Sleepless in Manhattan – From Manhattan with Love #1 by Sarah Morgan

REVIEW

All through her life, Paige Walker has had people making decisions for her.  Now that she is older and healthier, Paige is determined to make it on her own, despite her over-protective brother living in the flat above.  When the promotion that she has been waiting for falls through and actually ends with her dismissal, Paige must risk everything to venture out and start her own business.

Jake Romano, Paige’s brother’s best friend and renowned singleton, has caused her heartbreak and humiliation in the past and is the last person she wants to accept help from, but with no contacts he may be her only hope.

Can Jake break through Paige’s stubborn walls and convince her to accept his help and can Paige break down Jake’s doubts on love and convince him to open his heart?

Paige portrays a strong, confident persona but deep down she is scared and vulnerable.  She has had her control taken from her and now she feels weak if someone offers help.  I liked Paige’s independence and her mistrust of the relationship that was forming between herself and Jake.

Jake has a reputation that, although he doesn’t dispute, is actually not justified.  He may have had a lot of dates but that does not mean that he slept with each one.  His feelings for Paige have been buried deep for a very long time and when he finally lets them rise to the surface he doesn’t know how to deal with his emotions.

The connection between Paige and Jake is undeniable and I really enjoyed their love/hate relationship. Paige’s friends and brother form a significant part of the story and the friendship between all of the characters is lovely to read.

A great ‘curl up with a cup of tea’ story that will pull on the heartstrings and keep you reading long into the night. I look forward to reading the rest of the series and see how Frankie and Eva find their happily ever afters.

Rating 5/5

Synopsis

Cool, calm and competent, events planner Paige Walker loves a challenge. After a childhood spent in and out of hospitals, she’s now determined to prove herself—and where better to take the world by storm than in the exhilarating bustle of Manhattan? But when Paige is let go from the job she loves, she must face her biggest challenge of all—going it alone. 

Except launching her own events company is nothing compared to hiding her outrageous crush on Jake Romano—her brother’s best friend, New York’s most in-demand date, and the only man to break her heart. When Jake offers Paige’s fledgling company a big chance, their still-sizzling chemistry starts giving her sleepless nights. But can she convince the man who trusts no one to take a chance on forever?

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27190170-sleepless-in-manhattan)

Last Lullaby – Detective Natalie Ward #2 by Carol Wyer

REVIEW

A gripping and chilling thriller that will leave you wondering if anyone is who they claim to be. DI Natalie Ward and her team are back, this time on the hunt for a killer who beat a woman to death in her own home.

When the body of wife and mother, Charlotte Brannon, is found beaten to death by a baseball bat, Natalie seeks to find the truth about what really happened that evening.  With alibis that turn into lies flying around it is hard to get any story straight, but as the pieces of the puzzle begin to align is the real picture forming or is someone playing games?

With the discovery of a second body, DI Ward is on a race against time to track down the culprit and ensure that they can’t strike again.

A captivating mystery suspense that had me picking suspects all the way through and then discarding them as new information was revealed. Natalie is not shy in showing her frustration when the case is not going her way and her team are right behind her.  There is a great dynamic within this team and a connection that goes beyond simple work colleagues.  Natalie’s home life is still up and down, David is keeping secrets and blaming Natalie for just about everything. With home and work demanding more and more from her, Natalie seems on the edge of breaking point, lets hope someone will help her pick up the pieces if/when it happens.

Great series. Next in the series – The Dare

Listened to via Audible. Narrated by Diana Croft

Rating 5/5

Synopsis

Charlotte’s baby is safe. But is she? 

When the body of young mother Charlotte Brannon is discovered by her husband in their immaculate, silver bedroom, Detective Natalie Ward is first on the scene. The killer has left a chilling calling card: the word ‘Why?’ written on the wall in blood. 

Determined to find justice, Natalie quickly discovers the husband is hiding a troubled past, and she’s sure the teenage babysitter’s alibi doesn’t quite add up. 

But before Natalie can dig deeper, another mother is murdered, her young son left distraught, staring at a fresh ‘who’ scrawled beside her. 

Natalie knows it’s only a matter of time before the killer strikes again, but all the key suspects have alibis. It’s her toughest case yet, and with her marriage hanging by a thread, the cracks are beginning to show. 

Just when Natalie finds an unsettling clue she thinks could solve the case, another young woman and her baby disappear, and a member of Natalie’s team is put in terrible danger. 

Can Natalie stop this twisted killer and save one of her own before more families are torn apart forever? 

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42105401-last-lullaby)

Saving the Billionaire – Justin Trainer #2 by Jane Harvey-Berrick

REVIEW

The exciting second and concluding part of the Justin Trainer series.

