A MelanieM Release Day Review: Forgotten Paradise by Shira Anthony

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

It’s dangerous diving for secrets.

When a mega company threatens to take over his family-owned business, programming prodigy Adam Preston escapes the stress with a much-needed vacation in the Dominican Republic. There he meets attractive, intelligent, insightful Jonah James, a scuba dive instructor, and what starts as a holiday fling soon blossoms into much more.

But Jonah has a secret: ten years ago he woke up on an island beach with no idea how he got there… or even who he is. Their paradise may not be as perfect as it seems. When Jonah’s memories come crashing back like waves on the sand, will it be Adam clinging to the proverbial life raft, or will the two men find a safe harbor to ride out the storm?

I’m such a fan of the Dreamspun Desires series from Dreamspinner.  Here in Forgotten Paradise Shira Anthony plays with the person with amnesia trope, another staple in those romances (still is).  Who can resist a MC with a forgotten past? The mystery man!  That just screams romance and a history that will come thundering back at some point to break up or threaten whatever couple is the focus.  Readers love that, myself included.

Here its Jonah who washed up on the gorgeous shores of the DR ten years ago, almost a tabula rasa.  Since then he’s built a life and been happy…almost, except for those pesky headaches.  Then Adam Preston comes along with his  own basket full of problems hoping to push them aside for a brief holiday of fun in the sun.

The author is so familiar with her location that it jumps to life on the page, the water so blue, the suns shines so brightly I’m surprised I didn’t have to wear sunglasses to read my Kindle.  It’s clear she has great affection for that location and the DR in general.  So it makes sense to put Jonah there as well.  It gave him and Adam a firm foundation for their tentative romance and friendship.  That’s needed for when things start to come crashing down.

I have to admit, for the first portion of the story, Adam represents the more fully realized of the two characters, and not just because Jonah is missing 10 years of his memory.  Adam’s personal baggage is laden with the fear of failure to his family, duties, self worth, things most people can relate to.   That he’s so stressed out he’s unable to unwind? Well I think there are many out there who could relate to that and Adam too.

Jonah represents a bigger question mark and that’s not just the void where 10 years should be.  I liked that Anthony had him seek help for his amnesia, that he wasn’t content to ride out his life with a 10 year blank spot (sort of).  I didn’t quite believe that.  Especially once all of  Jonah’s memories came back and then when we switch locations. Its then you realize this Jonah is far more interesting than the one you meet on the island.  Turns out you do need the more than just the sweetness here.

The second half of the story deals with the repercussions of the recovered memory, not only for Jonah but for everyone he left behind and Adam as well.  It’s a  far more intricate and interesting story, as it deals with a past Jonah as well as the one he became.  I almost wish there had been more of this  but then I can hear the complaints that we didn’t get enough of the couple before to connect with so I guess there’s just more I’d want, a common refrain.

There is one element there irritates me and I can’t go into it here without a huge spoiler but it deals with a best friend of Jonah’s and an action of his.  To me how it was handled still feels all wrong.  But that’s just me.

Forgotten Paradise by Shira Anthony is another lovely romance from the Dreamspun Desires series.  You get a HEA for a great couple and a visit to a paradise that will make you want to book a flight immediately.

Cover art by Bree Archer goes straight to paradise with the theme.

 

Sales Links

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Book Details:

ebook, Dreamspun Desires #32
Expected publication: April 15th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1635332036 (ISBN13: 9781635332032)
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Paul B Review: Sealed With Acceptance (Signed, Sealed, Delivered #5) by Caitlin Ricci and A.J. Marcus

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Adrian screwed up big time three years ago.  While at a party that his boyfriend did not want to go to, Adrian got drunk and had sex with a stranger.  Three years later, he still cannot recall details of the incident.  He does recall how he broke Jacob’s heart.  Now, his parents are asking him to move on from Jacob as they intend to mate his younger brother Charlie with Jacob.  He must meet with Jacob in order to patch things up as thing could get awkward at family gatherings otherwise.

The past three years have been hard on Jacob.  He never thought Adrian would cheat on him but he did.  Being drunk at the time doesn’t matter.  Jacob believes he will not be able to trust Adrian again.  He is surprised to receive a call from him after agreeing to mate with Charlie.  Of course Adrian picks THEIR spot to meet on the beach, where they would shift into their whale (Jacob) and crab (Adrian) forms.  Even after the betrayal, Jacob has not really moved on.  He had played with West, the young cougar shifter who helps Jacob take care of his mother who has early onset Alzheimer’s.  He knows how important Adrian and Charlie’s parents feel that the two families should come together, but he does not love Charlie.  Even though they seem to be a good fit on paper, Charlie will always be Adrian’s kid brother to him.

