Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Half Hitch (Lost Creek Rodeo #5) by Sophia Summers, Heather B. Moore, and Rebecca Connolly {Review}

Half Hitch (Lost Creek Rodeo #5) by Sophia Summers, Heather B. Moore, and Rebecca Connolly

Kindle Edition, 250 pages
Published May 11, 2021

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




A Wyoming cowboy surprised by love meets a young widowed Rodeo star who isn’t ready to open her heart.

Broken Hearts ranch is working its magic again with young Hazel Winters, still paralyzed by grief at the loss of her husband. She finds hope and healing with Kellie Prosper and the other women at the ranch, but more than that, she finds an opportunity for new love. But is she well enough or brave enough to accept it?

Eric Davis is happy to return to Lost Creek with his best friends in The Original Six to support the Christmas in July Rodeo the town hosts every year. He expects to rope some calves, help out with chores at the ranch, and celebrate Christmas in the Texas heat. What he doesn’t expect is to fall in love with one of the guests at The Broken Hearts Ranch.

Read book five in the Lost Creek Rodeo series to find out if Eric and Hazel can find the love they’re both craving.

   


My Review: 5 Stars

The Broken Ranch and Original Six rodeo studs have my whole heart! Just like his buddies, Eric is a charming, sweet, down-to-earth cowboy who captured my heart with his gentlemanly ways. I was delighted by his first meeting with Hazel, who caught me off guard probably as much as she did Eric. Completely unexpected, Hazel is a force to be reckoned with and I adored her spitfire personality. 

It's amazing to me that each story has a woman who is staying at this therapy ranch and a man who is a rodeo cowboy, yet they're all so different. Similar ingredients but a different recipe yields delightfully charming results and I was a sucker for this one. 

I especially loved the descriptions of the wide open skies and ranch work. Times feel simpler and are rejuvenating to the soul. Even the virtual escape was refreshing. I loved it and my heart craved the sweet romance that was offered.

Content: mild romance


Monday, May 17, 2021

The Charade (Eden Falls Academy #1) by Judy Corry {Review}

The Charade (Eden Falls Academy #1) by Judy Corry

Kindle Edition, 402 pages
Publication May 17, 2021

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

 

 

My math tutor has one rule: he doesn’t date the girls he tutors at our private school.

But a fake relationship that’s beneficial to us both? That’s a different story.

Our agreement helps Carter get revenge on his ex while it helps me hide the real reason why we’re spending so much time together. Win-win.

Plus, flirting with the hottest guy at school is kind of fun.

As long as the feelings stay as fake as the show we’re putting on, there shouldn’t be a problem. Right?

The Charade is a forbidden romance about the new girl and the guy who everyone sees as untouchable.
 
   

 
My Review: 4.5 Stars
 
Eden Falls is a mystical place, especially when twins Ava and Elyse find themselves attending their senior year there at a boarding school. Lifelong secrets threaten to spill and a fake romance emerges. Told in alternating points-of-view, this story captured me and twisted my heart from start to finish, but especially when a love becomes forbidden. 
 
Corry is a talented genius when it comes to infusing the lighter parts of teen life with the heavy, angsty drama that is always lurking in the shadows. I love how she introduces real-life issues to her characters lives and allows the reader to wade through them with the protagonists, together. Her writing style is engaging, memorable, and raw, and I just can't devour her words fast enough. 
 
Though Ava and Elyse are both great characters, it's Ava's head the reader enters. She struggles with school, but works hard and has such a fun, sassy, flirty personality. We are also treated to Carter's point-of-view and he's a total contradiction. There are some themes and issues that seemed more adult than young adult in this book, but it did help me to know the characters were seniors in high school and some of them had even turned 18. I enjoyed meeting their new friends and classmates and I can't tell you how excited I am to delve into more of their lives in future books!
 
Content Warning: As I mentioned before, this story is real and raw, and while I know a lot of teens are sexually active, it's not something I'm a fan of in books. While the reader doesn't see it happen, it's talked about and implied. Otherwise, there's just kissing/making out.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Protecting the Princess by Lucinda Whitney {Review}

 Protecting the Princess by Lucinda Whitney

280 pages, Kindle Edition
First published April 28, 2021
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given. 

