Friday, July 31, 2015

Review: Free Fallin': Book 2 in the Love and Weddings Trilogy by Shannon Guymon

Free Fallin': Book 2 in the Love and Weddings Trilogy by Shannon Guymon
Published: April 2015
My Rating: 5 Stars
Source: I received a copy as a gift from the author and my review is 100% my own opinion, with no influence by the gift and no compensation

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25316791-free-fallin?ac=1


Description: 

In the past, Pule Matafeo hasn't had the best reputation but now he’s stepping up when others need to count on him. He's doing his best to be a responsible man, so when Posey Tyler shows up and throws his whole life into commotion, he's not sure whether to run or embrace the wildness. And when tragedy strikes, Pule is the one people turn to to hold the family together, bringing everyone closer than ever before. Will he choose a life without risk, or will he give Posey a chance to hold his heart? But if he gambles on love, will everything he’s worked hard to rebuild, be destroyed?

My Review:

The sign of a great author is one who can bring a lot of emotion into a book, especially for me because I don't feel things very easily. This book had me running the gamut with my feelings and I loved every minute of it, although I don't think I've felt so many conflicting emotions in one book before.

We meet Pule in some of the previous books and I have to say, he was a cocky, sometimes immature little stinker! But there was still something about him that I really liked and I couldn't wait to read his story. I love that he started wanting more with his life and took the initiative to make some positive changes. He really wormed his way into my heart, especially when that cockiness started morphing into confidence.

Posey--what an interesting character! She had me on my toes and laughing all the time. She knows exactly what she wants and when she feels something, she feels quickly, passionately, and deeply. However...she's not someone who immediately stands out. She often says the wrong things, acts way too impulsively, and is pretty awkward and clumsy. And I really, really like her!

As with all of the books in this series, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing characters from other books. These people feel real and like dear friends to me. I rejoice in their happiness, weep for their heartache, and smile at their friendships and relationships. I don't ever want this series to end!

Content: mild violence; mild romance (kissing). Clean!

Buy Links:
http://www.amazon.com/Free-Fallin-Book-Weddings-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00VS2DZ0Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1438012578&sr=1-1&keywords=free+fallin%27http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/free-fallin-shannon-guymon/1121769558?ean=9781511468190

About the Author: 

Shannon Guymon  In the fourth grade, Shannon Guymon wandered into the school library and figuratively never came out again. She decided one day to take her love affair with the written word once step further and wrote her first novel, Never Letting Go of Hope.
Shannon grew up all across the United States but has finally found her home in Utah, where she lives with her six children. She enjoys the mountains, gardening, being with her family, and, of course, writing.
 



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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Review: Grounded for Love by Rebecca Talley

Grounded for Love: A Reunion Romance Novella by Rebecca Talley
115 pages, April 2015,  DuBon Publishing 
Source: I won a copy on the LDS Book Trek and this is my honest opinion
My Rating: 4 Stars
 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25337769-grounded-for-love?ac=1
 
Description:
 
After being burned by her college boyfriend, Graham, book editor Serena Johnson believes the only dependable men are the ones found between the pages of a book. Her life in San Francisco is thrown into chaos when her father suffers a heart attack, and she books a flight to her small hometown in Colorado.

Graham McAllister, now a civil engineer in Phoenix, is dating a woman who has it all—except his heart. As the best man for his brother’s wedding, Graham must fly back to Grand Junction in time for all the festivities.

When a massive snowstorm grounds all the planes in Denver, both Serena and Graham are stranded overnight. Will this storm lead to love or will it simply prove that there are no second chances? 

 
My Review:
 
There is so much emotion, misunderstanding, and love is packed into this little novella. I'm all about a good reunion romance and I really enjoyed this one.

Serena and Graham were college sweethearts, until Graham makes a serious mistake, which leads to a major misunderstanding. Three years later, they run into each other at the airport, both heading home for different reasons. Internal struggles result from that snowed in meeting and I loved the way both characters wrestled with thoughts and feelings, while remaining likeable and not annoying. Honest mistakes happen and it's only human to jump to conclusions sometimes, but when fate comes around with a second chance, you have to act.
 
I would have loved an epilogue because I have an inquiring mind and I'm curious about what happened next, but it was still a fun, romantic story.
 
Content: Clean!
 
Buy Link:
http://www.amazon.com/Grounded-Love-Reunion-Romance-Novella-ebook/dp/B00VXWO8PM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1437714083&sr=8-1&keywords=grounded+for+love
 
About the Author: 
 
Rebecca TalleyI was born and raised in California and now live in rural Colorado on a small ranch with my husband, 7 of my 10 kids, a dog, cats, a spoiled horse, and a herd of goats.

