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

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

First Love Second Choice by Lindzee Armstrong

From Goodreads:

When wedding planner Keslee gets asked on a date by her long-lost high school crush, Bryce, everything should be perfect. But Bryce mistakes Keslee for her deceased twin sister, Jadyn. And Keslee doesn’t correct him. Talk about awkward. To make matters worse, she learns they’ll be seeing a lot more of each other because Bryce is the marketing director at the venue where Keslee’s new client has chosen to get married. Keslee knows the charade can’t last much longer, and fears she’ll lose Bryce forever when she tells him the truth.

My Take:

Okay, first things first. I might have picked this one up because the guy on the front is dressed like the 11th Doctor Who. My inner nerd couldn't resist! So, when I learned that Keslee is just as geeky in ways as me, even referencing Doctor Who, I was hooked.

I will admit that I almost put the book down and quit reading. I didn't get why in the world she would pretend to be her dead twin sister in the first place. Okay, supposedly she didn't want to be the one to crush him by telling him she was dead (2 years already), but then she accepts a date with him as the dead sister? So, I almost quit, but I didn't. Keslee corrects it the next time they meet and things start moving in the right direction.

There's a heart breaking moment after their first kiss and Bryce really has to work hard to convince Keslee that he really sees her after that.

All in all, a quick, easy, fun read. I give First Love Second Choice 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, October 24, 2016

The Trouble with Flying by Rachel Morgan

From Goodreads
Sarah doesn’t talk to strangers. Aiden won’t shut up. When they find themselves next to each other on a plane, unexpected sparks begin to fly …

Sarah doesn’t talk to strangers. It’s awkward, stressful, and there’s the uncontrollable blushing to worry about. When she boards a plane to fly home after an overseas holiday, she plans to stick her nose in a book and ignore everyone around her.

Aiden’s terrified of flying, and it’s his first time on a plane. If he can distract himself by talking non-stop for the entire flight, he will. Too bad for Sarah he’s sitting right next to her.

Against all Sarah’s expectations, she ends up enjoying Aiden’s company. They laugh, argue, concoct stories about other passengers, and accidentally hold hands during the turbulence. When the time comes to say goodbye, Sarah can’t help the crazy thought that she shouldn’t let Aiden go.

Then he kisses her.

And then he’s gone.

With her world turning upside down in more ways than one, Sarah has to make a decision: stick with the safe, predictable life that’s been mapped out for her, or find the courage to go after what she truly wants.

My Take:
Oh, this was fun for me. I guess I've been in the mood for something different because here is another book set in another country. Sarah is from South Africa and Aiden is from England. I loved the little things that were so NOT American. It was refreshing for me. I should mention that my husband spent two years in South Africa and so there were things that I recognized from his stories. It made me a bit nostalgic for our younger days.

I really connected with Sarah and her problem. She is a people pleaser, a co-dependent personality who avoids conflict and confrontation at all costs but she doesn't realize it. She thinks she's shy. I'm the same, but manifest it in different ways than Sarah does. Every time I saw her interact with her boyfriend Matt, I want to slap her and say "wake up and look at what's going on!" You see it's easier for me to see the problem in other people. When her friends do basically just that I cheered. And I totally understood why Sarah ran from her friends hurt and angry. Learning you're a doormat is hard to accept.

Aiden is good for Sarah from the beginning. He sees her. For the first time in a long time she can be herself. Actually learn who she is and what she wants. He pushes her to be better. It takes a long time for Sarah to come to grips with who she is and what she wants out of life. I love that she has to make changes on all levels to show her growth--starting with her parents, then Matt, and finally she has room to let Aiden in.

I give The Trouble with Flying a 4.5 for tackling the subject with such realism.

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, October 20, 2016

Christmas Down Under by Marion Lennox

From Goodreads:
Sarah’s committed to her stellar modelling career in New York, but there’s an obligation she needs to fulfil. Harold was a Grandpa to her when she needed him most. Now all Harold wants is one last Christmas in his beloved Waratah Bay Homestead. Sarah’s not that so hot on baking and Christmas seems a bit… challenging… but she’s prepared to fly half way round the world to give it a try.

The only problem is, Harold no longer owns Waratah Bay Homestead. Farming tycoon Max Ramsey owns it now and he doesn’t like company, he doesn’t like Christmas and most of all, he doesn’t like Sarah.

When the two clash, enough sparks ensue to light a Christmas tree. How many enemies does it take to cook one Christmas turkey?

Previously titled Christmas at Waratah Bay

My Take:
I'm getting in the Christmas mood! I picked this one up for free from BookBub. It was a sweet and touching story that pulled on many different emotions. Sarah is a wonderful character. She's full of love for Harold, light and goodness for everyone else. She's a hard worker and not afraid to take on things she has no clue about--turkey and Christmas dinner being a good example. I enjoyed the fact that she didn't feel the need to correct Max's wrong idea about her in the beginning. She wasn't there for Max, didn't care what he thought of her, all that mattered was Harold and giving him one last Christmas.

Even when Sarah started liking Max, Harold was her focus. She simply found room in her heart to include Max and his family in her goal to provide a Christmas to remember.

Max's change of heart happened slowly as well. At least as slow as possible for a few days time in the book. I liked this. He didn't immediately fall in love and change who he'd been for years and years. He struggled with letting people in, even though he wanted to let Sarah in. It took Sarah's strongly independent spirit to finally break through his walls. She was strong enough on her own. She didn't need him to fix everything for him. In the end though, they both realize that everything could be wonderfully better and more fulfilling if they were together.

I enjoyed being in a different setting for Christmas--no snow and a day at the beach. It was a refreshing change. This read was also clean. I give Christmas Down Under 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

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Rum & Raindrops by Jean Oram

From Goodreads:
One nature guide. One accidental forest fire. And one steamy investigator hot on her tail.

Jen Kulak's good at running from her problems, so when she finds her best friend and boyfriend in bed together she burns rubber, never looking back. When Jen finds the quirky town of Blueberry Springs, she finally feels as though she's found a place she can call home, settle in, and get to know herself. With help from her boss, she rediscovers her love of nature and begins giving wilderness tours, which would be perfect if it weren’t for the fact that she may have accidentally just burned down the forest she depends upon for her fledgling business. And it would figure that Rob Raine, the man of her dreams, also happens to be the fire investigator hot on the case.

Can Jen find the strength to fight the accusations that could cost her everything? Or will she run again, ignoring the sparks that fly between her and Rob, and torching her chances at a happily ever after?

My Take:
I really like Jean Oram's style. Her books are easy to read, easy to get lost in someone else's world and troubles. This one was no different. I immediately liked Jen and Rob.

Jen is a bit of a mess. She doesn't trust anyone, and yet she's still this likable person. You can feel the hope she still has that she will one day find something better than what her history tells her is life. She struggles to stay in Blueberry Springs when everything starts to fall apart. It feels like home, but she feels responsible for the fire. She's certain she didn't start it, but she figures everyone else thinks she did.

Rob is just an all around good guy. He makes you smile in spite of yourself. He's serious about his job though and he knows getting involved with Jen would make things even worse. His heart doesn't quite listen though. The two of them investigate the fire and things just get worse and worse.

The ending to this one was realistic and worth the wait.

I give Rum & Raindrops 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