Friday, November 4, 2016

One Snowy Night (Heartbreaker Bay 2.5) by Jill Shalvis

Blurb… It’s Christmas Eve and Rory Andrews is desperate to get home to the family she hasn’t seen in years. Problem is, her only ride to Lake Tahoe comes in the form of the annoyingly handsome Max Stranton, and his big, goofy, lovable dog Carl.

Hours stuck in a truck with the dead sexy Max sounds like a fate worse than death (not), but Rory’s out of options. She’s had a crush on Max since high school and she knows he’s attracted to her, too. But they have history… and Max is the only one who knows why it went south.

They’ve done a good job of ignoring their chemistry so far, but a long road trip in a massive blizzard might be just what they need to face their past… and one steamy, snowy night is all it takes to bring Max and Rory together at last.

One Snowy Night is a wonderful holiday novella featuring Rory Andrews who, as we’ve learned from previous books, had a very troubled past. In this story she finally returns home to face that past and in the process discovers her future has been right in front of her all along.

Max Stranton is the kind of man I would love to be in love with. He’s strong, dependable, patient, and all kinds of sexy. Together, he and Rory made this holiday story a delight and I’m so, so happy for them!

My only complaint (which is a good kind of complaint) is that I wish Rory had gotten a longer story because she’s just such an awesome woman.

An ARC was provided by Avon Books. In appreciation I’m giving them an honest review.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Hating Game: A Novel by Sally Thorne


Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual.

Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking.

If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date? After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong.

Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

When Nancy, a friend from the Avon Addicts Group, couldn't stop raving about The Hating Game, I knew I had to give it a try, even though the angst-ridden, bitter rival stories seldom work for me because...well...they're angst-ridden. And bitter. I know a lot of people love this in their romance reading, but I'm not one of them. That said, The Hating Game definitely was all kinds of angsty, but in a fun, snicker-out-loud sort of way.

Josh and Lucy are both amazing characters, each flawed in a way that makes them the perfect match. And rather than choosing sides, I found myself happily cheering them both on in their quest to annoy each other. Their conniving and plotting and their many versions of "The Game" made this a story I couldn't put down. They bring one-upmanship to a whole new level, a level that had me smiling my way through their story. And the romance? Charming! Steamy, funny, unhurried... I loved it!

What a fantastic debut novel!!

An ARC was provided by Avon Books/William Morrow. In appreciation I'm giving them an honest review.

Purchase The Hating Game: A Novel by Sally Thorne on Amazon

Monday, October 3, 2016

Dukes Prefer Blondes (Dressmakers #4) by Loretta Chase


Just this time, can the beast tame the beauty?

Biweekly marriage proposals from men who can't see beyond her (admittedly breathtaking) looks are starting to get on Lady Clara Fairfax's nerves. Desperate to be something more than ornamental, she escapes to her favorite charity. When a child is in trouble, she turns to tall, dark, and annoying barrister Oliver Radford.

Though he's unexpectedly found himself in line to inherit a dukedom, Radford's never been part of fashionable society, and the blonde beauty, though not entirely bereft of brains, isn't part of his plans. But Clara overwhelms even his infallible logic, and when wedlock looms, all he can do is try not to lose his head over her.

It's an inconvenient marriage by ordinary standards, but these two are far from ordinary. Can the ton's most adored heiress and London's most difficult bachelor fall victim to their own unruly desires?

See, it's books like this that made me fall in love with Loretta Chase's stories years ago when I read Lord of Scoundrels and was swept off my feet. She knows how to write characters so wonderfully that they become living, breathing people who I want to know better. And the story plots are intriguing, compelling, and always leave me wanting more. She is, without a doubt, one of the very best historical romance authors out there.

Clara Fairfax is a force to be reckoned with which is one of the things I love most about this book. She's strong, intelligent, clever, and witty, and kept me on my toes because I never know what she might do next!

Oliver Radford, also known as Raven... what a great man. I really fell hard for him and enjoyed watching him come to terms with his feelings for Clara - and what those feelings would mean for his future. He, too, is strong, intelligent, clever, and witty, but he's also sexy, and passionate.

The bottom line: Even though it did start a bit slow, I really enjoyed this story, so much so I'm going to go back and read the first books in the series because I'm not ready to leave The Dressmakers world.

An ARC was provided by AvonBooks via Edelweiss. In appreciation I'm giving them an honest review.

Purchase Dukes Prefer Blondes (The Dressmakers Series) by Loretta Chase on Amazon

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Perks of Loving a Scoundrel (Seduction Diaries #3) by Jennifer McQuiston


Every girl dreams of a hero . . .

No one loves books more than Miss Mary Channing. Perhaps that’s why she’s reached the ripe old age of six-and-twenty without ever being kissed. Her future may be as bland as milk toast, but Mary is content to simply dream about the heroes and adventures she reads about in her books. That way she won’t end up with a villain instead.

But sometimes only a scoundrel will do.

When she unexpectedly finds herself in the arms of Geoffrey Westmore, London’s most notorious scoundrel, it feels a bit like a plot from one of her favorite novels. Suddenly, Mary understands why even the smartest heroines can fall prey to a handsome face. And Westmore is more handsome than most. But far worse than the damage to her reputation, the moment’s indiscretion uncovers an assassination plot that reaches to the highest levels of society and threatens the course of the entire country.

When a tight-laced miss and a scoundrel of epic proportions put their minds together, nothing can stand in their way. But unless they put their hearts together as well, a happy ending is anything but assured.

It’s no surprise that Ms. McQuiston has a loyal following of readers, and it’s the way she brings her characters to life and draws us into their world that keeps us coming back for more – and what a world it is! The tales she tells are not your run-of-the-mill historical romances, they are unique, compelling, exciting, and sure to entertain, first page to the last.

The entire supporting cast is a delight, but Mary and West are wonderful! Each has a strong, independent determination (AKA stubbornness) about them that had me not only laughing and sighing, but also falling in love with them and cheering them onto their happily ever after!

Note: If you love historical romance but haven’t yet tried this author’s writing, you’re missing out and need to take the plunge. Even though The Perks of Loving a Scoundrel is the 3rd in the Seduction Diaries series, I can assure you it can easily be read as a standalone.

An ARC was provided by Avon Books. In appreciation I’m giving them an honest review.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Family Tree: A Novel by Susan Wiggs


Sometimes the greatest dream starts with the smallest element. A single cell, joining with another. And then dividing. And just like that, the world changes.

Annie Harlow knows how lucky she is. The producer of a popular television cooking show, she loves her handsome husband and the beautiful Manhattan home they share. And now, she’s pregnant with their first child.

But in an instant, her life is shattered. And when Annie awakes from a year-long coma, she discovers that time isn’t the only thing she's lost.

Grieving and wounded, Annie retreats to her old family home in Switchback, Vermont, a maple farm generations old. There, surrounded by her free-spirited brother, their divorced mother, and four young nieces and nephews, Annie slowly emerges into a world she left behind years ago: the town where she grew up, the people she knew before, the high-school boyfriend turned ex-cop. And with the discovery of a cookbook her grandmother wrote in the distant past, Annie unearths an age-old mystery that might prove the salvation of the family farm.

