Friday, April 29, 2016

Candid by Michelle Pennington

From Goodreads:
Life is simple for high school senior, Sienna Whitfield. With a few good friends, a camera, and a dream, she has everything she needs to be happy. But when Jordan Rubio, the most popular girl at Haskins High, makes her mad, she decides to use the power of photography to right a few social wrongs. As if that doesn’t cause enough drama in her life, she realizes she’s falling for the new guy, Lee Franklin. Strong and protective, he’s just what she needs to survive the craziness she’s stirred up at school. If only she didn’t have to keep her feelings for Lee a secret from her mom.

My Take:
First, I have to let you know that I picked this book up after meeting the author at a craft fair this spring. She shared a booth with me in fact and I found her to be delightful. This was the fair that was cold, snowy, rainy and downright miserable.

I originally bought the book to be nice more than a desire to read it. I'm only saying this so you will believe that the review that follows is as honest as I can be.

This was a wonderfully quick read that had me smiling like a silly girl most of the time. Such a sweet romance with a twist to the "forbidden love" angle. I also enjoyed how Sienna had good intentions for why she wanted to change the status quo, but the changes were also driven by very human emotions--anger and revenge. Lee is a good guy and still drool worthy! This was also a nice change from the standard "bad boy" love interest.

Pennington proved that you can create and maintain a strong story with two every day "good" kids. I wish more people knew about this author and were willing to give her a chance. I loved this story and found the writing to be clean and well edited for a self published book. In fact, I don't know why she didn't catch an agent with this one.

I give Candid a solid 4.5 for being a great romance with oh so much more.

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, April 28, 2016

Summer in Snow Valley Collection


#1 Bestselling Authors of Christmas in Snow Valley, have teamed up again with six wonderful summer novellas that are sure to make your summer sweet and sassy!

Amazon * B&N * iTunes * Kobo * Smashwords


I'm going to review each story briefly and then touch on the collection as a whole at the end. My comments will be in italics after each synopsis.

Catching Caytie by Amazon Top Seller Cindy Roland Anderson

On the night Caytie Holbrook intends to break up with her cheating boyfriend, he blindsides her by announcing their engagement at a dinner party. When Caytie discovers her father is in on the scheme, she runs away from her home in Beverly Hills to hide out at her uncle’s ranch in Snow Valley, Montana. While Snow Valley is a beautiful place, Caytie only plans to stay until her twenty-fifth birthday when she’ll inherit a trust fund her grandmother left her, allowing her to pursue her dream to move to Italy. That is until she meets Jace McAllister, an incredibly sexy—although somewhat grumpy—cowboy who threatens to disrupt her plans.

This one has the best meet cute (is that what it's called?) out of all of them. You know, the moment our two future love birds meet? She runs a red light and almost takes out Jace's truck! Along the way to liking each other, Caytie also helps Kellen. If they do another Snow Valley set, I want his story!
I give this one a solid 4.

Tin Foil Tiaras by Amazon Top Seller Jeanette Lewis

Cameron Elliott has come to Snow Valley to coach Annalisa Drake in the Miss Snow Valley pageant, and prove to her demanding boss that she deserves a place at the prestigious Westbrooke Agency. But Annalisa’s handsome and protective big brother, Kyle, is determined to keep his sister from becoming a reluctant beauty queen. As Cameron tries to win Kyle over, Kyle insists some things are more valuable than a title and as crazy as it sounds, Cameron might just believe him.

Sweet insecure Cameron! Pageant queen wanna-be who thinks she's not thin enough, pretty enough, talented enough. Instead she's going to do everything she can to push Annalisa to the crown. Or is she? Kyle is very distracting, and when he finally gives his reasons for not wanting his sister to win Cameron knows she has to look at things differently. I loved this story for this real look at how pushy moms can miss what's the most important. 
I give this one a 4.

A Touch of Love by Amazon Top Seller Cami Checketts

Annie Stirland has endured a lifetime of teasing, embarrassment, and isolation due to her speech impediment. When irresistible cowboy, Luke Wilson, seems to be falling for her, she’s certain he’s too good to be true. A tragedy involving his ex-girlfriend proves she’s right. What man can resist sheltering someone they once loved? Annie knows she should walk away, but Luke isn’t ready to give her up.

