Book Review: Up Close and Dangerous by Linda Howard

My childhood friend has been pushing me to read a Linda Howard book for months now and I finally caved.

SYNOPSIS

Bailey Wingate’s scheming adult stepchildren are surprised when their father’s will leaves Bailey in control of their fortune, and war ensues. A year later, while flying from Seattle to Denver in a small plane, Bailey nearly dies herself when the engine sputters — and then fails.

Cam Justice, her sexy Texan pilot, manages to crash-land the aircraft. Stranded in the wilderness, and struggling to douse her feelings for the ruggedly handsome man by her side, Bailey begins to wonder whether this was a mere accident. Who tampered with their plane? Who’s trying to reunite Bailey and her husband in the afterlife? Cut off from the world, and with little hope of rescue, Bailey must trust her life — and heart — to Cam, as they battle the harsh elements to find a way out of the unforgiving wilds and back to civilization … where a killer may be waiting to finish the job.

BOOK INFORMATIONBOOK LINKS
Title: Up Close and Dangerous
Author: Linda Howard
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication date: 29 April 2008
Genre: Romantic Suspense,
Survival, Mysterty
Goodreads
Amazon
Barnes&Nobles
Book Depository


THOUGHTS AND RATINGS

“You can,” he interrupted. “You’re going to. We’ll take things slow, ease you into the concept. I understand you’re dealing with childhood baggage, and that’s the kind that’s hard to unpack. But sooner or later you’ll trust me, and accept that someone cares about you.”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Bailey is a 32-year-old widow from Seattle with huge walls around her heart. She was involved in a brief marriage of convenience and when her husband died she was forced to deal with his two very spoiled, irresponsible, and pain-in-the-ass adult children – Seth and Tamzin. To take a break from them she decided to go to Denver for a much-needed vacation. She then made the decision to use a private plane from J&L Executive Air Limo where we finally meet the handsome and sexy as hell PILOT Cam Justice.

Bailey and Cam don’t really have a good opinion of each other… well they HATED one another. Bailey considers him a grim sourpuss while Cam thinks she’s cold and stuck up. So none of them were very thrilled about being stuck on a long flight with each other. Then lo and behold, something happens with the engines, and they crash into the middle of nowhere and only have one another to depend on.

I loved the connection that grew between Cam and Bailey as they struggled for days to survive. As Cam got better (after almost dying) he started making moves both verbally and physically on Bailey which was very fun to read to since at first, they hated each other and when all the misunderstandings were gone, they started to understand each other. Cam was a kind; funny, caring guy and perfect for Bailey because he didn’t give up on her and encouraged her to open up to him without pushing her to her limits. When she finally realized that she was feeling love towards Cam it just felt so satisfying to read after everything they went through but I felt like I needed to see a little bit more of the romance between them. I was hoping for an epilogue of some sort where they get married and so on cause it felt a little rushed in the end.

I actually enjoyed this book more than I thought I would when I started it. When I read the synopsis I was expecting it to have more mystery and suspense with them thinking about who the culprit was and so on. But I actually really liked the survival concept that this had. When the plane crashed in that cold mountain I felt like I was there almost freezing with them. Also, the revelation at the end shocked me cause I DID NOT see that coming.

Up Close and Dangerous is the 1st book I’ve read from Linda Howard and it certainly won’t be the last cause I am intrigued with her other books and I can’t wait to get to the rest of them (since I practically got 13 books of hers for free.)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Linda S. Howington is an American best-selling romance author writing under the pseudonym Linda Howard. After 21 years of penning stories for her own enjoyment, she submitted a novel for publication which was very successful. Her first work was published by Silhouette in 1982. She is a charter member of Romance Writers of America and in 2005 Howard was awarded their Career Achievement Award.

Linda Howard lives in Gadsden, Alabama with her husband, Gary F. Howington, and two golden retrievers. She has three grown stepchildren and three grandchildren.

⛰️Author Website ⛰️Amazon ⛰️Goodreads

Advertisement

Book Review: A Nordic King by Karina Halle

This is my first Karina Halle book and it features one of my new favorite tropes – Single Dad and Nanny romance. ♡ 

SYNOPSIS

A widowed father of two little girls. The beautiful nanny he’s hired to raise them. A forbidden romance unlike any other. A Nordic King is the newest standalone royal romance from the New York Times Bestselling author of The Pact and The Swedish Prince.

