Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Always a Marine series - Heather Long - Spotlight

Heather Long

The Two and the Proud (Always a Marine #8)

Release Date: January 25, 2013

Genre: Military Romance, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance

Roger Michael Easton IV, better known as Rowdy, flouted the family’s Naval tradition to enlist the Marines—not as an officer, but a ground-pounding grunt. He never expected to see as much combat or valor as he did in the field, but every engagement furthered his commitment to his brothers in arms. Now, with an offer to end his contract early on the table, Rowdy has to take a long look at the life he left behind, the life he’s built, and the future he longs to have.

Rowdy wants a woman who gets him.

Inactive Marine, Kim Wakefield, continues to serve her country as a Naval Criminal Investigator. She’s hard on the grunts and sailors because she is one of them—and they didn’t sign up for easy.  Tired of the seedier side of military life—picking up drunk Marines, AWOL sailors, busting drug running operations, or worse, sending drug addicted servicemen to court marshal and treatment.  She longs to have her faith in her fellow Marines restored.

Kim wants a man who knows what she needs.

Thrown together by chance on a 1Night Stand, these two jarheads have a combustible chemistry—but do they have what it takes?


 A Marine and a Gentleman  (Always a Marine #9)

Release Date: February 8, 2013

Genre: M/M, Military Romance, Erotic Romance, Contemporary Romance

Lieutenant Brenden Fitzpatrick is a dedicated Marine, loyal son, and devoted uncle but he’s lonely. When he went Marine, the rule was don’t ask, don’t tell. His brothers-in-arms pretty much didn’t ask and didn’t care. Watching so many friends settle into long-term relationships highlighted the absence of someone to come home to in his life. When his unit encourages him to give the 1Night Stand service a try, he asks for the impossible—a night with the one man he almost gave up the Marines for in the first place. A man he called best friend but let time and distance carry away.

Liam Gardiner grew up on the same Boston block as his best friend, Brenden. Unlike Brenden, Liam always accepted that he was gay—a fact he didn’t mind flaunting to all the bullies and naysayers in school. It got his ass kicked more than once but Brenden always had his back, rescuing him time and time again, until the day Brenden left for the Marines. He missed his buddy—the crush he never confessed, lest it cost him the precious friendship—so when Madame Eve’s invitation arrived to meet Brenden, Liam faces uncertainty for the first time.




Combat Barbie  (Always a Marine #11)

Release Date: February 25, 2013

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Military Romance, Erotic Romance

You’re so beautiful…

The words haunted Mary Phillips from childhood on. Her mother’s love of beauty pageants included dressing her up like her own personal Barbie doll. She was the face of baby food, the darling of surfing commercials, and the exotic stunner who walked away with the Miss California title at eighteen, but she traded in her tiara and a lucrative modeling contract for combat boots and life as a Marine. She’s lost good friends to IEDs and sent home more walking wounded than she cares to admit, but this Marine wouldn’t trade her assignment for all the Manolo Blahniks in the world.

You’re such a nerd…

Kyle Stewart heard every variation on a theme as he went through school: nerd, geek, four-eyes, weirdo—and he rolled with it. He could count on one hand the number of girls who ever deigned to talk to him about something other than tutoring. But he had the last laugh, the only self-made millionaire in his graduating class. His start up software company went huge and his private ownership netted him two hundred million dollars at sale.

A high school reunion…

Despite the invitations, Mary didn’t plan to attend the ten year reunion. The last thing she wanted to hear was—”you could have been so much, what happened?”  But running into Kyle at the local coffee shop reminded her that not everyone judged by appearance. Kyle once swore to rub his former tormentors noses in his success, but when the reunion rolled around, he was reluctant. A chance meeting with the best looking girl he never could get the courage up to ask out on a date and he dares the request.

Can one night change the nerd and his combat Barbie’s lives?





The Forbidden Queen - Anne O'Brien Book Review

1415. The Battle of Agincourt is over, and the young princess Katherine de Valois is the prize to be offered to Henry V of England. The innocent Katherine is smitten with Henry, but soon understands that her sole purpose is to produce an heir to unite England and France. When Henry leaves her a widow at the age of 21, Katherine is forced to resign herself to a quiet life as the Dowager Queen; her duty is to raise her son, the young King of England, and little more.

But Katherine is still young and passionate. Many desire her, and her hand in marriage is worth a kingdom. Setting aside those driven by ambition, Katherine falls in love with her servant Owen Tudor, and glimpses the happiness that love can bring. But their enemies are circling, all battling for power and determined to prevent their marriage. Katherine will have to fight to control her own destiny… In this compelling and beautifully written book, Anne O’Brien tells the story of the innocent young princess, Katherine de Valois, a pawn in a ruthless political game between England and France, and the woman who founded the most famous royal dynasty of all – the Tudors.

The Forbidden Queen by Anne O'Brien
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An innocent Pawn,

A kingdom without a King,

A new dynasty will reign…..

I enjoyed this book, at over 400 pages long - I took my time absorbing every page and the storyline as it progressed. It isn’t all roses and champagne in this story  andd happily ever afters - but the author does a wonderful job of making the words come to life and giving us well documented research in this read.

Anne O’Brien did a lot of research to put this story forward, and honestly not knowing a lot I must say I learnt many things during this read.  I was certainly drawn into the pages, and had certain queries of my own.

In The Forbidden Queen we follow the life Of Princess Katherine of France from her younger years, to her Marriage to King Henry the fifth. A loveless family to a loveless marriage. ? A marriage to produce an heir and nothing more.

Then being widowed at 21, an affair,  then onto a scandalous marriage to someone beneath her ranking. Her servant. The polictics certainly come to air.

Katherine’s life wasn’t easy – losing her husband at an early age, and learning to be the Queen of England and then moving onto find love and remarry Owen Tudor .

Obstacles were certainly put in her way.

We see the story being told through Katherine’s eyes. Her struggle to find true love. I really enjoyed the way they defied rulings, her and Owen and eventually standing strong they won the battle for the love they shared. Defying the law and winning the battle of love as scandalous as it was.

We didn’t get to see a lot of Owen and Katherine’s love story as this was towards the end of the book. But None the less. It was enjoyable; I just would love to have seen more.

Overall, The Forbidden Queen is filled with rivalry and wonderful plotting, and with its grandeur mixed throughout, I’m sure any historical romance reader will surely enjoy.

I immensely enjoyed Anne O’Brien’s Inspiration for the Forbidden Queen in the back of the book. I strongly urge all readers to stop and take the time to read all the extra information at the end of the book. What happened to Owen after Katherine died her children and many other interesting facts.

A well told story. I have to honeslty admit I am no history buff and alot of the story told within this is new to me. But I did find myself certainly intrigued and every interested. I took my time to read it and enjoy the story being told within.

Thank you to Harlequin Australia or this review copy. Supplied to me for my honest opinion. Which is my own.

View all my reviews