Tag Archives: Journey

Review: I Hate Everyone, Except You by Clinton Kelly

I Hate Everyone, Except You

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Bestselling author and television host Clinton Kelly pens a hilariously candid, deliciously snarky collection of essays about his journey from awkward kid to slightly-less-awkward adult.

Clinton Kelly is probably best known for teaching women how to make their butts look smaller. But in I Hate Everyone, Except You, he reveals some heretofore-unknown secrets about himself, like that he’s a finicky connoisseur of 1980s pornography, a disillusioned critic of New Jersey’s premier water parks, and perhaps the world’s least enthused high-school commencement speaker.

Whether he’s throwing his baby sister in the air to jump start her cheer-leading career or heroically rescuing his best friend from death by mud bath, Clinton leaps life’s social hurdles with aplomb. With his signature wit, he shares his unique ability to navigate the stickiest of situations, like deciding whether it’s acceptable to eat chicken wings with a fork on live television (spoiler: it’s not). Clinton delves into all these topics—and many more—in this thoroughly unabashedly frank and uproarious collection.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

I Hate Everyone, Except You is a deeper look into the man many have come to love. Clinton Kelly has always appeared to be this perfect well-put together man. I could never imagine him doing anything that was well-done.  His taste and mannerisms come alive in this journey. A journey through his younger years and into the man he is now. I found it quite interesting. There’s more depth to this celebrity than I thought originally. He’s funny, bold, and learns along the way. Watching him fail, wasn’t really failure…it was success in if it didn’t feel so at the time. Failure moments teach and change us. Clinton Kelly grew as he approached his station in his life and career. I loved his caring demeanor towards his family. He and his step-dad went from not liking each other to liking each other. I think we all can learn something from this memoir. Apply it to our own journeys and grow from them. Overall, I Hate Everyone, Except You was inspiring and motivational. The pages held a lot of humor making this feel nothing like a typical memoir.

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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: Jesus the Bridegroom by Brant Pitre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In Jesus the Bridegroom, Brant Pitre once again taps into the wells of Jewish Scripture and tradition, and unlocks the secrets of what is arguably the most well-known symbol of the Christian faith: the cross of Christ. In this thrilling exploration, Pitre shows how the suffering and death of Jesus was far more than a tragic Roman execution. Instead, the Passion of Christ was the fulfillment of ancient Jewish prophecies of a wedding, when the God of the universe would wed himself to humankind in an everlasting nuptial covenant.

To be sure, most Christians are familiar with the apostle Paul’s teaching that Christ is the ‘Bridegroom’ and the Church is the ‘Bride’. But what does this really mean? And what would ever possess Paul to compare the death of Christ to the love of a husband for his wife? If you would have been at the Crucifixion, with Jesus hanging there dying, is that how you would have described it? How could a first-century Jew like Paul, who knew how brutal Roman crucifixions were, have ever compared the execution of Jesus to a wedding? And why does he refer to this as the “great mystery” (Ephesians 5:32)?

As Pitre shows, the key to unlocking this mystery can be found by going back to Jewish Scripture and tradition and seeing the entire history of salvation, from Mount Sinai to Mount Calvary, as a divine love story between Creator and creature, between God and Israel, between Christ and his bride—a story that comes to its climax on the wood of a Roman cross.

In the pages of Jesus the Bridegroom, dozens of familiar passages in the Bible—the Exodus, the Song of Songs, the Wedding at Cana, the Woman at the Well, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, and even the Second Coming at the End of Time—are suddenly transformed before our eyes. Indeed, when seen in the light of Jewish Scripture and tradition, the life of Christ is nothing less than the greatest love story ever told.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Jesus the Bridegroom by Brant Pitre is a must read for all Christian readers, especially those who are Catholic. It explains and takes readers, like myself, on a journey to following the relationship between Jesus and the church. I was impressed with the research that went into making this book. There were plenty of quoted material that went with the pages as they continued the discussion. I loved how Brant Pitre showed us, readers, the way of Jesus and the way of the Jews. History, faith, and Christian doctrine are implemented throughout this book. I enjoyed diving deeper into my faith with Brant Pitre as my guide. His words were easy to follow and made understanding the content of that historical moment in a way that was epic. I would recommend this to readers worldwide. If you’re Catholic definitely read this, if you’re another Christian faith, read it to familiarize yourself with relationship of Jesus Christ. Overall, it was educational, informative, and well-done.

Review: Pelican Point by Irene Hannon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A crumbling lighthouse is not part of the inheritance Army doctor Ben Garrison expects to claim when he journeys to Hope Harbor. Fresh out of the service, he wants only to unload the tower of bricks, decompress from years of treating battlefield trauma, and prepare to launch his civilian career.

Hope Harbor Herald editor Marci Weber has other ideas. She may not be a Hope Harbor native, but the small Oregon seaside town has become home–and she’s determined to save the Pelican Point landmark.

Sparks fly as the two go head to head over the fate of the lighthouse. But when they start to cooperate, a different kind of fire ignites. And as they work together, might Hope Harbor heal the hearts of these two romance-wary souls?

Bestselling author Irene Hannon invites readers back to their favorite town for a story that will light a beacon of hope within their hearts.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Pelican Point by Irene Hannon is a nice clean read. It is a story of one grandson who loss his grandfather and inherits a lighthouse that nobody wants, ncluding him. Then, there is the cat he tried to save only to get scratched up, the police called on him, and a determined female reporter wanting a story from him. Ben Garrison is an easy character to like and connect with…his emotional journey sucked me into the story. Sad, entertaining, and hopeful, this novel was good. I felt everything Ben did.  It was like I was there personally watching it all unfold. Overall, I recommend this sweet heartfelt tale to all readers.

Review: Louisiana Catch by Sweta Vikram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A grieving daughter and abuse survivor must summon the courage to run a feminist conference, trust a man she meets over the Internet, and escape a catfishing stalker to find her power.
Ahana, a wealthy thirty-three-year-old New Delhi woman, flees the pain of her mother’s death, and her dark past, by accepting a huge project in New Orleans, where she’ll coordinate an annual conference to raise awareness of violence against women. Her half-Indian, half-Irish colleague and public relations guru, Rohan Brady, who helps Ahana develop her online presence, offends her prim sensibilities with his raunchy humor. She is convinced that he’s a womanizer.

Meanwhile, she seeks relief from her pain in an online support group, where she makes a good friend: the mercurial Jay Dubois, who is also grieving the loss of his mother. Louisiana Catch is an emotionally immersive novel about identity, shame, and who we project ourselves to be in the world. It’s a book about Ahana’s unreliable instincts and her ongoing battle to determine whom to place her trust in as she, Rohan, and Jay shed layers of their identities.

Louisiana Catch is a triumph. In Ahana, Sweta Vikram has created an unforgettable character, strong, wise, and deeply human, who’ll inspire a new generation struggling to come to terms with their identity in a world of blurring identities.” –KARAN BAJAJ, New York Times bestselling author, The Yoga of Max’s Discontent

“In Louisiana Catch, Sweta Vikram brings life to the complex human rights issue of violence against women. Through one woman’s journey to make sense of her past and ultimately heal, Vikram shows us that yoga can reconnect us to ourselves, and that by empowering others, we transform our own lives.” –ZOE LEPAGE, Founder, Exhale to Inhale

Louisiana Catch perfectly captures what it means to be human in a digital world, where support groups meet online, love interests flirt on Twitter, and people get confused with personas. Equal parts tender and playful, moving and hopeful, Vikram’s prose connects us with timeless truths about grief and redemption in a satisfyingly modern way.” –STEPHANIE PATERIK, Managing Editor, Adweek

Learn more at http://www.SwetaVikram.com
From Modern History Press, http://www.ModernHistoryPress.com

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Louisiana Catch by Sweta Vikram is like a drug. It pulls you into its depth and hooks you inside of its journey. This was one epic path that the writer lead me on…I was intrigued. A woman, Ahana, finds herself in one of the most complicated and dangerous situations a woman should never be found in, yet Ahana does. She lost her mother and she soon becomes a victim to her husband’s brutal sexual torment.

Rape is ongoing issue women worldwide still face. This issue should be solved yet so many fall victim. Some never survive that form of destruction, both physically and emotionally. I found myself crying for Ahana. Her losses are so great and many. People she should be able to trust turn out to be the worst. I felt the fear, the risks, and the danger as the plot carries me from beginning to end. Ahana is a strong female protagonist. She may loose her way occasionally but eventually finds it. No one is perfect. Life is messy.

Sweta Vikram captures my attention with the devasting events and the suspense of what will come from it. I felt sympathy and a connection instantly to Ahana. I really liked her. Her colleague, Rohan, is another great character. He was there helping her. Or trying to help her when she was in a bad situation. From the beginning to end of her journey, Rohan supports Ahana. Ahana at times made me want to shake her, for her carelessness but she has grown into a wonderful woman at the end of her journey. This is one unforgettable character that will forever live in the minds of readers like me and countless others. There are so many things that drag readers into Ayana’s sad yet powerful story. Overall, I would recommend this novel to all women including those who have been abused. It shows that even though the world is a dark place, there too, is a light that will eventually shine bright.

Review: The Golden Vial by Thomas Locke

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Lady Shona, the newly crowned queen of the realm, is a leader without a throne. Pursued relentlessly by a dark force, her small contingent of loyal followers must make a difficult choice–flee or fight. Determined to save her land from nefarious threats, Lady Shona decides that she must seek out the enemy and attack them head on–a strategy that leads back to the region of the Three Valleys where Hyam was born.

Alas, Hyam has been struck by a mysterious illness that is silently sweeping through the realm. Known as the wasting disease, the sickness has no cure. But there is one shred of hope for Lady Shona and the realm–and it comes in the most unlikely of forms. A young orphan, untested and untrained, could well mean the difference between victory and total defeat.

Thomas Locke concludes his epic trilogy with a gripping tale of courage that will inspire readers to persevere even when all seems lost.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Golden Vial by Thomas Locke is a strange yet intriguing fantasy. I was lured deep into a young woman’s journey. Dally, an orphan has been adopted in a way and soon to play a bigger role for many. Her power remains hidden until things start to happen. A woman, who is a queen, comes to her in dreams. Offering to help the valley residents that Dally knows. From there, it was like following the Lord of Rings and The Hobbit. Adventure, action, and danger all caging in around the characters. Power and enemies lie so close. I enjoyed reading this story. There was mystery, suspense, and a tiny bit of romance, too. Overall, I would recommend this book to readers everywhere.

 

 

Review: The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A powerful, revealing story of hope, love, justice, and the power of reading by a man who spent thirty years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit.

In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free.

But with no money and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution. He spent his first three years on Death Row at Holman State Prison in agonizing silence—full of despair and anger toward all those who had sent an innocent man to his death. But as Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but find a way to live on Death Row. For the next twenty-seven years he was a beacon—transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates, fifty-four of whom were executed mere feet from his cell. With the help of civil rights attorney and bestselling author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, Hinton won his release in 2015.

