Tag Archive | second time around romance

L is for Lucky #atozchallenge #ABCofRomance @AprilA2Z


Lucky for Her ♥♥♥


Lucky was the fat kid in high school that was mercilessly bullied by Lana’s boyfriend (who went on to be her husband). He had a crush on Lana and asked her to the prom, but she turned him down. Lana was a typical immature, shallow high school girl who got caught up in appearances. She did not stand up for what was right because of fear of reprisal from the “cool kids”.

Years later, the tables have turned. Lucky is now slim, trim, and the town’s sheriff. Lana is pregnant and hiding from her abusive, alcoholic husband. Because of her current predicament, she decides to marry Lucky for the protection he can provide her and her child.

But can they fall in love with each other when they have such an unpleasant history?


There are aspects to this story that cause me to be conflicted. On the surface, I think this is a sweet story. But the more I thought about it, the two major things that bothered me:

(1)  Lucky was still very bitter from the way he was treated in high school. It seems that he had a lot to prove by marrying Lara. I was not totally convinced that he was loved her for woman she was OR was his supposed attraction a high-school-crush-turned-into-obsession of what he could not have when he was overweight.

(2)  I have a problem with a woman who was in an abusive relationship jumping into another long term relationship. She has not given herself time to heal and it is likely that what she thinks is love is actual gratitude. Either way, it is not a strong enough basis to start a marriage.

I do not mind a story where the main characters knew each other in high school but never hooked up. This case is different in that Lara did not show any attraction for Lucky in high school. She pitied him but not enough to stand up for him when he was being bullied.

Should you buy? I am on the fence about this one. The story is okay. There were moments that I cringed. Like I said, Lucky was very bitter. On the other hand, this book could be used as a cautionary tale why girls should not get married right out of high school.
Book details by Goodreads
Kindle Edition, 205 pages
Published June 21st 2011 by Astraea Press
You can buy on Amazon 


I love a story with heart

The Heart of Devin MacKade (The MacKade Brothers) ♥♥♥♥


In the small town Antietam, Devin has loved Cassie for 12 years. When they were younger, he hesitated to make a move, not knowing that she would marry the first man who showed her interest in an effort to escape a miserable home life.

Fast forward to the present day: Cassie is now divorced with two children. Her family carries the emotional scars from the domestic abuse that was a daily occurrence. Her ex-husband is in prison and Cassie is trying to heal.

Still hopelessly in love, Devin is now sheriff and has a list of reasons/excuses to see Cassie every day. Cassie is ignorant to the depth of his feelings.

A friendly gesture ignites the passion between them but can their love last?



Devin has everything going for him: looks and charm. In my mind, I think he is probably a hotter version of Andy Griffith. It was sweet that he had loved Cassie for so long. When he sees his chance to make a move, he tries but thinks that he might have unintentionally friendzoned himself. I understand that he does not want to make the same mistake he made years ago, but she is not the same person she was years ago either.

“Was he going to have to settle-always- for protecting, for watching over, for being the dependable friend, the favorite honorary uncle?”

Cassie likes Devin’s company but thinks that is all it could be in their relationship. There is the added embarrassment (in her mind) that he is the sheriff and knows more than anyone else about the mistreatment inflicted by her ex-husband. She has only known abuse when it comes to physical relations. When she experienced tenderness from Devin, she does not know what to think. He makes her feel things that she did not know were possible.

“Why did you kiss me like that?”

I loved this story because the characters were so lovable. I could empathize with Devin’s frustration and impatience when things did not go according to his plan. He knew he had to maintain that delicate balance to help her move forward with her life while she healed from the past hurt. Additionally, Devin had to be concerned about the emotional well-being of Cassie’s two children. They were dealing with the consequences of their father abusing their mother. As for Cassie, I admire her strength. She was emotionally abused by her mother and physically abused by her ex-husband, yet her spirit was not completely broken.

In the end, The Heart of Devin MacKade is not a love story between a man and woman. It is a love story between a man, a woman, and her two children.

Great story! Loved it. This is a classic romance to be expected from Nora Roberts.

FYI: While The Heart of Devin MacKade is available for $7.99 on Amazon, I saw The MacKade Brothers Bundle: The Return of Rafe MacKade\The Pride of Jared MacKade\The Heart of Devin MacKade\The Fall of Shane MacKade available for $9.99. What a steal!!!

Safe in his arms Texas Ranger style

Safe In His Arms (Manhunt Book 1) ♥ ♥ ♥


Mia is an abused wife running from a crazy ex-husband. Because of her testimony, he was sentenced to prison. He is supposed to be gone for a long while and she thinks she will be able to heal and rebuild her life. Unfortunately, Texas Ranger Alex has to tell her the bad news. Her peaceful life has now become a nightmare because her ex-husband has escaped prison.

When Alex first met Mia while helping to convict her ex-husband of her attempted murder, he could not deny that he was attracted to her. But considering the circumstances of how they met, he was good not to try to put the moves on a recently battered woman. Now that he sees her again, Alex knows that he has to do everything to protect her while trying to deny the attraction that is still present.


This is a short story with a very clear villain determined to get his wife back under his power. Fortunately for Mia, she picked a hero instead of an abusive, cowardly zero to love the second time around.

The story is gritty and action-packed. Mia’s ex has money and is well-connected. These are things that make it more difficult for the authorities to catch him and end and his reign of terror over her.

While all of this is going on, she still has time to fall in love. Granted I’m glad she does, but I wonder if it is too soon after a trauma. Maybe all she needs is a good man who would treat her right with tenderness and care (for any feminists out there, no need to hear from your peanut gallery- you know what I meant). However, a small part of me wonders how much healing does an abused woman need? It can be just as dangerous to leave one relationship and get into another without fully recuperating.

I know this post is turning serious, but when romance stories mix elements like this into their plot line, I worried about the message it sends. I do not think emotionally damaged women who have been abused and terrorized by significant others should be quick to get into another relationship ( even if the guy is a super awesome, physically well-built, make-ya-wanna-moan man). Getting physical with the new guy can confuse the situation.

Okay off my soapbox now.

Overall, I liked Safe In His Arms well enough. I was thinking about it long after I finished reading it. For the book to spur such thought and reaction says a lot. Bravo to the author for that.

To buy Safe In His Arms (Manhunt Book 1)  on Amazon click any of the links in this post