When Jacob comes over for dinner with Adrian, Charlie and his parents, things hit the fan.  Charlie, believing that Adrian and Jacob are meant to be together, believes this might be a step toward reconciliation.  When he finds out that he Is to be mated to Jacob, he explodes.  Charlie wants to mate for love, not for some alliance that would further the family’s standing in the community.  He runs out of the house with his parents chasing after him.  Meanwhile, Adrian and Jacob talk some more and Adrian comes to the conclusion that Jacob will never really forgive him to try again.  Charlie deserves a good man and there are none better the Jacob.  But it still hurts like hell.  He sees that nobody here is winning (except maybe his parents) and cannot find a way to make it better.  Luckily Charlie has a plan to make things better. 

I enjoyed this fifth book in the Signed, Sealed, Delivered series a bit more than the others I have read.  While the parents are once again heavy handed in trying to control their sons’ futures, the children take matters into their own hands sooner than in other books.  You would think parents in this day and age would care more about their children’s happiness instead of antiquated ideals of the past.  The thing I found interesting is that Jacob’s mother is struggling with Alzheimer’s.  In most shifter books, they are immune from human diseases.  While not as progressive as the human variety, Jacob’s mother suffers just the same.  Charlie is one determined young man and I cannot wait to see what plans he has for West in a future book.

Latrisha Waters provides a good cover for the book.  Adrian is seen with an opened button down shirt while Jacob’s whale is swimming in the background.  This is a fairly standard cover for this series.

Sales Links

eXtasy Books

Book Details

EBook, 80 pages

Edition Language:  English

Published:  October 7, 2016 by eXtasy Books

ISBN:  978-1-4874-0898-5

Series:  Signed, Sealed, Delivered

  • Sealed With Honor (Signed, Sealed, Delivered #1)
  • Signed with a Heart (Signed, Sealed, Delivered #2)
  • Delivered to Hope (Signed, Sealed, Delivered #3)
  • Delivered from Anguish (Signed, Sealed, Delivered #4)
  • Sealed with Acceptance(Signed, Sealed, Delivered #5)

A Jeri Review: At Attention by Annabelle Albert

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Annabeth Albert has done it again. I honestly don’t think I have ever given one of her books fewer than 4 stars. At Attention is book 2 in her Out of Uniform series. These can absolutely be read as stand alones, but if you are like most who start reading her books- you will search them all out to devour.

Apollo is a single dad to twin girls after losing his husband. His mother has an apartment above the garage to help take care of the girls while he is at work. But she is going on a much deserved and long awaited vacation. Being a former SEAL on desk duty because of a bad back, Apollo doesn’t like his carefully crafted routine disrupted.

In walks Dylan- his Navy friend’s little brother whom he hasn’t seen in 8 years. Since Dylan is spending the summer at home before he begins a new job, he seems like the perfect person to help Apollo with the girls. But Apollo and Dylan suddenly have crazy chemistry- and Apollo has no intentions of acting on it.

Ho-ly HOT. When Apollo is in Dad or work mode, he is nearly perfect. Very straight laced, plays by the rules guy. But when he is with Dylan- DAYUM. This book is a long slow burn that combusts at the perfect moment. And when Apollo finally goes all in on his attraction- he is filthy. The good filthy.

I will admit that main characters with back problems is kind of triggery for me. I won’t go into it. So for the first time reading one of her books I was a bit hesitant. That being said, the point that he had back problems was prevalent, but she didn’t beat us over the head with it. Which I really appreciated. Repetition of something in a book drives me batty.

Dylan is just about the complete opposite of Apollo. Where one is a control freak, the other rides the wave that comes. But they play off of each other beautifully without making the other feel less for being different from them. It helps them open the eyes of the other.

The twins were absolutely adorable and I really loved their interaction both with their father and Dylan. Writing kids so prominently into a story can be tricky, but it is well done here.

Apollo has to deal with a lot in this book- the girls, his grief, his guilt over his attraction to his friend’s younger brother…. but he does, and does it well. And not always with a tidy little bow as so often happens.

And now I can’t wait for the next book…..

Cover art is lovely and works for the series and tale.

Sales Links

Carina Press

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: April 10th 2017 by Carina Press
Original Title At Attention
ISBN13 9781488022623
Edition Language English