Thursday, June 27, 2019

Suddenly Required: Bride by Jo Noelle {Review}

Suddenly Required: Bride by Jo Noelle
Kindle Edition, 224 pages
Published May 18th 2019 by Little Box Press LLC 
Source: Kindle Unlimited
 https://amzn.to/2YadcFj    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45020341-suddenly-required
He never expected to fall for his nemesis. She never expected to arrange her divorce before her marriage. Yet, it might be the best thing that ever happened.

Kai Stuart hadn’t expected his marital status—lack of marriage to be exact—to be the deal-breaker that stood between him and buying a multi-million dollar luxury property in Italy at bargain prices, but it was. A short-term contract for marriage to someone he has no chance of falling for is exactly what he needs.

Remi Stein wonders if a marriage contract could be the answer for her current problem, too. She would net a few hundred thousand from the arrangement, giving her non-profit business a cash infusion it desperately needs. They can call a truce for six months, then they’ll happily part ways, getting what they each want. Luckily there’s no expectation of love.

Will their pre-arranged divorce survive spending time in close quarters, traveling the world, and sharing starry nights at a villa on Lake Como? Find out in this enemies-to-lovers romance novel.

*Stand-alone novel

My Review: 5 Stars

I'm a fan of marriages of convenience and this one was fun and fresh with some interesting twists. Kai and Remi grew up very competitive and were nemeses, but as they reconnected at their 10 year high school reunion, they both realized that maybe they've grown up and can admire each other's accomplishments and strengths.

What was interesting with this story is that both Kai and Remi had a reason to marry. They mutually benefited from their arrangement. I loved their relationship--how they were able to laugh, tease, play, work, and support each other, especially when their plans go slightly awry, leaving them with an undeniable romantic connection and a baby alpaca. 

These characters are extremely fun and the settings (three different locations around the globe) are utterly charming. I have some new places to add to my bucket list, hah! But of course, my favorite was the chemistry oozing off the pages. It's been said that the closest emotion to love is hate and it sure proves true in this case. This one charmed it's way straight into the deepest crevices of my heart.

Content: mild, swoony romance

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Flirting with First (A Belltown Six Pack Romance) by Sophia Summers {Review}

Flirting with First by Sophia Summers
Kindle Edition, 217 pages
Published June 3rd 2019 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
 https://amzn.to/2Xu6Svs   https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44299722-flirting-with-first
Trista’s movie star status keeps her from the one guy she’s ever really wanted—professional baseball player, Ryker Stone.

Ryker Stone, one of the famed Belltown Six Pack loves what no one else notices in Trista McKinney. But when co-star and heart throb, Trevor Dayton, starts a social media campaign, competing for her attention, and Ryker’s baseball schedule and pressures amp up, Ryker lays it all on the line to win her over forever.

Trista McKinney doesn’t need winning. She’s been Ryker’s from the very beginning, but her movie’s production schedule and her dreams of one day winning an Oscar make it almost impossible for things to progress between the two.

With feelings high, both of their careers in the balance, can Trista and Ryker find a path to professional success without losing what they’ve found in each other?
 

My Review: 4 Stars

This is a fantastic series! I have loved getting to know each member of the Belltown Six Pack better and this was Rabbit's story. He's really fast and really lucky, on and off the field, but a last minute date with up-and-coming actress, Trista, puts him in a whole new league. These two each have high profile careers, which makes for some drama, but the heart knows the truth.

I thought this author did a great job of portraying the demands of a pro athlete's career, as well as a Hollywood actress's. Meshing these two difficult schedules isn't easy, but true love is worth it, if they can overcome the publicity and their individual insecurities. I love how deep and real both Ryker and Trista are--they're not conceited and full of themselves, but have issues to work on and love to find.

The flirting and romantic tension is almost palpable at times and I really enjoyed the stolen swoony moments, as well as the camaraderie that comes from being a part of this Six Pack.

This is one series that I'm sad to see come to an end--one more book to go! This is a great series for any romance fan, sports lover or not.

Content: mild romance (kissing, some innuendo)

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

An American Duchess by Caroline Fyffe {Review}

An American Duchess by Caroline Fyffe
Paperback, 348 pages
Expected publication: June 25th 2019 by Montlake Romance 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
 
 https://amzn.to/2V8hkbK    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43304120-an-american-duchess
 
A woman's heart dares to defy the rules of Victorian society in USA Today bestselling author Caroline Fyffe's novel of romance, royalty, and a little revenge.