This one was my favorite. And not because I know Cami and not the other authors. What I loved about this story was the fact Annie isn't your run of the mill romance heroine. She's so real it hurts! Of all the romance novels I've read, only one other woman wasn't perfect (she was in a wheelchair). None of us are perfect, and even though we read to escape, it was really refreshing to met Annie. To struggle with her as she tried to express herself. To fall in love with Luke right beside her because of his patience. Annie's insecurity and attempts to give up what she needs for someone she thinks needs it more is heart-wrenching and warming at the same time. 
I give this one a 4.5!

First Love by Amazon Top Seller Taylor Hart 

Janet Snow doesn’t expect to get caught in a full-blown make out session at her brother’s wedding. Especially not with Michael Hamilton, the boy she’d written off ten years ago. Even though they both agree to no complications, Janet's not sure they can stick to it given their past. After a trip to the hot springs, a helicopter ride, and a proposal, even the most cautious single mother would start to wonder if true love really is just about the timing. Now Janet has to make a choice—play it safe or trust that her first love could also be her last.

Ah. This might be my other favorite. I'm a sucker for second chances and this one really packs a punch. If you've read Christmas in Snow Valley, you know that Janet was battling cancer in that set. She's got a new lease on life, but she knows how tenuous it can be. Can she risk handing her heart back to the boy she's always loved when he walked away so long ago? Especially when she still feels broken?
I give this one a 4.5!


Romancing Rebecca by Amazon Top Seller, Kimberley Montpetit

Rebecca Dash loved spending her teen summers swooning over Jane Austin and helping her aunt at the Starry Skies Bed & Breakfast in Snow Valley. But as a recent college grad, she’d rather write sappy romance novels than go out with guys that make her a nervous wreck. When a team of fire-fighters set up camp on the lawns of the B&B and Captain Wade catches her eye, Becca soon learns that there’s more to a happily-ever-after than a flirty fireman with muscles the size of the Montana hills.

Ha! This one was confusing at first. So many firefighters! Who could be the real love interest? This is a bit of a spoiler (sorry!) but I love that history wins out in the end. ;) When it's right, it's right. Becca just has to give it a chance and let some of her preconceived notions go. 
This one is fun. I give it a solid 4.

Love in Light and Shadow by Amazon Top Seller Lucy McConnell

Mercedes O'Shay has sworn off gorgeous men because they have a tendency to break her heart. When she meets her new neighbor, Chet Bauer, she immediately puts him in the Do Not Date category based on his well-defined muscles and stunning blue eyes. But the more Mercedes learns about the cowboy who reads classics and forges iron, the more she realizes the heart doesn't see in black and white; it sees light and shadows.

This story made me smile all the way through. One of my favorite scenes is when Chet's sister tells him not to talk about all the boring trivia he knows. She has no idea that Mercedes loves that! Chet is just sweet in all the ways he tries to avoid Mercedes. Here's two people immediately drawn to each other like magnets, but Mercedes is afraid he'll be like all the others, and Chet is too humble to even chase her. 
I give this one a solid 4.5 for the steamy cowboy who brings art back to Mercedes life

As a collection, I have to say I love Snow Valley! It was easy to fall right in since I read the Christmas set three or four times. When the characters from those stories drifted "across the screen" I felt like I was seeing old friends while making these new ones.

I give the whole set a solid 5 to show my support for well-written, CLEAN romance! It's got steam without things I feel best left behind closed doors. 

Plus, I'm a sucker for sweet stories that tug on the heartstrings and make me smile like I'm experiencing that first love sensation.

My rating scale for book reviews
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, April 27, 2016

Prototype by M. D. Waters

From Goodreads:
The stunning debut that began with Archetype— and has readers buzzing—concludes in Prototype, when a woman’s dual pasts lock onto a collision course, threatening her present and future.

Emma looks forward to the day when she can let go of her past—both of them. After more than a year on the run, with clues to her parents’ whereabouts within her grasp, she may finally find a place to settle down. Start a new life. Maybe even create new memories with a new family.

But the past rises to haunt her and to make sure there’s nowhere on the planet she can hide. Declan Burke wants his wife back, and with a little manipulation and a lot of reward money, he’s got the entire world on his side. Except for the one man she dreads confronting the most: Noah Tucker.

Emma returns to face what she’s done but finds that the past isn’t the problem. It’s the present—and the future it represents. Noah has moved on and another woman is raising their daughter.

In the shocking conclusion to M.D. Waters’s spectacular debut, Emma battles for her life and her freedom, tearing down walls and ripping off masks to reveal the truth. She’s decided to play their game and prove she isn’t the woman they thought she was. Even if it means she winds up dead. Or worse, reborn.