When I first applied for the job I thought it would be like all the others: working as a nanny for an aristocratic family. Then I got the job and found out how wrong I was.

Now I’m the new nanny for two adorable little girls who happen to be princesses.

Their father is the widowed King of Denmark. And my new home? The royal palace in Copenhagen. Adjusting to my new life isn’t easy but the hardest part hasn’t been the girls who still grieve over the loss of their mother.

It’s their father.

Cold, mysterious and moody, with an icy stare that seems to penetrate your soul, King Aksel may have hired me to take care of his daughters but he wants as little to do with me as possible.

Yet the longer I share these palace walls with this man, the more that I’m drawn to him. His chiseled face and sexual swagger are only part of the package. It’s in the long, intense glances at the dinner table, the way we’ll brush up against each other in the halls, the rare glimpses of the man deep inside, like the sun passing through clouds.

But no matter how I feel about him, we can never be together.

You think it’s bad enough being in love with your boss?

Try falling in love with a king.

BOOK INFORMATIONBOOK LINKS
Title: A Nordic King
Author: Karina Halle
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 20 September 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance,
Royal Romance, New Adult
Goodreads
Amazon
Barnes&Nobles

THOUGHTS & RATING

“I’ve waited forty years to have a home,” he says softly.

“I’ve waited for you.”

⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

I have discovered that I am slowly becoming a fan of books with single dad’s so when I read the synopsis of this and found out that not only is it a single dad story but it’s also a single dad and nanny slow burn romance AND (it doesn’t end there) it is also a story with royals in it. I mean who wouldn’t right?

This story is about Aurora who just resigned from her recent nanny job in Paris and is looking for a change of pace. She thought that it might be better to take a break from her previous work BUT her advisor, Amelia, has a very good job offer for her with a “prominent” family in Denmark. After working for a lot of influential and famous families Aurora didn’t think twice and accepted the offer not knowing that she will be taking care of the 2 daughters of Aksel which is… the King of Denmark.

This story really hit me with that prologue. I felt so much emotion from Aksel (which I won’t be talking about cause I don’t want to spoil anyone) which made me understand more why he is acting the way he is around people, especially Aurora.

Aksel and Aurora had such a good chemistry. They balanced each other so well since Aksel was very grumpy and closed off while Aurora was a badass and outgoing character that was very infectious at times (maybe that’s why she was a very good Nanny). This was a slow burn romance but you cannot deny the sexual tension between them.

There is an age gap between the 2 of them but Aurora throughout the story felt very matured because of her experiences while growing up. They both had very dark past and approached it in different ways. Their characteristics and attitude were very opposite from each other but this made them more perfect for one another.

I also liked that it didn’t just focus on the romance but also tackled the aftermath of what happened and how it affected the relationship Aksel had with his 2 daughters, Clara and Freja, and the rest of his family and friends.

This story started strong for me but it did fell a little flat and rushed at the end. There was also a time where I asked myself where they started to REALLY like each other and not just in a friendship kind of way.

But overall it was a very good read. It tackled so much emotion that ranges from guilt, disappointment, lost then feeling loved again, acceptance and being part of a new family that you would do anything to hold on to.

Felt like a roller coaster ride with all this characters and I will be picking up the first 2 books in this series very soon.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Karina Halle is a screenwriter, a former music & travel journalist, and the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of The Pact, A Nordic King, and Sins & Needles, as well as sixty other wild and romantic reads.

She, her musician husband, and their adopted pit bull, Bruce, live in a rainforest on an island off the coast of British Columbia during the summer, and in Los Angeles in the winter.

Halle is represented by Root Literary and is both self-published, and published by Simon & Schuster, Hachette, Penguin, and Montlake. Her books have been published in numerous languages around the world.

🌊Author Website 🌊Amazon 🌊Goodreads

🌊Instagram 🌊Twitter

In Deeper Waters by F.T. Lukens

SYNOPSIS

A young prince must rely on a mysterious stranger to save him when he is kidnapped during his coming-of-age tour in this swoony adventure that is The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Pirates of the Caribbean.

