BENDING THE RULES by Katie O’Sullivan
What a delightful way to spend an afternoon! I just finished BENDING THE RULES ( CAPE COD RULE #2) by Katie O’Sullivan.
There’s nothing I like more to read than a second chance romance, and this story had everything I love about the trope and genre. Told in present time and flashbacks, the love story of Bella Costa and Dylan MacDonald was over 10 years in the making. From the time in high school when she was a sophomore and he was her senior math tutor, these two were in serious “like” with one another, but circumstances prevented them from ever telling the other their feelings.
We can all remember and relate to how horrible high school could be, especially when bullying came into play. A popular cheerleader, Bella is the victim of jealousy and rumors that follow her through school and into her current life. And unfortunately, Dylan believed the rumors, causing him to walk away from her just when it looked like they could be together.
When they meet again a decade after she graduates high school, they still realize the attraction they have for one another, but both have let the past intrude on the their present lives and effect how they see their futures.
Dylan comes back to his hometown after a horrific incident leaves him feeling lost and vulnerable, unable to reconcile the life he’s chosen for himself. For her part, Bella has vowed never to let a man – especially a local, hometown man- get too close to her emotionally.
But the attraction is undeniable and try though he does to fight it, Dylan falls more in love with Bella than he could ever believe he could.
Will they be able to put their past thoughts and beliefs behind them to find their HEA together? It’s a good question and one Katie O’Sullivan answers in a way that made me smile and cheer.
I simply love the way Ms. O’Sullivan writes. She has an easy-to-read prose style that just makes you keep turning the pages – or in my case flipping the pages on my kindle! I started this book while I was on the treadmill and after 90 minutes realized I hadn’t stopped once- reading or walking. The story is so well told, and so carefully constructed I simply didn’t want to put it down, and didn’t. Not until I finished it.
5 very well deserved stars for a story that hit all the high points for me I like in romance novel.
Are the sins of our family inherited? If one brother is bad, does it stand to reason the other is, too? And what makes kids go bad, so bad, that they shoot up a school?
In what I call the Longacre series, Roni Loren gives us the third book, THE ONE YOU FIGHT FOR, and tries to answer those questions.
PH.D and Psychology Professor, Taryn Landry was one of the survivors of the Longacre school shooting 14 years, in which she lost her sister, Nia, to Joseph Miller’s bullet. Taryn has devoted her life to trying to find what makes a kid act out in such a way so we as a society can predict and prevent it from happening again.
Shaw Miller’s brother was the shooter and just as many other lives were destroyed in the shooting, so too, was his. A promising Olympic hopeful, Shaw had to drop out of society due to the guilt over what his brother had done. A name change and the desire to keep his real identity a secret are the only way he can move forward in his life.
When these two meet, neither knowing who the other is, an attraction that staggers both of them hits hard and they begin a relationship based on that attraction. It’s inevitable that the truth will somehow come out and destroy the love they’ve developed.
This book is the third in the series and it’s my favorite one yet. Themes of forgiveness, unconditional love, and putting the past behind you are all explored with Loren’s usual fast paced style. The love scenes are hot, the protagonists, hotter!
I want to thank Netgalley and Sourcebooks for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 5 well deserved stars for an excellent and timely-themed book.
A BRAND NEW ENDING by Jennifer Probst ( Via Montlake)
What do you do when the only man you’ve ever loved walks back into your life after 10 years? Receive him with open arms? Kick him to the curb? That’s the decision Olivia Bishop has to make when Kyle Kimpton waltzes back through the front door of her inn, begging to stay for 3 months to finish a screenplay.
10 years ago Olivia and Kyle were 18, madly in love, and ran away to California, he in search of fortune and fame as a writer, she, looking to become a famous singer. But was that the real reason she left with him? Kyle always thought it was. He could never understand how she could walk away from the life they dreamed of – and him – without looking back.
Flash forward 10 years. Kyle’s an in demand screen writer – although what he writes isn’t what he’d always planned it would be – and Olivia is the manager of her family Inn in upstate New york. Neither has really moved on from their fractured relationship.
Kyle’s back in town because he’s got writer’s block and needs to reconnect with his old life and old love to cure it. But that’s not the only reason he’s back in town. He’s harboring a secret that he knows will shatter Olivia once he gives a voice to it. But it’s a secret that has to be told because their pasts, present, and futures depend on it being given a voice.
Can these 2 long lost loves reconnect and forgive the sins each committed towards the other? Or does pain cut too deep for Olivia to ever give Kyle a second chance?
I’m a sucker for a second chance at love trope and this one delivers with a capital D!
This story is filled with a great deal of back story that’s told through Kyle’s writing, and it’s a great hook for the reader. I simply adored this addition to the STAY series from Jennifer Probst and can’t wait for the next one to be released!.
****Thank you to Netgalley and Montlake for a sneak peak at this soon to be released book for an honest opinion. My opinion? You need to read this book!
5 well deserved stars. Wish I could give it more!
I think I love you, by Lauren Layne
In the last installment of Lauren Layne’s OXFORD SERIES, best friends Brit Robbins and Hunter Chase are finagling their single ways through NY, dating, working, having fun with all their friend at the STILLETO and OXFORD offices.
But…Brit starts to realize that although all the guys she dates are great, they don’t see her as the happily ever after kind of girl. She’s been relegated to “friend” status more times than any girl she knows and want to know just exactly what is wrong with her. Why don’t the guys find her worthy, or sexy, or marriage material? For help in figuring this out she enlists her best friend –who also happens to be her boss, Hunter Chase in helping her discover what she’s doing wrong and to teach her how to get a man to like her – like a woman and not a friend.
Right away you can see where this is going, and especially since it’s a Lauren Layne book, you know it’s gonna be a heck’uv’a fun ride from best friends to lovers to whatever else happens!
I always lose sleep whenever a new LL book comes on the market, this time no difference. I all but inhaled this book from cover to cover ( Well, Kindle margin to Kindle margin if we’re being truthful!) Layne’s characters are always perfectly drawn, real people you can see yourself being besties and having cocktails with. Through in the fact that every other OXFORD/STILETTO character was featured in this book as well, and I gladly gave up a night’s sleep just to spend some time with the gang again.
Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an arc of this book. It is so worth the 5 stars I’m rating it as. Wish I could give it more!
In Book2 of the First Wives Series, HALF-EMPTY, Catherine Bybee gives us Katrina “Trina” Petrov’s story. Her marriage of convenience ended when her billionaire husband Fedor committed suicide. For the past year she’s been traveling and trying to come to terms with the way her life has turned out. Stuck in a hotel due to a storm,she fights jetlag by having a late dinner in the empty hotel bar.
Well, almost empty.
A charming, handsome and persistent man strikes up a conversation with Trina. She has no idea who he is and for him, that’s a plus. Wade Thomas, good ole’ boy and famous country singer needs some down time and wants to be as anonymous as he can. The fact that the beautiful and reluctant woman sharing her food with him doesn’t know who he is, is just another plus.
After hitchhiking a ride on his plane home, Trina and Avery, another member of the FWC, start to go thru the house Trina has been avoiding for the past year to clean it out. When they discover innumerable expensive items, Trina entrusts Avery with getting quotes on them all with the thought to donate any money she receives to Suicide prevention. But when Avery is brutally attacked while on a mission to unload the items, things take a very decided turn for the worst in Trina’s world.
With Wade by her side, though, she’s able to navigate through the undeniable fact that someone wants her dead. And that someone is Fedor’s father, Ruslan. He’ll stop at nothing to get his son’s wife-in-name-only out of the picture so he can gain control of the oil empire she was left.
The cast and crew from the First Wives Series, book 1 FOOL ME ONCE are all on board in this story, helping Trina through the nightmare that has become her life.
This book had me hooked from the get-go, just like all Bybee’s stories do. Fast paced and rich with emotion and intrigue, you can’t help but fall in love with the characters and their goals. Now, I’ll say this truthfully and suffer the wrath of romance readers everywhere. I don’t usually read books with cowboys at the hero. But Wade Thomas is more than just a laconic good ol’boy. Despite his uber-fame he’s a good, decent man, loves his mama, and is a gentleman to his core. And I’ll admit this too: I fell in love with him just like Trina does.
Another fab book from a fab author. 5 well deserved stars from me. Thanks to Netgalley and Montlake for giving me a preview Arc for an honest opinion of the work.
Lauren Layne is back with a sexy new series that takes on the bad-ass, fast moving financial world of Wall Street.
Ian Bradley is an arrogant, smart, rich, and sex-on-a-stick Wall Street hotshot. Women drop at his feet and his motto in love is never sleep with ‘em twice. He makes his clients – and himself – oodles of cash because he’s intuitive and daring. Maybe too daring. When the SEC sets its sights on him as a potential inside stock traders, Ian’s perfect world shatters.
The SEC investigator assigned to Ian’s case, Lara McKenzie, wants nothing more that to use her job as a steeping stone to the FBI. When’s she’s given the task of proving Ian had inside knowledge a stock was about to tank she think this just may be her ticket out of NY and onto DC.
But Lara’s investigative skills, thorough though they are, can’t seem to make any connection to the allegations forged against Ian. What does make a connection is these two characters who want to reach the top of the success heap and never thought love would get in the way of those plans.
With her usual flare for witty dialogue, cute double entendres, and oh-so-hot sexy times, Layne has introduced us to a new series of alpha men, equally strong and smart women, and opened up the financial world to the romance-reader’s eyes.
You’ll want to read to the end to see if Ian ever gets out of hot water with the SEC – it’s touch and go throughout the book. I don’t like spoilers, so I won’t tell you how it resolves, but I will say Ian’s met his match – in every – with Lara.
5 well deserved, sexy stars for Ms Layne and HOT ASSET, 21 Wall Street, Bk1
In Sarah Morgan’s newest work, we’re introduced to three sisters who each deal with a past tragedy in different ways
Twenty-five years ago, Hannah, Bethany, and Posey lost their parents in a horrible ice climbing accident right before Christmas. Their mom’s best friend Suzanne, adopts the girls and together with her fiancé, brings them to Scotland and his home-town to live.
Every Christmas the family gathers in Scotland to celebrate and even though Suzanne does her best to make the holiday as perfect as she can, old memories, fears, and anxieties usually rear up.
Hannah, the oldest, is career-driven, relationship-avoiding, and never talks about the incident that changed their lives. She shuns Christmas like vampires shun the sun and didn’t even come home last year. This year, though, is different. She may be pregnant, something that absolutely terrifies her and when the man she’s been seeing tells her he loves her, she panics and flies to Scotland early, stunning her family.
Bethany is the perfect mom. With an adoring husband who works more than he’s home and two daughters who suck the life out of her, Beth craves for something more. When she’s offered the opportunity to work for the women she did before she had kids, she leaps at it, thrilled. Jason, her husband, isn’t so thrilled. They have a huge fight and Beth leaves him to fly home – early, like Hannah – to Scotland.
Posey, the youngest, has memories of only Suzanne and Stewart, not her real parents. Unlike her sisters, she has no memory of the time before they came to Scotland and only remembers being loved, secured and protected. Scotland is the only home she’s ever known, but she aches to travels, see the work, and climb mountains, just like her parents did. How can she tell the only parents she’s ever known that she wants to leave and embark on the same kinds of adventures that killed her biological parents?
The character of Suzanne was my absolute favorite in this book. Just in her 20’s when her best friend is killed, she takes on the responsibility of 3 little, broken girls, not knowing how to be a mom, and only ever having been responsible for herself. In her, I see the true character of what I think every mother should be: selfless and filled with unconditional love.
THE CHRISTMAS SISTERS is a bit of a departure from Morgan’s usual light romantic fare, but it is a welcome detour. And don’t worry: there’s enough romance in this book to satisfy her legion of fans. This was a wonderful story of family, forgiveness, unconditional love, and most of all the true bond of family and sisters.
Thanks you to Netgalley , and Harlequin romance for allowing me an early reader ARC for this wonderful book. 5 well deserved stars!
Three generations of women in the same family come together after tragedy and loss.