Family Tree is the story of one woman’s triumph over betrayal, and how she eventually comes to terms with her past. It is the story of joys unrealized and opportunities regained. Complex, clear-eyed and big-hearted, funny, sad, and wise, it is a novel to cherish and to remember.

This is a thought provoking story of one woman's journey to reclaim her dreams, her heart, and her life. It's more women's fiction than contemporary romance or chick-lit, but the romance is there and it's sweet. I enjoyed getting to know Annie and Fletcher and the rest of Switchback, Vermont's residents, but I have to admit that I had a problem with Annie who I found rather selfish in the relationship department. I get needing to focus on your career but too often, it seemed, Fletcher played second fiddle to Annie's. One last thing; this isn't a light read. It's actually quite emotional, and even a bit depressing at times, though understandably so. However, there is also humor, poignancy, and so much foodie talk that all I could think about was snacking!

Overall, Family Tree is compelling and entertaining, and I'm looking forward to reading more by Susan Wiggs.

An ARC was provided by William Morrow publishing. In appreciation I'm giving them an honest review.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A Sister's Wish (Charmed Amish Life #3) by Shelley Shepard Gray


Amelia Kinsinger is the perfect Amish woman—at least according to her neighbors. And while Amelia takes pride in her role as homemaker, she’s also harboring a secret: She’s been in love with bad boy Simon Hochstetler for as long as she can remember. Too bad he’s about as far from “perfect” as an Amish man could get… but that’s exactly why she’s so drawn to him.

Life hasn’t been kind to Simon. He ran away from an abusive home at fifteen and things went downhill from there. Eventually, Simon landed in prison. But the experience changed him. Now back in Charm as a grown man, he’s determined to make a new life for himself and not think too much about his wild past…unless it pertains to Amelia.

He’s loved Amelia for years. To him, she represents everything good and kind in the world. When he realizes that she returns his affections, he starts calling on her in secret, even though her older brother Lukas—who just happens to be Simon’s best friend—has made it perfectly clear that Amelia deserves better. Simon disagrees and believes he’s the only one who can truly make her happy.

But when Amelia gets hurt, it sets off a chain of events that forces them to consider their future together—and face their past mistakes. There’s a chance for love… but only if Simon dares to trust Amelia with the secrets of his past.

Life stops when you stop dreaming. Hope ends when you stop believing. Love ends when you stop caring. Friendship ends when you stop sharing. —AMISH PROVERB

Oh, I didn't want this to end! A Sister’s Wish is a beautiful, poignant story about forgiveness, both given and received. It’s about never giving up on those you love, and cherishing the time you have with them.

From the start I was pulled in, cheering for Amy and Simon to find their way to each other, even though it wasn’t going to be an easy journey. Any Christian knows that it’s not for us to decide who is worthy of forgiveness, so I was appalled at Lukas and Rebecca’s interference and heartbroken by their judgment of Simon. To be honest, I shed a few tears reading about Simon's past and how that past is affecting his and Amelia's future because of ‘well meaning’ Christians. But they held fast to their love, listening to their hearts and making their happily ever after a well deserved thing of beauty!

With her Charmed Amish Life series, Shelley Shepard Gray gives us moving stories about people of faith searching for happiness and love with others who share that faith. I’ll mention this again – while this is a contemporary Christian romance, it has a bit of a historical feel thanks to the simple life these amazing people are living.

The bottom line - this series is absolutely wonderful and perfect for Christians and anyone else looking for a feel good romance without explicit sex or the kind of drama inherent in the secular world. I hope we'll get to spend more time in Charm, Ohio because there are many there whose stories need to be told.

An ARC was provided by Avon Inspire, an imprint of Avon Books. In appreciation I’m giving them an honest review.

The Trouble With Mistletoe (Heartbreaker Bay #2) by Jill Shalvis


If she has her way . . .

Willa Davis is wrangling puppies when Keane Winters stalks into her pet shop with frustration in his chocolate-brown eyes and a pink bedazzled cat carrier in his hand. He needs a kitty sitter, stat. But the last thing Willa needs is to rescue a guy who doesn’t even remember her . . .

He’ll get nothing but coal in his stocking.

Saddled with his great-aunt’s Feline from Hell, Keane is desperate to leave her in someone else’s capable hands. But in spite of the fact that he’s sure he’s never seen the drop-dead-gorgeous pet shop owner before, she seems to be mad at him . . .

Unless he tempers “naughty” with a special kind of nice . . .

Willa can’t deny that Keane’s changed since high school: he’s less arrogant, for one thing—but can she trust him not to break her heart again? It’s time to throw a coin in the fountain, make a Christmas wish—and let the mistletoe do its work . . .

Jill Shalvis is one of the best contemporary romance authors out there and her stories are fun, poignant, sexy, and always, always leave me wanting more. Whether we're in Lucky Harbor, Cedar Ridge, or Heartbreaker Bay, I never, ever want to leave!

Willa Davis is an awesome woman! She's caring, selfless, compassionate... but she can hold a grudge like nobody's business, which she does against Keane Winters, the jock who stood her up the night of her first highschool dance (years earlier, mind you). But when he shows up at her pet salon, desperate for her help, she just can't say no...well, she can easily say no to Keane (remember she's a grudge holder) but she can't say no to that poor pitiful cat he needs to board.

Keane is in a pickle and needs Willa's boarding services, but the woman seems to have something against him and he has no idea what it is. But beggars can't be choosers so he decides to ignore her attitude and just be grateful she's agreed to watch the cat! It's not like this is about anything other than business, afterall....

Until, (there's always an 'until' in romance novels!) until the attraction between them becomes undeniable. They quickly learn that, if there's any hope at all for them to be together, they need to let go of their pasts, open their eyes and their hearts, and take a chance.

Sometimes in romance novels one of the main characters will have issues while the other is solid...grounded. What I love most about the story is that Willa and Keane are both...damaged. They accept that they both have issues and understand that they can lean on each other to overcome those issues, if they hope to have a life filled with love, laughter, and a happily ever after.

Oh, how I'm looking forward to the next installment. It's going to be a hum-dinger, that's for sure!

An ARC was provided by Avon Books via Edelweiss. In appreciation I'm giving them an honest review.

Do You Want to Start a Scandal? (Spindle Cove #5) by Tessa Dare


On the night of the Parkhurst ball, someone had a scandalous tryst in the library.

~Was it Lord Canby, with the maid, on the divan?
~Or Miss Fairchild, with a rake, against the wall?
~Perhaps the butler did it.

All Charlotte Highwood knows is this: it wasn’t her. But rumors to the contrary are buzzing. Unless she can discover the lovers’ true identity, she’ll be forced to marry Piers Brandon, Lord Granville—the coldest, most arrogantly handsome gentleman she’s ever had the misfortune to embrace. When it comes to emotion, the man hasn’t got a clue.

But as they set about finding the mystery lovers, Piers reveals a few secrets of his own. The oh-so-proper marquess can pick locks, land punches, tease with sly wit … and melt a woman’s knees with a single kiss. The only thing he guards more fiercely than Charlotte’s safety is the truth about his dark past.

Their passion is intense. The danger is real. Soon Charlotte’s feeling torn. Will she risk all to prove her innocence? Or surrender it to a man who’s sworn to never love?

I don't often squee when I hear about a new book release, but I always do when it's a book by Tessa Dare who makes historical romance fun, exciting, and passionate!