In Kent, England, the arrival of Beranger Northcott, Duke of Brightshire, causes a stir. Because with the duke comes his new American bride, who isn't quite what anyone expects. By accepting the hand of her beloved, Emma Brinkman went from hardworking Colorado rancher to duchess. Now she's expected to comport herself as nobility. Overnight. For Emma—stifled, homesick, and unable to shake the feeling she's being watched—the metamorphosis is a challenge. And if Emma's suspicions are correct, perhaps even a dangerous one.

Fortunately, Emma has found a trusted friend in the orphaned Charlotte, Brightshire's scullery maid. Charlotte longs to experience—if only for a moment—the luxuries and gentry romance that come with a titled life. When one of the duke's handsome cousins takes notice of Charlotte, the castle kitchen is set abuzz with speculation.

In navigating their two different stations, both servant and duchess alike will discover all they have in common—from secret fantasies to daring hearts to upending the rules of society. And that finding their places in the world—and love—is a dream that can come true—no matter the risks.
 
My Review: 4 Stars
 
There's a lot of mayhem going on in this delightful Victorian novel! It's fun to read a story of an American coming back "across the pond" to take her place in English society. Emma and Beranger had no expectations of him becoming the new Duke and Emma is quite up to this position, according to some--namely her wicked her step-mother-in-law.
 
I loved watching Emma take on this challenge, mingling her background with her new expectations. She isn't what they expect, and while she tries to conform in some ways, she stays true to herself, bringing a breath of fresh air to the stuffiness of society.
 
There is a mystery, waiting to be discovered, and danger abounds, especially when the Duke falls ill. It was fun trying to guess what was going on and who was behind it, and that's where my slight issues lie. I'm not going to say more, as I don't want to spoil it.
 
Emma and Beranger are already married, but there is still a lot of romance and romantic tension to be found. The relationships steal the cake for this one--not only between this charming couple, but within the friendships, new and old, that are formed. This book definitely found its place within my heart.
 
Content: mild+ romance (all behind closed doors, but implied, kissing); mild+ language; very mild religion 

Monday, June 24, 2019

Uncharted Destiny (Uncharted Series #7) by Keely Brooke Keith {Review}

Uncharted Destiny (Uncharted Series #7) by Keely Brooke Keith
Kindle Edition, 283 pages
Published June 3rd 2019 by Edenbrooke Press 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
 https://amzn.to/2Y8vs26    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44416305-uncharted-destiny
Bailey Colburn is finally safe in the Land, but her father figure, Professor Tim, never made it to Good Springs. When Bailey discovers Tim is lost in the Land’s dangerous mountain terrain and out of his life-saving medication, she sets out to rescue him. Even with the help of intriguing native Revel Roberts, Bailey faces an impossible journey to save Tim. The mountains are shrouded in dark folklore and full of deadly surprises.

Revel Roberts never stays in one place too long. No matter where he travels in the Land, he avoids the Inn at Falls Creek, his boyhood home and the business he will inherit. But when fearless newcomer Bailey Colburn needs Revel’s help to find her friend, he joins the mission and is forced to return to the place he’d rather forget.

Bailey and Revel’s friendship strengthens as they need each other in ways neither of them imagined. But nothing can prepare them for what awaits in the Land’s treacherous mountains.

Uncharted Destiny, the seventh installment in the beloved Uncharted series, weaves faith and adventure while delivering long-awaited answers in this inspirational story of life in a hidden land.

My Review: 5 Stars

I love this series! This one definitely needs to be read in order, because each book builds upon the last, adding more to this world, which is set in the not-so-far future. I love discovered the new pieces of this land and how this society came to be. It's a cross between dystopian and pioneer, if that makes sense.

In this installment, Bailey's connections, past and future, are manifested and the adventure she and some of the others go on to rescue her friend and father figure play out almost like Jurassic Park! There were some pretty intense moments, with the mysteries of undiscovered parts of the Land making an appearance. 

I enjoyed watching Bailey adapt to the ways of the Land, form lasting friendships with some of the residents, and allow herself to soften in ways that may open her up to love in the future. I love how the familiar characters play roles in each story, so the reader gets to know them better and better with each book in the series.

This author has a terrific imagination to create such a unique world and such wonderful characters! I hope this series continues on and on, because there's still so much more to discover.

Content: mild romance; mild violence

Friday, June 21, 2019

One of the Girls by Robin Daniels - Giveaway!!


One of the Girls by Robin Daniels

FROM ENDZONE TO FRIENDZONE…

Senior Nick Moody is the second string quarterback on Roosevelt High School’s championship football team. He’s crushed on Mia for years, but she doesn’t know he exists. It’s time to come off the bench and into the game. Nick refuses to graduate without getting the girl or the glory.