Sisters Lauren and Jenna have always had a strong bond between them. They’ve had to because their mother, Nancy – a famous artist – has always been a little bit disconnected and in the sister’s opinion, cold and unloving. The girls share more than a familial bond, though. They know a secret about their father’s past that they’ve sworn never to reveal to anyone else, not even their mother, and they haven’t. The sisters each have their own secret they haven’t revealed to anyone, as well, including the other.
When Lauren’s husband Ed dies, what she thought was a perfect lifestyle was proven to be a lie. He was drowning in debt and the life she has known for the past 16 years of her marriage is destroyed. Added in to this is that Lauren’s teenaged daughter discovers that the father she always thought was hers, wasn’t. This is Lauren’s secret.
Jenna is happily married to the man she’s loved since she was a kid. Or at least the face she shows to everyone is a happy one. The one thing Jenna wants more than anything else it have a baby with her husband Greg, but’s it’s just not happening, and like all women going thru fertility issues, she begins to obsess and question if she’s ever going to be a mom.
Nancy has a dilemma. Saddled with an historic house that has been passed down through the generations of her family, she is secretly making plans to sell it. She knows she needs to tell her daughters that she is, but fears they will pull further away from her than they already have for most of their lives. The secret why she needs to sell the house is a sad one.
Mackenzie, “Mack”, Lauren’s daughter is a bundle of 16 year old angst, hormones and emotions. The discovery that her daddy was not her true father, the forced moved from the only home she has ever known in London to America, and the fact that she is so different from all her peers make her at times obnoxious, willfull, and heartbreaking.
I really wish I could give this book more than 5 stars! I devoured it in one day because from page one I was invested in each of the characters – even the secondary ones – that I had to see what happened next.Much thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin for allowing me to read an ARC of this amazeballs book. 5 well deserved stars!
5 well deserved stars!!!
This is the third book in the Mercy Kilpatrick series and after reading it, I bought the first two!! This book is G.O.O.D!
When FBI Agent Mercy Kilpatrick is flagged down by a bloody girl on a back rural road in Oregon, it starts a chain of events that include the murder of a so-called witch, the execution of a famous trial judge, and the disappearance of the murdered woman’s daughter. Along with her love interest, Sheriff Truman Daly, Mercy and her FBI team investigate have to unravel a decades old secret in order to solve the present murders.
I’d never read anything by Kendra Elliot before but after reading this book I am a big fan. She writes with a effortless style, the story unfolding coherently, in “real time” for the reader, and her characters are flesh and blood on the page.
The story is told in multiple points of view and each voice “talking” was distinct and character appropriate.
I’m starting book 1 tonight!
Thanks for Netgalley for an arc of this book. You’ve given me a new author and hours of reading pleasure to come.
I simply adored this book and Emily. She’s not your typical 20-something having a crisis. She’s a grown-ass woman who’s seen life and realized the life she’s seen is not for her. SO, she does something about. Despite all the naysayers she goes for her dream. Love that! This book is worth the 5 stars I’m giving it!! I was given an arc of this book from Netgalley and I’m so glad I requested it. Emily Forsythe is a heroine I could get my teeth into and one I routed for on every single page.
Ms. O’Sullivan has a very easy writing style that just draws you in from page one and compels you to continue reading—nonstop—until the end. I finished this story on a flight home from Atlanta and kept praying the flight attendants wouldn’t compel me to put my tablet away just because I didn’t want to stop reading!
Abbie Duncan is the Chef de Cuisine at a five star restaurant on Cape Cod. Burdened with an overbearing Executive chef, and a hodgepodge group of sous and pastry chefs, she runs the restaurant better than she runs her own personal life.
Undercover, Jake Campbell is trying to get a bead on a gang of drug dealers, and his investigation has brought him right to the front door of Abby’s restaurant. Posing as a pastry chef- and an inept one at that – the two are thrown together with Abby as his “boss.”
At first, Jake feels she might be the perfect suspect in his case. The bank turned down a loan for her last year, and she lives with her retired, widowed father. Money is always a good motivator for dealing drugs to make fast cash, Jake thinks. But the more he’s around her, he realizes how wrong he is. And how attracted he is to the pretty little chef.
The attraction is mutual and soon Abby and Jake are breaking more rules than can be counted – and neither cares. She’s his “boss” and she has a strict no fraternization rule with her employees. Unable to resist Jake, though, that rule goes the way of the dinosaur. Jake knows he shouldn’t become involved with a principle person in his undercover investigation, but the pull to make Abby part of his life to too strong to resist.
Through a fast series of drug deaths and betrayals, Abby’s life is on the line, but Jake has her back—and every other part of her!—coming to her rescue when she’s kidnapped by someone she thought was a friend.
As I’ve said, Ms. O’Sullivan’s writing style is as near to perfect as can be. This read was fast paced, the energy high, and the hero swoon-worthy. I highly recommend this story. 5 stars from me.
Alliance Divorce attorney Lori Cumberland is, herself, a divorcee, so she can talk the talk and walk the walk of her clients; her exclusive, match-made, prenupped, and divorced clients. When she takes 3 of them on a girl’s getaway – two who were recently divorced and one whose husband killed himself within a year of marriage, she plans to have a fun filled, stress-less week aboard a luxury cruise ship.
Since this is a Catherine ByBee book, that’s not gonna happen.
The ladies meet a group of men on the boat, one man in particular who captures Lori’s eye and lust – Reed Barlow. Reed attaches himself to the girl’s group easily,
and all the women like him, enough to talk without censuring themselves around him – something they should be doing. Even Lori drops her guard with him.
After the cruise, Reed continues the affair he started on the boat with Lori and she begins to think he may just be the man to finally crack through to her protected heart.
But Reed isn’t what he seems.
Throw in a Russian oil magnate hell bent on eliminating one of Lori’s clients, a former First lady to a Governor she’s still in love with, and the entire Alliance crew from ByBee’s Weekday bridal series, and Fool Me Once turns into a chock-filled story that I devoured in one afternoon because I simply did not want to, nor could, put down until I go to the last page!
Fool me Once was Lori’s story, and I’m hoping that her three clients in the book have their own books coming!