Do You Want to Start a Scandal is not only a wonderful romance, it's also a great mystery. The way it all unfolds is brilliantly told and oh, how I loved it! When it comes to historical romance, Tessa Dare always delivers the very best! I adore Charlotte and Piers, and watching them obtain their scandalous happily ever after was comical, and suited them perfectly!!

An ARC was provided by Avon Books and in appreciation I'm giving them an honest review.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Slow Burn (Colorado High Country #2) by Pamela Clare


Victoria Woodley is done with men. Fresh off a dating nightmare, she flies from her home in Chicago to Scarlet Springs to take part in her best friend’s wedding. Who picks her up at the airport? Eric Hawke. Of course. She made a fool of herself over him last time she was here. He’s cocky, charming, and sexy as sin. But the fact that she’s attracted to him is all the proof she needs that he’s bad news. She would ignore him if she could. But he’s the best man, and she’s the maid of honor. She can’t just tell him to jump in a lake—especially not when her lips are locked with his.

Eric isn’t looking for a relationship. Between running the firehouse and volunteering for the county’s search and rescue team, he has enough on his plate. He doesn’t need to get tangled up with a woman from the big city, especially one whose idea of roughing it is going without designer coffee. Yet from the moment he looks into Victoria’s big brown eyes, the attraction he feels is too strong to deny. Faster than he can imagine, the spark of desire that has smoldered between them since the first day they met will flare into full-blown passion.

But can Eric convince Victoria to set aside her doubts and trust him with her heart before their time together runs out?

There are very few authors who write contemporary romance (or ANY genre she writes in) as well as Pamela Clare does, and her Colorado High Country series is easily one of my favorites. The way she tells a story is exactly the story I want to read; no contrived drama, no silly misunderstandings to fill the page count. Nope, the stories she tells are filled with romance, passion, humor, and characters I ALWAYS fall in love with!

Eric and Victoria are amazing. They are from different worlds - one from a world of money and one not - but both are solid. Down to the core they are good people, the kind I'd be proud to call friends or family. They have their issues but those issues don't define them or keep them from being happy, and that, in my opinion, is what makes them so real and why I fell so hard for them and enjoyed their story so much.

The bottom line - I absolutely adore Scarlet Springs and the people who live there. Truth be told, if I could find such a place I'd do everything in my power to get there, and get there fast!

To learn more about Pamela Clare and her books, visit her blog: At Home with Pamela Clare

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Shanna by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss


All of London knows the Duke of Rutherford has position and wealth. They also whisper that he’s dissolute, devilish, and determinedly unwed. So why, everyone is asking, has he hired a governess?

When Miss Lily Russell crosses the threshold of the Duke of Rutherford’s stylish townhouse, she knows she has come face to face with sensual danger. For this is no doting papa. Rather, his behavior is scandalous, and his reputation rightly earned. And his pursuit of her is nearly irresistible—but resist she must for the sake of her pupil.

As for the duke himself, it was bad enough when his unknown child landed on his doorstep. Now Lily, with her unassuming beauty, has aroused his most wicked fantasies—and, shockingly, his desire to change his wanton ways. He’s determined to become worthy of her, and so he asks for her help in correcting his behavior.

But Lily has a secret, one that, if it becomes known, could change everything . . .onsents to wed a beautiful heiress . . . in return for one night of unparalleled pleasure.

In the fading echoes of hollow wedding vows, a promise is broken -- as a sensuous free-spirit flees to a lush Caribbean paradise, abandoning the handsome stranger she married to the gallows. But Ruark Beauchamp's destiny is now eternally intertwined with his exquisite, tempestuous Shanna's. And no iron ever forged can imprison his magnificent passion . . . and no hangman's noose will deny him the ecstasy that is rightfully his.


This is my first foray into the brilliance that is Kathleen E. Woodiwiss's writing, even though I've had some of her books on my shelves for years. But when the publisher sent me a copy of Shanna I decided that there's no time like the present, and dove right in. And oh, how glad I am that I did because this isn't just a historical romance, it's an epic love story. There's mystery, romance, passion, sword fights, pirates, kidnapping, murder...start to finish it's one captivating, exciting adventure!

Needless to say - but I'll say it anyway - I'll be reading more of this author's writing, very soon!

My thanks to Avon Books for providing me with a copy of this story. In appreciation I'm giving them an honest review.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Duke's Guide to Correct Behavior (Dukes Behaving Badly #1) by Megan Frampton


All of London knows the Duke of Rutherford has position and wealth. They also whisper that he’s dissolute, devilish, and determinedly unwed. So why, everyone is asking, has he hired a governess?

When Miss Lily Russell crosses the threshold of the Duke of Rutherford’s stylish townhouse, she knows she has come face to face with sensual danger. For this is no doting papa. Rather, his behavior is scandalous, and his reputation rightly earned. And his pursuit of her is nearly irresistible—but resist she must for the sake of her pupil.

As for the duke himself, it was bad enough when his unknown child landed on his doorstep. Now Lily, with her unassuming beauty, has aroused his most wicked fantasies—and, shockingly, his desire to change his wanton ways. He’s determined to become worthy of her, and so he asks for her help in correcting his behavior.

But Lily has a secret, one that, if it becomes known, could change everything . . .

The Duke’s Guide to Correct Behavior is the first in Megan Frampton’s Dukes Behaving Badly series. It’s a fun, romantic, sexy story that does what I love most in my historical romance reading – it makes a mockery of the ton and the self righteous, pompous imbeciles who inhabit it.

I can’t begin to list all the things I most enjoyed about this story, but I can assure you that, at the top of the list, is Rose, the Duke of Rutherford’s adorable daughter. Sometimes kids in stories can be too charming, too adorable, and too precocious, but not Rose. Rose is a delightful, inquisitive child and I fell in love with her from the start!

Lily and Marcus are a great match, and the journey to their happily ever after made me laugh, sigh, and fan myself. The unconventional (for the times) way they handled themselves and their relationship has made them one of my favorite couples. My only real complaint? The ending was very abrupt. I would have loved to see this amazing family a few years down the road, to get a peek at how Marcus, Lily, and Rose (and any future additions to the garden) were doing.

I’m excited to move on to read Put Up Your Duke next!

An ARC was provided by Avon Books. In return I’m giving them an honest review.

Click here to purchase "The Duke's Guide to Correct Behavior" from Amazon

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Bounty (Colorado Mountain #7) by Kristen Ashley


Justice Lonesome has enjoyed a life of bounty.

Even so, she’s inherited the curse of the Lonesome. A poet’s soul. Which means she’s still searching for something. Searching for peace. Searching for the less…that’s more.

And when the foundation of her life is pulled out from under her, grieving, she goes to the mountains to find her oasis. She hits Carnal, Colorado and decides to stay.

Deke Hightower lost everything at the age of two. He lost it again at fifteen. His life has not been about bounty. It’s been about learning to live with less, because there’s no way to get more.

Deke’s also watched all his friends go down to the women who gave them what they needed. He wants that for himself. But he knows that search isn’t going to be easy because he’s a rider. His home is the road. That’s the only place he can breathe. And the woman who takes her place at his side has to do it sitting on the back of his bike.

