Review: Secret of the Stones by Olivia Swift

The Secret of the Stones (Blooms, Bones & Stones, #6)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Katarina Jones’ sensible exterior and strong practical streak often masks her real feelings.

Ben Carruthers is terrified to ask Kat out but when he buys a piece of land, and enlists Kat’s help with his vision, it gives him the opportunity to spend some time with her.

When Ben has a load of landscaping stones delivered, Kat seemingly has a sixth sense about some of the stones. Will danger draw them together or pull them apart especially when Kat has trouble acknowledging that she has a sixth sense?

Their group of friends from Chestnut Hall join Kat and Ben in the search to solve the mystery of the stones.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Secret of the Stones by Olivia Swift is an interesting mystery. A man is getting set to build and his stones have a dark history behind them. Kat senses this and together with their friends they find out the answers. There is a romantic interest happening between Kat and Ben. It was told in a way that excited me but still kept it clean. Kat is by far my favorite character. I loved her personality. It felt like I knew her for years. She has a knack for peaking my curiosity. Just when something is found, there’s more than beats the eyes. I enjoyed the suspense and intrigue. Overall, I would recommend this novel to all readers.

 

Review: What Ales the Earl by Sally MacKenzie

What Ales the Earl (Widow's Brew, #1)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Scandal does not define the “fallen” ladies of Puddledon Manor’s Benevolent Home. Instead, it’s a recipe for an intoxicating new future as the women combine their talents—to operate their own brewery and alehouse…

When Penelope Barnes arrived at the Home with her young daughter, she discovered a knack for horticulture—and for cultivating the hops needed to produce a superlative pint. She put her scandalous affair with Harry Graham firmly in the past, along with the wrenching pain she felt when he went off to war. After all, she’d always known a farmer’s daughter had no future with an earl’s son. Now she has the pleasant memory of their passion, and she has little Harriet, for whom she would do anything—even marry a boring country vicar.

Harry went off to fight for the Crown, unaware that his delightful interlude with his childhood friend had permanent consequences. Now he’s back in England, catapulted into the title by his brother’s untimely death. He sorely misses his former life of unfettered adventure, so when he has reason to explore Little Puddleton, he jumps at the chance. But what he finds there is something—and someone—he never knew he’d lost, and a once forbidden love whose time has come, if only he can persuade Pen he’s home to stay.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

What Ales the Earl by Sally MacKenzie is an interesting twist for a historical romance tale. I never once heard of a young lady creating and maintaining her own brewery. Yet that’s exactly what happens here. A farmer’s daughter fell in love with an Earl’s son. They had shared one romantic moment together before he left for war. But what he left behind was more than just the woman who consumes his thoughts…a surprise awaits him. Harry’s mother wants her son to marry and settle down asap. But Harry is experiencing seconds thought to that marriage promise. The lady is he supposed to marry, talks nonstop. A beauty that she is…but not very good company.

While Harry struggles with his new responsibilities, Pen struggles with her own problems. Pen still loves Harry. But she knows deep that a tenant like could not marry an Earl. Harry is above her station. Accepting that, Pen tries to move forward. Marriage to the vicarage is her option. However, her daughter dismisses that notion. She wants her father and mother to marry…but can a union from opposites classes happen? Or will that only tear down the world she has fought to build up for her herself and her daughter?

What Ales the Earl is entertaining, fresh, and full of good humor. I loved the intensity of the character’s situations. It made for a fun read.  I got to explore rules of society and rules of the heart. When mixed it created a heedy and complicated mixture. One that was worth reading.

 

Review: Wedding the Widow by Jenna Jaxon

Wedding the Widow (The Widows' Club, #2)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Widowed by the Battle of Waterloo, the ladies of Lyttlefield Park are reentering London society, where they’ll learn how to live—and love—again…

Of all the widows of Lyttlefield Park, Elizabeth Easton seems least likely to remarry. Though many gentlemen would love to get to know the charming Mrs. Easton better, she is devoted to the memory of her late husband. Which is why she’s so shocked to be overtaken by passion during a harvest festival, succumbing to an unforgettable interlude with the handsome Lord Brack.

After enduring years of war, Jemmy, Lord Brack, plans to defer matrimony in favor of carefree pleasure. But who could resist a lifetime with Elizabeth Easton, a woman as marvelously sensual as she is sweet? Yet despite their mutual desire, she refuses to consider his proposal. With scandal looming, and their families bitterly opposed to the match, Jemmy must find a way to convince Elizabeth to risk her wary heart on him—and turn one infamous night into forever.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Wedding the Widow by Jenna Jaxon is a hot historical romance. From the first page, Jenna Jaxon swept me into the plot. A young widow is not in a rush to remarry. But when she met Jem at an event, he never once left her side. She felt an instant pull towards Jem. He was completely a gentleman and never pushed her to far. Elizabeth’s heart still belongs to her former husband. That loss hasn’t left her yet. Jem understood. I liked how well they treated each other and others around them. There were plenty of sexy scenes. Scenes that made me blush as red as a beet and melt to my toes.

However, Jem and Elizabeth seem to always be in company or in a situation that didn’t allow them as much alone time. I was a tad disappointed there. But I could still feel the lust coming off the pages. Instant heat, attraction, and love at first meeting. Neither one planned to marry but it just happened. There are some obstacles that were different than most. I wasn’t expecting the big obstacle but loved how they all bounded together as a group. Truth, anger, love, and a strong HEA are all found, here. Absolutely one of the best romances, I have read.

Review: Santa’s on His Way by Lisa Jackson, Maisey Yates, Stacy Finz, and Nicole Helm

Santa's on His Way

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Open your heart to the holidays with these stories of unexpected love . . . 
 
A BABY FOR CHRISTMAS * Lisa Jackson
The uneventful Christmas Annie McFarlane expected is suddenly anything but. First, there’s the adorable baby left on the snowy doorstep of her Oregon cabin. Second, there’s the extremely attractive, yet extremely angry man claiming to be the father. Liam O’Shaughnessy may be intimidating, but this is one precious gift Annie isn’t giving up so easily . . .

WHAT THE COWBOY WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS * Maisey Yates
When Meg O’Neill’s longtime boyfriend lets her down, again, on Christmas no less, she braves an Oregon blizzard to get to her best friend Noah’s comforting arms. But this time Noah’s not telling her what she wants to hear—he’s telling her the truth, from his heart. And his words just might be the gift Meg’s been wishing for all along.

SNOWED IN * Stacy Finz
Rachel Johnson has found the perfect spot for her second Tart Me Up bakery in Glory Junction, California. Except she’s in fierce competition with hunky bar owner Boden Farmer. Worse, while the icy rivals await the city’s decision, they end up catering the same Christmas Eve mountaintop wedding—and getting snowed in. But sometimes a loss of electricity generates a different kind of heat . . .

A COWBOY WEDDING FOR CHRISTMAS * Nicole Helm
Big city art teacher Lindsay Tyler isn’t just back home in Colorado for her brother’s wedding at the Barton Christmas Tree Farm and Ranch. She’s back for good. She just hasn’t told anyone yet—including Cal Barton, the ex-boyfriend she left behind. Will it take a Christmas miracle for him to welcome her back with open arms? . . .

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Santa on His Way is a heartfelt collection of four romantic stories. Christmas has that magical feeling…and these characters have captured my heart.

In one story, I found a young, brave, yet broken hearted woman. Her one love, aka boyfriend, has let her down for the last time. She immediately goes to her best friend, Noah. Noah has loved Meg since he was seventeen. Nothing has ever stopped his feelings for her. He pushed them aside every time, because Meg was so wrapped up in the other guy. But now, they have a chance at forever. But will the always there Noah be brave enough to accept Meg as his?

The next story, presented me with two rivals. Each one wanting the old saw mill for a restaurant of sorts. One currently owns the town’s brewery and the other is the town’s baker. Then, they get stuck at a wedding reception during a snowstorm.  The cold has a way of bringing out the truth and romance. Can either one settle aside their anger and accept a partnership in both love and business?

The third tale, was about the youngest sibling of a cowboy family wanting to leave her ever demanding family. Lindsey wanted to find herself. But she never once thought how her leaving town affected the one man she loved and left behind. All those years, and Cal still loved her. His anger makes it hard for either one to move forward. But Lindsey isn’t backing down now. Love is worth fighting for…but only if Cal lets her back inside his heart.

The last story, is a about a woman whose husband divorced her. She went through a lot of miscarriages. It’s Christmas time, and Annie is feeling lonely with her dog. Until a noise brings her to her door where she finds a baby left behind. Puzzled, she finds a note addressed to her. The baby belonged to her sister who, couldn’t raise it. And the father didn’t want it. Then, there’s the other man who comes barging onto her doorstep. Liam thinks the baby is his. Nola set him for for murder and then recanted it. But he’s still a suspect to the police. Only Nola knows the absolute truth of the crimes committed. But it will take everything to trace her down and ask the questions. Liam won’t leave without the newborn baby. However, Annie isn’t sure it’s his and won’t let him take the baby away. Both want the baby. Christmas around the corner, a snowstorm, and a baby in the cabin leave for funny ideas. Romance, marriage, and creating a family…but can the characters find the truth and happiness before they lose everything that matters?

Overall, Santa’s on His Way is an amazing collection. I loved each of these romantic stories. Forgiveness, family, and finding love…are major themes. I highly recommend this contemporary set to all readers.

 

 

Review: The Girl From Spaceship Earth by Patricia Ravasio

The Girl from Spaceship Earth

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The true story of a life intertwined with the utopian ideas of an American genius.

A mind-blowing two-day interview with iconic futurist Buckminster Fuller in 1982 Chicago leads an overeager advertising copywriter to promise she’ll share his urgent messages with the world. She has no idea what she is getting herself into, scarcely understanding what he is talking about.

When his dire predictions come true on America’s worst day (9/11) she must face up to her commitment, which morphs into a fiery obsession thanks to unsettling discoveries about Bucky’s archives further confirming the truth of his warnings. Her outsized passions threaten her relationships and her sanity as she grapples furiously to bring his ideas back into the world.

This heartrending karmic tell-all memoir is about climbing out of comfort zones to find your own voice and make a difference in the world. It also gives readers a charming introduction to the ideas of a long lost genius you’ve probably never heard of.

Rating: 5-stars

Review: 

The Girl From Spaceship Earth is a true story. One that is rare. A man with things to share with the planet ends up giving only one live interview. The young female journalist, ends up breaking her promise. But when what he predicts comes true, she rushes to tell the world. By then, was it too late? Could life be saved? The story held a sad, heartbreaking, yet dangerous outcome. And still we see evidence of those predictions becoming reality. I was deeply engaged with this book. The pages made it impossible to stop reading. These are things our planet needs to hear. Read it, now!

Review: The Whispered Word by Ellery Adams

The Whispered Word (Secret, Book & Scone Society)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“In New York Times bestselling author Ellery Adams’ intriguing new Secret, Book, and Scone Society novel, Nora Pennington and her fiction loving friends in small-town Miracle Springs, North Carolina, encounter a young woman desperately in need of a new beginning…”
 
Nora Pennington, owner of Miracle Books, believes that a well-chosen novel can bring healing and hope. But she and the other members of the Secret, Book, and Scone Society know that sometimes, practical help is needed too. Such is the case with the reed-thin girl hiding in the fiction section of Nora’s store, wearing a hospital ID and a patchwork of faded bruises. She calls herself Abilene, and though Nora and her friends offer work, shelter, and a supportive ear, their guest isn’t ready to divulge her secrets. But when a customer is found dead in an assumed suicide, Nora uncovers a connection that points to Abilene as either a
suspect—or another target.

Summer’s end has brought other new arrivals to Miracle Springs too. Entrepreneur Griffin Kingsley opens Virtual Genie, a cyber business that unloads people’s unwanted goods for cash. With the town in an economic slump and folks hurting for money, Virtual Genie and its owner are both instantly popular. A patient listener, Griffin dispenses candy to children and strong coffee to adults, and seems like a bona fide gentleman. But Nora’s not inclined to judge a book by its cover. And when a second death hits town, Nora and her intrepid friends must help the new, greenhorn sheriff discern fact from fiction—and stop a killer intent on bringing another victim’s story to a close . . .

