Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Dancing to Freedom (Dreams Edge #0.5) by Traci Hunter Abramson {Review}

Dancing to Freedom (Dreams Edge #0.5) by Traci Hunter Abramson

Kindle Edition, 83 pages
First published April 30, 2021 


Canada, 1960

Ballet is Katerina Petrova’s world. But when the stage lights go dim and the curtain closes, she is simply a young woman who is trapped. On tour with the Soviet Kirov Ballet in Canada, Katerina is watched day and night by her chaperones and ballet security. But no one realizes that her hotel balcony adjoins that of handsome Canadian hockey player Robert Marcell.

Robert is enchanted by Katerina, though he knows little about who she really is. In an attempt to find out more about this mysterious young woman, Robert extends his stay in the hotel. One night, when a teammate’s wife persuades him to join them at the ballet, Robert reluctantly attends. He has no interest in cultural experiences—until Katerina dances onto the stage. Soon, the two are inseparable, but despite their growing love, Katerina knows they can have no future together. They come from different worlds, and to escape her gilded cage would be nearly impossible.

  

My Review: 5 Stars

There's something so intriguing and heartbreaking about a forbidden love and Abramson snapped me to attention with this sweet novella.

Russian ballerina Katerina and Canadian hockey star Robert share an adjacent balcony at a hotel and forge an attracting friendship that I just devoured. Abramson portrays these characters in a lifelike and authentic way that gripped my heart. Details about how captive Katerina was stirred feelings of fear and hope deep in my soul and I desperately wanted Robert to find success. 

Written in a very engaging way, this story nestled itself deep in my heart and left me anticipating more from this series.

Content: mild moments of peril/threat/fear; mild romance 


Monday, June 14, 2021

Inventing Vivian by Jennifer Moore {Blog Tour Review and Giveaway}

 

4.5 Stars

I love a book with a good, strong female lead and it was especially fun to watch Vivian develop her love of science. The Blue Orchid society is a wonderfully diverse and solid group of innovative young ladies in the Victorian era and it's such a joy to delve into each of their stories.

Vivian is very smart and not afraid to be true to herself. She's a sharp character that was a delight to read about and I just adored her. I loved Lord Benedict and the whole situation regarding him. Moore always introduces a thread to her stories that aren't the norm for the time periods she writes in, and this whole series is evident of that. The Chinese element was enjoyable and interesting as well.

Solid characters with a solid plot. Personally, I wanted more romance, since this is labeled as a Victorian romance, but all in all, this is a very entertaining book in a wonderful series and I'm anticipating the rest of the Society's stories.

Content: very mild romance; very mild moments of violence/peril

*I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.* 

 Buy your copy HERE.

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Silent Partner (A Pine Falls Novel) by Jennifer Peel {Review}

Silent Partner (A Pine Falls Novel) by Jennifer Peel

324 pages, Kindle Edition
Published June 4, 2021
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were voluntarily given. 



He thinks his silence will protect her. She needs to hear what’s in his heart.

When it comes to love and life, Kinsley Kramer knows one thing—she’s always second best. Tired of feeling like she’s never enough, she decides to give up on men and adopt a cat. What Kinsley doesn’t know is that Brant Holland wants nothing more than to tell the world how much he loves her, but he has kept his distance to protect Kinsley from the secrets he keeps and from his ex-fiancĂ©e’s family.

But when Kinsley is about to lose her restaurant, Brant can’t help but act. He steps in and becomes her silent partner. Unable to deny the passion that sizzles between them, they must open painful doors to the past, and the secrets Brant has been keeping must be unleashed. Secrets that threaten to destroy everything and everyone he holds dear. Kinsley must now decide if she can bear the pain of Brant’s past choices and an uncertain future as everything in the Hollands’ world hangs in the balance.

See how it all unfolds in this heart-tugging final chapter of the Pine Falls series.

   

My Review: 5 Stars

The books in this series must be read in order, as the drama and intensity builds with each one and you'll definitely be lost without the backstory. That said, I've been waffling between eagerly anticipating this story and dreading it. Why the contradicting feelings? Because I've been dying to get Kinsley's story, yet this is the end of the series.

This story is full of drama--the kind that makes a reader question everything in life and spend lots of time assessing what they would do in this situation--yet I just couldn't get enough. Peel has a way of magically transporting a person right into her books.

