Thursday, October 26, 2017

Book Review - Tell Me by Abigail Strom

ABOUT THE BOOK


Shy bookstore owner Jane Finch grew up hiding in the margins of her own life while her vibrant, adventure-loving sister, Samantha, dominated every plotline. She’s made peace with it, unlike Sam’s business partner, Caleb, who’s always nudging Jane to go after what she really wants. Why should she care what blunt, brash Caleb thinks? They’ve never had much in common, except for Sam.

After tragedy strikes, they don’t even have that.

Caleb can’t quite remember when Sam’s little sister stopped being like a surrogate sibling to him and became just…Jane. She’s the most intriguing woman he’s ever met, and so much sexier and stronger than she thinks. On the emotional journey to honor Sam’s memory, the spark they’ve tried to deny becomes an inferno. This journey was meant to be an ending, but will they discover an unexpected new beginning?

REVIEW

This was an emotional read that felt like an epic love story contained in a regular sized contemporary romance.  I laughed, I cried sad tears, I laughed, I cried happy tears, repeat.  I have to admit I didn't fully read or remember the summary when I was reading this book because I was caught off guard by the twist with her sister when it happened.  I was determined to hate the book at that point because I read this genre for happy endings and that was definitely not happy, but Jane and Caleb's connection was strong enough at that point to keep me going.  This was much more than just a friends to lovers story and is one of those stories where the characters stick with you for days and weeks after you read it.  I highly recommend this to anyone who relishes a great love story but also desires a story with an emotional punch this is the story for you.


OVERALL RATING - 5 STARS!
MATURITY RATING - 18+ a little steamy

About the Author: Abigail Strom


Abigail Strom started writing stories at the age of seven and has never been able to stop. She lives in New England with her family, who are incredibly supportive of the hours she spends hunched over her computer. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached at abigail@abigailstrom.com.

Like all writers I'm a reader, too, and that's why I'm on Goodreads. I read everything, but especially romance, YA, mystery, sci fi, and fantasy.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Book Review - Holiday House Call by Jen Doyle

ABOUT THE BOOK

Dr. Karen Carmichael prides herself on being capable, optimistic and always in control. But even neurosurgeons have breaking points, especially as the holidays approach. When Karen finds herself on the side of the road, explaining to a cop that her less-than-stellar driving was due to stress and tears rather than too much booze, it's humiliating. When that cop turns out to be a one-night stand from her past, it's icing on the bad-day cake. 

Officer John "Tuck" Tucker didn't expect to see Karen again after their night together. The circumstances may not be ideal, but convincing this beautiful, stubborn woman to get to know him with his clothes on is more fun than he could have imagined.  

Karen swore she'd never fall for someone who risks his life for his job. She sees enough heartbreak at work without inviting it into her personal life, and she has no interest in becoming involved in the small town Tuck calls home. But despite valiant efforts to keep her walls up, her affection for Tuck is growing into something much stronger. With a life built around work alone looking less appealing by the day, Karen will have to take a leap of faith—and trust that Tuck will leap with her.  



REVIEW


I think every review I write for Jen Doyle's books starts out like this, but I absolutely love her writing.  She has a way of bringing me into a story and making me care about her characters and their town and their lives and wanting to stay there and know more and not be ready to leave when I get to the end.  Holiday House Call is no different.  To be honest, I usually skip the holiday stories because they are sappier than what I am looking for in my stories, but because this was a Jen Doyle story I didn't think twice about picking this one up.  I wasn't disappointed at all.  This wasn't a typical holiday story at all, it was a story that happened to take place during that time of the year, but that was it.  Otherwise, it was the same town with the same background characters I've come to fall in love with.  Tuck and Karen have great chemistry from the beginning and as a reader, I was rooting for them even though they both had legitimate reasons for wanting to stay out a relationship with the other.  Even though this is a short story, it is still an emotional rollercoaster full of humor and sadness and love.  If it is the first of Jen Doyle's books you read I am certain you will be going out and reading the other three Insperation books and waiting for more just like I am.


OVERALL RATING - 5 STARS!
MATURITY RATING - 18+ a little steamy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A big believer in happily ever afters, Jen Doyle decided it was high time she started creating some. Jen is a member of the Romance Writers of America, as well as a member of the New England Chapter, New Jersey Romance Writers and Music City Romance Writer chapters of RWA. She is represented by Sarah E. Younger of the Nancy Yost Literary Agency.

She has an M.S. in Library and Information Science and, in addition to her work as a librarian, has worked as a conference and events planner as well as a Communications and Enrollment administrator in both preschool and higher education environments (although some might say that there is very little difference between the two; Jen has no comment regarding whether she is one of the “some”).

