The MacKade Brothers #2 ~ Devin and Shane

AudiobookReview

  • Devin MacKadeThe Heart of Devin MacKade #3
  • Author: Nora Roberts
  • Performed by Luke Daniels
  • Released July 2014 by Brilliance Audio
  • Category: Contemporary Fiction, Paranormal, Romance
  • five-stars

 

Sheriff Devin MacKade has always known his destiny was to serve and protect the small town of Antietam, Maryland—and for a long while he thought that future would include Cassie Connor. But when Cassie married the wrong man, Devin did the honorable thing and kept his feelings to himself. Now that Cassie’s divorced, Devin can finally follow his heart. Question is, can Cassie?

It was pretty obvious that Devin and Cassie were going to end up with each other at some point even though, after twelve years of just being her friend, Devin thought Cassie was lost to him but still, I loved the story. It has a little more depth and emotion due to the subject matter of domestic violence and abuse, especially as children are involved.

With his chin on his chest Connor turned to go outside. He knew what was coming, he was going to get whipped. His father had always done the hitting away from the house, away where his mother couldn’t see and wouldn’t know. He’d get a beating now for sure and it would be worse than his father had ever done to him…

Nora Roberts is so good at writing scenes that pull at the heart-strings and I love the way Devin gains the trust and love of Cassie’s children. After first meeting a very subdued and downtrodden Cassie in Rafe and Reagan’s story, she has made a lot of progress since her divorce and Joe Dolin’s imprisonment. Working and living at the B&B has been especially good for her and her still emotionally scarred children. All is not plain sailing though as Joe plots and plans even as he appears to be the model prisoner

Devin and Cassie’s story mirrors that of Abigail Barlow and the man she loves but Cassie makes sure it doesn’t end the same way. And the sad story of the two Corporals from the Battle of Antietam continues to be woven through. 

 

  • Shane MacKadeThe Fall of Shane MacKade #4
  • Author: Nora Roberts
  • Performed by Luke Daniels
  • Released: July 2014 by Brilliance Audio
  • Category: Contemporary Fiction, Paranormal, Romance
  • four-half-stars

Shane MacKade enjoyed everything about women—the look of them, the smell of them, the taste of them. So the last thing he expected was to become a one-woman man. And even more surprising is that it’s the Ph.D.-toting academic Rebecca McKnight who has him headed for a fall. Could Shane’s days as a bachelor be coming to an end?

Shane, the youngest of the MacKade brothers, appeals to me as all the others have. He’s a free spirit, loves the farm, a ladies’ man who isn’t interested in settling down. He’s always tried to shut out the dreams he has, and what they mean, not wanting any part of the unsettling flashbacks from another time. 

When Dr Rebecca Knight, Reagan’s old college roommate, arrives to research the paranormal happenings for her book, Shane is thrown into turmoil on both levels. Rebecca feels an instant connection to the farm which is reinforced by her own vivid dreams. She is the link that completes the circle and Shane falls hard.

‘I’ve never felt this way about anyone. I didn’t want to, but you changed everything.’

‘I love you, Rebecca. Oh god, I love you. And I have to sit down’

The passages going back in time to the war are haunting (forgive the pun) and described so vividly it’s heartbreaking. And the epilogue is the perfect ending. 

I really enjoyed this series, and it’s one I’ll listen to again, the characters are very believable with real feelings. The family ties and bonds are a huge part of why I love these stories and it’s so nice to have totally male men who are family orientated and obviously loving it. Nora Roberts is so good at creating moving and wonderful scenarios that just make you love the characters.
The emotion Luke Daniels puts into his performances, especially so in Devin’s story, is outstanding and intensifies the drama and the feelings each character has for their partners and the others in the family. I hope you keep on doing what you’re doing, Mr Daniels, it’s magic.

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The MacKade Brothers #1 ~ Rafe and Jared

AudiobookReview

  • Rafe MackadeThe Return of Rafe MacKade #1
  • Author: Nora Roberts
  • Performed by Luke Daniels
  • Released: May 2014 by Brilliance Audio
  • Category: Contemporary Romance/Paranormal
  • four-half-stars

Ten years after disappearing from Antietam, Maryland, the bad boy has come home. Cleaned up and successful now—though still dangerously good-looking—Rafe MacKade sets the town on fire…and tongues wagging. Not even lovely newcomer Regan Bishop is immune to his charms. Though Regan claims to not want to get involved with a rebel, Rafe’s pretty sure that her reaction to their sizzling kisses suggests otherwise….