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Whispered Word by Ellery Adams sets off on another mystery. One that is deeper and more surprising than the previous one.  Nora owns a bookstore and hosts a book club. They gather together as friends and share their secrets. One new addition has secrets that lead to a case. Getting all the details, will cause for more patience than Nora has ever used. Then, there’s the shocking turn of events that made me gasp. Nora ends up doing something to the sheriff to land herself in a cell. Even Nora was surprised she went through with the act. Humor, suspense, and entertainment follow on these pages. I was thrilled with this new journey. Ellery Adams creates a tale to behold. It has just enough to peak my curiosity and send forth in the thickness of the plot. Bold, secretive, and romantic, I recommend this new cozy to all readers.

 

 

Review: Forever Fudge by Nancy Coco

Forever Fudge

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“Memorable characters, a charming locale, and a satisfying mystery.”–Barbara Allan

When a film crew comes to Mackinac Island, the last thing fudge shop owner Allie McMurphy expects to find is a murder victim . . .

SHOT ON LOCATION

It’s Labor Day weekend, the official end of tourist season, and the beginning of a whole batch of trouble. First, the island is invaded by a TV crew filming a murder mystery pilot, and handsome Hollywood heartthrob Dirk Benjamin needs Allie’s help to prep for his role as local cop Rex Manning. Then, Allie’s bichonpoo Mal sniffs out a real murder in the alley behind the Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop, a man shot in the head–with a note challenging amateur sleuth Allie to catch the culprit. Like it or not, the fudge maker has to square off against a crazy killer–but this time she may have bitten off more than she can chew . . .

Praise for Nancy Coco and the Candy-Coated Mysteries

“It’s probably best not to read this while you’re too hungry, as the assorted fudge recipes may send you right to the kitchen.” 
The Oakland Tribune 

“The characters are fun and well-developed, the setting is quaint and beautiful.”
RT Book Reviews

“I really enjoyed this cozy mystery and look forward to reading more in this series.”
Fresh Fiction

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Forever Fudge by Nancy Coco is has all the mystery, suspense, and humor that readers could want. I love Allie. She is the perfect sleuth. Right now, she’s focusing on her crazy busy schedule deflating. But what happens is a movie production causing her all kinds of trouble. Two murders, a deadly killer playing cat-and-mouse games with her, and two men wanting her affection can keep any woman busy.

Nancy Coco is superb with creating a variety of cast members. Her characters are as different as night and day are. I love the quirky, smart, and strong crew. Allie has become my new all time favorite. Her predicament for finding new murder cases to solve is cute. As with each new case, there is bound to be danger, romance, and a lot of funny moments too. I cannot wait to read the next upcoming novel.

 

Review: Vampires like It Hot by Lynsay Sands

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands brings the heat in this new Argeneau novel, as one woman is rescued by an irresistible immortal

“Vampires…”

When Raffaele Notte pulls a barely dressed disoriented woman from the ocean, the last thing he expects is for her to utter that word. The immortal has come to the island resort to help his cousin, but now, it seems there are rogue vampires dining on unsuspecting tourists. And he soon realizes that not only is Jess a target, she’s also the life mate he’s been waiting for…

Vampires are real. Jess would’ve never believed it until she saw them with her own eyes. She knows she has to get off the island, and her gallant rescuer has offered to help. There’s something about Raffaele that’s unlike any man she has ever met, and his touch sends pleasure through her that is beyond all imagining. But when Jess discovers who he really is, will she risk life as she knows it for a chance of forever by his side?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Vampires like It Hot by Lynsay Sands is another great adventure. Hot, spicy, and hilarious. The Argeneau vampire family get another fun journey to enjoy. A young woman goes to a foreign tropical island as a wedding retreat with her unlikable cousin. What starts out normal ends up going into a dark and fearful territory.

Jess is and her cousin are lured by pirates. Not just actors dressed up as pirates but vampires needing a blood snack. Jess is overcome by desire that is set from one greasy haired vampire who may be her life mate. But she ends up witnessing a horror scene that leaves her swimming in shark infested waters.  That’s where her other possible vampire life mate finds her. Struggling to swim any further, Raffaele rescues the beautiful human. Only he finds out that she’s running from vampirates and is his life mate. Talk about complex situations and tons of heat. Lynsay Sands delivers an outstanding emotional journey and one packed with action to entertain. I was both laughing and falling in love with the characters, even the greasy haired vampirate with his silly vocabulary.  Overall, I highly recommend this paranormal romance to all.

 

Review: The Governess Game by Tessa Dare

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The second unforgettable novel in USA Today bestselling author Tessa Dare’s Girl Meets Duke series.

He’s been a bad, bad rake—and it takes a governess to teach him a lesson.

The accidental governess…

After her livelihood slips through her fingers, Alexandra Mountbatten takes on an impossible post: transforming a pair of wild orphans into proper young ladies. However, the girls don’t need discipline. They need a loving home. Try telling that to their guardian, Chase Reynaud: duke’s heir in the streets and devil in the sheets. The ladies of London have tried—and failed—to make him settle down. Somehow, Alexandra must reach his heart… without risking her own.

The infamous rake…

Like any self-respecting libertine, Chase lives by one rule: no attachments. When a stubborn little governess tries to reform him, he decides to give her an education—in pleasure. That should prove he can’t be tamed. But Alexandra is more than he bargained for: clever, perceptive, passionate. She refuses to see him as a lost cause. Soon the walls around Chase’s heart are crumbling… and he’s in danger of falling, hard.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Tessa Dare has captured my whole heart and soul with this read. I was swept up by the bad guy rep who cares more than he admits about his two little wards. I was amazed that such a playboy could be so sweet. I felt myself melt into puddles every time! Chase thought his was not responsible enough for the girls. Two family members lost their mother was were moved from place to place. No one wanting them. Until Chase…He takes them in despite their bad behavior. There’s more to their behavior than Chase can see. When a sexy clock worker is taken under his care to be the governess, Chase cannot resist her. Alex met Chase in a bookstore. He obviously doesn’t remember her at all. Despite feeling so invisible, Alex takes care of her charges. Both little girls managed to wrap their ways around Alex’s, Chase’s, and my heart. Trouble, mischief, humor, action, and love are filled in this heart melting book. I could not stop reading, The Governess Game. 

 

Review: Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas by Maisey Yates

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

It’s Christmas in Gold Valley, and this wounded widower is about to get another shot at love…

Grant Dodge didn’t expect to find a woman sleeping in an abandoned cabin on his family ranch. Or to find her so intriguing. Unlike every other woman in town, McKenna Tate doesn’t know Grant’s a widower. There’s no pity in the looks she gives him. McKenna wants him, and Grant has forgotten what it’s like to feel like a man. A no-strings fling for Christmas might be the kind of holiday cheer Grant needs…

With only a suitcase to her name, McKenna came to Gold Valley to confront her birth father. She didn’t plan to work at the Dodge ranch or fall for the gorgeous cowboy who keeps his heart roped off. But there’s no denying the way their broken pieces fit together. Hope brought her to Gold Valley—but will it be the gift that could finally heal Grant, and McKenna’s own wounded heart?

Also includes a bonus Gold Valley novella, Snowed in with the Cowboy!

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas by Maisey Yates is a book that grabbed my whole heart and soul. A young woman is sent off to live in the fosters homes at the age of two. From there, she goes back and forth with no one loving her. She has no family. Just as she leaves the foster system, they give her a birth certificate. One that led her to her birth father. Now, she has the opportunity of a lifetime. Meet her family. But she’s afraid. Then, upon her way there, she sleeps in a broken down cabin where a tall, dark cowboy found her.

Grant Dodge has lost his mother. And then his young wife. She died of cancer. His heart has never been the same. Until he found a young tiny woman sleeping away in a cabin. That’s when his world got turned upside down. Utter chaos, complicated, and hot sex…make Grant feel again. Things he never wanted to feel yet he does. All because of McKenna. A lost woman searching for family.

Maisey Yates created a beautifully written novel about family, hope, and love. Letting go of the past is harder to than others say. Grief, loss, and unexpected love found its way into my heart. I cried. Their loss and pain felt like it was my own. The characters were downright charming. Irresistible banters and plenty of humor to keep my interest. Overall, this sexy contemporary is a must read for all.

Review: Vox by Christina Dalcher

Vox

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.

On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial–this can’t happen here. Not in America. Not to her.

This is just the beginning.

Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.

But this is not the end. 

For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Vox by Christina Dalcher is one of the saddest yet most intense novellas I have read. A quick read that kept me interested. Intriguing and dark, this book held my full attention. It started off with a woman and her young daughter are wearing devices. These devices count the number of words they say. Reach over 101 words, and they go through a shock system from the device. It was a hell hole that the women and young girls couldn’t control. A law went into act and they’re forced to being just housewifes. No voice. No opinion. I felt the tears that ran down my cheeks. The pages created a rage unlike anything I have felt. This story is one that must be read. The warning for women, is to never let your voice by controlled. Fight back!

Review: My Kind of Christmas by Janet Dailey

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Returning to Branding Iron, Texas, is Travis Morgan’s last resort, and the abandoned ranch he inherited isn’t much more welcoming than the prison cell where he spent the last three years doing time for a tragic accident. Completely without funds or family, Travis finds celebrating Christmas is the last thing on his mind, but there’s no escaping the holiday spirit in this close-knit little town—not with Branding Iron’s longtime Santa retiring, and sweetly stubborn Mayor Maggie Delaney determined to find a replacement. When her no-nonsense façade slips to reveal the sensual, vulnerable woman beneath it, Travis realizes Maggie just might be as lonely as he is—and that this holiday season, love could be the gift that heals them both.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

My Kind of Christmas by Janet Dailey is one that contains a lot of surprises. I was hooked. The characters have their own background story that affects their present lives. Other characters try to help. But it only gets messier. The troubled characters are so stubborn that it’s funny and frustrating at times. All that misery because of some past hurt feelings. People change. That’s what the father and son must learn now. Otherwise their future is bleak without the forgiveness. It takes another man to help show them what each one would go to, to defend each other. Risks, pride, and love are found on these pages.  The males are tough. But so are their women. Overall, I love a good story that sweeps me into the plot. Funny, entertaining, and sweet, My Kind of Christmas felt so real.

 

Review: The Ladies of Ivy Cottage by Julie Klassen

The Ladies of Ivy Cottage (Tales from Ivy Hill, #2)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

New from the Top Author of Inspirational Regency Romance

Return to Ivy Hill in The Ladies of Ivy Cottage as friendships deepen, romances blossom, and mysteries unfold.

Living with the two Miss Groves in Ivy Cottage, impoverished gentlewoman Rachel Ashford is determined to earn her own livelihood . . . somehow. When the village women encourage her to open a subscription library with the many books she has inherited or acquired through donations, Rachel discovers two mysteries hidden among them. A man who once broke her heart helps her search for clues, but will both find more than they bargained for?

Rachel’s friend and hostess, Mercy Grove, has given up thoughts of suitors and fills her days managing her girls’ school. So when several men take an interest in Ivy Cottage, she assumes pretty Miss Ashford is the cause. Exactly what–or who–has captured each man’s attention? The truth may surprise them all.

Meanwhile, life has improved at the coaching inn and Jane Bell is ready to put grief behind her. Now if only the man she misses would return–but where is he?

As the women of Ivy Hill search for answers about the past and hope for the future, might they find love along the way?

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Ladies of Ivy Cottage by Julie Klassen is a beautifully written historical novel. One that reminded me of Jane Austen’s novels. It held a classic touch but a more heart melting engagement from readers like, me. Two unmarried young women are teaching young ladies to be proper educated young women. Only one of them feels like she’s not succeeding at it. And then there’s the attention the school is getting from gentlemen. The women will have their hands full of teaching and keeping from being distracted by the handsome men. Each characters brought forth a charm that was hard to resist. I could not stop reading this book. Plus, the humor kept me interested as well.

