Thursday, April 27, 2017

Chance for Home by Traci Hunter Abramson {Blog Tour Review + Giveaway}



Chance for Home by Traci Hunter Abramson
Paperback, 234 pages
Published April 5th 2017

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32494108-chance-for-home?ac=1&from_search=true            

Beautiful pre-med student Kari Evans believes she’s found the man of her dreams—right up until the moment she discovers he’s a two-timing cheat. Desperately gathering the pieces of her broken heart, she realizes that what she needs most is space to reconsider her future. A summer in Washington, DC, with her professional baseball player brother, Ben, sounds like just the change of scene she’s after. But if complicated romantic entanglements are what she’s trying to escape, she’s out of luck. Ryan Strobel has had it with spotlight-seeking women. As third baseman for the Washington Nationals, he’s dealt with more than his fair share of opportunistic admirers—but his ex-fiancée, Brandi, may be the worst. When the woman refuses to take no for an answer, Ryan’s teammate Ben offers a crazy solution: Ben’s sister will pose as Ryan’s new girlfriend. Though an unlikely pair, Ryan and Kari find themselves getting surprisingly comfortable with the charade. Soon, the line between fact and fiction is blurred, and the very real feelings that develop between the couple are undeniable. But when faced with the interference of conniving exes, family objections, and the reality of their very different lives, are Ryan and Kari destined to strike out in the game of love?

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My Review: 5 Stars

This is a companion book to Chances Are and tells the story of Ben's sister, Kari. She is young, but very driven. When a cheating boyfriend leads to the loss of a summer internship, she moves in with her brother and his wife, who is also her best friend, to regroup and a romance is the last thing she expects to find.

Kari reminds me of my daughter, with her love of the medical field. The way she is able to balance her time, think of others, and support her loved ones is amazing. I've mentioned before that I read to escape and this is one book that swept me away! I felt like a third friend and fell in love with Ryan right along with Kari--who wouldn't? He's not your typical Pro athlete (an MLB player) and the way he treats his mother shows a lot about his character.

This isn't a completely fluffy romance. Both Ryan and Kari have past baggage to deal with, which leads to conflict. They're both at different points in their lives and their goals don't seem to be heading in the same direction, but they both have similar character and integrity and that's what matters, isn't it? This is one story that captured my attention and didn't let go. I really like this author's writing style and I wasn't ready for it to end.

Content: mild romance (kissing); one moment of mild violence.

*I received a copy through the publisher, which did not affect my thoughts or opinions in any way.*


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Buy Links:

http://amzn.to/2osNAWn   http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/chance-for-home-traci-hunter-abramson/1126168505?ean=9781524402587   https://deseretbook.com/p/chance-for-home?autocomplete=true&variant_id=150571-paperback

About the Author:

Traci Hunter Abramson
Traci Hunter Abramson was born in Arizona, where she lived until moving to Venezuela for a study-abroad program. After graduating from Brigham Young University, she worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for several years, eventually resigning in order to raise her family. She credits the CIA with giving her a wealth of ideas for suspense novels as well as the skills needed to survive her children's teenage years. She has gone on to write a number of bestselling suspense novels that have consistently been nominated as Whitney Award finalists. She considers shoes an optional accessory which became evident when she won her first three Whitney Awards in 2013 (Code Word), 2014 (Deep Cover), and 2016 (Failsafe.) She currently lives in Virginia with her family where she enjoys sports, travel, writing, and coaching high school swimming.



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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Unbreak My Heart (A Snow Valley Romance) by Kimberley Montpetit {Review}



Unbreak My Heart by Kimberley Montpetit
Kindle Edition, 130 pages
Published January 2nd 2017 by Spellbound Books

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33803049-unbreak-my-heart?from_search=true

Caitlin Webster suffers the worst New Year's of her life when she discovers her fiancé with his old girlfriend.

Her best friend Lila doesn't let Caitlin sit at home moping, dragging her out for a night on the town where they pay a visit to Madame Tallulah on Fisherman's Wharf. The Fortune Teller makes such crazy predictions Caitlin dismisses them—until she gets a request to go to Snow Valley and use her midwife skills to take care of Rayna, the owner of the Starry Skies Bed & Breakfast.

Before she knows it, Caitlin finds herself in the snowy wilds of Montana almost run over by a red monster truck careening across the icy roads. It’s not the most fortuitous of encounters with contractor Quentin Hudson who is doing a remodel for the Starry Skies B&B.

Caitlin avoids the man him like the plague despite the fireworks that erupt between them. Is Quentin Hudson just a big burly Montana dude—all brawn and no brains—or is there more to this enigmatic man and his monster truck?

