Category Archives: Samhain Publishing Limited

Review: Texas Lullaby by Cynthia D’Alba

Title: Texas Lullaby by Cynthia D’Alba
Texas Montgomery Mavericks Series Book Seven
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 211 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by the Author


When Fate tosses you in the deep end, it’s time to sink or swim.

Texas Montgomery Mavericks, Book 7

Lydia Henson’s four-year-long engagement to Jason Montgomery is about to end in a Texas wedding everyone is anticipating. She’s come to accept Jason doesn’t want children. She can live without children. She can’t live without the man she loves.

Jason has never wanted a family. At least, that’s his story and he’s sticking to it. The falsehood is less emasculating than the truth. Yet when tragedy on the eve of their wedding lands Lydia with her sister’s children to raise, Jason finds himself surprisingly calm in the midst of the chaos.

Everything he swore he didn’t want seems as natural as breathing. But just as he gathers the courage to grab for the golden ring, another unexpected twist threatens to tarnish what could have been a shining future.

Product Warnings: Sticky fingers and dirty diapers can change a couple forever.


Texas Lullaby by Cynthia D’Alba is another enthralling addition to the delightful Texas Montgomery Mavericks series.  This final installment in the series is heartwarming and fans will be thrilled to see Jason Montgomery and Lydia Henson finally get their happily ever after.

Jason and Lydia have weathered many ups and downs over the course of their long relationship but just as they are on the verge of marriage, tragedy strikes. Overwhelmed and grieving, Lydia is now the guardian of three small children and knowing how Jason feels about parenthood, she begins pushing him away.  Jason is confused and concerned about the growing distance between them but will his efforts to give Lydia the space and time she needs bring them together?   Or will it tear them apart once and for all?

Lydia is a strong and independent woman but she is ill-prepared for instant motherhood.  Unwilling to accept the support offered to her, she is exhausted and worried about how well the children are adjusting to this unexpected change.  Knowing that Jason is adamant about not having kids, she is concerned that he will eventually regret honoring his promise to marry her.  Instead of talking to him about her  fears, she holds him at arm’s length despite his eagerness to move forward with their plans.

Jason is good with kids but he has done a fantastic job convincing everyone, including Lydia, that fatherhood is not part of his future. There is more to his decision than he has revealed to anyone, including Lydia. Although he is always willing to pitch in and help with the kids, the gulf between them continues to widen and despite his efforts to hold their relationship together, Lydia makes a decision that breaks his heart.

While there is never any doubt that Jason and Lydia love another, lack of communication threatens to tear them apart.  Part of the growing problem between them is Jason’s reticence to add to her stress so he keeps his concerns about their fracturing relationship to himself.  Their biggest problem is the fact Jason has been keeping a huge secret from her and although his actions once the children enter into their lives speak volumes, Lydia’s refusal to talk to him puts added strain on their increasingly precarious relationship. While they both are to blame for the chasm between them, Lydia makes unfair assumptions about Jason which leads her to make a unilateral decision without consulting him.

Texas Lullaby is a poignant and heartfelt addition to the Texas Montgomery Mavericks series.  With plenty of unexpected twists and turns, the story is fast-paced and engaging with an incredibly sweet and highly emotional conclusion.  While saying good-bye to this marvelous series is a little sad, I am eagerly anticipating Cynthia D’Alba’s next release.

1 Comment

Filed under Contemporary, Cynthia D'Alba, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Samhain Publishing Limited, Texas Lullaby, Texas Montgomery Mavericks

Review: Texas Hustle by Cynthia D’Alba

texas hustleTitle: Texas Hustle by Cynthia D’Alba
Texas Montgomery Mavericks Series Book Six
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
Length: 244 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by the Author


They’re different as night and day…but it’s the right time for love.

Texas Montgomery Mavericks, Book 6

Porchia Summers was born into a family who gave her everything except affection. She acted out until her parents sent her to Whispering Springs before their high-society friends found out about her arrest record.

She builds a good life in Texas, but then the old boyfriend who got her in trouble tracks her down. Desperate to find a way to keep her past and present separate, she places a bid at a bachelor auction on the one man who’ll get her out of town for a few days.

Darren Montgomery is thrilled when Porchia wins him and a week of camping with his entire family in a charity bachelor auction. He’s also curious. He’s been flirting with the town’s sweet, sexy baker for years. Sometimes she flirts back, but she’s never let things go further than that. Darren’s not complaining, but he wonders just what’s going on behind Porchia’s pretty eyes.

Product Warnings: Watch out for chigger bites, love bites, and secrets that bite.