5 more than well deserved stars for one of my favorite, go-to authors. Thank you, Netgalley and Montlake, for letting me read an arc of this story for an honest opinion. My honest opinion? Go buy this book the moment it’s released!
byShirley Jump(Goodreads Author)
Peggy Jaeger‘s review
Four ingredients in Shirley Jump’s new book THE PERFECT RECIPE FOR LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP.
When you can laugh, cry, cringe, and cheer at a book’s story line and its characters, you know you’ve read something that will stay with you for a long, long while. The O’Bannon family reminded me so much of my own crazy Irish/Catholic family that at times I felt like I was reading a diary from my teen years.
30 year old Bridgit O’Bannon has just become a widow – much like her mother did 20 years before. That’s the only similarity, though between the 2 events. Colleen ( mom) had 4 small children to care for; Bridget had wanted a baby with her husband Jim, but he didn’t want children. Colleen’s husband was loved by her family; Jim was not. In fact, he was the cause of a major rift between Bridget, her 3 sisters and her
other. And after his death, Bridget learns some horrible truths about the husband she gave up all for.
But, like most families, when tragedy walks in the door, family does too, bringing food (more casseroles than anyone should have to eat!) and carting more emotional baggage than should be allowed.
How these five strong-willed, fractured, and emotionally charged women cope with the events and one another is the basis for Jump’s story and believe me, it rings so true to life that you will, as I did, hear fragments of your own family story bark through it.
Add in some mouthwatering baking scenes( because the family runs a 3-generations-old bakery) a new romantic interest for Bridget, two family secrets that threaten to crack any chance of healing this family ( one from sister Abby, the other from Colleen) and a Priest who makes house calls and epitomizes God’s love, and you’ve got a simply wonderful, tear-jerking, belly-laughing story.
I can’t recommend this book enough. Brava, Ms. Jump. Keep’em coming!
A Sandra Brown book always promises 3 things: A smart heroine, a hero who’s a big, bad, sex-on-a-stick alpha male, and a story that keeps you guessing until the end. SEEING RED once again delivers all three…and so much more
TV personality and journalist Kerra Bailey wants the interview of a lifetime: Military hero Major Thomas Trapper. Getting him to agree is only a tiny part of this edge of your pants story, though. Getting the Major to agree means getting his estranged son John, or just “Trapper,” to help her. That’s hurdle number one. Hurdle number two is fighting the immediate attraction she has for the recalcitrant and annoying former federal agent. Hurdles 3 to the end of the book involve the attempted murders of Kerra and the Major, a 25 year old bombing, and a series of secondary characters that fly off the pages with intensity, heat, and wickedness.
While the title of the book eludes me ( Seeing Red), I don’t care. I’d read a Sandra Brown book if it was titled “THE ALPHABET.” She just keeps getting better and better and better…
5 well deserved stars ( as usual!) for Sandra Brown and SEEING RED.
I was given an ARC copy of this book from Netgalley for an honest and unbiased opinion.
by Sarah Hegger (Goodreads Author)
What do you do when your famous life takes a humiliating turn? If you’re Pippa Turner you head to the one spot you know you will ease your pain: Home to grandma. It doesn’t hurt that Grandma is a one-time world famous opera singer, known for her quirkiness and love of life. Pippa’s grandma, Phi, is thrilled to have her little girl home. And so is hunky contractor and one-time-lust-crush Matt Evans.
While Pippa tries to figure out what to do with her life, she’s not averse to having a little casual fling with the guy she lusted over in high school. Family tension on both side, secrets long held, and a career mishap that’s playing out all over the Twitterverse come into play to try and keep our hero and heroine apart.
Add in a little robbery mystery, a wedding-that’s-about-to-be ( or not!) and Pippa’s life doesn’t look like it’s going to get back on track any time soon.
I simply devoured this book! I read it in one afternoon because I simply could not put it down. I want Pippa to be my new BFF! She’d everything a romance book heroine should be: gutsy, sexy, feisty, quick witted, smart and loyal. And Matt Evans, well, can we just say “perfect guy” and leave it at that?
This was the first book I’ve read by Ms. Hegger but it sure won’t be the last! 5 well deserved and delightful stars!
by Joanne Guidoccio (Goodreads Author)
When Gilda Greco invests in an up and coming Greek restaurant, she expects the food to be delicious, and the restaurant to be a success. What she doesn’t expect is a murder involving the restaurant owners/chef right before the big opening.
Gilda Greco ( A Season for killing Blondes) returns in Ms Guidoccio’s latest mystery involving the Canadian lottery winner. After investing in David and Susan Korba’s restaurant, Gilda is excited to be silent partner in a venture that she thinks will be a success. When David invites a local photographer to a soft opening though, an opening than filled with many of Gilda’s closest female friends, what promises to be an evening filled with good food and friends turns into an acrimonious disaster with the photographer – a glorious wretch who slept with half the women at the dinner – being murdered.
The suspect pool Gilda’s on again/off again lover, Det. Carlo Fantini has to choose from compromise all the women present at the dinner, the wait staff and even the chef.
Once again, Joanne Guidoccio has given her readers a plumb good mystery. I can usually figure out who the killer is in most mysteries, but this one had me guessing and guessing again until the killer was revealed. I love that! I love that an author could stump me. Kudos and Brava!
Oh, And did I mention the food? Gilda is every Italian mother’s dream child – complete with aunts, cousins, and a mother who loves nothing more than to cook for her. As a wonderful added gift, there are several recipes from Joanne’s and Gilda’s recipe files at the back of the book that I will be making for sure!
I highly recommend this good book. 5 well deserved stars from me!
I always lose a night’s sleep whenever a new Lauren Layne books hits my kindle shelves and READY TO RUN was no exception to my insomnia! I stayed up all night to finish it because I simply could not put it down.
Billed as the next level to the reality tv show the Bachelor, JILTED will depict that old romance trope the runaway bride with a twist – it’s going to be the groom who leaves the girls at the alter and show producer Jordan Carpenter is determined to find the perfect runaway bridegroom. She thinks she has in Montana firefighter Luke Elliot.
