Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Book Review - Staying for Good by Catherine Bybee

ABOUT THE BOOK


Zoe Brown may have been voted Most Likely to Never Leave River Bend, but the paper-thin walls and suffocating air of her family’s double-wide trailer were not what she wanted for her life. Other than BFFs Melanie and Jo, the only thing that kept Zoe sane during high school was her boyfriend, Luke.

She didn’t just leave, she escaped—turning her back on the shame of her black-sheep siblings and imprisoned dad. Now a celebrity chef in Dallas, she can afford all the things she never could have growing up. But when she returns to rustic, ruggedly beautiful River Bend, Zoe has to face all that she abandoned—including Luke.

While Luke was a refuge for Zoe in the past, he knows they inhabit totally different worlds now. Anchored by his parents and his job as a mechanic in his father’s shop, Luke never felt the urge to leave River Bend—until Zoe’s return.

But when the two rekindle their old flame, Zoe is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: remain in River Bend and confront her past before it destroys her, or say good-bye to everyone she’s ever loved…again, this time for good.

REVIEW

Bybee does an Amazing job of writing about real life in a way that not only feels real but also by putting her own signature snarky humor and charm on it.  Zoe and Luke are real characters who face real problems that are not easily glossed over or overcome.  Bybee's way of crafting her way through a story and making the struggle feel real and telling it in an emotional way and still making me laugh is why I always put her books at the top of my "to be read" list.  I was not at all disappointed here.  This book is for Second Chance Romance lovers.  This book is for anyone who loves a strong female character.  This book is for anyone who just loves a good story.


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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
New York Times bestselling author Catherine Bybee was raised in Washington State, but after graduating from high school, she moved to Southern California with the hope of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. Now, she writes full-time. She has penned the popular Weekday Brides series as well as the beloved Not Quite series. She resides in Southern California with her two sons.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Book Review - Trophy Wife by Noelle Adams

ABOUT THE BOOK


From the New York Times bestselling author of Fooling Around comes a steamy novel about a pampered princess who’s starting over—and the hot guy next door who knows exactly how to melt that tiara right off.

Alison Davies used to just be a trophy wife. Now she’s just flat broke. Thanks to an ironclad prenup, she’s worse off than she was before the day she rushed down the aisle with a wealthy jerk eight years ago. After her steep fall from riches to rags, Alison refuses to shackle herself to any man who treats her like a possession—no matter how good he looks in a pair of well-worn jeans, or how his muscles ripple while he’s carrying her couch.

Underneath his rugged exterior, Rob West is a gentleman. So when he sees his beautiful new neighbor moving in, he’s going to help her out no matter how loudly she protests. In fact, Alison’s determination to go it alone just strengthens his resolve—and his desire to find out what makes her tick. But after one spur-of-the-moment tumble in the sheets, it’s clear that their connection goes way deeper. And that Rob won’t be happy until Alison surrenders to the passion they share.

REVIEW

This is as much a story about a woman trying to find who she is as it is a romance, which is actually why I didn't love this book.  This story can be told well, but I didn't feel like Alison had a chance to actually find herself and do the growing-up that she needed to do before jumping into a relationship with Rob.  The writing was well done and the story enjoyable, I just was a little stuck on this one plot point that bugged me throughout the story.


OVERALL RATING - 4 STARS!
MATURITY RATING - 18+ a little steamy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Noelle handwrote her first romance novel in a spiral-bound notebook when she was twelve, and she hasn't stopped writing since. She has lived in eight different states and currently resides in Virginia, where she reads any book she can get her hands on and offers tribute to a very spoiled cocker spaniel.

She loves travel, art, history, and ice cream. After spending far too many years of her life in graduate school, she has decided to reorient her priorities and focus on writing contemporary romances.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Book Review - Her Hopes and Dreams (Ardent Springs Book 4) by Terri Osburn

ABOUT THE BOOK


As a newly single mother, Carrie Farmer isn’t quite ready to jump back into the dating pool in Ardent Springs—especially since her last marriage was such a disaster. But if anyone could entice her to wade in a bit, it would be her hunky neighbor, Noah Winchester. He’s the perfect man: strong, protective, and smoking hot. But her eyes have deceived her before, and she’s no longer willing to hand over her heart so easily.
After completing several tours in the Middle East, Noah returns to his hometown a very different man. The former soldier’s plan to rest and relax is soon waylaid by the intriguing woman next door and her heart-stealing little girl. Something—or someone—put shadows in Carrie’s lovely eyes, and he’s determined to clear them away. But when hidden demons can no longer be ignored, the couple gets a reminder from an unexpected source that love truly can conquer all.



REVIEW

Terri Osburn has created such a great work in Ardent Springs, and Carrie Farmer has always been a prominent part of it.  I was glad to finally get to see her HEA and read her story through her eyes.  I was not at all disappointed.  The story between Carrie and Noah is heartwarming and the parallels between a domestic abuse victim and a damaged war veteran were well done.  I recommend to anyone who loves romance novels.

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author of the Amazon and Wall Street Journal bestselling Anchor Island Series, Terri Osburn started putting words on the page in 2007. Five years later, in 2012, she was named a finalist in the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart contest for unpublished manuscripts. Shortly after, she signed with an agent and moved into publication, with her debut releasing from Montlake Romance in May 2013. Terri lives on the east coast with her teenage daughter, three frisky felines, and two troublesome terriers. 

To learn more about Terri, check out her website at www.terriosburn.com.



Monday, January 2, 2017

Book Review - Sparking the Fire by Kate Meader

ABOUT THE BOOK

Kate Meader’s blazing Hot in Chicago firefighter series has “everything you want in a romance” (RT Book Reviews, Top Pick)! The flames of desire burn out of control in this sexy third novel when ex-lovers unexpectedly reunite for a sizzling affair that will have the director yelling, “Quiet on the set!”

Actor Molly Cade, America’s fallen sweetheart, finally has her shot at a Hollywood comeback with a dramatic new role as a tough-as-nails firefighter that promises to propel her back to the big time and restore her self-respect.

Wyatt Fox, resident daredevil at Engine Co. 6, needs a low-key job to keep him busy while he recovers from his latest rescue stunt. Consulting on a local movie shoot should add just enough spark to his day. Especially when in struts Molly Cade: the woman who worked his heart over good, and then left him in the Windy City dust.

Their story is straight out of a script: irrepressible, spunky heroine meets taciturn, smoldering hero. But these two refuse to be typecast, and when the embers of an old love are stoked, someone is bound to get burned…



REVIEW

This is a mix of a second chance and Social Class disparity romance.  On paper there is no reason Molly and Wyatt should work, but the sparks are obvious from the first page.  Meader does a wonderful job of creating sexual tension spark between these characters.  The story is well written and a good ending to a series I have enjoyed since the beginning, although there is no need to have read the previous books in the series before you read this one.


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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Originally from Ireland, Kate cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Mills & Boon thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.