With a foreword by Stevenson, The Sun Does Shine is an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest times. Destined to be a classic memoir of wrongful imprisonment and freedom won, Hinton’s memoir tells his dramatic thirty-year journey and shows how you can take away a man’s freedom, but you can’t take away his imagination, humor, or joy.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton is an informative nonfiction read. It is a memoir of one man’s experience and suffering of the injustice of our justice system. Political issues and racial issues were used to put innocent black men into jail. Some never got out of there. Very few ever regained their life back from the mistakes of the justice system. The messages in this book were strong and the author’s viewpoint can easily persuade others why. Having suffered under this injustice himself, he is speaking out about it. So much time was stolen from innocent men, like Anthony Ray Hinton. Overall, this memoir was powerful and should be read by all readers regardless of racial background.

Review: Sharks (A 400 Million Year Journey) by Ted Rechlin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Sharks have been cruising our planet’s waters for millions of years. They were here long before us. They were here long before the dinosaurs. Sharks are a window into the distant past and into deep time. See how the most legendary ocean dwellers got their start, and how they became the sharks we know today.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Sharks: A 400 Million Year Journey by Ted Rechlin is another great educational read for children everywhere. Sharks are world known and an interesting topic. Here, I got to follow the history of sharks and learn about the different species as well. The pages were bright, colorful, and engaging. The book reads like a comic book but the illustrations are amazing. Overall, I recommend this stunning book to parents, guardians, and teachers everywhere.

Review: Reclaiming Shilo Snow

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Trapped on the ice-planet of Delon, gamer girl Sofi and Ambassador Miguel have discovered that nothing is what it seems, including their friends. On a quest to rescue her brother, Shilo, a boy everyone believes is dead, they must now escape and warn Earth of Delon’s designs on humanity. Except the more they unearth of the planet and Sofi’s past, the more they feel themselves unraveling, as each new revelation has Sofi questioning the very existence of reality.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, Sofi’s mom, Inola, is battling a different kind of unraveling: a political one that could cost lives, positions, and a barely-rebuilt society, should they discover the deal made with the Delonese.

But there’s a secret deeper than all that. One locked away inside Sofi and ticking away with the beginnings, endings, and answers to everything. Including how to save humanity.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Reclaiming Shilo Snow by Mary Weber is an exciting adventure. Once more readers are led by Sofi Snow in search of her brother. A brother everyone presumed to be dead. But not Sofi Snow. Together she and Miguel search her memories for clues to find him. Humanity is besting destroyed and it’s up to them to keep it safe.

I found myself completely engaged with this YA sci-fi fantasy novel. I was easily hooked. Sofi Snow is a likable character. Her caring personality and determination make her a strong protagonist. I loved how she would go to such ends to find her brother and save the world. Mary Weber created a stunning tale with an unforgettable emotional journey. I enjoyed every page of this suspenseful world. Overall, I recommend it to readers everywhere.

Review: After Anna by Lisa Scottoline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Nobody cuts deeper than family…

Dr. Noah Alderman, a widower and single father, has remarried a wonderful woman, Maggie Ippolitti, and for the first time in a long time, he and his young son are happy. Despite her longing for the daughter she hasn’t seen since she was a baby, Maggie is happy too, and she’s even more overjoyed when she unexpectedly gets another chance to be a mother to the child she thought she’d lost forever, her only daughter Anna.

Maggie and Noah know that having Anna around will change their lives, but they would never have guessed that everything would go wrong, and so quickly. Anna turns out to be a gorgeous seventeen-year-old who balks at living under their rules, though Maggie, ecstatic to have her daughter back, ignores the red flags that hint at the trouble brewing in a once-perfect marriage and home.

Events take a heartbreaking turn when Anna is murdered and Noah is accused and tried for the heinous crime. Maggie must face not only the devastation of losing her daughter, but the realization that Anna’s murder may have been at the hands of a husband she loves. In the wake of this tragedy, new information drives Maggie to search for the truth, leading her to discover something darker than she could have ever imagined.

Riveting and disquieting, After Anna is a groundbreaking domestic thriller, as well as a novel of emotional justice and legal intrigue. And New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline will keep readers on their toes until the final shocking page.

 

 

Praise for Lisa Scottoline:

“Scottoline keeps the pace relentless as she drops a looming threat into the heart of an idyllic suburban community, causing readers to hold their breath in anticipation.” —Booklist on One Perfect Lie

“Readers can be assured that the author nails the high school milieu, from athletic rivalries to sexting…they’re in for one thrilling ride.” —Kirkus on One Perfect Lie

“Entertaining…This fast-paced read culminates in a daring chase that would play well on the big screen.” —Publishers Weekly

 

 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

After Anna by Lisa Scottoline is an intense thriller. A deadly journey where people have died and other may still die. A father wrongly accused of murdering his wife’s daughter. He never killed anyone and the dead girl isn’t who they originally thought she was. This family was torn apart and ruined. Only to be bounded together again once more. However, getting back together, will depend on timing. If they’re too late the husband dies and so does the real daughter. But if timed right, they may just end of saving both. The FBI are involved after a therapist finds out that the young girl isn’t the one matching in the newspaper. This whole time, the innocent have been trapped and tortured. I was filled with intrigue. This book kept me guessing. I was afraid of what the outcome would be. Lisa Scottoline has once again, written a title worthy of reading. Dramatic, frightening, and emotional…After Anna is a journey of survival and hope in a world of darkness. Overall, I recommend it to readers everywhere.

 

Review: Entwined Hearts-The Sunset of Alzheimer’s Disease and More of Life’s Realities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

As author JJ Janice reflects on her surprise connection with a mother-daughter duo, she finds herself, an outsider, overwhelmed by mysteries regarding the short time it took for her to become a new member in this tight-knit family with a complicated past. How did she get here? What forces are at work? Why was she chosen to be a witness?

Using her diary as guide, she sifts through layers of her imagination and shares her story in Entwined Hearts. It chronicles the ascent of forgiveness by and for three women who perhaps least expect it–all in two short years. Through the stories of Anita, who suffers from Alzheimer’s; Lynn, Anita’s daughter who struggles with bi-polar disorder; and Janice, a friend to both, it investigates how relationships change and endure through challenges.

Though this memoir touches on the difficult topics of Alzheimer’s, bipolar disorder, stress, drugs, incarceration, and alcoholism, it also looks at the world with kind generosity and love–a love that connected three unlikely women.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Entwined Hearts: The Sunest of Alzheimer’s Disease and More of Life’s Realities by JJ Janice is a great read. It covers a lot of topics such as alcoholism, Alzheimer’s, and bipolar disorders. This book took a piece of my heart. My own grandmother is suffering from Alzheimer’s. It has gone from forgetting something to having to repeat things many times during the day to her. It is emotionally hard because we have to remember to be patient with her. The book discussed the stages of Alzheimer’s, the path of the Alzheimer’s person fading from who they were into someone that one wouldn’t recognize. This road is painful for all who are involved. Overall, this nonfiction book was encouraging to read. I cried because a I know there are no cures for Alzheimer’s. It’s one of the most unpreventable diseases. I still carry hope that one day there will be a cure. I recommend this book to all readers.

Review: Black Fatherhood: Trials & Tribulations, Testimony & Triumph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Fatherhood is one of the most challenging jobs in the world, and it becomes even tougher when one must combat harmful stereotypes.

In his work, Khalid Akil White actively challenges the negative stereotype of the “Black Father.” White is both a father himself and a professor of African American studies. With these dual qualifications, he is the perfect candidate to combine personal stories with cultural context. White holds the image of the “irresponsible Black man” up to the light and fully engages with it. His work is a tender, moving argument against the stereotype of the absentee Father.

The men interviewed are certainly not absent. Instead, they have used the stereotype as a way to structure their own stories about the challenges of Fatherhood. Dr. Steven Millner discusses his drive to continue his family’s legacy of cohesiveness while Eric Jay Handy recalls an encounter with his own father and its impact on his parenting style. Dr. Sydney Sukuta compares cultural expectations of Fatherhood in Zimbabwe to those of America. Jamal Bey challenges traditional gender roles as a stay-at-home dad. These men and others deepen the social discourse surrounding Black Fatherhood and regale readers with stories of both struggle and triumph.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Black Fatherhood by Khalid Akil White is a fascinating piece of literature. I have always been curious on co-parenting and what it was like for single black fathers. These pages covered both topics well. It gave a deep inside view to outsiders like me on these fathers journey of parenthood. Parenthood is composed of both the ups and downs when raising children. Being single makes that harder. Being a single father is harder yet.  Each father represented a new set of emotions and struggles.  I was captivated.  For fathers everywhere, this is a must read.  It shows what happens and how fathers can still stay on top. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book.

Review: Man of My Dreams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

She wants to make him pay. But will it cost her everything she’s ever wanted? After spending over a decade in the Air Force, Staff Sergeant Elena Garcia is more than ready to ditch her uniform for some girlie clothes and high heels. Starting over in a quaint town in Washington, her dream of becoming a romance writer is finally within her reach. But when a rival from her past comes barreling back, Elena will stop at nothing to make Captain Daniel Grant pay for making her life a living Hell seven years ago. With destiny on her side, Elena plans her ultimate vendetta. Feeling fate has answered his prayers, Daniel is ready to show the sexy and feisty staff sergeant what kind of man he can truly be and finally make up for his past mistakes. But can Elena let go of the past to find a future with the one man that she vowed to destroy?

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Man of My Dreams by Stephanie Aviles is an entertaining romantic story. I loved the main characters. They were strong and charming. Their personalities made it easy to connect with them. Both characters were amusing to follow. One is attracted but is fully set to make a man pay for his mistakes. The other is attracted but wanting to make up for his past mistakes. It seems like their plans just got messy, complicated, and hotter. Romance, women’s issues, and second chances are discussed in this novel. I enjoyed the electoral charge that came from the characters. This book was more character driven. Their actions made me enjoy reading their dilemmas. Fate is partially cruel and partially not. Man of My Dreams is full of heat, emotions, and action. Overall, I recommend this fascinating romance to all.

Review: The Heart Between Us

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Megan Jacobs always wished for a different heart. Her entire childhood was spent in and out of hospitals, sitting on the sidelines while her twin sister Crystal played all the sports, got all the guys, and had all the fun. But even a heart transplant three years ago wasn’t enough to propel Megan’s life forward. She’s still working as a library aide in her small Minnesota hometown and living with her parents, dreaming of the adventure she plans to take “once she’s well enough.” Meanwhile, her sister is a successful architect with a handsome husband and the perfect life—or so Megan thinks.

When her heart donor’s parents give Megan their teenage daughter’s journal—complete with an unfulfilled bucket list—Megan connects with the girl she meets between the pages and is inspired to venture out and check off each item. Caleb—a friend from her years in and out of the hospital—reenters her life and pushes her to find the courage to take the leap and begin her journey. She’s thrown for a loop when Crystal offers to join her for reasons of her own, but she welcomes the company and the opportunity to mend their tenuous relationship.

As Megan and Crystal check items off the bucket list, Megan fights the fears that have been instilled in her after a lifetime of illness. She must choose between safety and adventure and learn to embrace the heart she’s been given so that she can finally share it with the people she loves most.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harrel is the most heartbreaking/heartfelt story I have read. I was instantly taken into one sister’s journey. A path full of hospitals and illness. Suffering from a weak heart, Megan has always envied her sister of being able to live her life to the fullest. I was caught up in the sadness and the anger. There was also healing and love at the end of this book. I was completely engaged from the beginning. Two sisters finally settle their troubles and find new beginnings without the dead weight of their emotional baggage. Lindsay Harrel is a talented writer. Once I started reading,  I did not stop until I reached the end. Overall, I recommend this contemporary novel to all readers. Beware, you may need a box of tissues while reading it.

