Glory, Glory and Snowbound With the Bodyguard Reviews

Today’s review is for a double edition Kate got to review from NetGalley.  This review contains two books:  Glory, Glory by Linda Lael Miller and Snowbound With the Bodyguard by Carla Cassidy.  The two books contain 416 pages together. Please make sure you read down to the second review, because it is so much better than the first book!

 
Glory, Glory: Snowbound with the Bodyguard
Glory, Glory by Linda Lael Miller
Grade: D
Hotness Level: Blaze
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary
Published: 10/1/13 (Glory, Glory originally copyrighted in 1990)
Reviewed by Kate
 
Glory is returning to her hometown for her mother’s wedding.  10 years ago, she was blackmailed into leaving town without telling her boyfriend Jesse that she was pregnant and giving the little baby girl up for adoption (please tell me you see where this is going).  That’s right.  The first time Glory sees Jesse’s orphaned niece (who was adopted by Jesse’s older brother) she just knows that it’s her little girl-the little girl Liza looks just like a picture of Glory’s great-grandma. 
 
There is so much that I wanted to like about this book.  I love secret baby books and I had such high hopes.  Sadly, this one came off more as a soap opera than a romance.  Why, you ask? 
 

Signs this book may really be a soap opera:
  1. No one questions Glory’s claim that Liza is her daughter, everyone believes her.  There are no blood tests and no one searches the adoption records.  Glory confronts Jesse (who, remember, didn’t even know about the pregnancy), blaming him from keeping Liza from her all these years.  And while confused, even he believes her,
  2. Jesse is a border-line cheater.  He tells his girlfriend that they need to slow things down a bit (and rumor has it he had already bought a ring for her) then proceeded to come on to Glory later than night.  When Glory doesn’t give in right away (can you believe she actually had some backbone?) he makes a date for a few days later.  He’s also the king of “I know you said ‘stop’ but we both know what you really want.”  Oh, and he doesn’t officially break up with his girlfriend until after he’s slept with Glory,
  3. Glory decides that leaving again may be what’s actually best for little Liza, but manages to get a few shags in with Jesse on the way out of town.  No one finds time for nookie quite like a soap opera.  And finally,
  4. Jesse and Glory are finally brought together because Liza asked her dead parents (Jesse’s brother and sister-in-law) to make it happen.

 
I struggled to rate this book.  It was pretty terrible as far as romances go, but I actually found so much of it to be really funny (although I don’t think it was written with that intent).  Unfortunately, I think fans of secret babies and fans for Miller’s more recent books will be disappointed in this book.
 
***
Snowbound With the Bodyguard by Carla Cassidy
Grade: B
Hotness Level: Blaze
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary
Published: 10/1/13 (Snowbound with the Bodygurard originally published in 2008)

Reviewed by Kate

 
Janette was raped by the town sheriff and had little Sammy as a result.  The sheriff hasn’t paid any attention to her since the attack, until he hears she had a little boy.  Now he wants his son.  Janette takes Sammy and runs, but gets stuck in a small town in the middle of a huge snowstorm.  With no place left to turn, she heads to the only place with a light on-West Protection Agency.  Dalton West has been protecting his heart by closing himself off to everything but work.  Janette threatens to crack the shell he’s built around his heart, but he has no choice but to offer her a place to ride out the storm-both outside and in her personal life.
 
Strong, gruff, and at times abrupt, Dalton was the perfect counterpart to sweet determined Janette.  Add a scumbag of a villain and just enough suspense to keep me up late at night turning pages and you have yourself a solid, well written romance.  Although this is the first book I’ve read by Carla Cassidy, it definitely will not be my last!

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Short Rides by Lorelei James

Short Rides (Rough Riders, #14.5)
Grade-B+
Hotness Level-Inferno
Kink Level-Moderate
Series-Rough Riders #14.5
Reviewed by Kay

Let me start by saying that this will be a joint review between Kate and I. We have each done a review with Anne but not one together. I’m super excited about it! We’ll each give our reviews, a list of our faves of the series and our not so much faves. I hope you enjoy the review as much as we enjoyed the book and writing it.

This novel has three separate parts-

The King Of Hearts is about Cam McKay who is the deputy of this hometown since his discharge from the armed services. He was badly wounded and ended up with part of one leg and hand amputated. On Valentine’s Day there is a murder suicide committed and he is on the scene. It was very disturbing because of the nature and brutality of the crime. It also talked about PTSD and getting treatment for it. It was okay for me but a little preachy about gun control. I did enjoy his scenes with the kiddos.

Rough Road was about Trevor, Edgard and Chassie Glazner. They are a committed triad. If you are unfamiliar with that, it means they are all lovers in a committed relationship. They all have children together and raise them together. This story deals with prejudice against their lifestyle involving their son. He’s bullied by a child at school and he questions his parents about what the “F” words means.
I do want to point out that the parents of the bully were worst case opinion people. Not every one who disagrees with someone’s lifestyle is a jerk about it. I loved the support they got from their extended family and the lovely vacation they got to take.

