Showing posts with label Raeanne Thayne. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Raeanne Thayne. Show all posts

Monday, December 2, 2013

Xmas Reads: RaeAnne Thayne, Kelly Hunter, Shirlee McCoy, L.B. Gregg

Christmas in Snowflake Canyon (Hope's Crossing #6) by RaeAnne Thayne
No one has ever felt sorry for Genevieve Beaumont. After all, she has everything money can buy. That is, until she discovers her fiancé has been two-timing her and she's left with two choices: marry the philanderer to please her controlling father or be disinherited and find a means to support herself.

Genevieve's salvation appears in the most unlikely of prospects: Dylan Caine, a sexy, wounded war vet whose life is as messy as hers. Dylan's struggling to adjust after his time in Afghanistan, and the last thing he needs is a spoiled socialite learning about the real world for the first time. True, she may have unexpected depths and beauty to match. But he knows he could never be the man she needs…and she knows he could never be the man she thinks she wants. So why are they each hoping that a Christmas miracle will prove them both wrong?
Christmas in Snowflake Canyon is the sixth installment in the Hope's Crossing series by RaeAnne Thayne, however in my opinion, as a holiday piece it can pretty much be read as a stand alone and it works beautifully as a Christmas story. I only read the first book of this series and had no problem enjoying the story.

Genevieve is Mayor Beaumont's spoiled daughter and her reputation around town is that of a 'cold bitch' with more beauty than brains whose ex-groom cheated on her right before their big wedding two years prior to this story. She and Dylan Caine, a physically and psychologically scarred war vet, meet during a bar fight where Genevieve ends up punching the local District Attorney as Dylan comes to her rescue -- it's a great beginning to the story. They are both arrested and agree to one hundred hours of community service at the local center for war veterans, A Warrior's Hope, and the romance begins.

This is truly a heartwarming Christmas story. It's most definitely a romance, but it's also about Genevieve slow growth as a person, her redemption, and Dylan's slow progression towards healing. I found the building friendship between these two different people both entertaining and sweet, and Thayne struck the right tone and pacing as she developed the romance and yearning between Dylan and Gen. This is definitely an enjoyable holiday read. Grade: B

The Night Before Christmas by Kelly Hunter
In this Christmas prequel novella by USA TODAY Bestselling author Kelly Hunter, meet estranged sweethearts Jess and Boyd…

Hardworking and independent Jess Turner has come home from the bustle of Sydney to enjoy a quiet Christmas. But after running into an old school friend, she finds herself talked into attending a lavish Christmas Eve party—and running straight into the only man to ever break her heart.

Rebel with a heart Boyd Webber thrives on the adrenaline rush of riding motorbikes for a living, but giving into love has never been a risk worth taking. Until he sees Jess again. Their chemistry is still electric and Boyd can't give up the chance to rekindle what they once had. But if they're going to have a future together, they'll have to find a way to get past old hurts in time for Christmas Day…
As it says in the summary above, this Christmas novella is a prequel to Kelly Hunter's "What the Bride Didn't Know." Jess and Boyd were best friends from childhood until high school, and fell in love when they were teenagers. Boyd, however, broke up with Jess during their senior year in high school. Now, as adults, they are both back home and attending a fancy Christmas party at the West home with old friends Jared, Trig, and Lena. Is the love still there? Can Jess forgive him for walking away from their friendship?

I loved the sections of this novella that had to do with the romance between Jess and Boyd. Their reunion, love, and real friendship jumped out of the pages and satisfying enough, but too short. Why? Well, this short novella was divided between their romance and sections dedicated to young versions of Jared, Trig, and Lena, and although it was cute to read about them 'then,' their section wasn't meaty enough to keep my interest and it took the much needed focus away from Jess and Boyd. Regardless, a cute Christmas novella. Grade: C

The House on Main Street (Apple Valley #1) by Shirlee McCoy
Interior designer Tessa McKenzie has built a good life far from her Washington hometown. She intends to get back to it—as soon as she sells the cluttered Victorian house and antiques shop she inherited from her sister, Emily. But leaving Apple Valley a second time won't be so easy. There's her grieving nephew, Alex, to consider. And there's Sheriff Cade Cunningham, the adolescent crush who could easily break her heart again if she let him.

