Review: Protector by Catherine Mann

A hero who doubts his ability to be heroic, and a heroine from one of the underworld’s murkiest families discover they would sacrifice anything for each other.

ProtectorAir Force Captain Chuck Tanaka barely survived horrific torture after being captured during a secret mission. His body has mostly healed, but his confidence in himself hasn’t. He believes his instincts and nerves are shot, so he tells himself he’s satisfied spending the rest of his career riding a desk and testing the technology that will keep other missions from going FUBAR.

But his commanding officer has other plans, and he convinces Chuck that he’s the only man who can pull this one off. He needs Chuck to go undercover on a cruise ship owned by mobster. They have credible reports that the ship is being used as a cover for a terrorist cell, so Chuck poses as blackjack dealer named Charles Tomas.

The operation seems fine until the mobster’s daughter, Jolynn Taylor, joins the ship. Suddenly Chuck finds himself intensely attracted to the woman whose father he’s working to bring down, the woman who may have the information he needs to complete the most important investigation of his life.

Protector is the second Catherine Mann novel I’ve read, and I’m totally infatuated with her gutsy heroines and high-octane heroes. Especially her heroes (good grief, check out that cover! :)). She writes characters who manage to be strong and vulnerable at the same time, always a combustible combination when they’re forced into life-threatening situations together.

I loved, for example, this exchange in a safe house after Jolynn discovers the cute blackjack dealer Charles Tomas is actually a lethal military man who may have been flirting with her to get information about her father.

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Winner of the Catherine Mann giveaway!

Hot ZoneThanks so much to everyone who commented on my interview with Catherine Mann, and to Cathy herself for giving away a copy of Hot Zone.

The lucky winner is…Kathryn Anne Merkel!

Kathryn, I’ve emailed asking you for your mailing address.

Everyone, this week you can win a $10 gift certificate to the book retailer of your choice AND win a gift certificate for a contemporary romance novelist who has a book coming out this month. Just leave a comment on my Contemporaries to Covet in January post telling me which contemporary romance you’re looking forward to this month, and I’ll choose a winner next week!

Winner of the Roni Loren giveaway!

I’m sorry this is a day late. I’ve spent the past two days in the hospital with my grandparents. Grandpa’s scheduled to have surgery this morning, so hopefully he’ll start getting better soon.

Crash Into YouAnyway, I wanted to thank everyone who stopped by to comment on Roni Loren’s fantastic post: Why do all the romance heroes have six-packs?

The winner of Crash Into You, Roni’s debut novel is…angela quarles!

Angela, I’ve emailed you asking for your mailing address.

This week you guys can win one of my favorite books, Hot Zone by Catherine Mann!

If I don’t get a chance to publish another post over the next few days, then let me wish you all a very happy new year now. Here’s wishing us all love, laughter, and lots of great books in 2012!

Interview with Catherine Mann – and giveaway!

Catherine MannEarlier this month, I had the privilege of reading Hot Zone, a romantic suspense novel by Catherine Mann. It totally blew me away, from one of the most gripping opening scenes I’ve ever read all the way to its poignant ending.

I loved it so much, I seethed with jealousy that I didn’t write it myself.

I’m so happy to have Catherine here today, giving away a copy of Hot Zone and answering my nosy questions. Welcome, Catherine!

Thanks for inviting me to visit on your blog – and thank you very much for your cheers for HOT Zone!

1. You started off with a career in arts and teaching. You’ve got degrees in theater and fine arts, and you’ve taught at advanced levels. Can you tell us how you transitioned from that career into a writing career, especially one where you write gritty military suspense novels?

I’ve always been an avid romance reader, since my early teens, and even tried to write a novel in junior high school.  But I tabled the dream and tucked away that first attempt, because hey, what are the odds of selling a book, right?  My creative outlet then turned to the theater, which in hindsight I see now that somehow I seem drawn to careers that are difficult to break into.  But my mother always said in choosing your career, follow your dreams, your passion, and the rest will fall into place.  (Thanks, Mom!)

2. How has your theater background helped you as a writer? Do you find yourself incorporating theatrical skills (like storyboarding or having a keen eye for setting) when writing your novels?

Continue reading “Interview with Catherine Mann – and giveaway!”

Eleven romance authors I “discovered” in 2011 – & giveaway!

Mistletoe Madness 2011This post is part of the Mistletoe Madness blog hop. If you’re here for the first time, welcome! I blog about contemporary and historical romance, and I have weekly giveaways. (This one is an added bonus.) I hope you’ll consider subscribing and visiting again sometime.

I’ve heard some lovely stories about parents who mark their children’s growth by writing them a letter every birthday and recounting all the things they’ve learned to do.

I’m a bit too old for my mom to do that, so I measure my own growth in my own ways. One of my favorites is by reflecting on much-loved authors whose books I hadn’t read a year ago. These are authors who gave me the thrill of discovery and inspiration – what more could you ask for?

Here are 11 romance authors I “discovered” this year. I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing some of them, and I’m making it my resolution to interview the others in 2012.

1. Shannon Stacey: Heartfelt, funny contemporary romance

2. Jane Graves: Contemporary romance that tugs the heartstrings

3. Catherine Mann: High-octane military romance (Catherine will be here the week of December 26 giving away Hot Zone!)

4. Brenda Novak: Romantic suspense that’ll keep you up all night!

5. Katie Lane: Quirky, hot small-town Texas romance

6. Laura Lee Guhrke: Stunningly beautiful historical romance

7. Shana Galen: Absolutely fantastic historical adventures

8. Suzanne Brockman: Her contemporary romance Infamous made me cry.

9. Vicky Dreiling: Wickedly witty historical romance

10. Sarah MacLean: Laugh-out-loud-funny Regency romance

11. Joanne Kennedy: Fun and poignant contemporary cowboy romance

Giveaway!

Since this is part of the Mistletoe Madness blog hop, there are a few ways you can win cool stuff.

1

Win a $10 book gift certificate and some chocolate on my blog. (Open internationally)

Chocolate stars ornamentLeave a comment below telling me an author you became a fan of this year. On December 23, I’ll randomly choose one commenter to win a $10 (or equivalent in your currency) gift certificate to an online book retailer. I’ll also send you this ornament filled with chocolate stars (fake tree not included), which will hopefully arrive in time for you to share them at a New Year’s party!

2

Enter to win a Nook! (U.S. only)

If you live in the U.S., you can also sign up for the Nook giveaway on PJ Schnyder’s blog, as part of the Mistletoe Madness blog hop. The Nook is loaded with books, so you can discover lots of new authors in 2012.

3

Visit other bloggers giving stuff away.

On PJ Schnyder’s blog, you can find links to all the other bloggers giving away cool stuff during the Mistletoe Madness blog hop. Go give ’em some love, and you could win cool stuff from them!

Who are your favorite new authors that you’ve discovered in 2011?