Friday, January 17, 2020

Just a Boyfriend (End of the Line #2) by Sariah Wilson {Review}

Just a Boyfriend (End of the Line #2) by Sariah Wilson
Kindle Edition, 283 pages
Published January 7th 2020 by Montlake Romance 
Source: I received a complimentary copy through Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were voluntarily given.  
The rules of love and second chances are due for a major-league shake-up in a warm, witty, and unpredictable romance by the bestselling author of The Friend Zone.
Ian “Bash” Sebastian and Ember Carlson were high school sweethearts…until their single parents got married. With one thorny twist of fate, a secret young crush went from on fire to off-limits. What could a new stepbrother do but bail? Now, after almost four years, Bash has returned to Seattle, and he’s back in Ember’s orbit at End of the Line. EOL is the go-to college for second-chance scholarships. But what about love?

Sure, the old hurts are there. So is the attraction—and it’s more magnetic than ever. Still, they’re adults now, levelheaded and just fine with the friend thing. If only to make family dinners less awkward. But when they agree to start dating other people, moving on threatens to bring them closer together than ever.

Is it time to admit their past to their parents? Even trickier, their hope for the future? Because Ember and Bash deserve a love story of their own. With all their defenses down, can they make it a happy ever after?

My Review: 5 Stars

It truly takes talent to weave an unforgettable swoony romance filled with humor and mix it with an impossible family situation, that could be icky, but definitely isn't in this case, and this author has it.

Bash and Ember have some very tricky hurdles to tackle, especially as they each realize that the sizzle and fire is still alive and well after several years apart, which makes it impossible to be friends, let alone stay apart any longer. I loved watching the characters struggle through their growing attraction, while attempted to appease their families. A lot of growth occurs, mainly as both Bash and Ember recognize that they're both adults and can jump after their respective hopes and dreams.

There were so many things that I loved about this book--from skydiving to math lessons to rekindling a fading ember--and getting caught! Sariah Wilson's books are amazing and entertaining, and I can always count on her to supply an amusing story, with lots of butterfly-inducing romance, that manages to stay on the clean side of the line. I can't wait for more of this deliciously swoony series!

Content: mild+ romance (steamy clean, some innuendo)

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Roman & Jules: A standalone Fake Marriage Clean Romance by Stephanie Fowers {Review}

Roman & Jules by Stephanie Fowers
Kindle Edition
Published January 13th 2020 by Triad Media and Entertainment 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
When Jules meets Roman Verona at an exclusive Vegas party, she doesn’t suspect the bad blood that runs so deep between Roman and her boyfriend, Ty, until the two men have it out in front of her. Even worse, Jules finds out that Ty has never loved her. She storms away, only to have her ex’s sworn enemy offer her a ride into town... as well as a shocking proposal.

A nice girl wouldn’t even consider making her ex jealous with a sham marriage, so why does she chance it with Roman?

Acting the role of devoted husband, Roman soon becomes fascinated with more than Jules’s sweet smile and poetic soul. As her band’s fame grows in Vegas so do his feelings for her and what started out as revenge against his miserable cousin turns into something deeper.

But bad boys don’t settle down. So why does Roman risk everything to win Jules’ heart?

All bets are off in this modern and sleek tale of star-crossed love!

My Review: 5 Stars
Although Vegas is known for its wedding chapels on every corner, I'll never look at it in the same way again. When two cousins, Roman and Ty, battle it out at a family party, Jules finds herself leaving with the cousin she hasn't been dating for a year...and marrying him in the spur of the moment. 
I'm a fan of these ingenious fake marriage stories and this one stole my heart, mainly because it's written in a very fresh, almost rebellious, yet humorous way, with fantastic characters. Roman is the bad boy of the family and of Vegas and his quick wit and unruly charm, along with his giant, adorable puppy, quickly caught my attention. Add to that a secret talent that you wouldn't expect from a Harley riding, leather wearing rebel, and I was nearly swept clean off my feet--right along with Jules.

I love music and every time a song is written into a story, I'm dying to hear it. Jules is a singer/songwriter from the South and wrote a song for Roman on the spot. Swoon! I absolutely adored their complementary relationship and banter and eagerly awaited for their interactions.

Of course, no true love is complete without complications and I loved how those were tackled. So entertaining, with the sweetness arising to the top like cream. This story pure modern, flirty fun!

Content: mild+ romance (swoony kissing, implied cheating)

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Rebound (Northbrook Hockey Elite) by Sophia Summers {Review}

Rebound (Northbrook Hockey Elite #3) by Sophia Summers
Kindle Edition
Publication: January 14th 2020 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.

