*Review* Newly released: Playing the Field (Duty & Desire #4) by C.J. Pinard

Playing the Field (Duty & Desire, Book 4)Playing the Field (Duty & Desire #4) by C.J. Pinard

FRESHLY RELEASED January 15th, 2015, contemporary military romance/chick-lit

Blurb: An overachiever in uniform…

Jace Lawless is an overachiever, a go-getter, and determined to accomplish everything he sets his mind to. After serving his country in the U.S. Marine Corps, and receiving his college degree, he’s picked up by a popular minor league baseball team, all while continuing his service in the USMC reserves.

When Jace meets a beautiful, breathtaking single mother named Miranda Cates, it takes him by surprise. Her shady past and beautiful little girl are the conundrum that both confuses and fascinates Jace. He can’t tear his thoughts away from Miranda, and eventually he believes he can win her over with his dimpled smirk and witty charms.

Once Miranda becomes his, the part of him she hated the most – the part he had kept secret from her for so long – rears its ugly head. Will Miranda lean on her friend Cara for support while staying by his side once he tells her that duty is calling… or will she decide she can’t handle it and take her daughter and leave?

Playing the Field is the fourth and final installment of the Duty & Desire series. Contains adult situations and minor scenes of war.  

REVIEW

After reading Book 3, Boots Beneath My Bed (Miranda’s Story), Playing the Field goes hand-in-hand as the final story of this sweet, contemporary, military romance series focuses on Jace’s point of view, his background with the U.S. Marine Corps and minor league baseball team, as well as his strong feelings for Miranda. If you’re looking for a refreshing, cheeky, fun and romantic read then this is a series for you!

From early on in the story the reader has a sense of just how much baseball and the Marines mean to Jace. As well as both being an enjoyment of his, he is also incredibly talented at both and his skills are noticed. They both play a huge role in his life, but it could all be about to change with Miranda about to enter it.

Not a fan of a military man, as she has been let down more than once, Miranda makes it clear to Jace that she would never date another! This leaves Jace wondering when he should let her know of his background. You can sense his genuine worry of losing her if she found out but knows that she has to know. How can he make her see his point and that he isn’t a player?

We learn that despite Jace’s macho appearance and strong masculinity, he is actually a rather sweet hottie. He is considerate towards Miranda, and yet has the self respect to follow his dream and remain with the Marines until his contract is up at least! But will he be able to convince Miranda to stay with him?

It isn’t too long before Jace realises his feelings for his ex, Samantha, were nothing compared to how he loves Miranda. Not only does he absolute love her delectable, curvaceous body, he also admires her strong will. Yes, Miranda holds his heart both physically and emotionally. And, he also adores her young daughter, Ashlynn, and has a strong sense that he can’t let these ladies out of his life.

Although his relationship is the core of the story, Jace is also tackling nightmares from when he was once deployed. The author writes with such care over these dark and serious events, and yet still manages to keep the read, as a whole, light. As the story continues some of these events are more frequent and add more power as the reader begins to see just how much the Marines mean to Jace, and also how he doesn’t want it to affect a life he longs for with Miranda. This could be one of the biggest battles he has ever had!

Playing the Field is a delight to read and, as the whole series has been, very refreshing! Fans of Duty & Desire books 1 and 2 will also be pleased to hear that Cara and Riley also have an appearance in Playing the Field, as the author carries on a little of their storyline too and how their relationship affect Miranda and Jace (Cara being Miranda’s best friend, and Riley a military man himself with a story to tell of his own). Yes, to thoroughly enjoy I would strongly recommend that the series be read as a whole, as these lives intertwine and each book is from a different perspective. They fit together superbly well and you truly get to see all angles. What a way to honour the military and their families, C.J.!

A copy of Playing the Field (Duty & Desire #4) was provided by the author in return for an honest and fair review.

Playing the Field is available at Amazon US and Amazon UK.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

You can also find Books 1 & 2 available!