I am the author of a children's picture book, "Grasshopper Pie" (WindRiver 2003), and three novels, "Heaven Scent" (Cedar Fort 2008), "Altared Plans" (Cedar Fort 2009), and "The Upside of Down" (Cedar Fort 2011)and numerous children's magazine stories and articles. I am also a blogger.

Besides writing and reading, I love to date my husband, play with my kids, swim in the ocean, and dance to disco music while I clean the house. Someday, I hope to tame the wild laundry monster.
 
 


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Review: Love on a Whim by Aubrey Mace


Love on a Whim by Aubrey Mace
272 pages, July 2015, Covenant Communications
Source: I received a copy in exchange for an honest review
My Rating: 5 Stars

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25780699-love-on-a-whim?from_search=true&search_version=service

Description:

Six months out of law school, Rachel Pearce is completely disillusioned by her job hunt. Despite pounding the pavement with her Ivy League degree in hand, her job prospects are no brighter than the day she graduated. Then in a chance meeting with a former acquaintance, eccentric young millionaire Henry Walker, Rachel finds an unexpected opportunity: Henry is looking for a personal secretary. Swallowing her pride, Rachel sets aside her law firm aspirations for what she envisions as secretarial work—mountains of paperwork and filing. But when she finds her most demanding duty to be daily cookie runs for her new boss, she’s baffled by her unconventional job responsibilities.

As she’s pulled into Henry’s delightful whims, caught in a whirlwind of private jets and fancy dinners, Rachel finds herself inexplicably drawn to this handsome and charismatic man. But reality always has a way of intruding, and logic tells her that this adventure can’t last. When real life inevitably comes calling, Rachel must decide if she’s willing to trade in her dream of success in the courtroom for a chance at love.


My Review:

I read the first book, Before the Clock Strikes Thirty (my review is here), and really enjoyed it, so I couldn't wait for this one. Rachel knows what she wants after finishing law school--a nice, prestigious job and some money. A hit to the economy leaves her digging for change to make ends meet and her pride won't allow her to work just any old job--even a job offered by a former crush. Henry is tall, rich, and full of charm, but he's been burned before and a little leery of falling in love again.

I love Ms. Mace's writing style--the witty banter, strong yet flawed characters, and humorous but romantic storyline. Rachel takes a job as Henry's secretary and finds herself doing all kinds of crazy work, including buying him gourmet cookies every day. These were great characters and I did like them, but there were times when I wanted to tell them to wake up. They were both a little hardheaded and missed things right under their noses. I also liked Rachel's friend, Shannon. She relies heavily on Rachel and goes in circles about decisions, but she is a lot of fun. Book 1 is her main story.

This is a great workplace story with fun main characters interactions, especially with the assumptions and misunderstandings scattered throughout, and thoughtful gestures. I always enjoy a good, clean romantic comedy and this was definitely one that I was in the mood for.

Content: Clean!

Buy Links:
http://www.amazon.com/Love-Whim-Aubrey-Mace/dp/1621086216/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1437708604&sr=8-1&keywords=love+on+a+whim http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-on-a-whim-aubrey-mace/1122234010?ean=9781680476637 https://deseretbook.com/p/love-on-a-whim?variant_id=118341-paperback 

About the Author:

Image of Aubrey MaceAubrey Mace lives in Sandy, Utah. She attended LDS Business College and Utah State University. When she is not writing, she enjoys cooking, traveling, gardening, playing the cello (badly), and spending time with her family and psychotic cat.
Aubrey has four published novels: SPARE CHANGE, which won the 2008 Whitney Award for Best Romance, MY FAIRY GRANDMOTHER, SANTA MAYBE, and BEFORE THE CLOCK STRIKES THIRTY. She also has a novella, "The Science of Sentiment", included in the Timeless Romance Anthology Spring Collection.

You can visit Aubrey at her website, www.aubreymace.com.  


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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

12 Days of Back to School Books Day 2: Not So Easy by Sherry Gammon



https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-o7HvdNw5ASs/VZvSzju28dI/AAAAAAAAEBo/A-Jq9ro4Fms/s400/about.jpg

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-OOvamk2Q2UM/VaEj9Metn6I/AAAAAAAAEGM/CNchcmC0LdM/s320/cover%2Bnot%2Bso%2Beasy.jpgSenior Max Sanchez has it all. He's the star pitcher for Port Fare High's baseball team. He's dating the head cheerleader, Emma McKay, and he has a great group of friends. Junior JD Miller's life is Not So Easy.  Unlike Max, JD struggles with making friends. He's a social misfit, and he's being bullied at every turn. He's also barely surviving. A tragic accident changes everything, merging their lives together, and Max soon learns that life is NOT SO EASY.

