Thursday, May 29, 2014
In The Best Medicine by Tracy Brogan, Evelyn, a plastic surgeon, is fairly new to Bell Harbor. Evie is focused on her career, and is wary of any relationships. Having parents who never really got along before they divorced has made her leery of happily ever afters, if they really do exist. But with a 35th birthday, no man on the horizon and her ovaries screaming at her, Evie decides it’s time to find a man. Not just any man, a man who meets her very strict, scientific list of suitable characteristics.
5/5 stars :)
Monday, May 26, 2014
In The Perfect Score by Beth Albright, Ginny is back in Cottonwood Cove, Alabama. Her career as an investigative reporter is in tatters, and she's come home to regroup. Really the last place she wants to be and certainly the last place she plans to stay. But family comes first when and when her mother needs help to save The Chatterbox, Cottonwood Cove's 'gossip rag', Ginny steps up to the plate. Even when it means she'll be in Cottonwood Cove longer than she initially planned to be.
When Ginny decides to run a new column on the high school football players, she's very intrigued by the new coach, Jared. Having met him first as a woman and second as a reporter, Ginny is just as attracted as she is intrigued by Jared. She can sense he's hiding something, she can sense a good story. Jared is just as attracted to Ginny, but his private life needs to stay private. When he feels threatened by a reporters intrusion, his walls come up. Personal and professional comes into conflict for Ginny when she can no longer resist the chemistry...just as she starts to uncover his mystery.
As Ginny falls deeper for Jared, she has some big decisions to make. Even if she keeps his secrets, she is going to have to decide between Cottonwood Cove, love, and Jared, or a career far away, alone.
The Perfect Score was a sweet, small town romance. Beth gives us an easy to read story with a real southern feel that will have you feeling like you are in Cottonwood Cove. Beth blends humor, conflict, and love smoothly, engaging the reader quickly with the characters. Ginny was at times an amusing heroine, at other times exasperating! She always kept you guessing what she'd get up to next. Jared is more mysterious, a guy you really want to get to know! Beth describes him so perfectly he is very easy to visualize. With all sorts of conflict between Jared and Ginny it is fun to watch their relationship evolve in The Perfect Score.
I really enjoyed how Beth brings in family members as well as community members so you get a real feel for life in the small town and life with a meddling, scheming family like Ginny's. In a fairy tale like way, Ginny and Jared are pretty quick to get together, but will they get their happy ending? Beth does bring in some subplots along with the secondary characters that are all part of what is going on with Ginny and Jared, bringing all the people to life and giving them realism.
I'd recommend The Perfect Score to romance readers who like small town romance with just the right amount of conflict to keep the story intriguing.
Buy from Amazon
Friday, May 23, 2014
In The House on Blackberry Hill by Donna Alward, Abby inherits an estate in Jewell Cove, Maine, from a great aunt that she didn't know she had. With her immediate family long gone, this mysterious connection to Jewell Cove is not what Abby expected. Abby is angry and hurt about this hidden side of her family, that no one reached out to her while they were alive. The estate needs a lot of work, and Abby's plan is to fix it up, sell, and head back home to Canada - alone. Along with the house there are old family secrets, long buried, but not forgotten about by everyone. Someone wants the truth discovered, and Abby is the person they've picked to do it.
Tom is a local contractor whose dream is restoring old homes such as The House on Blackberry Hill. He wants nothing more than the chance to work on The House on Blackberry Hill...if he can convince Abby he is the man for the job. Abby is not so sure about Tom and the confidence he has in himself...and she is even less sure about the attraction she feels towards him. Neither of them wants any kind of relationship. Tom has not been able to get over the woman he loved and lost, and Abby does not trust easily, she's too used to being let down and losing people she cares about. The more time they spend together though, the closer they become and the attraction can't be denied. Abby slowly starts to trust Tom with her secrets, her ghosts and her self. The House on Blackberry Hill brings them together with a common goal, but will it be a strong enough start? Tom is not as open with Abby, and just as she starts to feel secure in Jewell Cove Tom and his issues might drive her away again. Will either of them ever be able to take a chance on love again?