Her first book, which will be published by Carina Press in April 2016, was the winner of The Beacon, the Finish the Damn Book, and the Melody of Love 2014 contests in the Contemporary Romance category, and was also the Contemporary Romance winner as well as the Grand Prize Winner of the 2014 Gateway to the Best contest.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Book Review - Joyfully His: A Novella (Sterling Canyon Book 4) by Jamie Beck

ABOUT THE BOOK


Jamie Beck welcomes readers back to Sterling Canyon, Colorado, where a disgraced but charming ski instructor falls in love while trying to redeem himself.
Folks in Sterling Canyon know that small towns have long memories. Two years after the DUI that injured a pedestrian, Andy Randall is still making amends. He hopes the Christmas spirit will help him get rehired as a ski instructor, but that job will come with conditions. He can’t afford another mistake, which is exactly what making a play for his former boss and friend, Nikki Steele, would be.
Nikki races down double black diamonds and hikes mountains better than most guys, unafraid of tumbling down the slopes. But trusting the guy who once shot her down could end in a fall that actually hurts, especially when she’d have to vouch for him with her boss. Still, the resort needs another instructor to handle the holiday tourists, and Andy’s sexy grin and relaxed charisma make him hard to resist.
With both of their reputations now on the line, can Andy convince Nikki that the second chance he wants isn’t only about the job?

REVIEW


I have been waiting for this story since the first book.  Beck has done a great job throughout the series making Andy both a likable character but also making sure he paid for the mistake he made and his character wasn't too perfect.  It has been enjoyable seeing his character grow through the series that brought him to this story.  Having said that, this could easily be read as a stand-alone contemporary romance.  Enough backstory is given that it is easy to follow along and Nikki is a completely new character brought into the series.  The chemistry between Nikki and Andy is quick to pick-up on and the story doesn't feel rushed even though it is a short read. 


OVERALL RATING - 5 STARS!
MATURITY RATING - 18+ a little steamy

About the Author: Jamie Beck


National bestselling author Jamie Beck’s realistic and heartwarming stories have sold more than one million copies. In addition to being named a 2017 Booksellers’ Best Award finalist, her books have also hit Heavy.com’s Top 10 Romance Novels of 2015 and been selected as a Woman’s World Book Club pick. Critics at Kirkus, Publishers Weekly (including a starred review), and Booklist have alternatively called her work “smart,” “uplifting,” and “entertaining.” In addition to writing novels, she enjoys dancing around the kitchen while cooking, and hitting the slopes in Vermont and Utah. Above all, she is a grateful wife and mother to a very patient, supportive family.

Fans can sign up for her newsletter at www.jamiebeck.com, which includes a fun extras page with photos, videos, and playlists. She also loves interacting with everyone on Facebook (www.facebook.com/JamieBeckBooks).

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More from the Sterling Canyon Series...




Accidentally Hers

Sterling Canyon, Book #1

Secretly Hers

Sterling Canyon, Book #2

Unexpectedly Hers

Sterling Canyon, Book #3

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Book Review - Thrill of Love by Melissa Foster


Fate brings Ty and Aiyla together, but will tragedy tear them apart?


THRILL OF LOVE
The Bradens at Peaceful Harbor, MD #6
Melissa Foster
Releasing Oct 4, 2017
World Literary Press


Do you believe in fate?

World-renowned mountain climber and nature photographer Ty Braden never believed in second dates, much less heart-pounding, steal-his-breath love. But that was before a trip to Saint-Luc, where he met funny, strong, and entrancingly beautiful Aiyla Bell, a ski instructor and fellow photographer whose hopes and dreams, and love of the outdoors, aligned perfectly with his—and whose kisses alone turned him inside out.

After spending five magical days and four sweet, soulful nights falling in love, Aiyla couldn’t imagine a day without Ty. But when he asked her to go with him on his next assignment, his reputation for having women at his beck and call stopped her from upending the life she’d worked so hard to create.

Months later fate steps in when a chance encounter brings Ty and Aiyla together for a five-day wilderness event held in the Colorado Mountains. Their deep, passionate connection is stronger than ever, and Ty is bound and determined not to lose her again. But when tragedy strikes and their worlds are turned upside down, their love faces the truest test of all.


REVIEW

What a great twist on a second chance romance.  Melissa Foster takes what could easily have been a nice cute story about fate and second chances and turns it into an emotional story about two people who find each other and how they handle adversity together.  Ty and Aiyla are not typical characters in a romance novel.  Both of them have a love and passion for adventure that I doubt the average reader can relate to, however, the characters are still easy to understand and love and cheer for.  I recommend for anyone looking for a story that is a little different than the normal read but still the feel-good romance you expect from Melissa Foster.


Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented–perfect beach reads for contemporary romance lovers who enjoy reading about wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines.


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Book Review - Second Chance Girl by Susan Mallory

ABOUT THE BOOK


A touching modern fairy tale that won't let go of your heart, from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fool's Gold romances! 
Mathias Mitchell's easy smile hides a world of hurt. After the worst kind of family betrayal, he moves to Happily Inc., California—the wedding destination town supplies a steady stream of bridesmaids, perfect for his "no promises, no pain" lifestyle. Yet he can't stop watching for his beautiful, elusive neighbor on the animal preserve behind their homes. 
Gamekeeper Carol Lund knows she's not special enough to attract an alpha male like Mathias, so his offer to help her adopt a herd for her lonely giraffe is surprising—and his determined seduction, even more so. But just as she finally welcomes him into her bed, his careless actions crush her heart. Will she give him a second chance to prove she'll always come first in his heart?

REVIEW


I really enjoyed this story, but this book really needs to be read along with the Fools Gold series in order to really understand Mathias. I felt the attraction between Mathias and Carol throughout the book and even in the previous book, however I could see how someone coming into this book without any previous knowledge of the characters would struggle understanding why they should care about them or at least Mathias in particular.  However, since I am familiar with the backstory, I couldn't help but love these two as a couple and continue to fall in love with the Happily Inc. characters and can't wait to get to know the town more.


OVERALL RATING - 4.5 STARS!
MATURITY RATING - 18+ a little steamy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Susan Mallery is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of books about the relationships that define women's lives—romance, friendship, family. With compassion and humor, Susan keenly observes how people think and feel, in stories that take readers on an emotional journey. Sometimes heartbreaking, often funny, and always uplifting, Susan's books have spent more than 200 weeks on the USA Today bestsellers list, thanks to her ever growing legions of fans.

Critics, too, have heaped praise on "the new queen of romantic fiction." (Walmart) Booklist says, "Romance novels don't get much better than Mallery's expert blend of emotional nuance, humor, and superb storytelling," and RT Book Reviews puts her "in a class by herself!"

Although Susan majored in Accounting, she never worked as an accountant because she was published straight out of college with two books the same month, January of 1992. Sixteen prolific years and seventy-four books later, she hit the New York Times bestsellers list for the first time with Accidentally Yours in 2008. She made many appearances in the Top 10 before (finally) hitting #1 in 2015 with Thrill Me, the twentieth book in her most popular series, the Fool's Gold romances, and the fourth of five books released that year.

Susan lives in Seattle with her husband, two ragdoll cats, and a tattletale toy poodle. Her heart for animals has led Susan to become an active supporter of the Seattle Humane Society. Animals play a big role in her books, as well, as she believes they're an integral component to a happy life. Visit Susan online at www.SusanMallery.com.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Book Review - At the Heart of It by Tawna Fenske (Free on Kindle Unlimited)

ABOUT THE BOOK


TV producer Kate Geary is in unscripted heaven. She’s piloting a reality series featuring her favorite self-help guru, Dr. Vivienne Brandt. The Dr. Viv—whose nuggets of wisdom helped Kate get through some of her toughest times. Thanks to Dr. Viv, Kate is almost on the verge of figuring everything out. That is, until Jonah Porter, the superhot book nerd Kate just spent an amazing date with, appears at the show’s first meeting.

Jonah did not want to get reeled into a world filled with invasive crews, pushy network execs, and over-the-top drama, but a connection to the story leaves him no choice. Fortunately, Kate—hot, smart, and funny—helps make it bearable. Now they’re both on the verge of violating their contracts as they find themselves sneaking around off set. But the cameras have a way of finding out everyone’s secrets…especially the ones that can break hearts.

REVIEW

The chemistry between Jonah and Kate is instant and made the times later in the book when Jonah and Kate started to get stuck in some of the typical romance tropes easier to handle.  The supporting characters in the book are quirky and fun and are equally as important to driving the story along which makes the whole plot feel connected and more developed than a lot of contemporary romance books out there.  I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for something light-hearted but with a story that still has meat to it as well as strong well-developed main characters.


OVERALL RATING - 5 STARS!
MATURITY RATING - 18+ a little steamy

About the Author: Tawna Fenske


Tawna Fenske is a romantic-comedy author who writes humorous fiction, risqué romance, and heartwarming love stories with quirky twists. Her offbeat brand of romance has been praised by Booklist as “a tame Carl Hiaasen on Cupid juice,” and her debut novel, Making Waves, was a nominee for RT Book Reviews’ contemporary romance of the year. She is a fourth-generation Oregonian who can peel a banana with her toes and loses an average of twenty pairs of eyeglasses per year. She lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband, her stepkids, and a menagerie of ill-behaved pets.

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