 

Review: The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby

Synopsis:

‘Tis the season for…

A pistol-totin’ woman who’s no angel

A tough rancher who doesn’t believe in miracles

Love that warms the coldest nights

After a year in Kuwait, Lucas Allen can’t wait to get back to his ranch for Christmas and meet his gorgeous Internet pal in person.

When he pulls in, there’s Natalie Clark right in his front yard with a pink pistol in her hand and a dead coyote at her feet.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Hilarious, sweet, and engaging…

The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby by Carolyn Brown is a super sweet read. Family, love, and new beginnings are major themes in this book. I was hooked immediately. From the sassy women to the sexy cowboys, I was addicted. Then, there were the ways the farm animals kept coming into the farm house causing a hilarious yet interesting scene. There was also the cutest little baby boy, Joshua who warmed so many hearts including mine. I just could not get enough of these characters. Trouble, drama, and romance all rolled into one brilliant read. I would highly recommend this title to all readers.

Lucas is unfazed. But wait… is that a BABY in her arms? (less)

Review: A Quick Bite

Synopsis:

That hot guy tied to Lissianna Argeneau’s bed? He’s not dessert – he’s the main course!

Lissianna has been spending her centuries pining for Mr. Right, not just a quick snack, and this sexy guy she finds in her bed looks like he might be a candidate. But there’s another, more pressing issue: her tendency to faint at the sight of blood…an especially annoying quirk for a vampire. Of course it doesn’t hurt that this man has a delicious-looking neck. What kind of cold-blooded vampire woman could resist a bite of that?

Dr. Gregory Hewitt recovers from the shock of waking up in a stranger’s bedroom pretty quickly – once he sees a gorgeous woman about to treat him to a wild night of passion. But is it possible for the good doctor to find true love with a vampire vixen, or will he be just a good meal? That’s a question Dr. Greg might be willing to sink his teeth into…if he can just get Lissianna to bite.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Sexy, intriguing, and overall exciting to read…

A Quick Bite by Lynsay Sands introduces me to the Argeneau Vampire series. This first book, gives me everything I want in a romance novel plus some. Interesting characters both immortal and mortal alike. The main protagonists have challenges ahead of them that were fun to follow. I am hooked. Smart yet caring vampire meets sexy human psychologist. The twists and turns kept me turning the pages. I am in love. I cannot wait to read the next book in this series as well as the rest. Overall, I recommend this paranormal romance to all readers.

Review: The Perfect Hope (book 3)

Synopsis:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts introduces you to the Montgomery brothers – Beckett, Ryder, and Owen – as they bring an intimate bed-and-breakfast to life in their hometown.

Ryder is the hardest Montgomery brother to figure out – with a tough-as-nails outside and possibly nothing too soft underneath. He’s surly and unsociable, but when he straps on a toolbelt, no woman can resist his sexy swagger. Except, apparently, Hope Beaumont, the innkeeper of his own Inn BoonsBoro…

As the former manager of a D.C. hotel, Hope is used to excitement and glamour, but that doesn’t mean she can’t appreciate the joys of small-town living. She’s where she wants to be – except for in her love life. Her only interaction with the opposite sex has been sparring with the infuriating Ryder, who always seems to get under her skin. Still, no one can deny the electricity that crackles between them…a spark that ignited with a New Year’s Eve kiss.

While the inn is running smoothly, thanks to Hope’s experience and unerring instincts, her big-city past is about to make an unwelcome – and embarrassing – appearance. Seeing Hope vulnerable stirs up Ryder’s emotions and makes him realize that while Hope may not be perfect, she just might be perfect for him…

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Hot, sexy, and sweet!

The Perfect Hope by Nora Roberts was exactly that. It felt so real and believable. The deeper I got into the story, the more I wanted to keep reading it. The beginning and middle sort of felt slow/steady that I didn’t realize how fast the ending got u till I was done. The characters are out of this world charming. I love them all. Feisty, unpredictable, and entertaining to follow. Ryder and his woman were my favorite couple featured in this whole series. Overall, I recommend this sexy romance to all.

Review: The Last Boyfriend (book 2)

Synopsis:

Owen is the organizer of the Montgomery clan, running the family’s construction business with an iron fist – and an even less flexible spreadsheet. And though his brothers give him grief for his compulsive list making, the Inn BoonsBoro is about to open right on schedule. The only thing Owen didn’t plan for was Avery MacTavish….

Avery’s popular pizza place is right across the street from the inn, giving her a first-hand look at its amazing renovation — and a newfound appreciation for Owen. Since he was her first boyfriend when they were kids, Owen has never been far from Avery’s thoughts. But the attraction she’s feeling for him now is far from innocent.

As Avery and Owen cautiously take their relationship to another level, the opening of the inn gives the whole town of BoonsBoro a reason to celebrate. But Owen’s hard work has only begun. Getting Avery to let down her guard is going to take longer than he expected — and so will getting her to realize that her first boyfriend is going to be her last….

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Last Boyfriend by Nora Roberts is the next book in this great series. This part continues where the other left off. I followed Avery and Owen as they took their relationship further. Only it feels like their relationship is being stretched into three books. I love the story and the characters; however, I would have preferred if their story was told in one book. Owen knows exactly what he wants. Avery seems to be holding out and that frustrates me like crazy. The question I kept asking is why. The plot is sweet, engaging, and fun to read. But it’s their relationship that isn’t going at the speed I’d wish. Other than that is still a good read that I recommend to others. Romantic, family orientated, and tasteful.

Review: The Next Always (book 1)

Synopsis:

The historic hotel in Boonsboro has endured war and peace, changing hands, even rumored hauntings. Now it’s getting a major facelift from the Montgomery brothers and their eccentric mother. Beckett is the architect of the family, and his social life consists mostly of talking shop over pizza and beer. But there’s another project he’s got his eye on: the girl he’s been waiting to kiss since he was fifteen.

After losing her husband and returning to her hometown, Clare Brewster soon settles into her life as the mother of three young sons while running the town’s bookstore. Busy, with little time for romance, Clare is drawn across the street by Beckett’s transformation of the old inn, wanting to take a closer look . . . at the building and the man behind it.

With the grand opening inching closer, Beckett’s happy to give Clare a private tour – one room at a time. It’s no first date, but these stolen moments are the beginning of something new – and open the door to the extraordinary adventure of what comes next . . .

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Next Always by Nora Roberts is a sweet heartfelt story. Her characters feel real. Beckett is remodeling an older building into a hotel. He’s very attracted to a single mother of three boys, Clare. Clare is just as attracted to Beckett. Hope, new beginnings, and second chances at a happily ever after are major themes of this book. It is entertaining. It engages me further into the characters’ lives. Overall, I would recommend this romantic book to all.

Review: The Man He Never Was

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“Rubart will leave readers inspired . . .” –Publishers Weekly STARRED review for The Long Journey to Jake Palmer

What if You Woke up One Morning and the Darkest Parts of Yourself Were Gone?

Toren Daniels vanished eight months back, and his wife and kids have moved on–with more than a little relief. Toren was a good man but carried a raging temper that often exploded without warning. So when he shows up on their doorstep out of the blue, they’re shocked to see him alive. But more shocked to see he’s changed. Radically.

His anger is gone. He’s oddly patient. Kind. Fun. The man he always wanted to be. Toren has no clue where he’s been but knows he’s been utterly transformed. He focuses on three things: Finding out where he’s been. Finding out how it happened. And winning back his family.

But then shards of his old self start to rise from deep inside–like the man kicked out of the NFL for his fury–and Toren must face the supreme battle of his life.

In this fresh take on the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, James L. Rubart explores the war between the good and evil within each of us–and one man’s only chance to overcome the greatest divide of the soul.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Man He Never Was by James L. Rubart is an interesting twist to the classic, Dr. Jekyll andMr. Hyde. Except in this case, the bad part of the main protagonist disappears completely. Like it was never there. Tore Daniels has had an awful temper. He has a wonderful family but sometimes his temper could be really bad…Toren goes missing. His family believes he’s dead until he suddenly pops up at the doorstep of their house. That’s where it gets really weird. Where was he, how did he go missing, and what happened to him while he was gone? These questions kept playing over and over again. His wife tries to push his buttons to see his temper fly but somehow Toren seems to hold it in way better than he ever did. His wife wonders who is this man…I found that a bit funny. The mystery is solved and it was a sweet ending. I loved these characters. There is a lot of inspirational messages on marriage, love, hope, and faith included in this book. Overall, I enjoyed it and recommend it to all.

Review: The Cabin Sessions

Synopsis:

The Cabin Sessions is a confronting, hard-hitting, dark psychological thriller told with acid wit. Themes of abuse are explored through minds distorted by fear and corrupted by hatred and delusion; this is a tale in which redemption is gained in unexpected ways.

It’s Christmas Eve when hapless musician Adam Banks stands on the bridge over the river that cleaves the isolated village of Burton. A storm is rolling into the narrow mountain pass. He thinks of turning back. Instead, he resolves to fulfil his obligation to perform the guest spot at The Cabin Sessions. He should be looking forward to it, but fear stirs when he opens the door on the Cabin’s incense-choked air.

Philip Stone is already there, brooding. He observes with a ruthless eye the regulars, from sleazy barmaid Hannah Fisher, to old crone Cynthia Morgan.

Meanwhile, Philip’s sister, Eva, prepares to take a bath. It¿s a ritual – she’s a breath holder. At twenty-eight, Eva has returned to Burton to finish the business of her past, as memories begin to surface concerning one fateful day by the river and the innocence of her beloved brother…

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Cabin Sessions by Isobel Blackthorn is a dark edgy read. There’s an a lot hatred, anger, and fear represented in this thriller/mystery. The tale is built upon the motions of the characters. Their emotions cause for reactions that may cause them more problems. The internal war inside of the characters felt like a heavy dark blanket that simply would not lift away. The plot was interesting. It kept me wondering how it would explode and when. There were a few grammatical errors that made some lines confusing, other than that it was easy to read. Complex, intriguing, and a bit sinister…yet entertaining. The cast of characters was different from my usual reading kind but they added more to this book. Overall, it was good read.

Review: Ghost Night (book 2)

Synopsis:

A slasher movie turns real when two young actors are brutally murdered on a remote island film set. Their severed heads and arms are posed in macabre homage to a nineteenth-century pirate massacre.

Two years later, survivor Vanessa Loren is drawn back to South Bimini by a documentary being made about the storied region. Filmmaker Sean O’Hara aches to see how the unsolved crime haunts her…and Sean knows more than a little about ghosts.

Lured by visions of a spectral figurehead, Vanessa discovers authentic pirate treasures that only deepen the mystery. Are the murders the work of modern-day marauders, the Bermuda Triangle or a deadly paranormal echo of the island’s violent history? As Vanessa and Sean grow closer, the killer prepares to resume the slaughter…unless the dead can intervene.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Ghost Night by Heather Graham is at it again! Her cast of characters from the previous book are meet once more in this second installment. I love the O’Haras and their significant others. Hearing and seeing ghosts adds to the fun and mystery. This time, however, is Sean O’Hara and ghost Bartholomew’s turn at adventure and maybe, romance. A woman comes seeking Sean’s help. She once acted for a film until people were murdered. Then, more people were being killed. Sean isn’t convinced but with his sister, uncle, best friends, and a ghost, he can’t ignore the quest. History there seems to be nothing but dark, haunting, and deadly. I felt shivers down my spine. The intensity of the deadly situation kept building up with every page. It was thrilling. The cast of new characters are enjoyable to follow. A new crime to solve and new ghosts to meet. Heather Graham has just proved to be the best writer. Overall, I recommend this book to all.

