Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Midsummer Night (A Timeless Romance Anthology) {Review}

Midsummer Night (A Timeless Romance Anthology)
Kindle Edition
Published June 11th 2019 by Mirror Press 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.

https://amzn.to/2RqFhG4    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44909543-midsummer-night

Six Fantasy Romance Novellas in one collection:

Featuring Wall Street Journal bestselling author Charlie N. Holmberg, with Julie Wright, Annette Lyon, Jane Redd, Amber Argyle, and Luisa Perkins.

ILLUSIONS OF LOVE by Charlie N. Holmberg:
Aster has worked as the great magician Celtin's assistant for two years and has been in love with him nearly as long. After hearing he'll be looking for a wife at the house ball, Aster disguises herself as a high-class woman so she can woo him away from other bachelorettes. But not everything goes according to plan...

DANCING WITH THE MOON by Julie Wright:
A girl may love a ghost, but where would they live? When a ghost who insists he isn't dead shows up in Grace's shed, he begs for her help. If they cannot reunite his spirit and body before the full moon rises, Arell will die in actuality and so will the royal family. The race against the moon becomes more frantic when Grace realizes she loves him and will die alongside him if she loses him. But can a ghost with no heart return her love?

THE TRUEST TREASURE by Annette Lyon:
(summary coming soon)

THE ISLE OF ROSE by Jane Redd:
Cornelia's greatest secret is that she can read minds. When her sister elopes with another man, Cornelia must stand in her sister's stead to marry Lord Moss, a man with the same gift, who has the power to expose her.

FIRE AND FOUNTAIN by Luisa Perkins:
Historian Lucie Tremblay loves studying Qu├ębec’s past, but when she accidentally travels back in time through a magical St. John’s Eve bonfire, she finds that life in 17th-century New France is far more complicated than it seems in books. As colonist Nicolas Beaubien tries to help her find a way back to 2019, Lucie finds herself falling for him—and must choose between her old life and new love.

LADY OF SHADOWS by Amber Argyle:
Every year, girls go missing in the night—taken by the beast of the Forbidden Forest. A beast that has haunted the town of Hamel for centuries. A beast that is now coming for Caelia.

Midsummer Night is a Timeless Romance Anthology® book
My Review: 4 Stars
Fantasy is not my go-to genre and I sometimes have a hard time getting into all the magical elements and creatures, but this collection was fun. I always know I can count on a sweet, clean, and entertaining book with a Timeless Romance Anthology.
Each story delivered a unique fantasy, with some elements more extreme than others--magic, fairies, mind readers, time travelers, beasts, etc. I loved that a couple of the stories had suspense in them, as I was not expecting that, and a well-written suspense is always a great complement to any story. I'm a sucker for a marriage of convenience and Heather Moore's story had a super fun twist on that trope.
I love to discover new authors and had fun with this set, but was a little disappointed that Amber Argyle's novella was a backstory for a series, which I haven't read, and left me a little confused because I wasn't sure what was going on and who the characters were.  
Overall, this was a great set to get those imagination gears turning and giving the reader an entertaining jaunt into the world of fantasy.
 Content: mild romance; mild violence

Monday, June 17, 2019

Behind the Light of Golowduyn by Deborah M. Hathaway {Review}

Behind the Light of Golowduyn (A Cornish Romance Book 1) by Deborah M. Hathaway
Kindle Edition, 366 pages
Published May 2nd 2019 by Draft Horse Publishing 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
 https://amzn.to/2KiQHL0    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44777611-behind-the-light-of-golowduyn
She’s the keeper of Golowduyn Lighthouse. He’s the captain who shipwrecked on her watch. A marriage of convenience can save her home—if secrets don’t destroy it first.

Abigail Moore will do anything to keep Golowduyn Lighthouse shining brightly, even if she must do so alone. When a shipwreck occurs near her home one stormy evening—bringing with it a dashing captain keen to offer his aid at every turn—her days of isolation vanish.

Captain Gavin Kendricks didn’t expect to end his naval career by crashing his ship against the rugged cliffs of Cornwall. When he’s pulled from the sea by the fearless and quick-tempered Miss Moore, a tentative friendship forms between them, and he begins to realize what has been missing from his life.