Patriotic Duty (Duty & Desire 1) series previously entitled ‘When Riley Met Cara’

Patriotic Duty (When Riley Met Cara #1)Blurb: Newly divorced party girl Cara Reid just wants to have fun. Much too young to even be a divorcee, she and her bestie, Miranda, set off to have fun and maybe a few casual hookups and live life. One night at a military bar, Cara meets Riley Forrester, a hot Army soldier who makes her melt with one look of his deep ocean blue eyes. But Riley is only staying the summer in California and then has to go back to Colorado when it’s over. Cara tells herself he’s just a summer fling and is determined to enjoy herself and let him go once the summer is over. But when Riley receives orders he wasn’t expecting, she’s forced to make a decision on whether she’s going to be there for him when he gets back, or move on with her life. What she wasn’t expecting was to fall so hard for the beautiful soldier boy, and now she’s faced with accepting her feelings or letting him go.

For readers 18+. Contains adult content.

Our review link

Amazon US link – currently FREE (please be aware prices are subject to change)

Amazon UK link – currently FREE (please be aware prices are subject to change)

Tour of Duty (Duty & Desire #2)

Tour of DutyBlurb: Army Sergeant Riley Forrester knew all about love, loss, and pain. He knew the love of a woman just to lose it. He had spent the best summer of his life with a beautiful single mother named Cara Reid, and then desperately needed her love to get him through a long, cold deployment. When things went horribly wrong overseas, he decided it was best to let Cara go and let her move on with her life. Cara wouldn’t be forgotten that easily, though. She had seeped her way into his heart and his dreams, and Riley knew he’d never love another like her. Contains adult content, for readers 18 and older. Also contains minor scenes of war.

Our review link

Amazon US link

Amazon UK link

Boots Beneath My Bed (Miranda’s Story) (Duty & Desire #4)

Boots Beneath My Bed (Miranda's Story)Blurb: Miranda Cates finally graduates from college and is excited to begin her dream career in law enforcement. After the final betrayal and heartbreak of her college boyfriend, Chris, she moves back home with a firm plan in place for her life.

However, the life she has carefully mapped out for herself takes a serious left turn. Miranda finds she not only has to be strong for herself, but for the daughter who hadn’t been part of her plan.

Determined to still believe in true love, life throws Miranda one more wicked curveball. She meets Jace Lawless, a hot minor league baseball player, whose warm aqua eyes and big dimple have her unraveling her carefully laid plans. A man who may be just be too good to be true.

Boots Beneath My Bed (Miranda’s Story) is book 3 in the Duty & Desire series, and while it is recommended to read the books in order, it’s not necessary.

Our review link

Amazon US link

Amazon UK link

AUTHOR LINKS

If you would like to contact C.J. Pinard you can reach her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CJPinardAuthor or you can e-mail her at cjpinardauthor@gmail.com.

Caroline’s Top Reads 2014

Hi readers, it’s that time of year again when Tina and myself have lots of fun going through our reviews of the past year and choose our favourites to share with you! And, wow, there are so many it is difficult to narrow them down!Australian xmas card (2)

This is the end of our second full year and we cannot thank you all enough for following us and sharing our posts. We have made so many friends, be they authors, bloggers, agents, publishers and more, it has been overwhelming. We have received our first Christmas card from Australia (pictured), which was an absolute pleasure to receive. It’s amazing to see the sun and summer holiday reminders when the usual card for us is full of snow, log fires and dark evenings.

We hope that you have had a great year and are looking forward to the festive season. We are looking forward to sharing it with you. And I hope that you enjoy us sharing our favourite reads. Tina’s Top Reads will also be coming your way very soon. And here are mine!

Please click on the titles for my full review and much more info!

Contemporary Romance

Books of this genre and some contemporary rom-coms have been a big hit for me this year, and Helena Fairfax’s The Silk Romance was an absolute pleasure to read. It was written so beautifully, powerfully and thoughtfully, and certainly a read you will not forget! It is a Cinderella-type story that is highly intense and completely grips the reader. I have also likened it to some high-profile romance movies in my review as some aspects are similar and captivating!

TheLoveofMarisol_WP2014The Love of Marisol by Christos Toulouras is a short story of love and loss, but with the possibility of finding new love after. It is, again, very powerful and emotive, beginning as quite a dark and realistic read (although fiction). Taking only around an hour to read, it was one of my favourite reading hours of the year!