Is he the one who will capture Caitlin’s broken heart and end up saving everyone when disaster strikes?

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My Review: 5 Stars

I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again: I LOVE Snow Valley and really wish it was a real place that I could visit. I love how each of these novellas builds a fantastic small town with loveable inhabitants. Everyone knows everyone and these characters often make very brief appearances in each other's stories. They do not have to be read in order. This book is about hurt, moving on, and finding the important things in life in unexpected places.

Caitlin makes a startling discovery about her fiancé and now he's her ex. Brokenhearted, she takes a job in Snow Valley as her mom's much younger cousin's midwife and B&B help. But before she goes, she and a friend visit a fortune teller and that fortune is one worth listening to.

I don't know of anyone who hasn't suffered a broken heart and Caitlin's pain is relatable. She's a hardworking and sweet woman, but she's not ready to trust. I adore cute-meets and this story has a great one! Quentin is a rough and tough teddy bear who is full of surprises. Oh, how I enjoyed their cat-and-mouse banter. From sledding, to construction mishaps, to babies, and more, this story is full of charm and fun.

I love that this book makes me feel a part of things. All of the elements are here to make this a good story and it was over before I knew it--so sad. I'll definitely be on the lookout for more!

Content: mild romance (implied "affair").

*I received a copy through the author, but this didn't affect my thoughts in any way.*

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Buy Link:

http://amzn.to/2pYNnHA


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).

Can't Wait Wednesday


Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishing Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well.

My choice for this week is Book 2 of the
Destined for Love: Europe series.

May 23, 2017

34219233
Finding love in eight days was not on the itinerary…

Between a bad breakup and a rocky relationship with her overbearing father, twenty-three-year-old Vanessa Clark has a history of being disappointed by the men in her life. So when her long-lost grandfather reenters the scene and persuades her to tour northern Portugal on one of his cruise ships, Vanessa boards the vessel looking for answers about her estranged family, not looking for love.

Captain Matias Romano has enough to worry about without having to babysit his boss’s spoiled American granddaughter, no matter how good-looking she is. First the issue with the refrigerators, and now the ship's computers are malfunctioning—he’ll be relieved when this trip is over and he can get back to business as usual.
But as Matias plays tour guide on Vanessa’s excursions and they work together to investigate a series of suspicious accidents aboard, they both realize there’s more to the other than first impressions.

Can Vanessa work through her complicated past to make room for Matias in her future, or will they pass like ships in the night?

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What are you waiting to read?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Skipping the Scales (Book 2) by Pete Tarsi {Review}


Skipping the Scales (Book 2) by Pete Tarsi
252 pages, Kindle edition
Published July 12th 2016

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31113149-skipping-the-scales

The exciting sequel to the YA contemporary fantasy Flipping the Scales.Meredith, Marina, and Hailey's wildest dreams could be coming true.
Two weeks in the ocean changed Meredith's life and career goal. Now studying marine biology, she lands a summer internship at a local aquarium. Her aquatic intuition impresses her mentor, but how would the mermaids feel about holding fish captive in the name of science?

Marina has returned ashore to seek out her missing mother. A curious and cryptic painting leads to other clues, but the search through her mother's past reveals more questions than answers. Could her parents have left the ocean harboring a deep, dark secret?

Meanwhile, Hailey keeps Marina's tail safe and lives her lifelong dream to be a real mermaid. The experience is exhilarating, until the leader of the school suspects she is a human. If she gets caught, would it leave her friend forever marooned on land?

When second-guessing, mystery, and danger threaten to sink their dreams, will they skip out? Or will they work together and swim through the rough waters ahead?

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My Review: 4 Stars

This is series that must be read in order. In this second installment, Marina has returned to land to try and find her mother, give Hailey the opportunity to live her dream of being a real, live mermaid. I'm not a strong swimmer and don't even really like to put my face in the water if I don't have to, but even I used to daydream a little bit about what it would be like to be a mermaid. The story bounces back and forth between Hailey's adventures undersea and her friends lives on land.

I love the elements of magic, danger, romance, and plenty of adventure that make up this imaginative story. Although the characters are now graduated from high school, it reads as a middle grade novel. Hailey's heavy use of acronyms kind of drove me crazy, especially because it seems more fitting for a twelve year old to use than an older teen, but her bubbly personality and exuberance for life make up for it. The ocean puns are fun too.

This isn't a deep story, haha--another pun, but it is a lot of fun. The characters are mostly likable and there are a few twists and an underlying mystery or two that really give it an added dimension. And that ending? Let's just say some things are wrapped up and some are left open. I'm already waiting for more.