Before either of them can explore these newfound stirrings, death and deception hit Golowduyn, and Abigail is left with a choice. Either she loses everything she has ever loved, or she marries the captain and accepts his help. Unable to give up the lighthouse, she agrees to the union, and they work together to see that the light does not diminish. But when her childhood secrets are unearthed, and their property falls victim to troubling defacement, their marriage threatens to crumble. Gavin fights to gain her confidence, but only Abigail can forget the crippling memories of her past to trust Gavin with Golowduyn—and her heart.
My Review: 5 Stars

I think as more books are easily published, it's harder and harder to make a story unique. I never would've thought up a story about a lighthouse keeper, especially one who is female, but that's just what this author did.

Abigail helps her uncle run the Golowduyn lighthouse and will do anything, sacrifice anything, to keep it running and running well. She sees a shipwreck and sets off to help rescue the captain, Gavin, and her life will never be the same.  

Gavin is a strong and commanding man, yet his core desire is to keep busy and to help and serve those around him. I love that he's able to recognize what's for the best and pushes hard to achieve what needs to be done. Abigail, on the other hand, is very hesitant and suspicious by nature, which leads to some pretty outrageous blow ups, causing hurt feelings and feelings of regret. She has a secret past and has been the target of bullying. 

Even with all the jagged edges and rough corners, these two fit together like a beautiful puzzle and I loved watching their story unfold, especially because one of my favorite troupes was used--a marriage of convenience! The touch of mystery added to the developing romance gave this story a multilayered dimension, making for delightful story. Of course, the supporting cast of characters was the icing on an already delicious cake.

What a great start to a new series and I'm looking forward to more!

Content: mild romance; mild violence/moments of peril 

Friday, June 14, 2019

The Vexatious Widow by Michelle Pennington {Review}

The Vexatious Widow (Regency House Party: Havencrest #2) by Michelle Pennington
Kindle Edition, 130 pages
Published June 11th 2019 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given without compensation.

https://amzn.to/31xLgxh    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46003381-the-vexatious-widow

A most unlikely temptation.

Mrs. Joanna Thorne infinitely prefers being a wealthy widow to being a miserable wife, but she is constantly swarmed by suitors with eager, insincere compliments. Fortunately, she has become quite adept at handling fortune hunters. When she meets Lord Tyndale at her friends’ house party, she knows she can help him thwart the charming rascal pursuing his niece. But why does it annoy him so? And why does she care for his good opinion anyway?

The last thing Lord Tyndale wants to do is accompany his beautiful, headstrong niece to a house party in Brighton. However, it is the only way to protect her from a disastrous marriage to the wastrel pursuing her. He should appreciate the help of a rather plain and meddlesome but capable young widow, but he finds himself increasingly annoyed as Joanna skillfully captures the fortune hunter’s attention.

She throws his life into disarray, won’t give him a moment’s peace, and drives him mad. So why does he find her so tempting? And why is he dreading the end of this very irregular house party?


My Review: 5 Stars

What a super fun story! I love house parties and loved the playful argumentative banter that ensued between Tyndale and Joanna during this one. Joanna is a very wealthy widow and has fun playing games in attracting and casting off suitors who are only after one thing--her money. She's outspoken and brash, to the point of being inappropriate, but that's precisely what attracts her to Tyndale, much to his dismay.

Tyndale's ward, his niece, has a fortune hunter after her and she's blinded to his pursuit, so Joanna steps in to help. I couldn't help but to smile and laugh at the antics that result and the encounters between Joanna and Tyndale left me nearly swooning. These characters are written in a fantastically charming and delightful way and I was highly entertained throughout. I would have loved to have been a part of this house party, with all the mischievous goings on and subtle flirting. And why is it you always find love when you absolutely are NOT looking for it?! 

Pennington does it again with this original and fun Regency offering that delivers a wonderful story that can be read in one or two sittings (I couldn't stay awake to finish last night, ha ha).

Content: mild romance 

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Ice Angels (Wintervale Promises Book 4) by Melodie March {Review}

Ice Angels (Wintervale Promises Book 4) by Melodie March
Kindle Edition, 138 pages
Published April 1st 2019 by Pine St. Publishing 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given. 

https://amzn.to/2WvCPTA    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44675400-ice-angels

Claudia Monroe is a former prima ballerina, producing a show based on her years with a prestigious ballet company.

