ARC Mini-Reviews of Courage Under Fire by Lindsay McKenna and How To Catch A Queen by Alyssa Cole

I travel around the world for romance …all from my bed.

Courage Under Fire by Lindsay McKenna

A powerful story of one man’s quest to protect the courageous woman he loves from a dangerous threat to their future…


Seeking an escape from her dark past, Carissa Taylor heads to Silver Creek to build a new life. For Cari, landing a job at a historic ranch just outside town is a dream come true, and a chance to put her beekeeping expertise to work. Not only does she feel at home in the ruggedly beautiful landscape, but she’s intensely drawn to rancher Chase Bishop, whose strong, steadfast nature quiets her unease. Maybe here she can finally be more than a hunted woman fleeing a vengeful killer–a man who’s been after her nearly all her life…

Chase didn’t dare open his heart again after losing his first love. Until Cari entered his life. Her gentle beauty and nurturing spirit call to him like no other. So when her enraged stepbrother breaks out of prison and comes prowling around Chase’s ranch, the former Marine goes into full protective mode, offering Cari the shelter of his home. But as the murderer’s deadly threats draw ever closer, suddenly Chase is calling on his own killer instincts, knowing he will stop at nothing to keep safe the woman who has captured his soul…13

It has been awhile since I have read a book by Lindsay McKenna. She was a staple in my collection for years. There is no particular reason I stopped reading her – it was probably economics. When I saw Courage Under Fire available to review, I jumped at the chance. 

McKenna’s writing style has changed or maybe it is just this book. 

Courage Under Fire has a background story of a girl on the run from her killer step-brother. An opportunity appears to use her degree and knowledge on a ranch. Luckily for her the rancher used to be a sniper and the ranch is surrounded by former military personnel who can protect her from her step-brother. I learned so much about bees and animal conservation. Luckily for me, beekeeping is a fascination for me as are the efforts to save animals. McKenna gives plenty of information about both areas that sometimes it feels as if the romance and the action are the subplots. Chase and Cari are sweet and sometimes too adorable as they tread so carefully towards each other that they stand still. I do love how McKenna has both characters learn from each other…a true partnership. Courage Under Fire is a great read for a snowy day. (Kensington Books, 9781420150834, 23 February 2021, p.352). Goodreads. StoryGraph.

I received an ARC of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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How to Catch a Queen by Alyssa Cole 

An arranged marriage leads to unexpected desire,


When Shanti Mohapi weds the king of Njaza, her dream of becoming a queen finally comes true. But it’s nothing like she imagined. Shanti and her husband may share an immediate and powerful attraction, but her subjects see her as an outsider, and everything she was taught about being the perfect wife goes disastrously wrong.

A king must rule with an iron fist, and newly crowned King Sanyu was born perfectly fitted for the gauntlet, even if he wishes he weren’t. He agrees to take a wife as is required of him, though he doesn’t expect to actually fall in love. Even more vexing? His beguiling new queen seems to have the answers to his country’s problems—except no one will listen to her.

By day, they lead separate lives. By night, she wears the crown, and he bows to her demands in matters of politics and passion. When turmoil erupts in their kingdom and their marriage, Shanti goes on the run, and Sanyu must learn whether he has what it takes both to lead his people and to catch his queen.13

I really wanted to love How To Catch A Queen as much as I love Once Ghosted, Twice Shy written by Alyssa Cole. The problem is I liked both main characters in Once Ghosted, and I do not really care for Sanyu. In the beginning of the book we meet Sanyu who is 32-years-old and he is running away from his responsibilities, stating that he is never returning, while his father lays dying. He feels like running for most of the book. He could have just abdicated the throne and let Musoke rule. Sanyu just does not seem worthy of Shanti who has prepared her whole life to help people. Shanti takes a lot of abuse (patriarchal verbal insults), yet she holds her head up and finds another way to do things. Shanti is a fabulous heroine and one that is easy to fall for. Her drive, humor, and perseverance make How To Catch A Queen worth reading. (Avon, 9780062933966, 1 December 2020, p. 354). Goodreads. StoryGraph.

I received an ARC of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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