Trainer is an ex-marine turned close protection operative…essentially a bodyguard.  His current assignment is the multi-billionaire Devon Anderson.  Anderson has a few skeletons in his cupboard but with a new love interest he is trying to turn, his once sorry self, into a regular human being.

Trainer has is own love-life to contend with in the form of Anderson’s housekeeper, Rachel Smith, who continually turns down his offer of marriage.  Trainer is not a man to give up without a fight in any aspect of his life.

When an unknown person threatens to reveal Anderson’s dirty secrets, Trainer and his team are put to the test to prevent the reveal and track down the culprit but will they be too late and what happens when the threat becomes personal? Trainer has more than his job to keep safe.

Justin Trainer is the quiet, unsung hero of many a ‘Billionaire’ romance.  The man in the background protecting the lead role, but this time the focus is on him.

I absolutely adore Justin Trainer.  He is the rough-around-the-edges type with a heart of gold.  His love for Rachel is only paralleled by his love for his daughter and he would do anything to protect them both.  His interaction with his ex-wife is both funny and depressing (I really don’t like Carla no matter how often Justin thinks she is a good mum, she was a horrible wife!) but his inner-voice monologues are hilarious, which also includes when he’s thinking about his boss.  There are good and bad times ahead for Trainer.  Threats, tears and tantrums along with love, laughter and longing will encompass everyone at Wolf Point but like any good romance there will be a ‘Happily Ever After’ too.

Fantastic ending to a brilliant series.

ARC courtesy of Jane Harvey-Berrick

Rating 5/5

Synopsis

He’s a fast-talking, hard-hitting guy who goes to work with a weapon in his holster. He’s also sexy, loyal and damn good at his job, even when he’s guarding a billionaire boss with too many secrets.
T
He’s Justin Trainer.

You won’t notice me and you won’t hear me, but I’m always there, watching, listening and waiting. I’m armed, dangerous and funny as hell. 

I’m the bodyguard, and I’m the guy who’ll take a bullet for you. Although I’d rather not. I’m the man in black, saving my billionaire boss from blackmailers and computer hackers—but mostly from himself. 

THE NAME IS TRAINER. JUSTIN TRAINER. AND I’M THE BODYGUARD…

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44590399-saving-the-billionaire)

 

Guarding the Billionaire by Jane Harvey-Berrick

REVIEW

I absolutely loved this book from start to finish.  Justin Trainer is a brilliant character, extremely loyal with an awesome sense of humour.  Mr Anderson is a weird-billionaire-genius with major issues.

If you are a romance reader then you will have come across the tormented billionaire story and probably fallen in ‘book-boyfriend’ love with him, however have you ever paid any attention to his bodyguard? The silent man in the background, the keeper of his secrets, and the one who see’s the man inside.  If, like me, you had more of a crush on Taylor then Mr. Grey then you will love Justin Trainer, the man ‘Guarding The Billionaire’.

Ex-Marine, Justin Trainer, now works in Close Protection, essentially he is a bodyguard.  Getting jobs from his former C/O turned security specialist he finds himself on some weird and wonderful assignments.  His latest job is Head of Security for billionaire Devon Anderson.  Devon is a closed-off businessman who prefers to stay out of the limelight, however he does harbour a very large secret and that is his need for self-flagellation and kinky (BDSM style) sex. Devon does not make Trainer’s life easy, often disregarding his advice and not telling Trainer pertinent information.

During his time with the elusive Mr Anderson, Trainer forms an attachment to Mrs Smith, the housekeeper.  He also has a sever disliking of Mr Anderson’s ‘family friend’ Mr Landon. And don’t even getting me started on his thoughts about Mr Anderson’s ‘meditation’ room!  So you maybe thinking this all sounds very familiar, you would right.  If you have read Fifty then you will notice a resemblance in the story and the characters. Don’t worry though, this is a different story, different perspective and… just different.

This book encompasses a number of genres – comedy, romance, BDSM and mystery/suspense. The comedy side is absolutely hilarious.  Trainer has a very dry wit and most of the comedic aspect comes from his private thoughts and opinions.

The BDSM side is based around Mr Anderson’s predilections and although these are touched on it is often from Trainer’s POV, there are some graphic descriptions but nothing too disturbing (in my opinion).

Really looking forward to reading the next in the series – Saving the Billionaire

ARC courtesy of Jane Harvey-Berrick

Rating 5/5

Synopsis

It’s a black comedy, no wait, a romcom … um … a thriller, maybe suspense, and erotic with a bit of BDSM and a super hot bodyguard looking after his billionaire boss. 