After a disaster with one of the show's actors, the director decides to film some scenes in Wintervale, Claudia's hometown. It has been ages since she went back to Vermont and is surprised to find one of her best childhood friends, Reid Burnett, is still there. When everything else in her life is chaos, Reid offers an unexpected port in the storm. But can they just pick up where they left off after so many years apart?

Reid Burnett is a former pro-hockey player who returned to his hometown of Wintervale after a career-ending injury.

Now the owner of The Skate Escape, Wintervale's ice rink, he is settling into a life out of the spotlight but finds that something is missing. When his middle-school crush, Claudia Monroe, comes to town unexpectedly, Reid wonders if that something he was missing is actually a someone...

My Review: 3 Stars

Claudia is a former prima ballerina who is producing a show about her ballet years. When different complications arise with the show, she goes back to her hometown, to her roots, to try and dig up some childhood material and runs into her old buddy, Reid, who is a former hockey player. The small town of Wintervale brought these two together in the past and brings them together in the present, even with all the drama that seems to have followed Claudia.

This story is a sweet and gentle tale, heavy with the small town feels, but light on character depth. I would have loved to dig deeper into the thoughts and feelings of these two flawed characters. While Claudia fled town and seemed to thrive in the city life and limelight, Reid seems content to settle down into the familiarity of his past. Although these characters seem opposite in many ways, they do have the bond of childhood friendship and young crushes to forge their future together.

This is a great story for those who love a clean romance with an uncomplicated flow, simple characters, and a pleasant plot.

Content: mild romance

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Clover Creek (Sweet Southern Nights Book 1) by Heather Michelle {Review}

Clover Creek (Sweet Southern Nights Book 1) by Heather Michelle
ebook
Published March 7th 2019 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given without compensation.
 https://amzn.to/2K9w9F3    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43470572-clover-creek-sweet-southern-nights-book-1
When Claire Cunningham was five years old, she was taken.

She's spent the rest of her life running from her past, from her pain... from that day.
 
An unexpected phone call brings Claire back to Clover Creek, Texas to help care for her Gram. The minute she bumps into Jayce Sterling, her high school sweetheart, Claire realizes some old flames don't ever burn out. The man in front of her now is very different from the boy who walked away from her nearly fourteen years ago. 

Being with Jayce would be so easy, so right.

There's just one thing holding her back. Something she's not ready to deal with yet. A secret she'd rather keep hidden from the judgmental eyes of a small town.
 
But soon, she'll find out that she's not the only one with secrets. Jayce has one of his own. And this one could cost him everything.

*A clean, small town romance, Book 1 of 4 in the Sweet Southern Nights Series.*
My Review: 3.5 Stars

Claire has spent her whole life trying to prove something and when she's summoned back home, she realizes that she's been running from her past. Claire is a stubborn woman and she's also frustrating. So many of her issues could have been cleared up with a little communication, especially when some of the lack of talking led to being deceitful, and she fortunately arrives at a place in her life where she realizes this. 

Jayce is a great guy, but again, the lack of communication drove big wedges between him and those he cares most about. Thank goodness for second chances!

I always find it interesting when old flames reconnect after many years, in this case, 14 years, and their feelings are exactly the same. People definitely grow and change, as both of these characters did, but attraction and first love never dies because they are immediately and just as madly in love as they were all those years ago.

I wanted some of the character relationships (with parents, grandparents, friends, and even each other) to be more developed, as their struggles, connections, and issues were just skimmed on the surface. I wanted those bonds to tug me into the story and firmly grasp my heart. But overall, this is a pretty solid first offering from this author and the potential is definitely there.

Content: mild+ romance (kissing, talk of affairs, some innuendo) 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Love in Disguise by Anneka R. Walker {Blog Tour Review and Giveaway}


Love in Disguise by Anneka R. Walker
Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 1st 2019 by Covenant Communications 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given without compensation.

https://amzn.to/2MNzGuS     https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45862101-love-in-disguise

Marion Watt is set to embark on her first London Season, and her parents have spared no expense to help her secure a suitable husband. Unlike most of the social-climbing young women in her position, Marion has no desire to marry hastily or for anything less than love. But when she learns of her mother's declining health, she knows she must keep an open mind and allow herself to be courted. What she does not anticipate, however, is that the attentions of the insufferable Lord William Everton will be placed squarely on her. He might be the most sought-after bachelor of the Season, but she sees in him nothing but a frivolous cad.