 

 

She's a princess doubting the rules of royalty. He's the bodyguard tasked with keeping her in line. Will a relationship destroy both of their goals?


Princess Emma Somerset struggles to find purpose and fulfillment in her life. With her brother and cousins all married and in their new roles, she’s the only one left at the palace. When Queen Nicolette, her aunt, asks Emma to undertake a trip to the north as a good-will ambassador, she agrees, despite her lack of experience.

Ryan Sterling is a new protection officer for the royal house of Durham. He has aspirations for a high-profile assignment, but when Princess Emma’s long-time female bodyguard is injured a week before departure, he’s called to replace her. Now he’s stuck babysitting a spoiled princess instead of proving his worth to advance his career.

After floods strand Emma and Ryan in the remote countryside during the trip, their fledgling friendship slowly turns into something more. But is a new relationship between them doomed to fail when they return to the palace?  

   

My Review: 4 Stars

I've always had a fascination with all things royal and it was fun to get a small taste of the royal life with this story. Although most of it takes place outside the palace walls and the princess is very down-to-earth, the elegance that surrounds Emma, and her awesome new bodyguard, Ryan, was delightful. 

This book reminded me of Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn. Emma is always trying to escape her protection, much to Ryan's amusement, until the day there is nowhere to escape to. That's when the fun begins with a tentative friendship and a fake relationship.

Ryan is a very uptight character and it was a joy to watch him soften through events out of his control. I loved Emma's carefree and spirited ways and I liked seeing her mellow just a bit and I especially loved her desire to be normal, to help others, and to work hard, not fearing a little dirt on her hands.

Whitney does a good job of incorporating both the fun and the real aspects of being royal and delivers a charmingly sweet romance.

Content: mild romance


Monday, May 10, 2021

Eye for an Eye by Stephanie Black {Review}

Eye for an Eye by Stephanie Black

80 pages, Paperback|
Publication May 17, 2021
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given. 




After a family tragedy nearly destroyed Mallory Ingram, she's fighting to get her life on track. When her sister and brother-in-law open their home to her, Mallory is certain that moving across the country will allow her to focus on a hopeful future. That future looks even more promising when her enrollment at a local university connects her with the charming Darien Thomas.

However, when illegal drugs turn up at her sister's house, the first person accused is Mallory, and suddenly, she doesn't know who to trust. Mounting evidence of Mallory's guilt is straining the tenuous bond she has just begun to develop with her sister after years of living separately. Desperate to prove her innocence and keep the harmful patterns of the past from hijacking her future, Mallory reaches for Darien's help to discover the truth.

But the truth may be more dangerous than any of them imagine.

    

My Review: 4 Stars

I love a good little suspense and this bit-sized story was an afternoon treat. I'm always amazed when an author can develop an intricate and satisfying story in under 100 pages, yet that's just what this author did. The plot was solid, creepy, and complete. 

Mallory has a complicated and traumatic past, which allows for the reader to cast suspicion on this protagonist. While likable, she has flaws and I liked how her relationship with Darien progressed on the heels of a good mystery. I loved the way this story was formulated and enjoyed how it all played out.

Content: vague mentions of drug use, murder, mild violence, and peril; mild romance


Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Forget Me Not (The Gents #1) by Sarah M. Eden {Review}

Forget Me Not (The Gents #1) by Sarah M. Eden

256 pages, Paperback

First published September 7, 2020

Source: Borrowed from the library

 

 

Nottinghamshire, 1785.

Julia Cummings has long been acquainted with loss—her mother, her brother, her sister, her friend, all gone too soon. But the loss that pushed her grief to the limit as a young girl was that of her best friend, Lucas Jonquil, who abandoned her without looking back. Now, eight years later, Lucas has returned to Lampton Park, and Julia has steeled herself—she will never forgive the man who broke her heart.