 

I’ve had this book on my Kindle for a while but didn’t get round to reading it yet. When I saw it released in audio format with Luke Daniels that was the only incentive I needed to purchase the audiobooks.

For all his macho maleness I liked Rafe, his confused feelings and inner fight were written so well and Regan’s misplaced need to be totally opposite to her mother made her go too far to the other extreme. Rafe and Regan both think they know what they want but discover it might not be what they need.

I wonder if the seeds for the Inn Boonsboro trilogy are in this story. An old building in Maryland being renovated for paying guests, haunted and with ties to the battle at Antietam. Not that it matters in this instance, I love the Boonsboro books and I’m really going to enjoy this series. The writing flowed well and the characters are described in such a way they’re easy to like. The sub story of Cassie and the abuse she suffered was handled sensitively and has got to be a storyline that will continue.

All the elements of a classic Nora Roberts, gorgeously handsome bad boy, beautiful independent woman and a good story/romance. I like very much Ms Roberts’ formula of setting the story in a small but interesting town, the paranormal aspect and the sprinkling of humour. The way she portrays families, especially brothers, their closeness to each other offset by the bickering and some great banter.

“He’s hooked,” Jared grinned and lifted his beer. “And his heart looks so pretty, right there on his sleeve.”

 

Jared Mackade

  • The Pride of Jared MacKade #2
  • Author: Nora Roberts
  • Performed by Luke Daniels
  • Released May 2014 by Brilliance Audio
  • Category: Contemporary Romance/Paranormal
  • four-half-stars

Jared MacKade believes in taking a stand, and he never turns his back on a fight. So when his work as an attorney brings him up against Savannah Morningstar, her rude behavior and strong defenses aren’t nearly enough to scare him off – quite the opposite. Thoughts of the outrageously direct and sinfully sexy woman keep Jared coming back for more. And the more he gets to know her, the more determined he is to stand by her always.

After dipping unsuccessfully into the matrimonial pool, Jared Mackade is sure he won’t try that again. Then he meets Savannah Morningstar (love the name). She isn’t the typical female protagonist found in Nora Roberts’ books but she is a very interesting character. Part Native American, she lived on the rodeo circuit with her father until he threw her out for getting pregnant at sixteen. It’s apparent the last ten years haven’t been easy ones for her and Bryan, her son. Now she’s decided it’s time to put down roots in a cabin in the woods near the Mackade farm.

Jared, a lawyer, is the more polished of the four brothers and likes things set out neat and tidy in a way he can rationalise. Savannah does anything but fit that particular bill. Nevertheless they have an instant attraction to each other and also find they share a love for the woods and a feeling for the spirits that haunt them. Their relationship is complex and difficult for them both to get to grips with because they’re both proud people. Savannah makes no apologies for her past, and why should she. Jared’s pride and yes, I have to say, touches of arrogance get in the way until he realises what an idiot he’s been.

When Nora Roberts is on form she’s one of the best. I love the way she writes the rapport between the brothers and the development of Jared and Bryan’s relationship.

Here’s the thing, Bryan,” Jared scooted away just enough so that he could face the boy fully. ‘I figure I oughta run this by you, since you’ve been the man of the house for so long. I’m in love with your mother.”

“I’m gonna ask you to take my name, Bryan and to take me on, as your father. I don’t just want your mother you see, I want both of you so you both have to want me.’

Jared found his arms full of boy……have a cigar he thought giddily. You’ve got yourself a son.

I like the continuation of the characters from the first book, Cassie and her kids still trying to come to terms with what’s gone before, Rafe and Reagan’s happiness and the sub plot about the fight between the two soldiers who met in the woods during the battle of Antietam continues to be woven into the story.

Ms Roberts’ writing can mostly always bring laughter and emotionally charged moments, especially when describing the two boys from the war who just want to get home. And couple that with Luke Daniels’ performance and it’s win all the way. He’s just so skilled at making the characters come alive and is as good portraying females and kids as he is at alpha males. And switches so smoothly from one to the other. Great stuff. 

tt10407948fltt     Amazon US  Amazon UK