Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Review: TYCOON TAKEDOWN by Ruth Cardello

Tycoon Takedown (Lone Star Burn #2)

Melanie Hanna has finally worked up the courage to travel to New York and tell an old flame that he’s the father of her young son. She’s done hiding and apologizing for her one impulsive night. When her best friend asks her brother to watch over Melanie, her emotional trip takes an unexpected and sizzling detour.

Charles Dery is at the top of his game, but all he can think about is bedding the woman he was asked to protect. When she’s almost killed, he takes what he’d been denying himself and discovers he’ll do anything to keep her—even break his own rules.

When it comes to love, two wrongs may just finally make a right.

Purchase from Amazon

Tycoon Takedown (Lone Star Burn, #2)Tycoon Takedown by Ruth Cardello
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

*** ARC received in exchange for honest review ***

After reading Taken, Not Spurred (another 5 star read), I couldn't wait to get my hands on Tycoon Takedown. Lucky for me I won an ARC from the author, so I was able to start right away. When Melanie's character was first introduced (in the previous book) I just knew her story was going to be interesting. At first glance one would think she is very stand-offish and cold. She comes to Tony's ranch, does her job and leaves. The only person she really has any kind of connection with is David, Tony's ranch manager. She's not as close as she used to be with her family due to a falling out, and she has managed to push all her friends away. Aside from her son Jace, she is literally alone.

It's been a mystery up to this point how Jace came to be. I mean clearly we know how it happened, but we don't know much about his father or the circumstances of Melanie's pregnancy... until now. She's no longer able to avoid the topic with Jace and decides it's time to do the right thing by him, and his father. So she sets out on a trip to New York, the last known state of residence of her son's father, Todd, to inform him he has a son. In the back of her mind, Melanie is a little hopeful that she may run into Charles Dery, Sarah's brother, since that's where he lives and works. Little does she know that he's been pining for her just as much as she's been pining for him, and the sparks they felt at their initial meeting are still there and even more intense than ever.

We already know all about the secret that has been plaguing Charles, the guilt he harbors and the way he has heart breakingly cut himself off emotionaly from his family. But I was definitely not expecting to see this alpha male side of him! Wow. I thought Tony was pretty hot, but Charles has raised the bar...by a lot. I loved seeing this side of him, and how intense his feelings for Melanie were. He wants to give her anything and everything within his power.

I was in love with this story from beginning to end. Tycoon Takedown packs just as much of an emotional punch as the 1st book in the series, and somehow manages to turn up the heartwarming factor a couple more notches. I feel like this is a story many women would be able to relate to, because yet again we've got real characters with very real human emotions, dealing with problems, pain and loss that most people have encountered at some point in their lives. I really can't praise it enough.

I highly recommend this book, but definitely suggest reading Taken, Not Spurred first to really get a feel for all of the characters, and their backgrounds.

Note to Author: I don't know if it's in the works or not, but I would absolutely love for David and Mason to each get their own HEA's! Just saying...

Taken, Not Spurred (Lone Star Burn #1) 

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Ruth Cardello comes the steamy debut to the Lone Star Burn series.

Would-be writer Sarah Dery has just turned twenty-five and feels like her life is on hold. She's done squat with her English degree and is just killing time working for her parents. So, when the opportunity to spend the summer working on a ranch in Texas comes her way, she jumps at the chance, figuring it might be just the jolt she needs to get her creative juices flowing.

Tony Carlton is a handsome and reclusive horse trainer with a tortured past and an eye for trouble, this time in the form of a naked blonde stranger he finds in his shower.

The wrong turn that led Sarah into the arms of this sexy, brooding cowboy turns out to be just what she needed to find her steamy inner voice, but will their connection be enough to break down Tony's defenses?

Purchase from Amazon

Taken, Not Spurred (Lone Star Burn, #1)Taken, Not Spurred by Ruth Cardello
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s been a long while since I’ve read a straight up Romance novel, not a PNR Romance or Mystery Romance…just a good classic romance novel, and OMG did it feel amazing!! This book seriously has everything you could possibly want in a story. It was heartbreaking and heartwarming, funny as all get out and super steamy at the same time (not overly done either, so the author gets extra kudos for that).

Everybody has a past, some darker than others, but not everyone can overcome the pain or guilt. Some just go along with the motions of living life and others close in on themselves and shut out the world entirely. In Taken, Not Spurred we get to see both sides of the spectrum, how two people from entirely different backgrounds deal with their less than perfect pasts.

Sarah Dery is stuck in a job she doesn’t want, working for the family business, when her real passion lies in writing. A dark cloud hovers over her head from a horrible childhood tragedy that nobody in the family speaks of. They’ve all locked away the pain and the memories, as if it never happened. When the opportunity presents itself to get away for the summer, and focus on herself for a change, she jumps at the chance. Except, after making the long trip from Rhode Island to Texas things don’t go exactly as planned and she’s left without direction.

Tony Carlton, a sexy as sin horse trainer, has cut himself off from the world. He avoids the public, and even his own staff, like the plague. A deadly mistake that haunts his days and nights, took him from sitting on top of the world to stumbling around in a drunken haze in the dirt. Although the court declared him not guilty he’s deemed himself otherwise and can’t let it go. He doesn’t believe he deserves to be happy or even live. Yet when Sarah Dery shows up in his shower (yes, his shower) he begins to experience feelings completely new to him and isn’t quite sure what to do about it.

Ms. Cardello takes you on a journey of self-discovery/acceptance and forgiveness (for yourself and from others) while making you laugh and fan yourself off along the way. Her writing style is captivating and will have you hooked from start to finish. I absolutely LOVED everything about this book, especially the characters who will just tug at your heartstrings and make you feel every emotion under the sun. She really brought the cast and the story to life for me.

This was an awesome start to a new series and I can’t wait to see where it goes. Lucky for me I’ve got an ARC of Tycoon Takedown in my possession ;)

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