Contemporary Rom-Coms

Boots Beneath My Bed (Miranda's Story)As well as the serious side of romance, it is always uplifting and refreshing to read some fun reads, even though they still hold a serious undertone. The book that enlightened me in this manner is C.J. Pinard’s Boots Beneath My Bed (Miranda’s Story) (Duty & Desire #3). It is my favourite book of the Duty & Desire series. It is a light-hearted, fun and cheeky read. And I love how C.J. Pinard follows both Miranda’s career, as well as her romances, and at the same time the reader sees a different side to the friendship that Miranda has with Cara.

An Autumn CrushWanting to read a seasonal book at the time, I thoroughly enjoyed An Autumn Crush by Milly Johnson. It was a Bridget Jones style read, with plenty of humour and a real feel-good and refreshing feel that really captured the time of year. And with some sombre storylines for some characters it has an awful lot going on, but is still relaxing and fun to read.

Historical Romance

Summer in RyeLucy Oliver’s novella Summer in Rye is an incredibly intense short story, with power and the ability to grip the reader. Following a new governess to children that have been badly affected by smallpox, and a master that is tyrannical, Eva only has one choice: to turn to the master’s brother, who was once engaged to her. Passion reignites between these two, but after he lied before, can Eva really accept him back?

Paranormal

Vampire Flappers (Samantha Carter #1.5)To top off my favourite paranormal reads is Tim O’Rourke’s Vampire Flappers (Samantha Carter #1.5). Last year the first of the series, Vampire Seeker, was one of my favourites, and again this series has really thrilled me. It has everything from vamps, shifters, action/adventure and time travel! The romance and passion is also very intense, making for a very HOT read! This is a series not to be missed, and I cannot wait to review Vampire Watchmen (Samantha Carter #2) in the new year!

And, not always a huge fan of short stories, this year has certainly changed my point of view. I used to think that to create great characters that full novels would be more fulfilling. However, there are a number of short stories in my top reads this year and a certain series of short stories really blew my mind – Alisa Woods’ True Alpha series. There are six shifter stories, which follow Mia and shifter Lucas, their attraction and heat for each other! Yet, the dilemma is that Lucas lost his last mate, and being to close to another is just not an option. But, when rival shifters kidnap Mia, Lucas has to face his true feelings. Each story is complete with action, heat and intensity. Shifter fans will LOVE this series. Here are the links to each review:-

Desired (True Alpha #1)

Guarded (True Alpha #2)

Hunted (True Alpha #3)

Captured (True Alpha #4)

Sacrificed (True Alpha #5)

Claimed (True Alpha #6)

I am also hoping to review another short A True Alpha Christmas over the coming days before the big day. And, in the new year Alisa Woods will be releasing her Dark Alpha short story series!

Soul RebelNow, for my second entry of author C.J. Pinard we have Soul Rebel. This is my favourite novel of C.J.’s. With plenty of action, suspense and romance it really does have it all. The characters and storyline are brilliant. Nolan loses his soul during a kiss with a female succubus in a nightclub and he only has 7 days to claim his soul back! Time constraints cause the tension and really make the pace quick. Plus there are many surprises which make it an exciting read.

Blue Moon (The Blue Crystal Trilogy #1)Recommended for the younger adult (15yrs+) Blue Moon (The Blue Crystal trilogy #1) by Pat Spence is an enchanting and fairytale-like read with supernatural mystery and horror. It is highly recommended to fans of the Twilight saga, but without the vamps. It follows the idea of eternal youth, ancient links and an attraction between Emily (17) and the handsome Theo. It is highly emotive, with a great eerie atmosphere as the reader gets sucked in to the mystery. Blue Moon is a fantastic beginning to this trilogy.

Horror

Moonshine (The Moon Trilogy, #3)This year saw the final instalment of Tim O’Rourke’s Moon trilogy, Moonshine (The Moon trilogy, #3). A paranormal horror series that has it all; action and adventure, vamps, weres, heart-warming moments and plenty of surprises. The running theme through the trilogy is whether or not vamps and weres can exist in peace together. Or, will they both have to try and annihilate each other? Will the love of Winnie be enough to hold it all together? (Clicking on the links for books 2 and 3 may spoil the storyline for those who haven’t read book one.)

