Monday, February 5, 2018

Series Review - McKenzie Ridge Series - Stephanie St. Klaire

Rescued - McKenzie Ridge #1

Just as the walls start to come down, boundaries redefine, and things heat up, tragedy hits the small mountain town of McKenzie Ridge.

Sexy EMT Dawson Tayler made hearts break, and panties melt with a single look. Far from home, in the charming tourist town, he lives a simple life his family would be appalled by – if they were alive. Dawson suddenly finds his satisfying life, emotionless as it was, changing the night he nearly loses her. 

The storming ball of fire, that is Nurse Sam Taylor, defined the word fighter. At five feet and a handful of inches, beautiful Sam was kind, giving, and a complete hard ass. Abandonment was a lesson Sam learned early on, leaving her with a hardened heart as a result. Men were as necessary as a hang nail and weren’t part of her plan, until him. 

After months of shameless flirting, and generating steam everyone in their circle could see but them, the unlikely couple agreed to a friend’s only breakfast that turned into every morning – for weeks. Committed to the single life, this was not a relationship, and they definitely were not dating.

Does Dawson’s past and present collide and ruin what they have built? Will her secret be the deal breaker that ends this affair, before it even begins? Their steamy romance rushes through suspenseful twists, turns, and malice. Will Dawson and Sam find a happily ever after, or, is there someone else lurking in McKenzie Ridge trying to destroy it all?

Jennifer's Review:

Rescued is a sweet romance novel. Stephanie St. Klaire is a wonderful author with a fresh writing style. I loved falling in love with Sam and Dawson. This was a solid read for me.

Stephanie St. Klaire used a unique writing style when writing this story. Instead of sticking to one specific style she switches between styles fluidly. While this was confusing at times, it also opened the story to a new depth. This story is told from a narrators point of view while also allowing readers to get a feel of each characters thoughts, not just the main characters. I really enjoyed this aspect of the book as I feel it added another layer to the story.

The plot was quite interesting as well. The author would alternate between the current time and to a past time. I really like to start a book in a tense situation and have the ability to go back to the beginning and meet the characters and anticipate the build up to said situation. There were definitely some plot twists as well. The ending shocked me a bit. It was well worth it.

The heat in this book is nice. We get a slow buildup between the characters that is sweet. We as readers were able to learn about these characters and watch them develop. We are also able to share feelings with the characters. The relatable way Stephanie writes is a blessing for readers who really like to immerse themselves into a book. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The only reason I did not give it a 5 star rating is because I did get confused a couple of times, but otherwise I really enjoyed this book. I would recommend this book to friends. It has romance, mystery, and action all wrapped up with a big red bow. Great job Stephanie.

Hidden - McKenzie Ridge #2 

Firefighter Colton Sparks is beautiful, brawny, and lonely? Colton, a die-hard romantic, is looking for a Hallmark worthy happily ever after, but finding Mrs. Right has been as fruitful as playing the lottery. It’s no secret that he dreams of white picket fences, finding love, and having a family. He has the white picket fence, he just needs her. 

He’s every woman’s dream; they just aren’t his. A total man’s man with testosterone driven tendencies smothered in a tough guy exterior, he has a soft spot…animals. He understands being the one nobody wants, so he rescues animals that aren’t perfect to the rest of the world. 

When a beautiful woman comes to town, he thinks he has found her. Megan Johnson is stunning with a regal quality that doesn’t live in small mountain towns, and a mystery that has him intrigued. She also happens to be his neighbor. 

Megan thought McKenzie Ridge was the perfect place to settle, for now. It was polar opposite of the glamorous life she abruptly abandoned. Small town living was anything but simple, it was damn hard! Gone were her days of fancy make up, and designer clothes, here were the days of flannel, fur lined boots, and becoming Megan Johnson. 

Things start to heat up, and fall into place with the handsome firefighter next door, when her past flashes its depraved and wrathful face. Can she stay in McKenzie and fight her demons, or will her secrets leave her alone and on the run? 

Is there a happily ever for Colton and Megan, or is love a deadly game of chance? 

Jennifer's Review:

Hidden is the second novel in the McKenzie Ridge series written by Stephanie St. Klaire. 
Rescued was the first novel in the series which was amazing, but Hidden is even better. I don’t know if it is because as a reader we have met many of the characters and fallen in love with them already, but I absolutely loved Hidden. 

Colton is such a hot man with a sensitive side that speaks to every woman. There is just enough mystery to keep the readers interested as well. While being the second book in the series, this novel can be read as a standalone novel. 

Hidden has a very interesting plot. Stephanie did a spectacular job of keeping the readers interested while giving them bits and pieces of imperative information to help them put the pieces of the puzzle together. I have to say this plot was one of the more interesting plots that I have read in a while. I loved the mystery of this book. I knew right away that Megan had more going on than anyone realised, but I didn’t expect some of the events that transpired. I love when a book catches me off guard and throws some curves in my way. 

The main character Megan is developed nicely. She has a long journey ahead of her at the start of the book and I love that readers were able to go on the journey with her. Colton develops a bit as well, but his main job in the book is to act as a catalyst for Megan to do some developing herself. I love their interactions with each other. 
Colton is one of my new book boyfriends for sure. He is described as attractive, but that is not what made me fall for him. He had me at animals. So as to not reveal too much, I will leave it at that. He melts my heart.

There is plenty of heat in this book. Stephanie sure knows how to heat a room up and make a girl blush. The interactions between characters is wonderful. I love how she allows the characters to develop and bond organically. I hate it when authors force the heat in books and rush the romance. Stephanie does not do this, which leads to a sweet yet spicy romance story. I also love all the humour in the book. All of her characters are funny and love to have a good time. I really felt like I was reading about down to earth people who could be friends of mine.