To Cade, Tessa was simply his high school sweetheart's kid sister. But now there's no denying she's a beautiful and caring grown woman, one he'd like to get to know. Except that Tessa is determined to leave again. If Cade wants to change her mind, he'll have to show her that small-town life has its lovable side—and that he does too. Most of all, he'll have to convince Tess they're good together, and that every step has led her right where she was always meant to be…
The House on Main Street is one of those Christmas romances that takes place in a small town that's almost too good to be true -- picture post card perfect. Tessa returns to town after her sister and brother-in-law are killed and name her guardian to her nephew Alex, a 10 year-old with autism, and she also inherits the old Victorian home on Main Street where they started an antique shop that turns out to be more of a dump. The conflicts in this story come from Tessa's old feelings for her childhood friend Cade, who is now totally taken with her, and from childhood baggage.

Bickering between Tessa and her aunt is the word of the day in this story -- sometimes it's funny, but after a while the lack of communication gets tiring. And talking about communication, I know that Tessa doesn't know anything about 10 year olds or kids with autism, but a little initial effort on her part would have gone a long way -- maybe calling the school? Talking and/or listening to Alex? The romance is better in a heartwarming sort of way. I did like Tess, though, and also liked Cade a lot, and the story about the missing "angel" and introduction of the townspeople was nice enough with that Christmas(y) flavor. McCoy writes inspirational romances, but don't expect anything overtly inspirational in this Christmas story, in that respect it strikes the right tone. Grade: C

How I Met Your Father by L.B. Gregg
Former boy band member Justin Hayes isn’t looking for a man. He just wants a quiet, scandal-free Christmas at home in Chicago, out of the public eye. But his best friend and bandmate is subjecting everyone to his destination wedding, and Justin can’t dodge the “best man” bullet. All he has to do is get to the island on time, survive the reunion, and get Chuck to the altar with as little drama as possible. What could possibly go wrong?

Jack Bassinger’s own plans for a quiet Christmas have been dashed by the summons to his daughter’s hasty wedding with a man Jack has hardly met. On the bumpy flight to the island, he finds himself comforting a nervous—and extremely attractive—young man. One hasty sexual encounter in an airport bathroom later, they both feel much better. No one ever has to know, after all.

Now Justin and Jack must find a way to explore their attraction, despite the distractions of disapproving family members, unexpected announcements, an impromptu concert, and an island paradise that proves there’s no place like home.
Okay, I loved the premise for this novella -- it is the reason I wanted to read it in the first place. Justin and Jack meet on the airplane on their way to the Caribbean and when they arrive at the airport have hot, anonymous bathroom sex. To Justin's dismay, they meet again at his best friend's bachelor party where he finds out that Jack is the bride's father. Ooops! Life gets complicated! The old "boy band" performs, panties and pink condoms fly, a steamy hike gets out of control, family gets involved, and smitten Justin and super-hot Jack get it from all sides!

This was such a fun Christmas novella. The characters are great, the Caribbean atmosphere is wonderful, the situation is controlled chaos, and the story is amusing, hot, and definitely lived up to my expectations. Did I want more time with Justin and Jack? You bet! They are one hot May/December couple. Grade: B  

Additionally, 20% of all proceeds from How I Met Your Father are donated to the Ali Forney Center in New York, whose mission “is to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) youth from the harm of homelessness, and to support them in becoming safe and independent as they move from adolescence to adulthood.” To learn more about this charity or to donate directly, please visit

Monday, March 26, 2012

Review: Woodrose Mountain (Hope's Crossing #2) by RaeAnne Thayne

Evie Blanchard was at the top of her field in the city of angels. But when an emotional year forces her to walk away from her job as a physical therapist, she moves from Los Angeles to Hope's Crossing seeking a quieter life. So the last thing she needs is to get involved with the handsome, arrogant Brodie Thorne and his injured daughter, Taryn.A self-made man and single dad, Brodie will do anything to get Taryn the rehabilitation she needs…even if it means convincing Evie to move in with them. And despite her vow to keep an emotional distance, Evie can't help but be moved by Taryn's spirit, or Brodie's determination to win her help—and her heart. With laughter, courage and more than a little help from the kindhearted people of Hope's Crossing, Taryn may get the healing she deserves—and Evie and Brodie might just find a love they never knew could exist.
Woodrose Mountain by RaeAnne Thayne is a small-town romance. Small-town romances are popular at the moment and they all seem to have a few things in common: the small-town atmosphere, the town's occupants become an integral part of the romance, and kissing or petting are the set boundaries for sexual contact between the protagonists. All of the above mentioned apply to the Hope's Crossing series.