After reading a tiny article on his doomed love life, Jordan heads to Montana to get her made-for-reality-tv guy. Only problem? Luke wants absolutely nothing to do with reality tv, the money Jordan’s throwing at him, or even Jordan herself. But our little network girl is determined. So determined she rents a house for a month just so she can – hopefully – wear Luke down.
Who wears who down is the basis for the story. Seems Luke has some secrets about his doomed past love life – secrets the whole town knows. Jordan is determined to find the truth behind those secrets but while she does, she’ll have to keep her heart protected because Luke may not be the perfect groom ( in her mind) but he’s certainly the perfect man- for her.
No spoilers here – and there are a few! Just know that a Lauren Layne book is like your favorite cookie – you can never have just one and you’ll want to finish the whole batch in one sitting!
5 well deserved stars for a night of missed sleep and a fabulous book!
WALK OF SHAME is a classic opposites-attract love story.Socialite and pampered party girl princess Georgie Watkins is living the dream life of any 20-something New Yorker. Dancing till dawn with friends and enjoying life, she starts to think she might be missing something a little more important in her life. When new neighbor Andrew Mulroney moves into her building the same day she does, it starts a little friendly war of words and barbs that show just how much they are different. She’s coming in from a night on the town at exactly the same time he is off starting his work day. Every day.Both are drawn to the other for purely different reasons( of course!) but they struggle with finding the equal playing field they need.This was a good story, as all Lauren Layne books are. Witty, quick, and cute. It’s told in two opposing viewpoints ( of course!), with Georgianna in first person and Andre in third. Luckily, the chapter headings gave you a clue when the POV shifts occur.Another great read from a fun, flirty and prolific author. I highly recommend this for a fab summer read.
AJ Nuest’s lastest book DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS is a scorcher! I was given an advanced ARC of this book from Netgalley and boy-oh-boy am I glad I was! Characters that jump off the page; dialogue that’s quick and witty; sensual scenes that are hot enough to burn. All these things are wrapped up in the pages of this book.
Xander ( X-Ray) has made a career of hacking bad guys. A secret from his past weighs heavily on him, though. When he’s made aware his mentor and one of his old friends has been murdered, he rushes back to his old life – and his first and only love – to make sure she isn’t in the same danger. She is, just not from the people who killed his mentor.
Charlie McGovern is a top notch thief, loaded with body and self image issues and an abusive past that she can’t forget. She’s the kindest person you’ll ever meet – giving you the shirt off her back, literally – but she’s never felt adequate enough. When Xander comes back into her life, she can’t believe the scrawny teenager she knew ten years ago is now the hunkadoodle standing on her doorstep. And all her insecurities about her looks and weight stand straight up at attention, because she knows there’s no way in hell he finds her as attractive as she finds him.
Of Charlie! If only you knew the truth….
Charlie’s most recent theft has a bunch of bad guys tailing her and when Xander discovers the reason why, his alpha instincts kick in, because no one is going to mess with the woman he loves. No. One.
I loved DIRTY DEADS so I knew I’d love DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS just as much…and I did. Hopefully, this series will continue on for some time because there are plenty of characters who need to find HEA’s beyond the doors of the Dirty Deeds agency.
5 well deserved stars!
Margaret Kathleen O’hara is having a bad day….a bad 18 months, actually. That’s how long she’d been forced to “work” for infamous and lowlife mob boss Salazar Moreno. It’s not Meg’s fault. Her sleazy bad-boy, almost boyfriend skipped out on Moreno, owing him a ton of money and Moreno is now making Meg pay it back.
Enter FBI Agent Christopher Martin Shaunessy. He’s undercover trying to get the goods on Moreno and his organization. A chance meeting has him devising a plan to use Meg to arrest the mobster, and help her make her way back home to the family that misses her and has no idea where she is.
Wild Card Undercover gets a big 5 stars from me because it hit all the spots I lovelovelove in a romantic suspense: characters you can root for, a wealth of emotions from both protagonists, and a plot that I can actually see unfold while it’s being told! Someone should be buying the movie rights to this story any day now because it’s such a visual tale, it’ll do boffo box office!
Ms Lemor’s debut novel with Kensington/Lyrical is a delight. A heroine who’s feisty, smart, snarky and able to give as good as she gets, meets up with a hero who’s smart, hunk-a-licious, loyal and protective. All the things you want in romantic characters. Add the added suspense factor in and you’ve got a debut novel in a new series that I’m pre-ordering whenever a new one goes up! Book 2, RUNNING TARGET, is already up for pre-order on Amazon and I’ve got it in my TBR folder.
Set in Miami, the heat in the region is a metaphor for the steam the two characters create whenever they’re on scene together. Witty dialogue, great scene descriptions, and a knowledge of how to create dynamite sexual/romantic tension jumps off every page.
I can’t recommend this book enough!
5 well deserved stars!!!
by Kathy Reichs (Goodreads Author)
And the thrill never left me even after I finished TWO NIGHTS. In one sitting!
Sunday Night has a tortured childhood past. Stints in the military and as a police office have added to her internal battles and physical tortures. She lives alone, isolated and cut off from most of humanity. People who don’t know her fear she isn’t sane. Those that do know her know she teeters between madness and lucidity.
When her old foster parent gives her the chance to break her self-imposed isolation, Sunday is torn. Should she venture back out into the world to try and help a child, who much like herself, seemed tormented and troubled, or stay on her island, literally awash in solitude.
Thank goodness Sunday chooses to help.
TWO NIGHTS is a smart, fast-paced, in-depth story about terrorism – both political and psychological, idealism and family desires.
I literally can’t wait for the next SUNDAY NIGHT story. Temperance Brennan: there’s a new girl in town.
This book was well written, but it was told as a backward tale – it starts, jumps ahead fifteen days – and then each chapter goes back another day until you get back to the beginning, so that put me off from the get-go.
When she returns to her home town to sell her ailing father’s home, Nicollette is surrounded by the echoes from her past – past boyfriend, past frenemies, past secrets, past bad choices. When she was 18 years old her best friend Corrine went missing and Nic and her friends and family were pulled into a mystery that was never solved. 18 years later, the moment she gets home, another girl goes missing and it’s deja vu all over again (!)
