Monday, January 25, 2021

One Kick Wonder (Romeo Family Romance Book 10) by Jennifer Youngblood {Review}

One Kick Wonder (Romeo Family Romance Book 10) by Jennifer Youngblood

Kindle Edition, 180 pages
Published January 20th 2021
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given



Dream big. Live large. Love like there’s no tomorrow.

Life rarely goes according to plan. Sometimes the unexpected is even better than we could have ever imagined …

For as long as he can remember, Mason has wanted to pursue his dream of being a musician. He’s been chomping at the bit to jump into the industry for years, but his daddy has been holding him back, claiming that Mason still has some growing up to do. As far as Mason is concerned, he’s plenty grown, and just as talented and driven as his older brother Cash.

Mason knows that he has what it takes to soar. He only needs his shot.

Just when his life takes the turn he always wanted, love and life open up a new path of possibilities that could be even better than he imagined. If only Mason can summon the courage to embrace the unexpected.
 
   

 
My Review: 4 Stars
 
The one thing that I love about this series is how the characters are connected through the Romeo family name, yet each story is so unique and different. None of that "same plot, same place, just plug a different name in" to it. And most of this delicious story took place in Hawaii, which was the perfect place to imagine.

Mason is the kicker for a pro football team, but also has a few musical bones in his body, thanks to his family genes. This man goes after what he wants and I loved his tenacity--especially when it came to Selma, but he was a little overbearing at times, putting the pressure on her. As for Selma, her dual personas are charming and hesitant, but very loyal and...trapped. Their instantaneous connection was combustible and doomed, but I adored their time together and the risks they took. I loved exploring Oahu with them and adored her bodyguard, Moose. The movie references and one-liners were a lot of fun too.

True to Youngblood fashion, the story isn't complete without some engaging tension and peril, and it came at the ideal time and in the best way. The pacing and action was believable. Youngblood knows how to deliver a book that encompasses the whole package--romance, action, and swoon.

Content: mild violence; mild romance; mild religion

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Thursday, January 21, 2021

The Promposal (The Ugly Stepsister #2) by Sariah Wilson {Review}

The Promposal (The Ugly Stepsister #2) by Sariah Wilson

Kindle Edition, 164 pages
Published May 15th 2018 by Kindle press 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
 
 
 
Now that life has finally given her everything she’s ever wanted, Mattie Lowe has one thing on her mind: Prom. Determined to throw the most epic prom ever, Mattie sets out to plan a memorable and magical event—one that would make the late John Hughes proud.

But when her gorgeous and perfect boyfriend, Jake Kingston hasn’t popped the most creative promposal of all time, Mattie starts to worry. Actually, Jake hasn’t asked her at all—he’s been distant and quiet. And Mattie isn’t about to go to her senior prom solo. Suddenly, it seems that everything is stacked against her and falling apart quickly. With rivals vowing to sabotage her event and her boyfriend’s odd behavior, Mattie’s convinced the night is headed toward ruin. Will the snarky, purple-haired manga artist lead her class to an unforgettable night of fun and frolic or will she go down in high school history as the worst president to run the school?
 
   

 
My Review: 4 Stars
 
Oh, how I remember the high school days of prom. Most of the students at my school did the elaborate ways of asking and answering, but Malibu Prep took it to a whole new level. I loved the way this story transported me back to my that time of my life and Wilson did a great job of portraying the angst and character growth during the senior year of Mattie and her boyfriend, Jake. 
 
Mattie is snarky and quirky, but her heart of gold emerges as she goes through the stress and conflicts of high school. Jake is a keeper, but it drove me crazy with how distracted and clueless he was at times. Alas...it's typical for high school. 
 
I love it when a cover matches the book completely and this one is perfection. In a light-hearted and fun way, with plenty of nods to the 80s, Wilson carries out a delightfully sweet story. This is a great series and now I'm hoping for Ella, Mattie's stepsister) to find her happily ever after.
 
Content: mild romance  

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

The Promised Prince by Kortney Keisel {Review}

The Promised Prince by Kortney Keisel

Kindle Edition, 410 pages
Published January 12th 2021 by Amazon Digital Services 
Source: Kindle Unlimited
 
 
 
He's promised to another. She's promised to forget him.
Eighteen-year-old Renna Degray is hopeful about love and her future after a chance encounter with a handsome stranger. Until she discovers who the mysterious man is—the Prince of Albion, betrothed to Renna’s stepsister. Now Renna must try to keep her feelings for the prince in check. But he's not making it easy. The prince is charming, funny, and impossible not to fall for.

Trev has no room for mistakes. He must marry the princess of New Hope and secure the marriage alliance along with his future as king. The safety of his kingdom depends on it. Duty and honor never bothered Trev before, but love has a way of changing everything.

In this post-Desolation world, the Council of Essentials controls everything, including the prince. Is love more than a negotiation?

Is love essential?
 
   

 
My Review: 5 Stars
 
Labeled as a YA Dystopian, there were glimpses of a dystopian life--it's set in a future time, there are some throwbacks to the society in the manner of clothing and ways of life, and an obvious desolation has occurred, but if you're looking for something like The Hunger Games, you won't find it here. That said, I absolutely loved it! I'm a huge fan of royalty and loved the role the crown played in this intriguing, adventurous, romantic, humorous tale.

Trev and Renna had the cutest meet-cute and the wit and banter only escalated from there. Trev is one of the most dashing, charming, and likable protagonists ever, especially as he strives to fulfill duty and making sacrifices to do what's best for his country. Renna is not only sweet and amiable, but she's somewhat of an enigma for her times, daring to test boundaries and rules. I. Loved. Them!
 