The romance in this second installment is between Evie Blanchard and Brodie Thorne, however I would say that there are actually three main characters. The third and very important central character is Taryn, Brodie's daughter. The central plot to this story revolves around Taryn, and the romance between Evie and Brodie, although integrated, takes the place of a secondary storyline.

Evie and Brodie dislike each other. Brodie's daughter Taryn is coming home and needs special home care and a physical therapist is a most. Evie is licensed physical therapist, but she no longer practices for personal reasons. She has found peace and a new passion in designing bead jewelry for the String Fever Boutique. When Brodie asks Evie to help him with his daughter, she turns him down flat.

Evie's reasons for turning down the job offer from Brodie are understandable, but Brodie's mother Katherine convinces her to help them set up a treatment plan for a two-week period. Taryn received severe brain injuries during a tragic automobile accident that left her severely incapacitated, one teenage girl dead, and Charlie Beaumont the town's pariah. Eventually Evie caves in, setting the stage for the romance and the story.

Most of the story that follows is all about Taryn and the physical and occupational therapy that eventually help her overcome some of the obstacles presented by her disabilities, plus the final emotional resolution to the accident that caused it all. The town and its inhabitants are all affected by Taryn's injuries, Layla's death and Charlie Beaumont's actions. As I've come to expect from this author, this section of the story is well executed, researched and developed by Thayne. Plus, if you are like me, you will find this storyline quite emotional -- a tear jerker! I recommend keeping a box of tissues by your side.

Unfortunately, the romance between Evie and Brodie takes a back seat and that lack of focus on the couple is felt throughout the story. Evie has personal baggage and she's reluctant to shed it for Brodie. Brodie is a bit of an enigma even at the end. We know that he cares for Evie because of his internal dialog and he seems to forgive her mistakes rather easily along the way. There's mention throughout the story that he suffers from ADD, but there's little proof of this. We do know that he's a concerned and loving father, but that sizzle and connection that the reader feels when a man loves a woman is lacking.

Woodrose Mountain is the second book in RaeAnne Thayne's contemporary romance series, Hope's Crossing. I have enjoyed category romances by this author in the past, and when offered this full-length novel for review could not pass up the opportunity of reading it. Although for me the romance is lukewarm and the couple lacks connection, as a small-town contemporary romance this story succeeds in that the town and its occupants become characters that the reader wants to know. As a big plus, the plot is well researched and interesting to the end.

In the end, Woodrose Mountain is one of those books where I love the writing and execution but wished for a bit more when it comes to the romance. A mixed bag.

Category: Contemporary Romance
Series: Hopes Crossing
Publisher/Release Date: HQN/April, 2012
Source: ARC PTA, Ruder Finn
Grade: B-

Visit RaeAnne Thayne here.

Blackberry Summer, Book 1
Woodrose Mountain, Book 2

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

TBR Review: Dalton's Undoing (Cowboys of Cold Creek #3) by RaeAnne Thaynne

TBR Challenge 2012 Theme:  Series Catch-Up

I have lots of series to catch up on. However since I already read the first book in the Cowboys of Cold Creek series by RaeAnne Thayne for this Challenge, I decided to end my curiosity about these brothers, and just read Dalton's Undoing, the third book in the original trilogy. I've had this book in my digital TBR for over a year, so it's about time!


He was known as a major player who'd left a swath of broken hearts across the Teton Valley. Yet when single mother Jenny Boyer saw the tenderness in Seth Dalton's eyes when he looked at her children--not to mention her--it was impossible for her to believe it was all a game.