Review: The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In the snowy Highlands of Scotland, Suzanne McBride is dreaming of the perfect cozy Christmas. Her three adopted daughters are coming home for the holidays and she can’t wait to see them. But tensions are running high…

Workaholic Hannah knows she can’t avoid spending the holidays with her family two years in a row. But it’s not the weight of their expectations that’s panicking her—it’s the life-changing secret she’s hiding. Stay-at-home mom Beth is having a personal crisis. All she wants for Christmas is time to decide if she’s ready to return to work—seeing everyone was supposed to help her stress levels, not increase them! Posy isn’t sure she’s living her best life, but with her parents depending on her, making a change seems risky. But not as risky as falling for gorgeous new neighbor Luke…

As Suzanne’s dreams of the perfect McBride Christmas unravel, she must rely on the magic of the season to bring her daughters together. But will this new togetherness teach the sisters that their close-knit bond is strong enough to withstand anything—including a family Christmas?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan is a lot different than her previous novels. This one is deeper than the others. It has stories from three sisters each with their own issues. Their issues stem from their parents’ death and from various other things in their lives. They each struggle with what they want to do, what they should do, and what they actually end up doing. I felt sympathy immediately for these women. They are full grown and still coming to terms with their loss. Love, family, and hope were common themes that I found on these pages. It was a bit inspiring to watch them each battle their demons and come to terms with their grief. Heartbreaking but hopeful, Sarah Morgan created a realistic novel. I found myself sounded by her characters and enjoying as they grew emotionally and mentally. Unconditional love was on every page. The sacrifices that the adoptive mom made blew me away. There was so much attached to this story. It wasn’t like most novels. This one gripped a hold of me and didn’t let go…

Review: Through the Autumn Air by Kelly Irvin

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A mysterious English stranger appears in Mary Katherine Ropp’s kitchen one autumn night, heralding the beginning of a new chapter in the widow’s life.

The mother of ten, Mary Katherine is an empty-nester who lost her husband four years earlier. She misses her husband so much, she still talks to him. She pours her creative spirit into writing stories and serves as the district’s Budget newspaper scribe. An avid reader, her dream is to open a bookstore with her English friend, but the church elders want this wayward widow to work in an Amish-owned combination store.

When an English man breaks into her house looking for food, Mary Katherine doesn’t call the sheriff. She turns to her good friend, Ezekiel, who needs a cook at the restaurant he started after his wife died ten years earlier. Mary Katherine and Ezekiel set out separately to make sure their new friend isn’t caught up in the investigation, and their efforts keep bringing them together. They’re both still so in love with their long-gone spouses, so when the sparks begin to fly, they are beyond confused. Is it possible to find “The One” more than once in a lifetime?

But as Mary Katherine stands by her dear friend after the death of her husband, Mary Katherine is reminded of the terrible risk in giving her heart to someone. Can these two people, well-versed in the pain of loss, put the past behind them and trust in the hope of the future?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Through the Autumn Air by Kelly Irvin is a heart melting tale. Two spouses have lost a loved one. They are still feeling the pain of their loss. To coupe they end up having conversations with their dead spouses. It was a bit heart breaking and understandable. No one wants to let go of someone they love. From there, the plot quickly turned interesting. It took just one stranger to bring two widowed people together. God is good. It showed that God has ways of bringing happiness to others. First, the kindness and understanding towards a stranger, and then their growing romance….Friendships have a way of evolving deeper, if we let them. In this case, I fell in love with the characters. I couldn’t help it. They had a way of pulling me in deeper. Sweet, engaging, and full of surprises, Through the Autumn Air is one wonderful Amish journey.

 

Review: The Torch Betrayal by Glenn Dyer

The Torch Betrayal (Conor Thorn)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A disgraced agent. A missing battle plan. Will he find redemption or damage the Allies beyond repair?

London, 1942. OSS Agent Conor Thorn is desperate for a second chance. After a botched mission in Tangier, Thorn knows failure is not an option. When confidential directives for Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa, go missing, the agent must recover the plans before the Nazis thwart the crucial mission.

Thorn teams up with MI6 agent Emily Bright to seek out the traitor in their midst. Untangling the web of suspects leads them to Nazi sympathizers, double-crossing Soviet spies, and Vatican clergymen with motives of their own. As their mission grows more and more dangerous, Thorn and Bright have one chance to retrieve the document before it falls into enemy hands, leaving countless Allied troops in danger.

The Torch Betrayal is a high-stakes WWII thriller inspired by true events.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Torch Betrayal by Glenn Dryer is a fascinating thriller. It took me deep into the plot right away. I felt as though I were actually there experiencing it first hand rather than reading about the events. Three-dimensional, intriguing, and dangerous is exactly what I got from this book. Important papers with government information is found missing. A crisis that must be dealt with immediately. So much rides on the intelligence gathered and used during this World War II time period. The danger escalated with every page. I was not sure how or where the pages would lead me except into a race against enemy hands where lives were at stake. Once I was in, I could not stop reading this epic journey.

Review: The Christmas Wishing Tree by Emily March

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Sometimes life’s most magical journeys bring you back to where it all began…From USA Today bestselling author Emily March comes The Christmas Wishing Tree, an enchanting account of the magic and miracle of Christmas.

A man who loves adventure and the open sea, Devin Murphy returns for a short Christmas trip to his small hometown of Eternity Springs. Immersed in the joy and magic of the holiday season all around him, he doesn’t hesitate to play along when a young boy phones Santa to ask for a very special wish. Devin never guesses that a wrong number has the potential to make everything in his life so right.

Jenna Stockton adopted Reilly when he needed a mother and she intends to keep him safe. A small town across the country called Eternity Springs seems like a good place to hide from their past without any complications —until sexy Santa himself discovers her secrets. When Devin proposes a daring plan to face down the danger together and defeat it once and for all, she is tempted. Maybe Devin really is capable of making wishes come true? Perhaps in a Christmas wish they’ll both find the miracle they’ve been looking for all along…

A delightful Christmas novel in the New York Times bestselling Eternity Springs series.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Christmas Wishing Tree by Emily March is a story that captures my interest right away. I feel the emotion from the characters as though I were the one going through it all. The ups and downs are realistic. Sad, heartbreaking, and emotionally gripping Emily March writes a tale worth reading. From danger to healing, there is so much to offer for readers like me. Plenty of action, intrigue, and what-ifs to keep me guessing the whole way. I was not sure how the book would end. It could have ended completely different.

Inside, I meet a young woman who took a young boy into her home and heart. The boy’s mother is too young and battling an abusive situation. She gives birth and the boy is given to Jenna Stockton. From there the boy has been in Jenna’s care. She raises him like her own son. Until a stalker and dangerous threats start to happen, Jenna and her son’s lives become anything but happy ones. I love how Emily March wove hope and love into scenes despite all the risks and danger present. It made my heart melt at the boy’s innocent talk with a man whom he believed to be the real Santa Claus. How can a man hurt the young boy’s hope and Christmas wish? Devin des everything he can to help the boy on the phone. Jenna at first thinks Devin is the stalker but soon realises her mistake. From there Devin becomes a ray of sunshine for both mom and boy. But the  troubles they go through are far from over…can their nightmares end? Will their lives know no peace or happiness? The Christmas Wishing Tree brings back the innocence and heartwarming memories of what the season gives us. Hope, faith, and kindness and maybe, love. Overall, I would highly recommend this book to all.

Review: Some Like It Sinful by Robbie Terman

Some Like It Sinful

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Chloe Nelson and professional hockey player Griffin Lange get along like chocolate and pickles. But Chloe needs the famous (and infamously unattached) Griffin to attract people to her struggling bakery, and Griffin needs the curvaceous and fiery Chloe to keep him out of trouble. A fake relationship for the media to focus on seems like the perfect plan.

But when temptation throws them into bed together, a new plan arises. Why not make the most of things? Griffin’s winning every home game, and Chloe’s business has never been better. Both know it’s only physical-and only temporary-so why is it starting to feel like more? And can they drop their defenses long enough to find out if what started out as playing pretend can rise into something sinfully good?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Some Like It Sinful by Robbie Terman is a sexy heartfelt story. I love stories that swept me off my feet. This one did exactly that plus, more. I lost my heart to the characters. They were irresistible. Their anger banters soon took a quick turn for the hot romantic kind. The lady baker, Chloe, immediately judged this hot shot hockey player. But as he works off his community service in her bakery, there’s more to Griffin than most see or know.

Then, Griffin’s tale alos tugged at my soul. He grew up in a life that embarasses him. He had to work so hard to get where he’s at now. Rich, popular, and center of attention. Griffin is needing to be remembered but wants to be remembered in good ways. His current actions have dragged his hockey team and his loved ones through hell. Time to own up and confess.

Hot, sexy, and funny too. Griffin isn’t looking for a happy forever. But Chloe wants that…and little do they know they needed each other more than words can say. Robbie Terman had me laughing, crying, and rooting all the way. I was so happy to have bought this book! It was perfect! Overall, I recommend it to all contemporary romance lovers.

Amazon currently has the book still on sale for FREE as of 8/8/18: 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00G8BTRWW/

 

 

Review: The Ancient Nine by Ian Smith, M.D.

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Spencer Collins thinks his life at Harvard will be all about basketball and pre-med; hard workouts and grinding work in class. The friends he’s made when he hits the storied ivy-clad campus from a very different life in urban Chicago are a happy bonus. But Spencer is about to be introduced to the most mysterious inner sanctum of the inner sanctum: to his surprise, he’s in the running to be “punched” for one of Harvard’s elite final clubs.

The Delphic Club is known as “the Gas” for its crest of three gas-lit flames, and as Spencer is considered for membership, he’s plunged not only into the secret world of male privilege that the Gas represents, but also into a century-old club mystery. Because at the heart of the Delphic, secured deep inside its guarded mansion club, is another secret society: a shadowy group of powerful men known as The Ancient Nine.

Who are The Ancient Nine? And why is Spencer—along with his best friend Dalton Winthrop—summoned to the deathbed of Dalton’s uncle just as Spencer is being punched for the club? What does the lore about a missing page from one of Harvard’s most historic books mean? And how does it connect to religion, murder, and to the King James Bible, if not to King James himself?

The Ancient Nine is both a coming of age novel and a swiftly plotted story that lets readers into the ultimate of closed worlds with all of its dark historical secrets and unyielding power.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Ancient Nine by Ian Smith, M.D. is one very interesting mystery. A young man who appears to be the average guy, is soon chasing after clues to solve a disappearance. From there, it leads to a lot of intriguing connections like the Nazis and a college club society that leaves behind more questions than answers. Dark, edgy, and entertaining, I got lost within this novel. Ian Smith’s main protagonist was easy to relate to and felt real. The plot was steady. Overall, I recommend this book full of secrets to all readers.

Review: One Perfect Kiss by Jaci Burton

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The New York Times bestselling author of Love Me Again returns to the town of Hope, Oklahoma where school is in session and love rules the playbook.

Josie Barnes has always craved a sense of home. She’s found that in Hope, Oklahoma–she bought a house, has a new job as an English teacher at Hope High, she’s made wonderful friends, and she’s taking in stray animals that no one else wants. Now she’s flirting with fellow teacher and hot high school football coach Zach Powers. But he’s almost too good to be true, and Josie learned long ago not to trust in the too-good-to-be-true, because it has always let her down.

A former pro football player, Zach had to pull back when a career-ending knee injury forced him to rethink his future. Now he’s happy calling plays as Coach. If he could just get Josie Barnes to stop benching his players for their poor grades, life would be perfect. Instead, she drives him crazy as the stern teacher at school and the sexy woman of his dreams outside of the classroom. He knows she’s been hurt in the past, but he wants to be that guy she can trust.

The one thing Josie has never been able to count on is the people closest to her. But Zach intends to show her that what they have between them is a textbook case of love.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

One Perfect Kiss by Jaci Burton is a romantic contemporary romance read. It was simple, fast-paced, and heartfelt. I loved the funny yet fun banters between football coach and English teacher. Both feel an undeniable attraction towards each other. Good looks, intelligence, and a passion for helping others in need made this a sweet story.

Josie is experiencing family issues from her past and present. Her mother is struggling to keep a job and to stay drug free. Her mother is always calling her for help…more like more money for drugs. Yet somehow, Josie finds the courage to not feel bad about giving into her mother’s needs. Then, there’s her stereotyping towards men like Zach. Good looking yet popular men. However, Zach keeps proving to Josie that there’s more depth to him than just his looks.

Overall, I would highly recommend this novel. It had themes of overing coming one’s fears, relationships both romantic and family wise, and friendship. I fell in love with the characters. Their journey was one that melts my heart and makes me swoon.

Review: Last Night with the Earl by Kelly Bowen

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Earl. War hero. Notorious rake. After the Battle of Waterloo, Eli Dawes was presumed dead-and would have happily stayed that way. He’s no longer the reckless young man he once was, and only half as pretty. All he wants is to hide away in his country home, where no one can see his scars. But when he tries to sneak into his old bedroom in the middle of the night, he’s shocked to find someone already there.

