The first one is by Kimberly Krey called Reese's Cowboy Kiss. It's about a pageant queen named Reese Taylor who survives a traumatic shooting and is put in the Witness Protection Program. (Sort of. It's not like any Witness Protection I've heard of, but she's on a ranch in Montana with a bunch of ranch hands.) And the owner of the ranch, Blake Emerson, catches Reese's eye immediately.
They are battling their attraction to each other with some fairly steamy kisses, the push/pull of should we/shouldn't we, which was quite enjoyable, actually, when you throw in the ranch hands trying to catch her eye as well, but then the danger finds her and they have to figure out how to keep her safe.
This book had some great tension. I also enjoyed the setting and description of Montana and the ranch. The "southern/western twangs" got a teensy bit overpowering for me at times, but overall I thought the characterization was well-done. I even liked the secondary characters of the ranch hands and their antics. I have to say it was a nice afternoon read and I found out that it's the first in a Sweet Montana Bride series. So, there's more! You can buy your Kindle copy here for $3.99
Here's the back copy:
Texan pageant winner, Reese Taylor, has a former classmate who wants her dead. Now she must leave her friends and family to enter a protection program on Emerson Ranch. A group of good-looking cowboys awaits her, but Reese has her eye on Blake Emerson, the one man too busy with the ranch to give her a chance.
Blake Emerson has no time to go lookin' for love. He's got a ranch to run, positions to fill, and an ache in his heart from love gone wrong. So when he agrees to harbor a witness to help on the ranch, Blake assumes his first two problems are solved. But he never dreamed his new guest would be a woman. One he was destined to lose his heart to.
With sparks burning hot and danger around the bend, one question lingers in his mind: Has he only added to his list of troubles, or has Blake just found the woman of his dreams?
The second book I wanted to tell you about was Drop Zone by Traci Hunter Abramson. This is a continuation of the Saint Squad series, but they're adding a new member. Damian Schmitt is the new guy trying to figure out where he fits on the squad exactly, but when his squad deploys without him, he's unsure if he even fits at all. Paige Vickers is Vanessa Johnson's new administrative assistant and she's hiding secrets of her own about why she left nursing and is deathly afraid of guns. When the squad goes missing, it comes down to Damian and Paige going undercover to find them before they're captured or killed.
I thought the story had a solid plot and it was nice to see some of the characters from the other books. I've always liked the team's interaction and the Saint Squad books are my favorites of hers. The one thing that bothered me a teeny bit, though, was that this book had four stories going on simultaneously in really short chapters (what's going on with the squad, Damian and Paige, the bad guys, and Vanessa) so sometimes it seemed really choppy. I would just be getting into the flow when it would suddenly change to another part of the story, so it took a while to get back the flow again, if that makes sense. But I think it's a good addition to the Saint Squad series and the new characters were fun to read about. The tension is high through pretty much the whole book and the ending was definitely sigh-worthy. You can buy your Kindle copy here for $10.49
Here's the back copy:
Paige Vickers needs a new life, so she’s relieved when she’s given an assignment that takes her away from her stressful position as a psychiatric nurse with the CIA and puts her in a job as administrative assistant for Vanessa Johnson, an instructor for undercover operatives at the CIA’s training facility. At the same time, Damian Schmitt has been transferred to become a part of the Saint Squad—an elite group of Navy SEALs. However, on his first training mission with the team, he is almost killed, and the team suspects that the nearly fatal exercise was no accident. Then tensions accelerate when the rest of the squad is deployed on a secret mission—only to come up missing. When the Saint Squad’s disappearance endangers Paige’s boss, it is up to Paige and Damian to discover what has happened by going undercover to Maracaibo, Venezuela, the city of Damian’s childhood. The shocking twists and turns keep all the members of the team guessing as they push to find out who is responsible for the attacks on the tightly knit Saint Squad.