Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: The Boardwalk Antiques Shop (A Tangerine Street Romance Book 2)

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted weekly by Breaking the Spine
It spotlights upcoming releases that we can't wait to read.

I'm really looking forward to reading:

The Boardwalk Antiques Shop (A Tangerine Street Romance Book 2)

by Julie Wright, Melanie Jacobson, and Heather B. Moore
The Boardwalk Antiques Shop (A Tangerine Street Romance Book 2) 
The Boardwalk Antiques Shop
A Tangerine Street Romance
(a novel in three parts)

Welcome to Tangerine Street

Tangerine Street is a must-see tourist stop with a colorful mix of one-of-a-kind boutiques, unique restaurants, eclectic museums, quaint bookstores, and renowned bed-and-breakfasts. The Boardwalk Antiques Shop is an exclusive shop where every antique has a story, and each story possesses the gift to match true love. The customer who buys an antique also buys its story and soon discovers that its story unites the past with the present, creating an unexpected romantic future…
This one is going to be released on January 12, 2015! 
 See my review of Book 1, The Fortune Cafe, here. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Review: Temporary Bridesmaid by Lu Ann Brobst Staheli

Temporary Bridesmaid 

Temporary Bridesmaid (A Gateway Romance) by Lu Ann Brobst Staheli
ebook, 242 pages
Published August 20th 2014 by Back Yard Press
Source: I received a copy in exchange for an honest review

Jenny Grant has given up on men, and therefore her dream of ever getting married. But when James Cox comes to work in her building as a temp, she has to convince herself to stay true to her new conviction. All around her, everything is falling apart in her life. She’s been asked to be the Maid of Honor for her best friend’s wedding—leaving Jenny the last single in her group—her mother’s forgetfulness has progressed to a level that might prove dangerous, and the raise and promotion Jenny longs for may not be within her reach. When a man who looks like James steals her wallet her distrust of men rests on his shoulders.

James Cox has no idea why he has given up his position as a California CEO to move to Salt Lake City, but he’s certain it isn’t to find a bride. When the call comes for a temp position at a computer programming company, he figures this must be why. But his co-workers are not always easy to get along with, especially the fiery-tempered woman named Jenny Grant. If he didn’t find her so beautiful and interesting, it might not matter. Except that it does.

My Review:
I did enjoy this story, but I had a couple of problems with it. I'll get those out of the way first. There were several parts that were repetitious. As a reader, I already knew certain details, having read them, and I didn't feel that I needed to read the same details several times to understand what was going on. My other problem was I wanted more romance. I can't understand how declarations of love can be given when there's little interaction, aside from accusations and brief encounters. I wanted to see more of how that developed. There were a few loose ends with Jenny's mother, as well. She's getting more and more forgetful and tests were ran, but no results were shared with the reader. I was left wondering what was going on.

There were some things that I really enjoyed a lot. My first thought was, "The grass is always greener on the other side." The story jumps back and forth between 39 year old, single Jenny and her slightly younger, newly married friend, Stephie. Jenny would give anything to be married and has finally resigned herself to being single forever when James walks in. James is good at what he does and is very kind and hard working. He really puts Jenny in a tizzy. The reader also gets some of the story from  his point of view, which was fun.

However, when the reader sees Stephie's side of married life, it's clear that it's not always "Happily Ever After." Stephie envies Jenny and thinks she's so smart to avoid marriage. I liked the friendship she made with her neighbor and the courage Stephie developed to do something hard.  

I also enjoyed the friendships these girls shared, although we didn't get more than a glimpse of some of them. Jenny was able to be there for so many of them and forget about her woes in doing so.

Great potential--I just wanted a little more.

Content: some religious content (LDS); very mild romance; glimpses of emotional abuse; Clean.


About the Author:
Lu Ann Brobst Staheli 
Lu Ann Brobst Staheli got her start as a celebrity paparazzi-stalker-chick, which led to her award-winning career as a ghostwriter for celebrity memoirs. A masochist at heart, she taught junior high school English for 33 years, and once spent two weeks of summer vacation backpacking through Europe with 15 of her students. She has won three Utah Best of State Medals—two for writing and one for teaching—but refuses to wear them all at the same time because she’d hate to be known as a show-off. She is the true bibliophile, with something in excess of 1,000 books in her personal home library. After having donated the nearly 1,000 books in her classroom library to the other English teachers in her department, Lu Ann moves this year to a new position as the school librarian, where she can be surrounded by books and share her passion for reading with the entire group of students and faculty. Her published works include A Note Worth Taking, a MG/YA novel; When Hearts Conjoin, the story of the conjoined Herrin twins; Psychic Madman about mentalist Jim Karol; One Day at a Time: Teaching Secondary Language Arts; Books, Books, and More Books: A Parent and Teacher's Guide to Adolescent Literature, as well as numerous newspaper and magazine articles. Lu Ann is a Senior Editor with Precision Editing Group, where she works with clients on both fiction and non-fiction manuscripts.