When Deke meets Justice, he knows she’s not that woman. She’s cute. She’s sweet. And she’s into him, but she’s got it all and Deke knows he won’t fit into that. So he holds her at arm’s length. Establishes boundaries. And Justice will take it because she wants Deke any way he’ll let her have him.

But when Justice finds herself a pawn in a dangerous game, Deke makes a decision.

When he does, he has no idea he’s just opened himself up to bounty.

Bounty is the 7th book in Kristen Ashley’s Colorado Mountain series. It’s a story of loving hard and living big, even when your heart is breaking. In case you haven’t done a re-read of the series lately, allow me to (in Krys’s words) give you a quick recap:

“That crazy lumber guy in Gnaw Bone, hirin’ hits, kidnappin’ people and shootin’ folk. Dalton, our own personal serial killer. Fuller and his pig cops keepin’ everyone under their thumbs, framin’ Ty for murder, extraditing his ass to LA to rot in prison for five years.”

I was blinking rapidly at all her words, but Krys didn’t notice.

She was still talking.

“Thought we hit enough extreme to last a lifetime, then we had those lunatics who lost their shit thinkin’ it’d be exposed and buryin’ Faye alive. Bigger lunatic church lady holdin’ those two poor kids hostage in her basement for years. And if that wasn’t bad enough, then came those fuckin’ crazy teachers brainwashing kids into robbin’ houses. All a’ that goin’ down, no one wants near Carnal, Gnaw Bone or Chantelle. It’s the fuckin’ Bermuda Triangle of the Rockies.”

Yeah, I hadn't exactly forgotten all the crazy that happened there, but when Krys gave Justice the run-down, I'd be lying if I said I didn't laugh out loud.

For many reasons I love this story! Deke and Justice are great people. They’re fun, talented, open, compassionate… and when they come together they’re amazing. Their sexual attraction and chemistry is a thing of wonder, but it’s the way their souls fit, the way they make each other whole that won my heart.

Anyway.... as much as I love Deke and Justice, it was the time spent with Krys and Bubba, Chace and Faye, Max and Nina, Tate and Lauren, and Ty and Lexie...Shambles and Sunny, Ham and Zara, Wood and Maggie...the list goes on and on... and all this really rocked BOUNTY for me. Man, how I’ve missed the Colorado Mountains and the amazing - albeit quirky - people who live there!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A Better Man (Sunshine Creek Vineyard #1) by Candis Terry


Meet the Kincade brothers: they’ll do what it takes to protect their legacy—but what happens when love gets in the way?

Hockey star Jordan Kincade wasted no time ditching Sunshine Valley and everyone who mattered for a career in the NHL—a truth Jordan confronts when his parents’ deaths bring him home. Now he’s back to make amends, which begins with keeping his younger sister from flunking out of school. It’s just his luck that the one person who can help is the girl whose heart he broke years ago.

Lucy Diamond has racked up a number of monumental mistakes in her life, the first involving a certain blue-eyed charmer. She has no intention of falling for Jordan Kincade again, but when he shows up asking her to help one of her students, Lucy just can’t say no. Worse, the longer he’s back, the more she sees how much he’s changed. And so when a blistering kiss turns to more, she can’t help but wonder if her heart will be crushed again . . . or if she’ll discover true love with a better man..

A Better Man is the first book in Ms. Terry’s new Sunshine Creek Vineyard series. It touched me on many levels, but most deeply in regards to Nicole, Jordan’s 17 year old sister, who like many teens her age has an attitude problem, which seems to be going from bad to worse. Jordan is taking the brunt of her wrath and as he takes a closer look at his role in her life – or non-role, in this case – he can’t help but want to do whatever he can to help her work her way through the tragic loss of their parents. Everyone assumes it’s that loss that has Nicole turned inside out, but it turns out to be much more than that.

Lucy Diamond is a wonderful woman. She’s smart, compassionate, attractive…but trust doesn’t come easy to her, and this is another aspect to the story that touched me. Her past hasn’t defined her but it has made her very cautious. Too cautious, even to the point of not living her life to it's fullest. Part of that has to do with Jordan, but mostly it's due to an awful marriage to a man she met in college, but barely knew. Now with Jordan back in Sunshine Valley she’s emotionally thrown off kilter and has to decide if he’s worth risking her heart to, again.

Candis Terry is easily one of the best contemporary romance authors out there. Her characters are relatable, their lives are believable and, without fail, the stories she gives us are funny, romantic, and poignant. She is, no doubt about it, an amazing writer and I’m excited to spend more time with the Kincade brothers in Sunshine Valley.

An ARC was provided by Avon Books. In appreciation I’m giving them an honest review.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Dark Blood (Carpathians (Dark) #26) by Christine Feehan


At long last you are truly back with us…

Zev Hunter was an elite warrior, a dark-blood dealer of death to rogue Lycans who preyed on mankind. He was a loner, never given to personal attachments, and damned fierce at his job. But Zev begins to question his past and his purpose when he awakens in the darkness of the sacred cave of warriors—and is soothed back to consciousness by the sensuously familiar voice of one woman, the woman who has haunted his fantasies for centuries. She was Branislava, member of the Dragonseeker clan…

Mother Earth called the ancients to witness your rebirth…

For this half-mage, half-Carpathian temptress, the ritual of awakening Zev to the council of warriors was the only way to save him. Locked away for his own protection, the time has now come for his rebirth, for his blood to stir with that of the ancient warriors before him. He has been assured by Branislava that their fates are entwined, that their spirits are woven together for eternity and that his new purpose in life is beyond imagining.

Now, with a blood-sworn vow of honor, mercy and endurance, and under the influence of a siren as bewitching as Branislava, Zev begins to wonder what his purpose is, what it means for the future of the Carpathians and what it is about his rebirth that he has to fear…

It was with no small amount of trepidation that I read this book, because I had seen reviews which were pretty harsh regarding the way the villians were revealed in Dark Blood, saying Ms. Feehan was grasping when she came up with this plot. Do I understand why people might feel that way? Yes, but I have to be honest – I completely disagree, and I am so glad I chose to take the chance and find out for myself.

Zev and Branislava’s story is exciting. It’s fast paced, loaded with twists and turns and more “holy cow I didn’t see that coming” moments than I can remember reading in a long time. Ms. Feehan continues to amaze me with her imagination. The magic, the spells, the creatures, beings, and people… I find myself re-reading these parts because they’re so well described and plotted out.

Speaking of the plot – these books really do have an underlying similarity in that they all focus on the survival of the various races and the destruction of the evil vampires. What really got to me about Dark Blood was how the subject of racism and prejudice between species was brought into the story and how very heartbreaking and poignant it was. “Ignorance is bliss”, some might say – but in this case ignorance is tragic. I shed a few tears there at the end but loved how this story made me feel.

Oh, so many feels!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Dark Wolf (Carpathian (Dark) #25) by Christine Feehan


In Dark Lycan, Christine Feehan journeyed into the heart of the Carpathians, and into the souls of two lifemates stirred by the flush of passion and the threat of annihilation. In Dark Wolf, the breathtaking story continues as the bonds of family are imperiled, and the fate of two lovers lies hidden in the seductive shadows between life and death.

