Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Cupcakes and Cowboys by Lindzee Armstrong

From Goodreads:
Cassidy wants two things-to make her cupcake shop a success, and to forget the ex-fiance who traded her for the lights of Hollywood. She can't stand actors, movies, or anything resembling the guy who ruined her life. So when Jase-best friend of her ex and A-list actor-shows up at the ranch to research an upcoming role, ignoring her past becomes impossible. 

Jase is desperate to escape Hollywood, and ranch life gives him a temporary reprieve. But ranching is starting to feel less like preparing for a role and more like the life he's always wanted. And he can't help envisioning Cassidy as his co-star. Can Jase convince this stunning cupcake shop owner that he's really a country boy at heart?

My Take:
This was a fun fast read. I liked Cassidy from the very beginning and felt her pain and shock at having Jase show up at her home. I felt like the initial misunderstanding made sense, and I was glad that once Jase understood why Cassidy was hostile to him he took the steps to remedy it by talking to her. So many times, romances create conflict simply by having the characters NOT talk to each other. Thank you Lindzee for not following the crowd in that respect!

The story flows nicely, although it could have easily been made longer by showing more of their "dating" moments instead of speeding us through the month. The only other thing on my wish list for this story came near the end. When Drew showed up and opened his mouth, I really needed Jase to deck him really good.

I give this lovely short a solid 4.

1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Billionaire's Heart by Kathleen O'Brien

From Goodreads:
High School art teacher Sophie Smith is usually the most honest of women. But when her dearest friend and mentor asks her to be her stand-in on a two-week vacation at an Amalfi Coast luxury resort, she won’t let her down… even if it means posing as a rich, pampered socialite.

As it turns out, Sophie could get used to this, especially handsome, enigmatic gardener Declan Muldoon who’s strangely more thrilling than any of the billionaires buzzing around. She ends up falling for him—hard.

Then Sophie discovers she’s not the only one pretending. Declan’s gardener gig is temporary. He’s actually the black sheep of a very wealthy, powerful family, a man who appears to be in need of an heiress.

An heiress exactly like Sophie is pretending to be…

*Previously titled The Billionaire's Secret

My Take:
The Amalfi Coast sounds like a dream! I can see how Sophie allows herself to get lost in the beauty of it all. I loved that she bumbles through playing the part of a rich socialite at times, while pulling it off at others. Her discomfort with that life shows though in the fact that she's drawn to the gardener. Oh, sure there's that lovely sexual tension too, but initially I think she finds him safer because he isn't filthy rich. Or so she thinks.

Declan never really chases Sophie for her money as is hinted at in the blurb. And for that fact, I'm grateful. He's really a good guy, and he wants to be with her simply because he enjoys her company. he tries so hard to keep it on a friend basis, but Sophie is a force to be reckoned with.

There is a closed door scene and a lovely ending to it all after a bit of moping heart break.

I give this one a solid 4.5 because I never felt frustrated by any of the plot devices. It was easy to get lost in the story.

1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure

Friday, December 30, 2016

Adam by Chris Keniston

From Goodreads
Welcome to Farraday Country, set in cattle-ranching west Texas, with all the friends, family and fun that fans have come to expect from USA TODAY Bestselling author Chris Keniston.

On a barren road in the pre-dawn hours, Adam Farraday, the oldest of seven siblings, happens upon a disabled sports car and an angel in white searching for a disappearing dog. What is it about this secretive redheaded beauty that intrigues him as no woman has before?

After learning her fiancé's true nature minutes before her wedding, Meg O'Brien drives as fast and as far away from her world as she can. Stranded with no money, and nowhere to go, the city girl must learn to fit in to small town life and all its quirky trappings. Too bad falling in love with her handsome rescuer is not an option.

My Take:
First of all, I LOVE the idea of a modern cowboy take on Seven Brides for Seven Brothers! That movie has always been one of my favorites. I'm planning to read all of them, because I enjoyed this one so much. And just in case you're curious, child number seven is actually a sister--Grace.

Okay, Adam is everything a country veterinarian should be. Tall, broad shouldered, compassionate, tough and gentle all at the same time. Meg is his ray of sunshine. Well, she's kind of everyone's bit of happiness. The whole town can tell she's in trouble and they instinctively want to protect her even though she's fully capable of dealing with her own troubles.

I don't want to give any spoilers, but seriously you have to read to the end to see her take care of her lying, thieving fiancee. Seriously, I was cheering "you go girl!"

The romance is sweet and steamy while staying clean. Yay! The town and Farraday family are filled with great characters that you can't wait to learn more about. And that mystery dog from the beginning? Looks like he's going to make another appearance in the beginning of the next book--Brooks.

All in all, I love Keniston's easy to read style. I give this one a 4.5 only because it did take a few days to read. *Christmas might have played a part in that*

1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Resilient One by Cami Checketts

From Goodreads:

Alyssa Armsworth, a world-renowned photographer, has no intentions of honoring the Billionaire Bride Pact she made at girl's camp to avoid getting whipped cream smeared on her face while she slept. Marriage is the last thing on her to-do list and when her father forces his wealthy friends on her, she runs to Maui.

Her plan to jog on the beach, take some great pictures, and avoid men works--until Beckham Taylor arrives. Spending days on the ocean with the handsome ex-NHL star is ideal, but Alyssa's guilt for past transgressions begins to consume her. She doesn't think Beckham could ever forgive what she's done to him and his family. Before she can confess, her misdeeds are thrust onto the front cover of the tabloids. Now, Alyssa must face her past or lose her future.