My Take:
Another excellent novel from M.D. Waters. I fell into Emma's world on page one. It hasn't been too long since I read the first part of the story--Archetype--but I don't think that's why it was so easy to get lost in Waters book. Emma is wonderfully human. She is often confused and scared but has hope that if she keeps moving she will eventually find the peace and happiness she craves.

She makes mistakes, but she's willing to admit that. Because she loves Noah and Adrienne so much she's willing to do anything not to hurt them, even if it means giving them up again. Thank goodness Noah won't stand for that!

This book was hard to read in spots. Why? Because I was so emotionally entrenched that I was afraid to read what was going to happen next. As an author I knew what the worst possible thing was that could happen to Emma. I knew that it was coming, but I didn't want it to. Who would be the one to betray Emma and destroy her delicate happiness? I actually put the book down and walked away for a few hours when I got there, because I'd been on the edge of my seat so long I needed an emotional break. That's how good it is!

If I had to nit pick for something to complain about it would be the fact Emma doesn't use contractions when she talks. Maybe no one else did either. Maybe it was a clone thing. I don't know, but Emma's dialogue is the only place I found myself noticing that she never spoke in contractions. Other than that, I was completely lost in another person's life.

I give Prototype by M.D. Waters a 5 even though I did put it down, because I fell into her world seamlessly and my emotions were completely engaged. 

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, April 26, 2016

Second Chance Ranch by Liz Isaacson

From Goodreads:

A new Christian western romance from bestselling author, Elana Johnson, writing as Liz Isaacson for her contemporary adult romance debut.

After his deployment, injured and discharged Major Squire Ackerman returns to Three Rivers Ranch, anxious to prove himself capable of running the cattle operation so his parents can retire. Things would be easier if the ranch wasn’t missing 1.6 million dollars, which forces Squire to hire Kelly, the girl who rejected his high school prom invitation, as his accountant.

She’s back in town with her four-year-old son, living in her parent’s basement until she can get her life back together. With fresh ink on her divorce papers and open gashes on her heart, she’s not ready for much beyond her new job on the ranch.

Squire wants to forgive Kelly for ignoring him a decade ago. He’d like to provide the stable life she needs, but with old wounds opening and a ranch on the brink of financial collapse, it will take patience and faith to make their second chance possible.

For fans of inspirational western romance authors Kimberly Krey, Becky Wade, and Denise Hunter.

My Take:
This is a classic example of how a little misunderstanding can turn into years of heartache.

Squire Ackerman was just a teen boy, younger than Kelly, when he asks her to the prom with a room full of balloons. Too hurt by the fact she never answers, he carries the pain with him another ten years.

Kelly on the other hand has attempted love, marriage, and motherhood only to be disappointed in all of it other than her sweet son Finn. She blames herself for the failure of her marriage, and is determined to protect her son and her heart at all costs.

I loved the chemistry between these two childhood friends. They both have trouble separating the anger and frustration from the attraction. Little by little they open their hearts to find forgiveness and the second chance they both so desperately need.

This was a fun read with great tension between the characters. It was nice that the romance was there all the time, but it unfurled slowly as both Squire and Kelly dealt with choices and pain from their past. They questioned themselves and each other until they finally unraveled the truth.

The writing is clean, without excessive typos to throw you out of the story. It was easy to fall into life on the ranch and forget the laundry was piled up beside me. I give Second Chance Ranch a solid 4, and I've already picked up the next book in the series. :)

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, April 25, 2016

Archetype by M. D. Waters

From Goodreads:

Introducing a breathtakingly inventive futuristic suspense novel about one woman who rebels against everything she is told to believe.
Emma wakes in a hospital, with no memory of what came before. Her husband, Declan, a powerful, seductive man, provides her with new memories, but her dreams contradict his stories, showing her a past life she can’t believe possible: memories of war, of a camp where girls are trained to be wives, of love for another man. Something inside her tells her not to speak of this, but she does not know why. She only knows she is at war with herself.

Suppressing those dreams during daylight hours, Emma lets Declan mold her into a happily married woman and begins to fall in love with him. But the day Noah stands before her, the line between her reality and dreams shatters.

In a future where women are a rare commodity, Emma fights for freedom but is held captive by the love of two men—one her husband, the other her worst enemy. If only she could remember which is which. . . .

The first novel in a two-part series,heralds the arrival of a truly memorable character—and the talented author who created her.