Kinsley and Brant are multi-dimensional characters and I loved peeling their layers to discover what is underneath. They have heavy burdens, yet they are each full of grace. With stories full of love, loss, forgiveness, and tension, these characters grow and although their situations may differ from the reader's, they are built on relatable facets. My heart was tugged and stretched, but I wouldn't have it molded in any other way.

Content: PG-13 romance (kissing; talk of intimacy and some innuendo); mild+ language


Monday, June 7, 2021

Inventing Vivian (The Blue Orchid Society #2) by Jennifer Moore {Review}

Inventing Vivian (The Blue Orchid Society #2) by Jennifer Moore

224 pages, Paperback
Publication June 7, 2021
Source: I received a complimentary copy through the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given. 



Ladies of London’s High Society are known for their social graces and poise. Vivian Kirby boasts neither of these enviable qualities, though she does offer impressive conversation on chemical compositions. Unfortunately, it appears that not many men want a brilliant wife. So it is that Vivian finds kinship with a group of young women who embrace each other’s differences: The Blue Orchid Society.

After an extended stay in China, Lord Benedict has returned transformed to his family’s estate, where an encounter with Vivian, whose scientific knowledge he once undermined, leaves him determined to make amends. He arranges to help forward her research—anonymously, of course. Through letters, Vivian establishes a warm friendship with her secret benefactor, even as she’s unexpectedly drawn into a murder investigation that forces her to work alongside Benedict to unearth the truth. Soon, Vivian fears she may be falling in love with two men, never suspecting that they are one and the same.

 

   

My Review: 4.5 Stars

I love a book with a good, strong female lead and it was especially fun to watch Vivian develop her love of science. The Blue Orchid society is a wonderfully diverse and solid group of innovative young ladies in the Victorian era and it's such a joy to delve into each of their stories.

Vivian is very smart and not afraid to be true to herself. She's a sharp character that was a delight to read about and I just adored her. I loved Lord Benedict and the whole situation regarding him. Moore always introduces a thread to her stories that aren't the norm for the time periods she writes in, and this whole series is evident of that. The Chinese element was enjoyable and interesting as well.

Solid characters with a solid plot. Personally, I wanted more romance, since this is labeled as a Victorian romance, but all in all, this is a very entertaining book in a wonderful series and I'm anticipating the rest of the Society's stories.

Content: very mild romance; very mild moments of violence/peril


Friday, June 4, 2021

Only Time Will Tell (A Charles & Company Romance, Book 2) by Amy Matayo {Review}

Only Time Will Tell (A Charles & Company Romance, Book 2) by Amy Matayo

Kindle Edition, 257 pages
Publication June 3, 2021
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given. 

 

 

 

For newly published author Eliza Sterling, having her first book launch party at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a dream come true. Since her book is a modern-day retelling of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and the Met is hosting a display of rarely seen Dickens’ artifacts at the same time, she chalks it up to a case of good timing.

For publicly disgraced, former best-selling author Lew McDonnell, seeing a debut author having her first book launch party at the Met brings up all sorts of resentments. Especially when the book this lady is promoting just happens to be one of his old manuscripts that she’s clearly plagiarized and claimed for herself.

When heated words are exchanged in front of a display case containing an original copy of Great Expectations, both Lew and Eliza are prepared for a fight. But they aren’t prepared for the room to shake, for the display case to shatter, or for the old book to send them both careening toward a new existence entirely.

When Lew wakes up on the floor of the Charles Dickens museum in London to see Eliza working there as a tour guide, he knows something has gone horribly wrong. It’s the same day and time, but suddenly he’s the best-selling author headlining his own book launch again, and Eliza is serving him drinks and working all hours to make ends meet. And the weirdest thing of all?

Lew is the only one who remembers their former lives. 

  

 

My Review: 4.5 Stars

One of my favorite things to do lately is read a book without reading the synopsis. Of course, this only works when it's written by an author I love. I had no idea what I was getting into with this one and I loved that, confusing bits and all. While there is still a time travel element in this one (more of a time shift), it didn't feel quite as shocking and pronounced, but it was every bit as entertaining and I was left wondering about the outcome until the very end.

Lew and Eliza have a wonderfully jolting clash at first meet, and that dynamic serves them well as they encounter once again. I loved that this story was about two authors and the think that ties their lives together is a book. I enjoyed watching how things developed and evolved in the lives of these great characters. Matayo's wit shines through the pages. The creativity and twists were a lot of fun, and this story was very enjoyable. I only wished for more romance.