My Take:
Here's another great story from Cami Checketts. I think I'm reading these billionaire bride pacts all out of order, but it doesn't really  matter. :) This story might be my favorite one so far. The blurb doesn't really do justice to the depth of the story. It's about so much more than falling in love.

Alyssa has some pretty heavy baggage, making it more than understandable why she doesn't trust men. Especially rich men. With her no count father and his even worse friends, who can blame her. Beck seems way too good to be true. But then again, she's got secrets of her own. Years earlier, she took a photo of him at his parent's funeral and sold it to a magazine that twisted the story into something ugly. She know's he would never understand why.

I really enjoyed the fact that Alyssa has real concerns based on her past experiences. Beck really is a great guy, and he's determined to show Alyssa she's safe with him. This makes it all the more heartbreaking when he doesn't believe her innocence when it comes to the magazine article. Luckily, Alyssa has her grandma Ellie to back her up.

I give The Resilient one a 4.5 for the sweet moments and the sad. It's a story that moves smoothly and  carries you with it every moment of the way.

1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure




Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Academic Bride by Lucy McConnell

From Goodreads:
Early on, Pamela Jones realized she had an unusual talent for putting two people together. Over the years, she's turned it into a successful matchmaking service for the ultra wealthy: Billionaire Marriage Brokers. While she specializes in "business" marriages -- paring people off because of their skills, education, or training -- she can spot a potential love match a mile away. When Pamela has a "good feeling" about a bride and groom - a business marriage can become so much more.

Janel Fendrick is a go-getter. Her dream of excavating a Mayan temple is within reach -- until the funding is pulled and she's left scrambling for an alternative. Pamela Jones comes along with a proposal...and a groom! Janel hesitates, until she realizes that one year of marriage is a small price to pay to have all her dreams come true. What she doesn't realize, is that she's about to get more than she ever dreamed of.


My Take:
I read this one so long ago that I needed to reread before reviewing it. It was worth it. This is a sweet romance where the two characters find that they really were perfectly matched. Janel and Nick are cute. They start out flirting through texts and emails--after they get married! They are both trying to live their lives according to the "contract" but find that not only are they attracted to each other, but they genuinely make each other better.

My only beef is I wish there was more of them "dating". A lot of their relationship seems to develop off screen as it were. But even with that, I love the moment they both reveal their true feelings. Both characters are dedicated to making their dreams come true, but willing to bend and compromise so that both can be happy. It's the way marriage should be.

I give The Academic Bride by Lucy McConnell a 4.

1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure

Friday, November 18, 2016

3 New Releases!

I'm thrilled to announce three fabulous clean romance books being released this week, just in time for the holidays. Also, please enter to win $75 prize money and a gift basket from Suite 716 through the Rafflecopter below.
Happy reading!


When Everly Watson goes on a Hawaiian holiday, she never expects to fall head-over-heels for movie star Christian Ross. But her life is fraught with betrayal and deceit. Will Everly find the courage to love again? Or will her complicated past lead to her undoing?
Buy Love on the Rebound here.

Hyde Metcalf, wide receiver for the Denver Storm, needs a fabulous personal trainer to help him recover from pneumonia. He is more than intrigued by the beautiful Lily Udy, who seems to idolize him … until the media and his competition get involved.

Buy Pass Interference here.

When billionaire, Nathan Sterling, decides to spend a relaxing week before Christmas in Park City, he never imagined he'd meet a hot ex-Olympian skier and he really never imagined ... she'd be getting married in three days.
Buy The Christmas Groom here. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 14, 2016

Cozumel Escape by Cami Checketts

From Goodreads:
Brooks Hoffman, billionaire, loves women, expensive toys and fighting—in that order. A week romancing a beautiful woman on his private island is a great way to pass the time. When Sydnee Lee Swenson isn’t impressed with his money, or charmed by his…well, charm, Brooks takes it as a personal challenge to change her mind.

Sydnee Lee moved to Cozumel to volunteer at the local orphanage. She’s fallen in love with the children and doesn’t need a good-looking, over-confident, guy complicating things. Sending Brooks on his way, with just the right amount of sass, was the only option. But when Brooks puts his own life on the line for her and some of the orphaned children, she may have to take another look at the guy behind the muscles and money.

This book also contains a sneak peek at The Angler, the Baker, and the Billionaire by Author Amberlee Day and The Reclusive Billionaire by Lucy McConnell.

My Take:
We first met Brooks in Caribbean Rescue. He was the best friend/soldier guy that came to help Zack keep his girl Maddie safe. I liked him, he was tough and funny. The perfect combination. He is definitely confident in his lady killer abilities. So much so that I didn't like him as much at the beginning of this story. I loved that Sydnee kind of put him in his place by not swooning at his feet.
Brooks grew on me as the story moved along.

Sydnee was the one I really liked from the beginning. She knows who she is, what she wants, and is willing to fight without thinking about it. When Brooks is doing everything he can to not get emotionally attached, Sydnee gives her heart completely. She adores the children at the orphanage and once she gets to know Brooks, she is able to get past his flirty confidence to see his pain.

This story pulled me in two directions. There were times I wanted more. I really love suspense and I sort of wished the suspense subplot was bigger. That Checketts had dug in deeper. However, I also understand that this is more of the lighter, sweet love story, not the darker suspense that a closer look at human trafficking would have taken.

In the end I enjoyed the progression of their romance and the happy ending. I give Cozumel Escape a solid 4.

1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure