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

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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Emma by Jane Austen {Review}

Emma by Jane Austen

Audiobook, Downloadable audio file
Published 2006 by Blackstone Audio Books (first published December 23rd 1815)  
Source: Borrowed from the library's Libby App 



“Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with little to distress or vex her.” That is, until she tries her hand at matchmaking. The results are both disappointingly unsuccessful and hilarious as Emma misreads the cues, makes some false assumptions, and unintentionally offers less than helpful advice. Fortunately, it all turns out all right in the end in this romantic comedy of manners.
 
   

 
My Review: 5 Stars
 
Delightful. Purely, utterly, charmingly delightful! I saw this movie years ago and know of the story, but I've never actually read (or listened to) the book, which is actually shocking, considering how much I love Jane Austen. I adored Emma and her precocious, busybody personality. I enjoyed Emma's friendships and relationships, and I loved Mr. Knightly.
 
Emma is so clueless--vain, wealthy, and completely self-absorbed. When she decides she's good at matchmaking, the trouble begins and although there wasn't a lot to this plot, it was fascinating, humorous, and highly entertaining. I loved all the characters, even those who annoyed me. This was such a treat to listen to and kept me smiling.

Content: mild romance

Monday, April 12, 2021

River's Song (Harvest Ranch Romance #12) by Stephanie Fowers {Review}

River's Song (Harvest Ranch Romance #12) by Stephanie Fowers

ebook, 212 pages

Publication: April 12th 2021  

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

 

 

A country singer rediscovers his passion for music when he meets a spunky small town girl who lives her life to the fullest. Too bad she's his best friend's ex.

Now he'd better forget his racing pulse so he can get a photograph back from her that could ruin his career.

The trouble is that spending time with her feels like a good old fashioned love song, and he can't get that stupid tune out of his head... or out of his heart.

  

My Review: 5 Stars

This series set in a small town in Virginia has firmly planted itself deep in my heart and soul. I loved this story about country singer, River, and photographer, Liv. With past relationship complications and past mistakes haunting their instant attraction, River and Liv have to dig deep to discover what matters and what's worth fighting for.  

I love the way the characters of this town watch out for one another and the way the magic of romance sprinkles around like floating cherry or apple blossoms. Although River and Liv have some complications, I adored them and their story. The connections between other books in the series brought a feeling of familiarity, but most of all, I loved the music, the inspiration, and the hope. Fowers breathes life into this book, allowing the reader to escape into this charming town for a time. 

Learning about history or facts about different things is always more enjoyable to me when they're embedded in fiction. It was fascinating to learn about film development, but that's not all that developed through the lens of a camera. Such an enjoyable addition to this series!

Content: mild romance; vague talk of drinking, drugs, women; mild religion 


Sunday, April 11, 2021

Until Vienna by Heather B. Moore {Review and Giveaway}

May be an image of 2 people, book and text that says 'BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY APRIL 5-9 EXPRESS Until VIENNA VIENNA Until HOON HEATHER HEATHER.MOORE B. MOORE ATHER HEATHER B. MO рок'

 Do you want to win a copy of Until Vienna by Heather B. Moore? All you have to do is enter HERE for your chance to win!

You can read the first chapter HERE!

Until Vienna (Romance on the Orient Express #3) by Heather B. Moore

Kindle Edition, 168 pages
Publication: April 1st 2021 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given
 
 
 
Georgina Ballard has been disappointed in love more than a few times, a fact that she is uncomfortably aware of amid her sister’s wedding preparations. When her elderly aunt Rowena bids Gigi to accompany her on an art tour across Europe, Gigi hesitates but eventually resigns herself to the train journey alongside a group of aged art connoisseurs, if only to mollify her aunt.

Once aboard the Orient Express, Gigi is pleased to discover that not everyone on the tour is in their twilight years: Clyde Haskins, an energetic young art professor from the University of London, will serve as the group’s tour guide. Clyde is equally intrigued that a young lady has joined the tour, and Aunt Rowena and her friends immediately set out to play matchmaker. Clyde and Gigi both find humor in Aunt Rowena’s antics despite knowing that each is determined to keep their heart carefully guarded. Yet, the enchantment of their European exploration weaves an undeniable spell between them. When their journey ends, can their holiday love story endure the obstacles of real life?
 
   

 
My Review: 5 Stars
 
I adore this series! The Orient Express is so fascinating and mysterious. I mean, it's just a train, but it's so much more, especially with the common thread of the peculiar foreign character--Nicholas.  
 
