Sunday, August 25, 2013



Frank Barnes is content living on the streets of Atlanta. A soup kitchen and a makeshift shanty sure beat his days as a POW in Vietnam. But Chloe Roberts can’t handle the eviction that sends her into the hell of homelessness. With no family or friends to turn to, Chloe and her children are sucked into the traumatic world of night shelters, and dangerous predators.

When they bump into each other at the soup kitchen, Frank offers Chloe a glimmer of hope that she can pull her life back together. She rekindles his lost sense of self-worth by taking his mind off his own problems. But they will not meet again until Frank is riding high as a working man, and Chloe has hit rock bottom.

By helping Chloe rebuild her broken life, Frank banishes the demons from his own past. Unfortunately, the past comes strolling back into their lives, threatening to destroy the happiness they have finally found.

Losing It All is a very charming mainstream romance. Frank is a Vietnam vet fighting the demons of his past. Chole is a sweet mother of two young children with a deadbeat, runaway husband. Frank's worn and somewhat jaded, but he refuses to let the streets have the best part of him. She's an easy mark for the dog-eat-dog world of homelessness in Atlanta. Both characters have you rooting for them right away.
There is a certain grittiness to this story that doesn't whitewash the problems faced by the characters. The surly attitude of the shelter, bus, state daycare, and employment agents are real enough. The problems with finding someplace safe at night and the consequences if you don't are well described. The handouts and not hand-ups show a very really need to change how we view those in need. They may be homeless, but the are still people with needs, wants, and futures.
I very much enjoyed watching these two characters weave in and out of each others lives. Even better is the lack of a Prince Charming to swoop in with his pile of money and make everything perfect. These two characters work very hard to fight back the mean world and to make a life for themselves. The events are not be fanciful, delicately tip-toed around, or alluded to with flowery prose. Every hardship seems real and very plausible, and yet, there is a message of hope  through the worst adversity. I would recommend this book to any age group. This is an excellent summer read for the beach or the poolside. The language is mild and the sex isn't graphic. This would make an acceptable mainstream romance read to have on lunch break at work. I almost never give star ratings, preferring to give recommendations on likely audiences, but if I did, Losing It All would get all five.
As soon as the sun went down, the night air regained its bite. Frank zipped his jacket up to his raw chin. The front wheel of his grocery cart squeaked as he pushed a load of rotten lumber toward his favorite convenience store. A hooker stood under a street lamp, displaying her wares to drivers that passed. When she saw Frank, she relaxed her pose.
“Evening, Frank,” Diamond called, boosting her double Ds in a tight sweater.
“Hey, Diamond.” Frank parked his buggy against the lamppost. “How you doing?”
“Glittering, honey.” She fluffed her Afro with silver fingernails.
“I see that.”
“Got some sugar for you.” She cocked a leg out and ran her hand up her fishnet stocking.
“I’ll pass tonight. Thanks.”
Those fingernails had raked a good chunk of flesh off Frank’s forearm the first time he met Diamond all those years ago. His GI cut had grown just shaggy enough that she thought he was an Emory student on his way to the Plaza Theater. But when she offered to suck his dick, he flashed-back on those whores in Saigon, and took a swing at Diamond with the pint of Sloe gin he’d been guzzling. He grazed the side of her head, and she came after him, her arms whirling like a windmill.
Frank had tried to retreat but somehow Diamond got a fistful of his hair. Her shiny silver high-heel drew back, and when Frank saw her knee rise up toward his crotch, he cried out, fell to the sidewalk, and curled into a fetal position, clutching his jewels.
She could have laughed at him, or taken advantage of his sniveling by kicking him with said silver shoe. But she knelt and helped him to his feet. “Come here, Sugar. Why don’t you tell Diamond all about it?”
Between slurps of gin, he told her about the horrors of Vietnam, and how he’d been compensating ever since with drugs and alcohol.
“Watch my stuff?” he asked Diamond as he reached for the door handle.
She swiveled her hips. “Like you be watchin’ mine.”


Clutching a metal cash box, Chloe slipped into her checkout lane at Foodtown, a pitiful excuse for a grocery store, with rusty stains on the floor tiles, and the rancid odor of old meat. She slid the box into her drawer and turned on the light.