Donna gives us a strong, enchanting story in The House on Blackberry Hill. She effortlessly blends romance, mystery, and a dash of paranormal. She will draw you in quickly and captivate you with small town Jewell Cove and The House on Blackberry Hill, making you feel like you are there. The characters are all strong, from Abby and Tom to the numerous secondary characters that give The House on Blackberry Hill that extra liveliness. I did feel I would have liked a bit more background on Abby's past, I feel it would have given me a much better understanding of her. Donna does give us some, but not as much as I would have liked. Other than that, Abby is a lady that you will feel for. She is brave, but she is also scared and lonely. She is real, and at times your heart will be sad for her. I really, really enjoyed watching Abby slowly become a part of the community of Jewell Cove. She makes friends, but most of the time remains a bit terrified inside. She really grows throughout The House on Blackberry Hill. Donna gives us great background on Tom, and it is easy to feel frustrated with him at times! I really wanted to see Tom move on from the past and embrace the future, whether or not his future has Abby in it!
The House on Blackberry Hill is filled with humor, heart, and a touch of sadness at times. Donna manages to evoke a variety of emotions throughout with her superb writing, and her descriptions of The House on Blackberry Hill and Jewell Cove make it easy to see in your mind and feel like you're there.
I would recommend The House on Blackberry Hill to all romance readers, especially if you like small town romance! I will definitely be reading the next book in this series.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
In The Substitute Bride by Kathleen O'Brien, Marly is back in Marietta after 9 years. The place she swore she'd never return to. Marly was living the dream in San Francisco until it all came crashing down and she has no where to go but home. She is back working at the small town newspaper with her mother, the mother who sacrificed so much for Marly. Now Marly is in a remarkably similar situation, but it is one she is determined to make the best of. Returning to Marietta is a temporary thing.
Drake is the boy she used to dream about, but he is also the boy who stood her up and broke her heart all those years ago. He is the last person she expects to see on her first day back in Marietta...and he has grown up very well. Even though he can still make her heart race, Marly is determined to avoid him and how he can still make her feel. Drake is just as determined to see a lot more of Marly.
Both of them have secrets, and Drake has been hiding his for so long and the hurt they caused, that he doesn't plan to stay in Marietta either. Neither of them are sure where they'll move on to next. As they learn to trust and open up to each other though, it's possible new memories can be made in Marietta. For Marly, will having the courage to follow her dream incude Drake? And can Drake finally let go of the past to make way for the future?
The Substitute Bride is a romance, but it is also the story of Marly and her mother. There is strong character development, especially for Marly, in The Substitute Bride, and I really enjoyed seeing the mother/daughter relationship mature and grow. Marly's mother is a strong secondary character in The Substitute Bride, but the development and growth of her character stood out very well. In The Substitute Bride, Kathleen gives us characters who have that second chance...but will they be brave enough to take it?
The pace of The Substitute Bride is just right for a novella, and the issues the characters are dealing with are done fairly realistically. Marly's 'secret' was a main part of the plot, but was not explored in depth, and I'm not sure if this is because of the length of the novella or not, but I would have liked to see this played out a bit more.
Drake is a guy you could easily get attached to. For all his outwardly appearance, he holds a lot in and once you get to know him you really will feel for him.
I enjoyed being back in Marietta, the small town feel, and I liked how Kathleen gave you glimpses of characters from other books in this series, but kept the encounters brief enough so that The Substitute Bride is easily a stand alone novella.
I'd recommend The Substitute Bride to any romance reader who likes sweet, small town romance.
Friday, May 16, 2014
In Barefoot in White by Roxanne St. Claire, Destination Wedding Consultant Willow is no longer the overweight, insecure person she used to be. She's worked hard to lose a lot of weight and move past that part of her life. In Barefoot Bay with her partners Gussi and Ari, the last thing Willow expects is to come fact to face with a painful part of her past... The man who shattered her heart. Nick is a SEAL on medical leave, filling in for his friend at his friend's sisters wedding. As soon as he sees Willow he is stunned...and struck by a sense of familiarity. When he finds out who Willow is, he wants to help her heal. Willow and Nick end up having to spend a lot of time together as they work on the wedding plans. Their time together is a mix of emotions for them both. Willow realizes her feelings for Nick never left and Nick has strong feelings for Willow also.
