Dog Tags for Christmas

Dog Tags for ChristmasDog Tags for Christmas by Lindsay McKenna
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Three good novellas about dogs and Christmas. McKenna’s story is about a vet with PTSD, his dog and the young woman he meets who works for an elder charity through Delos. Snowflake is an Australian shepherd, who became Nick’s service dog after he lost his original MWD. Holly McGuire works for Delos and meets Nick at his mother’s diner where she takes the leftover food to her elder clients. They see a Lab running away one day, and the story of the love growing between Nick and Holly and the love of the two of them for Lady the Lab, as they try to gentle her enough to get her to come in from the cold, is a sweet one.

SEAL’s Christmas Dream is about Joe and Willow Flynn from Lost and Found Investigative in Denver. When Willow takes in a badly maltreated dog, she and Joe recognize the signs of dog fighting. A young man with a scrawny dog is helped and then comes to them when his dog is in the same condition. He begins to open up to them, and they find each other for the holiday.

Noel’s Puppy Power is the story of an army vet who trains dogs for former servicemen who need service dogs. He works with a psychologist who is beautiful, skilled and an amputee veteran. They find each other attractive, but Tanner thinks she is out of his league. Noel is the only female pup in a litter of five that Bailey helps deliver. All of the pups are being bred as service dogs. Bailey is also training for the Paralympics, so even though she and Tanner find each other attractive, they can’t find time in their schedules for an actual date.
They finally make it work and Noel is the happy puppy prize.

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Tempest (SAI #3)

Tempest (SAI Book 3)Tempest by Lea Hart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very good story of the newest SAI recruit, retired SEAL Ryan Cordell. He meets a besutiful, challenging woman in a bar. Of course, next thing he knows, she walks into SAI Miami while Ryan is there for an interview. As it happens, Ivy is the new COO while Rory is preparing to go on maternity leave. They begin a dance of friendship and love, though they would both deny it.

Ivy receives sad news, and leaves for Texas and her small home town. Unfortunately, bad things begin to happen as a result of this news. Ivy is in danger and Ryan will be the one to help her. As it turns out, Ivy’s family is as funny as, if not funnier than, the DuMonds.

Small quibble: it seemed that there were a few loose ends that left some unanswered questions. Is there more to come (she says hopefully)? Good one, though.

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Glass Ceilings (True Heroes)

Glass Ceilings (True Heroes, #2)Glass Ceilings by A.M. Madden

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Second of the True Heroes series, this one focusing on FBI Agent Nick Farley. Nick had worked undercover many times in his career before he began the trip up the success ladder at the FBI. One night in Chicago, while working as a bartender in a drug dealer’s paradise of a bar, he met a beautiful young girl named Angela. They were both taken with each other, and managed to spend one memorable night together.

Nick’s undercover job ended the next day and he and Angela made plans to begin life in New York. Many, many things happen, though and two years later, Nick walks into an interview room at FBI HQ in New York to interview a person of interest in a homicide. Lo and behold, the person is Angela, and she proceeds to shock him again with what happened in the interim.

This is a Loveswept story, so there is a love affair here, but it does take a lot of work to find that HEA.

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Stone Walls (True Heroes)

Stone Walls (True Heroes, #1)Stone Walls by A.M. Madden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First of the True Heroes series. Ben Stone is a good cop, one who never lets anything get in the way of his job. His partner, Rob, has a girlfriend named Andrea who works for a PR agency. The agency has just acquired a new client, a string of fitness clubs combined with a meet and date place. It is the hottest thing in Manhattan right now and the PR agency is thrilled.

Andrea’s best friend is a quiet and not particularly friendly young woman named Ella. Rob and Andrea decide that Ben and Ella belong together, and try to make it happen. they actually become very annoying about it, particularly Andrea. (Still not sure why that is such a strong theme in the story).

In any case, there are a few threads tying these four together, in addition to the obvious ones. Ella and Andrea are college friends. Ben and Rob have been partners for years. Ben and Ella have both had parents die through violence. They do not hit it off, however.

Eventually, Ben’s and Ella’s walls come down and they admit their attraction for each other. The case Rob and Ben are working becomes a large part of their lives and endangers Ella, too.

The love story is well done and the suspense is good, too, even if I did figure out why Ella grew up so strangely before the author explains it. The characters are solid enough that you root for them, too.

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Christmas at Copper Mountain

Christmas at Copper Mountain (Copper Mountain Christmas, #4; Taming of the Sheenans, #1)Christmas at Copper Mountain by Jane Porter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Nice beginning to the Sheenans series. Brock is a widower and Harley is in need of some distance from her overwhelming family. She is a widower, who misses her deceased family dearly. She accepts the position of temporary housekeeper for Brock to get away and not be around family at Christmas.

Imagine her surprise when Brock’s 11-year old twins arrive home from school early. She wants to run away and makes plans to leave that week. But this is a Christmas story, so you can see what might happen. It does and in a charming and low-key sexy way.

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Deceiving Bella-Bodyguards of LA

Deceiving Bella (The Bodyguards Of L.A. County, #11)Deceiving Bella by Cate Beauman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’ve deducted a star from this review because of the length of this story. I understand that the twists and turns had to happen, but it took a little too long! However, I liked this one. Reed and Bella needed to meet each other and needed each other to heal. Reed is a former NYPD detective who spent too long undercover, and Bella Colby is a young woman who lived in a happy home for a short time and a very unhappy one later on. She’s not let it turn her hard or cynical, while Reed has armored himself against any emotion.

Buried in all of the emotion is a pretty good mob-chase story, and the fact that one-half of this duo is engaged in behavior that makes the other convinced of a totally wrong idea – wait, that actually applies to both of them. There is deception done from love here, and it happens more than once.

It takes a long time to arrive at their HEA, but they do.

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Cutthroat – Sutton Capital

Cutthroat: Sutton Capital Series Book 8Cutthroat: Sutton Capital Series Book 8 by Lori Ryan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fast-paced and well done. This is the first of a three story arc regarding some nefarious dealings in New Haven. Jax Cutter is a Marine vet who now works for Sutton Capital and his friend Leo. Leo is also a veteran, formerly homeless, that Jax has helped.

Leo is also a patient of a clinic catering to the local poor and homeless population. A doctor there has been giving him medications and Leo appears to be getting sicker. When Jax receives a call as Leo’s emergency contact, he knows the worst has happened.

Leo has a wife and daughter from whom he has been estranged for many years and his daughter wants nothing to do with him. Jax takes one look at her and wants to know all about her. While their relationship grows, Mia realizes that she wants to know about her father – not the sad man who left them, but the Gulf War hero who knows all about her and brags to all the people he knows.

An ugly story centering on the local homeless ensues, and the mystery continues. There is an HEA, and the partial solution to the mystery but there is more to come.

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