Moonlight (The Moon Trilogy #1)

Moonbeam (The Moon Trilogy #2)

Crime Thriller

COLD CALL BOOK COVER - with blood SAFE COPYCold Call by Colin Llewelyn Chapman, was an instant like for me. After being likened to author Martina Cole, Luther (BBC tv series) and with a pinch of Fifty Shades, Cold Call proved to be a gritty, well-planned read that follows both the suspect and the police with their investigation into the deaths of several women from seedy backgrounds. This is another read with surprises along the way that will keep you gripped until the end.

21 Hours - Dustin Stevens_1Dustin Stevens’ 21 Hours is full of action and suspense as an uncle and ex-con is attempting to save his two year old niece after she has been kidnapped. Being an ex-con he is not entirely trusted by the authorities, but he is so desperate that he will do anything! I have likened it to some action movies, such as Lethal Weapon, Commando, Ransom and Con Air as there are some elements of these in the book and especially in they way it left me feeling after I had read it. It is also another read that is quick-paced, partly due to the time that it is believed that the young girl has left!

Ooh, and now for some Festive Contemporary reads

As an added treat, and because they were brilliant reads, I thought I would share the following two festive reads:

CANDY CAIN by C.L. Scholey - Click Image to CloseC.L. Scholey’s Candy Cain is a short 55 page read that is festive, hot and full of suspense. After being snowed in during a blizzard and left on a desolate road, with only the stranger that she dislikes after briefly bumping into him earlier, the only way they can keep warm is by body heat! Hmm, I wonder where this will lead and what the outcome will be for them? There are also heart-warming moments and an underlying storyline about helping those in need.

All I Want for ChristmasAnd finally, a full-length story with a Christmas build-up, new friendships and a new romance in Amy Silver’s All I Want for Christmas. Beginning from the fourteenth of December, the story is written with each chapter being a new day in the lead up to the big day, when there are plans at The Honey Pot café for people of the neighbourhood to meet for a party of food and friendship for the lonely.

I have read many more great reads that I cannot possibly add due to the amount I have here. Crossing many genres, I always hope that there are reads in here to suit many, and I feel that there is a great mix of both published and indie authors.

I hope that you enjoy our posts and would like to thank each and everyone of you for following and supporting us. I sincerely wish you a Merry Christmas and an absolutely brilliant New Year!

Caroline Barker 🙂

If you would like to check our Top Reads of 2013 to recap on our previous year, you can do so here:-

Caroline’s Top Reads 2013

Tina’s To Reads 2013

 

 

**REVIEW** Boots Beneath My Bed (Miranda’s Story) (Duty & Desire #3) by C.J. Pinard

Boots Beneath My Bed (Miranda's Story)Blurb: Miranda Cates finally graduates from college and is excited to begin her dream career in law enforcement. After the final betrayal and heartbreak of her college boyfriend, Chris, she moves back home with a firm plan in place for her life.

However, the life she has carefully mapped out for herself takes a serious left turn. Miranda finds she not only has to be strong for herself, but for the daughter who hadn’t been part of her plan.

Determined to still believe in true love, life throws Miranda one more wicked curveball. She meets Jace Lawless, a hot minor league baseball player, whose warm aqua eyes and big dimple have her unraveling her carefully laid plans. A man who may be just be too good to be true.

Boots Beneath My Bed (Miranda’s Story) is book 3 in the Duty & Desire series, and while it is recommended to read the books in order, it’s not necessary.

REVIEW

Oh, yes! This is my favourite of the Duty & Desire series so far. In this third instalment, we follow Cara’s best friend, Miranda, and how she fares with both her private life and work. After being let down by Chris (twice!), Miranda finds it very difficult to trust again. And now it isn’t just herself to think about but her young daughter too. Miranda begins to settle with the idea that she’ll never find the right one.

At the same time, Miranda is fresh out of college, looking for work with the FBI, but having to take on a role a little closer to home that is a little less desirable. But, despite some of the challenges that Miranda faces, C.J. Pinard has made Miranda’s story a very fun read, that is light, refreshing and very uplifting.

I love how C.J. Pinard has focused on Miranda’s worklife, her transition from college to employment, her new role as a single mom as well as her lovelife. As the reader is taken through all of these areas of Miranda’s life it makes the character very believable, very real and the reader feels as though Miranda is a close friend of their own.