After losing too many of his friends and family to early deaths, Lucas vowed to live life to the fullest. And after traversing the world, he has returned from his adventures to find his family and home as he left them—except for Julia. The little girl he left behind has blossomed into a captivating lady, a lady who makes it clear she despises him. With little hope of reconciliation, the former friends are blindsided when their parents make a shocking announcement. Lucas and Julia have been betrothed without their knowledge and are to marry immediately. Now Lucas must rely on the help of his closest friends to win the heart of a lady who loathes him—a lady he’s coming to love more deeply every day.

   

My Review: 5 Stars

This. This is exactly the type of story I've come to expect from Sarah Eden and I loved every single page. There's nothing I adore more than discovering a beautiful love story. Eden's Jonquil series is one of my favorites and I completely enjoyed reading about how their parents came to fall in love. True to her style, this author delivers a story that pierced my heart in all the ways.

Lucas is the type of man who is swoon worthy one minute and a jerk the next, thanks to his oblivion. While I couldn't help but to fall for his kindness, streaked with mischievousness, he was frustratingly clueless at times. Watching him determine what was important to him and wholeheartedly go after it was satisfying. Julia broke my heart. After so much loss, she's the shell of the fun-loving girl she once was and a surprise marriage was almost her undoing. This girl is so resilient and I loved watching her bloom, but that wedding day had me laughing so hard.

Not only are Lucas and Julia likable characters, but "the gents" completely won me over. Anyone would do well in life to have the camaraderie these friends share. I loved the way they rallied around Julia and razzed Lucas. The whole package of elements and emotions this book delivered was enchanting. I cannot wait to read the rest of the series!

Content: mild romance; talk of death

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Isabelle and Alexander by Rebecca Anderson {Review}

Isabelle and Alexander by Rebecca Anderson

324 pages, Paperback
Publication May 4, 2021
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were voluntarily given.



Manchester, 1850

Isabelle Rackham knows she will not marry for love. Though arranged marriages have fallen out of fashion, hers has been settled for some time. Alexander Osgood is handsome, well-known, and wealthy, but he is distant and aloof, spending much of his time at his textile mill.

Moreover, Northern England is nothing like Isabelle's home in the Lake Country, and her marriage is far from the fairy tale she expected. Conversations with Alexander are awkward, when they happen at all, and Isabelle struggles with loneliness.

Sensing his wife's unhappiness, Alexander brings Isabelle to his country estate. During their time together, the couple begins to build a friendship, opening up to each other about the details of their lives. But when a tragic accident leaves Alexander unable to walk, their fledgling relationship is tested.

Isabelle is determined to see to her husband's recovery, and in caring for him, she discovers within herself an untapped well of strength and courage. In learning to rely on each other, the couple has an opportunity to forge a love connection that they both have longed for but never dreamed could be.

  

My Review: 4 Stars

This isn't your typical romance. Generally, the romances I read showcase the story of how a couple falls in love and gets married, but Isabelle and Alexander were married early in the story without knowing much about each other at all, since it was almost more of a business move than anything. Don't discount that. Although slow, yet steady, this story gives a big nod to the textile movement of the Victorian era and delivered a very slow burn type of love. 

Marriage is hard and I couldn't believe what this couple had to endure while navigating a backwards courtship of sorts. In spite of hoping for a bit more romance from a Proper Romance book, this sweet story is one that left me closing the book with a feel-good feeling. 

While the characters are individually interesting, side character Glory stole the show for me. I did enjoy these characters, but wanted a little more connection with the mysterious enigma of a man. Told in first person, the reader is intimately shown Isabelle's thoughts and feelings and it would have been a richer experience getting inside of Alexander's head as well. 

All in all, this is a story to cherish and ponder. 

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

Monday, May 3, 2021

Love, Lies, and Lullabies (Blueberry Point #2) by DE Malone {Review}

 Love, Lies and Lullabies by D.E. Malone

Kindle Edition
Published April 29, 2021

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



A class reunion. An unrequited love. And the small-town roots that never let go of the heart.

When big-city accountant Wynne Terry dreamed of her future, it looked like the one she’s living. Then an invitation to her high school reunion lands in her mailbox and curiosity beckons her to return for the first time in fifteen years. It has nothing to do with seeing her childhood best friend who unwittingly stole her heart. At least, that’s what Wynne tells herself.