Although the events and stops along the way were intriguing, it was the characters that completely won me over. Gigi is accompanying her aunt and friends on the journey and the professor leading the excursions is very likable. The older ladies had me laughing with their busybody antics and matchmaking. Oh, the matchmaking was such a fun element! Gigi and Clyde had a wonderful friendship that hinted at something more and had me cheering them on and swooning. I even loved the women close to Gigi who were left back home. Gigi had a very strong support system and adapted well to them all nosing into her business, as they all had her best interests at heart.
 
Moore does a brilliant job of bringing this time period and these delightful characters to life. I nestled right into this story and felt like I lived it along with them. Charming and sweet, this is a story that has stayed in my thoughts for days.
 
Content: mild romance 

Friday, April 9, 2021

Hawaii Ever After (Burke Billionaire Romance #4) by Rachelle J. Christensen {Review}

Hawaii Ever After (Burke Billionaire Romance #4) by Rachelle J. Christensen

Kindle Edition, 184 pages
Published April 7th 2021 by Peachwood Press 
 
 
 
A ballet dancer at the end of her career.

A handsome Hawaiian who chops coconuts for a living.

Their two worlds collide with a smoldering kiss, but is the chemistry enough to overlook their differences?


Gracie Cardulo has performed for the New York ballet for over a decade, but her body can’t keep up with the rigorous demands of dance anymore. She arrives on the isle of Kauai for her billionaire best friend’s wedding to consider new job options and ends up dancing with the best man, Pika Sepe. The entire island is filled with romance when she’s with the handsome Hawaiian, but can she truly be happy without dance?

Pika has always worked a blue-collar job and most of the time barely makes ends meet. When Gracie dances into his life, she inspires him to go after his dreams of taking tourists on island adventures. In between deep-sea fishing, sweet kisses, and hikes along the Na’ pali coast, Gracie and Pika each find something they were missing.

When Pika’s ex-girlfriend stirs up trouble, Pika and Gracie must dig deep to find out if their love is meant to be. Can they hold together when people keep trying to pull them apart? Will their love last beyond the beautiful island sunset, or fade into the deep waters of doubt?

♥This novel is Book #4 in the Burke Billionaire Romance Series and includes a bonus sneak peek of one of my books! Books can be read in any order.
 
   
 
My Review: 4.5 Stars
 
Sometimes a delightfully sweet romance set in a tropical location is just the vacation that is desperately needed, especially in today's world, and this one was much wanted today. 
 
Gracie is on the verge of her ballet career ending and becoming reacquainted with Pika in Kauai at their mutual friends wedding was exactly the spark required to set their common attraction ablaze. Although there was trouble some in paradise, this story was easy and satisfying. I loved the descriptions of The Garden Island and since I was fortunate enough to go there once several years ago, I could vividly picture (and even smell) things in my mind, and I loved every single minute of it.
 
While there is an instant love, Pika and Gracie are fantastic characters. It was so enjoyable to watch them work together to decorate their friends house, while discovering more about themselves and making some big life decisions. I would have loved more, but all in all, this was a great escape! 
 
Content: mild romance 

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

All That Really Matters by Nicole Deese {Review}

All That Really Matters by Nicole Deese

Paperback, 416 pages
Publication: April 6th 2021 by Bethany House Publishers 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given. 



Molly McKenzie's bright personality and on-trend fashion and beauty advice have earned her an impressive social media following, as well as a big paycheck each month. When her manager-turned-boyfriend says she has an audition to appear as a host on a makeover show that nominates underprivileged youth, her dream of further fame seems to be coming true. There's just one catch: she has little experience interacting with people in need.

When her manager-boyfriend convinces her to partner with a local organization, she begins volunteering with a summer youth program. The program's director, Silas Whittaker, challenges her at every turn, but she swiftly grows more attached to the kids--and him--every day.

As Molly experiences an acceptance unlike anything she's known, she wrestles with the lies she's been believing about herself for years. She thought she knew what mattered most in life, but maybe she's had it wrong this whole time, and there's more to being truly seen than what she's built her entire life on.
 
  

 
My Review: 5 Stars
 
What really matters in life? Sometimes it's hard to recognize. Although I have no desire to become one, social media influencers are very intriguing to me. Nicole Deese delivers an amazingly heartfelt and authentic story, and it caught me off guard. I was expecting superficial, and maybe that's how Molly's service journey started, but her genuine and vivid persona, grit, and perfected online presence was a magnet for everyone who came in contact with her and absolutely perfect for this book.
 
Molly is the type of character that you can't help but adore and idolize and want to be like. Although she appears to be very successful, I love that there's room for her to grow and learn more about herself. I love how she engages with the youth program and discovers it's more than a stepping stone for her next career move. And can we talk about Silas? What a perfect contrast! That stoic man is compassionate, dukely, and charismatic.
 
