Thursday, August 27, 2020

Playmaker by Jami Davenport

A new entry in Jami Davenport's latest series about four friends who play in the NHL, Scoring. Kaden  has achieved his dream of playing in the NHL for the Seattle Sockeyes but it has turned to dust.  He is currently suspended from the team and the woman he loves has disappeared.  Life sucks!

He hires a former player now a professional PI to find  the woman he knows as Lanie.  Lanie is actually Delaney, a member of  a prominent family who knows something she shouldn't and has been on the run for a while. When her past caught up with her in Seattle, she ran away to protect herself and Kaden.

Having read the earlier books in the series, it's nice to finally find out what is going on with the mysterious woman Kaden has been seeing. He gets his act together and is reinstated on the team and now he needs to get his personal life in the same place. When he finds out where she is, he and the gang head to Madrona Island. Note: this is a shout out to other books by Ms. Davenport.  The interesting part comes when teammate and friend Steele, lets it be known that he can help because "he knows people".  This seems to be a recurring theme in a lot of these hockey themed books- the team is like your family and they are there for you through thick and thin.  Even the WAGS (wives and girlfriends) add their support and advise wanted or not. 
Needless to say there is lots of drama in this book, some secrets are revealed, and of course there is plenty of hot sex! Sometimes, I find these damsel in distress books to be annoying, but this one worked perfectly well with a little stretch on the bounds of reality. As in the other books there is just enough information about other characters besides the lead to make you anticipate  the next book in the series- hint: hope it's Steele!

I was never a hockey fan but I came across her book Crashing the Net, an early Sockeyes novel and loved it. Now I'm a total hockey romance fangirl.  Maybe I'll actually watch a game soon! 

Monday, June 8, 2020

Dance Away With Me by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Nineteen years ago, I went into a little used book shop up the road from my house. Besides used paperbacks, she had new hardcovers that you could take for a week for a dollar. She recommended This Heart of Mine which started me on my SEP ( Susan Elizabeth Phillips) love affair. I was anxiously awaiting Dance Away with Me and I was not disappointed.
Widowed Tess Hartsong has moved to a very rustic cabin in Tempest, TN. She feels driven to dance to loud music outdoors to try and sooth her broken heart. One morning while dancing in the rain in her undies, a craggy mountain man comes down and shuts off the music and yells at her to have some consideration for others. In mid rant, a dainty pregnant woman comes down and shoos him away. She explains that he is Ian North, a world famous street artist and her husband. She is famous model Bianca and is about 7 months pregnant. Tess is a midwife but she can't bring herself to practice her specialty because of her depression.
Ian is determined to get Tess out of the neighborhood because he is aware of Bianca's quirky personality and he sees trouble ahead. Tess, however takes a job at the local general store/luncheonette. She gradually learns all is not what it seems with Ian and Bianca (not really his wife). She also runs afoul of local folk when she pushes safe sex, smoking cessation, and some other health initiatives that the very conservative townfolk aren't happy about.
When a tragedy happens, Tess and Ian are thrown together to raise a baby. This leads to all kinds of complications including a growing attraction between the two. In the meantime, trouble is brewing in the town and possibly around the baby's custody.
I loved all of the characters in this book and how their relationships grow and develop. I also loved the quirky town folk and their gradual acceptance of Tess and her ideas. Like her earlier books, the romance is always there and percolating but the character development is also so important. You can just picture these people by reading SEP's words and she never does anything that doesn't feel true to their character. We know Ian and Tess will get their HEA but it isn't easy and we don't want it to be.
All those years ago, I was so excited to find out that SEP had already written 12 books that I could read. She became an automatic buy for me both her written books and the audio versions. This book is a great addition to any SEPPIE's collection. I've read it twice and tomorrow I'll start listening to it with great enjoyment!

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Wylde (Arizona Vengeance #7) by Sawyer Bennett

I love this book. Aaron Wylde, who lives up to his nickname Wylde, is sort of at loose ends after the Arizona Vengeance wins the Stanley Cup. He’s out jogging and he passes a little bookstore  with a nerdy but cute woman behind the counter. He’s intrigued so he goes inside. Store owner Clarke is not so intrigued. At a glance she sizes him up as an affluent jock and just the type she despises.  An incident in her past has made her very wary of this type. However, when Aaron sort of tricks her into being his date at two weddings, Clarke goes along.  Thus begins a fun romance.
 I really enjoyed the interplay between these two both in terms of snarky comments and sexual tension. Aaron quickly realizes he needs to be Aaron and not Wylde if he’s going to get anywhere with Clarke. Clarke is prickly, but she sees the good side of him and enjoys being around him. When they both reveal how their past lives have affected them it gives them a bond. However, Aaron has been able to move on  but Clarke still carries deep scars from her experience. At times, she seems unreasonable and make some bad decisions, but this is a romance and that is to be expected.  It also makes it extra spicy when they finally get it together.
Besides these two great characters, I enjoyed all of the glimpses of the lives of the Vengeance players and their significant others. Big things happen in this book. I can’t wait for the next one!