Rose Hayward remembers Eli as the arrogant lord who helped her late fiance betray her. Finding him stealing into her art studio doesn’t correct her impression. Her only thought is to get him to leave immediately. Yet the tension between them is electric, and she can’t help but be drawn to him. He might be back from the dead, but it’s Rose who is suddenly feeling very, very much alive.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Last Night with the Earl by Kelly Bowen is historical romance that captures the heart and soul. Here, I got to explore the depths of humanity. How far are we willing to help others? An earl, suffering from war, gets a young boy soldier up on a horse when his fellow friend/soldier points a gun at him. Daring the earl to give up the horse so that his uninjured friend could run away. Yet the earl refuses and saves the boy instead. That day earned him more scars and possible death…Years later, just when everyone assumed him dead, the earl finds his father has died and is now taking up to hiding away from the public. Scarred, damaged, and licking his wounds, the earl is content to leave London’s society. Yet his plans are dashed when he comes back home. The one woman who caught his heart lives and teaches at his home residence. There they banter back and forth until both get their anger, loss, and grief straightened out…friendship builds up and so does the attraction and lust. However, both are too injured to let loose and love. The young female artist and the earl need to forgive, heal, and overcomes their fears.

I loved this novel. Kelly Bowen creates characters that are impossible to ignore. Her scenes are vivid, entertaining, and full of emotion. My heart broke for both protagonists. Their troubles made them three-dimensional. I easily was swept away by their actions, romance, and personalities. Plenty of heat, intrigue, and humor are displayed on the pages. These make it hard to stop reading the book. Overall, I highly recommend Last Night with the Earl to all readers. A discovery of art, passion, and inspiration await in this read.

 

Review: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Most men can’t handle Hazel. But her best friend Josh isn’t most men. Don’t miss New York Times bestselling author Christina Lauren’s new novel about two people who are definitely not dating…no matter how often they end up in bed together.

Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.

Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.

Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them…right?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren is the best contemporary fiction novel I have read in a long time. At first, looking at the cover, I thought it was be okay. But it proved me wrong on so many levels. The novel was out of this world good. Stunning, engaging, heartfelt, and well-written…It was super easy to get lost within Hazel’s and Josh’s world. Both were so interesting, that I couldn’t stop reading. I had to know more about both of them. Hazel is the typical ordinary girl who felt like a loser due to her lack of trouble. She is always having some kind of embarrassing thing happen to her. I felt a deep connection to Hazel. She’s full of life. Funny, real, and entertaining to be around…while Josh was kind, clever, and charming. Two completely opposite people coming together in unexpected ways. I loved following their story. Overall, I would recommend it to readers worldwide.

Review: Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over

Airports, Exes, and Other Things I'm Over

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A bad storm, two canceled flights, stuck in an airport with a hot stranger and the guy who broke her heart… what could go wrong?

After Sari caught her boyfriend Zev cheating on her, their romantic Florida vacation was ruined. She can’t get back to NYC soon enough. Unfortunately, mother nature may have different plans. A huge storm is brewing in the Northeast, and flights all over the country are getting canceled—including Sari’s. She winds up stuck at the airport for hours. With Zev!

When another stranded passenger (a hot NYU guy) suggests a connecting flight to Boston, Sari jumps at the chance. But when her mom freaks out about her traveling alone, she has no choice—she has to include Zev, and somehow survive being trapped with the guy who broke her heart!

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over by Shani Petroff is one YA romance that swept me up quickly. I couldn’t read fast enough. The plot was that juicy…and addictive. The characters felt real. Their dilemmas had me laughing, crying, and left wondering what next.

A young finds her her boyfriend in an unexpected situation. To Sari, it looked like betrayal and felt like it too. Her boyfriend, Zev, tried to explain but Sari wasn’t having any of it. She just wanted to leave immediately and be rid of him. But love, if  real, doesn’t back down nor die. Nor does it give up that easily. Sari will have to find the answers to how to deal with the shocking betrayal and decide where her and Zev’s fate lie.

Shani Petroff had me hooked. This book was a lot of fun. I really like the teenagers that were created. First love, kisses, and the confusion of what to do in those cases led me back to a time when I too, was that young. Overall, I recommend this romantic and heartfelt tale to all readers.

Review: One More Moment by Samantha Chase

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Julian Grayson is taking a break
…from his cheating fiancée
…from his band
…from his life in the spotlight

Charlotte Clark is devoted to her work
…to save the world
…to help the homeless
…to get a broken man back on his feet

When Charlotte Clark offers to pay for Julian Grayson’s coffee, the world-famous drummer assumes she wants something from him. But Charlotte has no idea who he is, and Julian can’t resist keeping up the charade—being incognito is a novelty and a relief. He’ll have to tell her…eventually. But as Charlotte cheerfully undertakes to transform his life, Julian realizes there’s something about her that gives him what he hasn’t felt in years: hope.

Shaughnessy Brothers: Band on the Run Series:
One More Kiss (Book 1)
One More Promise (Book 2)
One More Moment (Book 3)

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

One More Moment by Samantha Chase is the best novel yet in this Band on the Run series. I could not tear my gaze away from the pages. Heat plus, raw emotions, and flaws that make it super easy to connect with the characters, make this a must read. Inside, is a famous rock musician who was badly burned. His ex burned him repeatedly and broke his pride. Julien is so full of anger that his character had this heavy weight constantly keeping him from being happy. Everyone tells him what and how he should live. He’s not ready to let go of his anger. That was until he met, a beautiful kind hearted woman. Charlotte has a way of stunning the drummer. He expects her to ask him for something. Yet she continuously proved she wanted nothing more than to help him. Julien needs to let lose his anger and face his past. Otherwise, his present happiness won’t be his future. And Julien wants Charlotte in his future more than he knows.

Once more, Samantha Chase has created a masterpiece. One that everyone can relate to…as well as remembering way after the last page is read. The characters made me fall in love and root for their happiness. Julien was a stubborn man. That made his fight tougher and more realistic. I liked how he was an average joe, who looked good, and had  a heart of gold despite his wealth and music talent. Charlotte was just an ordinary woman helping the homeless finds jobs. She complimented Julien and was his light to his darkness. Both were strong and independent characters. I cried for Julien’s pain, I laughed at how ridiculous Julien’s jealousy was, and I melted when they had their good moments. I cannot read a book by this writer without my heart and soul getting attached every damn time. Overall, I highly recommend this sexy as hell contemporary romance to all.

 

Review: Happy Endings by Joe Cosentino

Happy Endings (Cozzi Cove, #5)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

It’s summertime, the perfect season for another trip to Cozzi Cove: the magical place where nothing is what it seems, and romance is always in the sea air.

Welcome back to hunky Cal Cozzi’s seven guest bungalows on the New Jersey Shore. This summer Cal is visited by Kevin Donovan, a handsome man from his past who makes Cal a tempting offer to buy Cozzi Cove and provide financial security to Cal and Michael’s baby. Cal’s Wall Street sister, Taylor, has hopped aboard Kevin’s green wagon. However, Cal’s husband, Michael, and Taylor’s wife, Carla, sense something much deeper in Kevin’s offer than meets the roving eye. Cal’s exhibitionist new houseboy, Carlos, is smitten with Cal’s sweet-faced nanny, Alfred, who carries a shocking secret in his magic Mormon underwear. Middle-aged Matchmaker Gilead has matched guests Marine Master Sergeant Matt Pummel and much younger businessman Keone Paoa to the chagrin of cute young lawyer Luis Lui. As skeletons come out of their closets, the bears and cubs search for their true honey. Woodsy guest Nyx Oberon meets a sexy werewolf at the cove and they share a howling moonlit night. Nyx believes his newfound lover could be part of a much larger plan that would change his life and the world forever.

Will Cal, his family, and his guests have happy endings? It’s Cozzi Cove after all.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Happy Endings by Joe Cosentino is the must have summer vacation spot. Once more, I was lured back into Cal’s family at Cozzi Cove. Here, some of my favorite characters were around and new ones introduced. The variety of characters is amazing. I don’t know how Joe Cosentino does it, but it works out perfectly every time. This tale was full of action, raw emotions, and a bit of mystery. The pages heat up and the intensity was stunning. Jealousy, secrets, fear, and lust…are found here. But there was also a lot of charm, laughs, and heart tugging moments…I wasn’t sure how it would turn out only to find that my heart was captured.

Happy Endings is about family, love, and friendships that last a long time. The depth of emotion that Joe Cosentino sparks from his characters was the best part. I loved it all. Funny, charming, and well-written, this is one hot summer read for all.

 

Review: Miramar Bay by Davis Bunn

Miramar Bay (Miramar Bay #1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In the tender, heartwarming tradition of Nicholas Sparks, this compelling novel of two strangers in a small coastal town marks a romantic tour de force for internationally bestselling author Davis Bunn.

He had not come all this way just to break another woman’s heart.

When Connor Larkin boards a late night bus in downtown LA, he’s not sure where he’s going or for what he’s looking. Putting his acting career and his fiancee on hold, he’s searching for something he can’t define, a part of himself he lost on the road to success. Once he dreamed of being a singer in the classic style of Sinatra and Bennett. But his lean good looks soon landed him in movies as the sexy bad guy and in the arms of a famous young heiress. Now, with his wedding day approaching, Connor finds himself stepping into the sleepy seaside town of Miramar Bay where one remarkable woman inspires him to rethink all of his choices.

She needed to know his secrets, and to see if he’d tell her the truth.

Sylvie Cassick is nothing like the pretentious starlets back in Hollywood. The daughter of a nomadic painter, she’s had to work hard for everything unlike Connor’s fiancee. When Connor hears familiar music drifting out of Sylvie’s restaurant, he feels as if he’s finally come home. Sylvie isn’t sure what to think when this impossibly handsome stranger applies for a waiter’s job. Yet once he serenades her customers and slowly works his way into her heart she realizes there’s more to him than he’s letting on. And Connor realizes he’s found his destiny.

But as the outside world encroaches, threatening their fragile bond, Connor will have to risk losing everything to gain the life he longs for, and be the man Sylvie deserves.

Filled with bittersweet longing, Miramar Bay is an unforgettable journey through doubt and desire to the truth that can be discovered along the road less taken.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Miramar Bay by Davis Bunn is similar to novels by Debbie Macomber, Sheila Roberts and Sherryl Woods. It was about a woman wanting to spend time with her father and own a restaurant without the debt. She also wanted to know what it felt like to have a man love her. I could totally relate to the last one. Then, there was Connor. He’s a man on a mission. His life is missing something and he doesn’t stumble across it until he meets, Sylvie. Sylvie is a strong ordinary woman working her butt off to live. Unlike, Connor and his former love. Two opposites found each other making something beautiful. The plot was engaging but felt too slow for me. Otherwise, it’s a great contemporary tale.

Review: Last One Home by Debbie Macomber

Last One Home (New Beginnings #1)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Growing up, Cassie Carter and her sisters, Karen and Nichole, were incredibly close — until one fateful event drove them apart. After high school, Cassie ran away from home to marry the wrong man, throwing away a college scholarship and breaking her parents’ hearts. To make matters worse, Cassie had always been their father’s favorite — a sentiment that weighed heavily on her sisters and made Cassie’s actions even harder to bear.

Now thirty-one, Cassie is back in Washington, living in Seattle with her daughter and hoping to leave her past behind. After ending a difficult marriage, Cassie is back on her own two feet, the pieces of her life slowly but surely coming together. Despite the strides Cassie’s made, she hasn’t been able to make peace with her sisters. Karen, the oldest, is a busy wife and mother, balancing her career with raising her two children. And Nichole, the youngest, is a stay-at-home mom whose husband indulges her every whim. Then one day, Cassie receives a letter from Karen, offering what Cassie thinks may be a chance to reconcile. And as Cassie opens herself up to new possibilities — making amends with her sisters, finding love once more — she realizes the power of compassion, and the promise of a fresh start.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Last One Home by Debbie Macomber is a story about forgiveness, moving forward, and new beginnings. Central themes were focused on family, love, and second chances. The tale was both sad and sweet. A young woman made some bad mistakes and learned how to move beyond them. Cassie is strong, independent, and smart. I liked her personality. She felt both lost and deserted by her family when they too, felt the same way about her. Loss, grief, and hope were shown here, too. Cassie and her family might have a chance at redeeming themselves and being a family again. Overall, this women’s fiction novel was great.

Review: I’m Not Missing by Carrie Fountain

I'm Not Missing

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

When Miranda Black’s mother abandoned her, she took everything—the sun, moon, and stars—and Miranda found shelter in her friendship with Syd, who wore her own motherlessness like a badge of honor: Our mothers abandoned us. We won’t go begging for scraps.