In the next lane over, Jennifer popped her gum as she swiped food items across her scanner. “You’re late again.” 

“Sorry.” Chloe gave a weak smile. Just because she worked in a rundown part of town didn’t mean she shouldn’t look her best. It took time to find just the right shade of eyeshadow to coordinate with her lavender blouse from K-Mart. Chloe wasn’t the type to just smear a quick coat of lipstick on her mouth. She outlined her lips with a deeper shade, like she’d seen in the magazines. And after what she had paid to get her hair colored, she wanted to make sure it was teased and sprayed to look just like Lucy Ewing on Dallas.

Jennifer’s Foodtown smock was unbuttoned enough to show a peek of the red bra she wore. Chloe bristled as a construction worker buying a sub sandwich and a quart of beer bent in for a closer look. His hands were filthy. Was he going to wash those hands before he ate?

 Puffing out her chest, Jennifer grinned at him! Sure, Duane loved to see Chloe dressed in short skirts and low-cut blouses. But not the whole world.

Once the construction worker left, Jennifer leaned against her register, and dug something out of her teeth with a polished fingernail. “So, what’s your excuse today?”

Chloe reached under the counter for a bottle of glass cleaner and spritzed her scanner. “You know how my niece Staci has been babysitting for me?  Well, she was late because she had to stay after school to meet with a teacher.”

“Yeah, right.” Jennifer snorted a laugh. “You believe anything, Chloe. That’s why you’re in deep shit.”

Chloe glared at her. “I do not.”

“Right. Your husband took off, and you think he’s looking for a better job in Chattanooga.”

“He is!” Chloe felt the heat rising up her neck. “He should be back any day now.”

“Back my ass.” Jennifer’s glossy red lips curled into a sneer. “It’s been three months.”

“He’s training for a career,” Chloe repeated what she had been told. “Not just a job.”

Jennifer wasn’t buying it. “Wake up. He hasn’t even called you. And as close as Chattanooga is, surely he could get away to come home some weekend.”

 Chloe’s bottom lip quivered as she swirled her paper towel around the glass. 

  About the Author:
 After working for fifteen years as a cafeteria manager in an elementary school, I turned in my non-skid shoes for a bathrobe and slippers. Now I work at home, writing novels, ranting on Facebook and Twitter, and occasionally whisking a Swiffer across dusty surfaces.
Like thousands of others, I thought I could write romance, but soon discovered I was a dismal failure. I did increase my repertoire of adjectives such as throbbing, pulsing, thrumming, vibrating, hammering, pumping . . .
I live in the country north of Atlanta with my husband, and two molly-coddled cats. My two grown sons occasionally visit for clean laundry and a hot cooked meal.
 Author's Website

Sunday, August 18, 2013



Seattle, 2010. When her entrepreneur husband dies in an accident, Michelle Preston Richardson, 48, finds herself childless and directionless. She yearns for the simpler days of her youth, before she followed her high school sweetheart down a road that led to limitless riches but little fulfillment, and jumps at a chance to reconnect with her past at a class reunion. But when Michelle returns to Unionville, Oregon, and joins three classmates on a spur-of-the-moment tour of an abandoned mansion, she gets more than she asked for. She enters a mysterious room and is thrown back to 1979.

Distraught and destitute, Michelle finds a job as a secretary at Unionville High, where she guides her spirited younger self, Shelly Preston, and childhood friends through their tumultuous senior year. Along the way, she meets widowed teacher Robert Land and finds the love and happiness she had always sought. But that happiness is threatened when history intervenes and Michelle must act quickly to save those she loves from deadly fates. Filled with humor and heartbreak, THE JOURNEY gives new meaning to friendship, courage, and commitment as it follows an unfulfilled soul through her second shot at life.
  In the same time travel vein as The Mine, the reader gets to see a recently widowed woman rethink her life. What would you say to your eighteen year-old self? Do you have sufficient regrets to want to alter your life's natural progression? After all, the slightest thing could have drastic consequences in the outcome of your future self. It is an interesting concept to play with.