She was new to this small town, a school principal who needed to be respected. The last man she should be getting involved with was the Hunk of Cold Creek! But every time Seth came near, Jenny could feel herself all of the women who'd come before her. So why did she hope that her story would have a different ending--as in, happily ever after?
Trope: The Womanizing Charmer and The Prissy School Principal

Dalton's Undoing is Seth's story. Seth is the youngest Dalton brother, and if Wade is serious and grumpy and Jake known to be studious, Seth is the charmer of the lot. He has a reputation in Cold Creek as a womanizer, date them and leave them, although of course he's not exactly a dog either. He's also a hardworking man, kind, giving and sensitive. But, that's not what Jenny hears when she eavesdrops on a conversation between two women at the school where she's the new school principal and immediately forms a negative opinion about this man.

Jenny Boyer recently moved to Cold Creek with her two children. She went through a terrible divorce that left her and her son traumatized and troubled. Moving to this new place in Idaho is the answer to her prayers, particularly for her troubled teenage son, but that doesn't last long. Her son steals Seth's GTO and goes for a joy ride, crashing the car. Jenny is surprised when Seth makes a deal with her, and instead of pressing charges, suggests that the boy pay for the damages to the car by working at his horse ranch. This agreement brings these two very different people together, as well as the Dalton/Boyer families.

Jenny is not Seth's type, but still finds himself attracted to her. He does what he has always done and tries to charm her. On the surface it doesn't work and Jenny rejects him even though she's attracted right back. Initially she becomes a challenge for Seth, but slowly he falls in love with her and with her children. Jenny is attracted to him from day one, however interestingly enough her concerns are not that she's a bit older than Seth or that she's not "good enough" for him, her concern is what "people might say/think" because he's the town bad boy and she's the school principal, God forbid!

This of course doesn't preclude Jenny from having a fling with Seth later. But even when she sees with her own eyes that Seth is a great man with her, her children, neighbors, and family, it doesn't make a difference to her. She rejects and hurts him over and over again, ashamed of being seen or connected with him. This is the real conflict of the story.

This is a HSP, and as such the story is very well developed. The background stories for both Jenny and Seth are well documented, and the children are given a great many pages in this story. This romance is a family affair. Seth develops a relationship with the children first while he plots Jenny's seduction, and although it is clear that he is to blame for his reputation, Thayne doesn't make Seth into a black/white, two dimensional character either.

Jenny on the other hand is pretty standard fare when it comes to heroine material. She is the classic prissy, judgmental, type of woman who jumps to conclusions and won't trust herself or her own eyes even when she says she loves, instead she trusts only when reassured by others. Her love is conditional and as such it doesn't really impress me as real or abiding. So, although Seth shows personal growth throughout the story, Jenny does not. The secondary characters are wonderful, the children in particular are excellent in their characterization, and they also show excellent personal growth in this story.

So how to rate this romance? I again enjoyed Thayne's rendering of her characters, they are flawed and in some ways realistic. I appreciate that. The horse ranch as part of the setting gives this story that wonderful contemporary western flavor I love and that's always a bonus. As the end to the original trilogy, Dalton's Undoing does a marvelous job of taking the whole family and closing a circle. I loved Seth's characterization (his undoing) and the way he falls for Jenny, for that alone this book is worth reading. So I do recommend the trilogy with Book #1 being the weakest, Book #2 the strongest, and this book, #3 falling in between.

Theme: Series Catch Up
March Review
Category: Contemporary Romance
Series: Cowboys of Cold Creek
Publisher/Released: Harlequin Special Ed/Jan 1, 2006- Kindle Ed.
Grade: B

Visit RaeAnne Thayne here

Light the Stars #1
Dancing in the Moonlight #2
Dalton's Undoing #3

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Quotes: March Favorite so far...

You all know I love my quotes. Here are a few I've chosen from the books I've either read, or I'm reading this month. The reason behind choosing them? Well, these either made me laugh, smile, or think, plus they will give you clues about the characters or the stories.