Content: very mild romance; flashback moments of peril/danger (an accident)

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Summer Nights at the Homestead Inn: While He Was Sleeping by Kimberly Krey {Review}

Summer Nights at the Homestead Inn: While He Was Sleeping by Kimberly Krey

Kindle Edition
Publication June 1, 2021
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given 



Two brothers.
One Woman.
And a whole lot of commotion.

Richard and Ava can't let the others know about their romance.
Good thing they have those warm summer nights.

When a set of billionaire twins unwittingly offer Ava a chance to escape her abusive boyfriend, she takes it. Who knew the one-way trip to Costa Rica would lead them to a relocation program in Haven Hills, where the twins' siblings, including their "oldest ornery brother" Richard live in hiding?

As Ava finds her place in their new destination, she also finds herself drawn to none other than the oldest brother, despite obvious advances from one of the twins. Things take a turn when that twin winds up on strict bedrest while attempting a stunt to impress her. Days later, Ava discovers that Richard feels the same undeniable spark between them, and so starts their summer nights rendezvous. In a hiding spot of their very own, Richard and Ava give into sweet romance, passionate kisses, and talk of how they'll eventually tell his family about their love.

Richard knew better than to fall for a woman his brother Maverick had the hots for. But he can't deny his attraction to Ava, a woman who actually loves math as much as he does. Besides, the two weren't dating. Maverick had no right to stake his claim on her.

But that doesn't change the fact that he and Ava's secret romance could start a whole lot of trouble when he finds out.

   

My Review: 5 Stars

This is a fun series about a family in the witness protection program and I don't think I could do it. This is the second book so far and I love how the reader gets to know the characters better and better as the series progresses, and I can't wait to learn more about the other siblings.

Richard is the eldest and the serious, grumpy brother, but all that changes when Ava shows up with his twin brothers. I loved the vague play on a favorite classic movie, which gave the story some familiarity, but twisted into a messy pile of pure entertainment.

The way the summer heat sparks a swoony, massive attraction that results in a steamy clean hidden romance was perfection. While there are big secrets to be kept by all and obvious walls are high, Krey manages to draw the reader in with some humor, a hint of danger, and more than a few amazing kisses.

This is a cute story that was the perfect reading escape and I can't wait for more!

Content: mild+ romance (some light innuendo, steamy-clean kissing); mild violence (talk of abuse)


Thursday, May 27, 2021

Rescue a Stubborn Heart (Hudson Brothers Romance - Book 2) by Cindy Roland Anderson {Review}

Rescue a Stubborn Heart (Hudson Brothers Romance - Book 2) by Cindy Roland Anderson

285 pages, Kindle Edition
Publication May 27, 2021
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given 



She doesn’t believe true love is real.
He thinks he’s too broken for love.
Everything changes when two stubborn hearts meet.

On the run from her ex-husband’s twisted family, Finley seeks help from Jaxon Hudson, the Navy SEAL who rescued her three years ago. Even though she only knew him for a few hours, it was long enough for her to fall in love. But Jaxon’s imminent deployment squashed any hope of a relationship, and he walked away, taking a piece of her heart with him.

Now Finley is older and wiser and not looking for love. So when Jaxon proposes a marriage of convenience and offers the protection of his name, but not his heart, Finley accepts the terms.

There’s only one problem, the spark they had three years ago never died out...placing her in danger of falling for him all over again.

   

My Review: 5 Stars

So much is wrapped up in these pages. Anderson tackles a few tough topics, such as PTSD and domestic abuse, but does it in a way that brings issues to light without feeling heavy at all. These Hudson brothers are a force to be reckoned with and I love getting their stories. LOVED!

After Jaxon rescues Finley, takes her on one date, and then deploys, survivor's guilt and trauma take over his life. When Finley needs rescuing again, they reconnect and the sparks are more flammable than ever.

Jaxon is one amazing character! Although he's strong and compassionate, he's battling demons, which makes him relatable. Finley has struggled her whole life, especially with a sense of belonging and the marriage of inconvenience that ensues from their reunion finally gives her what she craves...but can she keep it?

Anderson has a way of writing that makes me smile, swoon, and devour every single word. I loved every interaction between Jaxon and Finley and couldn't get enough of their palpable chemistry. The zings were instantaneous, yet completely believable, and the little baby, Gracie, melted my heart.

I absolutely adore these brothers--every single one--and can't wait to read every one of their stories.

Content: mild+ romance (very mild innuendo, swoony kissing, unwanted advances); mild violence (vague talk of abuse, neglect, war violence, death)