It is also a delight to still be hearing of Cara too (from Books 1 & 2, Patriotic Duty and Tour of Duty), and we see more of the relationship that these two friends have, and what brought them together to begin with. We also get to find out Miranda’s feelings towards Cara’s hottie, Riley.

There are times that Miranda doesn’t get to see Cara much as Cara moves away, however these two girls are extremely close. Their work lives, young children and the opposite sex (not to forget the wine!) bring these girls closer than anyone else is to them. They have fun having takeaways in and visiting a few bars when they have a break from their little ones. Some of the fun that these girls shared made me laugh out loud at times, and at the very least smile.

“Baseball? I’d rather watch paint dry.”

I laughed. “Me too. But there are hot guys at the minor league games.”

She was quiet for a minute. “Can I bring my Kindle?”

I was confused. “Your what?”

“My Kindle. My electronic reader.”

I shook my head. “What the hell ever. I don’t care. Just go with me. I hope the hot men in tight pants will distract you from any electronic devices you plan on bringing with you.”

I heard her shift the phone to her other ear. ” I was gonna make a joke about electronic devices, but I’d better not.”

I smiled. “Yeah, especially the battery-operated kind, right?”

“You are so bad! I would never bring that kind in public.”

“Of course not,” I mumbled under my breath.

It is very easy for the reader to dislike Chris because of the way he has treated Miranda. But whilst Miranda loses hope of keeping one man for real, the reader doesn’t. And when Jace Lawless enters her life, it is an eyebrow raising moment. Being a hot minor league baseball player, he has the looks, the charisma and probably a thousand girls ogling over him. Although sexy as hell, not the ideal man for Miranda, or will there be more to him than meets the eye?

Boots Beneath My Bed is a book that could be read in one sitting, and even though I didn’t I found myself always looking forward to hearing of Miranda’s life, just like I would a friend I hadn’t seen for a while and wanted to catch up with. I certainly felt like I was a third friend to Cara and Miranda. The reader can truly relax with these reads and feel great after. I am looking forward to the fourth book of the series!

A copy of Boots Beneath My Bed (Miranda’s Story) (Duty & Desire #3) was provided by the author in return for an honest and fair review.

Boots Beneath My Bed (Miranda’s Story) is available at Amazon US and Amazon UK.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

You can also find Books 1 & 2 available!

Patriotic Duty (Duty & Desire 1) series previously entitled ‘When Riley Met Cara’

Patriotic Duty (When Riley Met Cara #1)Blurb: Newly divorced party girl Cara Reid just wants to have fun. Much too young to even be a divorcee, she and her bestie, Miranda, set off to have fun and maybe a few casual hookups and live life. One night at a military bar, Cara meets Riley Forrester, a hot Army soldier who makes her melt with one look of his deep ocean blue eyes. But Riley is only staying the summer in California and then has to go back to Colorado when it’s over. Cara tells herself he’s just a summer fling and is determined to enjoy herself and let him go once the summer is over. But when Riley receives orders he wasn’t expecting, she’s forced to make a decision on whether she’s going to be there for him when he gets back, or move on with her life. What she wasn’t expecting was to fall so hard for the beautiful soldier boy, and now she’s faced with accepting her feelings or letting him go.

For readers 18+. Contains adult content.

Our review link

Amazon US link – currently FREE (please be aware prices are subject to change)

Amazon UK link – currently FREE (please be aware prices are subject to change)

Tour of Duty (Duty & Desire #2)

Tour of DutyBlurb: Army Sergeant Riley Forrester knew all about love, loss, and pain. He knew the love of a woman just to lose it. He had spent the best summer of his life with a beautiful single mother named Cara Reid, and then desperately needed her love to get him through a long, cold deployment. When things went horribly wrong overseas, he decided it was best to let Cara go and let her move on with her life. Cara wouldn’t be forgotten that easily, though. She had seeped her way into his heart and his dreams, and Riley knew he’d never love another like her. Contains adult content, for readers 18 and older. Also contains minor scenes of war.

Our review link

Amazon US link

Amazon UK link

AUTHOR LINKS

If you would like to contact C.J. Pinard you can reach her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CJPinardAuthor or you can e-mail her at cjpinardauthor@gmail.com.