Family... it is a bitch. [...] Summer vacations...if you thought about it, what kind of people actually gathered together at a lake with cabins and all that crap anyway? Hadn't they ever watched Friday the 13th? Jason? Hockey masks? Machetes? A good time for me, yeah -- oh hell yeah -- but not as much for the members of your average Prius-driving middle class. 
Stupidity is everywhere. [Cal - Doubletake by Rob Thurman]

How could I be so petty? he wondered. It's only a word, right? He closed his eyes and tried to sleep, but the word seemed to be imprinted on his eyelids in flowing, femmy script.
His balls recoiled, drawing up into his body as if he'd just been plunged into a cold swimming pool. [Waafrneeaasuu!! from Strawberries and Other Erotic Fruits by Jerry L. Wheeler]

Even if you're not attracted to a woman, something in your blood compels you to conquer her, to find her weaknesses and exploit them until she surrenders to your charm like every other woman. 
That wasn't true. He didn't need to charm every female he came in contact with. He just happened to be a sociable kind of guy. [Seth - Dalton's Undoing by RaeAnne Thayne]

A man's fate, as you no doubt feel deeply in your present circumstances, is rarely in his own hands. But you have already shown, again and again, that you put duty before desire, as a man must. [Father - Purgatory by Jeff Man]

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

TBR Review: Light the Stars (Cowboys of Cold Creek #1) by RaeAnne Thayne

Wade Dalton was having a very bad day.

His five-year-old had accidentally set the kitchen on fire. His daughter was surly, as usual. The baby hadn't been fed yet. And his mother--aka "The Childminder"--had eloped...with a scam artist. Could it get any worse?

Turned out it could. Because the annoyingly beautiful daughter of said scam artist was now at the door, batting her doe eyes at him and proposing that she be his temporary nanny while awaiting the newlyweds' return. Could he trust her to be under his roof? Could he trust himself with her under his roof?
I've enjoyed reading RaeAnne Thayne stories these last few of years. In 2009 I read Dancing in the Moonlight, Book 2 of the original Cowboys of Cold Creek trilogy, and soon thereafter I purchased and read most of Thayne's back list. I still have a couple of them in my TBR. Light the Stars, Book 1 of the trilogy, was one of them.

I really like the way the story begins. It kept me reading:
On his thirty-six birthday, Wade Dalton's mother ran away.

She left him a German chocolate cake on the kitchen counter, two new paperback mysteries by a couple of his favorite authors and a short but succinct note in her loopy handwriting.


Happy birthday. I'm sorry I couldn't be there to celebrate with you but by the time you read this we'll be in Reno and I'll be the new Mrs. Quinn Montgomery.....
Wade Dalton owns and runs the Cold Creek Ranch, on top of that he's a widower with three children. His mother eloping with a stranger is a big concern, but having to care for the house and three small children on top of the ranch responsibilities leaves him angry, confused and feeling more than a little helpless. His mother has been taking care of his children for so long that Wade is clueless about them or how to care of them.

In comes Caroline Montgomery, the new groom's daughter. Caroline was Marjorie Dalton's life coach. Unfortunately, Marjorie somehow met Caroline's scheming father and the two eloped together. Hoping to stop the marriage and what she suspects is another grift planned by her father, Caroline rushes from Los Angeles to Cold Creek, but arrives too late to stop the elopement.

Instead she finds a furious and suspicious Wade Dalton as he tries to deal with two little boys and a crazy situation. Feeling guilty over her unwitting role and her father's possible actions, Caroline basically pushes her way into Wade's life and volunteers to take care of the children until Marjorie returns. After much ado, he agrees and pretty soon she's close to the children and tempting Wade out of his celibate status.

The relationship between Wade and Caroline begins with suspicion oozing from Wade and guilt from Caroline. As they share family moments, Caroline realizes that Wade doesn't really know his children and as she makes him aware of these facts their attraction for each other grows. Wade reluctantly admits the attraction, basically because he has only been in love once and that was with his now deceased wife. He uses his suspicions of Caroline to keep a distance between them and goes the distance to the end. On the other hand, initially Caroline is giving with Wade and the children out of guilt for what she sees as her role in her father's possible future criminal plans, and pretty quickly falls in love with both the children and the father.

There's very little warmth to Wade since he spends most of the story coming off as an angry bear, and although there's plenty of warmth to Caroline, she somehow comes off as pushy particularly since their time together is so short. The timeline doesn't help to make this relationship really workable or believable. The connection between these two characters is tenuous and that's probably due to Wade's angry personality and the fact that he suppresses and negates his feelings for most of the story.

I really enjoyed the ranch setting and the wonderful extended family. Wade has two brothers, Jake and Seth, and his children who play an integral role in this story are quite cute, particularly the two little boys. The Daltons had an interesting childhood and that is touched on in this first book of the trilogy. Secondary characters are kept to family members and they play peripheral roles in this story, so the focus stays firmly on the couple and the family.