When Syd runs away suddenly and inexplicably in the middle of their senior year, Miranda is abandoned once again, left to untangle the questions of why Syd left, where she is—and if she’s even a friend worth saving. Her only clue is Syd’s discarded pink leopard print cell phone and a single text contained there from the mysterious HIM. Along the way, forced to step out from Syd’s enormous shadow, Miranda finds herself stumbling into first love with Nick Allison of all people and learning what it means to be truly seen, to be finally not missing in her own life.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

I’m Not Missing by Carrie Fountain is a heartfelt YA novel. I followed a young Latina girl as she went through abandonment from her mom and her so-called best friend, Sydney. The girls relationship felt more one-sided. Miranda was more of a friend to Sydney than Sydney was to her. I was glad that Miranda didn’t have such a toxic friend in her life. It was sad but in a good way. Miranda is a protagonist that was easy to love. She’s bright, kind, and energetic. Her life seemed empty until she fell in love with a guy. Nick is a top boy scout and is headed to Harvard. Miranda is headed to Brown. Their colleges are pretty close…and it’s up to them to see where their stars lay.

Carrie Fountain had me falling in love with her characters. A young girl trying to step out into the light after being hidden away by a friend. Sydney was rude, obnoxious, and overbearing. She kept her friend in the dark, literally. The two girls had one connection other than that, they were complete opposites. I cried, laughed, and cheered as Miranda found herself. She totally blossomed by the ending. Overall, this novel was spectacular.

Review: The Amish Christmas Letters

The Amish Christmas Letters

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

With Christmas around the corner, it’s time for Amish families to include holiday greetings in their circle letters, each writer adding to a growing collection as it travels on to the next. In this delightful trio of stories, three cousins scattered across the country share their blessings—and reveal news of romantic surprises . . .

To win a friendly annual competition, matchmaker Marybeth Martin must bring one more couple together by Christmas. Her only prospect is a man more interested in a nanny than a wife—until his little girl shows him the light. . . . Struggling farmer’s daughter Katie Mae Kauffman discovers that she and a local widower and father of four can harvest more crops—and profits—together than separately. But she’ll have to put pride aside to make room for unexpected love. . . . Corralling an unruly brood of seven is not babysitter Carolyn Yutzy’s first choice for celebrating the season—but the sparks between her and their unsentimental yet irresistible uncle may be a gift neither was counting on . . .

Now, one by one, each resourceful young woman will have a holiday to remember—and to write home about . . .

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Amish Christmas Letters is a heartfelt Amish anthology that swept me off my feet. I loved the characters.

Marybeth is a single Amish woman trying to win a bet from her cousin. The loser has to house their mean relative. Only this bet ends up leaving Marybeth falling deep in love with the man she’s helping. As she works as a nanny, Marybeth gets to know the man she’s setting up…maybe, she will end up winning the Christmas met in more ways than expected. The man she’s trying to set up with a date, is strongly against marriage. But spending more time with Marybeth, the idea of marriage starts to look better. Then, there’s her cousin Katie.

Katie is a young unmarried Amish woman. Her father had a stroke and that left everything up to Katie to do. Doing women’s work in the house and keeping up with the farm, proves to be more than Katie can handle. Her Bishop notices it and sets a plan in motion. Little does Katie, her father, and the man with his kids know, but all of them will end up helping each other. At first, their resist the help and each other. But with a little more time, they each start to see the other one in a new light. From sassy and strong willed to becoming more than friends, these two were fun to follow.

Last, there was Carolyn. She was blindsided into babysitting for seven unruly kids. This one touched my heart even more so. The kids were misbehaving constantly, yet as soon as the parents entered into the scene, it was easy to see why. The children wanted their parents’ attention. Neither parent was giving their kids any attention. Their mother ignored their bad behavior. Their father refused to believe his kids were being bad. Both parents were to blame. At first, the children’s uncle thought it was Carolyn’s fault.  Thinking she was a bad babysitter, the uncle tried to get her fired. But he was wrong. Carolyn gave the kids more attention and love than their own parents. Soon or later, the parents would have to do something…In the meantime, Carolyn and their uncle keep bonding over the mishaps. Maybe, they will get their Christmas gift after all.

Overall, these three stories were sweet. I couldn’t stop reading them. The plots were fast. Plenty of action, intrigue, and romance to keep me interested. Themes such as faith, family, and love were shown. Obedience and respect were other lessons in this Amish journey. I recommend this collection to all readers.

 

Review: A Simple Christmas by Charlotte Hubbard

A Simple Christmas (Simple Gifts #3)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis: 

“Hubbard writes Amish stories with style and grace.”
–RT Book Reviews 

The rustic beauty of a country Christmas fills the Simple Gifts crafts shop, while the Amish residents of Willow Ridge pull together in uncertain times–and in the face of an unexpected homecoming. 

Nora Hooley’s shop is abuzz with preparations for the holiday open house, and Rosalyn Riehl is handcrafting wreaths from evergreen boughs, pinecones, and other natural materials. The work is a welcome diversion for the only unmarried daughter of Cornelius Riehl: her gruff dat has been receiving envelopes marked Past Due, leaving dutiful Rosalyn to manage the household’s inexplicably shrinking budget. Then another distraction swaggers into Simple Gifts–blue-jeaned and leather-jacketed, with a reputation that precedes him.

Marcus Hooley hightailed it to Willow Ridge on a wing and a prayer–not that he’s the praying type. He rejected his Amish roots long ago. But behind the bad-boy attitude is a gifted horse trainer who’s counting on some
bent-but-not-broken family ties to throw him a lifeline. He can’t erase his past, but a sparking attraction with strong, spirited Rosalyn holds the promise of a second chance . . . and of shedding light on shadowy secrets to build a bright tomorrow.

Praise for A Simple Vow

“Charlotte Hubbard has a way of writing that draws you into the story from beginning to end.”
–Romance Junkies

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Simple Christmas by Charlotte Hubbard is a sweet Amish tale. There is plenty of trouble, intrigue, and emotion to keep the pages turning. A person runs from his  life only to head straight into another mess. Only this one leads his heart  into a bright future. But until he figures out his path, a lot of mischief and sadness follow him everywhere. Another young person, is dealing issues with her father. A secret that is eating up the family and soon tears them apart. Meeting each other, leads them to hope…and maybe, happiness. Charlotte Hubbard brings a warm heartfelt story to life. Her characters are open and inviting. It is easy to get lost within their journey. Themes such as forgiveness, family, and faith is inserted into this book. I am in love with the novel. Perfect, clean, and inspiring…to read. Overall, I recommend to all Christian readers. This Amish tale is must read.

 

Review: Formula of Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks

Formula of Deception

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“I love Carrie Stuart Parks’s skill in writing characters with hysterical humor, unwitting courage and page-turning mystery. I hope my readers won’t abandon me completely when they learn about her!” —Terri Blackstock, USA TODAY bestselling author of If I Run, If I’m Found, and If I Live

An artist hiding from an escaped killer uncovers one of World War II’s most dangerous secrets—a secret that desperate men will do anything to keep hidden.

After the murder of her twin sister, Murphy Anderson changed her name and appearance and moved to Kodiak, Alaska, to avoid the press and publicity. But when local authorities discover she’s an artist and request her help in drawing a dying man’s memories, she unintentionally ends up in the limelight again—and back in the killer’s crosshairs.

The deathbed confessions of an Alaskan hunter have Murphy drawing the five bodies he discovered on remote Ruuwaq Island ten years ago. But what investigators find has them mystified. Evidence suggests that the bodies were deliberately destroyed, and what they uncover in an abandoned Quonset hut from World War II only brings more questions.

As one by one the investigators who were at the hut die, Murphy knows there is something much darker at stake. What happened on this island during the war? And who is willing to kill to keep its secrets buried?

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Formula of Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks is definitely for fans of Heather Graham, J.T. Ellison, and Brenda Novak. Carrie Stuart Parks brings a lot of excitement and danger in this thrilling read. A crime investigation leads back to a historical secret that somebody is  willing to kill to keep buried. Yet, investigators are getting closer and their death hangs into the air. As new and old victims pile up, the intensity of the situation rises. This dark Alaskan murder mystery, kept giving me chills.

Inside Formula of Deception, I got to meet a twin of a dead woman. The twin, Murphy Anderson, goes into hiding. Staying away from a murderer, is the plan. However, Murphy is soon drawn out of hiding and back into danger. Murphy has a talent that is needed for an investigation. This now, puts her at high risk. The murderer is still killing people to keep the historical secret hidden. It’s only a matter of time, before everything escalates out of control. Overall, this one was phenomenal.

 

Review: California Summer by Anita Hughes

California Summer

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“The perfect beach read!” —Mary Alice Monroe, New York Timesbestselling author of Beach House Reunion.

“Tender and triumphant…California Summer made my heart sing. —Allison Winn Scotch, New York Times bestselling author of Between Me and You

Anita Hughes’s California Summer is a charming and beautiful love story about a former Hollywood producer who trades her cast list in for cookbooks in the hopes of following her dreams and finding new love.

Ben and Rosie are Hollywood’s newest director/producer dream team. After hitting it big at Sundance, it seems that their ten years of love and hard work are finally paying off. Rosie is happy making independent films, but Ben wants the A-List celebrity package: a house in Beverly Hills, fancy cars in the driveway, and his name on the biggest blockbusters. He’s willing to do anything, even sleep with the most famous producer in town, to get them.

Rosie is devastated by Ben’s affair, and she decides to take a break from show business. She accepts her best friend’s invitation to spend the summer at her parents’ estate in Montecito. It’s far away from L.A., the perfect place to start over.

In Montecito, Rosie meets a colorful cast of characters including Rachel, who owns a chocolate store, and Josh, a handsome local who splits his time between surfing and classic cars. Suddenly Rosie has new friends and a new purpose. She starts a business in the village, and her luck seems to be turning around. But Rosie knows all too well that success comes with a price, and the price might be losing love…again.

California Summer is a touching and romantic story about following your dreams but not letting them get in the way of love.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

California Summer by Anita Hughes is definitely for fans of Samantha Chase, Brenda Novak, and Debbie Macomber. Here, I got to meet a young woman who finds betrayal where she least excepts it. From there, she moves forward creating a new life. New friends, following a dream, and maybe, even a new romance. But balancing her dreams and a new love seems impossible…this story is about finding the courage to chase after one’s dreams. It is sweet, engaging, and had me rooting all the way. California Summer is an easy read. The pacing is steady and fun.

Anita Hughes introduces Rosie. She lives with her love until she finds him breaking her heart. After the betrayal, Rosie leaves her old life. Starting a new one, seems like the best thing. Until she falls in love again. Fear, challenges, and acceptance are featured on these pages. I am in love with all the characters. Rosie is determined to keep everything she wants in her new life. But whether that happens is to be seen. Josh is a handsome man who makes Rosie believe in love again. Suddenly, the future looks bright. Overall, I recommend this contemporary to all readers.

 

Review: Maybe for You by Nicole McLaughlin

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

She’s never had a no-strings fling. He’s never had anything else. But maybe this time will be an exception?

After a year of mourning her fiancé, Alexis Parker has worked hard to rediscover what she wants out of life. Fresh out of the military and back stateside, her brother offers her a marketing job at the Stag Distillery. Ready for a new challenge, Alexis agrees to accompany her new co-worker Jake Cooperon a Stag cross-country promotional tour. He may have an infamous playboy reputation, but Alexis is surprised to find out that there is more to him than meets the eye. And she likes what she sees. . .

Jake promised Alexis’s brother that he’d be an absolute gentleman. Of course, that was before he and Alexis hit the road, and they both agree that what Alexis’s big brother doesn’t know won’t hurt him. The plan: to keep their fling confined to the RV, and everything will go back to normal once they head home. Things progress in ways neither of them could have imagined, and Jake realizes that he and Alexis make a perfect mix. Can he convince her that he’s ready to shake things up and give true love a shot?

Rating: 5-stars

Review: 

Maybe for You by Nicole McLaughlin is both sad and a happy journey. A young woman loses her parents, and then her fiance. Alex feels like she can never love anyone for fear of losing them. Yet she is falling in love with her best friend, Jake. Jake is known for not having relationships. But with Alex, it feels right. Being with her, Jake feels happy. He now has to prove to her that they’re made for each other. Happiness can exist once more. But the journey will be totally chaos.