Through their ups and downs and past and present surprises, Roxanne take us on an emotional journey with Nick and Willow. The chemistry is definitely there for both of them, but can they make it work? Both of them have secrets and pasts to heal from, can they move on, starting as the people they are now and let go of the past?
Willow and Nick's relationship is not rushed, and there is a lot of turbulence, good times, and bad times. Roxanne's effortless writing makes it a fun journey to be a part of along with a great cast of characters. Trent is admirable and has his goals. He doesn't give up easily. Willow is a hard worker, independent and has worked hard to be confident in herself. I did find it a little weird that her interaction with Nick years ago on that one night still weighed on her so much, but it is all part of who she is.
I also love the setting of Barefoot in White. Roxanne's descriptions will take you there and feel the sand between your toes!
A great start to a new series, Barefoot in White is a romantic journey about moving on, forgiving and loving that any romance reader will enjoy.
Thursday, May 15, 2014
In Sweet Home Carolina by Kim Boykin, Darcy has left her profession as a lawyer to follow her dream. She's bought a historical home in Magnolia Bay and is renovating it into a B & B. With money tight, Darcy feels like she's running into endless road blocks as she tries to get her B & B not only up and running, but on the historical list which will really get the B & B noticed. The house used to be a brothel, and no one really likes to remember that.
Darcy meets Trent, who is home in Magnolia Bay temporarily. He is full of charm and confidence...neither of which Darcy is interested in. Trent is definitely interested though, and when he finds a way to help her he does. Trent is everywhere and Darcy can't resist him for long as they spend more and more time together. Trent is falling for Darcy, but as things heat up he is caught between family, doing what is right, Darcy and her B & B, and his plans to leave again. Can he reconcile it all and have a chance at more with Darcy? As Darcy struggles to open her B & B, her faith in Trent is tested. Neither of them were looking for love, but will they take the chance on their hearts? He hadn't planned on staying, and she was hoping to put down roots.
Sweet Home Carolina is a well paced novella, with some great characters. Darcy is a heroine who deserves our admiration. She's a hard worker, determined, and independent. She's been through her share of heart ache, and it was great to see her character grow and become part of the community of Magnolia Bay. Trent is not quite as settled as Darcy, his career as a professional golfer is on hold. Despite his cockiness at times, he is caring and wants to do what's right. Between the two of them the chemistry is fantastic, and they really work well together when they are communicating!
Kim gives us Darcy's POV in first person, and effortlessly switches to third person for Trent's POV. I love how she did this, she really makes it work well and transitions smoothly so the flow is continuous. It gives the reader great perspective on the story!
Sweet Home Carolina is more than the romance of Trent and Darcy, it's the personal growth of both of them individually as well outside of the romance and I felt that this really gave Sweet Home Carolina depth. Kim ties it all together well, and I'd recommend Sweet Home Carolina to any romance reader looking for that!
Buy from Amazon
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
In It Happened One Wedding by Julie James, Sidney is ready to move on after an embarrassing and hurtful end to her engagement. Her biological clock is ticking, and she would like nothing more than to meet Mr. Right. Her sister’s upcoming wedding makes her all the more anxious to at least have a date for the wedding. Read More
In All Fired Up (DreamMakers #1) by Vivian Arend and Elle Kennedy, Parker is a former Ranger who has moved onto something completely different and unexpected as a civilian! Along with his friends Jack and Dean, they have founded the successful DreamMakers company. Essentially an event planner for those men who just can’t do it, whether it’s a date or a party! Read More
5/5 hot stars!
Monday, May 12, 2014
In Home Truths by Louise Forster, Jennifer has come to Tumble Creek, Australia from London for her beloved Uncle's funeral. From the moment she meets up with her sister and niece in Tumble Creek, things seem a bit off. There is mystery surrounding their Uncle's life, and more mysterious events happening in Tumble Creek. If something is going to happen, it will happen to Jennifer!!
There is a lot happening besides Uncle Bob's funeral, and Jennifer meets Calum, a handsome Australian who has her insides quivering. At first Calum is just helping her out, then he's keeping her safe and things quickly become hot and heavy between them. Despite the promise and beauty of Tumble Creek, especially compared to grey, dull London, Jennifer has no plans to stay. She has plans in London, and every intention of going back. When Tumble Creek starts to feel more like home, and her feelings towards Calum just keep growing, there is still trouble brewing and unsolved mysteries. Soon it all feels like too much and Jennifer starts to panic.