The stories I've read by Thayne have had some depth to them, and although in this instance I still enjoyed the writing style, Light the Stars is not one of those stories, and in that respect it was disappointing. This is an enjoyable read up to a point, but it turned out to be standard fare with an aggressively suspicious hero, and a heroine that's not only quite forgiving of his crankiness and unfair behavior, but actually seemed to yearn for it once things came to a head between them.

I think it is fortunate that I read the second book of this trilogy first. Regardless, having read Thayne's other works, I still look forward to reading Seth's story, Dalton's Undoing, the 3rd book in this trilogy -- another book that I also have in my "to be read" pile. Maybe this year!

Theme: Category Romance
January Review
Category: Contemporary Romance
Series: Cowboys of Cold Creek
Publisher/Release Date: Harlequin/May 24, 2010-Kindle Ed.
Grade: C-

Visit RaeAnne Thayne here.

Original Cowboys of Cold Creek Trilogy:
Light the Stars, #1
Dancing in the Moonlight, #2
Dalton's Undoing, #3

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cowboys & More Cowboys!

I mentioned in my last weekly post that I was reading Kathleen Eagle's, Once A Father and as it turned out I took it with me on my vacation, well.. that story stayed with me. In that same post I mentioned Wendy's great post Contemporary Cowboys: The New Black? and sure enough that also stayed in my mind throughout last week. I'm a huge fan of westerns, cowboys and ranchers, both in historical and contemporary romances. I've already read or have some of the books Wendy highlighted in my "to be read" pile... but there's more, Wendy said! So when I returned home I went hunting..., and sure enough I found some. :D

In addition to Kathleen Eagle's series and the great books Wendy posted, I found a few upcoming October releases by the Harlequin Silhouette Special Editions line that caught my eye. There are more out there, but I think the following are great additions. These authors have some great backlists, and the upcoming books are part of series about well-loved cowboys and ranchers. Well, the contemporary type, anyway.

Kathleen Eagle

Once a Father is the fourth book and Kathleen Eagle's new addition to her latest contemporary Western American series. The first book in this series features a sheriff, the second a washed-up rodeo cowboy, the third a Native American medicine man, or rodeo physician's assistant, and this last story an "Indian cowboy" as a hero. The female protagonists are also quite interesting: a hardworking nurse, two female ranchers and an army sargeant. So if you enjoy this current release, there are three other books out there to read and hopefully love. In order:
  • In Care of Sam Beaudry - 2010 RITA Award Finalist
  • One Cowboy, One Christmas
  • Cool Hand Hank
  • Once a Father - September 2010 release
You can visit Kathleen Eagle at her website for more information on her impressive backlist.

As far as October goes, Silhouette Special Edition has a quite a few new releases about those glorious cowboys and ranchers we all love. I'm highlighting three of them.

RaeAnne Thayne

New October 2010 Release

From RaeAnne Thayne, a personal favorite, there's a new release and the last book about the Wilder Ranch from her latest Cowboys of Cold Creek trilogy. In order:
  • A Cold Creek Homecoming 
  • A Cold Creek Secret
  • A Cold Creek Babyexcerpt here.
I've read a few of the older books from this series and enjoyed them and Thayne's writing style. I already have "A Cold Creek Homecoming" and will read it soon. Now I just need to catch up and purchase both "A Cold Creek Secret" and "A Cold Creek Baby." :)

You can find a complete list of RaeAnne Thane's Cowboys of Cold Creek series and other books by visiting her website.

Crystal Green

New October 2010 Release

From Crystal Green, there's a new addition to the Montana Mavericks: Thunder Canyon Cowboys series. This is the fourth installment in a continuity series written by different authors. In order:
  • McFarlane’s Perfect Bride by Christine Rimmer  
  • Taming the Montana Millionaire by Teresa Southwick 
  • From Doctor…to Daddy by Karen Rose Smith
  • When the Cowboy Said, “I Do” by Crystal Green - Excerpt here.
AND, if you like the Harlequin Blaze line, this author has a tempting back title that I'll definitely be checking out, featuring a sexy cowboy... One for the Road. Excerpt here.