Nicole McLaughlin’s book made me cry and laugh. The characters just have a way of pulling my heart into their life story. They swept me up into their beautiful chaos. Love, fear, and new beginnings…that’s what this book explored. Plans can be difficult. One path closes but another one opens. Alex is a strong yet determined woman to show that she can move forward. Losing a loved one is never easy; however, she held her own. Jake was the good man. Always being there for her, Jake made me swoon from page one. He is this irresistible man that every woman dreams about…overall, I highly recommend this romantic tale to all readers.

 

Review: Blythe of the Gates by Leah Erickson

blythe-cover-hirez.jpg

 

 

 

 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Blythe of the Gates by Leah Erickson is a deep emotional story that pulled me in from the start. The main characters went through a life of hell before they got to where they were. A young baby boy left in blood at a nunnery, was then working on a farm where he was abused, and then left as an orphan. He soon worked in a carnival where he meet an older man. One that had magic. The magic drew him in unlike anything else. It held promise of a better, happier life. Yet, the things we want in life are not always what we need. The boy becomes the magician. He meets our lady protagonist. From there, she has lived in fear of her husband. A sadness swept over me  like an ice-cube going down my back. It was depressing. She ended up living a rich lifestyle but was abused by the magician. Her happiness sapped out of her. Until, Sean…a man as ordinary as her. He makes her happy but not perfectly happy. Things spiral out of control and our lady find herself in one chaotic mess after another.

Blythe of the Gates featured themes such as marriage, abuse, and moving forward. Luna and her husband were both lost souls looking for happiness. After reading this novel, I am still not sure if Luna will ever find it. Her husband managed to  find a temporary form of happiness but it still never gave him the full satisfaction that he desired. This story was epic. The pages were dark, engaging, and mysterious…I enjoyed reading it. Overall, I recommend this book to fans of Unfortunate Events. It has the same resemblance but better.

 

 

Review: Second Chance at Two Love Lane by Kieran Kramer

Second Chance At Two Love Lane

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From USA Today bestselling author Kieran Kramer, comes Second Chance at Two Love Lane, a fast-paced tale about the intoxicating effects of fame and what happens when a past romance is rekindled behind the silver screen.

Sometimes love is waiting in the second act…

In her professional career, Ella Mancini plays matchmaker at Two Love Lane but, in her personal life, she takes the stage at the Dock Street Theatre. Now she has a chance at a new role in a Hollywood movie that happens to be filming in Charleston—one that features a big-name actress, Samantha Drake. Long ago, Ella passed up a major audition while awaiting a marriage proposal. Not only didn’t she get the role; she never got the ring, either. Instead, her boyfriend Hank went on to become a huge film star…leaving her, and all her dreams, behind.

But now Hank’s back in Charleston, cast as the male lead in the same movie Ella’s in. In spite of the dramatic tension off-screen, he and Ella try to stay cool onset. But when their old feelings start to heat up—at the same time leading-lady Samantha tries to play cupid—all bets are off. How can Hank convince Ella, after all this time, that she’s the one he really wants to be with in real life—and that some happy, rom-com endings really can come true?

 

“Readers who enjoy works by Nora Roberts and Luanne Rice will want to give Kramer a try.”—Library Journal

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Second Chance at Two Love Lane by Kieran Kramer is a sweet heartfelt story of second chances. New beginnings await a young pair. Their future lies in their hands. I loved the father-daughter bond. It was engaging…and brought me a little closer to the main protagonist. I felt her passion for theater, as well as her love for her father. Ella is a woman who leaves people liking her. Her personality if warm. Determined and ready, Ella leaves to tackle a college career. She will be the first to get a degree in her family. I felt the happiness bloom inside of her. A young guy catches her attention early and it is from there that they have a connection. Love on the horizon…or is it? They proved they have the heat and attraction, but they need more if there is to be a future together. Overall, I loved the fiery banters and chemistry that was displayed on every page. Tugging at me heart, I will never forget this story.

 

Special Guest: Elyse Douglas Author of The Lost Mata Hari Ring

Image result for elyse douglas author

You Are a Real Character

by Elyse Douglas

A young teacher at a small town high school—married, in her 20’s, with aspirations to become a television journalist—was accused of murdering her husband.

In the weeks before her arrest, she appeared on television several times, making emotional pleas, asking anyone with knowledge of the murder to please come forward to assist the police in locating the person who had killed her dear, kind husband.

This is a true story that took place on the East Coast a few decades ago.  The killer turned out to be a 15-year-old boy from the school where the teacher taught, who said he was her lover.  He testified that she helped plan the murder, so it would look like a burglary.

Of course, everyone in the community was stunned.  Many said, “It was so out of character.  She was so nice and good.  How could she have killed her husband?”

My uncle Ted was not a big man, but he always bought shirts that were much too large for him.  He usually wore old baggy jeans and a cotton shirt that covered him like a gown.  If the wind blew brisk, the shirt would puff out like a balloon.

Whenever anyone asked him why he wore those big shirts, he’d say, “Small, medium, large, extra-large… all the same price.  I get more value for my money.”  He wore a medium, but an extra-large had more fabric, so instead of buying a medium, he’d buy the extra-large.

My Aunt May would say, with weary resignation, “Ole Ted Boy is a character, ain’t he?”

Cussing Helen and soft-spoken Wayne were the parents of a best friend.  Helen was a contractor and Wayne a caterer.  She built houses and he built wedding cakes.  People would often say, “Shouldn’t it be the other way around?” Meaning shouldn’t Helen be the caterer and Wayne the contractor?

Helen would say, “I can’t build a damn cake and he can’t build a friggin’ doghouse, and that’s okay with us.”

These characters had been happily married for over twenty years.

One writer said, “In every novel I’ve written, I began with a character, and allowed the drama to emerge out of human nature and relationships.”

As a young girl, I recall being fascinated by people: how they dressed; how they talked, their choice of words; their beliefs and opinions.  I soon discovered that everyone—without exception—was a character, and I would write down aspects of their character in a notebook.

From a young age, I observed that people often say one thing but do another; that guilt can ruin an entire lifetime; that laughter often masks great pain.  I would ask myself, why?

Invariably, in my own life, I’ve learned that what people say about someone else usually says more about them than the other person.  I’ve learned that what people think will make them happy doesn’t, especially, if it’s obtained too easily.  Instead, they get disenchanted and feel the frantic need to chase after the next happiness.  (This can be a great driving force for an entire novel.)  I’ve observed that true happiness mostly comes from sacrifice, tenderness, patience, and a good sense of humor.

When I began writing novels, I learned that I could drop any flawed, colorful character into nearly any plot and the story would sail off and hold the reader’s interest.

So, I usually begin my stories with a character who is struggling with fate, a painful secret, or a buried fear.  In our latest novel, The Lost Mata Hari Ring, a Time Travel Novel, the protagonist is plagued by nightmares from a past life, which she learns are a consequence of painful events and bad choices that left her estranged from her daughter.  After our protagonist time travels and meets the love of her life, she must then face herself as she was in the past and reconcile with her daughter, so that she can move on with her life in the present.

I love writing about romantic discovery and relationships, where characters meet that special someone who attracts and challenges them.  Over the course of the story, it is the relationship that helps to change and expand the protagonist from a tiny bud into a glorious rose.  The once frightened, flawed character finally grows up and blossoms.  She doesn’t just find herself, but she is free to create a new and authentic life.

As the great playwright George Bernard Shaw said, “Life isn’t about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.

A quote that I have never forgotten was one I first read in junior high school:

Character is destiny.

—Heraclitus

 

 

 

The Lost Mata Hari Ring: A Time Travel Novel by [Douglas, Elyse]

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Up-and-coming actress, Trace Rutland, has had nightmares about a tragic past ever since she was a little girl. She struggles with her everyday life, finally seeking help from a hypnotherapist.

While under hypnosis, she inadvertently experiences a tragic past life in Paris, in 1916, during the First World War.

Later, while visiting a wealthy man’s private Mata Hari collection, Trace is drawn to a glittering ring, once worn by the convicted spy. Trace is enthralled. When she’s alone, she slips the ring on and is swiftly hurled into the past. There, she must face herself as she was in the past, while struggling to change the course of her destiny.

When she meets the handsome Edward Kenyon Bishop, a World War I British flying ace, she falls in love. She is swept away into a journey of suspicion and treachery, and must fight for her life.

Can she survive the past? Can she return to the present? Can true love endure for all time?

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Lost Mata Hari Ring is so much like The Time Traveler’s Wife. The plot is full of mystery, intrigue, and a bit of romance. There is plenty of action to follow. I was never bored. I am hooked. It captures my interest from the first chapter. Time travel that allows a young woman to find her past and move past her nightmares. This journey in time, gives Trace a new beginning and a sense of peace. I easily was swept into the story as I followed Trace reconnecting with her past life and accepting her present one. Trace is a strong character that was likable. I can connect with her without difficulty. Overall, I recommend this novel to all readers.

Enter to Win a Copy of The Lost Mata Hari Ring

To enter into the free giveaway: participants must be from the US; like this post; comment on this post, and share on social media. Tell your friends to enter! Contest ends Sunday, July 22, 2018 at 11 PM Central Time. 

 

Review: An Enlightening Quiche by Eva Pasco

An Enlightening Quiche

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Two headstrong women in their forties coming from different moral directions clash:

AUGUSTA BERGERON: Dysfunctional. Deceptive. Demure. More than meets the eye at face value, and stuck in a holding pattern, the town siren engages in reckless behavior she attributes to maternal abandonment, until she eggs-humes her mother’s quiche recipe.

LINDSAY METCALFE: Pedigreed. Privileged. Proper. Mourning the recent death of her mother, the historian-in-residence hailing from Boston, sets out to preserve the legacy of an impoverished mill, but gets more than she bargains for when taking a self-centered adolescent under her wing.

Their alternating first-person narratives relate how an heirloom quiche recipe and baking rivalry between two bosom buddies redress erroneous assumptions, misdeeds, unleashed secrets, and malicious intent—all of which wreak havoc, altering the lives of those affected from the fallout of a tragedy.

Rating: 4-stars

Review: 

An Enlightening Quiche by Eva Pasco is a contemporary fiction novel set for women everywhere. The drama of the two ladies inside is enough to keep readers, like myself, interested. A rivalry between bakers is fun to follow. The plot quickly escalates. It grew more intense with every page. There was a lot of depth added to this tale. This made it rich and more realistic. I found it quirky yet emotionally engaging to read. Each woman has something to add and take from this story. I love anything that digs into food, community, and secrets. The writer easily gave me the side of each protagonist. I could figure what each one was thinking. Their perspectives showed me how they might proceed with what was happening. It made it easier to follow their actions, and it made me feel like I was there witnessing it all. People can jump to conclusions all the time, but overcoming the obstacles and differences made this a good book. Overall, I would recommend it to other readers.

Review: A Dash of Love by Jill Sanders

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Head back to Pride Oregon to find out what some of your favorite Jill Sanders’ characters are up to.

Sara Jordan has finally been given the chance to run The Golden Oar, a restaurant that’s been in her family for generations. But the sexy know-it-all carpenter that her uncle hired to make some changes, keeps getting in her way. She’ll have to use all her skills just to prove that she’s up to the task.

Parker was hired to bring new life to the old building, but he hadn’t expected sparks to fly from the owner’s niece. As a series of mysterious accidents start to plague the job site, he finds himself working one-on-one with the temptress to avoid losing everything.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

A Dash of Love by Jill Sanders is a sweet romantic temptation. I found the main characters funny, charming, and three-dimensional. Their lives were lonely, sad, and moving slowly until they met each other. Now, their world has just gotten complicated. A young man who lost his only mother figure is now coming back to make his business thrive. Only, he didn’t expect a beautiful minx to tempt him back into relationships. The young woman is working to prove herself. Working hard, determined, and not ready to settle, she soon find a hot tempting carpenter who sparks her insides.

A Dash of Love has melted my heart. The story was realistic. I can see the characters acting like this in real life. Their banters were fun to follow. I couldn’t stop laughing or falling in love with them. The backstories of both Parker and Sarah made me root for them harder. Jill Sanders captured life at both it’s weakest and strongest points. I loved reading, A Dash of Love. Overall, I would highly recommend it others.

Review: Set the Night on Fire by Laura Trentham

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Cottonbloom is the perfect place for starting over, finding your way back home–and falling head over heels. . .