Mia Ashlock is the remarkably kind cheer captain. She’s a yes girl, and her penchant for people pleasing always leads to bad relationships. After being humiliated in a very public dumping, her teammates decide to break her bad habit with a ban on boyfriends.

When Nick sees a poster, advertising cheer tryouts, he has a crazy idea: quit football and become a cheerleader. It’s perfect! He can get close to Mia and steal the spotlight, using his true and hidden talent—gymnastics. Nick and Mia have instant chemistry, but it does him little good. If Mia’s zero dating rule weren’t bad enough, the team treats him less like boyfriend material and more like one of the girls. Breaching the friendzone will be much harder than he thought.
Content: This book contains kissing along with limited/mild swearing and minimal inuendo/crude humor. No explicit language or references to sex.


Praise for One of the Girls:

This is one of those feel-good sweet high school romances that totally took me back in time. Daniels has a talent for creating a realistic teen scene with believable characters who my teenage self wants to be friends with. A slow-burn romance, all full of sparks and subtle chemistry, is my favorite and this story is definitely enchanting. I enjoyed the way everything played out and loved the secondary characters too, as they really added to the book. I hope Sean gets his own story, hint hint. This one was so much fun!

Loved the concept and execution of this story. Daniels has a way to make you laugh and root for a HEA. Great characters! This book had me smiling long after I finished it. Can’t wait for more!!
This is such a fun book! While it deals with real-life issues, Daniels handles them with her usual wit and humor, making for a sweet story. I love the characters, and as I’ve come to expect from her, Daniels is on point with their interactions and dialog. Daniels is one of my go-to authors for fun, feel-good, sweet romance, and this newest offering did not disappoint!

This is now my favorite Robin Daniels book. Her swooniest hero, who is unabashedly himself, and a perfectly happy ending.

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 20, 2019

One of the Girls by Robin Daniels {Review}

One of the Girls by Robin Daniels
Kindle Edition, 329 pages
Expected publication: June 20th 2019 by Bluefields 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
 
 https://amzn.to/31rDt4j    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45999667-one-of-the-girls
 
FROM ENDZONE TO FRIENDZONE...

Senior Nick Moody is the second string quarterback on Roosevelt High School’s championship football team. He’s crushed on Mia for years, but she doesn’t know he exists. It’s time to come off the bench and into the game. Nick refuses to graduate without getting the girl or the glory.

Mia Ashlock is the remarkably kind cheer captain. She’s a yes girl, and her penchant for people pleasing always leads to bad relationships. After being humiliated in a very public dumping, her teammates decide to break her bad habit with a ban on boyfriends.

When Nick sees a poster, advertising cheer tryouts, he has a crazy idea: quit football and become a cheerleader. It’s perfect! He can get close to Mia and steal the spotlight, using his true and hidden talent—gymnastics. Nick and Mia have instant chemistry, but it does him little good. If Mia’s zero dating rule weren’t bad enough, the team treats him less like boyfriend material and more like one of the girls. Breaching the friendzone will be much harder than he thought.

Content: This book contains kissing along with limited/mild swearing and minimal inuendo/crude humor. No explicit language or references to sex.
 
My Review: 5 Stars
 
This is one of those feel-good sweet high school romances that totally took me back in time. Daniels has a talent for creating a realistic teen scene with believable characters who my teenage self wants to be friends with.
 
Nick's football career doesn't seem to be taking in off the bench much, so he decides to try out for the cheerleading team, since he's a great tumbler. That and it will get him closer contact with his crush. Okay...what kind of high school boy has the confidence to break the social barriers and stereotypes? He's the first male to try out and it's pretty groundbreaking, especially as he deals with teasing a lot. So when you add that to the fact that when he is within range of his crush, he acts completely normal and starts as friends, well, wow! This guy is a man with some self control and knows just how to go after what he wants!
 
As for Mia, the co-head cheerleader...she's not your typical girl. In fact, this whole team is full of personality and loyalty, and although there is one who is a little brash, they're a group of kind, fun, and dedicated girls. I adored Mia and the way she grows from her experiences.
 
A slow-burn romance, all full of sparks and subtle chemistry, is my favorite and this story is definitely enchanting. I enjoyed the way everything played out and loved the secondary characters too, as they really added to the book. I hope Sean gets his own story, hint hint. This one was so much fun!
 
Content: mild romance; mild innuendo/crude talk; mild language. 

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) 

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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!

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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