Until William inherits his father's title and seat in parliament, he must rely on his own devices to change the world. Dressing like a ridiculous dandy serves its purposes, but he is certain his newest disguise will help him find a wife to please his parents and further his own agenda. From among the glittering group of debutantes, William finds only one woman who passes his test. Unfortunately, the perfect choice is the only woman in all of London who despises him.

My Review: 4.5 Stars

William and Marion have a history - he's never paid her much attention and she despises him - but a test concocted by William and his mother proves that Marion is the woman for him and he sets out to win her over.

I adored that premise of enemies-to-lovers and my stomach tingled with anticipation in these character interactions. I was left wanting more and desperately awaiting their next meeting. Although William is a dandy, he has layers of personality and characteristics that are waiting to be uncovered. Marion is a sweet girl with a spicy, sassy side that William tends to draw out. 

They each have individual reasons for agreeing to this marriage and I love how their troubles and trials bring a recognition of true feelings and desires. A few of the storms they weathered were a little abrupt, coming with no warning, but all were well written. 

I only wished for a slightly more developed romantic experience because I felt that some things were skimmed over and I was immersed and wanted more details. Overall, a great debut and I'm looking forward to more!

Content: mild romance (kissing) 

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 10, 2019

The Friend Zone by Sariah Wilson {Review}

The Friend Zone by Sariah Wilson
Kindle Edition
Expected publication: June 11th 2019 by Montlake Romance 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
 https://amzn.to/2UI1i84    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43164832-the-friend-zone
Disgraced college quarterback Logan Hunt was on his way to NFL stardom when he messed up big-time. Now the Texas star player with a bad temper has a new option: Seattle’s EOL College—as in End of the Line, to his fellow misfit recruits. It’s Logan’s last chance. If he can follow the rules. No parties, no fighting, no swearing, and oh, no dating the coach’s daughter, Jess. Simple. Yeah, right. For Logan, there has never been a rule he’s more tempted to break.

The deal is “just friends.” The pretty, confident, and fiercely smart math whiz is fine with pizza, tutoring, and keeping Logan in line. But the closer Jess gets, the more receptive she is to his warm heart and spirit—not to mention his irresistible off-field passes. With defenses down, they’re both heading into the danger zone.

It’s more than thrilling. It’s love. It’s also a game changer that could sideline Logan’s NFL goals—and more important, a future with Jess. But dreams are worth fighting for, right?
My Review: 5 Stars

"Trust me when I say we will never, ever date. Ever."

I can always count on Sariah Wilson to deliver a swoony romance with humor and this one didn't disappoint. This is Logan's last chance to play football and his new coach has sooo many rules. Break one? You're out! No second chances. Jess, the coach's daughter is so tempted and as his math tutor, they both agree to stay friends--just friends. 

Jess hasn't ever been as tempted by a man as she is by Logan, but friends it is. She will not be the reason he's kicked out of school and the football program. But try as they might, the sparks ignite and threaten to rage like an out-of-control forest fire.

I don't think I've ever felt such an underlying passion, much like an impending volcanic eruption, with a "just friends" story. The chemistry is sizzling and had me yearning for that first kiss to happen already. But what I loved the most is that Logan and Jess build a strong and unbreakable friendship, as they strive to keep the rules. I loved the way they put each other first and tried to help each other accomplish their goals, and I especially loved the swoon. This one is definitely another winner! 

And just for the record, these characters are the best and I'm hoping that Bash gets a story (hint, hint).

Content: mild+ romance (some innuendo, implied/attempted rape, kissing)  

Friday, June 7, 2019

In Tune With Love: An April Wedding by Amy Matayo {Review}

In Tune With Love by Amy Matayo
ebook, 112 pages
Published March 31st 2015 by Zondervan 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
 
 https://amzn.to/2YWZGVC    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23609115-in-tune-with-love
 
They’ve helped orchestrate the perfect day for countless couples. Now twelve new couples will find themselves in the wedding spotlight in the second Year of Weddings novella collection.

April is willing to do anything for her sister’s wedding—until she comes face to face with a guy from her past.

April Quinn is thrilled to be her sister’s maid of honor, until the wedding coordinator quits and the responsibilities get dumped on her. It’s April’s worst nightmare—especially since her sister has more objections and opinions than a lawyer presenting a high-profile court case. When the wedding singer walks out at the last-minute, her sister hires a replacement. When April finds out who the replacement is, she’s ready to call it quits as well.
Because there’s only one person in April’s past that she never wanted to see again, and her sister just handed him a front row seat to the wedding.