Prince Tal has long awaited his coming-of-age tour. After spending most of his life cloistered behind palace walls as he learns to keep his forbidden magic secret, he can finally see his family’s kingdom for the first time. His first taste of adventure comes just two days into the journey, when their crew discovers a mysterious prisoner on a burning derelict vessel.

Tasked with watching over the prisoner, Tal is surprised to feel an intense connection with the roguish Athlen. So when Athlen leaps overboard and disappears, Tal feels responsible and heartbroken, knowing Athlen could not have survived in the open ocean.

That is, until Tal runs into Athlen days later on dry land, very much alive, and as charming—and secretive—as ever. But before they can pursue anything further, Tal is kidnapped by pirates and held ransom in a plot to reveal his rumored powers and instigate a war. Tal must escape if he hopes to save his family and the kingdom. And Athlen might just be his only hope… 

THOUGHTS & RATING

⭐⭐⭐⭐

“I know we’re young,” he blurted. “I know that we met under stressful circumstances. I know that I’m a prince and you’re a merman. But I also know that I’ve never felt this way about anyone else. I know we’re both the last, and we’ve felt alone. But we could be alone together.”

First of all can we appreciate how gorgeous the cover for this book is? I’ve actually first saw this on bookstagram and made a mental note to get into it as soon as it is released because I absolutely fell in love with the cover.

Honestly speaking I didn’t really think of this as similar to the Pirates of the Carribean but more on a queer take on The Little Mermaid. I have actually debated on what star rating I should give this book and instead of the average 3 stars I bumped it up to 4 stars cause I really did enjoy the story. Although this theme has been used multiple times I love how it was different in the sense that it isn’t dark, mature or full of tragedy. After reading too much fantasy the past year I needed something light and romantic for a change.

The story as well as the characters made it so much easier to get into. I adored Athlen and how naive he is to the world around him and I just want to protect him at all cost! I love the innocence and the vibrancy of Tal and Athlen as main characters. I love the relation of Tal “Tally” with his brothers and sisters. How it showed how much he could and would sacrifice to keep his family and his country safe even though he, like Athlen, doesn’t know much of the world since he was kept out of it because of his magic.

F.T Lukens briefly touched on topics like betrayal, forgiveness, hope, power, differences and acceptance but as Little Mermaid’s story this does center around the heart warming, fluffy and the innocence of Tal and Athlen’s first love. Even though both of them are so different with one another and from everyone else they held on to the belief that as long as they are together they will never be alone.

I can say that this is a book you would enjoy reading either at the beach on vacation or at the comfort of your home. Even though this wasn’t as action packed as the books I have been reading I did end this book with a smile on my face and a warm feeling in my heart.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

SYNOPSIS

A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.

THOUGHTS & RATING

⭐⭐⭐⭐

“It begins with absence and desire.

It begins with blood and fear.

It begins with a discovery of witches.”

This was highly recommended by a good friend of mine and since we have the same taste in books I immediately got the whole series. BUT as the awesome reader that I am (note the sarcasm) I wasn’t able to get into it until last year.

This was a perfect blend between fantasy, history, science and a little bit of mythology. I was so amazed at how Matthew Clairmont’s brain works and it felt like I was not just reading for entertainment but also learning A LOT from it. The historical references the author has put into the story was another plus for me and as a history geek I devoured every information.

Not gonna lie I wasn’t the biggest fan of Diana at first. With her not accepting what she truly is, being in denial of everything and relying on other people to protect her but at the last few pages she began to change into the badass female character I enjoy reading about.

I would also like to give credit to the rest of the characters. Ysabeau, Marthe, Marcus, Miriam, Sarah, Emily, Hamish etc were all very unique and unforgettable in their own way. I love how this characters were not outshined by the main ones and was able to be a huge part of the overall story.

I have also recently finished the 1st season of the tv show and seeing my favorite characters come to life was such a joy. I’m not usually a fan of book to movie/tv show adaptation but I did really enjoy this. Matthew Goode as Matthew Clairmont was spot on!

This book was such a captivating tale that instantly caught my attention and challenged my imagination from the very first page. It was full of magic, action, romance and supplied unlimited knowledge and I loved every part of it. It might be a bit slow at first but it got better as you continue reading it. Definitely one of the best books I have read last year and can’t wait to get to the last book of the series.