My Take:
It's been almost 2 weeks since I finished this book and I still find my mind drifting to it. For me, this is the mark of an excellent story. There are so many thought provoking elements that you can't help but question what you would do, what you would believe, etc in this situation. However, you don't ponder those questions while you're reading because you get so lost in Water's characters and world that you forget yourself. But afterwards...(sometimes I hate writing reviews because I don't want to spoil anything for future readers!!)

Thing I LOVED:
  • The unraveling of the mystery, piece by piece.
  • Emma's confusion makes her so real. I felt for her the whole way.
  • You instinctively know certain things that Emma doesn't from the beginning, and yet there are still surprises that send your mind reeling.
  • The format of back and forth with life and the memories.
  • The chemistry between Emma and Declan. Emma and Tucker. Emma and Foster.
  • The complexity of the human mind and how it combines with the body to make us who we are.

The only nitpicks I could think of (and this is really grasping at straws!):
  • We only see a small portion of this world and I had lots of questions about how it worked. How did it get that way (details)? I might have missed some of those clues because I was so caught up in the other elements of the story. AND the part of the world we lived in was completely real and detailed. I could see it clearly.
  • Although I understood Emma's need to raid the WTC, I wonder why those facilities are even needed with Declan and the Doctor's breakthroughs?

And the end. It was heartbreaking for me. Emma finally has all the answers, but they can't make her whole. She does the only thing she can, and I'm left with a glimmer of hope for her future. Then I turned the page and read the very short epilogue. HOLY COW!

There is so much more to come in this story. More turmoil and decisions to make.

I can't wait!

NOTE for my LDS readers: There was one scene I had to skip. Everything else was fade to black.

I give Archetype by M.D. Waters a 5 because I am still thinking about her world.

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, April 21, 2016

Christmas in Snow Valley Collection

This is the collection that started my love of Snow Valley. If only it were a real place for me to run away to!

I think the best way to review this collection of stories is by adding my comments after each synopsis. I'll give each individual story a rating and then a rating for the collection as a whole.


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




Christmas in Snow Valley is available for pre-order.

Amazon * iTunes * B&N * Smashwords * Kobo


Add to Goodreads

Snow Valley, Montana, is a small community with the tradition of doing Christmas big. Festivities begin with tree lighting in the town square the day after Thanksgiving and continue until the culminating romantic Christmas Ball. From the Polar Express to a Winter Carnival, there’s something for every wonder-filled  child—and every couple who’s in love—or about to be.

Christmas in Snow Valley is packed with six wonderful Christmas novellas sure to bring romance into your holiday season.

An Unexpected Kiss by Cindy Roland Anderson

Lucy Phillips doesn’t want to spend her Christmas vacation dodging her ex-boyfriend, so when he turns up at the airport to give her a ride home, Lucy panics and asks a complete stranger to kiss her. Although the kiss is incredible, Lucy never expects to see the guy again. Is it bad luck or destiny when Lucy comes down with a sore throat and the new doctor in Snow Valley is none other than the guy she kissed at the airport?

This was probably my favorite story out of all of them. In fact, I've already read it twice. There's just something great about surprise kisses. I laughed like crazy when Lucy is at the doctor (hiding her eyes) and says, "Some stupid guy kissed me at the airport." Then she finds Cole standing there and backtracks. "You're not the stupid guy. At least I don't think you're stupid."

An Unexpected Kiss would make the perfect Hallmark movie. The perfect amount of sweetness mixed with great chemistry. I give it a 4.5

Feels Like Love by Jeanette Lewis

Christmas in Snow Valley is the perfect way for April Winston to introduce her city slicker fiancĂ©, Scott Mecham, to life on a farm. If only Wade Hadley, hometown boy and high school sweetheart, will cooperate! But Wade has no intention of letting April go without a fight. This Christmas, Wade is determined to overcome their painful past and show April that she already has what she’s been seeking all along.

Long lost love? Yep, this one is a classic love lost (or run away from) only to find that it was what she needed all along. Wade is so clearly a better choice from the first moment we meet him and Scott. He just has to make April see it.  Of course, a week after reading I sort of get this couple mixed up with Molly and Kevin down below. I give it a 4.

Full Court Devotionby Cami Checketts

Kazlyn is too busy with her schooling and future plans to enjoy life, let alone fall in love with a man who has heartbreak written all over him. Tyrese Hamilton, a college basketball star and major heartthrob, is intrigued when Kazlyn doesn't pursue him or even seem interested. Ty's career is in jeopardy, and he needs a miracle and Kazlyn to save him.