Jack Vaughn finally has the career he’s always wanted. After playing in bars and singing in weddings as a struggling musician for half a decade, he’s just released his second album and sales are skyrocketing. But while visiting his parent’s Nashville home the weekend before his first headline tour, he runs into an old friend. When she asks him for a last-minute favor, he can’t bring himself to say no. Even though saying yes means he has to come face to face with April Quinn—the girl who hasn’t spoken to him in years.

And rightly so, since he stole something from her that he’ll never be able to repay.
 
My Review: 4 Stars
 
I love a short little romantic treat and this one hit the spot. April's sister is getting married and when the wedding singer quits last minute, the replacement is April's nemesis--the man who stole her lyrics.
 
There's something about a wedding that inspires little droplets of romance and April and Jack find they're not immune to it. I wish the story could've been a little longer to dig deeper into these characters and make them three dimensional like I know this author can do, but given the length, the story is complete and utterly charming.
 
April is hurt and what Jack does to make things right for her almost brought a tear to my eye, which is very difficult to do. Fun, celebrity romance!
  
Content: mild romance  

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Saved by the Prince by Michelle Pennington {Review}

Saved by the Prince by Michelle Pennington
Kindle Edition182 pages
Published May 29th 2019
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.

    


His life was not his own, but he would risk it to save hers.
From the moment he stepped into her world, it changed forever.
Falling for Prince Alexios had doomed Serenity to heartbreak because his duty and his future belonged to his people.
This wasn't the first time she'd been forced to gather her shattered pieces and rise again. Her name was one of the biggest in the fashion industry, and her struggles had only proven she had the courage and strength to survive.
But then Alexios dared ask her to design a wedding dress for his future princess.
Never. Not in a million years!
Except, the nightmare from her past has returned—looking for revenge—and a royal palace in a little-known country on the other side of the ocean is the perfect place to hide.
But can she hide the fact that she still loves Alexios? Especially when it's clear that his engagement is nothing more than a political arrangement, and that he still has feelings for her as well?
Between her past and his future, fate is determined to keep them apart.
My Review: 4 Stars

Prince Alexios is ready to get married and this arranged marriage is all for his family's gain. When his future bride insists on having Serenity design her gown, these two are brought back together in a flash of chemical reaction.


My only issue with the story is that I felt there should have been a whole book written about the back story between Serenity and Alex. Maybe there was and I missed it? Yes, it wouldn't have ended well, but I felt like I was missing some pieces and was literally dying to know their history in more (swoony) detail.


Otherwise, the glimpses of suspense and peril were a perfect addition to a very sweet romance. I love a story with mixed societal positions--royalty and a commoner...and from different countries, too. For me, this element makes the story very relatable and allows for the reader to dream.


These are characters who are easy to love. I loved visualizing Serenity's dress designs and loved her dedication to her craft. When faced with a crazy man from her past, she does what she has to do to survive the experience, even when it puts her in the face of the one who got away. How hard would that be? As for Alex, he's true to his heart, yet he's kind--oh, so kind. This prince is definitely a catch!


If you've ever dreamed of falling for a prince, you're sure to enjoy this one.


Content: mild, swoony romance; mild violence/peril

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Golden Gown by Sarah E. Boucher {Blog Tour Review and Giveaway}



Golden Gown by Sarah E. Boucher
266 pages
Published May 3rd 2019
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.


https://amzn.to/31cpZt1    

Elyse has lost everything; her parents, her family home, and the village where she is loved and respected. Still grieving, she arrives in a new town where she must prove her skills as a seamstress. Overnight, she creates a gown stunning enough to catch the princess’s eye and win the community’s approval. With every eligible maiden clamoring for her designs, Elyse must do everything in her power to appease them. No one can ever know that in the moments when she doubts her abilities, a mysterious stranger with a talent for tailoring and a penchant for damsels in distress comes to her aid. If anyone ever discovers the truth, her reputation will be ruined.

Golden Gown is a blending of the classic fairy tales Rumpelstiltskin and The Shoemaker and The Elves. The magic of pure love woven through the tale will touch the hearts of all of its readers.