With a unique premise and a slight suspense element to the storyline, Cynthia D’Alba does a wonderful job keeping the Texas Montgomery Mavericks series fresh with her latest release, Texas Hustle.

Bakery owner Porchia Summers’s past has caught up with her and in an effort to buy time to figure out how to defuse the situation, she bids on local rancher Darren Montgomery at a charity bachelor auction. Not realizing their “date” is a weeklong camping adventure with the rest of the Montgomery clan, her dismay quickly turns to delight as she gets to know Darren’s extended family. Porchia and Darren have a smoking hot attraction that she has managed to ignore up until now but spending so much time in close proximity to the charming cowboy makes it very difficult to avoid giving in to their mutual desire.

Porchia is a likable but somewhat frustrating heroine. She is sassy, smart and well-liked but she continues to allow a youthful mistake to cloud her judgment about herself and her family. Her parents’ overreaction to that long ago event continues to plague her and instead of telling anyone about her current situation, Porchia refuses to ask for help in an effort to keep her indiscretion from being exposed. Equally exasperating is the reason she has kept Darren at arms’ length despite his obvious interest in her. Just when their relationship finally takes a romantic turn, Porchia makes a decision that that jeopardizes their future together.

Darren is a sexy, fun and hardworking hero with a heart of gold. He has been interested in Porchia for quite some time and he is a little confused as to why she flirts with him only to turn around and put him back in the friend zone. Knowing how skittish she is, Darren patiently waits until she is ready to take their relationship to the next level. His romantic side is a little unexpected but this gentle wooing is incredibly sweet and heartwarming. While Darren is taken aback by Porchia’s sudden decision, he tries to give her the space and time she needs to figure out what comes next. However, this does not mean Darren sits idly by and lets her walk out of his life without voicing his opinion about what she is hoping to accomplish.

The suspense element is the weakest part of the storyline and Porchia’s reaction to something that happened seventeen years earlier seems a little overblown. The incident was definitely a defining moment in her life but her inability to move past it is a little difficult to believe. Wanting to make peace with her family is understandable but watching her turn into a doormat seems out of character considering the happy and successful life she created for herself in Texas. Fortunately Darren is not willing to let their relationship go without a fight, but will Porchia realize what is most important to her before it is too late?

Texas Hustle is another well-written and engaging addition to Cynthia D’Alba’s Texas Montgomery Mavericks series. The characters are delightfully appealing with believable strengths and weaknesses. The storyline is interesting with a few unexpected twists and turns. All in all, a sweet, sensual love story that fans of contemporary western romances are sure to enjoy.

1 Comment

Filed under Contemporary, Cynthia D'Alba, Rated B, Review, Romance, Samhain Publishing Limited, Texas Hustle, Texas Montgomery Mavericks

Review: An Indecent Invitation by Laura Trentham

indecent invitationTitle: An Indecent Invitation by Laura Trentham
Spies and Lovers Series Book One
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd
Genre: Historical, Romance, Mystery/Suspense
Length: 284 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by the Author


Keeping her safe is difficult, keeping a proper distance from her is downright impossible.

Lady Lily Drummond understands only too well the danger of spy work. Her father, a preeminent master spy, has been missing for months, and her brother barely survived his final mission for the Crown. Lily is still determined to help find her father, no matter how hard her brother and his best friend try to keep her in the dark.

Busy trying to untangle the web of deceit surrounding the Earl of Windor’s disappearance, Crown spy Gray Masterson also has to ensure Lily Drummond, the gangly, awkward child who was his constant shadow growing up, doesn’t get herself ruined at her London debut. But the girl with scraped knees and elbows has evolved into a lush, sensual beauty surrounded by a bevy of suitors.

Realizing Lily is going to investigate on her own if he doesn’t let her join the hunt for her missing father, Gray assumes he can give Lily a few minor tasks to pacify her, but he quickly learns she is a valuable asset. Moreover, she fairly crackles with life and warmth—things he craves after his dark years in service.

Product Warnings: This book contains spies, scandals, naughty liaisons in houses of ill repute, men who think they know everything and women who know they do not.


An Indecent Invitation is the scorching hot and intriguing first installment in Laura Trentham’s Spies and Lovers series. This historical novel pairs up a sassy, intelligent young woman with a long time family friend and their resulting romance is explosive. Readers of historical romances who also enjoy a suspense element to the storyline do not want to miss this beguiling and super steamy novel.