It’s definitely not all black and white…

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44590388-guarding-the-billionaire)

BOOK BLITZ – Guarding The Billionaire & Saving The Billionaire By Jane Harvey-Berrick

Genre – romcom/comedy/suspense/thriller

Release Date – GUARDING THE BILLIONAIRE – 9 June & SAVING THE BILLIONAIRE – 19 June

GUARDING THE BILLIONAIRE, pic 3

Synopsis

Guarding the Billionaire #1 (out 9 June)

He’s a fast-talking, hard-hitting guy who goes to work with a weapon in his holster. He’s also sexy, loyal and damn good at his job.

He’s Justin Trainer.

I work close protection. I’m the silent bodyguard at the back of the room. I’m the eyes watching you. I’m the ears listening to you. And I’m the dirty-mouthed grunt with the gun who’ll take a bullet for you.

I’m the man in black, guarding my billionaire boss.

Saving the Billionaire #2 (out 19 June)

He’s a fast-talking, hard-hitting guy who goes to work with a weapon in his holster. He’s also sexy, loyal and damn good at his job, even when he’s guarding a billionaire boss with too many secrets.

He’s Justin Trainer.

You won’t notice me and you won’t hear me, but I’m always there, watching, listening and waiting. I’m armed and dangerous because I’m the bodyguard, and I’m the guy who’ll take a bullet for you.

I’m the man in black, saving my billionaire boss from blackmailers and computer hackers—but mostly from himself.

GUARDING THE BILLIONAIRE, pic 2

Extract

Prologue – The bodyguard and the billionaire

Billionaires. Don’t ya just love ‘em?

Money coming out of their asses. They get their people to call your people, and that’s just to schedule time to take a piss.

I should know. I’m one of the ‘people’ that gets called. Since I left the Marines, I’ve worked for a lot of millionaires, billionaires, gazillionaires. I’ve guarded European royalty and Saudi princes. I’ve stood next to politicians who’ve had death threats, and boybands who get mobbed by women wanting their babies. I’ve seen every vice and virtue, found every flaw, watched the shadows that darken lives.

And now, I’m working for the darkest, most twisted fucker that ever wore an Armani suit. Probably.

I work close protection.

I’m the silent bodyguard at the back of the room.

I’m the eyes watching you.

I’m the ears listening to you.

And I’m the foul-mouthed grunt with the gun who’ll take a bullet for you. Although I’d prefer not to, and if I do my job right, it’ll never come to that.

Intel is everything, so if anyone got the lowdown on my new boss, the media would have a field day. Why? Because the guy who signs my paychecks is a sick fuck, into bondage, domination, sadism and masochism—and that’s before breakfast—with a drawer full of files on his fuck buddies, submissives, who get tied up in his attached dungeon. Usually one at a time, but you never know. Still, at least he’s honest about who he is.

He’s a billionaire.

Extract 

The bodyguard and the camel

I step forward, keeping an eye on my surroundings as Talal sweeps his arm toward a stable in the middle of the front row. It’s slightly larger than the others and a puff of cooler air spills out as the door is opened.

“This is my treasure,” he says proudly. “Her name is Nabila. It means happiness. Isn’t she beautiful?”

He sounds like a proud parent and I briefly wonder why he keeps his woman in a stable when I finally realize that my bodyguarding duties are required by a large, dun-colored female camel.

A tawny head on a snake-like neck peers out, making a noise like a frat-boy puking his guts.

“Look! She’s calling to you!” Talal says happily. “She likes you!”

He rubs the camel’s long nose, cooing to her in Arabic. The camel’s eyelids droop and she snickers softly.

“She’s worth more than ten million dollars,” he states.

My jaw hits the floor.

“Nabila has won me more than three thousand Dirham, or twenty million of your US dollars in races.”

 Now, I get it. That is a fuck-ton of money.

Talal continues proudly.

“And her brood mare fees will significantly increase if she wins the Mazayen Al-Ibl next month. Her offspring will be very valuable. There have been threats from my rivals,” he says darkly. “Twice, ground-up glass has been found in her feed. But it was found in time, Inshallah.”

I look up at the security cameras and the armed guards, and understand what Mason meant about it being an inside job. And I’m the biggest outsider Talal could find.

“You, Mr. Trainer, will watch Nabila around the clock. You will keep her alive. You will keep her safe.”

Nabila puckers up her hairy lips and comes towards me for a smooch. I back away, but not fast enough, and she sends a stream of saliva dripping down the front of my best suit.

Talal claps his hands, a huge smile on his face.

“This is a good omen, Mr. Trainer!”

Yup, lucky me. I’ll be sleeping in a stable for the next month.

What the hell, I’ve slept in worse places for a lot less money.

Nabila nudges my shoulder and I pat her nose.

“Just you and me tonight, hot stuff. I sleep on the left, right?”

“Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”

I’m not sure if that means yes or whether I’ve just struck out.