Skyler Daratrazanoff always recognized the miracle that was Dimitri Tirunul, a man beyond any dream that had ever engaged her nights. But she was human. Vulnerable. He was Carpathian. Nearly immortal. She was nineteen. He was an ancient. Yet she held half his soul, the light to his darkness. Without her, he would not survive. Caught between the two warring species, Dimitri has spent centuries hunting the undead to keep his people free, and humans safe. He had survived honorably when others had chosen to give up their souls. But now, marked for extermination by the Lycans, Dimitri found himself alone, and fearing for his life. But salvation was coming…

No Lycan would ever suspect someone like Skyler to dare mount a secret rescue operation. A teenage girl. A human of untested abilities. But she had something no one else had. She was predestined for Dimitri—as he was for her. And there was nothing stronger for Skyler than her desire to see her life-dream come true. Whatever the risk.

Dimitri and Skyler's story is amazing! It's exciting, romantic, but most of all, it's poignant. The childhood hell Sky lived through wounded her, but didn't break her. She's stronger than ever and with Dimitri's unconditional love and encouragement she's becoming a force to be reckoned with!

These last few installments I've read have blown me away! Non-stop action, passion, lots of twists and turns, and the Carpathian's world is changing in ways I never imagined, but am totally excited about.

If you're a fan of fantasy/paranormal romance but haven't yet read Ms. Feehan's stories - any of her series - you're missing out! Wait no longer, and just take the leap into some of the most amazing fictional worlds out there. You'll be glad you did!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Dark Lycan (Carpathian (Dark) #24) by Christine Feehan


Tatijana of the Dragonseekers spent centuries encased in ice with her sister, trapped in limbo between life and death, never speaking to a soul other than those who tormented her. Now, she has been freed from her frozen prison by an unknown descendent. Awakened in human form, Tatijana yearns to explore the modern world in which she now lives—a world with more mysteries than she is prepared for.

Fenris Dalka has returned to the Carpathian Mountains after a long absence to be with his brother. He is scarred by centuries of battle, and every hard-won victory. But the real reason for his return home could prove deadly if discovered by the wrong man—or woman. Upon his arrival, he is compelled by a beautiful and enigmatic stranger who carries the scent of fresh earth, of forest, of the night itself.

In time Tatijana and Fenris will discover all that unites them—their secrets and pasts, their predators, and the hot flush of passion that stirs their souls. Yet just as surely, seduced into the silvery darkness of a full-moon night, they’ll also discover everything ancient and evil that exists to destroy them.

This book is absolutely amazing. I'm not joking when I say that, start to finish, Dark Lycan is white knuckles, edge of your seat action. As I said before, the Carpathian's world is changing in ways I never imagined it would. It's becoming more dangerous, more complex, and the stories are almost impossible to put down!

Tatijana of the Dragonseekers lineage, after centuries of captivity at the hands of her depraved great grandfather Xavier an evil and powerful Mage, is tired of resting. She's finally free and she's ready to spread her wings - no pun intended - and learn of the world that evolved while she was trapped in an icy tomb. While out and about she finds herself in the company of Fenris Dalka, a man who is much more than he appears to be, a man with secrets he wants to keep hidden. It doesn't take long for them to realize that they are lifemates and, once they do, the passion they share sets the pages on fire.

I am always amazed at Christine Feehan's imagination. The worlds she creates are unlike any others in their genres - and if there are similar worlds it's likely because she was copied. The stories are fast paced, exciting adventures filled with danger, romance and passion. They keep you guessing, keep you trying to puzzle out the problem, and keep you turning the pages into the wee hours of the night - or morning.

I'm thrilled to have picked up the Carpathians again. I didn't realize how much I was missing them!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Playing Dirty (Bad Boys Undercover #1) by HelenKay Dimon


As an elite Alliance agent—the joint undercover operation of MI6, the British Secret Intelligence Service, and the CIA—Ford Decker lives for the adrenaline. But when he befriends sexy property manager Shay Alexander in hopes of finding her cousin, a known national security threat, Ford crosses the line, getting to know her better . . . in bed.

After being burned by her last relationship, Shay wants to take things slow. Yet she can't keep her hands off the drop-dead gorgeous hottie who's moved into her apartment building. So when Ford's identity as an undercover agent is exposed, his betrayal cuts deep. Shay never wants to see him again, but Ford can't let her go, not when her life is still in danger. He will sacrifice everything to protect her, then be prepared to walk away from the only woman he's ever loved, even if it breaks him.

Terrorists and traitors and spies, oh my!

Playing Dirty is the first book in HelenKay Dimon’s Bad Boys Undercover series and it’s a sexy, fast paced tale. There’s a whodunit type mystery involved with lots of twists and turns.

Ford and Shay are great characters, both with pasts they can’t seem to leave there – in the past. They’re attracted to each other and their sexual chemistry is off the charts, but they just can’t seem to … trust or open their hearts to one another. I suppose that makes sense on Ford’s part given that Shay is an unwitting player in his mission to find a potentially deadly ‘terrorist’, not someone he should be falling in love with.

I truly enjoyed Playing Dirty. The world Ms. Dimon has created is more than a little exciting and definitely intriguing. Then, add-in the amazing cast and this is a series not to be missed!

An ARC was provided by Avon Books. In appreciation I'm giving them an honest review.

Click here to purchase Playing Dirty from Amazon

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Dark Storm (Carpathians (Dark) #23) by Christine Feehan


Awakening after all this time in a world of absolute darkness and oppressive heat, Dax wonders in how many ways the world above must have changed. But it is how he has changed that fills him with dread and loathing. Buried alive for hundreds of years in a volcano in the Carpathian Mountains, Dax fears that he has become the full-fledged abomination that every Carpathian male fears, a victim of the insidious evil that has crept relentlessly into his mind and body over the centuries. But there are some things that never change.

His name is Mitro, the vampire Dax had hunted all these long centuries. Second in command to the prince of the Carpathian people he is the epitome of everything malevolent, and perpetrator of one of the most shocking killing sprees known to man - and beast. Even his friends and family weren't safe from Mitro's bloodlust. Neither was Mitro's lifemate, Arabejila, an extraordinary woman with extraordinary gifts. But now that Dax has re-emerged, so too has Mitro. The ultimate battle between good and evil has been re-engaged. Between Dax and Mitro, a violent game has begun - one that has marked Riley Parker, the last descendent of Arabejila, as the reward.

I’ve been a fan of Christine Feehan’s Carpathians for years now, but the last few books haven’t WOW’d me like the earlier books did… until now. Dark Storm is, start to finish, an action packed and passionate story!

The Carpathian world is so intense, so detailed, and so exciting. It’s a complex world filled with compelling people and beings. It’s a world of hunters vs. vampires, good vs. evil, and in Dark Storm the very best of this world comes into play. Dax and Riley are perfect for each other. They are both are solid, mature people who trust their instincts and each other, so there isn't a lot of relationship drama and back and forth bickering, which helped make this one of my favorites of the series.

The bottom line...

I was captivated from the start, unable to put it down, and I'm excited to have the next book in my hot little hands!

Click here to purchase Dark Storm from Amazon

Friday, February 19, 2016

A Son's Vow (The Charmed Amish Life #1) by Shelley Shepard Gray Virtual Tour

Welcome to my blog and my stop on the Tasty Books Tours "A Son's Vow" Blog Tour. Be sure to read to the end and enter the awesome Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win 1 of 3 print sets of Shelley Shepard Gray's The Amish Brides of Pinecraft.