Twitter  *  Goodreads  *  Website 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Review: A Christmas Reunion by Donna Hatch

A Christmas Reunion, the Gift of a Second Chance 

A Christmas Reunion by Donna Hatch
Kindle Edition
Published November 4th 2014 
Source: Bought on Kindle
Heartbroken at the news that her betrothed has wed another woman, Emily is determined to pick up the pieces of her life and enjoy Christmas with her family. ​

Newly returned from war, Bennett holds a secret and will do anything to ensure Emily, his only true love, never discovers it...even if it means losing her.

Fate reunites the star-crossed lovers and reveals the truth that will either unite them or drive them apart forever.
My Review:
What I really liked about this one was that it was short and sweet--and totally adorable. The holidays are a busy time and it's nice to sit down for a few minutes to put my feet up and read a darling story in one sitting.
I must admit, I was really mad at Bennett at first. He wrote a devastating letter to his betrothed, telling her that he'd wed another while at the hospital, recovering from a war injury. Really?? Of course, Emily was heartbroken. Time passed and their paths crossed again. The truth was revealed and a decision has to be made. 
It's not long enough to really delve into the characters and storyline, but it's a perfect snippet. 
Content: Clean!
About the Author:
Donna Hatch
Donna Hatch's Rogue Heart series is the winner of the prestigious Golden Quill award. Donna is published in sweet Regency romance and fantasy. Her professional memberships include Romance Writers of America (RWA)and American Night Writers Association (ANWA). A sought-after workshop presenter and public speaker, Donna lives with her husband, six children, and two cats in Gilbert, Arizona.   
Twitter  *  Goodreads  *  Website 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Review: Goodnight Kiss by Ranee S. Clark

Goodnight Kiss (Sweet Kisses 1) 

Goodnight Kiss (Sweet Kisses Stories Book 1) by Ranee S. Clark
ebook, 25 pages
Published December 18th 2013 
Source: Bought on Kindle

When Chase sees Clare during her brief Christmas visit to their hometown, he knows it's his chance to make things right between them. Considering he all but ignored her while on his mission, it's a tough task.
After having her heart broken by him before, Clare is wary of a holiday romance. But a long-awaited goodnight kiss might change her mind.

My Review:
I love a darling lost-love romance. Chase feels that he missed out by not taking things to the next level with Clare before his LDS mission. Clare feels that any relationship potential with Chase is long in the past. A chance meeting during a short visit home for Christmas could possibly change all the regrets, but fate doesn't seem to be helping them out. 
This is a short, sweet romance that is perfect for the holidays and left me wanting more.

no language or violence; mild romance; moderate religious aspects, specific to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

About the Author:
Ranee S. Clark Ranee spends naptimes and bedtimes writing, editing, and blogging. She has a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Wyoming and is currently president of the PM Writers Chapter of the American Night Writers Association (ANWA). She, her superhero husband, and two boys live in Wyoming.  
Twitter  *  Goodreads  *  Blog 

Review: One December Night by Melissa Tagg

One December Night 

One December Night (A Whisper Shore Christmas Story) by Melissa Tagg
ebook, 38 pages
Published 2014 
Source: I received a free copy for signing up for a newsletter
**One December Night is a short story companion to the full-length novel HERE TO STAY.**

Librarian Pennilynn Baxter likes life the way she likes her bookshelves—neat and tidy, arranged just so. Niggling doubts aside, getting engaged to the nice man she’s been dating for two years is the obvious next step, right?

But on the snowy evening of the expected proposal, Penn discovers someone’s been squatting in the old Victorian house she inherited from her grandparents. She finds herself back in picturesque Whisper Shore, Michigan, facing off with an intruder named Will who may not be what he seems.