Lady Lily Drummond is a quick thinking, feisty and clever young woman who is determined to think for herself. She is nothing like the shy and retiring ladies of the peer and she wants more from life than an advantageous marriage. She can be a bit impulsive but she can take care of herself and Lily is not about to take orders from anyone.

Gray Masterson grew up beside Lily and he is best friends with her brother Rafe. While he is not an aristocrat, his career as a spy for the Crown has garnered him the respect of his peers. He is stunned to discover the hellion who tagged along behind him and Rafe has grown into a beautiful and highly sought after young woman. Gray is dismayed by his attraction to Lily but he knows she deserves a titled suitor, so he is determined to ignore his feelings for her.

Much to his annoyance, Lily is not easy to ignore or dissuade once she decides to help investigate her father’s disappearance. After Gray realizes this, he and Rafe devise a scheme to keep her busy while at the same time keeping her out of harm’s way. However, Gray underestimates Lily’s abilities and she uncovers important evidence. She can also move freely about in Society and her invitations take her into places that he cannot freely access so Lily quickly becomes a valuable asset to the investigation.

Underlying all of Lily and Gray’s interactions is a simmering attraction that soon becomes impossible to ignore. Lily might be innocent but she does not hesitate to explore her burgeoning sexuality once it is awakened. Their mutual desire leads to some very sensual and exquisitely detailed sex scenes that are also full of deep emotions. Being an honorable gentleman, Gray knows that marriage is the only thing that will salvage Lily’s reputation, but will she agree to marry him?

An Indecent Invitation is a wonderful blend of suspense and romance and fans of the genre are sure to enjoy this beautifully written and well researched first installment in Laura Trentham’s Spies and Lovers series. The mystery surrounding Lily’s father’s disappearance is quite interesting and the investigation is full of exciting twists and turns. There is a plenty of sexual tension between Gray and Lily and their exchanges are a delightful combination of witty banter and flirtatious bickering. An outstanding historical romance that will leave readers impatiently awaiting the next book in the series.

1 Comment

Filed under An Indecent Invitation, Historical, Laura Trentham, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Samhain Publishing Limited, Spies and Lovers series, Suspense

Review: Texas Bossa Nova by Cynthia D’Alba

bossaTitle: Texas Bossa Nova by Cynthia D’Alba
Texas Montgomery Mavericks Series Book Five
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: Novel
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Author


He plans to take the wander right out of her wanderlust.

Texas Montgomery Mavericks, Book 5

Magda Hobbs’s job as ranch housekeeper—and its daily dose of cowboys—wreaked havoc on her libido. Especially one certain cowboy she couldn’t resist. Scared of going down the same path as her mother, Magda jumped on her motorcycle and hit the road.

Five months later, her father’s mild heart attack has forced her back to Whispering Springs. While she’s grateful for the cleaning job at one of the Montgomery ranch houses, she’s not so thrilled one of the cowboys she’s looking after is the one she fell for last spring.

Reno Montgomery’s parents hiring a housekeeper for him and his brother is a nice surprise, but he’s shocked to discover it’s Magda, the woman who up and left just when things were getting serious between them.

When a freak snowstorm cuts off the outside world, the isolation rekindles their desire. But when the weather and the roads clear, Reno has to work hard and fast to keep the woman of his dreams from accelerating right out of his life again.

Product Warnings: Contains a woman born with a bad case of wanderlust, and a cowboy determined to show her that life’s a dance that doesn’t have to two-step her out of his life.


Texas Bossa Nova is the fifth installment in Cynthia D’Alba’s charming Texas Montgomery Mavericks series. My personal favorite of the series so far, it is a sweet but sexy romance that old and new fans are going to love.

Magda Hobbs and Reno Montgomery had a secret, short-lived and smoking hot affair five months earlier that ended when Magda abruptly left town. She has moved from town to town in the intervening months while Reno, along with his twin brother Darren, have been working hard to get their ranch up and running. When Magda’s father suffers a heart attack, she rushes back to Whispering Springs and after learning his recuperation is going to take longer than she expected, she reluctantly accepts a job offer to work for Reno and Darren. Magda insists they keep their relationship business only and while Reno agrees, he finds it darn near impossible to keep his hands off his ex-lover. When a snowstorm leaves them stranded together at the ranch, they end up back in one another’s arms but will Reno and Magda’s romance survive once life returns to normal?

Magda’s life has been full of heartache and she is very self-protective. In and out of foster homes after her mother’s death, Magda learned the hard way that she could not count on anyone but herself. She spent time living on the streets until her father, Zeb, found her and brought her to live with him in Whispering Springs. Against her better judgment, she gave in to her desire for Reno, but once she began to have feelings for the sexy cowboy, Magda fled before he could break her heart.