Chase Ford’s regrets come back to haunt him when Wynne walks into his life again. Marrying the first girl who turned his head in high school was mistake number one. Turning his back on Wynne when she needed him most was another. If it’s forgiveness he’s looking for, Wynne may give it to him. But raising his daughter and keeping the ever-elusive Wynne from turning his loveless life upside down take precedence over pleasing his conscience.

When Wynne discovers there’s more to Chase’s story than she bargained for, she wonders if her heart can stand being broken again. But maybe a once-in-a-lifetime love is worth the risk.

Revisit the Blueberry Point series and find out why readers love these sweet, light-hearted romances.

 

   

My Review: 4 Stars

Oh, how I love a good high school reunion romance and I haven't read a lot of them. There's just something so sweet about rediscovering friendships and rekindling sparks that speaks to the heart. 

Chase and Wynne were once besties but a few mistakes tore them apart and 15 years later, they've reunited. One itsy, bitsy, teeny, weeny problem for me was the small town mysterious secret that made me a little leery. 

I loved the way Malone takes a small town and turns it into something special with characters a reader can get behind. The intricate connections and relationships were interesting and gave off a Hallmark vibe that lead to all kinds of melty hearts and swoons. This is the kind of place that settles deep into my soul.

Content: mild romance


Sunday, May 2, 2021

My Twin Sister's Ex (Sweet Mountain High Year Two #6) by Cindy Ray Hale {Review}

My Twin Sister's Ex (Sweet Mountain High Year Two #6) by Cindy Ray Hale

Kindle Edition, 153 pages

Published May 1, 2021

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



Onstage with my twin sister’s ex.

What happens when the kissing scene turns real?

Jessilyn

I’ve dreamed of going to theater school for as long as I can remember. When my drama teacher announces a drama competition at our high school, I know it’s the perfect opportunity for me to beef up my college applications. An award like that could help me get into my dream school.

The last thing I was expecting was to get assigned a kissing scene with Bennett. Not only does he think drama is a joke, he used to date my identical twin sister, Jackilyn. Now my only choice is to convince Bennett to actually memorize his lines. I just wasn’t expecting to feel this strongly about him.

Bennett

I thought drama would be easy to pass. Who knew the teacher would be so tough? If I can’t get my grade up, I won’t be able to graduate. When I get paired with Jessilyn for the drama competition, the first thing I want to do is back out. How am I supposed to perform a kissing scene with my ex girlfriend’s insanely jealous twin?

It was one thing to date Jackilyn. She was one of the mean girls, a total rebel. But Jessilyn is a good girl. I can’t let myself fall for her. She deserves better than a bad boy like me. I’ve done things I’m not proud of. But I’m not sure I can stay away from her, and if I want to graduate, I need a good grade in drama. I’m not so sure I’ll make it out of this with my heart intact.

   

My Review: 4 Stars

My sister and I are really close in age and during high school, we often felt compared by friends and boys or even like people thought we were the same person. Jackilyn and Jessilyn are identical twins with completely contrasting personalities, yet somehow, they both have a brush with Bennett. Jackilyn is his ex and Jessilyn is his new drama partner, and while things could be completely sticky and messy with the complicated relationships, Hale writes this story in a way that is sweet and engaging.

I love a fluffy story, but a book with a message zaps me in the heart. The message I took away from this one is that you really can't judge someone only by what you see. People are complex and layered and the first impression that Bennett gives isn't favorable, but there are deep reasons why he appears as he does and I loved delving into his life. Bennett is pretty amazing, as is Jessilyn.

One thing I love about this series is it allows me to vicariously live through the good times of high school. I wish I would've taken theater, but there wasn't room in my schedule, yet I got to have a taste of that experience. Hale does a great job of creating realistic teens and real-life situations, and I really enjoyed it.