Review: Ghost Shadow (book 1)

Synopsis:

There are those who walk among us who are no longer alive, but not yet crossed over. They seek retribution…vengeance…to warn. Among the living, few intuit their presence.

Katie O’Hara is one who can.

As she’s drawn deeper and deeper into a gruesome years-old murder, whispered warnings from a spectral friend become more and more insistent. But Katie must uncover the truth: could David Beckett really be guilty of his fiancée’s murder?

Worse – the body count’s rising on the Island of Bones, and the dead seem to be reenacting some macabre tableaux from history. The danger is increasing by the moment – especially as Katie finds herself irresistibly drawn to David, who may be responsible for more than just one killing….

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Ghost Shadow by Heather Graham is a novel that pulls in the reader. Liked it did with me. I was so hooked that I ended up speeding through the pages. When I got to the end, I was beyond satisfied. The characters are intriguing. A combination of old family history and an old revenge seem to come back and taunt the living. Somebody wants the a certain family line to perish. All because their family member hung for a crime. A crime that was actually committed by the hung member. Yet for some reason the family member believes that he/she is the curse out to get revenge. With the help of a ghost and the ghosts of the victims presented, the protagonist may just survive this deadly game of cat and mouse. Love, murder, and mayhem are found everywhere. I loved reading this and cannot wait to read the next novel. Overall, I highly recommend Ghost Shadow to all readers.

Review: Hearts Entwined (Anthology)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Four top historical romance novelists team up in this new collection to offer stories of love and romance with a twist of humor. In Karen Witemeyer’s “The Love Knot,” Claire Nevin gets the surprise of her life awaiting her sister’s arrival by train. Mary Connealy’s “The Tangled Ties That Bind” offers the story of two former best friends who are reunited while escaping a stampede. Regina Jennings offers “Bound and Determined,” where a most unusual trip across barren Oklahoma plains is filled with adventure, romance, and . . . camels? And Melissa Jagears’ “Tied and True” entertains with a tale of two hearts from different social classes who become entwined at a cotton thread factory.

Each tale is a fun blend of history and romance that will delight readers.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Hearts Entwined is a super sweet collection of historical romances. Each story bares a different cast of characters as well as hardships. These writers have unique writing styles.

The Love Knot featured a story of one sister receiving her sister’s baby via train carried by her past lover. Claire gets the surprise of her life. From there, loving her nephew like her own child and working on her relationship with her love, Claire has her hands full. It was heartfelt. I love Claire. She’s a good woman.

The Tangled Ties that Bind featured two young lovers who grew apart. Now, one of them returns back home to pursue his heart. Yet his love isn’t interested. The suspense of what happened next between the two kept me hooked. I had fun following this story. It tempted me. Conor thought he did the right thing. While Maggie felt like her left her for good.

Bound and Determined was really interesting. It involved a heard of camels! That was rare in a story such as this one. Two young people meet in this journey. One is a young man needing to mature, so he is assigned military work. The other is a daughter of a military man. Both find a lot more than they were expecting.

Tied and True featured a love between a poor man and a rich woman. Both are strong, independent, and stubborn. In this tale, the woman did the chasing. She also went a long way, to try and catch her love’s heart. I felt connected to her. Her hope and determination made me like her all the more.

Review: The Lost Castle

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Launching a brand-new series, Kristy Cambron explores the collision of past and present as she discovers the ruins of a French castle, long lost to history.

A thirteenth century castle, Chateau de Doux Reves, has been forgotten for generations, left to ruin in a storybook forest nestled deep in France’s picturesque Loire Valley. It survived a sacking in the French Revolution, was brought back to life and fashioned into a storybook chateau in the Gilded Age, and was eventually felled and deserted after a disastrous fire in the 1930s.

As Ellie Carver sits by her grandmother’s bedside, she hears stories of a castle . . . of lost love and a hidden chapel that played host to a secret fight in the World War II French resistance. But her grandmother is quickly slipping into the locked-down world of Alzheimer’s, and Ellie must act fast if she wants to uncover the truth of her family’s history.

Sparked by the discovery of a long forgotten family heirloom, Ellie embarks on a journey to French wine country to uncover the mystery surrounding The Sleeping Beauty–the castle so named for Charles Perrault’s beloved fairy tale–and unearth its secrets before they’re finally silenced by time.

Set in three different time periods–the French Revolution, World War II, and present day–The Lost Castle is a story of loves won and lost, of battles waged, and an enchanted castle that inspired the epic fairy tales time left behind.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron is an interesting historical journey. A young woman is wanting to learn everything she can about her family history. Her grandmother provides the clues but is slipping away fast into Alzheimer’s. The clock is ticking fast, and Ellie Carver must find the answers. Soon, I was following her as she traveled to a castle that has holds so many secrets. Many generations of women, and their historical time periods were brought to life in this engaging tale. Captivating and intriguing, I was hooked. The Lost Castle peaked my interest. What were the women’s lives like…and how it all ties in with the present, kept me reading. Ellie is a good character. Her personality makes her easy to like. Overall, I enjoyed traveling back in time with The Lost Castle. I recommend it to all.

Review: The Breathing Sea I

Synopsis:

Second Place in Epic Fantasy, Virtual FantasyCon 2017!

Dasha is a gift from the gods. Only she’s not very gifted. Or at least so it seems to her.

Eighteen years ago, Dasha’s mother made a bargain with the gods. She would bear a gods-touched child, one who would stand on the threshold between the worlds, human and divine. Dasha is that child, now almost ready to become a woman, and one day take her mother’s place as Empress of all of Zem’. Except that Dasha is shy, lonely, and one of the least magically inclined girls in the Known World. Instead she has fits and uncontrollable visions. When she sets off with her father on her first journey away from her home kremlin, she hopes she will finally find someone who can help her come into her powers. But those whom she finds only want to use her instead. What will it take for her to unlock the abilities hidden within her, and take up her proper place in the world?

The sequel to the award-winning novel “The Midnight Land,” “The Breathing Sea” returns to the land of Zem’, where animals speak, trees walk, and women rule. Filled with allusions to Russian history, literature, and fairy tales, this coming-of-age tale straddles the line between high fantasy and literary fiction.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Breathing Sea I by E.P. Clark is an interesting fantasy. This novel features women as the rulers. The matriarch theme is unusual in most fiction novels. However, for this tale, it works great. The plot was steady. It contained a lot of magic, power, and action. Dasha has a heavy weigh on her shoulders. Sometimes it was hard to connect with her others times it was easy. I believe Dasha still needs a bit more time to mature fully. Yet she still holds potential as the main protagonist. Dasha goes on a journey to find her way in the world she lives within as well as what she may fully be capable of doing. I found that journey quest intriguing. Overall, The Breathing Sea was entertaining and held my interest.

Review: The Sea Before Us

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In 1944, American naval officer Lt. Wyatt Paxton arrives in London to prepare for the Allied invasion of France. He works closely with Dorothy Fairfax, a “Wren” in the Women’s Royal Naval Service. Dorothy pieces together reconnaissance photographs with thousands of holiday snapshots of France–including those of her own family’s summer home–in order to create accurate maps of Normandy. Maps that Wyatt will turn into naval bombardment plans.

As the two spend concentrated time together in the pressure cooker of war, their deepening friendship threatens to turn to love. Dorothy must resist its pull. Her bereaved father depends on her, and her heart already belongs to another man. Wyatt too has much to lose. The closer he gets to Dorothy, the more he fears his efforts to win the war will destroy everything she has ever loved.

The tense days leading up to the monumental D-Day landing blaze to life under Sarah Sundin’s practiced pen with this powerful new series.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin takes me back to the rush of World War II. Dorthy is a beautiful yet smart woman. Her work helps the war effort in more ways than most imagine. She meets Wyatt. A soldier missing his family. Together, Dorothy and Wyatt find hope and courage to get through the rough times ahead. What they never thought would happen is the love they find for each other. Somehow, each character gives the other one exactly what they needed. Themes of friendship, love, hope and new beginnings can be felt throughout this engaging read. I couldn’t stop reading it. Both characters risks their hearts and lives to help win the war. Sarah Sundin created memorable characters in a time period that still haunts many of us, today. Heartfelt and intriguing, I highly recommend this historical romance to all.

Review: A Passionate Hope

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Hannah and her husband, Elkanah, share a deep and abiding love, for each other, for their God, and for his tabernacle at Shiloh. Greatly disturbed by the corruption of the priests, they long for restoration and pray for a deliverer. But nothing changes as the years pass. Years that also reveal Hannah to be barren.

Pressured by his family to take another wife, Elkanah marries Peninnah, who quickly begins to bear children. Disgraced and taunted by her husband’s new wife, Hannah turns again to prayers that seem doomed to go unanswered. Do her devotion and kindness in the face of Peninnah’s cruelty count for nothing? Why does God remain silent and indifferent to her pleas?

Travel back to the dusty streets of Shiloh with an expert guide as Jill Eileen Smith brings to life a beloved story of hope, patience, and deliverance that shows that even the most broken of relationships can be restored.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

A Passionate Hope by Jill Eileen Smith is a wonderful Jewish tale of love, hope, faith, and forgiveness. During this time period, the struggles were harder. Especially, when their coveted ark disappears. Yet they still remain hopeful and obedient to God. I liked how Hannah turns to prayer when life brings her curveballs. She is strong, independent, and faithful. She is an inspiration to all women. Jill Eileen Smith’s historical fiction is well-written. It engages me to follow Hannah as her life dramatically changes for good to problematic to good again. Her love of her husband and God are strong. Hannah felt sad, angry, and hurt when her husband married another women. I wanted to hug her immediately. Her pain is real. It is easy to connect with her on many levels. The title is exactly what this book is about…and I recommend this read to others.

Review: Phoebe’s Light

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Phoebe Starbuck has always adjusted her sails and rudder to the whims of her father. Now, for the first time, she’s doing what she wants to do: marrying Captain Phineas Foulger and sailing far away from Nantucket. As she leaves on her grand adventure, her father gives her two gifts, both of which Phoebe sees little need for. The first is an old sheepskin journal from Great Mary, her highly revered great-grandmother. The other is a “minder” on the whaling ship in the form of cooper Matthew Mitchell, a man whom she loathes.

Soon Phoebe discovers that life at sea is no easier than life on land. Lonely, seasick, and disillusioned, she turns the pages of Great Mary’s journal and finds herself drawn into the life of this noble woman. To Phoebe’s shock, her great-grandmother has left a secret behind that carries repercussions for everyone aboard the ship, especially her husband the captain and her shadow the cooper. This story within a story catapults Phoebe into seeing her life in an entirely new way–just in time.