Will Jennifer ever uncover Uncle Bob's mysteries? Will Jennifer leave behind all she's found and the promise of Tumble Creek?
Home Truths is a fast paced, easy to read and follow book. It is entertaining with fun dialogue and some hilarious scenes that will have you laughing out loud, and wondering about those pink stilettos! Jennifer and Calum's romance may be quick, but at the same time Louise gives us a sense of realism with her character descriptions, their strengths and their weaknesses. Louise manages to keep you guessing just when you think you've figured out the mystery of Uncle Bob, with her multi-layered plot. The sub-plots in Home Truths added an extra bit of intrigue, even if for some of them I would have liked a little less unknown and more background.
There are a lot of family dynamics in Home Truths, and Louise writes these in well so that they give us the information we need but don't overwhelm and take away from the plot.
The people in Tumble Creek and the characteristics of the small town really give a lot of strength to Home Truths. It is the perfect setting for this story and Louise's descriptions of Tumble Creek will have you right there with everyone else.
Any romance reader that loves a small town setting, a bit of mystery and a hero/heroine that can really steam up your pages will enjoy Home Truths.
Publication date : June 1, 2014
Pre-order from Amazon: Amazon
In Bet The House by Erika Marks, Willa's rival Knox has snatched up the historical home that she's always wanted. Willa and Knox have always been in competition with each other...his family owns Loveless Brothers Construction, and hers family runs Dunn-Right Preservation to keep the historical homes in Magnolia Bay from losing their history. To top it all off, her little sister is marrying Knox's brother - something that does not make Willa happy.
With the wedding approaching, Willa and Knox make their biggest bet yet. They literally bet the house. But will there be a winner? Or will the two of them finally move past the superficial rivallry and acknowledge the intense passion simmering under the surface?
Erika gives us a great story with opposites attracting in Bet The House. Willa is more negative to Knox's positive, but at the same time they are very similar. Both of them have strong values, are loyal, and don't back down from a bet. Willa was a bit annoying with her negativity, but is it all a cover? Her and Knox have known each other forever it seems, and I feel a bit more background about the two of them would have helped with understanding who they are today. I felt that the characters could have been developed a bit more, taking the reader a bit deeper into them. Willa does keep Knox on his toes, and the rivalry is amusing at times. Knox is just as intense as Willa, but at the same time comes across as a lot more laid back and positive about life. It was fun to watch these two start to acknowledge their feelings for one another. Willa and Knox are both fiesty, and neither wants to lose. But what are they really betting on?
There is no love lost between them, but a lot can be gained if they can put aside their differences and focus on what works!
Bet The House is a fast paced novella with a couple of fun main characters. I really enjoyed all the family interaction in Bet The House, it really helped round out the story. I look forward to seeing more of them all!
Romance readers looking for a quick romantic novella will enjoy Bet The House.
Buy at Amazon
In A Game of Bride's by Megan Crane, Emmy is back in Marietta, Montana after 10 years for her sister's wedding and all the festivities planned around it. Despite the fact that she used to spend every summer there with her Gran and that she loved it there, when her heart got broken at the age of 18 she just couldn't go back. Emmy is not happy to be back, nor is she happy about everything her sister has planned. She's even less happy when the first person she sees is Griffin - the man who embarrassed her and broke her heart all those years ago. Emmy seems very determined not to enjoy her time in Marietta this time around.
Griffin and Emmy have their second chance at romance in A Game of Bride's. Emmy's character really developed and matured well in A Games of Bride's. At first we have a bitter, grudge holding woman who is a bit difficult to like. Emmy will quickly grow on you though. Griffin is successful, but ready for a change. He knows what he wants and isn't afraid to go after it...or in this case her! I really liked him, he's responsible and respectful. Both of them have issues to work through that add depth to their characters.
Megan gives us a lot of conflict in A Game of Bride's from romantic conflict to workplace conflict which keeps things interesting! A Game of Bride's is fast paced and entertaining with some great secondary characters - especially the two Gran's who I loved! Megan's descriptives of Marietta, Montana and the cold will take you right there!