In the months since Magda left town, Reno and Darren have been focused on getting the D&R Ranch established. Reno has also been trying to forget the feisty woman that he was beginning to fall for all those months ago. He is a little dismayed but happy she is back in his life and surprisingly, they get along well once she begins working for him and his brother. Reno is still wildly attracted to her, but Magda sticks to her plan to keep their relationship strictly professional.

The relationship between Magda and Reno is such a delight to watch unfold. They both do an excellent job ignoring their attraction and despite their wariness of one another, they fall back into a easy friendship. Darren’s presence makes it easy for them to maintain a safe distance from each other. However, once unfortunate circumstances take Darren out of the picture briefly, Magda and Reno find themselves unable to resist giving in to their simmering passion. But will Magda’s trust issues come between them again?

Texas Bossa Nova is a blissfully angst free romance between two very appealing characters. Cynthia D’Alba puts a unique spin on what could otherwise be a predictable storyline and the resulting story is quite satisfying. The conflict between Magda and Reno is realistic and it is easy to understand Magda’s fears. Reno takes full advantage of an opportunity to end the stalemate between them and this leads to a long overdue discussion of their issues.

Texas Bossa Nova is an absolutely marvelous addition to the Texas Montgomery Mavericks series that will leave readers impatiently awaiting the next installment (which I am hoping with be Darren’s story).


Filed under Contemporary, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Samhain Publishing Limited, Texas Bossa Nova, Texas Montgomery Mavericks

Review: Texas Twist by Cynthia D’Alba

txTitle: Texas Twist by Cynthia D’Alba
Texas Montgomery Mavericks Book Four
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: Novel
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Author


Real bad boys can grow up to be real good men.

Texas Montgomery Mavericks, Book 4

Hit hard by the death of her parents, Paige Ryan needs to figure out what to do with her life. She moves to Whispering Springs, Texas, to be near her step-brother. But just as she starts to get her life on track, the last man she ever wanted to see again sends it right back off the rails.

Cash Montgomery was on the cusp of having it all. Three bull riding titles, fame, fortune and respect from his family. Until a bad bull leaves him injured, angry and searching for comfort at the bottom of a bottle. With nowhere to go, he moves into his sister-in-law’s old ranch house in Whispering Springs—which he’s surprised to find already occupied.

As Cash rebuilds the dilapidated home and Paige starts out on her medical career, their old friendship begins to reemerge and sparks are ignited. Paige knows that Cash is nothing but a heartache waiting to happen. But maybe this bad boy has grown up to be a real good man?

Product Warnings: Watch out for falling lumber, falling in holes, and falling for the wrong guy…again. You can leave your hard hat on.

The Review:

Texas Twist is the latest addition to Cynthia D’Alba’s delightful Texas Montgomery Mavericks series. This fourth book centered around the Montgomery clan can be read as a standalone but it can be a little overwhelming trying to sort out the various relationships if you are new to the series.

Cash Montgomery and Paige Ryan’s paths crossed frequently for a number of years as they both traveled the rodeo circuit. As a teenager, Paige had a huge crush on the four years older Cash, and after her eighteenth birthday, she left for college nursing a broken heart. Fast forward a few years, and they are unexpectedly reunited when they wind up living together in Cash’s sister-in-law’s ramshackle ranch house. Paige is dismayed by her continued desire for Cash, but once she realizes he is also attracted to her, she proposes a no-strings fling.

Paige is a well-adjusted, sensible young woman in her mid twenties. She has been helping out in her step-brother’s bar while mourning the deaths of her parents, but she is preparing for the next step in her life when she runs into Cash. Despite her continued attraction to him, Paige does not sit around mooning over him. She embarks on a new job and dates a new man in town while she is waiting for school to begin in a few months.

Cash’s career as a bull rider is more than just a job to him. In his mind, bull riding is what defines him, so it is no surprise that after a career ending injury, he is convinced his life is over. In the months since his accident, he has been drinking heavily while wallowing in self-pity.  At loose ends, he begins repair work on the old house, and he is pleasantly surprised when a new future begins to take shape.

Living in the same house puts Paige and Cash in daily contact with one another and they slowly renew their old friendship. The attraction between them simmers below the surface but neither acts on it until Cash’s jealousy leads to a very passionate kiss. Paige is no longer content to ignore her feelings and although she knows there is little chance of a long term relationship for them, she convinces him to agree to a casual affair until she leaves for school. They are soon indulging in some very hot and steamy lovemaking, but love soon sneaks up on both of them.