This was my other favorite story. I loved Tyrese and Kazlyn from the first moment. Both are confident and sassy characters. Tyrese never gives up hope he can get closer to Kazlyn and she's there when he needs her the most. Sweet and pulled at the emotions. I give it a 4.5.


The Christmas Eve Kiss by Taylor Hart

When Molly O’Hare gets a prediction that she will kiss her true love on Christmas Eve, she thinks it’s utterly ridiculous. But when she gets teamed up with Kevin Snow, aka her ex-boyfriend, to decorate a Christmas tree, things start to change. Too bad getting over the past is hard and seeing him kiss another girl is even harder. Now Molly is left with a choice—run away from home and heartbreak or let Christmas work out a miracle all of its own.

Another sweet story, that a week later I can't remember much about. I do remember Kevin's sister is sick, but get the story of Wade and April mixed up with Molly and Kevin. I give it a 4.
Update: After a second read I can say I probably relate to Molly more than any of the other girls. Maybe that's why I chose to forget? Instead of dealing with things that hurt her she ran away. Totally what I would do! She returns home because her dad has a heart attack, but that's only the first fear she has to face. Still give it a 4. 


Risking it all for Love by Award-Winning author, Kimberley Montpetit

Succumbing to family pressure, Jessica Mason reluctantly comes home for Christmas. Ever since her high school boyfriend's death from a car accident three years earlier, Jessica and religion have not been compatible. So, when she visits Michael’s grave, she's surprised to meet the handsome James Douglas, Pastor John’s nephew, who’s studying for the ministry. James can not only dish back Jessica’s finely-tuned sarcasm but understands grief all too well, turning Jessica’s world upside down. Is she ready to take another risk on love?

Jessica just breaks your heart. Three years is a long time to hold on to guilt. And James Douglas makes the church look better and better for Jessica. I give this one a 4


Blue Christmas by Lucy McConnell:

As head of Snow Valley hospital's fundraising effort, Paisley Hackett barely has time to organize the craft show, cookie decorating party, and the annual Christmas Ball. What she doesn't have time for is falling in love with Clay Jett, the incredibly handsome bass player who sweeps into town. She's been burned by a tourist romance before and, with everything going on, Paisley will have to work overtime to protect her heart from Clay and his swoon-worthy ballads.

My other favorite. What's not to love? A scared emo kid grows up into a handsome well adjusted man who just happens to turn Paisley to pudding. She fights it so hard and that's what makes this one so much fun. Another 4.5.


I know these are very short reviews, not very in depth, but it's been two weeks since I read them. All of the stories were good clean romances and my three favorites had some sizzle. As the stories went on, I enjoyed catching the little clues where the couples "passed" each other by. These authors did a wonderful job keeping the town of Snow Valley consistent. Each one took a character (all had been friends growing up) and told an independent story that also touched with the others. Very well done in my opinion. 

There were several typos and spots where it looked like a sentence had been moved or changed and a random word was left behind. Some stories had more than others, but for the most part it was an enjoyable read. 

I give the collection as a whole a solid 4.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Royal Target by Traci Hunter Abramson

From Goodreads:
When CIA agent Janessa Rogers meets the royal family of Meridia on assignment, she expects to use her skills in linguistics and security detail to protect and serve, but she doesn't expect to find herself engaged to Prince Garrett Fortier, Meridia's most eligible bachelor, as part of the security plan. And she certainly doesn't expect to fall in love with him. Janessa resists her feelings, fearing conflicts in her personal and professional life, yet when the Prince admits his feigned affection has become genuine she can no longer pretend. Matters of security, society, and spirituality make their unlikely romance even more complex, and escalating political intrigue gives Janessa an excuse to ignore the questions in her heart. But when a terrorist plot against the royal family endangers them both, Janessa and Garrett must face the challenges of loyalty to family, to country, to God— and to love.

My Take:
Sure, you could call this a romance, but the real ride of the story is the suspense. That's what I love about Traci Hunter Abramson. That, and she writes about characters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (or Mormons) in a non-awkward way.

Let me explain. Some of her characters are members of this church (as am I), but she's not preachy. Even though this is my faith, it's always weird for me when people try to defend our faith through their writing. Abramson doesn't do that. Her characters are members and it affects the choices they make, but it isn't the spotlighted part of the story.

Okay, on to this story in particular. I love that Janessa is a misfit CIA of sorts. Or at least she thinks so. She's been moved from assignment to assignment thinking it's because of her 'mishaps.' She even mentions that her Chinese (she's a linguist) gets her in trouble, hinting at one of those times. In reality, she's a very capable and skilled agent. The fact she's good at what she does lands her an assignment that will change her life.