You can find out more about Crystal Green, plus a complete list of her books by visiting her website here.

Lois Faye Dyer

New October 2010 Release
And from Lois Faye Dyer you can get in on the first book of what looks like the start of the new Big Sky Brothers miniseries. This looks like a great story about the prodigal cowboy returning to the ranch and his old love. It's set in Montana, one of my favorite places! So yeah... definitely going to get this one. :)
  • Cade Coulter's Return - summary here.
Additionally, Lois Faye Dyer has other series and single title books featuring ranchers/cowboys including a series she began writing in 2006 and was still actively adding titles to in 2009, The McClouds of Montana.

You can find a list of those titles by visiting Lois Faye Dyer's website here.

I think that's plenty to keep me happy for a little while. :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Review: Dancing in the Moonlight by Raeanne Thayne

Lieutenant Magdalena Cruz had come home... And though all she wanted was to be alone, infuriatingly handsome Dr. Jake Dalton -- of the enemy Daltons -- would not cooperate. And she needed him to, because the walls around her heart were dangerously close to crumbling every time he came near...

Jake had spent most of his life trying to get closer to Maggie, with little to show for it. But she was the woman he'd always wanted, and no injury in the world could change that. Now if only he could convince her that the woman who stood before him was beautiful, desirable, whole... and meant to be his...

Dr. Jake Dalton is part of the ranching family of the Cold Creek Daltons. He and his two brothers, Wade and Seth, survived their childhood with their tough and dishonest father, Hank. They have all built lives they can be proud of and none more than Jake, who is now the dedicated and hardworking sole physician in Pine Gulch. Despite all these accomplishments, Jake is a lonely man who spends his days working long hours and takes little time for himself.

Maggie Cruz is home. After a tour of duty in Afghanistan that ended in the loss of a limb, numerous surgeries and five months of rehabilitation at the Walter Reed Army Hospital, Maggie is ready for some tender loving care. Rancho de la Luna and her mother Viviana can provide that for her, and frankly she doesn't feel she has too many options at the moment. With her nursing career at an end and her self-confidence in tatters, is there a better place to hide than home? Maggie is not taking Jake into consideration.

There is a history between Maggie and Jake. They grew up together and although both their fathers are dead, what happened between them still affects Maggie's view of Jake and his family. Her contempt for all things Dalton is evident from their first meeting early in the book and Jake seems to be her focus. Jake on the other hand can't stay away from Maggie -- he always had feelings for her and now she's back, in obvious pain and needs him. He's not about to stay away.

Dancing in the Moonlight has that 'secret crush' trope that I love to read in this type of romance. Thayne does an excellent job of bringing these two characters together and developing their relationship. The fact that they've known each other their whole lives helps with the development and gives them the background history needed to make the romance a believable one.

Maggie's struggle through her physical and emotional trauma was both believable and touching. Her cluelessness when it came to Jake's feelings was also understandable under the circumstances. She was carrying a lot of baggage and we share Maggie's growth by seeing her go through different phases: pain, insecurity, stubbornness, pride and self-awareness. Jake's persistence, patience and understanding were just what Maggie needed. He was a wonderful hero, if a tad too perfect at times. Neither an alpha nor a beta, Jake certainly knew what to say and when to say it. I liked him and wanted him to get his woman.

There is a sense of community in the book as secondary characters are kept in the periphery, with Maggy's mother, Viviana, and her uncle, Guillermo, highlighted within the story. The focus is kept squarely on the couple as is customary in these romances.

It has been a long time since I read a Silhouette I wanted to recommend -- Dancing in The Moonlight is that book. Needless to say I enjoyed it and will not only check Thayne's back list, but I'm also looking forward to her new release.

Dancing in the Moonlight is part of Raeanne Thayne's Silhouette Special Edition Cowboys, Cold Creek series. This is Book #2 in the original trilogy featuring the Dalton brothers: Light The Stars (Book #1) and Dalton's Undoing (Book #3).

Ms. Thayne has an extensive back list of Silhouette Special Editions, Silhouette Suspense and Silhouette Intimate Moments books. A Cold Creek Homecoming, a new Cowboys, Cold Creek series release is scheduled for September 2009.

You can visit the author here.