Three months ago, everything changed for Darla Kurtz and her family. Darla’s father was responsible for a terrible fire at Charm’s lumber mill which killed five Amish men. And though he, too, lost his life, the town of Charm hasn’t looked at her family the same since. Even Lukas Kinsinger—with whom Darla used to have a close friendship.

Now her brother’s anger at the town is spilling over onto Darla, and she has the bruises to prove it. The accident already cost five lives, but if something doesn’t change soon, Darla fears it will cost her—and her family—even more.

Lukas Kinsinger wants to mourn the loss of his father, but he can hardly find the time to breathe. Suddenly the head of his father’s lumber mill and responsible for taking care of his three siblings, he’s feeling the pressure. He has also never felt more alone—especially with the new tension between he and Darla. But when he learns of her troubles at home, Lukas knows he can’t simply stand by and watch. Someone has to help her before another tragedy occurs.

As Lukas and Darla attempt to repair their families, they discover something deeper than friendship growing between them. But will Lukas and Darla’s love be accepted after so much loss? Or will the pain of the past overcome any chance of future happiness?

Shelley Shepard Gray writes inspirational romance novels, stories filled with hope, joy, and unconditional love. A Son's Vow is the first book in Ms. Shepard's new The Charmed Amish Life series and the first I've read by her, and I can't express just how much I enjoyed this story.

Sometimes what I want is a feel-good, meaningful story, and that's exactly what this is. Despite what you might think, this isn't merely a charming Christian romance, it's an emotional story of overcoming life's tragedies, accepting responsibility for your own actions, and letting go of your anger so you can find the compassion to forgive - and the strength to accept forgiveness. And through all heartache, A Sons Vow is a beautiful romance and an uplifting story.

I'm looking forward to making frequent visits to the Amish village of Charm, Ohio because there are many amazing people there whose stories need to be told.

Amazon | B&N | Google Play | iTunes | Kobo

Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and
USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction
Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Hold Medallion winner. She
lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can
often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Wild Bells to the Wild Sky by Laurie McBain


West Indies, 1571. Shipwrecked on an island for most of her young life, Lily Christian is rescued by the dashing sea captain, Valentine Whitelaw. On the voyage back to England, Lily falls hard for the sun-bronzed man, but her love is not returned.

Back among the glittering halls of court, Valentine tries to forget the young beauty he plucked from the Caribbean. But when he discovers innocent Lily is caught up in a treacherous plot to murder the queen, he will do everything in his power to protect Lily and save his liege. Thrust together into perilous adventure, Valentine and Lily have only each other to trust...and to love.

Wild Bells to the Wild Sky took me by surprise. I hadn’t read anything by Laurie McBain prior to Wild Bells but, from reviews I had seen, I knew this wouldn’t be a run-of-the-mill historical romance. Even so, I wasn’t expecting the epic adventure spanning decades and continents which took me on an exciting journey that had me holding my breath, afraid to read on but unable to put it down.

I had seen a review calling this a ‘bodice-ripper’, but I’m not sure that’s accurate as there was no actual bodice-ripping, no rape…not even an unwanted fondling or groping. Still, I could definitely ‘feel’ the 80’s writing, the kind of storytelling that came before authors were expected to keep page count to a minimum... and I loved every word!

Filled with richly detailed period apparel, elaborate coiffures, architecture, landscapes, and accurately portrayed (though fictionalized) political maneuverings and machinations, I felt as though I was there in Elizabethan England! I could imagine myself walking along the deck of the Arion and the Madrigal, living on a Caribbean island paradise, visiting the royal courts of Elizabeth, The Virgin Queen, traveling with gypsies, escaping danger… I could go on and on but suffice it to say - what a wonderful reading experience this was!

There’s no doubt about it – I will be reading everything Laurie McBain has written. And, thankfully, it appears that her stories are being re-released in e-book (if they aren’t all already) and this makes me very happy!

The bottom line… Wild Bells to the Wild Sky is so much more than a historical romance - it's an intriguing, exciting, poignant, romantic adventure!

An ARC was provided by Sourcebooks Casablanca and in appreciation I’m giving them an honest review!

Click here to purchase Wild Bells to the Wild Sky from Amazon

Monday, February 15, 2016

Barefoot with a Bad Boy (Barefoot Bay Undercover #3) by Roxanne St. Claire

A man who trusts no one is forced to believe the unbelievable...

For years, former spy Gabriel Rossi has been secretly searching for CIA linguist Isadora Winter, a woman he loved and lost long ago. But recently, he learned of her untimely death in an accident...and death of her son named Gabe. Angry, hurt, and uncertain of his next move, Gabe is stunned when a woman he's never met approaches him on the beach and claims to be Isadora. She doesn't look, act, or talk like his beloved Isa, but she knows things about their past that only a lover could know, and she assures him that his son is alive as well. As much as he wants to believe her and knows that in the spy world, anything is possible, doubts and distrust plague him. Still, he sees glimmers of the woman he once knew shine through and she begins to melt his hardened heart.

A woman who is tortured by emotions must endure the pain of love...

Lila Wickham has been working deep undercover for so long that sometimes she's forgotten who she really is. Now that her assignment is over and the surgeries she endured left her utterly changed, she is determined to fix the broken life she left behind and assure that her little boy is safe. With lingering threats from an unknown source and blinding headaches that torment her whenever she feels deep emotion, she seeks Gabe Rossi for help and protection. But instead of setting her up with a new undercover identity, he insists on luring her nemesis to Barefoot Bay so he can end the threat to Lila and her son once and for all.

Can they survive the worst betrayal of all?

Even if they succeed in drawing out the killer who has Lila in his sights, a much more serious threat hovers over them...a treacherous, deadly truth that could not only destroy their love but end their lives as well.

Barefoot with a Bad Boy is the 3rd book in Roxanne St. Claire’s Barefoot Bay Undercover series. It’s a story filled with passion, adventure, romance and lots of humor. There are twists and turns - some expected and some totally not expected, and a great supporting cast made of up quirky, totally endearing people!

Gabe Rossi is one of my favorite romantic suspense hero types in that he’s cocky, sexy, honorable, and willing to do whatever needs to be done to bring down the baddies and save the woman he loves. But Lila is strong, independent, and capable of bringing down the baddies and doing some saving of her own!

As with her Bullet Catchers and Guardian Angelinos series, Barefoot Bay Undercover is an exciting world to live in! With terrorists, spies, and all sorts of bad-guys lurking about, this is a series not to be missed and I’m looking forward to reading more!!!

An ARC was provided by the author. In appreciation I'm giving her an honest review.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Barefoot Bound (Barefoot Bay Undercover prequel) by Roxanne St. Claire


This 100 page story will tell you exactly how Gabe Rossi (yes, that Gabe Rossi, the legendary bad boy of The Guardian Angelino series) is picking up his life and moving to Florida to launch a covert operation in Barefoot Bay. This isn't his "love story" (that's coming soon, I promise!) but the novella is told completely from his point of view and will treat long-time fans to a few days with old friends (the Angelino and Rossi family! Uncle Nino!) and introduce a new world.

To be honest, this has to be one of the best prequels I've ever read.