All Knocked Up is about Jack and Keely Donohue who are awaiting the arrival of baby number one. Between work schedules and pregnancy hormones it’s a wild ride. The bonus to this story is that we get multiple babies!

I enjoyed all three stories and can’t wait for the next installment in this wonderful series.

My personal favorites in order are (I didn’t rate the novellas):
Raising Kane
All Jacked Up
Cowgirls Don’t Cry
Chasin’ Eight
Rough, Raw and Ready
Kissin’ Tell
Branded As Trouble
Cowgirl Up And Ride
Tied Up, Tied Down
Long Hard Ride
Shoulda Been A Cowboy
Rode Hard, Put Up Wet
Cowboy Casanova
Gone Country

Don’t get me wrong, I liked them all but some more than others. Now, on to Kate.

What does a series that already has 14 full length books (#15 is slated to be released on 6/18) and 2 novellas need? *waiving hand in the air* OOH, ooh, pick me. I know. An anthology containing a short story and two novellas!

King of Hearts featuring  Cam and Domini left me feeling a bit flat. It gives a glimpse of their home life, but it was lacking the heat that I’ve come to expect from a Rough Riders book.   D, blaze

Rough Roads revisits Chassie, Trevor and Edgard as they celebrate their anniversary and deal with issues their oldest son is having at school. I loved this one.  B+, inferno

All Knocked Up follows Jack and Keely through the end of her first pregnancy. This one made me laugh out loud. B, inferno.

For those of us waiting for the next installment in the Rough Riders series these stories will help fill the void and pass the time. I’m curious to find out how many of you are riding the Rough Riders train? What was your favorite book so far?

Kate’s favorites in order:

I’ve not listed them before and it was funny because some of them I actually felt my lip curl just reading the title. And Kissin’ Tell would have been a few spots lower on the list except for Lorelei James’ masterful use of a trampoline 🙂 Makes me smile every time I think about it. I’m curious to know what your favorites are.

1. Rough, Raw and Ready
2. Raising Kane
3. Tied Up, Tied Down
4. Branded As Trouble
5. Cowgirl Up and Ride
6. Strong, Silent Type
7. Cowboy Casanova
8. Kissin’ Tell
9. Should Been A Cowboy
10. Cowgirls Don’t Cry
11. Gone Country
12. All Jacked Up
13. Long Hard Ride
14. Rode Hard, Put Up Wet
15. Chasin’ Eight

Cherished by Maya Banks and Lauren Dane

Cherished (Includes: Delicious, #1)

This book contains two novellas
Exiled by Maya Banks and Sway by Lauren Dane
Grade-DNF/A+
Hotness Level-Inferno/Inferno
Kink Level-moderate/moderate
Series-Sway is #1 of the Delicious series, a spin off of the Brown Siblings books
Reviewed by Anne

Exiled by Maya Banks made me feel dirty, and not in a good way.  I didn’t like the way the heroine was coerced into spending what she thought would be 6 months with the hero and his 3 closest friends.  I might have been more accepting of this in a fantasy setting, especially if the heroine was less innocent and more aware of what she was getting into.  I didn’t like the way it made me feel.  At Dear Author they’ve discussed reader consent as an important part of what makes coercion in a sexual setting seem ok or not.  I think that reader consent is what was missing for me.  I didn’t finish reading the book.  I don’t think it was bad, it just wasn’t a story for me.

On the other hand, Sway by Lauren Dane pushed all the right buttons for me.  Daisy is a 24 year old artist, devoted friend and all around good person.  (She is one of Gillian’s circle of friends we met in the book Never Enough.)  Levi is a 40 year old lawyer.  He meets her in a dance class his brother’s fiance badgers him into attending.  They are instantly attracted to each other.  Here’s one of the first passages that caught me.  Daisy has noticed Levi likes to be in charge as they dance and talk and she is commenting on it.

“Do you like telling people what to do? Just to see how they react?” …
“I prefer it when their reaction is obedience.” A flush roared through her, hot and wild.
 

They enjoy a few dances and then go their separate ways, but after bumping into each other around town a few more times they get together for supper.  They realize the chemistry between them is off the scales.  Daisy also realizes that playing submissive (though they never really discuss it in those terms) to Levi really turns her crank.  So as their relationship develops, they have D/s roles while having sex.  Outside of sex, Levi appreciates Daisy’s maturity and independence.

This is a low conflict/no villian romance, which I really love.  The conflict comes from them figuring out how they can be together, and Levi working through some issues with his family.  That was very believable to me.  I can’t wait for more of this series and look forward to reading the next story, Tart, soon!  Unfortunately this series is in trade paperback, which puts it out of my price range.  I borrowed this book from the library and have a hold on Tart.  If I get some book money for Christmas, I just might splurge and buy it, though.