The mystery surrounding these disappearances it the formation of the backward telling chapters. I have to admit, I had to go back and reread parts just so I could keep up with what was happening.
Maybe it;s because I’m such a linear thinker and have a scientific background that this threw me as a reader. The book is very well told, the characters fully developed and their actions believable.
I just wish I had read it from the back cover, forward.
I love reading and now I get to review the books I love ( and some of those I didn’t love so much!) Here are a few of the ones I’ve done lately.
What would you do if there was a way to discover the person you were destined to spend the rest of your life with? Would you want to find out? Would you be willing to risk everything – your way of life, your family, life as you know it, maybe even a commitment you’ve already made – just to be with this person?
Those are the questions THE ONE by John Marrs asks, and answers.Told in rotating points of view by five different characters who have all been matched with their ONE true mate through a simple DNA swab, Marrs takes us through a cleverly crafted series of events and emotions for each character.
Mandy, NIck, Christopher, Jade, and Ellie are as diverse as people can possibly be, yet all yearn to find the one person on the planet who will love them unconditionally and for all time. With MATCH YOUR DNA.com, they do.
Or do they?
I hate spoilers, so you need to read the book to get that answer, but I will tell you this: this read is sosososo worth your while.
We live in an era where a simple cheek swab can tell you a million things about your heritage, your health, even your predilections to disease. But what if that same DNA could be matched with the one person on earth who is your true mate? We drop dollars by the bucketful to find out who are ancestors are. Would we be willing to shell out a chunk of cash to discover what our future could look like?
Ask yourself this: if you’ve already found the person you think you’re going to spend eternity with, would you chance that decision not being the correct one by taking the test? And what would you do if you found out you weren’t after all, with the right person? Would you leave them? Stick with them knowing in the back of your mind there was someone “out there” who could fulfill every want and need you have? That’s heady stuff and Marrs explores it expertly.
I’m giving this book 5 well-deserved stars because it made me think, entertained me, mystified me, and in the end, solidified in my mind what this whole DNA-learning industry can do right –and wrong.
I was given a copy of this book from Netgalley for an honest opinion of the work.
by Lauren Layne (Goodreads Author)
I never get any sleep when a new Lauren Layne book comes out!
TO Love and to Cherish, the third installment in the wonderful WEDDING BELLES series tells the story of business owner and founder Alexis Morgan and her “silent” partner, the hunky, British, pseudo-Clark Kent-y, Logan Harris.
When the two met in a bar eight years ago, they formed a friendship and a partnership with immediate spark, business acumen on both their part’s, and determination. Alexis’ was determined to have the Wedding Belles be the premier bridal agency in NY and Logan was determined to have Alexis – forever.
And as smart as Alexis is in business, she’s not as intelligent when it comes to realizing what everyone else – her friends and even her family – know: Logan loves her.
When Alexis finds out her younger sister is getting married and that she’s pregnant to boot – by the guy Alexis used to love – she’s determined to stop thinking about all that could have been with the guy and wasn’t, and get out there and find her own happily ever after.
Logan, determined to the max, sets out to proves he’s the man for her. He’s waited eight years and now he needs to have her see him as man. and not merely a business partner. And soon. He’s being handed the family business back in England and his parents want him home. Now. He needs to make that big decision of staying or going home. And Alexis is a big part of that decision.
I hate spoilers so I’ll stop there. Suffice it to say if you haven’t read Lauren Layne’s Wedding Belles series you don’t know what you are missing, I am unable to choose which of the books is my favorite because I fell in love with all her characters- the heroes and the heroines.
I was given an Arc of this book from Netgalley for an honest review.
by Fannie Flagg
Fannie Flagg is an American Treasure!
Elmwood Springs, Missouri, is a small town like any other, but something strange is happening at the cemetery. Still Meadows, as it’s called, is anything but still. Original, profound, The Whole Town’s Talking, a novel in the tradition of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town and Flagg’s own Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven, tells the story of Lordor Nordstrom, his Swedish mail-order bride, Katrina, and their neighbors and descendants as they live, love, die, and carry on in mysterious and surprising ways.
Lordor Nordstrom created, in his wisdom, not only a lively town and a prosperous legacy for himself but also a beautiful final resting place for his family, friends, and neighbors yet to come. “Resting place” turns out to be a bit of a misnomer, however. Odd things begin to happen, and it starts the whole town talking.
With her trademark humor, wild imagination, great storytelling, and deep understanding of folly and the human heart, the beloved Fannie Flagg tells an unforgettable story of life, afterlife, and the remarkable goings-on of ordinary people. In The Whole Town’s Talking, she reminds us that community is vital, life is a gift, and love never dies.
In 1933, an 11 month old child goes missing from his family’s Cornwall estate, never to be found.
In 2003, detective Constable Sadie Sparrow,while on forced leave from the police department, is enthralled with the story enough to open the cold case and try to discover who kidnapped–or murdered–the little boy.
What ensues is a masterfully woven story of promises made and kept, murder, and life altering decisions.
I’m a big fan of Morton’s lyrical, harmonic use of language and descriptions. I’ve become an even bigger fan as I’ve discovered what a fine story and plot crafter she is, intertwining several stories and viewpoints into one wonderful ending.
by J.D. Robb (Goodreads Author)
I can never do it.
How is it possible for Robb, aka Nora Roberts, to write so proficiently, so expertly, so damn captivatingly a series that just gets better with each book? Characters so real you can “see” them on the page; a plot so true-to-life you get a little scared it really could happen – or has! A love affair/marriage that grows stronger and richer despite time and circumstances. All these facets make up an In Death book and the newest, APPRENTICE IN DEATH, has all that plus a villain who will chill your soul to the marrow.
Once again Lt. Eve Dallas and her mogul husband Roarke are plunged into a case that calls into question everything they know about justice. A master and his apprentice are terrorizing the citizens of New York in the not-too-distant future by gunning them down – seemingly – at random.
But Dallas doesn’t see it as a random spree. She thinks it’s just the beginning and she’s proven correct even though she hopes she’s wrong.
