidden Series #1) by Melody Anne

Book Description:

Published: August 2014

Relinquish Control has just opened its doors in Seattle, and already we are not shy for customers. Relinquish Control is an exclusive escort service catering to the most distinguished customers, from business magnates to foreign royalty. This proven and well-established international business offers an elite selection of women who are ready and willing to attend to your every need with no questions asked. Confidentiality is our special obligation. Jewell Weston is homeless and desperate at age twenty-four. Two years ago, she quit her job to care for her ailing mother and her young brother; the medical bills incurred because of the cancer that killed her mother two months ago took everything the family had, and the state then took away her brother, now age ten. The only way for her to get the boy back is by finding a job and securing a home. When she’s approached by a woman in cashmere and pearls who tells her she can change her life, and is handed a card with the business name Relinquish Control on it, she thinks she has nothing to lose by calling the phone number. Maybe this will be the answer to her prayers, a way to save her little brother from the nightmarish foster home he’s been placed in. Blake Knight, known to the world as cold and without a heart, is given an exclusive membership to Relinquish Control by his devilish younger brother, who thinks it would be amusing to make his staid brother squirm. Little does this brother realize that Blake does indeed have unusual desires that Relinquish Control can cater to perfectly. What started as a joke turns out to be just what Blake needs. Though the world sees this man as deliberate and emotionless, it’s nothing but a façade. What lies underneath would shock all those who know him. When he and his two brothers were six, eight and ten, they were tied up and forced to watch while their parents were murdered. The image has been burned into their minds, though they’ve tried to forget, leaving each of them guarded and unwilling to give their trust to anyone other than each other. No one is allowed to have their hearts. The brothers would never think of letting down their guard with anyone else, certainly not with a woman. Follow Blake and Jewell’s journey and see if they can find a happily ever after.

Review –

Good story line and by today’s standards not too far fetched.  I enjoyed it but may not other books in the series because I really need to get back to my “to be read list”.

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