Content: mild romance


Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Full Rigged (Lost Creek Rodeo #4) by Rebecca Connolly, Sophia Summers, Heather B. Moore {Review}

Full Rigged (Lost Creek Rodeo #4) by Rebecca Connolly, Sophia Summers, Heather B. Moore 

250 pages, ebook

Published April 13, 2021

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

 

 

Ford Hopkins is a simple guy. Loves his rodeo life, loves his family, loves his dog, and wants to find his place in the world. Not too complicated, and spending more time down in Lost Creek, Texas, is just what he needs to remind himself of that. But a spitfire doctor staying at his friend’s ranch there could change his simple, uncomplicated life.

Brynn Kershaw needs Broken Hearts Ranch and the haven of recovery it claims to be. Her ex-husband had broken her ability to trust and her emotional stability, both of which are keeping her from living a fulfilling life after the divorce. While she’s at the ranch, calm, quiet, unassuming cowboy Ford somehow manages to sneak through her defensive walls, and could be the key to breaking them all down.

  

My Review: 4 Stars

Lost Creek is the kind of place that I could settle right down in. I love how each story adds another layer to this small Texas town, giving it a nice, cozy feel. I also love seeing each rodeo cowboy appear in all the stories, as it gives them dimension. 

This is Ford's story and a more honest, loyal cowboy can't be found. I love his simple life and straight-forward manner, but most of all, I love the gentleman he is. Brynn is broken and defensive, but this gentle man is there for her in a way she needs.

The Lost Creek Rodeo series is a little heavier than I had anticipated because each of the women have major issues that have landed them in this recovery program, but I like how that gives each story some meat. The free therapy written on some of the pages is healing and applicable to many of life's tough situations.

I enjoyed watching a simple Western life flip upside down faster than a cattle wrestle.

Content: mild romance (vague mention of cheating, kissing); mild rodeo-type violence/danger

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

The Seat Filler by Sariah Wilson {Review}

The Seat Filler by Sariah Wilson

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: April 27th 2021
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given



The movie star and the dog groomer are one kiss away from the perfect love story. That’s the hiccup in a warm and witty romance by the bestselling author of Room-maid.

The meet-cute award goes to dog groomer Juliet Nolan. It’s one of Hollywood’s biggest nights when she volunteers as a seat filler and winds up next to movie heartthrob Noah freaking Douglas. Tongue tied and toes curling in her pink Converse, she pretends that she doesn’t have a clue who he is. It’s the only way to keep from swooning.

She’s pretty and unpretentious, loves his dog, and is not a worshipping fan. No way Noah’s giving up on her, even if his affectionate pursuit comes with a bump: Juliet has a pathological fear of kissing and the disappointments that follow. What odds does romance have without that momentous, stupendous, once-in-a-lifetime first smooch? Patient, empathetic, and carrying personal burdens of his own, Noah suggests a remedy: they rehearse.

The lessons begin. The guards come down. But there’s another hitch they weren’t betting on. As for that cue-the-orchestra-and-roll-credits happy ending? It might take more than practice to make it perfect.
 
  

 
 
My Review: 5 Stars
 
And the award goes to... Sariah Wilson... for writing one of the cutest, swooniest books ever! The story of an every-day normal girl with believable issues and an intriguing, sweet, and handsome-in-his-own-right actor captured my interest and hooked me from the very first page. I couldn't get enough.
 
I love how witty and true to herself Juliet is and the banter and attraction between Juliet and Noah completely swept me away. The whole cast of characters is perfect for this story and meshed together in an amazing way that drew me right in and didn't let me go--I think this book must be laced with something addictive because I'm feeling a book hangover right about now.
 
This is hands-down one of the swooniest romances I've ever read. The connection between Noah and Juliet, and the super dreamy kisses, kept me up way too late and left me floating for a long time afterward. The Seat Filler is definitely a book that deserves to be re-read and I can't wait to enjoy it all over again.
 
Content: mild+ romance (swoony kissing, light innuendo) 

Monday, April 26, 2021

World's Worst Boyfriend (Fake It #3) by Carina Taylor {Review}

World's Worst Boyfriend (Fake It #3) by Carina Taylor

Kindle Edition, 263 pages
Publication: April 27th 2021 
Source: I received a complimentary copy through Netgalley. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
 
 
 
A romantic comedy adventure


Fletcher is the “World’s Worst Boyfriend” and I have the trophy to prove it—along with the consolation gift card I’ve already spent.