In this brand-new series, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her signature twists and turns to bear on a fascinating new faith community: the Quakers of colonial-era Nantucket Island.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Phoebe’s Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher is an enlightening Quaker journey. I love historical novels that take me back in time and hold me captive. The main cast of characters were interesting. They felt three-dimensional. The Quaker language and cultural is captured on every page. Phoebe wanting a different life than the one she has on land leaves for a life at sea. Until she leaves home, Phoebe does not realize just how much being on land means to her. Marrying the sea captain brings a whole new adventure to her life. Quipped with a journal from her great-grandmother, Phoebe learns a lot. Phoebe is wanting an adventure. That is exactly what she gets. Matthew is another main character that was easy to like. He’s a good man. Phoebe’s Light is inspiring in many ways especially, to women. Secrets, murder, and an emotional rollercoaster ride…all inside this intriguing story. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book.

Review: Fully Ignited (Boston Fire)

Synopsis:

When Jamie Rutherford takes a temporary assignment as lieutenant of Boston Fire’s Engine 59, she doesn’t anticipate any problems. She’s been in the fire service for a long time and, even though she’s fairly new to Boston, she knows how to make any firehouse her home. What she’s not prepared for is her reaction to firefighter Scott Kincaid.

Scott is looking for a wife. It’s been a fun ride as a single guy, but he’s tired of being the third wheel, and nearly losing his brother-in-law finally made him realize just how much he wants a family of his own. When the new guy at the firehouse turns out to be a capable, confident and very attractive woman, his plan is completely derailed.

Hooking up with a fellow firefighter has never been part of Jamie’s plan, but she’s tempted by Scott—even though getting involved with him could tarnish the reputation she’s worked so hard for. And Scott can’t stop thinking about Jamie, despite the fact that she’s his superior and not sticking around. Chemistry can crush the best-laid plans, though, and while Jamie and Scott might not be each other’s future…there’s no resisting the right now.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Fully Ignited: Boston Fire by Shannon Stacey is a smoking hot read. It engages and pulls at the heart strings. Once a playboy, Scott is now looking for his happily ever after. Yet when he found a woman, he soon realized he made a mistake. Scott then goes on a hiatus from dating women. Thinking his choices in women is bad, Scott focuses on his family life and work. But that all goes to hell, when a sexy lady firefighter comes in to take over for one of their fallen members. Scott instantly takes to the beautiful woman before him. But being working partners their relationship is doomed from the start.

Jamie has fought her way through life proving she is just as good as the men. Many of them do not believe that she has what it takes. Her determination and hard work only makes the men like her more. Jamie has never had to watch herself around men more than she has had to when Scott is around her. He makes her want to break all the rules. He oozes sex. Makes her want things she cannot have…but avoiding temptation could prove to be difficult. Working day in and day out with Scott makes it impossible. Something about him makes Jamie fall harder for the man.

Fully Ignited is a temptation in itself. Hot, intense, and sweet. I love the characters. Their flaws make them real. Their courage for what they do is amazing. The reality of their risks is seen on every page. Family life, sexism, and the younger man loving an older woman are just a few themes featured in this contemporary tale. I recommend it to others.

Review: The Undercover Billionaire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The Tate Brothers were raised to protect what is theirs…

Navy SEAL Wolf Tate is on a mission of vengeance. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to infiltrate the lair of his arms-dealing enemy—and rescue the mother he never knew. To do this, he’ll need more than his father’s fortunes or his brothers-in-arms. He must find a way to kidnap his enemy’s daughter for leverage. There’s just one problem: She is also one of Wolf’s closest friends—and the only woman he’s ever loved…

For years, Olivia de Santis has been waiting for Wolf to take her in his arms and make her dreams come true. But she never imagined that he’d sneak into her bedroom one night…and take her as his hostage. Olivia knows she should resist him—and stay loyal to her own family. But how can she deny the burning justice of Wolf’s mission, and the blazing desire in his eyes—even if giving into the heat of the moment can put her in grave danger?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Undercover Billionaire by Jackie Ashenden is sexy, hot, and dangerous. The plot takes readers, like myself deep into their lives. Their fears, anger, and love are felt from all angles. A game of chess with the bad guys could prove to be the undoing of one couple. A woman who can’t resist the sexy seal who kidnaps her and the man who loves his captive fiercely. The stakes are high and there is so much to lose. Time and teamwork will help them…but will it be enough? Choices have to be made…

Jackie Ashenden sucks me into her world of fiction. I am in love. Engaging characters, fun yet irresistible banters, and danger on every page…everything I need. This book is suspenseful and intense. The further I went in, the more pressure the characters felt. This is one romantic suspense title, I will recommend to readers worldwide.

Review: The Recipe Box

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Bestselling, beloved author of The Charm Bracelet spins a tale about a lost young woman and the family recipe box that changes her life.

Growing up in northern Michigan, Samantha “Sam” Mullins felt trapped on her family’s orchard and in their pie shop, so she left with dreams of making her own mark in the world. But life as an overworked, undervalued sous chef at a reality star’s New York bakery is not what Sam dreamed.

When the chef embarrasses Sam, she quits and returns home. Unemployed, single, and defeated, she spends a summer working on her family’s orchard cooking and baking alongside the women in her life–including her mother, Deana, and grandmother, Willo. One beloved, flour-flecked, ink-smeared recipe at a time, Sam begins to learn about and understand the women in her life, her family’s history, and her passion for food through their treasured recipe box.

As Sam discovers what matters most she opens her heart to a man she left behind, but who now might be the key to her happiness.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman is a heartfelt journey. Themes of family, love, and second chances are brought to life on these pages. I felt connected to the characters instantly. It was like I knew them for years. The pacing was steady yet emotional. The struggles were believable. Sam is a young woman who left her comfort to find her way in life. Only it did not turn out the way she had hoped. Frustrated and broken, Sam returns back home to find herself. Being back home, gave Sam all she needed. It was sweet, inspiring, and beautiful. Overall, I recommend it to all.

Review: Last Stop in Brooklyn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

It’s the summer of 1894, and an infidelity case has brought PI Mary Handley to a far corner of Brooklyn: Coney Island. In the midst of her investigation, Mary is contacted by a convicted man’s brother to reopen a murder case. A prostitute was killed by a Jack the Ripper copycat years ago in her New York hotel room, but her true killer was never found. Once again it’s up to Mary to make right the city’s wrongs.

New York City’s untouchable head of detectives, Thomas Byrnes, swears he put the right man behond bars, but as Mary digs deeper, she finds corruption at the heart of New York’s justice system, involving not only the police, but the most powerful of stock titans. Disturbing evidence of other murders begins to surface, each one mimicking Jack the Ripper’s style, each one covered up by Thomas Byrnes.

As Mary pieces together the extent of the damage, she crosses paths with Harper Lloyd, an investigative reporter. Their relationship grows into a partnership, and perhaps more, and together they must catch a killer who’s still out there, and reverse the ruthless workings of New York’s elite. It’ll be Mary’s most dangerous, most personal case yet.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Last Stop in Brooklyn by Lawrence H. Levy is an interesting plot. I was curious who was behind all the jack-the-rippers killings and how far the corruption went. Murder, danger, and risks are shown here. I liked the main protagonist, Mary. I found it unusual for a woman during her time to be a PI but still it was good. A bit of romance is hinted in the relationship between Mary Harper. Both of their careers made this even more engaging to read. After reading this novel, the question of why the police are always terrible at catching the bad guys has seemed to frightening. I see a pattern of this happening in the real world as well as the fictional one here. Overall, this story had every hook that kept me intrigued until the last page. I would recommend this historical murder mystery to others.

Review: Coldwater

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Having forfeited his youth to the state prison system, Michael moved back to the only home he’d ever known. An empty shell of a man who now lived–if it could be called living–in the still vacant house of his parents in a town with one stoplight. A town that hated him. Had always hated him. And was ready to pick up where the prison system had let off.

Now he’s on the run from men who’ve tried to kill him once; but Michael is more than an ex-con. A powerful, sinister force creeps inside him, threatening and destructive. Who–and what–it will destroy next is the only real question. From the bold voice that brought readers down Purgatory Road comes a new pulse-pounding, spine-rattling tale of vengeance and justice that will have them up all night.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Coldwater by Samuel Parker is a haunting, deep, yet nightmarish tale. The main protagonist is more troubled than what I was led to believe. A demon taking hold of him and controlling his life, Michael has if rough. A dark paranormal take over happens immediately. Hatred, sins, and death hung within the air with every page. Destruction felt unescapable. Hiding from those who want him dead and battling what is inside gave me chills. It was like a darker more sinister story than any of the Chucky movies that I have seen. Those movies give me nightmares. This was the first novel I’ve read by this publisher that was beyond frightening. Edgy, traumatic, and suspenseful…I never would have imagined this high of a level to be found. Coldwater is intriguing and entertaining but do not read it at night. This, is not for everyone to read. Overall, it was well-done.

Review: A Vicarage Reunion

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Welcome to Thornthwaite, a quaint village tucked up in England’s beautiful but rainy Lake District… where homecomings and surprises await the four Holley sisters…

Esther Holley, the eldest in the family, has always had her life firmly in control until a miscarriage knocks her off course. Two months later, still emotionally spinning, she separates from her husband Will, a sheep farmer and man of few words and moves back in with her parents.

Life as a singleton thirty something living in her parents’ house is miserable, but Esther is determined to re-boot her life, including going on a few unfortunate dates. She’s shocked when tight-lipped Will shows up on her doorstep determined to woo her back. They’ve been married for seven years, but Will wants to return to the beginning, dating and getting to know each other again.

New challenges face them as they start over–and new chances too. Can Esther and Will save their marriage, especially when faced with the hardest decision of all?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Vicarage Reunion by Kate Hewitt is a heartfelt women’s fiction story. Romance, marriage, miscarriage and family life are put to the test. A journey that sucked me in from the first page. A young married couple have been suffering silently for a long while. Until one day, the wife decides she can’t take it anymore. Losing their baby, was the last straw for Esther. Esther is a daughter of a vicar. She knew her faith should be stronger but she felt broken, sad, and unhappy. Esther decided to leave her good husband Will. Only fate has plans that neither adult saw coming. Will loves his wife and alway will love her. He felt sad, broken, and unhappy that she left him. Worried about what he did to make her leave, Will goes about trying to woo his wife back into his arms.

It was so easy to like the characters. Relating to the married couple was like breathing in air. Their personalities made them believable. Heartache, fear, and their little flaws make way for a path of discovery, renewal, and acceptance. Both Esther and Will have a lot to figure out before they can get their lives back in-order.

Overall, A Vicarage Reunion, is sweet, thoughtful, and deep. I enjoyed following the protagonists as they fell and rose. Their dilemmas were understandable. The story was clean, well-developed, and engaging. I highly recommend this title to all readers.

Review: It Takes a Coven

Synopsis:

There’s a new witch-hunt in Salem, Massachusetts . . .

When Lee Barrett joins a former student’s bridal party as maid of honor, she expects cake tastings and dress fittings. But wedding planning becomes more peculiar than Lee’s scrying talents could ever predict. There’s a magical baker, a best man with a checkered past, and a talking crow named Poe as the ring bearer. There’s also a kindly old man dead under his apple tree—one of a series of unexplained deaths hanging over the Wiccan community . . .

With witches dropping dead before they even come out of the proverbial broom closet, Lee’s best friend, River, fears she might have somehow unleashed a terrible curse on the city. Now, aided by Poe and her clairvoyant cat, Lee sets out to investigate. Are lives being claimed by vengeful supernatural forces—or by something more shocking? She soon discovers, casting light on the wicked truth can be one killer commitment . . .