As charming as the house he’s taken over, Will pushes past the reserve that has kept Penn from living the brave life she craves. And one December night in the house she used to love in the town she used to adore changes everything.
My Review:
I haven't read Here to Stay yet, but I didn't feel lost at all with this one. Pennilynn (aka Penn) likes to have things very orderly. She was expecting a proposal from her long-time boyfriend, but instead, goes off to find out who's been staying in her house. her grandmother's house that she now owns.
I loved the encounter she has with the squatter, Will, and the way she shows him what's what. She's so no-nonsense, yet she's in for a few surprises that really had me laughing.
Content: Clean!
About the Author:
Melissa Tagg 
Melissa Tagg, author of Made to Last and Here to Stay, is a former reporter and total Iowa girl. In addition to her homeless ministry day job, she is also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for writers. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. She’s passionate about humor, grace, and happy endings. Melissa blogs regularly and loves connecting with readers at

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Review: Secret Santa by Amanda Tru

Secret Santa 

Secret Santa by Amanda Tru
Kindle Edition, 137 pages
Published October 2012 by Walker Hammond Publishers 
Source: Bought on Kindle
It was time for Hailey Rhodes to admit the truth: things were not going well. After losing her job as a teacher, she finds herself broke, unemployed, and tricked into accepting a date from a department store Santa Claus. When new opportunities and new love interests present themselves, will Hailey choose a career and a man she's always admired, or will she wait for the identity of her Secret Santa to be revealed? 
My Review:
I love a secret identity romance! Hailey is an elf at a department store. She loses a bet and is tricked into going on a date with Santa. He doesn't tell her much about herself, but as time goes by, she does get to know him little by little--at least, she learns the important things about him, especially how he treats and interacts with others. When she is laid off, she finds another job and a possible new love interest. 
Hailey goes on quite the journey to discover who her Secret Santa is. There were parts that were funny, embarrassing, darling, and maddening. She's a tough girl who is really looking for a break and she doesn't let these setbacks keep her down for long. Santa is a great guy! I predicted who he was, but it was still fun to see if I was right, because doubts kept popping up. He is kind, compassionate, and totally romantic.  
This is a darling, Christmas romance for readers who enjoy some fun.
Content: no language or violence; mild references to religion (Christian); kissing and one scene with a man forcing his kisses on a girl. Clean!
Amazon  *  Goodreads

About the Author:
Amanda Tru 
With a lifelong love of reading and writing, Amanda Tru loves to let her imagination paint pictures in a wide variety of genres. Her current book list includes everything from a Christian time travel / romance series, to an action-packed suspense, to a romance involving a mysterious department-store Santa.

Amanda is a former elementary school teacher who now spends her days being mommy to three little boys and her nights furiously writing. Amanda lives in a small town in Idaho where the number of cows outnumbers the number of people.

Find out more about Amanda Tru and her upcoming books at her website 

Facebook  *  Twitter  *  Goodreads  *  Website

Review: Married to Santa by Beverly Farr

Married to Santa (Romantic Novella) 

Married to Santa (Romantic Novella) by Beverly Farr
Kindle Edition, 66 pages
Published September 29th 2014 
Source: Bought on Kindle
Caroline has only two small problems this Christmas season.

1. She has amnesia.
2. The man who says he's her husband thinks he's Santa Claus.

Married to Santa is a sweet, quirky, rated PG Christmas novella.
My Review:
I can't imagine having amnesia and not remembering anything, including the man I was married to. That's exactly what happened to Caroline when she hit her head while swimming on vacation in Florida. A very good-looking man was there when she woke up and he claimed to be her husband...he also later claimed to be Santa. 
Caroline took things pretty well. When little snippets of her memory returned, she would do everything in her power to make things better. I loved seeing her discover what's truly important in life. 
Mike is a very kind and patient man. He's willing to meet Caroline in the middle. Instead of blaming her for their problems, he takes responsibility and together they set out to change.
This is a fun, slightly quirky story with a great message.
Content: no language or violence; kissing and innuendo, but it's between a married couple. Everything is fade to black. Clean for an older reader.
About the Author:
Beverly Farr 
Happily-ever-after is my drug of choice. Not that I won’t read or watch a sad story (now and then), but I crave happy endings. I love Jane Austen, Cinderella stories, and 1930s screwball comedies. (Think An AFFAIR TO REMEMBER or WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING). Since real life has a way of being tough enough, I write sweet, quirky contemporary romances to take the edge off.

What you will find in my stories:

1. Sweet quirky romance.

2. Very little swearing. There may be an occasional hell or damn, maybe even a b*tch, but there will be no Lord’s name in vain and no f-bombs.