Ella Boudreaux has a lot to prove to her family, friends, and foes–and to herself. So when her marriage ends she decides to invest her energy and money into a place that brings back some of Ella’s happiest memories: the Abbott brothers’ garage. Maybe, if she puts her mind to it, she can teach skeptical, stubborn Mack Abbott how to make the business a true success. Which would be a lot easier if the hunky mechanic didn’t make her motor run quite so fast…and hot.

Mack was furious when his brother, Ford, sold his share of the business. He’s in no rush to team up with a wealthy divorcee who shows up to the garage in stilettos–and the longest, sexiest legs he’s seen in forever. But Ella’s grit and determination won’t quit…and soon Mack can see that she’s been down a few rough roads herself. Neither Mack nor Ella can deny the fierce attraction that’s revving up between them. Could it be that true love has been in the backseat all along…and they’ve finally found the key?

Rating: 5-stars

Review: 

Set the Night on Fire by Laura Trentham is an exciting romantic read. I loved the fierce protectiveness that Mack feels towards Ella. At first, he didn’t want her anywhere around him, but getting to know her changed all of that. Her determination sparked a fire inside of Mack. One that he tried to diminish but was helpless in shaking off. His attraction towards the beauty only increased. As other characters from the previous books and new ones came onto the scene it only sparked more of an interest to keep on reading. I ended up finishing the entire read in one sitting. Fast-paced packed with action, hot scenes, and humor to make the pages fly by…I was impressed.

Laura Trentham’s latest novel, wasn’t just a hot romance that I could not put down. It went deeper than that. It displayed the family and marriage abuse that Ella went through in her life. It gave me a glimpse into her loss. Losing a family member is never easy. The car mechanic garage meant and reminded Ella of her older brother. It was sentimental value to her. Plus, the brothers that worked it became like family to her. Despite what hell life brought to Ella, she bounced back. She became stronger and more independent. But she was also able to put some trust into the tough as nails mechanic aka Mack. Mack has his own personal struggles as well. I loved the depth and meaning this book brought. It was more than just a romance. It was life. Overall, I would highly recommend this romantic story to all readers.

Review: House of Belonging by Andrea Thome

House of Belonging (Hesse Creek #3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis: 

Who can we count on? The family we’re born into, or the one we create for ourselves?

Renowned chef Laina Ming walked away from the culinary spotlight and an unhealthy relationship—one that still haunts her a year later. She’s trying to start fresh in the Rocky Mountains, opening a concept restaurant on the banks of the Roaring Fork River, where she hopes she’ll be able to express her passion for food and bury her heartache.

Horse rancher Logan Matthews moved to Aspen to be near his sister and her husband, grateful for his newfound family. Since a chance meeting with Laina the previous summer, Logan’s been enchanted. But she doesn’t want anything to do with him—which makes her all the more appealing.

Despite Laina’s efforts to protect her heart, Logan has been on her mind, too—and he has a way of turning up in the most unexpected places. Can they learn to trust one another and finally find the sense of belonging they’ve both been searching for?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

House of Belonging by Andrea Thome is so much more than it appears. I thought it was about a woman or women overcoming an obstacle and moving forward. Yes, it was about that. But it had more depth and emotion than I knew. The journey that each character went through to get to where they ended up was heartfelt. I could not be happier. They were so realistic. I felt as if I lived right beside them for years. Sad, funny, and charming-Andrea Thome hooked me. I couldn’t stop reading. One chapter turned into several and then I was finishing the whole book. Love, new beginnings, and a promising future were shown here. I enjoyed it. Overall, I would recommend this inspirational and heart warming tale to fans of Hallmark, Debbie Macomber, and Susan Mallery.

 

Review: Dead Drift by Dani Pettrey

Dead Drift (Chesapeake Valor, #4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Private Investigator Kate Maxwell never stopped loving Luke Gallagher after he disappeared. Now he’s back, and together they must unravel a twisting thread of secrets, lies, and betrayal while on the brink of a biological disaster that will shake America to its core. Will they and their love survive, or will Luke and Kate become the terrorist’s next target?

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Dead Drift by Dani Pettrey is an exciting yet deadly journey. One that will reunite two old lovers who never gave up…time has a way of pushing old memories to surface and soon anger turns to passion. But now, they’re both targets. A fierce enemy has found out who they are and where they’re located. The end goal was to kill them both. However, FBI Agent Kate Maxwell and top agent Luke Gallagher are not to be stopped.

Inside Dead Drift, I got to experience the thrill of chasing down and stopping the bad guys. Especially one that wouldn’t stop targeting the FBI members. Danger, romance, and suspense kept me turning the pages. Dani Pettrey brought to life, the law enforcement and organization of a federal criminal case. It was both exciting and terrifying at the same time. I wasn’t sure what to expect and numerous times I thought both main characters would die. Death hung in the air as the agents worked to escape and capture an enemy. Overall, I would recommend this to all Criminal Minds and NCIS fans. This book has all the similarities but the danger feels so much more realistic.

Review: Paradox by Catherine Coulter

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

With unparalleled suspense and her trademark explosive twists, #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter delves into the terrifying mind of an escaped mental patient obsessed with revenge in this next installment of her riveting FBI series. When he fails to kidnap five-year-old Sean Savich, agents Sherlock and Savich know they’re in his crosshairs and must find him before he continues with his ‘kill’ list.

Chief Ty Christie of Willicott, Maryland, witnesses a murder at dawn from the deck of her cottage on Lake Massey. When dragging the lake, not only do the divers find the murder victim, they also discover dozens of bones. Even more shocking is the identification of a unique belt buckle found among the bones. Working together with Chief Christie, Savich and Sherlock soon discover a frightening connection between the bones and the escaped psychopath.

Paradox is a chilling mix of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, old secrets that refuse to stay buried, and ruthless greed that keep Savich and Sherlock and Chief Ty Christie working at high speed to uncover the truth before their own bones end up at the bottom on the lake.

Don’t miss Paradox, the twenty-second FBI thriller.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Paradox by Catherine Coulter is a thrilling race to catch a murderer before it’s too late. Two agents wake up to find their son being threatened by an unknown man in a mask. The man escapes from them. But his threat leaves behind a mass of fear and a start for a new investigation.  Little do they know his tie to a bigger and former case will be connected. Until then, they have to be faster and outsmart their enemy.

Catherine Coulter creates a suspenseful new tale in Paradox. Immediately, I connected with the agents. Their level of protection for their son was amazing. Being in their field of work, it is understandable to have such security and plans made. It worked. Their plans gave them the alert and saved their son’s life. Their young son is clever for his age. There was a hint of Winnie the Pooh bear somewhere in the boy’s room, which suggested he was still pretty young. But like his parents, he came to the conclusion of what really happened. His parents couldn’t lie to him. I liked that. It made the situation realistic. Then, there was the chase after the criminal and the procedures of starting an investigation. I felt like I was there watching and participating with the agents. The pacing of the plot was quick. I just kept on reading chapter after chapter. My attention was fully caught with this novel. A thriller with enough action and intrigue to keep me reading. Overall, I would recommend it to all fans of Laura Griffin, Heather Graham, and Criminal Minds.

 

Review: Feared by Lisa Scottoline

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Machiavelli, a corrupt lawyer, aggressively strikes close to the DiNunzio household, attacking Mary’s father and one of their beloved family friends by filing a lawsuit that accuses them of embezzling from the treasury of a local South Philly social club to which they belong. The lawsuit is frivolous, but Machiavelli ups the ante by spreading rumors that support its allegations, muddying the reputation of Mary’s father.

The claims shake the DiNunzio clan to its foundations, threatening her father’s weakening heart, and Mary steps in to fight back. But Machiavelli is a more than worthy adversary. Then the unthinkable happens, and Mary goes to her own dark side, finding a part of herself that makes her more fearsome than ever before. Is it still a battle between good and evil, when good turns evil? And will Mary be able to find herself, before she loses her soul completely?

Feared, the sixth entry in the acclaimed Rosato & DiNunzio series, expertly explores what happens when we are tempted to give in to our own inner darkness.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Feared by Lisa Scottoline is a heart-racing plot. The intensity of the scenes kept my heart pounding. I was not sure of what would be the outcome. The main character went through a lot of changes recently. From motherhood to catching bad guys, this strong independent woman made me speechless. Her bravery was crazy. Lies, deception, and danger hung in the air. Lisa Scottoline poured suspense and action onto every page. Not one single boring moment. Also, I loved the small community of support that was created for the main character. It softened the hard yet dark edges of this story.

Romance, crime, and mystery are displayed here. I could not get enough of the characters. Mary is the central character. She is pregnant and solved a case that others couldn’t solve. Her instincts are so clear, that it was frightening. Her guesses were right but sometimes the wrong suspect is chosen. But none of that stopped Mary from working the case. Her strong willed personality helped define her as a woman not to be toyed with…as one of the male characters has figured out later in the plot. The connection between Mary and her husband, as well as the connection with another man kept the me guessing. Feared is a novel about facing fears and getting justice. Overall, I would recommend it to readers seeking a rush of adrenaline.

Review: 101 ?s You Need to Ask in Your Twenties by Paul Angone

101 Questions You Need to Ask in Your Twenties: (And Let's Be Honest, Your Thirties Too)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Adulting got you down?

Whether you just polished off your college graduation cake, are in your twenties or thirties struggling through a quarter-life crisis, you’re simply trying to figure out how to become all grown up, or you’re a parent looking for that perfect college graduation gift or Christmas gift for your twentysomething, 101 Questions You Need to Ask in Your Twenties is the book for you. 

To find important life answers in your 20s, you need to start with good questions. Author, speaker, and blogger Paul Angone has dedicated the last 12 years to helping twentysomethings and in this book he culminates his work to give readers wisdom through major life questions like: 

What’s the best way to know if you’re actually ready to get married?
Where’s the future of work headed and what does having a successful career look like today?
How do I make a choice when I don’t know what to choose?
How do I stop networking and start “relationshipping”?
Why do some people have great marriages while others have complete wrecks before they even make it to the highway?
Am I seeing the other side of people’s Instagram photos (you know, the side they’re not exactly posting pictures of)?
What are the Pivotal Plot Points of my story?
Do I have anyone on my “Dream Team”?
After his success with 101 Secrets for your Twenties and connecting with millions of twentysomethings around the world through speaking engagements and his blog AllGroanUp.com, Paul Angone captures the hilarious, freakishly-accurate assessment of life as a modern-day twentysomething (and thirtysomething) facing real Millennial problems, but now he’s digging even deeper. 

If you’re drowning your anxieties in Netflix and ice cream, are afraid you’re failing, going crazy, or both, or are just longing for a little guidance to get past “just getting by,” grab this book and start thriving in the most “defining decade” of your life.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

101 Questions You Need to Ask in Your Twenties is an easy to read book that I found intriguing. Once I started to read, I just kept on reading it. There were a lot of great questions found here. Then there were the typical questions one would have asked this writer. I found interesting how he went through each question with a flair that made it not boring. It was nothing like what I had expected. No dull boring words filling up pages that would fall on deaf ears. Instead, I got exactly what the book said I would get. A deep thorough examination of myself. In other words, I got to explore where I was at, what I was doing, and where do I want to be.

Paul Angone is a motivational speaker. I did not need to read the back blurb to see that. Instead, I just read his book. I can see the intelligent words and wisdom they offered. It was like flashing a light into a dark tunnel. It inspired hope. The writing was clear and organized. Each chapter was divided into a particular subject with some of the writer’s own personal experience attached. I did not feel alone. This book, made me feel like I was understood and being heard. As a twenty-something, I had no clear idea where I was headed. But reading this book, I know where to go and what needed to be done. Overall, I would recommend this book to high school students and those who planned to enter college. It was a great read.

Review: Highland Devil by Hannah Howell

Highland Devil (Murray Family, #22)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Hannah Howell returns to medieval Scotland where daring and desire stir the passions of the Murray clan…

When a red-haired woman tries to steal Sir Gybbon Murray’s horse on his journey back to the Murray stronghold, he thanks his lucky stars that his horse is a rude lout—and that the pretty thief is not so injured that she can’t tell her tale. He’s no nursemaid to delicate lasses, but Mora Ogilvy is fleeing her ruthless cousins, fearing for her life. And when she tells him of the home they’ve taken from her and the man they say she murdered, Gybbon cannot let such injustice stand.