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Blocked by Jami Davenport

 In this latest Seattle Sockeye’s entry, Ms. Davenport continues her sub series, Scoring. The brothers are a group of guys who were friends in the AHL and are now called up to the NHL. The most recent to come up is Axel, the handsome man about town, whose reputation is as a major player. Unknowingly having a one night fling with the wife of his new teams back up goalie, Jock, does not endear him to the Sockeye’s team. To add to this Sh*t sundae, Axel gets one look at Jock’s sister, Geneva, and falls hard. 

I loved how Miss Davenport started all this. Could somebody be in any more of a disastrous situation and find a way to stay on the team and get the girl ? What follows is a man seeing his lifelong dream of being in the NHL possibly going up in smoke and thinking he met the one girl for him who is also unattainable. Watching Axel humble himself and work his butt off to become accepted by the team but yet put on the charm to get Geneva was really entertaining.

Although Axel and Geneva’s romance is the highlight of the book and very very hot, Jock’s story is interwoven throughout. It’s hard not to feel bad for a guy whose wife is such a loser and whose marriage blows up in such a spectacular way in front of his teammates.

There is plenty of romance in this book as well as a mysterious relationship for Kaden, general stupidity for some of the guys and an interesting vignette with Steele and a group of undercover female cops.

As always, there are enough teasers to make you want the next book to come out as soon as possible so you can see what happens!

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Rafe by Sawyer Bennett

I love a second chance romance. 
 In the story Rafe, a player for the Arizona Vengeance, asked to be traded to the Carolina Cold Fury when he discovers his father is terminally ill. Going back home not only gives him a chance to be with his dad, but also to reconnect with his first love Calliope. She has remained close to his parents and is willing to be a support for Rafe but nothing more. Years ago Rafe made the lamebrain decision to leave Calliope behind ”for her own good”. Needless to say, he thought he was doing the right thing but she was crushed.
This story was really about closure in mending relationships on so many levels. Although Rafe loves his dad, his father being a workaholic meant he wasn’t there for a lot of Rafe's athletic career. Rafe also had to work out his feelings for Calliope and come to terms with what his rash decision caused in her life and his.

Although the theme of the book is sad, it was enjoyable to see the Cold Fury players back in the book. That is not to say that the Vengeance players didn’t have their part too. This is especially true of Wylde who had some surprisingly emotional advice for Rafe. All in all, a small book with big feels.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Code Name: Hacker by Sawyer Bennett

I'm so glad to see a book featuring Bebe, the kick ass hacker for Jameson Security Force.

 In this, the 4th book in an excellent romantic suspense series, Bebe meets Griff, a handsome biker type. Given that she spent time in prison when she hacked the Feds and allowed herself to get caught to avoid giving nuclear codes to a possible enemy, Bebe is leery about having a new relationship.  She has a son to protect, her mother and her new job which she loves.  But Griff is everything on her list...

Griff isn't just randomly in Bebe's circle. He's there on a mission to kill her actually. As they become more entangled, he has to reveal his true secret- he's FBI. Thus starts a whole cross/double cross story which could mean a real HEA for Griff and Bebe or just the opposite.
I enjoyed Bebe and Griff's romance and then their working together.  Both aspects had suspense-first as a reader you're thinking it's a killer falls for target theme, then it's a can they avoid being killed together theme. During all this the two are heating up the pages which just makes the suspense higher because now, you are invested in these two.

Running through all of the book in the background is the everyday goings on of the  Jameson people and especially concern about  Malik, a fellow team member who is missing and possibly dead. Those of us who have read Ms. Sawyer's Cold Fury hockey series, remember Malik as the brother of Max Fournier, team goalie.  Again, another layer adding to the suspense.
Like previous books in the series, this one has a solid romance, enough suspense to make it an unstoppable page turner, and a tease for the next book.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Code Name: Heist by Sawyer Bennett

Code Name: Heist (Jameson Force Security, #3)Code Name: Heist by Sawyer Bennett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I listened to the audio version of this book. Joe Arden and McKenzie Cartwright do an excellent job telling us the story of Saint and Sin. Years ago the two were lovers while they were involved in high level thefts. Sin set up Saint and caused his arrest and subsequent imprisonment in order to save his life. Saint is now working for Jameson and is sent into an undercover situation involving a worldwide theft ring led by a pretty bad guy. Imagine his surprise when he walks into his first meeting and sees Sin sitting at the table. Working together gives them time to talk about the past and work through her actions in the past. In a fast-paced story, their romance is flourishing in spite of the danger they find themselves in. Everything comes full circle before they can find their HEA.

The narrators do an excellent job of retelling the past while keeping the present time storyline moving right along. Tension is high both because of the dangerous job and the reawakening of old feelings between the two onetime lovers.. The various accents are well done and consistent. The narration added to my enjoyment of this book.

While this book is primarily Saint and Sin’s story, there is enough side action going on to set up future possibilities. Like the first two books in the series this one leaves you wanting the next one to come sooner rather than later!

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