Garrett is an all around good guy with fears of his own. He loves his family and will do anything to keep them safe. Including a fake engagement to a CIA agent. As time progresses he finds himself wishing it wasn't so pretend, and that Janessa would stop building walls between them.

I kept trying to guess who was behind the bombings and threats to the royal family until the very end. Turns out only two of the four suspects I had in mind was correct. Thanks goodness, because if it had been one of them I would have cried. No spoilers coming your way here!

This book had great tension and conflict through out on the external and internal sides. The writing was smooth and easy to read. In fact, I kept reading until my eyes blurred, popped some eyedrops and finished the book!

I give Royal Target by Traci Hunter Abramson a 5 because I read it in one day.

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, April 18, 2016

Lay Me Down by Tamara Hart Heiner



From Goodreads:
Life is more than just breathing.

Kylee Mansfield knows what it is to be alone. Her dad left when she was seven, and her mother remarried an abusive alcoholic. Kylee finds ways to escape reality, usually by substituting one pain for another. Things take a deadly turn when a jagged cut shows up on her arm, and she doesn't know where it came from. She enlists the help of her neighbor, Price Hudson, to help her uncover the truth. But Price shows her much more than just her past—he shows her what it is to be alive.

My Take:

I don't even know where to start! Wow, this book really sucked me in. Seriously, I had to keep reading to figure out Kylee's full story. By the end I found myself talking like Kylee--"I know, right?" And I was in love with Price. I love that he was a good guy. Kind, patient, wanting to help Kylee because she was hurting, in trouble.

The writing was clean, nothing pulled me out of the story. It was an easy fast read. Like I mentioned, I didn't want to put it down until I KNEW what had happened. :) Now I just want to know what happens after the story ends. I'm trying not to give any spoilers, but even though this is resolved nicely, there is still more story to tell. I hope Heiner plans on writing it.

I give Lay Me Down a 4.5 simply because I still want to know what happens next. 

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, April 14, 2016

The Rebellious One by Jeanette Lewis


From Goodreads--

Holly Clarke is all set to marry the man of her dreams. Or rather, the man of her parents’ dreams. Whoever heard of a girl in 2016 America being betrothed? Holly knows she has to find a way out of the engagement—especially when she meets mysterious, sexy Jordan Fischler. But Jordan has a secret, and loving him could mean the end of everything Holly knows.

My Take:
I received this book free for an honest review.

This is a slightly different take on the popular millionaire/billionaire hiring someone to pretend to be their spouse trend right now. In this case, a bunch of teen girls make a pack at summer camp to only marry a billionaire when they grow up. This all comes about because even at 13, Holly knows she's supposed to marry Brit.

Years later, Holly's inevitable wedding is bearing down on her, pushed by her parents. It doesn't matter that she barely knows him in spite of growing up with him. We see right away that she's not happy. In fact, she crawls through a tunnel in some bushes to hide away for a while, and wishes to turn back time. When she crawls back out, she meets Jordan. There is an instant spark that takes them both by surprise.

Jordan is as shocked as Holly about the chemistry sizzling between them. In fact, he gives her a false last name on impulse because he can't stand for her to know who he really is. Not just yet. He feels the need to get to know her first, but he has no idea how that will change his life, or hers.

I really enjoyed this story. It was different enough that it didn't feel like all the other billionaire books I've read. They didn't agree to marry after two days in order to ensure an inheritance or scare off other interested parties. Their relationship developed quickly, but in a normal, every day, believable kind of way. They talked, laughed, and worked together, allowing their feelings to be tied to more than just the physical attraction they felt for each other.

The other thing I appreciated about this story was that it was clean. No swearing, some great kisses, but nothing I'd have to hide from my teen girls.

Oh! And the thing that separates our two lovebirds isn't some stupid misunderstanding. It's a real reason for them to go to their own corners to think and regroup before coming back together. Holly doesn't over react and fly off the handle over it. She just needs time to figure out what's going on, which isn't easy because of the way her own family treats her.

It's got a nice HEA, satisfying and sweet.
I give The Rebellious One 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, April 12, 2016

Coming Soon!



I've realized I have a lot of books waiting to be reviewed. They are mostly romance of various types. I like clean romance, romantic suspense, and anything else that makes me smile. This blog will be for romance. I'll still review science fiction and fantasy books on my other blog.

This blog should be up and running in May. Until then, you can check out my simplified science posts for the Blogging A to Z Challenge over at My Writing Journey.