I always have a favorite quote from each In Death book, this one no exception. For the first time, though, it’s uttered by Eve’s quasi-nemesis Summerset. “Evil doesn’t have an age.” You’ll understand it when you read the book.
The usual rich cast of co-horts populate this book, and like old friends, it’s a pleasure to see them again when they pop up.
Last year I went back and re-read every In Death book from the beginning – and there are a lot of them! Each and every one is a five-star piece of writing and I would really love to sit in on a JDRObb masterclass on plotting and character someday!
Wishes do come true, they say…
5 stars never seems like enough for these books!
So another amazing suspense from uber-talented Sandra Brown.
Jordie Bennet and Shaw Kinnard are two characters with enough heat generated between them to singe the pages of a real, paper lined book, and the circuits in your Kindle. When their eyes meet across a crowded bar, you can feel the ice melting in their glasses.
But…a romantic dalliance isn’t in the proverbial cards for these two because Shaw has been hired to…wait for it…KILL Jordie. Yup, he’s a hired hit man and only Sandra Brown can make that sexy and have you rooting for him in the bargain.
What unfolds in STING is a complicated story of lies, an FBI case, missing millions, and a bad guy who’s in the wind…or is he?
AS usual, Sandra Brown delivers on all points; plot, character, pace and heat level.
My fingers are still singed!
by Robert E. Dunn
I’m going to start with the things I loved about this book…and that would be EVERYTHING!
In Katrina “Hurricane” Williams, Robert E. Dunn has given us a heroine worthy of rooting for. Suffering from PSTD from a horrific incident she went through while on active duty in the Army 10 years ago, Katrina now works as a detective for her hometown sheriff’s department in the Ozarks. Wicked smart and savvy, she’s also damaged emotionally and holds most people who try to get close to her at a gun’s distance away, as she just tries to survive day by day. When she discovers the body of a murdered girl, her past, present and potential future all collide, forcing her to face her demons and fight for what she truly wants.
The secondary characters who surround Katrina are all male, something I found interesting while I was reading. There were no women in her life to offer guidance and support, or to help her navigate through her confusing and ambivalent emotions, save for a psychotherapist whom Katrina despises but is forced to see, mandated by the sheriff’s department. Their relationship is tenuous at best.
As for the male characters who do surround her, they range from her career army father and uncle, the sheriff, a deputy whom she calls a friend but who she really knows nothing about, and a crime victim who rapidly becomes something much more to Katrina than she wants to admit.
Dunn’s lyrical descriptions of Katrina’s inner struggles and demons read almost like poetry as he weaves an intricate and deadly plot of motorcycle gangs, the MOB, cancer survival, and child abuse into a novel so rife with complex feelings and life-situations, you are compelled to read it slowly, so you don’t miss a nuance of the gut-wrenching emotions he elicits from his characters.
Mr. Dunn was a new author to me, but since A LIVING GRAVE is hailed as the first in a series featuring Katrina WIlliams, he has now become an author whose work I am going to look for and forward to.
The Wedding Belles is a winner series! I was not familiar with Lauren Layne’s THE WEDDING BELLES series until this book, # 3, but after reading it in a day I purchased the 2 before it and preordered # 4!Heather Fowler has always wanted to be a wedding planner. As a child she pretended to plan all the weddings between her (lousy-in-the-game-of-love) mother and her frequent boyfriends. Unfortunately, none of those boyfriends ever turned into mom’s happily ever after, but Heather was left with an insatiable love of planning the perfect day for a bride. And now, living in NYC and working for THE WEDDING BELLES, the premier bridal group in Manhattan as an assistant Wedding planner, she gets to help plan the weddings of the elite and rich. Her goal to be an actual wedding planner and not an assistant is within reach when she’s given the task of planning a quick, over the top wedding for a reality maven and debutante. Exhilarated, she’s also exhausted because of a pesky neighbor’s late night jam sessions wrecking havoc on her much needed sleep. Josh Tanner, the music playing
Josh Tanner, the music playing neighbor, is too good for his own sake, talented, and living life in the here and now. For him, that means no job, a new girl in his bed every night, and a devil may care attitude about life. Oh, a penchant for annoying the cute little neighbor in apartment 4c.
The attraction between these two is page-scorching and my fingers were singed quite a few times. Heather, who believes in a happily ever after for everyone but herself, and Josh, who vows to NEVER lose his heart to anyone are two people you just know have to get together. I hate spoilers, so I’ll stop myself there. You really need to read this book, though. I’m starting on book 1 tonight! 5 stars from me!
The definition of Irony? A dyslexic who hates reading inherits a bookstore.
When Gertrude “Trudy”Brown inherits her great aunt’s bookstore, Books from the Hart, she doesn’t even know it until a year after the old woman’s death. Vegan Trudy, who lives a life of freedom and noninvolvement, travels around in a vintage – and aging- Volkswagon Beetle with a nameless dog she stole from someone who abused it. Undiagnosed with dyslexia until later in life, Trudy has always been an outsider, especially in the town of Truhart where she was forced to live with her great aunt when Trudy’s mom died when Trudy was just 14. Due to her inability to read and her outsider status, life was miserable for the girl. Coupled with the fact her great aunt simply thought she was lazy and not suffering from a reading/learning disorder, Trudy never got the love, support, and care she really deserved. She hasn’t been back since she ran away at 15 and all she wants to do is sell the bookshop she hates and get out of Truhart as fast as she can. Her plans, though, get disrupted.
Christopher “Kit” Darlington, a visiting English professor from England wants to stop Trudy from selling the store but isn’t exactly honest about his reason why. The more time Trudy spends with Kit, and the more the residents of the town that used to make fun of her come to know her as an adult, have Trudy rethinking her plans to travel as far as she can get. When the real reason Kit doesn’t want Turdy to sell the shop is revealed, it’s a true test of how they’ll deal with the growing feelings they are having for one another.
I don’t like spoilers so I won’t tell you any more about the plot. What I will tell you is what a great read this book was. Trudy is a heroine we can all believe in. Snarky, engaging, and smarter than anyone – including her – realizes, she gives the face of dyslexia a human appearance and one you simply want to route for. The Bookshop on Autumn Lane is well worth a few hours of your time to read. I give it 5 stars!