I loved the conspiracy element and the danger helped propel the plot at a thrilling pace, but be still my racing heart! It was the romance that clutched me and caught my full attention. I devoured these pages and couldn't believe this was a debut novel. The supporting cast of characters were superb as well, which always makes for a great story. Please tell me there's more to this world because I just couldn't get enough of this world and the characters inhabiting it!

Content: mild+ violence; mild+ romance

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Second Chance Kisses by Cindy Roland Anderson {Review}

Second Chance Kisses by Cindy Roland Anderson

Kindle Edition
Published December 21st 2020 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
 
 
 
She wants nothing to do with him.
He wants a second chance.

When the jerk playing Sir Lancelot in a TV series is fired, Madison Taylor is relieved the show isn’t canceled. But when she discovers his replacement is British heart-throb Caleb Matthews, she’s tempted to quit her job. Not only is Caleb on the list of Britain’s hottest male actors…he’s also Madison’s former fiancรฉ. She regrets ever falling in love and is determined not to let it happen again. But her foolish heart isn’t listening…putting her in danger of falling for him all over again.

Note: This book originally appears as Forgotten Kisses, a short story in the Under the Mistletoe Collection. Second Chance Kisses has been extensively re-written with added content that tells the rest of Madison and Caleb’s story! You’ll love the witty dialogue and added scenes, including a bonus epilogue!
 
 
  
 
My Review: 5 Stars
 
I'm a sucker for a sweet celebrity romance and this book delivers a good one. Madison and Caleb had a chance years ago at the start of his fame, but doubts and insecurities got in the way. Back again and determined to win her over, Caleb's charm and wit won me over and I was cheering him on in his efforts. 
 
But honestly, for me personally, I would completely identify with Madison's concerns and feelings, as they would mirror each other. It would be hard to be in a relationship with a Hollywood heartthrob and be secure enough in our relationship to never question fans, co-stars, or media's attempts at creating a romance. 

Anderson has a way of writing that evokes real emotion and never fails to make me smile. I loved the added content and thought a better developed story resulted, leaving me utterly satisfied.

Content: mild romance (kissing, slight innuendo)

Monday, January 18, 2021

The Secret of Dartwood Manor by N.A. Triptow {Spotlight}

The Secret of Dartwood Manor by N.A. Triptow

388 pages
Published January 2021 by Wishing Well Publishing 
 

New Release!

 
The small New England town of Tarryville, Maine is steeped in history, having been settled by the Dartwood and Farris families who fled Salem during the witch trials. The Dartwood sisters, Eden, Mariah, and Melissa, unexpectedly return home after their parents are found murdered. Upon their arrival, the girls are plagued by dreams in which dark spectral beings haunt them. When the hellish creatures seem to be more than just nightmares, another mystery begins to unravel as they discover that the circumstances around the murder of their parents may be far more menacing than they appear. Frantic for answers, they must untangle the mystery of their parents’ murders and reconstruct the pieces of an ancient secret. With the help of the young assistant curator of their family museum, Baden Correia, and an estranged friend from their past, Evan Farris, the orphaned Dartwood sisters must uncover the truth before the darkness haunting their family descends upon them as well.
 

Find your copy here!

   

Friday, January 15, 2021

Round Up (Lost Creek Rodeo Book 1) by Rebecca Connolly, Sophia Summers, and Heather B. Moore {Review}

Round Up (Lost Creek Rodeo Book 1) by Rebecca Connolly, Sophia Summers, and Heather B. Moore

Kindle Edition, 300 pages
Published January 12th 2021 by Mirror Press 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
 
 
 
Broken Heart? Check. Ranch retreat? Check. Handsome cowboy? ...Check.

The rules at Broken Hearts Ranch are pretty simple: no romance between staff and visitors. Ryan Prosper, rodeo has-been and ranch manager, hasn’t had a problem with that. His sister runs the therapy side of the place while he handles the ranch itself, and the balance has worked well. But when Talia James shows up for her turn at the retreat, things get a little more challenging.

Talia needs this therapeutic retreat badly, and hopes that it will be just what she needs to get unstuck after her tragic loss. The charming cowboy brother of her new therapist is a ray of sunshine she hadn’t anticipated, and spending time with him seems to do as much good as her sessions. But is her still broken heart ready for romance, and does she really have the heart to resist him?
 
   

 
My Review: 5 Stars
 
I may have squealed out loud when I realized that this new sports series has some connections to both the Belltown Six Pack AND the Northbrook Hockey Elite series! And add to that, there's also a connection to the Prosperity Ranch series--I think I've died and gone to heaven. I'm so excited for the rodeo setting and the dashing cowboys that come with it, and this one was the perfect introduction to the series and its characters.
 
Some people deal with so much hurt and pain and I was overjoyed that Talia was able to find peace and healing at the Broken Heart Ranch. Talia is a resilient character. Although she has obvious grief, her positive attitude and determination to heal were very endearing. Ryan Prosper was written in a way that "speaks of a country song" and caused me to visualize the perfectly imperfect cowboy--all sinewy muscles and gentlemanly manners, with a hint of roughness.
 
These characters and the plot they found themselves in was well-written. I really enjoyed the way this story came together, and although the romance was a little on the fast side, it felt authentic and was delightfully swoony. Bring on the rest of the crew--I'm ready!  

Content: mild+ romance (non-descriptive talk of teen pregnancy, kissing); mild+ language (6-8 Bible swears); very mild violence (talk of rodeo injuries)