Praise for the Witch City Mysteries

“This rewarding paranormal cozy series debut will have Victoria Laurie fans lining up to follow.” —Library Journal on Caught Dead Handed

“Perfectly relaxing and readable.” —Kirkus Reviews on Look Both Ways

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

It Takes a Coven by Carol J. Perry is a bewitching read. I was enchanted. For fans of paranormal mysteries and Salem witches…this, is a must read. I have not read any previous novel by Carol J. Perry but now, I want to read them all. Her writing is superb. The characters felt so real. I felt like I spent my life living there where Lee and the others live. The cat and talking crow also made this particular book interesting. There’s murder, mayhem, and romance all in this one stunning title.

Inside, It Takes a Coven, I got to meet Lee Barrett. She is smart like Nancy Drew and well-liked. Her background makes her more three-dimensional as a character. I could easily be friends with this lady. This protagonist, reminded me of Julia from Agatha Frost’s cozy mystery series. She never gives up trying to figure out what is happening to the people she knows. Also, both sleuths share many common traits. The personality of Lee’s made her my favorite.

Other characters that I enjoyed meeting were Lee’s Aunt Ibby, her best friend River, and her romantic interest, Pete. Pete is a detective on the police force. He and Lee make a wonderful couple. Aunt Ibby is an interesting woman who raised Lee into the woman she has become. River is a witch. This cast of characters offered a variety of delightful and charming people. I was definitely kept on my toes with this book.

Carol J. Perry’s latest book is about a group of Salem witches being targeted by either a curse or someone who wants them dead. Some witches do end up dead, and I felt so sad for their loss. I wasn’t sure what was happening until all the prices came together. There were some very peculiar and mysterious stuff that happened that I still wonder about…overall, I loved reading this and would highly recommend it to all. I can’t wait to read this next novel in this exciting series.

Review: The Resurrection of Joan Ashby

Synopsis:

I viewed the consumptive nature of love as a threat to serious women. But the wonderful man I just married believes as I do―work is paramount, absolutely no children―and now love seems to me quite marvelous.

These words are spoken to a rapturous audience by Joan Ashby, a brilliant and intense literary sensation acclaimed for her explosively dark and singular stories.

When Joan finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, she is stunned by Martin’s delight, his instant betrayal of their pact. She makes a fateful, selfless decision then, to embrace her unintentional family.

Challenged by raising two precocious sons, it is decades before she finally completes her masterpiece novel. Poised to reclaim the spotlight, to resume the intended life she gave up for love, a betrayal of Shakespearean proportion forces her to question every choice she has made.

Epic, propulsive, incredibly ambitious, and dazzlingly written, The Resurrection of Joan Ashby is a story about sacrifice and motherhood, the burdens of expectation and genius. Cherise Wolas’s gorgeous debut introduces an indelible heroine candid about her struggles and unapologetic in her ambition.

Rating: 3-stars

Review:

The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas sparked my curiosity. The title sounded interesting but what it entailed was a young woman being snarled up by an unwanted journey of motherhood. Her husband wanted kids. But they made a pact-no kids…yet when it happens, her husband is so over joyed by the news that she just lets it go. I can’t sympathize with this woman. If she really didn’t want kids that much she could have had surgery done before this accident. Yet, she didn’t and it is consuming her inside and out…

Cherise Wolas is a great writer. Her words are good. I just did not feel connected to the main protagonist no matter how much I tried. She felt cruel and ridiculous to me. She really did not do anything to prevent her worst nightmare from happening. She blames her husband. Joan wants nothing but her career in writing. This tale is all about her regaining that direction again. A terrible marriage and an unlikable character made me distance myself from this journey.

Review: Collision Point

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Riordan “Rory” Malone is a force to be reckoned with. A member of the Brute Force Protection Agency and an operative working with the Elite Ops, Rory is the fiercest of warriors and protectors. Honed from the strong Irish stock of their grandfather and sharpened to a razor’s edge, Malone men live for one single purpose: to protect the women who own them, body and soul. From the moment he saw Amara Resnova, he knew she could be that woman.

But Amara, daughter of an alleged notorious crime lord, is a force in her own right. When she betrays her father, she’s finds herself in the arms of a man who is dangerous for her body and soul.

Can Rory keep Amara safe while protecting his own heart? Can Amara trust Rory not to break hers even as the danger mounts, threatening to take them and their passion to a breaking point?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Collision Point by Lora Leigh is packed full of action, suspense, and heat. The sexy rollercoaster ride will not disappoint readers. The attraction is hard to resist between the protagonists. It’s realistic. Temptation, lust, and love is evident on every page. I also felt the fear, loss, and sadness as the plot swept me up into its world. Lora Leigh is a talented writer. I never wanted the book to end…

Riordan Malone is an interesting hero. A black ops guy who is also a cowboy. He became one woman’s bodyguard because he liked her. Not for the money. That made me love this man so much. He’s powerful, demanding, and all alpha. Hot, sexy, and dangerous. Cross him and death will come. Riordan fell fast and hard for Amara. She’s the daughter of a Russian crime lord. Amara almost died and Riordan was never the same again. Amara fills his dreams and thoughts everyday. Now, after six months, she finds him, asking him to protect her. And he does…

Amara is in danger once more. Someone has tempted to kill her several times, recently. All she remembers is Riordan. He vowed to protect her, and she feels safe with him. Amara was kidnapped and tortured almost to the point of death. Yet, here she is alive and trying to stay alive. She has no memories of of the abduction nor who or why someone wants her dead. All she knows is Riordan. Amara seeks him out for her protection against her fears. Something about Riordan has her feeling lustful and unbalanced. He makes her want things…but first, she must live long enough to survive.

Collision Point is exciting. I couldn’t stop reading this novel. Lora Leigh created characters that I fell in love with…I liked them all, even her over protective father who can be a pain in the ass at times. His love for his daughter is his most likable quality. And the alpha hero, Riordan is every woman’s fantasy. I loved his attitude! Overall, I highly recommend this romantic suspense to readers everywhere.

Review: Darkest Night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In this first novel in the explosive, brand-new romantic suspense Sons of Broad series from Tara Thomas comes a novel of deadly secrets and hidden danger. In the sultry streets of Charleston, one family, ruled by its powerful, take-no-prisoners sons, has risen to the top. But a merciless enemy is out to destroy them…and everyone they hold close…

Exclusive bonus content available only in the print edition!

SHE THOUGHT SHE’D LOST HIM FOREVER

Tilly Brock has learned—the hard way—how to take care of herself. Once a pillar of Charleston society, her family lost everything in the wake of a shocking scandal. And then Tilly lost the only boy she ever loved.

BUT NOW THAT HE’S BACK IN HER LIFE

Keaton Benedict is Charleston’s most notorious bachelor. But in spite of all his advantages—the money, the women, the family name—he longs for more: the heart of the young woman he still can’t forget.

THE DANGER HAS JUST BEGUN…

When Keaton re-enters Tilly’s life, after all these years, she is torn between feelings of doubt and desire. Can they put the past behind them and learn to love again? Tilly is willing to try. But Keaton is afraid that a vengeful enemy is watching—and waiting to destroy them. Can the rekindled flame of their love defeat the deadliest rival and light their way forward in the darkest night?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Darkest Night by Tara Thomas is a sexy and thrilling romantic suspense novel. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this writer. I have never read any of her previous books. But now, I can say that I will be reading every book she writes! I was entertained from the first page. Dark, edgy, and hot…all of the right combinations to make me want to read this.

The characters were different as the day is to night. Tilly is super smart, works hard, and pays her own way. After her parents died, she has had no one else to care about or care about her. Until, bad things start happening to her. And her past crush, now a grown man, walks back into her life. Complicated, messy, and fun. Tilly struggles with the events as much as accepting that Keaton has returned and he still cares. Someone is after her and Keaton’s family. The question why lingers…

Keaton is one of three brothers. Their father created a business empire that is successful. The sons now run it. Except, Keaton is the last son dragging his heels into the family business. Keaton is forced to spend the summer with a family friend’s daughter. A woman whom he wants nothing to do with…and as the story unravels, neither do I. Keaton finds his past crush and best friend, Tilly, at a gentleman’s bar. There, things just got complex for them both.

Darkest Night is full of surprises. Tara Thomas kept me on my toes. Death keeps happening, and it is only time before disaster really hits them all.

I loved the suspense. I still have no idea who is behind it all of the dark stuff. But there’s former crushes, family secrets, and family friends who are anything but friendly. Blackmail, threats, and arrests happen here, too. Exciting and full of action. Darkest Night is a must read for all.

Review: The First Kiss of Spring

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Spring has come to Eternity Springs in The First Kiss of Spring, the newest installment in this New York Times bestselling series by Emily March.

Life could be a dream…

Goal-oriented and gorgeous, Caitlin Timberlake’s dreams took her to the top of the corporate ladder in New York City. Now years later, her goals have changed. She wants to come home to Eternity Springs and build a business and a family of her own—with the new man in town. So what if sexy mechanic Josh Tarkington wants nothing more than a fling? Caitlin is a patient woman who knows how to work hard and strategize to win what she desires. She desires Josh. Unfortunately, he has other plans.

If only things were different…

Josh craves Caitlin and all she has to offer. However, he is a man with secrets. He has worked hard to overcome his tragic past, but he’s afraid to risk having a future because he knows trouble is never very far away. When a selfless act brings that trouble to his door, he stands to lose everything he cares about—including Caitlin. Will her love and the healing magic of Eternity Springs be enough to save him?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The First Kiss of Spring by Emily March is an emotionally charged story. I found myself feeling every motion displayed in the scenes. The characters provoke me into loving them. Their attitudes, relationships, fears, and troubles were believable. Family, work, and love are greatly balanced here. A family going through a tough journey and a young man fighting off a lifetime issue…had me hooked.

I laughed and cried. Emily March presented her characters in a three-dimensional way. They felt like real people. Caitlin is coddled by her parents. She’s the only daughter they have and they love her fiercely. Sometimes, too much. Caitlin needed her parents to support her leaving her current job to go after her dreams. At first their reaction, sent her feeling frustrated. She wanted them to be happy for her…and her father thought her mechanic man, got her pregnant. The thing was, Caitlin would like that after she married the mechanic first, though. But proving to her parents that she can be successful and getting her man to love her, has proven to be difficult.

Josh has had a difficult lifetime. His mother made a bad choice and with that choice she plunged her young son into the world of darkness. Only when Josh got adopted did he make it out into the light. But just when he thought his life was great, it took the rug from his feet twice. Josh fell several times but his faults made him more human. His craving for Caitlin proved he was just a man who wanted to love her and be loved back. But Josh has to learn to accept his past, get help, and decide if he wants Caitlin to be his forever…otherwise he might just lose everything he cares about…

Then, there’s Caitlin’s dad, who is suffering. He won’t open up about it with his kids. He has his own journey of acceptance to follow, just like Josh has. Finding courage to accept and discuss it will be the break it moment for this character and his family.

Fear, courage, and love are major themes of this novel. The First Kiss of Spring is a sad yet sweet contemporary tale. I was hooked. Overall, I would recommend it to all readers.

Review: Maybe This Tme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Maybe This Time is the next heartwarming contemporary romance from Nicole McLaughlin in her Whiskey and Weddings series.