Much like the The Mine, this story is more about the journey of the character through her own past and less of a romance. There is a romance element to it, and it is very sweet. Our heroine does get her hero and a new lease of life, but does she keep it. Luckily, the author didn't exactly follow the same formula as the previous book. There is a very big surprise ending. I did enjoy how major historical points were set into the story as unchangeable and with far reaching consequences even our time traveling heroine couldn't prevent.

I think this a book for all levels of readers and would appeal to most fans of science fiction and fantasy. After all, how many times have we wanted to tell the kid we used to be some really good advice? This book lets us explore what might happen if we actually gave that advice. The language is suitable for all ages. Whether you're looking a book to give your teens or a selection for this months book club, The Journey would fit the bill. The sweet romance makes this a safe read for work or anywhere someone might look over your shoulder. I think the ending came out great. I hate to give away to many details, but I will say this. I can't believe he did that to his heroine! Now it's up to you to find out what.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


 Suffering from post traumatic amnesia, Sabella Hall begins to remember her abusive father and discovers an amazing ability. She is sought out by the leader of The Vu, a clan of those with gifts such as hers. As she journeys through using her gift, finding new love, experiencing betrayal, and remembering her past, she faces off against a shocking adversary.

The Vu is more of a fantasy story with a romantic element. We have a young woman, Sabella, with no memories of her childhood prior of age five. Her adoptive parents have given her a wonderful life. however, she's has a set of very special talents. When these powers manifest themselves, she is contacted by an organization known as The Vu. Getting involved with them was a personal choice, but it leads her down path she isn't prepared to take. Her unknown past catches up with her promising future. She and our hero, Jonathan, are star-crossed lovers. Waiting in the wing is another perfectly acceptable suitor, Chad. Sabella seems to have chemistry enough for both of them, but only one get the girl in the end. The "Ah-ha!" moment come a bit early in the book, meaning I can essentially describe nothing more than I have without giving anything away.

I tend to enjoy science fiction and fantasy books. The set up with an trauma-related memory loss blended with her special gifts makes Sabella very sympathetic. Our heroine seems to learn a great about herself and her past on this adventure. What we don't get to see is how this affects her future and what, if anything, these revelations mean in the grand scheme of things. The Vu, a powerful group of magical beings, really don't make their presents known through out the story. I really hope this book is a part of a series. It needs a sequel to explain the loose ends.

The premise was interesting. This book is written in first person but with multiple POVs. Some people don't mind, but some readers do. Like I said, our heroine seems to have good chemistry with her leading hero. She greats on great with the hero-in-waiting. There are some action sequences, but I wouldn't call anything presented as extreme. The language isn't graphic and sex between the hero and heroine is very mild. There is, however, one scene that prevents me from recommending this for a younger audience. It deals with the memory of the aftermath of an incestuous sexual assault of the heroine as a child and is in no way described for titillation. While it makes her a more sympathetic character, it is a subject matter only suitable of a mature adult audience. Anyone could be looking over your shoulder and not really find anything offensive, outside of the before described assault scene.

Sunday, August 11, 2013



 Rich girl Grace Bennett is forced by her father to get engaged with a guy of his choosing, so he can expand his company. She wants to escape this unwanted marriage and runs away from home, only to meet handsome, funny and hardworking Finn Wood. Getting a taste of freedom, it's a hot night together with him Grace will never forget.


Unlike many of the other reviewed offerings here on Romance and More, Doing It Wild is a short story. That doesn't mean it's less sexy or has less drama. Clarissa Wild delivered on both. The only thing this story has less is words.

As it is a short story, I can only tell you that Grace is subject to her father's every whim. To say he is forcing her to marry is an understatement. I was more surprised he did just thrust a a dress at her, present a groom, and demand she be at the alter at 2 PM sharp. I'd have bailed, too. Is Finn a nice guy? Not really. Is he going to be the love of her life? I doubt it. Was he just exactly what she needed to feel rebellious? Heck yeah!

The scenes between Grace and her father makes our heroine a very sympathetic character. Finn is hot and seems to be honest about his checkered past. Grace isn't just a spoiled rich kid trying to piss daddy off. She is a real victim of her father abuse and a virtual slave to his demands. The sex between Grace and Finn is hot and steamy.