 

Quick Quotes

  • “If you liked 50 Shades, you’ll love this. And if you hated 50 Shades, you’ll love this even more!”    –    Monica Lomond, author
  • Close protection, bodyguards, we’re deeply misunderstood. We’re not unthinking, uncaring masses of muscle and testosterone, we have feelings, too.  I’m a guy totally in touch with my emotions: I fucking hate my ex-wife.
  • Who wants a woman who does exactly as they’re told all the time?

GUARDING THE BILLIONAIRE, pic 1

Author Links

Amazon – Guarding The Billionaire

Amazon – Saving The Billionaire

Goodreads – Guarding The Billionaire

Goodreads – Saving The Billionaire

 

 

 

The Birthday – Detective Natalie Ward #1 by Carol Wyer

REVIEW

From the Author of the DI Robyn Carter Series comes a new detective who will stop at nothing to find her killer.

DI Natalie Ward and her team find themselves on the hunt for a child serial killer, two years after the disappearance of a young girl from a birthday party.  When the body of Ava Sawyer turns up at the very place she went missing it starts the hunt for her killer but, following the murder of two more girls from the same party, DI Ward finds her list of suspects is extensive.  Is the link between these murders the birthday party or is just a coincidence.  Time is running out and DI Ward must find the killer before another girl goes missing.

Natalie Ward is a completely different character to Robyn Carter.  She is married, although not entirely happily, with two teenage children.  Finding the balance between work and home is a struggle and when a big case turns up, home takes a backseat.  She is close to all her team and they work well together, despite the occasional bit of rivalry. I’m not one to condone infidelity but I’m also not one who believes that you should stay in an unhappy marriage (plus I quite like Mike), be interesting to see where this side of Natalie’s personal life leads.

Carol Wyer never fails to produce an intriguing story-line, well defined characters and captivating plot twists. The Birthday will have you postulating over suspects, speculating over alibis and  conjecturing over motives.  A fantastic murder mystery from one of my favourite mystery authors.

Listened to via Audible. Narrated by Diana Croft.

Rating 5/5

Synopsis

When five-year-old Ava Sawyer goes missing from a birthday party at a local garden centre, the police are bewildered by the lack of leads. That is until two years later, when Ava’s body is found and another little girl, Audrey Briggs, goes missing. Audrey also attended that party …

Leading the investigation is Detective Natalie Ward. A mother of two teenagers, this case chills her to the bone, and is a disturbing reminder of the last job she worked on. One that ended very badly.

Natalie soon discovers that Ava’s mother has some worrying gaps in her alibi and as she digs deeper, she’s sure Ava’s father is not telling the full story. And what did the owner of the garden centre Elsa see that day? Something that she’s not telling Natalie …

Just as Natalie is facing up to the grim possibility that Ava and Audrey were killed by someone close to home, another little girl from the party doesn’t come home from her ballet lesson. Can Natalie find a way to stop this killer before more innocent lives are taken?

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40682386-the-birthday)

My Perfect Stranger by Kat French

REVIEW

Honeysuckle Jones has a good job working in a charity shop, good friends and a nice flat. The only thing she doesn’t have is a man.

Honey’s new neighbour is less than charming.  He swears, he drinks, and he is just plain rude, but despite these faults Honey can’t help feeling a connection (attraction) to him.

Hal’s life has taken a downward spiral since his accident 18 months ago.  He used to be a famous chef living the high life. He owned his own restaurant, mingled with celebrities, and was set to marry his fiancée the following year. Now he hides himself away, consumed by the darkness that no light can penetrate… until he meets Honey.

With her job under threat, her friends interfering in her love life, and her obnoxious, good-looking neighbour being… well, obnoxious, Honey finds her cheerful demeanour wavering and takes her aggravation out on Hal.  When she realises the reason for his behaviour she wants to be the one to bring him into the light, but will he let her?

This is a great story with lovely characters.  Honeysuckle is a naturally light-hearted person who wants to see the good in everyone.  Hal is the bitter and twisted individual who has had a rough time. Honey’s friends, Tash and Nell, are as diverse as they can get and desperately trying to get her fixed up with a pianist in the hope that his good finger skills will work wonders.  While the octogenarians from the local retirement home show her that fun never gets old.

Perfect for reading on the beach in the Summer, or curled up in front of a fire in the winter.

Rating 5/5

Synopsis

You: kind, piano-playing sex god
Me: hopelessly romantic charity shop manager

Honeysuckle Jones has a problem, and her best friends Nell and Tash are on a mission to help her solve it. She needs a man – a caring, intelligent, funny man. But most importantly, a man who’s good with his hands…

Luckily Honey’s new neighbour – moody, antisocial ex-chef Hal – fails on almost every count. Even though the chemistry between them is electric, he’s obviously wrong for her in every way.

But when Honey discovers the devastating reason for his moods she decides to give him another chance. And discovers that the best songs aren’t always in tune…

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36075382-my-perfect-stranger)