Buy your Copy Here:
http://www.amazon.com/Easy-Fantasy-Fiction-Souls-Peril- ebook/dp/B008YQJCL0/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/not-so-easy-sherry- gammon/1115360042?ean=2940014883320

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/not-so-easy-souls-in-peril/id556173950?mt=11

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/not-so- easy-1

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-mocyizja49U/VZvSzsUTf-I/AAAAAAAAEBk/74vdZfkOX1E/s400/Author%2Binfo.jpg

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-tLT6_RDdXcw/VaEj9AfFcvI/AAAAAAAAEGI/kwYVH6Dg1DA/s1600/author%2Bphoto.jpg
Sherry and her wonderfully supportive husband, currently call Upstate New York home, which is also the setting for her novels. It is where they are raising their family. Sherry has a degree in Legal Assisting, and served as a medical technician in the Air Force. She and her husband worked in foster care for a number of years, from which they adopted their youngest son. She has worked in the education system for a number of years, and is currently lucky enough to be teaching teenage girls, ages 12-18. She has lived in Michigan, California, Utah, Texas, Pennsylvania, and the beautiful, but over-taxed state of New York where she has spent the last eleven years, and now considers home. It is where she spends her nights writing instead of sleeping :} 
Her Blog is:www.WordpaintingsUnlimited.com

Question and Answer with the Author

4. What was the hardest part of writing your book, and how did you overcome it?

Like I’ve said, the story just flowed. Every day I sat down to write the thoughts of where to go were right there waiting to be written.

5. What is your favorite late night snack?


Ice water!

Find me:

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-vQ3KKuxhxic/VZvS09Vk9PI/AAAAAAAAEBs/sWPgB1gq2jw/s400/extras.jpg


Snippet: 

Next Max picked up the notebook dated last September. This one was different, this one was a journal. He briefly thumbed through it. It chronicled times he’d hidden in the dumpster, or walked to school to avoid being abused on the bus. In some of the margins, he’d drawn hearts and added Emma’s name. JD had a serious crush on her, from the looks of it. Max flipped to the last page dated the day of the accident.
 “Got whipped with the extension cord by Tim when I got home. I still can’t find his pen. He told me I’d better find it after dinner or I’d be getting another beating. But I can’t find it anywhere. Maybe mom will come home early and he won’t be able to hit me again today. Tomorrow I’m going to empty my locker out. It has to be in there.
“Talked to Emma in journalism class. She’s working on a big story about the rats in the cafeteria. I wanted to tell her I’d help her finish it, but I couldn’t get the words out. I’m such a loser.
“Max Sánchez talked to me today too, outside my locker while I was looking for the pen. Max Sánchez! I couldn’t believe it. At first I thought he wanted to call me more names, maybe even hit me, but he apologized for calling me and Izzy The Ten. Max Sánchez apologized to me, Lumpy Larry, the school loser. He even asked me if I wanted to work out with him. But I can’t. He goes to that fancy gym in town. There’s no way my mom could afford that place.
“Maybe tomorrow I’ll see if I can eat lunch with him and his friends. If everyone thinks Max Sánchez is my friend, maybe then they’d stop hurting me all the time.
“Who am I kidding? He was probably just being nice. Max would never be caught dead eating with Lumpy Larry. At least he talked to me. That’s something. Max Sánchez talked to me.
“Got to go. Tim’s calling me and he sounds mad.”

Max shut the book to keep his tears from spoiling the pages. “JD, I’m so sorry. I’m so very sorry.” Max buried his selfish face in his hands and wept as his heart shattered.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Review: Annette Lyon Collection (A Timeless Romance Anthology Book 12) by Annette Lyon

Annette Lyon Collection (A Timeless Romance Anthology Book 12) by Annette Lyon
ebook, 350 pages, July 2015 by Mirror Press
Source: I received a copy in exchange for an honest review
My Rating: 5 Stars

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25729345-a-timeless-romance-anthology?from_search=true&search_version=service

Description:

The ANNETTE LYON COLLECTION contains brand new contemporary romance novella OUR SONG, as well as five hand-picked readers’ and reviewers’ favorites of Annette’s popular Timeless Romance Anthology novellas. Readers will love this selection of three contemporary and three historical romance novellas.