He's all in. She's all in. Nothing stands in their way--until their families get involved.

Summer Davis, small town librarian, PHD candidate, wants to fall in love.
Rocco De Luca, pro hockey player, didn’t know he was looking for love until he met Summer.

Now they try to navigate getting to know each other around his home game schedule with both their families vying for attention and meddling in ways only big families can. It’s a wonder they can go on a few dates at all once Summer’s brothers learn a pro hockey player is interested in their sister.

But the closer they become, the harder it will be when Summer is offered the chance of a lifetime…far away from their small town in Wyoming.
My Review: 5 Stars
I was a tiny bit devastated when the Belltown Six Pack came to an end, but I've found solace in the pages of the Northbrook Hockey series and I'm just as in love with this group as I was with the last.

This story takes on Rocco (the Rock) De Luca and his pursuit to finding true love. I loved the setting of Aspen, Wyoming and since I've been there, I could picture it. It made me smile to think of an Italian restaurant family all moving there because one of their own is playing hockey there. A spark of interest, a match on the ice, and a mind-boggling win was all it took for Rocco to lose his heart to Summer, a small town librarian with a penchant for ice skating.

I love getting to know each member of this group. They're all likable and talented in their own ways and each come from different backgrounds with stories to tell. I love watching these rough and tough guys fall in love and this story was no exception. From meddling and opinionated large families to drama with exes to the normal ups and downs of a fledgling relationship, Rocco and Summer won me over and had me cheering them on louder than a super hockey fan club president.

Content: mild romance; very mild violence (hockey related)

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The Last Shot (Love in Chaos #3) by Amy Matayo {Review}

The Last Shot (A Love in Chaos Novel) by Amy Matayo
Kindle Edition
Publication: January 14th 2020 by SYG Productions 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
It’s the same routine every night, and country music superstar Teddy Hayes wouldn’t have it any other way.

7:00 pm: Arena doors open and fans fill the stands.
7:45 pm: Lights go out and spotlights come on.
7:46 pm: Energy from concert-goers reaches an ear-spitting crescendo.
7:47 pm: Teddy takes the stage and begins to sing.

But tonight, something is off.

It starts when a stage light malfunctions and sends sparks into the air.
It continues when his drummer stops playing and stares slack-jawed in Teddy’s direction.
It dawns on him when a fan doubles-over and a red stain spreads across her shirt.
Something isn’t just off tonight.

Someone in the crowd is shooting a gun.

And it’s up to a female bodyguard he’s never met before to save his life.
My Review: 5 Stars
Being a superstar isn't always all it's cracked up to be. Amy Matayo has a talent for bringing characters and situations to life in a real and raw way that completely plays on all the emotions. I've been curious about country star Teddy for a few books now and his story rocked my world. It literally starts out with a bang and gave me chills. I was so drawn in and immersed in this chilling tale and although I didn't want to put it down, I had to take a break because I felt just as shattered as the characters. Luckily, I could take a small break because they sure couldn't. 
What threw me for a loop was that although the other books in the Love in Chaos series could happen, the events in this book really do happen and way too often nowadays. It was alarming and this author, in a fashion true to her writing style, expressed the thoughts, feelings, and coping processes of both Teddy and Jane in the most realistic way that left me reeling and stunned.
Of course, there is a romance smoldering in the ashes of tragedy, and that budding tangent was exactly perfect and gave me lots of hope. This story pierced my heart and soul and left me gathering up my broken pieces long after I finished the last page.
Content: mild romance; mild+ language; mild+ violence  

Thursday, January 9, 2020

The Keeper's Sacrifice by Krystal M. Anderson {Review}

The Keeper's Sacrifice (Keeper's of the Light, Book 1) by Krystal M. Anderson
ebook, 36 pages
Published November 19th 2019 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.   
There was no better way to put it: Max Tucker was running away. The newly-constructed Puffin Point Lighthouse on the forested shores of Oregon seemed like the perfect place to nurse his broken heart, with its sweeping views of rock and wave and near-isolation from society.
Until he visits Spruce Hill, that is. The little lumber town’s locals seem to be welcoming and kind, embracing Chauntis Bay’s newest keeper of the light and making it easier to move forward with a new life. But when a violent winter storm threatens the integrity of the lighthouse and a foundered ship washes up to shore, Max is bewildered to find a single, unbelievable survivor…