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My Review: 4 Stars

This is a wonderfully fun fairy tale retelling of Rumpelstiltskin. I loved the way the story builds on Elyse's talent for sewing and how everyone wants one of her dresses. I loved trying to visualize her dresses and their unique beauty. She and her aunt Lydia have a strong bond that is comfortable and loyal, and warmed my heart.

Rumpelstiltskin is a tricky story because to me, he's a creepy, greedy, old little man, but that's not the case in this book. He's a mysterious stranger that doesn't ask too much of her, so it seems. It's easy to see how Elyse gets herself into this mess and makes this tale seems relatable. And of course, then there's Elyse's intrigue with the prince... Well, the story is told in an entertaining way with some magical elements thrown in. I love the author's twists to make this her own and of course, the cover is stunning.

Fairy tales are always near and dear to my heart, but I especially loved the relationships and connections in this one.

Content: mild romance

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About the Author:


Sarah E. Boucher is a lover of fairy stories, romance, anything BBC and Marvel, and really, really cute shoes. On weekdays she wears respectable shoes and serves as Miss Boucher, the Queen of Kindergarten. On school holidays she writes stories about romance and adventure. And wears impractical super cute shoes.
Sarah is a graduate of Brigham Young University. She lives and works in northern Utah. Midnight Sisters is her second novel. Visit Sarah at SarahEBoucher.com or connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon, or Goodreads.

Book Links:

Golden Gown, Becoming Beauty, and Midnight Sisters are now available on Amazon. During the Blog Tour, Becoming Beauty and Midnight Sisters will be $.99 each on Kindle!

Rafflecopter Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 3, 2019

All For You (Pine Valley #8) by Heather B. Moore {Review}

All For You (Pine Valley #8) by Heather B. Moore
Kindle Edition, 245 pages
Published May 1st 2019 by Mirror Press 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
 https://amzn.to/30UqKH1    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43951863-all-for-you
Life has always been about the game for pro-hockey player Tyler Nelson, but when he meets attorney Lindsey Gerber, Tyler discovers his feelings for Lindsey are anything but a game.

USA Today bestselling author Heather B. Moore welcomes you to Pine Valley!

Crash and burn pretty much describes Lindsey Gerber’s last six months at her law firm where she hoped to make partner. Now, every goal she’s made is suddenly out the window. She moves to Pine Valley, looking for a new start. On day one she meets pro hockey player Tyler Nelson, who’s recovering from an injury and in a physical therapy program that includes nature things like hiking the ski resort, which he hates, and makes no secret of. He also makes no secret of his interest in Lindsey. Their lives are two worlds apart though, and it will take one of them changing everything to make a relationship work.  

My Review: 5 Stars 

This series is one of my favorites! From the adorable covers to the fantastic characters within, Pine Valley and its residents, both new and old, have my whole heart captured.

Nelson is a big, tough, NHL goalkeeper rehabing in Pine Valley and his first meet with Lindsey had me gasping and blushing. Of course, she's not too sure about him at first, but who can resist the charm of a lumbering gentleman? I definitely couldn't, hah! Just like Lindsey, I'm not a big hockey fan, but if my love interest played, that would change in a heartbeat. I love how different they are, yet how they support each other so much.

What I loved best about this story is the way the characters are so human. They're flawed, struggling with some pretty big issues, and yet they're so likable. In fact, I think that's what makes so easy to relate to. And as a bonus, Nelson and Lindsey have a connection to be jealous of.

I always love the secondary characters in these stories and often wonder if there will be a story about them someday, but I must admit that I squealed when one of the Belltown Six baseball players made a brief appearance! What a fun crossover.

I hope this series continues on, because I'm in love with Pine Valley!

Content: mild romance; mild language; mild harassment

Friday, May 31, 2019

Gold (Heart of a Miner Book 2) by Krystal Anderson {Review}

Gold (Heart of a Miner Book 2) by Krystal M. Anderson
ebook, 134 pages
Published February 28th 2019 
Source: Kindle Unlimited
 https://amzn.to/2EEL8SJ    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44085554-gold
Seeking a fresh start outside of his outlaw father’s shadow, Charlie Montgomery finds Silver City, Idaho Territory to be the perfect boom town for his adventurous soul. But when gold is discovered at the Crown Point silver mine where he is hired on, the gunslingers of his past reappear, putting Charlie and everything he holds dear in danger.