The Trouble with Mistletoe (Heartbreaker Bay, #2 by Jill Shalvis (Goodreads Author)
Into her shop one day a few weeks before Christmas comes Keane Winters with a cat, dropped in his lap by an ailing aunt, and an irresistible air about him that he had when the two went to high school together. Willa has never forgotten the former jock, especially since he once did her a serious wrong. Keane, though, has no idea who Willa is. He just knows he needs help with the “cat from hell”and Willa seems like the answer to his pet sitting needs.
Keane can’t figure out why Willa is so antagonistic to him, but he can’t resist her snarky come backs, or the way animals – and people – respond to her.
All the characters Jill Shalvis introduced us to in the first Heartbreaker Bay, Sweet Little Lies, are present in this book as well. Shalvis is a master character-creator. When you read this book you feel as if you are reconnecting with old and very much loved friends. The witty banter between the main characters and the way she draws the friendships and love her characters have for one another, truly makes her a story-teller worth reading.
I wish I could give this book more than 5 stars!
by Maggie McGinnis (Goodreads Author)
A Cowboy Convert
Okay, I’m going to actually say this out loud, admit it and suffer the wrath of females everywhere: I’ve never really gotten the cowboy thing.
I know. Go ahead and curse me.
But…I’ve had a complete 180 turnaround ever since I finished an ARC of Maggie MacGinnis’s UNLUCKY in LOVE, her soon to be released novel in the Whisper Creek series. This book is so wonderful, the characters so damn real and fun, the cowboys so delicious, I now know what all the fuss is about- and I am a believer and a convert!
Alexis Maquire is left at the alter 2 weeks before her wedding. This isn’t the first time she’s been dumped so unceremoniously by a beau. Middle school, high school, even in college, the boys she dated where great, but they seemed to be dating her just until they “found someone better.” Which they always did. Alexis is still hung up on ex-fiancé “the Arse”, Tristan, and tries to figure out a way to get him back and make him love her forever. We’ve all been there, girls, haven’t we?
Her sister Katie gets her involved with a summer job as nurse at a ranch in Montana…with single, sexy, cowboys. Just the thing Katie thinks Alexis needs to get her out of her funk about her missed wedding. Oh, and while she’s in Montana, Katie has devised a new identity for her sister, of sorts. She’s not to be plain, old boring Alexis 1.0, but fun, flirtatious, willing to risk it all Lexi 2.0
But can Alexis embrace the new Lexi? Maybe, if it can help her become a better, happier Alexis and show The Arse that she really is marriage worthy.
Gunnar, a real honest to goodness cowboy- and Mr. July in the Whisper Creek Ranch calendar, picks Lexi up at the airport and right away finds her more than enough! But convincing her she doesn’t need to be a new improved version of herself is a tall task – one he’s more than willing to take on.
I hate spoilers, so I’ll stop the plot summary there. But I do want to wax prolific about Ms. McGinnis for a while.
If you haven’t read Maggie McGinnis before, you are in for a treat. Her writing style is easy and effortless, her dialogue spot on. I sat down intending to read a chapter or two and when I looked up I was half way through the book and only had to stop because I had to make dinner for the family! The powers that be categorize this book as a “Sweet Romance,” but let me tell you, there is enough heat , steam, and spark between these two main characters to spontaneously strike a match. And the secondary characters ( Alexis’ family and the people who work at the Ranch) were so beautifully drawn and realized, by the end of the book I felt like they were old friends, come for a visit.
Unlucky In Love is book 4 in the Whisper Creek series and today I am going out to purchase books 1-3 because I need to know what’s happened before with my “new” friends!
I wish I could give this book more than 5 stars.
by Jan Romes (Goodreads Author)
Olivia Pence and Dezz Casey have known each other forever – literally! From kindergarten, through grade school, to high school where they were co-valedictorians. They even work at the same magazine as writers.
Dezz has loved Olivia since the first moment he saw her, and like any little boy does, he showed his love in annoying, obnoxious little boy ways, like tripping her in school, or teasing her at the worst moments possible. Unfortunately, he continued that means of showing his affection into adulthood.
The duo have a relationship that not only pits them against one another, but that pushes them towards competing with one another, something they both seem to thrive on and which works for them. Up to a point, that is.
Dezz is quite literally a thorn in Olivia’s side in every way imaginable and all she wants to do is be free of him. Or does she?
I don’t like spoilers so I won’t go too much into the plot line because you should really read this charming story for yourself.
What I will tell you is that Ms Romes has a very easy writing style with true-to-life dialogue that trips off the page. I had planned on reading just a little at a time, but found myself devoting a whole day to finishing it because I just had to know what was in store next for these two lovable and appealing characters. I was rooting every page of the way for Dezz to finally win over his girl. With every step that he seemed to move forward, their relationship moved ten back. I love stories like this!
A sweet romance filled with charm, heart, and love, Wild Goose Chase is a lovely book to add to your summer reading list.
by Jayne Castle (Goodreads Author)
Hannah West and Elias Coppersmith practically sizzle off the page in Jayne Castle’s newest Harmony book, Illusion Town. Illusion Town is Harmony’s answer to Las vegas and is chock full of magician,s show girls, and mobsters ( who run the town and keep it orderly.)
Hired by Coopersmith to find a missing family heirloom, Hannah, aka The Finder, is a strong dream-talent. When she finally agrees to go out to dinner with Elias, they wake up the next day in a strange hotel room, disoriented and…married. Although it’s Harmony’s version of an MC( Marriage of Convenience), both soon begin to wonder about an actual life together.
Putting the pieces of their forgotten night together, they discover a plot to sabotage Hannah’s current claim on her inheritance. Along with Hannah’s dustbunny, Virgil, the duo fight off psychic ghosts, a motorcycle gang, and a crazed para-psychic who wants Hannah’s inheritance for her own.
Fans of Castle’s Harmony series will enjoy this twist on the Vegas lifestyle, as well as the fully drawn characters she puts into her psychic realm.