A sweet historical romance novella full of small-town charm and hair-raising adventure! Prequel to the Keeper’s of the Light multi-author series.
My Review: 4 Stars 
This sweet, very short novella was the perfect setup to what promises to be a good series. Lighthouses are so fascinating to me and it's amazing to think what people used to go through to guide ships safely through storms. 
Max is running away from his problems, but lands in a charming and welcoming small town. I loved getting a taste of his character, as well as being introduced to some of the other residents. 
This one ends on a cliffhanger, but I know the reader will be treated to more in the next book, which I'm so grateful is already available.
Content: very mild violence/peril/danger; hints of romance 

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Uncharted Promises by Keely Brooke Keith {Review}

Uncharted Promises by Keely Brooke Keith
Kindle Edition, 411 pages
Published January 1st 2020 by Edenbrooke Press 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
Sybil Roberts uses the warmth of delicious meals to lift the spirits of road-weary travelers at The Inn at Falls Creek. Her life at the inn would be perfect if she could just get her brothers and mother to move back home.

And if she could see Isaac Owens again.

He visited the inn once when he interviewed for the farm manager job, and she’s dreamed of his return to Falls Creek ever since.

Isaac Owens knows how to run a farm. His family might not have faith in him, but if he succeeds at Falls Creek, he’ll prove them wrong. He arrives at the inn thinking the job is his, but the inn’s senile owner offered the position to another man too. Isaac must spend the winter competing if he wants to win the job… and Sybil’s heart.

It will take more than warm meals on cold nights for Sybil and Isaac to find love while working at the isolated inn.

Uncharted Promises weaves past and future in a faith-filled story of life in a hidden land. If you enjoy the rural setting and wholesomeness of frontier romance and Amish fiction, you’ll adore Uncharted Promises.
My Review: 5 Stars
In a mixture of historical and futuristic, this whole series is extremely fascinating to me. Keely Brooke Keith has put together a saga that takes place in a hidden society at the end of this decade and after another world war, but has the feel of an old-fashioned, almost backward, historical society. 
Sybil's family runs an inn and they need a new farm manager. Enter Isaac, a hard-working, simple man who is determined to win Sybil's heart.

The complicated, yet simpleness, of this story is what captured my attention and my heart. I love learning more and more about this place and the people who live here. I suggest reading them in order, since characters make appearances in other books and this world is gradually built throughout the series. Everything is so gentle and smooth, yet there are underlying tensions of complication and mystery. I keep waiting for the shoe to drop and it leaves me slightly unsettled, but it also keeps me eagerly devouring each new release, so keep on writing, Ms. Keith!

Content: mild romance; mild religion

Monday, January 6, 2020

North by Northanger by Rebecca H. Jamison {Review}

North by Northanger by Rebecca H. Jamison
Kindle Edition, 294 pages
Published October 21st 2019 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
While Eva Morland waits for her first-ever blind date to arrive, she meets Grant Tilney. Not only does flirting come easily with Grant, he also shares her appreciation for black-and-white movies and vintage diners. After he leaves, she notices that he left his phone behind. Setting out to find his office and return the phone, she knocks on a warehouse door. The man who answers mistakes Eva for a government spy, who’s come to investigate his crime ring. He and his partner force Eva into a car and drive her to a secluded trailer in the country.

Eva’s kidnapping sets her down a path of suspense and romance, as she uses all her wits to escape from the bad guys and prove her true identity. Grant comes to her rescue, hiding her in the cab of his semi-truck, but it seems that the criminals are always a step ahead.

Grant is the only one who believes Eva, but as they journey North, Eva starts to question Grant’s identity and motives. She must discover for herself if Grant is one of the good guys or bad guys. Only then will she know whether he’s worth the risk of her own life.

Fans of Hitchcock and Jane Austen will enjoy this modern mash-up of North by Northwest with Northanger Abbey.
My Review: 3.5 Stars

I'm a fan of Hitchcock and Jane Austen and I adore mash-ups, so this story was a no-brainer read for me and guess what? I enjoyed every zany, lighthearted, suspenseful twist and turn, even when I had no idea what was up or down, or who I should trust. The story was almost unbelievable at times, yet I was intrigued and had to keep reading to discover all the secrets hidden within these pages and I must admit, I was taken by surprise at times.   

Eva reminded me of my puppy--super smart and sweet at times, but completely ignorant and unaware at other times. Her heart was in the right place, but sometimes she really made me cringe. Grant is an enigma and while I liked him, I never felt an emotional connection between this couple, as the chemistry seemed stuck in the friend zone or acquaintance field. If you can set that aside, you'll be in for an adventurous treat that was entertaining and twisty.

Content: very mild romance; mild elements of danger/violence/intrigue