3. No explicit sex scenes. Characters might discuss sex, but any love scenes are off screen (Think AFRICAN QUEEN).

4. No vampires. At least, not yet.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Review: The Naughty List by Heather Horrocks

The Naughty List: A Romantic Comedy Novella (Christmas Street Book 3) 

The Naughty List: A Romantic Comedy Novella (Christmas Street Book 3) by Heather Horrocks
Kindle Edition, 135 pages
Published July 1st 2014 by Word Garden Press
Source: I bought it on Amazon
PG-RATED FUN by USA Today bestselling author Heather Horrocks.
(Professionally edited. Working table of contents.)

THE NAUGHTY LIST (Christmas Street Romantic Comedy Novella #2)
With the ink still fresh on her college degree, Ariel Swanson has big plans. But plans are made for derailing, and her normally healthy Nana calls to ask for help until the end of the year because she’s not well, Ariel knows family comes before dreams.
Ariel arrives to find some surprises—like the strange man sleeping in Nana’s over-the-garage apartment and Nana having some problems that don’t seem to have an explanation.
Dr. Matthew Monson has his own plan—and it doesn’t involve a woman. His ex-wife cost him everything he had and he’s focused on paying off his debts. She left him distrustful of all women—especially of the woman who is distracting him every time he goes outside.
Christmas is a time for miracles—and this year Ariel, Nana, and Matthew need one more than ever.

#1 in the series (Bah, Humbug!) is still FREE or 99-cents!
REVIEW OF BAH, HUMBUG (a Romantic Comedy Christmas Novella):
“This isn't a book; it’s magic. What could be a sappy Christmas story turns into a wonderful, magical, bring-the-family-together Christmas story. I wasn't merely reading Lexi and Kyle's story, I was there with them, being part of their story. I came up for breath only when I was done with the book (I read it at one sitting). I've never given 5 stars to any book. But this is such a wonderful, heartwarming read that I felt compelled to.”
My Review:
I love the Christmas Street romantic comedies. I've read them all so far and love the characters, the settings, and the way the characters interact with characters from other stories. 
This one starts out with Ariel rushing "home" to be with her ailing grandmother, who lives on Christmas Street. She immediately encounters a stranger, Matthew, in a very humorous situation, which had me laughing right off the bat. 
I call this her "home" because Ariel is an only child of only children. Her parents are very dedicated gene scientist who seem to leave her on her own most of the time, since they're so distracted by their work. Her Nana's house is the only place she truly feels at home.  
I love Ariels' s sassy personality. She cares for her grandma very much and is determined to support and help her at all costs. Neither Matthew, nor Ariel are looking for love. Matthew was burned badly by his ex-wife. He's such a compassionate man and it's hard not to like him. Nana is hilarious and sneaky--no wonder she's on the naughty list! My only complaint is that it's mentioned that Ariel's name is really a nickname--I was dying to know what her real name is.
These stories are the perfect length for the holidays. They're cute, clean, and so much fun! 
 Content: mild romance. Clean!

The Who-Dun-Him Inn series: #1 Snowed Inn, #2 Inn the Doghouse
The Bad Mothers Club series: #1 Murder is Misunderstood

Bah, Humbug! Just 99-cents!
Kissing Santa
The Naughty List
(Deck the Malls coming later 2014)

The Chick Flick Clique series:
#1 Pride and Precipitation (novella)
#2 Regally Blonde
#3 My Spare Lady
#3.5 A Hound Dog Named Elvis (in A Timeless Romance Anthology: Autumn edition)
(#4 While You Were Stranded coming later 2014)

How to Stuff a Wild Zucchini
Old Maid of Honor
You Just Turned 8 (a baptism book)
Baby Mine
Old Money
No Sudden Moves

Women & Men Who Knew the Mortal Messiah
About the Author:
Heather Horrocks I’m an author who had a somewhat unorthodox upbringing. I was raised in South America and the Middle East, and wrote my first stories as a teenager in Kuwait, where my sister and I proved it really is hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk. I wrote my first novel in three months on a typewriter when I was 21, I used every romance cliché possible (including amnesia — need I say more?), and never rewrote anything, which is why it’s so much fun to pull it out occasionally when I need a good laugh. I wrote sporadically until my youngest child (who is now 18) was two, when I decided it was time to either actually start writing, or to stop saying I was a writer. So I took a class and started doing the scary things that writing requires. Now I’ve written about twelve novels and several children’s books.