I had read the first book or two of the Guardian Angelinos series, and that was about 5 years ago. But reading Barefoot Bound was like… like a visit with close friends and family, but more. This story sets up the spin-off series, Barefoot Bay Undercover and does so brilliantly! There’s certainly a promising story-base here, and I’m so excited to read more about Gabe, his ‘secret’, and to spend time with he and "Uncle" Nino as they set up Gabe’s new business!

At the time of this posting, Barefoot Bound is free for Kindle Readers.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Spider Game (GhostWalkers #12) by Christine Feehan


The Cajun dive in the middle of the godforsaken swamps wasn’t exactly Trap Dawkins’ idea of fun. But the GhostWalker wasn’t there for a good time. He was looking for her. Cayenne. It’s where she found her victims. Poor suckers. Then again, who wouldn’t want to leave a place like this with a woman like her?

It’s not Cayenne’s fault. Locked up, experimented on and never knowing kindness, she was bred this way—with a heart of pure venom. Trap understands her. He survived his own dark past and he shares her desire for getting even. But now Trap’s greatest danger is Cayenne herself. Because what’s inside her is hard to control—especially when it’s aroused by a lover as reckless as Trap.

I absolutely love the direction Ms. Feehan is taking the GhostWalkers series. The world is scary intense and, truth be told, just a little bit freaky! Cayenne’s enhanced DNA being that of a Black Widow spider was more than a little unsettling for me because I’ve been bitten by one of those bitches and it hurts. Like, mad pain! To imagine an adult woman with those traits... **shudder**


As I shared in my review of Viper Game, it’s true the stories are changing from the way they were in the beginning, but they're changing in ways I would expect them to, given Peter Whitney's evil (and totally twisted) desperation to create the perfect soldiers. The experiments are more and more extreme, and more and more heartbreaking. And, as with Viper Game, I found Spider Game to be more exciting, more captivating, and more intriguing than the last several books in the series.


I understand the GhostWalkers are alpha and demanding, but too often Trap's comments directed at Cayenne were demeaning – so much so that I found them offensive. There came a point when his apologies meant nothing to me. Cayenne is insecure around other people, and understandably so, but because she put up with so much of Trap's garbage she came across as a needy woman who suffered from the "Anyone Is Better Than No One" syndrome. Trap seemed oblivious to her discomfort and acted out in completely unacceptable ways. In fact, I’m not sure any amount of remorse or groveling could have redeemed him in my eyes – and most importantly, in my heart.

The bottom line…

I think longtime fans of the series will love this installment – if you can overlook Trap’s appalling behavior toward Cayenne. I was thrilled to see so many familiar GhostWalker faces and, especially with Violet Smythe back, I expect there to be more crazy twists and turns in upcoming stories! What a wild ride this has become!

Book information:

Print Length: 446 pages
Publisher: Jove
Publication Date: January 26, 2016
Sold by: Penguin Group

Click here to purchase Spider Game from Amazon

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Sword for His Lady (Courtly Love #1) by Mary Wine


He'd defend her keep...

After proving himself on the field of battle, Ramon de Segrave is appointed to the Council of Barons by Richard the Lionheart. But instead of taking his most formidable warrior on his latest Crusade, the king assigns Ramon an even more dangerous task—woo and win the Lady of Thistle Keep.

If only she'd yield her heart...

Isabel of Camoys is a capable widow with no intention of surrendering her valuable estate. She's fought long and hard for her independence, and if the price is loneliness, then so be it. She will not yield... even if she does find the powerful knight's heated embrace impossible to ignore.

But when her land is threatened, Isabel reluctantly agrees to allow Ramon and his army to defend the keep—knowing that the price may very well be her heart.

Mary Wine has long been one of my favorite historical romance authors. It's hard to put into words why that is, other than to say she just brings a little something extra to her stories. More detail, but not so much that it's boring. The characters feel right, like they truly do belong in the time she's placed them. These are the things that make her standout as one of the best in the genre, and why I always look forward to her books.

Even though this story isn't completely unique, Ms. Wine created characters who more than make up for it. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the strong, feisty, determined Isabel! She's been widowed long enough to know she doesn't need a husband to make sure the people and the lands are prosperous. But when King Richard heads off to the Crusades again and tasks his Baron, Ramon de Segrave with marrying Isabel so that her lands will be protected, she finds herself torn between what her mind tells her she needs, and what her body won't be denied.

Ramon is stubborn, arrogant, and determined to marry Isabel, as his King demands. But before long he finds himself in a battle of wits and wills with one of the most formidable opponents he's ever faced! And it's a woman!

This really is an entertaining story. There's humor, intrigue, danger...and plenty of passion. I'm excited to read more in the Courtly Love series, especially Ambrose's story. I'm looking forward to Ramon giving him a taste of his own taunting when he meets the woman who will be his match!

Click here to purchase A Sword for His Lady from Amazon

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Groom Wore Plaid (Highland Weddings #2) by Gayle Callen


Maggie McCallum's dreams about her new fiancé aren't the romantic sort. It's not just that she was bartered to Owen Duff like a piece of property to end a clan feud. She's also haunted by premonitions of his death on their upcoming wedding day. Yet the exasperating Highlander won't let her call it off, even though his life and his clan are both in jeopardy.

Owen has wanted Maggie in his bed since he first glimpsed her years ago. If their union restores peace between their clans, so much the better. But while lusting after another chief's sister had its risks, growing to trust Maggie is far more dangerous. Owen is falling deeply in love with the one woman he cannot hope to claim . . . and survive.

This is the 2nd installment in Gayle Callen’s Highland Weddings series. Like the 1st book, The Wrong Bride, The Groom Wore Plaid is a fun story. The witty banter between Maggie and Owen made me chuckle more than a few times. Their passion - though it didn’t happen until later in the story, made this a steamy read! There’s also a mystery, a little poignancy, and overall The Groom Wore Plaid is an entertaining tale and a great addition to the series.

There are definitely characters I’d like to know more about, and I’m looking forward to what Ms. Callen offers up next in the series.

An ARC was provided by Avon Books. In appreciation I’m giving them an honest review.

Monday, February 8, 2016

A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog Named Trixie by Dean Koontz, Narrated by Christopher Lane


In a profound, funny, and beautifully rendered portrait of a beloved companion, bestselling novelist Dean Koontz remembers the golden retriever who changed his life. A retired service dog, Trixie was three when Dean and his wife, Gerda, welcomed her into their home. She was superbly trained, but her greatest gifts couldn’t be taught: her keen intelligence, her innate joy, and an uncanny knack for living in the moment. Whether chasing a tennis ball or protecting those she loved, Trixie gave all she had to everything she did, inspiring Dean and Gerda to trust their instincts and recapture a sense of wonder that will remain with them always. Trixie lived fewer than twelve years; in this wide world, she was a little thing. But in every way that mattered, she lived a big life.

I literally just finished listening to Christopher Lane’s brilliant performance of Dean Koontz’s poignant A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog Named Trixie, stopping only long enough to blow my nose and wipe the tears from my eyes before writing this review.

I can’t find the words to use to tell you how amazing this memoir is. It’s not just a story about a man and a woman and their dog, it’s what I can say is one of the most life enriching stories I’ve had the pleasure of reading or listening to. I was so impressed and moved by Mr. Koontz's openly candid thoughts and recollections of how Trixie changed his life, and in my opinion, in many ways, saved it. There are so many quotes I wanted to share, but being on audio and being a complete blubbering ninny while listening to the most profound of the quotes I wasn’t able to catch them.