Entering him into the anonymous contest was cathartic and eye opening. It’s obvious I need to end this farce of a relationship… so, I do.

Too bad I’m still comparing every man I meet to Fletcher.
Too bad I can’t get him out of my mind—or my house, for that matter, with the way he’s always stopping by to ‘fix’ something.
And it’s especially too bad that I’m learning not everything is as it seems, and that maybe, just maybe, Fletcher had a good reason for his actions. (Although, there is no justification for the moldy laundry.)

What’s a girl to do? He says he’ll explain everything soon. But am I ready to face that explanation? What if he’s really not the worst—what if I am?
 
A romantic comedy adventure to make you laugh out loud!
 
   

My Review: 4 Stars

I've been seeing this one all over the place and I'm a total sucker for fake relationships and romantic comedies. Jumping right in, I was in for some big surprises...and they weren't at all bad! First off, this isn't really a fake relationship story, but there are fake parts to the relationship. Secondly, this is a RomCom with a twist! Like a cola with a shock of lime and coconut lurking within the cup. The suspense angle not only helped propel the plot, but it was as refreshing as an ice cold drink and had me eagerly gulping it's contents.

Fletcher was yet another surprise! He was a mysterious character in one of the other books in the series and I can't even say how much I adored him in this one. I loved that Fletch and Saidy were already together and the events that happen to earn Fletcher a "prestigious" nomination were hilarious.

Not only did this story have laughs, but there were some intense moments and swoon that make this book stand out from the rest. Taylor has a knack for bringing multiple elements in and tying them up in a neat little bow.

Content: mild romance; mild moments of danger/peril; mild+ language


Wednesday, April 21, 2021

The Stolen Princess (Desolation #3) by Kortney Keisel {Review}

The Stolen Princess (Desolation #3) by Kortney Keisel

ebook, 362 pages

Published April 26, 2021

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

 

 

She's falling for a man she hates. He's betting on her trust.

Princess Mykaleen Adler would do anything to save her dying father. But, when she's kidnapped by a rival kingdom's commander, her devotion wavers. Developing feelings for her enemy could destroy her future and her kingdom. Unless her charming captor is the one person telling her the truth. 

Drake Vestry's focus is on finding King Adler's deadly weapons. Unfortunately, the only way to the weapons is through the king's daughter, who happens to be the most distracting and entertaining assignment he's ever had. Gaining the princess's trust might mean losing his heart forever.

She's fighting for her kingdom. He's committed to his mission. Can they find their way together, or will broken trust be the most destructive weapon of all?

Perfect for fans of The Selection Series.This is the third book in the Desolation Series and should be read AFTER The Promised Prince. 

  

My Review: 4 Stars

***First of all, you must read The Promised Prince before opening this book up.***  

Myka and Drake have an adorable first encounter, but then things take a little spin and quickly set them completely against one another. Although there is an undercurrent of undeniable attraction, there is also a thread of hurt, anger, and almost hatred. I had to laugh at Myka's antics as she tried to resist the kidnapping, but never fear. She's a very capable and resourceful young woman and it was entertaining to watch her ingenuity come to life.

I loved Drake from TPP and my love for him only grew throughout this book. He's loyal, funny, and a protector. The cast of kidnappers was great and I loved Myka's names for them. The events that occured surrounding that event hung heavy with a sense of foreboding, but there were moments of humor, intrigue, and discovery that lightened it up at times.

Keisel did a good job of connecting the intersecting missions with some adventure, romance (who knew a pinkie could be romantic?!), and danger. The culmination of this story was gasp-worthy and I loved the build up. Such a good story.

