Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Book Review - Highland Protector by Catherine Bybee - MaCcoinnich Time Travel Series

I do not generally read supernatural or fantasy books, but this series has had me wanting more since the beginning.  Amber MacConnich has been forced to be separated from her family for her safety and in hopes of finding what will save her from death.  Time is running out when two other time travelers arrive unexpectedly.  As the solution becomes clear, choices have to be made about what can be sacrificed and tolerated to save her life.

The latest in the MaCcoinnich Time Travel series was a great installment in the series and left me wanting to know more about what is going on with Cian!  I feel like I've been waiting forever for Amber's story, and Bybee did not disappoint me at all.  This is such a different feel from her Contemporary romance series', The Weekday Brides and Not Quite, but the romance is still there along with the time travel and highlander men!   In addition to Amber, we get to spend time with old favorites like Jake, Simon, Helen, Mrs. Dawson, and Selma.
I loved this book and give it an easy 5 stars -- although I considered holding one back because I want to know what happens to Cian so badly! 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Book Review – Meant for Love by Marie Force - The McCarthy's of Gansett Island Series

Meant for Love is book 10 of Marie Force’s The McCarthy’s of Gansett Island Series.  This series is one of my favorites, and Marie does such a wonderful job creating characters that are easy to love, but aren't so perfect that they make me hate them.  In this book, Force successfully balances the main story-line, which bringing in some of the earlier characters that I've grown to love.  My heart broke for both Jenny and Alex and what they were going through.  When I first read Jenny’s letter previously in the series, my heart broke for the woman who was still trying to pull her life together ten years after 9/11.  When Alex’s family was introduced, my heart again broke for him and what his family is going through in dealing with his mother’s dementia.  The journey they take together feels genuine and realistic. 

Force also does a great job of telling a compelling love story involving a woman in her late 30’s.  So many books in the romance genre involve women in their 20’s, and here it is done casually, realistically, and compellingly.  There is no reason women in their 30’s… or beyond… can’t find love, and I’m so glad Force is writing about it!

REVIEW - 4.5 Stars!
MATURITY - 18+ it gets pretty steamy

Since I did not review her previous novels here, I want to talk about the series as a whole a bit more.  While I really enjoyed this book, and it easily gains a spot in my top three of the series, my favorite is Season for Love followed by Waiting for Love.  The one down side to Season for Love is that Force was still trying to balance all of the previous books couples as well as fleshing out several of the B stories that never really received their own books, and ended up taking the focus off of my favorite couple Owen and Laura.  I’m being a bit selfish, since they were one of the B stories in the previous books, so I imagine they have received more than their fair share of page time overall.  I also absolutely love Adam and Abby as a couple in Waiting for Love.  I will also say, as the series goes on, the books are heating up – although it will be difficult for Force to get much hotter than Tiffany and Blaine in Longing for Love. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Book Review - Executive Seduction by Jennifer Probst

First of all, Jennifer Probst is one of my favorite authors.  I'd read the phone book if she wrote it!  So when she re-released one of her earlier books, I jumped at the chance to read it!  If you haven't read her Marriage to a Billionaire series yet, be sure and pick it up after you are done reading this book. You wont regret it I promise!

Executive Seduction is the perfect mix of sizzle, romance, and conflict.  The characters are lovable and realistic, and the book is an easy feel good read.

Logan doesn't do complicated relationships, and is more interested in closing the next business deal than finding someone to go home to at night.  Chandler is looking for a guy who wants to get married and have kids and loves her for quirky values and free spirit lifestyle.  She has done the executive thing, both romantically and professionally, and knows she wants nothing to do with that life again.  So when she steps into Logan’s office for a business proposition, she has no interest in anything but a business relationship with the billionaire executive that reminders her in more than one way of the father she left behind.  Of course there is no controlling what the heart wants.

The romance in this book sizzled.  Sparks were flying between Logan and Chandler from the moment they meet through the end of the book.  They  realize that if even they weren't who they were each looking for, they might be exactly what they both need.

The friendship between Chandler and her best friend Harry was sweet, and I would love to know more about her best friend Harry.

I really enjoyed this book.  The story was well crafted, and I believe it was Jennifer Probst's first published book.  The story moved quickly, and even the steamy scenes (which there were several!) moved the plot along well.  

I really loved Logan as the Alpha with a few Beta tendencies, and he's certainly become one of my favorite book boyfriends.


MATURITY RATING - 18 + VERY steamy, not for the faint of heart

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Book Review – Not Quite Enough by Catherine Bybee - 5 Stars!

Catherine Bybee is probably better known for her amazing Weekday Bride series; however her Not Quite series is quickly becoming one of my favorites.  Each of the books in this series could easily be standalone books; however I had grown to like Monica so much in the previous two books in the series I was eagerly awaiting her book to be released.  I was not at all disappointed.  Not Quite Enough was an emotional book that I truly could not put down.  The book had plenty of romance in it, but it also had action and suspense that I was not expecting, but was very well done.  Not only was I able to connect emotionally with Monica the heroine, but with the hero Trent as well.  Rarely am I able to connect as much to what a hero is feeling and understand their motivations as I did in this story.

The description of Jamaica as both a paradise vacation destination, a place full of poverty stricken natives, as well as post disaster conditions, was very well done.  The subplot story about the ER and the relationships and politics that go into working there was also very compelling and Bybee did a great job of giving enough background to give a reader who has no background in nursing an understanding of the situation, without bogging down the book with too many details. 