She could never marry a miner, Virginia was sure, not after her father was killed in a mining accident last year. Yet something about Charlie draws her like a bee to honey, and despite pressure from another suitor, she takes a chance on him. With her father's debts to pay, Virginia desperately engages in an unsavory one-time deal, realizing she can't outrun the consequences forever. Can Charlie be the steadfast companion and helpmeet whom she so desperately seeks?

A sweet historical romance packed full of adventure that is sure to inspire!
My Review: 5 Stars
Unfortunately, a father's sins are often reflected onto a child, and in this case, Charlie is trying to get out from under his outlaw father's shadow of the life of crime. He moves to a new town, hoping for a new start, but his father's shadow follows him.

Charlie is such a fun character, with his winsome personality and persistence. He's willing to take risks and do what needs to be done to protect those he cares about, especially Virginia. My favorite lessons from this story are that everyone should be allowed to make a name for himself and that true love can conquer all.

In a perilous adventure, this story has gunslingers, danger, and romance seeping out of the woodwork, and it's all very enjoyable. I love this wild west time period of history and thought this story did well to capture the highlights.

Content: mild romance; mild violence/danger 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Gloved Heart by Charlotte Brentwood {Review}

Gloved Heart (Hearts of Amberley #2) by Charlotte Brentwood
Kindle Edition, 225 pages
Published April 20th 2019 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
 
 https://amzn.to/2EEz3Nk    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44177535-gloved-heart
 
Can she ever trust again?

Amy Miller is struggling to come to terms with her new life as a mother, while being a reluctant guest in a rigid gentry household. A victim of abuse, she is determined to never trust a man again.

Henry Russell has loved Amy for as long as he can remember, but his family want nothing to do with her. A chance encounter with Amy rekindles a friendship which might save both of them.

The discovery of a secret which holds the key to Amy’s past will change them both forever, and jeopardise any chance they have for happiness. Can Henry show Amy that true love will give her everything she could ever need?

Sensuality level: sweet (only kissing)
Some content may challenge sensitive readers.
 

My Review: 3 Stars

Trust is a difficult thing to regain once it has been lost and Amy is learning that lesson firsthand. Wronged by a man, she struggles to trust anyone of that gender. Her life has been difficult lately, especially as she strives to find the balance between being a new mother and finding her place in society. Her newly rekindled friendship with Henry is a beautiful thing.

I liked Henry and the patience he shows towards a sometimes aggravating Amy. I love how their friendship slowly grows and really enjoyed watching them deal with the secrets that are unearthed as the story progresses.

There is some content that may be difficult for some readers to experience and it does cast a slight shadowy cloud over a good chunk of the story, but it's rewarding to watch the characters work through these hard issues. I enjoyed the story and know things like this must be talked about, but I relish the light and fluffy escapes best.

Content: mild romance (kissing); mild language used somewhat frequently; mild+ violence (vague talk of death, rape, etc)

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Kissing the Boy Next Door by Judy Corry {Review}

Kissing the Boy Next Door by Judy Corry
Kindle Edition, 289 pages
Published April 7th 2019 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
 https://amzn.to/2EGb2Wx    https://amzn.to/2EGb2Wx
Talking to him is forbidden, so why can’t I stay away?

It’s been five years since Wes and I have spoken. Five years since he decided our friendship was less important than our parents’ fight. So when we’re forced to practice a duet together, I expect him to keep our contact to a minimum.

Instead, he’s telling me the feud between our parents has gone on long enough. That he misses me and wants to fix things between us.

But I’m not going to fall for it. I won’t fall for his charms like so many other girls have in the past.

If only my stupid heart would listen to my brain. Because kissing the boy next door is no way to fix a family feud.