I just loved everything about this book. The whole cast of characters felt alive and multi-dimensional. They were real and flawed, yet extremely likable and I couldn't get enough. I loved the Pacific Northwest setting, which lent an interesting vibe that set my heart ablaze once a romance sparked. 
 
Deese does a phenomenal job of bringing the reader into the story. The strings of hope, forgiveness, and love were written amazingly well, creating a beautiful tapestry that I just wanted to frame and keep in my forever.  

Content: mild romance (kissing, vague mention of intimacy); mild+ religion; mild+ talk of past situations (drugs, death, attacks, etc)

Monday, April 5, 2021

Beehives and Broken Heroes (Harvest Ranch Romance #11) by Ellie Thornton {Review}

Beehives and Broken Heroes (Harvest Ranch Romance #11) by Ellie Thornton

Kindle Edition
Published April 5th 2021 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given

 

 

His upright nature will teach her to love again.

Her fiery spirit will bring him back to life.

Allie Ward is swearing off men for good. She’s had it with their lying, thieving, and cheating ways. What she needs to focus on is bettering herself and her business.

But the studly, new investor to her “Sticky and Sweet” honey company, Brandon Carroll, keeps getting in her head. He’s not like the guys she’s dated before. He’s reserved, tough, hard to rile, and surprisingly flirty when she least expects it. She’s torn between wanting to hide from him, and wanting to kiss the life out of him. But, she’ll do neither because she’s a professional . . . and done with men.

Ex-military police officer, Brandon Carroll falls fast for Allie Ward. With her open, crazy, and vivacious zest for life, she’s exactly what he needs to mend his broken heart. But when a ghost from his past rears its sinister head, Brandon will have more than a gorgeous, fighting redhead to deal with. By law, he must keep the mounting dangers stamped “top secret” from her.

But Allie isn’t going to tolerate secrets. In fighting to keep his past from her, he just might lose her for good.

  

My Review: 4 Stars

It always seems like you meet someone when you swear you're done looking, and that's just what happened to Allie. Brandon and Allie had an instantaneously clash of chemistry that was fun to watch this sweet romance unfold. 

Both Brandon and Allie are fun characters. The random friends that appeared were entertaining too, especially the sneak attacks. While there's also a reason for why people do what they do, Brandon and Allie each had a flaw that didn't sit well with me, so it's a good thing they're both so likable--that made it easier to overlook those minor annoyances.

Harvest Ranch is a great small town and I would have loved to see more of it and its residents in this story, but I loved the mix of romance and danger. The kernels of suspense hinted at more and I loved how everything came together, popping the characters into the middle of a perilous situation. But I must say, that ending was the butter drizzled on top--sweet perfection!

Content: mild romance; mild moments of peril


Thursday, April 1, 2021

Until Vienna (Romance on the Orient Express #3) by Heather B. Moore {Review}

Until Vienna (Romance on the Orient Express #3) by Heather B. Moore

Kindle Edition, 168 pages
Publication: April 1st 2021 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given
 
 
 
Georgina Ballard has been disappointed in love more than a few times, a fact that she is uncomfortably aware of amid her sister’s wedding preparations. When her elderly aunt Rowena bids Gigi to accompany her on an art tour across Europe, Gigi hesitates but eventually resigns herself to the train journey alongside a group of aged art connoisseurs, if only to mollify her aunt.

Once aboard the Orient Express, Gigi is pleased to discover that not everyone on the tour is in their twilight years: Clyde Haskins, an energetic young art professor from the University of London, will serve as the group’s tour guide. Clyde is equally intrigued that a young lady has joined the tour, and Aunt Rowena and her friends immediately set out to play matchmaker. Clyde and Gigi both find humor in Aunt Rowena’s antics despite knowing that each is determined to keep their heart carefully guarded. Yet, the enchantment of their European exploration weaves an undeniable spell between them. When their journey ends, can their holiday love story endure the obstacles of real life?
 
   

 
My Review: 5 Stars
 
I adore this series! The Orient Express is so fascinating and mysterious. I mean, it's just a train, but it's so much more, especially with the common thread of the peculiar foreign character--Nicholas.  
 
Although the events and stops along the way were intriguing, it was the characters that completely won me over. Gigi is accompanying her aunt and friends on the journey and the professor leading the excursions is very likable. The older ladies had me laughing with their busybody antics and matchmaking. Oh, the matchmaking was such a fun element! Gigi and Clyde had a wonderful friendship that hinted at something more and had me cheering them on and swooning. I even loved the women close to Gigi who were left back home. Gigi had a very strong support system and adapted well to them all nosing into her business, as they all had her best interests at heart.
 
Moore does a brilliant job of bringing this time period and these delightful characters to life. I nestled right into this story and felt like I lived it along with them. Charming and sweet, this is a story that has stayed in my thoughts for days.
 
Content: mild romance