Content: mild romance

*I received a copy from the author, which did not affect my thoughts in any way.*

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Buy Links:

http://amzn.to/2p9R5QF  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/skipping-the-scales-pete-tarsi/1124098670?ean=9781534925793

About the Author:

Pete TarsiPete Tarsi writes books that he hopes his daughters will enjoy. Two down, and so far, so good.

He graduated from MIT with a degree in Creative Writing and Physics, and he considers himself fortunate that he gets to do both. When he's not writing, he can be found teaching high school science, directing theatre, or spending time with his three lovely daughters. He grew up in a small town north of Boston and still lives in Massachusetts.

True to You by Becky Wade Facebook Party!

Mark your calendars!!




Raise your hand if you're ready for Becky Wade's new series! Celebrate the release of book one, True to You, with Becky and other readers on Facebook on May 4th during a fun author chat party at 8:00 PM EDT (that's 7:00 Central, 6:00 Mountain, & 5:00 Pacific)! Becky will be chatting about the book and answering your questions about the new series, and of course, there will be plenty of fun giveaways too!
Pre-order your copy of True to You so you're ready for a fun book discussion. Find out more about the book here.
Hope to see you on May 4 for Becky's True to You Facebook Party!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Chasing the Breeze by Juliana Rose {Review}


Chasing the Breeze by Juliana Rose
Kindle Edition, 90 pages
Published January 4th 2017


Lucy Young’s best friend Anna is getting married in the Windy City. According to Anna, it’s the perfect opportunity for Lucy to meet her own Prince Charming. Despite Lucy’s protests, she finds herself enduring set-ups with terrible new suitors, all while balancing her overwhelming maid of honor duties and her demanding job. Will Lucy find new romance, or be steamrolled by Anna’s good intentions?

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My Review: 2 Stars

The premise of this story is fun--who doesn't love the magical romance of a wedding? I didn't feel the blurb captured what the book was about though, because it wasn't the light, funny, romantic story that I was expecting.

Lucy is a miserable person, stuck with the bulk of her friend Anna's wedding plans and working a terrible job. She works at a hotel and most of the interactions there are either employees secretly breaking the rules or dealing with incredibly rude, angry guests (are there really that many difficult hotel guests?). I sure felt sorry for her.

Lucy's first meeting with the best man, Alejandro, is anything but sweet. Seriously, what a jerk! After the first few meetings, he tries to be nicer, but she's not having it and I don't blame her at all. Unfortunately, I couldn't feel a connection between them--she was all claws and anger and he isn't very likable. There are times when he tries to redeem himself, but he always does something to completely contradict his intentions.

I also had a hard time believing the friendship between Lucy and Anna. Lucy waffles between mourning Anna's wedding and the loss of their friendship and feeling intense anger and impatience towards Anna for her bridezilla behavior. Anna doesn't treat Lucy very well, and their relationship feels all over the place.

I did like that Lucy finally starts to stand up for herself. I guess when enough is enough, a person will find the determination to take a stand and she definitely gets to that point with this mess she's in. Her strength is the highlight of the book for me.

Content: mild-moderate language (not a ton, but more than Bible swears); mild violence in one scene; mild romance, but moderate innuendo. Side note--I'm so glad that I don't drink. These people get plastered all the time and are either incredibly ridiculous, mean, or insane.

*I received a copy from the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

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Buy Link:

http://amzn.to/2pTLJtE 

Friday, April 21, 2017

First Line Friday

Welcome to First Line Friday hosted by Bookworm Nation!
This fun meme is easy to do, simply pick up the book you're currently reading and share the very first line! There are some really good first lines out there, they grab you and suck you right into the story--
make you want to keep reading. My selection for this week is:

Skipping the Scales by Pete Tarsi


"Marina, you should not be doing this!"

The exciting sequel to the YA contemporary fantasy Flipping the Scales.

Meredith, Marina, and Hailey's wildest dreams could be coming true.
Two weeks in the ocean changed Meredith's life and career goal. Now studying marine biology, she lands a summer internship at a local aquarium. Her aquatic intuition impresses her mentor, but how would the mermaids feel about holding fish captive in the name of science?

Marina has returned ashore to seek out her missing mother. A curious and cryptic painting leads to other clues, but the search through her mother's past reveals more questions than answers. Could her parents have left the ocean harboring a deep, dark secret?

Meanwhile, Hailey keeps Marina's tail safe and lives her lifelong dream to be a real mermaid. The experience is exhilarating, until the leader of the school suspects she is a human. If she gets caught, would it leave her friend forever marooned on land?

When second-guessing, mystery, and danger threaten to sink their dreams, will they skip out? Or will they work together and swim through the rough waters ahead?

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Want to join in the fun? Then grab the graphic and post on your blog.
If you don't have a blog, share the first line of what you're reading.