Overall, I absolutely loved Hidden. Stephanie St. Klaire is an author to look out for. She has a unique take on romance novels while throwing in a dash of mystery and action to give a girl everything she needs in a book. Her characters are relatable and very likeable. Stephanie transports you into her world and allows you to imagine you are a part of her tight knit group of characters. I would and have already recommended this book to others! 

Forgotten - McKenzie Ridge #3

Morgan Jameson’s life becomes anything but routine when an unconscious man is found on her property. When her handsome stranger wakes up as a mystery without an identity to recall, Morgan takes him in. The mystery broadens when endless chaos and mischief lands in McKenzie Ridge. 

Working on Morgan’s ranch, to earn his keep, the mystery man can’t help but feel at home. When Morgan catches his eye, and holds his heart, he’s content with not knowing who he really is. That is, until it is all threatened.

Shots are fired, and danger ensues but is it a result of the new guy in town, or at the hands of one of their own? One thing is certain; it isn’t just love on the line, its lives too. Does love triumph or end in tragedy in McKenzie Ridge.

Jennifer's Review:

Forgotten bings us back to Mackenzie ridge.  Being the 3rd book in the series, we get to follow along with another couple in the series. This book specifically has a bit of mystery and a lot of bit of action. If you like a little romance with your action, then this is the book for you.

What I liked about this book was that the pot was interesting. We want to know who is doing the damage and causing the ruckus. I also really like the way the characters are written. They're both lovable and you're rooting for them to make it. The heat in this book is not muted. Definitely enough to steam up your pages.

 The writing style in this book is different than most that I bred. You get to read from several characters different point of views throughout the story. I think this adds some depth that are the book and makes you feel like you truly understand almost everything going on. Over all I enjoyed this book.

Fearless - McKenzie Ridge #4

When tragedy strikes the small mountain town of McKenzie Ridge, lives are left hanging in the balance.
Everly Shaw takes a direct hit, leaving her battling demons she thought she buried long ago. Doing her best to move on, life tosses her a curveball…or two. Everly now must face her past in order to have the future she never knew she wanted. A spontaneous girl at heart who throws caution to the wind, the only risk she won’t gamble on…love.

Doctor Mason Charles knows exactly what he wants and it’s Nurse Everly Shaw. The only problem, she doesn’t do love or relationships, but she will do late nights and secret rendezvous. Doc is a patient man, but is he patient enough to wait for her change of heart that may or may not come? 

Twists of fate, destiny, and maybe a little luck are all he needs to be a hero to the one person who ends up needing him most. He saved lives in the emergency room, but could he heal old wounds and a broken heart? 

Wrongs become right, relationships unfold, and mysteries resolve only to find that good is being threatened by evil. Lives are at risk when danger hides under the cloak of friendship – will McKenzie Ridge be planning a wedding, or will they suffer yet another heart breaking funeral?

Jennifer's Review:

Fearless is the 4th book in the Mckenzie ridge series. What I feel I like most about this book is actually the writing style in it. In the other books I had a hard time following along sometimes when it switched from character to character. In this book I felt like I was watching a soap opera. It felt very multi character for me. 

This book doesn't follow just one couple it actually shows the relationship of two couples.  I really like the presence of Gran in this book. She's always been my favorite in all the books. She's the type of Gran I wish I had. I also really enjoyed the plot of this book. I feel like it was a little bit different than all the other books, but in a good way.

Over all I really like this book. I liked the soap opera feel. And I really liked the multidimensional story telling.

Redemption - McKenzie Ridge #5

Jessie Clarke has worked hard for nearly a decade to overcome the trauma of her past, becoming a firefighter in McKenzie Ridge has helped her rise above the ashes and become a strong, independent woman. But, underneath her foul mouth and tough exterior, Jessie is hiding something... A secret that could not only endanger her but destroy all those she loves in the small mountain town she calls home. 

Blake Cooper, sexy police chief of McKenzie Ridge, is the perfect combination of rugged and good looks but he has secrets of his own. Secrets that could bring the strongest man to his knees. As a man of honor, he is dedicated to protect and serve the people in his town, even when he's forced to overstep boundaries that could come back to haunt him. 

Jessie and Blake's love-hate relationship comes to a screeching halt and sparks fly when they’re forced to work together to keep McKenzie Ridge safe. When the past catches up with her, will he be able to keep her safe? Can Jessie learn to trust Blake or will his secrets fuel the fire that's closing in, igniting a blaze that could consume not only them, but burn McKenzie Ridge to the ground.

Jennifer's Review:

Redemption is the fifth and final book in the Mckenzie Ridge series. At least for now, as the author put it. Redemption is the most anticipated booked of the series in my opinion. This book has even more action than the rest, which is to be expected with the characters this book is following. If you like angsty romance with a side of action, then you will love this.

This book follows Blake and Jessie. These two have been going at it since the beginning of the series. Readers have been wondering when these two were finally going to put down their fighting words and give into the chemistry that is obviously between them. Well, let’s just say that these two are still as stubborn and pigheaded as they always have been. I feel that is a part of their charm.

What I love most about this story is the plot. I was surprised by the secrets that were being kept by the characters. I found myself gasping more than once at the events unfolding. That ending though. Whew. I was surly surprised. I was smacking myself on the head wishing I had caught on sooner. Seriously, amazing job.

Overall, Redemption is my favorite book in the series. While I love all of the characters, Jessie has always been my favorite. I am really glad that we were able to see her story play out for us. I think this was the perfect ending to this little town. I am glad that we will now step away and give them some much needed peace and quiet.

Star Ratings:
Series: 5/5
Rescued: 4/5
Hidden: 5/5
Forgotten: 5/5
Fearless: 5/5
Redemption: 5/5

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