Jen Mackenzie has been knocked down more than a few times, but she always gets up and makes sure she has the last word. It’s the reason she now considers herself equal parts self-sufficient and free-spirit. But since losing her job and trying to help her mother beat cancer, real life—and her occasional careless choices—have begun to catch up with her. Her one saving grace: The Stag, a boutique distillery that has become Kansas City’s go-to wedding venue. The only catch: One of the owners, TJ Laughlin, happens to be the one man who somehow manages to make Jen feel inadequate.

TJ has secretly had a thing for Jen since high school. Now, as her new boss, it’s a daily struggle between revealing his feelings and wringing her beautiful neck. Only one thing is for certain: he can’t stand idly by and watch the woman he cares for struggle. She may be convinced that accepting TJ’s help is a weakness. But all he sees in Jen is beauty and strength, inside and out. As things finally heat up between them, can TJ find a way to convince Jen that love is about give and take—and having it all, together?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Maybe This Time by Nicole McLaughlin is sweet contemporary romance. Two young adults with completely different background have always crushed on each other. Turns out, that all this time, they still love one another. But neither one knew what the other was dealing with as they were teens.

TJ comes from a wealthy rich lifestyle. Yet, he’s super smart, hardworking, and a gentleman, TJ isn’t anything like his other male peers. He has always stuck up for Jen. Harbored a secret crush on her ever since they shared their first school project together. TJ had a mother who still lives with his jerk of a father. A father who sleeps with other men’s wives and thinks nothing of it. TJ’s mom loves him though. Jen is opposite of him in background and personality.

Jen can be super confident like TJ. Except that when it comes to TJ and his kind, she loses her confidence. Jen sees herself as this woman who still can’t control her life, is dirt poor, and can’t do anything right. Yet she handles her bar tending well. She can also, handle wedding clients at the Stag for her bosses. TJ is one them. Jen can sing and loves theater. Her personality is wonderful. Colorful at times when she’s feeling angry or hurt. But overall, she’s a strong independent woman who can do anything. Jen’s mom is going through cancer again…and Jen thinks her mom is going through medicine therapy to get well…only she’s not.

Maybe This Time is exactly as it presents itself. Maybe, the characters will finally get together forever. And maybe they can find their happiness. Love, work, and family are hardships they both share. Together, they can get through anything, if they let themselves. I laughed and cried while reading this book. Nicole McLaughlin writes well. I fell fast for the characters. Colorful, bright, and what an exciting journey! Overall, I recommend this novel to readers everywhere.

Review: Words from the Heart

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Ivy Yoder thought she had found the man she would marry, but she returns to her Amish community of Birch Creek with a broken heart. When a family friend asks for her help in cleaning out an attic, she’s grateful for the chance to get her mind off the betrayal.

Noah Schlabach is an Amish auctioneer and is eager to get into his aunt’s attic in search of lost treasures. He loves learning about the past, and he has created a thriving auction business for himself. When he meets Ivy, he suspects his aunt is trying to set them up, but all of that is forgotten when they come across a box of old love letters.

While Noah is more interested in potential auction items than love letters, Ivy is swept up in the story of the young couple. She’s also fighting her growing feelings for Noah—she can’t risk her heart again. But if there is one thing these young Amish people learn from the past, it’s that they must take hold of the gifts of today. With a little help from the letters, and a lot of help from God, Noah and Ivy begin to live in the present, full of love.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Words from the Heart by Kathleen Fuller is a sweet and heartfelt journey. Two young Amish adults must learn what their hearts wants and where God leads them. Heartbreak is tough but builds the character. Somethings are meant and some are not mean to be. But unless they try, they won’t know.

Ivy loved another Amish man. Yet her love wasn’t returned. Ivy felt broken. Her heart shattered. Her first love destroyed her hope for a chance at love. But God has plans for her. However, she needs to listen with both her mind and her heart.

Noah is an interesting young Amish man. He is all about finding things to auction. Auctions business is what Noah does well. He soon has Ivy helping with auction stuff, and the more time they spend together the harder it is for him to not like her. Feelings grow along with faith and respect.

Kathleen Fuller has peaked my interest with this tale from the beginning. Her characters are realistic and easy to like. I felt like I was tagging along with them. Their troubles soon grow complex but not all things in life are easy. Ivy has to reopen her heart and that’s the toughest thing to do after having it broken…overall, I recommend this Amish novel to all.

Review: Luckiest Cowboy of All

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A secret baby brings a second chance for love. Carlene Varner’s homecoming isn’t exactly going according to plan. She thought she’d have some time to adjust before introducing her daughter to Jace Dawson, the father her little girl has never known. Instead, within days of her arrival, her house burns down and she and Tilly have no choice but to move in with the sexy cowboy himself at the Prairie Rose ranch. Now the whole Dawson clan-heck, the whole town of Happy-is all up in their business.

Jace has dealt with stubborn bulls and bucking broncos-but being a dad? He is so not ready for this… Yet the more time he spends with Carlene and little Tilly, the harder it is to imagine life without them. Now he just has to convince Carlene that he’s the real deal-and hope that this time she’s here to stay.

More in the Happy, Texas, series by Carolyn Brown: Toughest Cowboy in Texas Long, Tall Cowboy Christmas.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Luckiest Cowboy of All by Carolyn Brown is an engaging romance. I enjoyed the 8-year-old daughter the most. Her language and attitude is adorable! I can only imagine what her parents will go through when she’s a teen…going to be hell. The main protagonists such as the cowboy and his past high school sweetheart were likable not not as much as their daughter was. These two had chemistry but it was like they were dragging their feet too much for me to really love them as much as I did Tilly.

The title is exactly what this story is about. A cowboy who gets lucky. He finds out his love is back in town, they still have the sparks, and that he is now, a father of an eight year old girl. Talk about surprises…Jace couldn’t believe it when he saw Tilley and found out her age. After that it was like he was being sucker punched in the gut.

Carlene loved Jace when they were together. They spent one amazing yet reckless night and it changed her life forever. Her parents moved, she became pregnant and had Tilley. Carlene raised Tilley by herself and never told Jace. Even though he had every right to know…

Now, as fate has it they both are brought together in more ways than one…

The words from Tilley’ mouth made me laugh so hard, it was amazing. I loved it!

Overall, this contemporary romance is a must read. Humor, action, and second chances were enticing in this tale. There was a big emphasis on family in this book. I enjoyed the other cast of smaller characters. They too, made this a sweet journey.

Review: One More Promise

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Dylan Anders is making amends
…to his family
…to the public
…to the woman who just walked into his life

Paige Walters must learn to forgive
…her busy father
…her bossy sister
…and the wonderful man she horribly misjudged

Ambitious Paige Walters is ecstatic when she’s hired to recruit musicians for a literacy campaign—it’s her chance to prove she’s got the chops to make it in the family business. When Dylan steps in, she immediately dislikes him and vows not to let the fallen idol screw it up. But as the work brings Paige and Dylan closer together, their attraction grows…and so do their challenges…

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

One More Promise by Samantha Chase is a promising romance. Samantha Chase has cleverly created an atmosphere that appeals to all appeal people of different backgrounds. Whether one comes a conservative or rich family, the characters are nothing like their parents. They mess up a lot. But those mistakes make them who they are in the end…it was emotionally charged.

Here, I got to meet a sexy as hell rockstar who just got out of rehab. He drank so much he got into an accident. No one died. Yet, Dylan feels so guilty. Then, there’s a deep secret about his life that shocked me completely. With him coming from a good family, I just couldn’t believe it…but it felt believable. I can see how he got away with it for so long. And despite his issue with that secret, he still became a successful hero aka man. One that everyone could be proud of…

Paige Walters comes from a wealthy conservative family. She’s got the boho librarian style down right. Her passion about reading made me love her. Plus, she has a heart of gold. Works hard, goes all out to help others, and is an intense woman. She takes her job seriously…and her family doesn’t. Her dad underestimates her. He lets her do all the hard work then steals the spotlight from her. Yet, he never acknowledges her hard work. Then, there’s her sister who always steals her spotlight and takes over her projects after all the hard work has been done. Her sister is lazy and a complete bitch. She’s nothing but selfish and a liar. Whereas Paige is nothing like her older sister. Paige is easy to understand and love. She’s the hero.

One More Promise made me swoon all the way until the last page. Even when I finished reading it, I still awed over the characters. Their lives became messy and complicated. But they both survived their struggles and learned a lot along the way. Enticing, sexy as hell, and sweet too. Samantha Chase has successfully hooked me into her new world of fiction, easily. Overall, this is a must read for all romance readers.

Review: Road to Eugenica

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Two dimensions – And the girl who connects them.

Yesterday, Drea Smith couldn’t do anything spectacular—even walking and texting at the same time was a challenge. But today, she suddenly has more answers than Google, can speak and understand numerous languages, and she can fight. Like a boss.

Super freaky.

Drea has no idea where her encyclopedic knowledge has come from, but she’ll take it when she discovers someone out there knows her secret and wants her badly. And that they’ve been searching for her since she was born.

Since she was created.

With the help of her best friend Dylan, who just wants to keep her safe, and Maddox, a mysterious new boy who is prepared to get her answers, Drea will have to push her new skills to their limit as she uncovers nothing is quite what it seems.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Road to Eugencia by A.M. Rose is an intriguing YA science fiction/fantasy tale. A young teen has her entire life flipped upside down and inside out…it’s torn apart. First, she comes down sick, then, there’s a car crash and her dad doesn’t make it. Her mom is not who she thought she was. And then, there’s two guys. One of them is her best friend forever, Dylan. He’s crazy about Drea. Dylan wants to keep her safe. Next is Maddox. He too, wants to keep her safe.

Road to Eugencia is full of action, suspense, and danger. The attraction Drea feels towards Dylan feels real. After going through all the hell, Drea has to figure out whose after her and why. Staying safe, will be difficult. But with Dylan, Drea feels safe.

The shadowing from the end of this novel, has me wondering everything I thought I knew about Drea’s situation and her best friend, Dylan. I can’t wait to read the next book! Overall, I highly recommend it to readers everywhere.

Review: Troubled Waters

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Billionaire Ian Shaw can have everything he wants–except a happy ending. Or at least that’s what it feels like with his fortune recently liquidated, his niece, Esme, still missing, and the woman he loves refusing to speak to him. In fact, he doubts she would date him even if they were stranded on a deserted island.

Despite her love for Ian, Sierra Rose knows he has no room in his life for her as long as the mystery of his missing niece goes unsolved. The only problem is, Sierra has solved it, but a promise to Esme to keep her whereabouts secret has made it impossible to be around Ian.

When the PEAK chopper is damaged and Sierra lacks the funds to repair it, Ian offers a fundraising junket for large donors on his yacht in the Caribbean. But the three-day excursion turns into a nightmare when a rogue wave cripples the yacht and sends the passengers overboard. Shaken up and soaked to the bone, Ian finally has a chance to test his theory when he and Sierra do indeed find themselves washed up on a strange, empty shore.

It will take guts and gumption for the PEAK team to rescue the duo. But it will take a miracle to rescue Ian and Sierra’s relationship.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Troubled Waters by Susan May Warren is an enticing contemporary romance read. There’s a lot to offer. From romance to mystery, Susan May Warren kept me intrigued. The main characters were easy to understand and like. The attraction between the two protagonists was exciting. Their lives went from being simple to complex. Romance is never easy.