In OUR SONG, a charming romance novella, Cassie and Matt have been dating in the Yellowstone area for two years, and things are, well, average. When Cassie meets up with two college friends who are visiting, their love lives like sound like fairy tales: rose petals, chocolates, candles on the beach… Cassie goes home feeling like she’s missing out. After all, repeatedly watching Old Faithful erupt and walking through sulfur-smelling gases at Fountain Paint Pot don’t exactly say “romance.” Maybe things with Matt aren’t going anywhere, and it’s time to move on. Then she discovers that perception and reality are completely different things. Now she can only hope it isn’t too late to show Matt how much she really cares.

In the sweet novella GOLDEN SUNRISE, Natalie takes time out of her crazy schedule to fly to Vegas for her best friend’s wedding. Sierra and Jason, high-school sweethearts, are finally getting married. Fortunately for Natalie, her old high-school flame, Adam, has a work commitment and can’t be there as best man. But when she arrives at the wedding rehearsal—late and ragged—Adam is there. When Adam makes a wild suggestion, Natalie just may take him up on it, even though she knows he’s moved on. A single choice may mean Natalie is taking a shot at reclaiming the past—or that she's putting her heart in harm’s way a second time.

FIRSTS AND LASTS, an enchanting novella, begins with Dani’s last week in New York. She’s failed in her dreams to catch a break as an actress and is now ready to return home and dust herself off. As she visits the places on her final to-see list, she meets Mark, another New York City transplant with big dreams. Except Mark hasn’t given up on his. As they spend the day together, Dani realizes that even though she hasn’t hit the “big time” she might be living her dream after all. Only problem: she has a one-way ticket back home.

In the compelling novella WAR OF HEARTS, Anna, a journalist, is desperate to escape the magazine where Pete, her now-former boyfriend, also works. Heartbroken and still in love with him, Anna snags an assignment to cover the Winter War in Finland. She arrives at a snowy Finnish battlefront only to discover that Pete is already there—as her photographer. She’s determined to be professional about the situation until a battle breaks out in camp, putting her and Pete in harm’s way and putting their love to the test.

The captivating novella BETWEEN THE LINES follows Jane Martin, who is intelligent but extremely shy, especially around men. When the Aid and Cultural Society proposes a letter-writing program, Jane signs up, hoping she can find true friendship. The program doesn’t run as smoothly as expected, and unknown to Jane, one of the men in her city becomes her writing friend. Thomas Allred has always known shy and quiet Jane, but reading her letters written to his secret persona, opens his eyes to what an amazing woman she is. The only trouble is, Jane doesn’t know that the man who she is falling in love with through letters is also Thomas, the man who is falling in love with her in person.

In the charming novella A TASTE OF HOME, we meet Claire Jennings, who’s on her way to spend Christmas with her family. As she rides the train with William Rhodes, who grew up across the street, memories of Christmases past flood her mind. He may be twenty-one now, but she can’t forget his torturous teasing from their school years. At the rail station, Claire discovers that her home is under quarantine because her little brother has measles. She's stuck in town, away from her family, on her favorite holiday. William stays behind with her, and as Christmas Day approaches and her homesickness deepens, she discovers that perhaps he has changed in more ways than one.


My Review:

I've read most of these Timeless Anthologies and it's often very hard to choose a favorite, since they're written by some of my favorite authors. I think it's a brilliant idea to compile a specific author's works into one book!


Although I've read most of these stories before, it was so much fun to reread them. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed the love letters in Between the Lines. The poetry and eloquent speaking was so romantic! The insta-attraction and adventures between Dani and Mark in Firsts and Lasts had me swooning. Natalie and Adam's reunion in Golden Sunrise was toe tingling for sure! I found myself almost rooting for them to have a Vegas elopement. William was so sweet and charming towards Claire in A Taste of Home, much to her surprise. I guess annoying little boys do grow up nicely. I thought War of Hearts would be depressing, but how could it be when two former lovers reunite across the world in times of war, giving themselves a ray of hope in a dismal situation? And I absolutely loved the new story, never before seen in a collection--Our Song. It's so easy to take life and relationships for granted and to think the grass is greener on the other side. There were some sweet and important lessons learned in this story and I thought it was a great kickoff to the book.

Each of these stories hit the sweet spot in my heart in different ways and I enjoyed every minute of them. I love the mix of contemporary and historical. I love the clean romance and felt my stomach drop in anticipation so many times with thoughts of the sizzling chemistry. I love the characters and the relationships they all had with both friends, family, and each other. Those are the threads that really tie a story together and this one is definitely a favorite!

Content: mild kissing; Clean!