If you are someone in need of a short getaway from your everyday life or someone having to kill time in the school carpool pick-up lane, this sexy snippet is perfect. You get all the hot action and drama packed into an easy to read. Only have the afternoon? No time for a full length novel? Perfect! I will say this is not a story that is going to be safe to take to work or have prying eyes looking over your shoulder. But if your the type of person who has an hour or so to kill and can't wait to fill it with a tan, good looking construction worker, download your copy of Doing It Wild today!


I sighed and stared at the partially built house across the road. Bulky men worked hard, constructing the house, brick by brick. Their veins protruded through their skins, as they moved the heavy machinery, steel beams and hoisted up materials. I was gawking their muscular bodies, one of them standing out in particular. The reason being, he held a manual upside down.

I sniggered, when one of the men walking passed him took the book from his hand, turned it around and gave it back to him. He frowned, closed it and threw it on a table close to him, before getting a bottle of water. I watched him put the bottle to his muggy lips. As he drank with his chin up, I looked at his buffed torso, the lines of his pectorals peeking through his thin shirt. An intricate pattern was tattooed on his right upper arm. His thick jeans were smeared with mud, grease and concrete. Drops of water dripped down his chin and onto his shirt, exposing bits of skin. Sweat dripped off his forehead, his well tanned skin glimmering in the hot, sweltering sun.

I gulped. He’s too hot.

He set it back down on the table again and turned to face me. Piercing, green eyes, hidden under thick, bristled brows, stared back at me. My eyes widened in shame, realizing I’d been gaping at him all this time.

I flushed, buried my head between my legs and prayed he didn’t notice. I didn’t dare move, afraid I’d look stupid.

After a few seconds of gathering my courage, I lifted my head again, only to see two rugged yellow boots standing in front of me. My eyes trailed a way, from his scruffy jeans, to his hulking torso, up to his face and the short dark brown hair on top.

I swallowed away the invisible lump in my throat. What a gorgeous man.

But I knew what I was looking at was someone I could never have, even if I wanted to.

“What are you doing here, babe?”

I cocked my head to the side. “Nothing.”

“Do you usually stare at guys like that?” he said.

I snorted and flicked my head to the sidewalk, looking at the people walking by. I pushed myself up from the ground and brushed away the dirt from my skinny jeans. Then I started to walk away from him, but he grabbed my arm.
Frowning, I turned around. “What?”

“Are you okay?” he asked, his voice sounded like he was seriously concerned about my wellbeing.

“Yeah …” I choked on my own words. I wasn’t the type to break down in front of strangers, but I wasn’t far from it. This handsome guy was so close and yet so out of my reach. I wanted to have the freedom to decide who I wanted to be with, but looking at this man was only a sad reminder of the situation I was in. Having him touch me made my eyes burn.

I jerked my arm loose and ran across the street.
“Hey, wait a minute!” he shouted. I heard his footsteps behind me, but I kept running. My feet moved on their own, away from everything. Running was the only thing I could do. The rush of adrenaline made me feel alive and yet so desensitized.

However, I didn’t watch where I was going. My eyes weren’t focusing on the car coming from a corner, driving straight at me.

I squealed, but then the guy who ran after me grabbed me tight. He shoved me forward and we both fell down onto the hard concrete, just before the car hit us. It honked and shot past us. The guy was right on top of me.

I huffed, as our faces were inches away. His heavy, muscular body was right on top of mine, his ragged breath puffing in my open mouth. I gaped at his emerald eyes, the stubbly ridges of his chiseled jaw, his just-as-crooked-as-mine nose. He was beautiful and here for the taking.

“Excuse me, babe,” he said as he pushed himself off me and held out his hand.

“Thanks,” I said and let him help me up. 

“Sorry. Didn’t mean to bulldoze you there.”

“You saved me. No need to apologize,” I said and smiled gently.

He smirked and held out his hand again. “The name’s Finn Wood.”

“Grace Bennett,” I said, shaking his hand.

“Nice to meet you, Grace.”

We stared at each other, without saying anything. Just awkward smiles, with chuckles in between. Our hands, continuously shaking, were still entwined.

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