Content: mild+ violence (kidnapping, deaths/murders, near attack, etc); mild romance

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Warriors of Wing and Flame (Sisters of Shadow and Light Book 2) by Sara B. Larson {Review}

Warriors of Wing and Flame (Sisters of Shadow and Light Book 2) by Sara B. Larson

379 pages

October 27, 2020 by Tor Teen 

Source: Audiobook and I own a copy of the book

 

 

The doorway between the magical Visempirum and the human world has been reopened. Paladin are once more living in the citadel where Zuhra and Inara grew up completely isolated by the magical hedge that trapped them there. Amidst the brewing conflict between the Paladin and humans looms the threat of Barloc, who has stolen Inara’s immense power and continues to elude the Paladin who are desperately searching for him.

In this sequel to Sisters of Shadow and Light, Inara and Zuhra must navigate the treacherous paths of self-discovery, their love for each other, and for the boys who have captured their hearts. Together, they search for the strength within themselves to bridge the divide between the two worlds they inhabit, even as war threatens to destroy everything—and everyone—they love.

   

My Review: 4 Stars

Zuhra and Inara have a sisterly bond like no other and I love that. I have two sisters myself and love that intangible thread that ties us together, although theirs extends a little more than mine does through magic. Just a warning--this is the second book in the duology and MUST be read after the first. 

I enjoyed this book a bit more than the first, due to the fact that there was more action and romance verses world building. I loved watching these sisters gain strength and confidence in the roles they were thrust into and it was satisfying to watch the people come together for a common cause. The points of view alternated between the sisters and there were times when it was murky trying to figure out who was speaking, but I loved getting the insights from both sides.

It's no secret that I'm all about the romance and the sparkles of attractions that glimmered through the conflict and suspense were life. Larson did a good job of tying all these wonderful fantasy elements together--magic, friction, loyalty, and love. 

Content: mild romance; mild violence/peril


Monday, April 19, 2021

Campfires and Kisses (Harvest Ranch Romance #13) by MK Dymock {Review}

Campfires and Kisses (Harvest Ranch Romance #13) by MK Dymock

ebook, 189 pages

Published April 19, 2021

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

 

 

A fake engagement, two sworn enemies—what could go wrong?

Rielle rarely saw her parents, but she found a surrogate father in John, the owner of a nearby children’s camp. Now he’s left half of it to her. A dream come true—except she has to share her inheritance with John’s neglectful son who abandoned his father years ago.



Sutton wants nothing more than to sell the rundown camp and its bitter memories—his dad was the perfect dad to every kid except his own son. 



The camp has fallen on hard times, and Rielle doesn’t have the money to buy out Sutton. With their last dollar, they plan a singles camp—promising adventure and love. Someone starts the rumor the old enemies are engaged, and suddenly the camp sells out.



All Sutton and Rielle need to do is fake the engagement for a week. Then they can finally disappear from each other’s lives . . . if that’s what they still want.

 

My Review: 4.5 Stars

Rielle and Sutton have a deep hatred for one another, yet they are bound together in a risky business attempt to cut ties once and for all. An entrancing enemies-to-love with characters thrust into a fake engagement was just the thing for a weekend of reading.

Rielle and Sutton each have thick layers of hurt to unravel and I loved how these coverings were slowly peeled away through the course of the story. Honestly, Sutton wasn't very likable at first. He came across as cold and unfeeling, while Rielle was a bucket full of sunshine--until it came to dealing with him and his exasperating ways.

The premise of a week-long love-finding adventure in the hills around the glorious small town of Harvest Ranch was an exciting escapade, especially when trouble arises, bringing these opponents together. This is my first Dymock book and it won't be my last. I really enjoyed the way this author blended growth and entertainment. My only wish was for a few more sparks earlier on.

Content: mild romance; mild scene of danger/peril 


Friday, April 16, 2021

The Tourist Attraction (Moose Springs, Alaska #1) by Sarah Morgenthaler {Review}

The Tourist Attraction (Moose Springs, Alaska #1) by Sarah Morgenthaler

352 pages, ebook

First published May 5, 2020

Source: audiobook

 

 

When Graham Barnett named his diner The Tourist Trap, he meant it as a joke. Now he's stuck slinging reindeer dogs to an endless string of resort visitors who couldn't interest him less. Not even the sweet, enthusiastic tourist in the corner who blushes every time he looks her way…

Two weeks in Alaska isn't just the top item on Zoey Caldwell's bucket list. It's the whole bucket. One look at the mountain town of Moose Springs and she's smitten. But when an act of kindness brings Zoey into Graham's world, she may just find there's more to the man than meets the eye…and more to love in Moose Springs than just the Alaskan wilderness.