Mora’s pride demands she take back her lands, but not by risking the lives of this handsome, wicked knight and his family. Still, she needs to recover from her wounds, and staying close to Gybbon in his brother’s keep is a seductive solution. A few weeks at his side will be a sweet memory for her when she returns to fight her own battles. Except the depth of her cousins’ treachery—and the fierceness of Gybbon’s love—may turn her own heart against her plans.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Highland Devil by Hannah Howell is an interesting tale. One where family is set against its own. An evil cousin is set upon killing everyone to get what he wants. And no one has been able to stop him yet…even his own father won’t stop him. That’s when Mora and her younger brother, Andrew, flew for their lives. Their paths soon cross that of one brave highlander, Gybbon. Gybbon immediately seeks to help Mora and her brother against her evil cousin. But the fear, danger, and passion that sparks between keeps them at ends.

The suspense in this historical novel was intense. I was not sure what would have happened to Mora. Several times, I thought both she and Andrew would die. As for her older brothers…I did not see that unexpected twist happening. Fast-paced and brilliant, Hannah Howell plucked my curiosity and kept it. I would recommend this read. It was deeply engaging and emotionally fun to follow. Brave, funny, and strong men racing to help those in danger made my heart melt every time. Highland Devil is just as it sounded. A highland devil was detailed here. Running and finding out why the highland devil wanted the characters dead was a unique mystery. It appeared to be greed but I am still left with wondering if it was simply just because he was a mad man. Or was he?

Review: Double Blind by Iris and Roy Johansen

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The #1 New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award winning authors are back with an electrifying new novel that will leave your heart racing.

Kendra Michaels, formerly blind and now a hired gun for law enforcement agencies who relies on her razor-sharp powers of observation, is reluctant to help the FBI with the most recent case they’ve brought to her. But then she hears the details: the body was found just blocks away from Kendra’s condo. The young woman was carrying an envelope with Kendra’s name on it, and inside was an SD card with what appears to be an innocuous video of a wedding reception. The woman died trying to get the video to Kendra, but for what purpose? Before Kendra and the FBI can answer that question, the bride is abducted from her suburban home.

And so the hunt is on for a killer whose nightmarish plan is slowly becoming clear. A plan that involves a powerful law firm and a multi-billion dollar corporation. As the body count rises, Kendra joins forces with private investigator Jessie Mercado and agent-for-hire Adam Lynch to stop the plot as it grows ever closer to its terrifying conclusion.

In Double Blind, Iris and Roy Johansen deliver an emotional, gripping new entry in the bestselling Kendra Michaels series.

Praise for Double Blind:

“Magnetic characters and a twisty, suspenseful plot ensure that readers will eagerly anticipate the next installment.” —Publishers Weekly

“When it comes to delivering amazing tales of edge-of-your-seat suspense, team Johansen and Johansen have proven they are unbeatable! Kendra Michaels is an exceptionally compelling protagonist…Get the snacks ready and keep the lights on, for this book will keep you hanging on until the last word!” RT Book Reviews (5 stars)

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Double Blind by both Iris and Roy Johansen is an exciting thriller. A deadly game that could end up worse if not stopped soon. A serial killer is hired by a company to handle problems for them only that the killer goes off the edge and blackmails them. The killer is then able to get away with a lot more than planned. Murders are now being traced to the company and the company can’t control their hired hired any longer.  FBI is introduced into the case when a dead woman has something for someone they know…that’s when the chase really begins…

Kendra Michaels is the lead female character. She is the one the FBI like to work with because of her ability to notice the smallest details quickly. Kendra cannot handle working on cases like the FBI does, because she hates seeing victims’ families suffer. Death is never easy to handle. But now, a dead woman is found with a USB drive containing damaging evidence for her. Only she never knew the victim. It is only a matter of time before the FBI bring her in on the case. Kendra feels obligated to help since the dead woman tried to reach out to her. Other than that she wants noting to do with the case. But that’s where it starts to get complicated. Her former FBI friend that she is attracted to, handles deadly crime stuff. She feels something more for him but she isn’t allowing herself to fall in love. Adam Lynch wants Kendra Michaels as his woman. However, he knows it will be difficult to get to agree. She likes him just as much as he likes her but she won’t open up. Instead, she pushes away from him. The new case is provides a tug of war in their relationship.

Overall, this new novel was suspenseful. I was deeply engaged from the start. Both Iris and Roy Johansen have caught my attention with Kendra Michaels. She is a detective for the FBI in a way. The personality was easy to latch onto as well as like. Kendra is a strong independent woman who won’t let anyone or anything bring her down…Adam Lynch is a cocky good looking man who is smart and deadly to mess with. But when it comes to Kendra he makes mistakes and doesn’t know how to approach her. I felt their push/pull relationship. It was intriguing and sad to follow. Double Blind was fast-paced. It kept me guessing the whole way. I highly recommend it to all.

Review: The Forbidden Brother by Joanne Rock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

One night of passion, mistaken identity… and unmistakable consequences! Jillian Ross craves adventure. And she gets it when her new career as a film scout leads her to the ranch owned by the wealthy Wyoming McNeills. Giving in to temptation with the playboy McNeill causes havoc–since it’s actually his reclusive twin, Cody, she’s fallen for! Now she’s pregnant–and still can’t get enough of her reluctant rancher. Is this adventure just beginning?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Forbidden Brother by Joanne Rock is amazing! I was left begging for more. I want to read every book by this writer. Romance, check. Emotional journey, check. Hot heroes, check. Realistic situations, double check. This tale showed how a family reunites under trouble, stress, and how they can set aside their differences. Themes of responsibility, love, and family are shown throughout the pages. Being the older sibling, the main alpha hero has a lot to live up to, as well as balancing…sometimes, it’s just too much. Struggles of battling a cancer and fighting to regain her confidence, the heroine, is a breath of fresh air. Her determination to live life the fullest was felt. The entire plot was heartfelt.

In this latest novella, I was immediately taken with both main characters. Cody is the oldest heir and the most responsible. Lost his mother while young and fighting to be strong for his family. Family responsibility can be a heavy weight. So, when opportunity arrives in a sassy yet vibrant woman, Jillian, he is all for letting go. Jillian is all for a little flirtation that soon leads to a full seduction. Cody and Jillian’s passion turns into something more…something deeper. Jillian ends up getting a gift that she never thought she would ever get in life. Cody didn’t think he could love someone after being hurt in the past. Yet both seem to find their dreams in each other. The Forbidden Brother by Joanne Rock is full of passion, sparks, and adventure. Overall, I would recommend it to readers everywhere.

Review: The Orphan’s Wish by Melanie Dickerson

 

The Orphan's Wish (Hagenheim, #8)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From the streets to an orphanage in a faraway kingdom, Aladdin has grown up alone. Until he meets Kirstyn. With a father who is the duke of Hagenheim and a mother who is the patroness of the orphanage where Aladdin lives, Kirstyn is a member of the most powerful family in the land . . . and way out of his league. Despite the difference in their stations, Aladdin quickly becomes Kirstyn’s favorite companion for taking walks in the forest, and their childhood friendship grows along with them.

Through his scrappy skills, intelligence, and hard work, Aladdin earns a position serving in the duke’s house. But he knows it isn’t enough to grant him his one desire: Kirstyn’s hand in marriage. If he hopes to change his station in life and feel worthy of marrying Kirstyn, he must leave Hagenheim to seek his fortune.

But once Aladdin leaves, no one is around to protect Kirstyn, and the greedy men desperate to take advantage of her father’s wealth take notice. Now, more than Aladdin’s background stands in the way of the future he’s worked so hard to obtain. His only hope is to rescue Kirstyn and somehow manage to win her hand as well.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Orphan’s Wish by Melanie Dickerson is another form of Aladdin. This one has so much more meaning and depth than the original Aladdin story. Yes, not stealing is the main moral of the story, but it holds more emotional luggage. Themes of friendship, love, and hope are discovered here. Somehow, a weave of Christian influence has been swept into the tale. It created a hopeful plot with characters searching for peace of mind and heart. Some violence is found in the book. Violence such as theft, bullying, and child abuse are mentioned. However, it is so low and almost non-existent.

Aladdin grew up knowing loss, grief, bullying, and theft. He has always felt ashamed of himself. One day, he sees young Kirstyn and they instantly become friends. Their friendship blossoms and as they grew older it turned into something much more. An attraction formed between a wealthy lady and an orphaned abused boy.  Aladdin felt the pressure of not being able to give his lady, Kirstyn what she deserves. So, he raised himself up the ladder and worked hard to provide her with a good home and a happy life. But will it be enough? Together, they help each other and create a happiness that is hard to ignore. I found this novel to be sweet, engaging, and heartfelt.

Review: Dinner with Edward by Isabel Vincent

Dinner with Edward: A Story of an Unexpected Friendship

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

When Isabel meets Edward, both are at a crossroads: he wants to follow his late wife to the grave, and she is ready to give up on love. Thinking she is merely helping Edward’s daughter–who lives far away and has asked her to check in on her nonagenarian dad in New York–Isabel has no idea that the man in the kitchen baking the sublime roast chicken and light-as-air apricot soufflé will end up changing her life.

As Edward and Isabel meet weekly for the glorious dinners that Edward prepares, he shares so much more than his recipes for apple galette or the perfect martini, or even his tips for deboning poultry. Edward is teaching Isabel the luxury of slowing down and taking the time to think through everything she does, to deconstruct her own life, cutting it back to the bone and examining the guts, no matter how messy that proves to be.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Dinner with Edward shows that life can be unappreciated at times. With work and everything else pulling the characters’ attention away…some of life’s greatest moments pass by them. Lost love and never having been loved, are two stories followed here. Life is messy, complex, and uncertain at times. That too, is shown here. Sometimes, a purpose is needed for some to move forward and that is exactly what Edward has found. Isabel is at that crossroads point in her life where she felt like something she wanted is missing. With Edward around, she has gotten to enjoy life more so and forget a little more about not having a love.

Isabel Vincent’s novel, is heartfelt. I got to savor the cooking, friendship, and life’s lessons through the eyes of the characters. Each one had his and her own problems. But when they meet, they ended up changing each others’ life. I loved how each one gave and took from the other in equal amounts. Their blossoming friendship helped heal their wounds. It also gave them a renewed purpose in their lives. Moving forward after losing a love one and feeling old and lonely only to have found a good friend to share life with was sweet. I cried for both characters. Isabel is charming and middle-aged. I was able to relate to her issues easily. Never being loved truly has left her feeling sad. Edward is a fabulous cook, who made me mouth water with his recipes. His way of making sure Isabel is fine, tugged at my heart. They had a way of making me fall in love. Realistic characters, good plot, and emotional journeys inside made this a must read for me. Overall, I recommend Dinner with Edward to all readers.

Review: Marry Me at Christmas by Susan Mallery

Marry Me at Christmas (Fool's Gold, #19)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Wish upon a Christmas star with New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery’s sparkling Fool’s Gold romance!

To bridal boutique owner Madeline Krug, organizing a Christmas wedding sounds like a joy—until she finds out she’ll be working closely with the gorgeous brother of the bride, movie star Jonny Blaze. How will a small-town girl like her keep from falling for the world’s sexiest guy? Especially with mistletoe lurking around every corner!

Jonny came to Fool’s Gold looking for normal, not for love. Happily-ever-after only happens in the movies. Still, nothing about this quirky town is quite what he expected, and “ordinary” Madeline is the most extraordinary woman he’s ever met. Refreshingly honest, disarmingly sweet. Achingly beautiful.

Planning the perfect wedding leads to candlelit dinners and strolls through snow-covered streets. And Madeline finds Jonny in real life even more captivating than her celebrity crush. But will the action star be brave enough to risk his heart and step into the role of a lifetime?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Marry Me at Christmas by Susan Mallery is an enchanting tale of hope and dreams. A young woman who owns a bridal shop, ends up planning a wedding for another young woman. The woman’s wedding that she is planning happens to be the sister of her crush movie star. Madeline wants to jump with excitement but she is also weary of Johnny. Johnny is a big star with his career getting the best of him. He feels like he needs something more. Only he does not realize what that is or how to find it, until he meet Madeline. Madeline has Johnny’s full attention. She’s charming and full of life. A breath of fresh air compared to the other women he’s used to meeting. Madeline helps his sister with her wedding and they both get to know each other better. Maybe, love is real and can happen to anyone…Susan Mallery does not disappoint in this title. The spirit of Christmas and the joy of the season are on every page. A blossoming friendship and a dream of happily ever after might just be in the air. Overall, I loved reading this clean romance and recommend it to others.

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