A Game of Bride's is a fast paced, steamy and fun novella to fall into that any romance reader will enjoy.
Buy at Amazon
In Long For Me by Shiloh Walker, Christina Bell is the youngest Bell sibling whose mother went missing years ago. Now the truth about her disappearance is finally emerging and Christina's life is thrown into upheaval and uncertainty.
Guy is her best friend who she's know for years. He is the only one who can center her. He also wants Christina as much more than a friend, but she is determined not to see Guy that way. Guy also has a connection to her mother's disappearance, one that surprises all of them. With her life feeling like it is spinning out of control, Christina seeks comfort in the one man she knows can give it. Will Christina finally acknowledge her hidden feelings for Guy? Can she face them and the risk it involves?
Long For Me was a fabulous, well written, fast paced novella. Shiloh covers a lot of emotional ground in Long For Me, but with her easy flow and strong characters, the novella length is perfect for the story told. I love how Shiloh brings her characters to life and makes them relatable and love-able. She manages to incorporate very real problems in Long For Me, one in particular you don't see written about very often. Shiloh does this flawlessly and manages to make it a strong part of the character. Not the only part of the character, just one aspect of her and how she deals with it.
The relationship between Guy and Christina is realistic, and I like how comfortable they are with each other. There is a lot of chemistry simmering just below the surface every time they are together!
I highly recommend this whole series (Secrets and Shadows). This is the third novella, and I really enjoy how each sibling has their story told separately as we move closer to solving the mystery through the three novellas. I highly recommend reading all of the novella's to have the greatest understanding of not only the plot but of all the unforgettable characters.
In Escape From Reality (Invitation to Eden #3) by Adriana Hunter, would be romance novelist Leila returns home from writing conference dejected, her confidence shot. When she finds a mysterious invitation from her admired author on her doorstep, Leila take a leap of faith and heads off on an unknown adventure.
Leila ends up on the Island of Eden, in the company of her favorite author, who will guide her as she learns to write romance from the heart. There appear to be no other guests...until Sebastion shows up. Is he real though? Or a figment of Leila's imagination? As Leila writes from the heart, she also comes into herself as the passionate woman she is. When what she writes starts coming to life is it the magic of the Island of Eden? A realistic fantasy? Or has being on Eden helped Leila to find what she's always been looking for?
Escape From Reality is the only book I've read so far in the Invitation to Eden series and though it was not at all what I expected, I found Escape From Reality to be unique, captivating, and hot! Whether or not what Leila is experience is real or imagined, her charater is realistic and the feelings she has are easy to relate to.
Adriana is very creative in her writing in Escape From Reality, with a great pace to a story that will take you on an unexpected adventure. I love the setting of Eden, I can really picture it in my mind, smell the air, feel and hear the water. This makes Escape From Reality all the more enjoyable, and truly a great place to escape to.
I'd recommend Escape From Reality by Adriana Hunter to any romance reader who likes romance, fantasty and heat!
Thursday, May 8, 2014
In Mercy by HelenKay Dimon Becca is part of a special ops team that operates under the radar. Infiltrating an exclusive club in Washington, DC to take down business man Jarrett was pretty routine. Even if it meant becoming intimate with him. Even when Becca told herself it was just a job. Until it started to feel like much more than a job. By then it was too late and there was so much more going on than even Becca could guess at. When Jarrett was arrested and her deception revealed, the man who never has relationships or becomes close with anyone was devastated. Read More
In The Reluctant Bride by Katherine Garbera, Risa and Monty had a whirlwind romance when she was living in Vegas and he was on leave from the Marines. Within a week they were engaged, planning to marry after he returns from his last deployment in the Middle East. When tragedy strikes for Risa and she has no comfort from Monty, then can't get a hold of him, she panics and flees Vegas.
When Monty returns from war with his own scars, his fiancee is no where to be found. He finally manages to find her in small town Marietta, where Risa now owns her own flower shop. Monty is angry, hurt and confused. Months later, Risa is still unable to cope with any of her emotions. She is unsettled and unsure, and scared to love in case she loses again - even though their engagement never truly ended. Neither of them are sure of where to go from here, if they even have a future together. Risa wants to be able to handle everything on her own, she doesn't want to lean on anyone. She has trouble expressing her emotions unless it's to run from them...and Monty doesn't want her to run again. They care for each other, but were they ever really in love? Can they start over, getting to know each other as they are now? Or will Risa run again and find Monty is tired of the chase?