Texas Twist is a light and easy read with very little conflict. Paige and Cash’s romance is mostly problem free, but a misunderstanding late in the story threatens their relationship. Cynthia D’Alba saves all the drama for the novel’s conclusion, and although Paige and Cash resolve their issue quickly, there is plenty of pulse-pounding action before they are fully reunited.

Fast-paced and engaging with likable characters, Texas Twist is another fabulous installment in the very charming Texas Montgomery Mavericks series that will leave readers eagerly awaiting Cynthia D’Alba’s next release.


Filed under Contemporary, Cynthia D'Alba, Rated B, Review, Romance, Samhain Publishing Limited, Texas Montgomery Mavericks, Texas Twist

Review: Nothing But Smoke by Daisy Harris

smokeTitle: Nothing But Smoke by Daisy Harris
Fire and Rain Series Book Three
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Romance
Length: Category
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Author


Sometimes good boys do bad things.
Fire and Rain, Book 3

Michael Larson considers himself one of the good guys. He recycles, eats mostly vegan, and volunteers. But one night, while on a jog through a Seattle park, he encounters a sexy man on a motorcycle he wants to be bad with.

Firefighter Nicky O’Brian barely has time to even think about a sex life. Between his job and caring for his critically ill mother, his only pleasures involve a few racy videos and occasional nighttime forays to find men willing to help him forget his troubles.

It was supposed to be a one-time, anonymous hookup—until fate intervenes and their mutual attraction blossoms into a furtive affair. Michael doesn’t date closeted guys, but for the haunted, lonely Nicky he makes an exception.

When Nicky’s mother takes a turn for the worse, Michael is forced to make a choice between idealism and compassion. And as Nicky’s needs spiral out of control, Michael realizes that a new set of ideals could be exactly what he needs to keep love in his life—for good.

Product Warnings: Contains sex in the trees, sex in parked cars, and sex in other uncomfortable places. Tissues are required, because the ending will make you cry—and maybe make you want to call your Mom.

The Review:

Nothing But Smoke is my favorite installment of Daisy Harris’s marvelous Fire and Rain series. The main characters are wonderful and the sex scenes are sinfully steamy. But it is the emotional depth of the story that makes it such a standout read and I loved every minute of this terrific novel.

Michael Larson knows the heartache of dating a man in the closet, and although his encounters with Nicky O’Brian are sizzling hot, he is reluctant to become involved with the sexy firefighter. But after their anonymous hookups become a regular occurrence and Nicky needs a friend after his mother’s health worsens, their friendship enters into romantic territory.

Once again, Ms. Harris’s fantastic pairing of two completely opposite protagonists adds tension to the story and proves to be a learning experience for Michael as he begins to understand some of Nicky’s reasons for keeping his sexuality hidden. Michael has always his mother’s unconditional support so his sexuality has never been an issue. His painful experience with a closeted man leaves him very distrustful of entering into a relationship with Nicky but he cannot ignore his growing feelings for him.

Nicky has always been attracted to men and although he has experienced a few fumbling encounters with men, he has never admitted he is gay. Unsure of the reaction he would get from his ultra-religious mother, he has avoided any type of romantic entanglements so dating Michael is completely new territory.

Just as Nicky begins to realize he is ready to explore his sexuality, his is faced with his mother’s health crisis. He turns to Michael for support, and while Michael wants to help Nicky, he is also very conflicted about Nicky’s need to keep their real relationship hidden from his ill mother. The situation between them is incredibly tense, but once they finally clear the air, they arrive at a compromise that addresses both men’s needs.

The sex scenes between Nicky and Michael are deliciously sexy but Nicky’s inexperience gives them an unexpected air of innocence. Nicky’s attempt to figure out the next step in their lovemaking is endearing and leads to some of the funniest moments in the novel.

The story arc with Nicky’s mother is very poignant and a little heartbreaking. It highlights how deeply both men care for their mothers and my heart ached for everything Nicky was going through. Michael is often exasperated with his kooky, non-traditional mother but by the end of the novel, he gains a new appreciation for her.

Nothing But Smoke is a sweet, sexy and incredibly moving addition to the Fire and Rain series. The characters are three-dimensional and multi-faceted with easy to relate to flaws and imperfections. The conflict between Michael and Nicky is realistic and they resolve their issues with very little angst. Another beautiful and heartwarming romance from Daisy Harris that I highly recommend to fans of m/m romances.

1 Comment

Filed under Contemporary, Daisy Harris, Fire and Rain Series, M/M, Nothing But Smoke, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Samhain Publishing Limited