Ian Shaw a strong male character. Life has just gotten messier than he would care for…his niece is missing and his woman is leaving him. There just can’t be enough hours nor a break for this hero. He won’t give up searching for his niece and that made me love him.

Sierra Rose is another strong character. She pretty much holds up the situation together. Ian is falling apart because of his niece. She loves him but isn’t sure they could make it work. Until he finds peace, Sierra can’t be with him.

Then, there is the danger that leaves both Sierra and Ian together. Working through their issues and troubles, there might just be hope for them after all…

Overall, Troubled Waters is intriguing. Tons of action, romance, and sparks to keep me hooked. Susan May Warren brought her characters to life in this book. I would recommend this to others readers,

Review: Murder on the Sugarland Express

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The latest from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Angie Fox…

Ghost hunter Verity Long is overdue for a little R&R (rest and romance) with her boyfriend, Ellis, and a vintage train trip through the Tennessee mountains seems like just the ticket. The Sugarland Express carries history and nostalgia in every compartment, and Verity is determined to enjoy it—without ghostly interference. But the ghosts have other plans…

On a dark, desolate night nearly a century ago, the train was stranded in the mountains, and a young woman was found stabbed to death in her locked compartment. The murder was never solved, and a ghostly Belgian detective is still pursuing the case from the grave.

To Verity’s dismay, all of the ghostly suspects are back. And when history repeats itself and a new murder mirrors the old, it’s up to Verity and her friends to discover which of the passengers—dead or alive—could be behind the murders before the killer strikes again.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Murder on the Sugarland Express by Angie Fox is amazing. Her main protagonist, Verity, is a ghost hunter. She helps the ghosts she sees and helps them move into the light. Then, there’s the gangster ghost, Frankie, who is attached to the urn that she possesses. Wherever she goes with the urn, Frankie goes to…

Verity and her boyfriend, Ellis, want to escape their town and have a romantic getaway. However, Frankie convinces Verity to let him tag along so he could seduce his lady ghost friend. Then, there’s the other ghosts she meets while on the train. The train they’re on, is new except for the bell that was rummaged from the original Sugarland Express train. That train had several mishaps, like murder and taking all of its passengers down into the river…so many died that day. Now, with the original bell attached to the new Sugarland Express train, the ghosts are being called back to the living world. There, Verity, Ellis, and Frankie will have their hands full trying to solve the past and current murders. Plus, if they’re not fast enough, they may all die in a train wreck…

Angie Fox sure knows how to engage readers like myself. I was hooked. The plot kept me guessing, laughing, and rooting for Verity and Frankie. Ellis was a major help in solving the murders too. Being a cop, Ellis, is always answering his calling. The romance between Ellis and Verity felt real. I love this couple. No matter what happens they stick through it. Overall, I highly recommend this paranormal romance mystery to all.

Review: A Devil in Scotland

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The dawning of desire…

1806, Scotland: Wild, reckless Callum MacCreath is in no hurry to become someone’s husband. But when his responsible, steady older brother Ian announces his engagement to their childhood friend Rebecca, Callum makes a startling discovery: he wants the lovely young lass for himself. But it’s too late, and when Ian banishes him for his duplicity, he’s only too happy to leave Scotland forever…

…is delicious and dangerous.

1816: Marrying Ian was the practical, logical thing for Becca to do. But once Callum sailed away to America, she missed his rakish charm and lust for life. Now, ten years later, Becca is a widow when a much-changed Callum returns to his Scottish homeland. Will he remember their spirited, fiery connection, or does he blame her for his brother’s unexpected death? This time neither of them can deny their scorching attraction, but will their hearts be burned in the blazing heat of scandal?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Devil in Scotland by Suzanne Enoch is a very satisfying romance. I was instantly in love with the characters. Especially, the fallen hero who ends up redeeming himself. It’s a story I couldn’t resist.

Callum MacCreath is a Highlander at heart. Ten years ago, he figured out that the woman he loved was betrothed to his older brother, Ian. Wanting Becca, Callum tries to persuade Becca to marry him instead. Yet she wasn’t having it. And to top if all, he insulted his older brother, and made a drunken fool of himself in front of everyone, including Becca and Ian. Ian pushes Callum to leave their only home. Callum doesn’t hesitate and leaves without a penny to his name. Now, he’s brought back home by news of his older brother’s death. A drowning…his brother was the best swimmer and the water he drowned in was not deep enough to drown in…Callum knows who the killers are and his going to get them both. But first, family duty calls.

Becca was Callum’s and Ian best friend. Until she gets betrothed to Ian. That’s when, Callum realizes he’s loosing the one thing he thought he’d always have, Becca. Becca has always had a thing for Callum. However, all he has done was prove that he’s irresponsible, ignorant, and a drunk. He’s not to be trusted. That was ten years ago. Now, Becca has lost her husband and her father not too, long after each other. Becca is doing everything she can to find her way in life. Until Callum returns and comes claiming his inheritance. He always brings with him a lot of trouble. Enough to rattle Becca’s heart, and the two killers’ scheme to get Becca’s inheritance….plus, there’s Callum’s niece aka Becca’s daughter to consider.

A passion that never died…

Heat, danger, risks, and trust are found on every page.

A Devil in Scotland was everything I expected and more. Suzanna Enoch writes well. Her characters were charming. The Scottish rogue held my heart from the beginning. Then, there was the little girl, who brought so much joy and humor to Callum’s and Becca’s intense situation. I can’t wait to read more by this writer. Overall, I recommend this historical novel to all.

Review: Sisters Like Us by Susan Mallery

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The grass is always greener on your sister’s side of the fence…

Divorce left Harper Szymanski with a name no one can spell, a house she can’t afford and a teenage daughter who’s pulling away. With her fledgling virtual-assistant business, she’s scrambling to maintain her overbearing mother’s ridiculous Susie Homemaker standards and still pay the bills, thanks to clients like Lucas, the annoying playboy cop who claims he hangs around for Harper’s fresh-baked cookies.

Spending half her life in school hasn’t prepared Dr. Stacey Bloom for her most daunting challenge—motherhood. She didn’t inherit the nurturing gene like Harper and is in deep denial that a baby is coming. Worse, her mother will be horrified to learn that Stacey’s husband plans to be a stay-at-home dad…assuming Stacey can first find the courage to tell Mom she’s already six months pregnant.

Separately they may be a mess, but together Harper and Stacey can survive anything—their indomitable mother, overwhelming maternity stores and ex’s weddings. Sisters Like Us is a delightful look at sisters, mothers and daughters in today’s fast-paced world, told with Susan Mallery’s trademark warmth and humor.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Sisters Like Us by Susan Mallery is funny, realistic, and the most engaging women’s fiction novel, that I’ve ever read. This, is a story about the relationships between mothers and daughters. Quirky, sweet, and heartfelt were these pages. It felt like it was nonfiction but entertaining like fiction. Yet, it really is fiction…which made me like it even more. Susan Mallery captured life between these women perfectly. They fought, cried, and laughed. But in the end, they love and respect each other. No matter what, the were there for each other.

First, there is Harper. A forty-two-year-old divorced woman. Harper is raising her daughter on what little her ex gives and what she can make as a single mother. Life isn’t easy to balance. Harper works so much she forgets to listen and spend more time with her daughter. Her daughter feels like Harper doesn’t love her anymore. She never listens. Just works all the time.

Second, there’s Harper’s mom, who forced Harper to give up her dreams and live the life she lived. Harper’s mother is always telling Harper how to raise her own daughter and how she’s lacking as a mother figure. Harper and her sister always have to tiptoe around their mother. Fear of not having their mom happy or proud of them keeps them having secrets.

Third, is Harper’s sister, Stacey. Stacey is a lab researcher. Super smart and gorgeous, Stacey is happily married and expecting. Only her mother doesn’t know…then, there’s the fear of her not loving her own child and not being a good mother. Stacey’s husband defends her and is willing to stay as a stay-at-home dad. He loves Stacey. Yet she fears she lose both him and their child.

Fourth, is Harper’s daughter. This girl has had it rough as a teen. Her parents divorce, her friends move, and another friend accuses her of being boring. She feels like her mother doesn’t listen to her at all. Her grades are slipping in some classes and she’s not sure what she wants to study for college. Then, there’s her father who breaks his promises and doesn’t do anything with her. To make things even more complicated, there’s Lucas. He’s the next door guy. Always paying her mom for doing his stuff. He respects Harper and her daughter. In fact Harper’s daughter feels like a daughter he never had. I love the sweet moments when the girl tells him stuff that makes him uncomfortable and she needs advice….it was both funny and heartfelt. Also, a new guy her age moves in with her aunt. Ashton is super hot…and it’s not long before she crushes on him…

Overall, Sisters Like Us is amazing. It’s so easy to love and understand. The characters were believable. The scenes were interesting. There was a rollercoaster of emotions as the plot unfolded. I enjoyed reading this novel. After reading this, I can’t wait to see what Susan Mallery comes up with next. I highly recommend this to readers worldwide.

Review: The View from Rainshadow Bay

 

Synopsis:

Prepare to stay up all night with Colleen Coble. Coble’s beautiful, emotional prose coupled with her keen sense of pacing, escalating danger, and very real characters place her firmly at the top of the suspense genre. I could not put this book down.” –Allison Brennan, New York Times bestselling author of Shattered

“…The View From Rainshadow Bay, opens with a heart-pounding, run-for-your-life chase. This book will stay with you for a long time, long after you flip to the last page.” – 4 STARS, RT Book Reviews

After her husband, Jack, dies in a climbing incident, Shauna has only her five-year-old son and her helicopter charter business to live for. Every day is a struggle to make ends meet and she lives in constant fear of losing even more than she already has.

When her business partner is murdered, his final words convince Shauna that she’s in danger too. But where can she turn? Zach Bannister was her husband’s best friend and is the person she blames for his death. She’s barely spoken to him since. But right now he seems her only hope for protecting her son.

Zach is only too happy to assuage his guilt over Jack’s death by helping Shauna any way he can. But there are secrets involved dating back to Shauna’s childhood that more than one person would prefer to stay hidden.

In The View from Rainshadow Bay, suspense, danger, and a longing to love again ignite amid the gorgeous lavender fields of Washington State.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The View from Rainshadow Bay by Colleen Coble is a romantic suspense novel readers like myself won’t forget. The characters have a way of pulling me further into their lives. I was frightened for them and hoping they would make it out fine. As with any suspense novel, I wasn’t sure of the outcome nor who the killer was.

Shauna lost her husband due to a dare competition. She never forgave her friend Zach’s for daring her husband too, far. However, it’s been a year later and now, she’s facing another loss. An older man and friend of hers dies from an explosion. But that didn’t happen until after he gaveled a box to give to his wife and his burner phone number. Shauna can’t ignore the gut feeling that the sweet older man was murdered…

Zach owns an emergency airway place in town. He and Shauna haven’t spoken since the day they loss Shauna’s husband. Now, it’s just Shauna raising her son alone and blaming Zach for the loss. Zach is torn inside about the whole situation. Out of the blue, Shauna comes to him asking him to take her son on a father-son picnic only because her son begged her. Zach is filled with hope to mend things between them. But then fate has other plans.

Colleen Coble has created a fascinating world of fiction in this book. I was impressed. The danger, risks, and romance caught my full attention. Sexy Zach and compassionate yet daring Shauna…made for a fun journey. I enjoyed reading this, and I recommend to all readers.