Make no mistake, this isn’t a depressing story. Sure, there were moments I sobbed so deeply I was sure I'd never recover, but in fact it’s one of the most uplifting, hopeful, insightful books I can remember experiencing, and I will listen to it again and again.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Leaving Yesterday (Laurel Falls #1) by Zoe Dawson


Rafferty Hamilton doesn’t plan on putting down roots anytime soon. With her divorce final, the hotel heiress has left Manhattan behind to scout new locations for her family’s chain of resorts. Which is why it’s so frustrating to be stranded in Laurel Falls while a good-looking, slow-talking, Stetson-wearing mechanic takes his sweet time with her overheated coupe.

A decorated vet who paid his dues in Afghanistan, Trace Black can fix anything with an engine and get it revving—even Rafferty’s ridiculous sports car. He couldn’t say the same for the knockout driver, who looks like she’s never gripped a gear shaft in her life. Women like Rafferty don’t usually stick around in Laurel Falls, but Trace finds himself showing her everything his hometown has to offer before she cruises on down the road.

As the days pass, Rafferty finds herself charmed by the pace of life and the openhearted warmth of the residents. She’s even tempted to trust again—and it’s all thanks to Trace. He’s not the kind of guy she’s used to falling for, but he just might be the man she needs.

Leaving Yesterday is the first book in Zoe Dawson's new Laurel Falls series, and it's everything I love about small town contemporary romance. The people of Laurel Falls are down-to-earth, hard working, and loyal. They've got hopes and dreams, trials and triumphs and, no matter what, they will always have your back! All this makes them people I can't help but cheer for and care about.

One of the things I most enjoyed about the story - and there are many things to enjoy - is Trace's unshakable devotion to his family, especially his youngest brother, Harley, who suffers with PTSD, the result of his time in the Marines and a mission gone very wrong. Trace feels the guilt of of Harley's illness, blaming himself because Harley was following in Trace's footsteps when he enlisted, wanting to be like his big brother. There's a lot of poignancy throughout the book, but this... this really tugged at my heart.

Another person to love is Rafferty. Sure, she's a product of her upbringing, but she is - without a doubt - her own person. This becomes crystal clear when she sets aside her 'assignment' and opens her eyes to the beauty of the people and the town she found herself stranded in. She might be a wealthy, big city girl, but she's not ostentatious, nor is she foolish enough to let a good thing pass her by!

The bottom line... Leaving Yesterday is a wonderful start to this series, which promises to be an amazing one. If you love Susan Mallery, Kristan Higgins, or Rachel Gibson, you won't want to miss out on the romantic, passionate, captivating world and people of Laurel Falls.

An ARC was generously provided by Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept. In appreciation I'm giving them an honest review.

About the book:

Print Length: 268 pages
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: February 9, 2016

Click here to purchase Leaving Yesterday: A Laurel Falls Novel, from Amazon

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Defying the Odds (Battered Hearts #1) by Kele Moon


When struggling waitress Melody Dylan gives a handsome, lonely stranger a simple gift she has no clue her life is about to take a drastic turn.

The stranger ends up being Clay Powers, a famous UFC heavyweight fighter. Clay’s large build and dangerous fists have always intimidated. People in his hometown keep their distance and Clay is fine with that. Everything changes when a new waitress at the local diner buys him a piece of pie on thanksgiving. Touched by the gesture when it’s obvious she can barely afford to survive, her warm smile and lush body churn up powerful feelings that leave Clay wanting more from her than pie.

Melody is running from her past and the small, country town of Garnet is the perfect hiding place. With an ex-husband after her and scars from her abusive marriage etched deep, the last thing she expects is to fall for a man who makes a living with his fists, but she can’t resist Clay or the tender connection they share.

Finding love in the most unlikely of places, the passion is undeniable, but Clay and Melody know their haunted pasts and unpredictable futures leave the odds stacked against them.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: violence.

I'm keeping this short because there are already so many awesome reviews out there.

Defying the Odds is the first book in the Battered Hearts series and a very, very sweet story. In fact, it's uncommonly sweet given that it's also an extremely hot tale, and readers used to edgier erotica might miss that in this story.

I adored Clay and Melody and loved watching their relationship grow. Wyatt and Jules are also great, in an annoying family members kind of way.

Click here to purchase Defying the Odds from Amazon

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Star Crossed (Battered Hearts #2) by Kele Moon


Heavyweight MMA fighter, Romeo Wellings comes from the hard streets of New York where his family ties to the mafia cause him nothing but pain. His life takes a surprising detour when he crosses paths with the twin sister of his long time enemy. After a steamy one-night stand, he faces the fight of his life, but it’s not in the cage. The secret relationship that blooms between Romeo and his real life Juliet has him battling his family and a dark past rather than let her go. 

The only lawyer in her hometown of Garnet, Jules Conner is also a volunteer Sheriff’s deputy and co-owner of a successful MMA training center. Strong and dependable, Jules is always there for those who need her. Until one forbidden night in Las Vegas with Romeo leaves her feeling so alive she can’t stop reaching out to the sexy, bad boy of MMA, even knowing the forbidden love affair could jeopardize everything.

As the tide rises against them and the people they love work at keeping them apart, Romeo and Jules hold onto a dream for a better life together and vow to go down fighting rather than accept a tragic ending.



I'm so in love with the men of Garnet - and New York! The main characters are great and the supporting cast is just as great. Exciting, poignant, and burn up the pages sexy, Star Crossed is one hell of a read!

I can't wait to read Wyatt's story next!!

Click here to purchase Star-Crossed from Amazon

Monday, January 25, 2016

Neanderthal Seeks Human (Knitting in the City #1) by Penny Reid


There are three things you need to know about Janie Morris: 1) She is incapable of engaging in a conversation without volunteering TMTI (Too Much Trivial Information), especially when she is unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her more than Quinn Sullivan, and 3) She doesn't know how to knit.

After losing her boyfriend, apartment, and job in the same day, Janie Morris can't help wondering what new torment fate has in store. To her utter mortification, Quinn Sullivan- aka Sir McHotpants- witnesses it all then keeps turning up like a pair of shoes you lust after but can't afford. The last thing she expects is for Quinn- the focus of her slightly, albeit harmless, stalkerish tendencies- to make her an offer she can't refuse.

Not at all what I expected....

....and so much more than I had hoped for!

This is, start to finish, a great read. It's laugh-out-loud funny, charming, romantic, with just enough angst to keep me off balance, but not so much that I dreaded reading on. You see, I hate angst-ridden stories. They upset my stomach, give me a headache, and keep me awake at night....but this is one entertaining, 'left me with a smile on my face' read!

I was actually quite surprised - though I don't know why, given the amazing reviews and high ratings. I was expecting something light, fun, and unemotional. I was wrong. That's not what I got - and I'm glad for it! I fell hard for Janie and Quinn, Janie's quirky friends, and Quinn's unconditional devotion. There truly are mannnnnnnny things to love about Neanderthal Seeks Human, so if you've been hesitant to try it, as I was, hesitate no more. I can't recommend this highly enough!

(At the time of this posting, Neanderthal Seeks Human is, once again, free for Kindle readers. See link below.)

Click here to purchase Neanderthal Seeks Human from Amazon