Monty and Risa both have a lot of angst in their lives. Both of them have tragedy's to overcome before they can move on. To be honest I found Risa difficult to connect to with her reactions out of my realm of realism. She has a lot of inner conflict, and is having a hard time recognizing that she really is not alone. Nor is she the only person in The Reluctant Bride who has had upheaval and tragedy, but she is having a hard time seeing beyond her own state, not even acknowledging that her fiancee has been to war, and war takes it's toll. Her character has slow growth in The Reluctant Bride and the title is very well suited! Monty has no clue why his fiancee has run off, and when he finds her even he questions whether or not they can be together again. But the feelings he has for Risa don't let him walk away, and you really have to give him credit for sticking around as long as he does.
I didn't feel a lot of love between Monty and Risa, but I did feel caring. What I take away from The Reluctant Bride is that it doesn't make you any less of a person or any less independent to lean on someone, and I really hoped Risa could recognize this before it was too late.
Katherine gives us a fast paced, smoothly written story in The Reluctant Bride. If you like romance with a lot of angst and a hero/heroine trying to find his/her way you'll enjoy The Reluctant Bride.
Sunday, May 4, 2014
In Sinful Seduction by Katie Reus, Alendander “Blue”, a former pro-athlete and Marine who now works for Red Stone Security, is taking some down time in Key West after his latest assignment. Blue is having some trouble adjusting to civilian life after being a Marine for so long, but on a night he decides to go out on the town for a bit, he ends up saving a woman from would be kidnappers.Read More
In Pretty Reckless by Jodi Linton, Laney is a former teacher, now a Sheriff’s Deputy in Pistol Rock. She’s engaged to Nathan, a veterinarian, who is the kind of man she should be with. She does not want to be with Luke, the cowboy who gave her one night of comfort a few years ago. She should definitely be over her former boyfriend, Texas Ranger Gunner. Laney has managed to convince herself quite nicely of this…until Gunner shows up in Pistol Rock. Read More
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Circle of Redemption is an anthology with three stories by three different authors set at the same point in time that magically weave together three couples, the challenges they face, and fresh starts.
In Lost and Found by Susan C. Muller, Dan is a war veteran, now a cop. When a twist of fate puts Dan directly in the path of a bank robbery, he is thrust into the past and the present when he is suddenly facing not only a past love, but her daughter. It is what he does now and the chances he must take that will decide his future.
In Saved By the Stone by Janet Nash, Cade is also a war vet. He suffers from PTSD, something neither he nor his wife fully understand, and his marriage is rapidly crumbling. Cade can't move on from the horrors of war and doesn't think he deserves to be happy. When things start to finally come together for Cade, he decides love and his marriage are worth fighting for. Will it be too late?
In Sight Unseen by Shauna Allen, Travis's wife's death left a hole in his heart and his life. When he meets Paige, their connection is immediate and Travis starts to feel again. An unexpected connection to Paige and unresolved feelings on Travis's part threaten to stop their relationship before it can take off though.
These three stories together demonstrate very well the power of love and fighting for what you believe in, no matter what it is really. I found each story to be enticing in it's own way, and all of the authors manage to pull you in, bringing feelings to life and making you care for all of these people. The emotions and situations are realistic, inspiring you to make the most of every moment.
Well written with strong characters, Circle of Redemption is a great read for any romance reader.
In Hard Time by Cara McKenna, even years after leaving an abusive ex, Annie has never wanted to love again. She is a librarian, a nice quiet, unassuming career. This career takes her inside Cousins Correctional Facility as the outreach librarian. In cousins, she meets Eric.Read More
In Midnight Pursuits by Elle Kennedy, Juliet is a former thief turned assassin, now working for a very enigmatic group. When her brother Henry and his girlfriend are killed in Belarus and his girlfriend’s killing has the marks of an assassin, Juliet vows revenge. Henry might not be her brother by blood, but he is still her brother. Both of them grew up in the foster system from a very young age, and all they have had is each other. Now Juliet is truly alone, and promises her dying brother she will find the killer and get vengeance. Read More