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PRISONER by Beverly Jenkins
Elizabeth is a homesteader. In order for her to receive the title to her land she must turn a profit by the third year. Her husband asked for a divorce in favor of another woman and now it looks like turning a profit alone is a seemingly impossible task. Fortunately the local sheriff has a solution - take advantage of a law that allows her to marry a man facing the gallows.
Convicted felon Jordan Yancy has two choices - the gallows or marriage. He chooses marriage. He’s a big man who’s not afraid of hard work, especially once he discovers that Elizabeth is an excellent cook. He’s actually in awe of everything she’s managed to accomplish on her land by herself. What he really likes is the fiery spirit she possesses and her sexual innocence despite her former marriage.
Elizabeth and Jordan are determined to make their marriage work but it won’t be easy. Will they be able to withstand the negative vibes and backlash from some members of the community?
Beverly Jenkins writes fantastic historical novels so I was thrilled to see her as a contributing author to this anthology. In PRISONER she tells an exciting tale of a woman who boldly does what she has to in order to save what is important to her and finds love at the same time. Jordan is a great character with a fascinating background. Oh my goodness does he ever teach Elizabeth a thing or two about intimacy.
GUNS AND ROSES by Katherine D. Jones
Stephanie Gunn works as an officer at Palo Vista Corrections Facility. She zealously abides by all the institution’s rules and codes and remains professional at all times during working hours. The only threat to her calm, cool persona is her desire for Bryant Wilson.
Going to the corrections facility to visit his brother is not high on Bryant’s list of favored things to do. The only upside to the visits is that Bryant’s developed a crush on Officer Gunn. Unfortunately, she won't acknowledge him as any more than a visitor to one of the inmates.
Bryant’s brother Mac has six more months on his sentence and then Bryant fully intends to see about getting to know Officer Gunn in a more personal manner.
Plans change when Mac dies under suspicious circumstances. The warden claims it was a suicide but Stephanie and Bryant don’t believe that to be true. Just yesterday Mac had tried to get them to help him. Neither one of them took him seriously. It’s up to them to uncover the truth, and if they find comfort in each other’s arms . . . well who can blame them for that?
I was pleasantly surprised with this tale. I had all sorts of wicked preconceived ideas involving love behind bars, but Katherine D. Jones delivers a well thought out emotional story full of heat, heart, passion and intrigue. Stephanie and Bryant are genuinely likeable characters whom readers will adore and find themselves anticipating each red hot scene between the two.
HANDCUFFS MEAN NEVER HAVING TO SAY YOU'RE SORRY by Gwyneth Bolton
Tamara Downing takes great pride in her job as a detective. Currently she’s undercover posing as a receptionist for Murder Row records. The owner, Tommy Coles, is suspected of running a prostitution ring.
DEA agent Lance King is about to bust Tommy Coles on drug charges and wants Tamara safely out of the line of fire. Tamara has been a part of Lance King’s life since she was a little girl. He still refers to her as "Lil’ Bit." Ten years ago, they engaged in one night of sexual bliss which he regretted the following morning.
Tommy Coles has taken notice of Tamara and she’s ecstatic that she’s getting so close to bringing him down. The last thing she expects is a team of DEA agents posing as NPD blue to arrest her and pull her into her own precinct, but that’s exactly what happened. There’s no doubt in her mind that Lance is behind this farce and she intends to skin him alive for jeopardizing her case. Lance is determined to keep her safe and prove to her that he loves her. If he has to break out the handcuffs in order to make her listen then he’s already well equipped.
Gwyneth Bolton finals out this thrilling anthology with a fantastic storyline and kick butt heroine whom readers are going to love. Tamara is brave, daring, and not about to sit back and let Lance play the ‘knight in shining armor’ for her. I had to laugh at the dialog between Tamara and Lance. It’s so obvious that they have unresolved issues and neither of them is willing to back down or admit to needing each other. This story is feisty and filled with all the emotional turmoil that I’ve come to expect when picking up one of Ms. Bolton’s tales.
All of the stories contained within the CUFFED BY CANDLELIGHT anthology are simply delightful. The one thing I did notice that all three stories have in common is brave women who are not afraid to stand up for what they believe or the men they love. Each of these authors brought daring characters, thrilling plots, and super hot sex into this one dynamic anthology. Handcuffs have never been so sexy.
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