Thursday, May 27, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


My Review: 5 Stars

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Chasing Whispers (The Honeysuckle Island Series #1) by Jennifer Youngblood {Review}

Chasing Whispers (The Honeysuckle Island Series #1) by Jennifer Youngblood

Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Published April 28, 2021
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given

Sometimes love comes to us soft as a whisper, at the time when we least expect it …

A heartfelt story of friendship, family, forgiveness, and the determination it takes for two hearts to rebuild their lives in the midst of rumors and deception.

Effie’s new position as interior designer at the historic Oliver Hotel on Honeysuckle Island represents more than a mere job. It’s Effie’s chance to start fresh and prove that she’s worth her salt. Having grown up an only child to a single mother shrouded in sadness, Effie longs to come to terms with the hurt she still feels over her mother’s death, coupled with the jolt of reuniting with her father and six half-siblings that she didn’t even realize she had.

Working for the illustrious and temperamental Madeline Chasing won’t be easy, but it could be advantageous to have a close connection with one of the wealthiest families on the East Coast. There’s only one thing standing in the way of Effie’s success—Talon Chasing, Madeline’s oldest son and the manager of the hotel. The more Effie tries to evade him, the harder he pursues her.

Not only is Effie reluctant to get involved with Talon because of their work relationship but also because of the whispers of suspicion surrounding his ex-wife’s disappearance. The closer Effie gets to Talon, the more she starts to question his innocence.

A series of strange occurrences at the hotel make Effie fear that she might be the next to disappear.


My Review: 5 Stars

I was so sad to see the Romeo family come to an end and was absolutely delighted to see this new series infuse that beloved family within its pages. I love a good romantic suspense and Youngblood has perfected the craft with this one. 

Effie is out on her own with a major design client and that first meet cute was hilariously adorable! Talon is charming and lovable, but he's got mysteries enshrouding him and his family. The vibe was creepy, yet sweet; terrifying, yet romantic; chilling, yet fun. I flew through the pages and enjoyed it all. The formula was magnificent and I didn't see some of the twists and turns coming, which reminded me of a frightful roller coaster that shan't be named that always leaves me shaking in my shoes, yet wanting to go again.

This series is off to a great start and I'm eagerly awaiting more of Honeysuckle Island and it's too-close-for-comfort residents.

Content: mild+ moments of peril/fear; mild romance; mild religion

Monday, May 24, 2021

The Best-Laid Plans by Sarah M. Eden {Review}

The Best-Laid Plans by Sarah M. Eden

134 pages, ebook
First published January 1, 2021
Source: borrowed from the library


Newton Hughes has long dreamed of pursuing a career in law, an acceptable choice for a gentleman of status and wealth. His parents, however, disapprove of his ambition, urging him instead to take his rightful place as a gentleman of leisure—with a suitable wife of their choosing, of course.

Ellie Napper would like nothing more than for her parents to abandon their incessant efforts to marry her off to the greatest possible advantage. Her lack of matrimonial enthusiasm drives her family mad, but she refuses to feign frivolity in order to make herself more palatable to potential suitors.

When Ellie and Newton are introduced through their mutual acquaintance, Charlie Jonquil, they commiserate over their shared plight. In desperation, they hatch a plan: Ellie and Newton will feign an interest in each other—enough to convince their parents not to push them toward unwanted matches but not enough to cause whispers or expectations. Their plot quickly spirals out of control, but the greatest complication is the one they didn’t see coming: their plan never included falling in love.


My Review: 5 Stars

What a teaser! I loved the mash-up of the Lancasters and the Jonquils and when Newton and Ellie were thrown into the mix of an entertaining way to avoid marriage, I was hooked. Eden always writes delightfully charming characters and Artemis and her Huntresses opened up all kinds of possibilities for future stories.

Ellie is mistreated by those who should love her best and I was so happy when Artemis took Ellie under her wing. Newton is such a wonderfully kind gentleman and the plan they came up with was full of thrills and swoon, especially as this group became tight-knit. These characters are endearing.

You'd better believe I'm counting down the days to the match of a lifetime and it all sparked with this adorable novella!

Content: mild romance; mild mistreatment

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?


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.


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