 

  

My Review: 3 Stars

Some people just don't adapt to change well and Graham is one of those people. Tourism is up in his small town in Alaska and he cannot stand the tourists and the influx of the richy-rich, yet he runs the most popular diner in town. When this grump meets sweet, naive Zoey, his world is flipped, especially as he helps her check off her bucket list.

Zoey and Graham are the classic case of opposites attract. The attraction zings mingled with the push-and-pull barbs were entertaining. The best way to really get to know a town is by having a local show you around, as Zoey discovers, and I loved visiting Alaska through their eyes. I especially enjoyed the wildlife.

I had no idea what to expect with this new-to-me author and she has a fun writing style. The characters personalities came to life, even the annoying, entitled ones. The drama ran high, as did the mishaps, and it was an entertaining book.

Content: moderate romance (kissing, some innuendo, a barely fade-to-black scene; moderate language 

Thursday, April 15, 2021

A Marriage of Inconvenience by Amy Vastine {Blog Tour Review + Giveaway}

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

A Marriage of Inconvenience
(Stop the Wedding! #3)
By Amy Vastine
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 213 Pages
April 1, 2021 by Harlequin Heartwarming

She’s met the perfect man…
But he’s engaged!

Wedding planner Sophia Reed never imagined she’d meet her perfect man during a bank robbery. Evan Anderson is handsome and funny and makes Sophia believe in love at first sight. There’s only one small hitch—he’s engaged to someone else, and Sophia is planning his wedding! But Evan’s wedding is purely a business arrangement…and true love might just turn this almost-perfect wedding into a beautiful catastrophe!

USA TODAY Bestselling Author

Stop the Wedding!

Book 1: A Bridesmaid to Remember
Book 2: His Brother’s Bride
Book 3: A Marriage of Inconvenience

(Affiliate links included.)

My Review: 5 Stars
 
There's something about weddings that brings a tear to my eye and joy beyond joy to my heart, but this wedding brought more tears than joy. Evan and Sophia met in a very unconventional (and beyond scary) way, bonding over their trauma, but wedding planner Sophia quickly discovers that groom-to-be Evan is off limits.
 
While the plot was fascinating, with the combination of romance and suspense, this book is character driven. Their dilemmas brought them to life, making them relatable and likable. Sophia is a woman who is very good at what she does. Not only is she competent, but she's darling and willing to do whatever it takes to maintain propriety. Next, we have one of the most charming men around--Evan. That man is loyal to a fault, caring for his brother and unselfishly helping his best friend. Who wouldn't fall head-over-heels for him?
 
I loved the way Vastine wrestled many complicated situations into a delightfully sweet and engaging story. The intricate entanglements were not only entertaining, but they tugged on my heartstrings, making it feel hard to feel mad about some things and making me swoon and happily sigh over others. This is the perfect book for those who enjoy a wedding story with some substance to it.
 
Content: mild romance; mild terror/fear/peril

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

Other Books in the Series

(Linked to Amazon affiliate links.)

About the Author


Amy Vastine has been plotting stories in her head for as long as she can remember. An eternal optimist, she studied social work, hoping to teach others how to find their silver lining. Now, she enjoys creating happily ever afters for all to read. Amy lives outside Chicago with her high school sweetheart husband, three teenagers who keep her on her toes, and their two sweet but mischievous pups.


Tour Schedule


Tour Giveaway


One winner will receive (US only):
- $25 Amazon gift card
- “I love you to the bookstore and back” book bag filled with several of my favorite Heartwarming books
- Blackwell Sisters cleaning cloth
- Bookmark

Three additional winners will receive an ebook of the first book in the Stop the Wedding Series, A Bridesmaid to Remember (open internationally)

Ends April 28, 2021

Grab Our Button!