Or is it?  
My Review: 4 Stars
Well, since I didn't really read what this one was about, I was caught by surprise--a pleasant surprise. I was expecting a friends-to-lovers story, but it's actually like a modern Romeo and Juliet, with these neighbors as enemies. 
Former best friends, Wes and Lauren, are victims of their parents long-time feud, but when they are forced together, both in running and choir, they realize there might be more to their relationship. There are some undeniable sparks of attraction that intensify as these two try and solve the mystery of the feud, and some pretty hefty secrets emerge as they chip away at it.  
I really enjoyed these characters, especially the easy-going and good-guy, Wes. He's a charmer and really helps Lauren loosen up, yet he's there for her through some hard times. As great as these teens are, their parents have some work to do, hah! I can understand their decisions, yet those choices caused a lot of years of heartbreak and missed relationships. But alas, who's perfect?
This is a great series and I love how each installment builds another piece of Sweet Water High.
Content: mild+ romance (kissing, vague talk of intimacy)

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Whatever It Takes by Jessica Pack {Review}

Whatever It Takes by Jessica Pack
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Publication: May 28th 2019 by Kensington 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
 https://amzn.to/2ExouvF   
Sienna has no memory of her late mother, yet every significant day of her life—birthdays, the first day of high school, graduation—has been marked by a letter written during her last weeks of life. Sienna knows her father feels grateful to be able to offer up these connections to the loving, talented woman his daughter never got a chance to know. Yet for Sienna herself, the letters have become a dreaded burden, a reminder that every milestone is less than it would be if both parents were still living.

A month before her twenty-fifth birthday, Sienna finds a lump. Facing a cancer diagnosis, Sienna begins to ask questions about her mother’s terminal illness—questions that reveal unsettling inconsistencies and voids in the stories she’s been told. The deeper she digs, the more the image of her mother as a contented homemaker warps into something much darker and far more troubling. If Sienna’s dad lied about this, what else did he lie about?

What does it mean to be a good parent? What role does the past play in who we are? And to what lengths should one go to protect a child? Like the best of Jodi Picoult, Whatever It Takes delves into these fascinating questions of family and identity with power, insight, and love.
My Review: 4 Stars 

Facing a serious health crisis, Sienna decides to ask questions about her mother, who died when she was only two years old, but discovers startling inconsistencies that lead her to dig deeper, finding a complex web of lies.

Marriage is challenging, but when combined with infertility, an overseas job, possible cancer, and other stresses, the breaking point for all of it can be achieved without much effort. My heart went out to Sienna, who tries to be strong and face everything pressing in on her alone. I could feel her desperate need for answers and thought the way the chapters went back and forth between past and present was a clever way to divulge the truth.

This tangled web of deception was interesting to watch unfold and really made me think about the impacts of family relationship and identity. Sienna's relationships are all complicated in one way or another and watching her sort out her connections with others, as well as the mystery surrounding her mother was satisfying. I enjoyed this one and thought it was well done, but wanted the vague threads of the story to have more resolution.

Content: moderate romance (affairs, innuendo, implied intimate relations); mild+ descriptions of drug use; moderate language

Monday, May 27, 2019

Snatching the Catcher by Rebecca Connolly {Review}

Snatching the Catcher by Rebecca Connolly
ebook, 220 pages
Published May 7th 2019 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
 
 https://amzn.to/30GaLMu    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42757785-snatching-the-catcher
 
Grizz is about to break all of the rules for something he never imagined he would be risking . . . His heart.

Rachel Bennett has spent her entire life reaching for her dreams to dance professionally, and has come close enough that she’s content with where she is. Enter Grizz McCarthy, one of her brother’s best friends and a member of the beloved Belltown Six Pack. Ranked as one of the hottest pro athletes of the year, Rachel finds there is so much more to Grizz than that, and soon he has her reaching for more.

Rachel should be off limits for David “Grizz” McCarthy. That’s a universally accepted fact, courtesy of his bond with his brothers in the Six Pack. But the more time he spends with Rachel, the less he cares about that fact, and what it could do to his friendships.
 
My Review: 5 Stars
 
It's been so much fun to get to know this group of baseball boys better and to read each man's love story. It's kind of an unwritten rule, or guy code, to stay away from your friend's little sister, but when Grizz runs into Rachel again at her mom's wedding, he's smitten. And after a few cute run-ins with this catcher, Rachel realizes that there's more to him than meets the eye and her eyes will never be the same after seeing his Sports Illustrated picture.
 
Grizz and Rachel have such a cute story, especially since they both share a massive love for baseball and have a sizzling chemistry that can't be ignored. They fall hard and fast, but they share a past, which makes it that much easier for them to take the shortcut to love.
 
This story wrapped my heart up into one big, comfy hug, with its familiar characters and swoony romance, and I'm looking forward to intimately knowing the last few members of the Belltown Six Pack.  

Content: mild+ romance (kissing, making out, swoony); mild language