Buy Links:
http://www.amazon.com/Annette-Collection-Timeless-Romance-Anthology-ebook/dp/B0106WTIMM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1437709523&sr=8-1&keywords=annette+lyon+collectionhttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-timeless-romance-anthology-annette-lyon/1122239386?ean=2940151169271
 
About the Author:

Annette Lyon 
Annette Lyon is a Whitney Award winner, the recipient of Utah’s Best in State medal for fiction and the author of ten novels, a cookbook, and a grammar guide as well as over a hundred magazine articles. She’s part of the Timeless Romance Anthologies line of sweet romance stories, a senior editor at Precision Editing Group, and a cum laude graduate from BYU with a degree in English. When she’s not writing, editing, knitting, or eating chocolate, she can be found mothering and avoiding the spots on the kitchen floor.  
Website  ||  Twitter  ||  Facebook   ||  Goodreads 

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Sizzling Summer $250 Cash Giveaway

sizzling summer giveaway
Sizzling Summer $250 Cash Giveaway July 27th to August 16th

I'm so excited to be a part of this awesome giveaway! I love summertime and there are so many fun things to do with this prize! Follow me using a way posted on the right sidebar for your entry here. Good luck!!

An Awesome Group of Authors & Bloggers have joined with me to bring you 1 fabulous prize!! We’re giving away $250 in Paypal Cash! Sponsor List – Thanks to these great authors & bloggers for making this giveaway possible!

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Giveaway Details $250 in Paypal Cash (alternately the winner can choose a $250 Amazon.com Gift Code) Ends 8/16/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the authors, bloggers and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Friday, July 24, 2015

Review: Romancing Rebecca by Kimberley Montpetit

Romancing Rebecca (Summer in Snow Valley Collection) by Kimberley Montpetit
108 pages, June 2015, Winsome Press Publishing
My Rating: 5 Stars

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25781774-romancing-rebecca?from_search=true&search_version=service 

Description:

A new novella by #1 Amazon Bestselling Writer, Kimberley Montpetit!

Rebecca Dash loved spending her teen summers swooning over Jane Austin novels and helping her Aunt Rayna at the Starry Skies Bed & Breakfast in Snow Valley, Montana. But despite her recent college graduation, she’d rather write sappy romance novels than go out with guys that make her a nervous wreck.

When a team of fire-fighters set up camp on the lawns of the B&B during a forest fire, the devastatingly handsome Captain Wade catches her eye. Navigating firefighters, first dates, and the guests at the Bed & Breakfast turns out to be trickier than she imagined, but Becca soon learns that there’s more to a happily-ever-after than a flirty fireman with muscles the size of the Montana hills. Can her matchmaking aunt convince Becca to pull her nose out of a book and give love a chance?

ROMANCING REBECCA is part of the SUMMER IN SNOW VALLEY Collection, novellas set in Snow Valley, Montana. Check our CHRISTMAS IN SNOW VALLEY, too!
 


My Review:

Swoon, swoon. Becca does all her swooning through her books and her cheesy writing. She runs a bed and breakfast, but would rather be writing. Me? I'd rather be reading, but that's for another story.

When a group of fire fighters show up to battle a forest fire nearby, all that changes and she has some real men to base her characters on. Becca is such a dreamer and lives with her head in the clouds, but she's so innocent and selfless--you can't help but like her. 

Her aunt is one fun character and is totally young at heart. Sometimes a true love is not who you expect him to be--he could totally be the boy next door. I also enjoy these types of stories because they parallel (in a small way) my own love story with my husband.

Such a fun and romantic story by a favorite author!

Content: Clean!

Buy Link:
http://www.amazon.com/Romancing-Rebecca-Summer-Valley-Collection-ebook/dp/B00ZSUDX10/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1437622946&sr=1-1&keywords=romancing+rebecca


About the Author: 

Kimberley MontpetitKimberley Montpetit once spent all her souvenir money at the La Patisserie shops when she was in Paris—on the arm of her adorable husband. The author grew up in San Francisco, another swoon-worthy city, loves all things Parisian and chocolate and lives in a small town along the Rio Grande with her family.

Kimberley has won many awards for her work, including the Southwest Book Award, the Whitney Award, the Arizona/New Mexico Book Award, is a Crystal Kite Finalist (SCBWI) and included in the Bank Street College Best Books of the Year.

She once stayed in a haunted castle tower room at Borthwick Castle in Scotland, sailed on the Seine in Paris, walked the beaches of Normandy, eaten in numerous French cafes, ridden a camel in Petra, Jordan, sunbathed on Waikiki, shopped the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, and spent the night in an old Communist hotel in Bulgaria.

She adores all baked goodies; brownies, éclairs, donuts, tarts, and pie, and makes a lot of chocolate chip cookies while revising.

Kimberley is, of course, hard at work on her next novel(s).


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