Bybee really excels at character development, and even with the minor characters that made an appearance in this book, I hope to read many more in the series to see what happens to the other staff in the ER as well as Trent's brothers.

Not Quite Enough is a true 5 star book and I recommend it even to people who do not usually read romance.


MATURITY RATING - 18 + VERY a little steamy

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Book Review - Summer is for Lovers by Jennifer McQuiston

This is the next book in the series I reviewed a couple of weeks ago.  While I really enjoyed the first book, I found I enjoyed this one even more.

The book takes place in the same world as What Happens In Scotland, but this time David has gone down to Brighton for an extended holiday with his Mother.  This also happens to be the same place he had previously attempted to take his life 11 years earlier and had been saved by a local girl.  They meet again on the same beach, and strike-up a friendship knowing nothing more can happen because he is unwilling to fall in love again and she needs to find a husband with more financial security.  At least that is the plan.

While this is the second book in the Avon series, this book stands alone well.  The same humor is there from What Happens in Scotland, but this book expands upon all of the elements that were present in the previous book and this time knocks them out of the park.  The humor is still there, but is more subtle and rarely takes the reader out of the story to land the joke.  The characters are just as well developed, and the struggles they each are going through are relatable.  The challenges of an unmarried 23 year old women during this time were real, and  having to chose between the financial security and future of her family and the man she loves is a realistic problem to have, and is done without too much angst. 

I hope we will finally get to see David and James work out their differences.  There is a bromance brewing there that I think McQuiston will be able to handle with the same humor and charm she has put into these last two novels.

Another 5 star book.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Book Review - Loved by You (A Laurel Heights Novel) by Kate Perry

This is the 10th, and I believe final, novel in the Laurel Heights series by Kate Perry.  KT and Chance are both quirky characters who begin a fake relationship that at some point stops feeling fake, and they have to figure out if they can make a real relationship work.  The side story is about KT's sister Bijou's budding relationship with musician/therapist Will, and her reluctance to date another relationship.  KT and Bijou grew up the children of world famous rock star parents, who are just as quirky and lovable as their children. 

We also get to see glimpses of several of the previous characters in the Laurel Heights series.  If this is the end, I wish we could have seen just a bit more of the characters we had grown to love as some were completely omitted in the final book and I felt like I didn't have a chance to say goodbye.

I think for a new reader who had not read the previous books, this would be easy to pick-up and not feel lost.  The characters from previous books we do see are well explained and have reasons to be there, so it shouldn't leave a new reader wondering what they were missing.

Romance - 4 stars

I liked KT and Chance together and honestly find it hard to imagine either of them not being happy with anyone else.  I found Chance more likable of the two, however from the glimpses of KT I'd seen in previous books, I was already fascinated by her and was looking forward to her story.  I found the romance a bit rushed.  I felt it from Chance's side, but sometimes KT seemed more in lust than in love. 

Plot - 4.5 stars

I think Perry does a good job with the plot and pacing of this book.  My only complaint is that there are several points where I was shouting at KT and Chance that they just needed to keep their clothes on a little longer and talk to each other!  I think Perry is a good enough writer to have found a more creative way to keep the couple apart.

Characters - 5 stars

KT and Chance were well drawn out characters as was Bijou, but I felt Will was lacking a little.  I liked Bijou and Will enough as a couple, I really wanted them to have their own story and get to know Will a little better, and more about why he didn't perform as much anymore.  Maybe we'll see more of them in the next book, which is why I am still giving this 5 stars.

Writing - 5 stars

Perry does a great job of giving the characters their own personalities and staying true to them.  The story is light and funny and everything I've come to expect from Perry.

Overall - 5

Overall I give this novel, and the series, 5 stars.  It was an easy read, and left me happy and content, if not a bit sad to be leaving the Laurel Heights community that I've come to know over the past year.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Book Review - What Happens in Scotland by Jennifer McQuiston

This book is best described as The Hangover meets Jane Austen.  This was a challenging task, but McQuiston absolutely hit it out of the park.  She had me on the first page.  I found myself reading half of it out loud to my less than appreciative husband because I was laughing so hard.

Romance - 4 stars

The romance in this book was good.  It felt a little rushed at times, and I wasn't always sure if the heroine was wanting a relationship or if she wasn't.  Neither did she, so that was probably the point, but sometimes the story felt a little wishy-washy because of it.  I was getting a little frustrated 1/3 of the way into the book when they main characters had not really met yet, but once they did there was no doubt that I wanted these two to get together in the end, and the way it happened was perfect.

Plot - 5 stars

The plot in this book was solid.  McQuiston did a great job putting several different smaller story-lines into play, and then wrapping them all up believably by the end.  I also enjoyed how the book was full of "mini mysteries" where different pieces of the puzzle were solved throughout, and not everything all at once at the end.

Characters - 4 stars

I gave this 4 stars because of the wishy-washy heroine I discussed above.  Otherwise, I think the character development was done very well. 

Writing - 5 stars

This is where the book excels.  McQuiston creates great imagery in her word choice.  Each sentence is put together deliberately that gives a clear idea of what is going on in the hero and heroine's heads.  She also keeps the characters in their time period well.  I always knew I was in 1800's Scotland.  I also thought she did a great job using the brogue, keeping it to the characters of lower class and only having the high class characters break into it when they were excited or drinking.

Overall - 5

Overall I give this novel 5 starts and will absolutely be reading the next book she publishes.  The first chapter of the next book in this series is included in the digital copy, and I anxiously await its release.