Thursday, November 9, 2017

Romancing the Singer by Cami Checketts

From Goodreads:
Don't miss this Return to Snow Valley Romance by bestselling sweet romance author, Cami Checketts

Daisy Castleton won Singing with the Stars and a huge recording contract, but when she discovers she has throat cancer, she escapes to Snow Valley, Montana. She didn't plan on literally running into her childhood hero, Jamison Hall, on a hiking trail. Jamison makes her laugh and forget her bleak situation and that might be more dangerous than the predators in the music industry.

My Take:
You know what this means? I've missed a Snow Valley anthology somehow. I'll have to go ferret out the other stories.

Anyway, here's another fun story from Checketts. Daisy is quite stubborn about trying to keep Jamison at a distance. All the reasoning why makes sense, even if you do want to kind of slap her for it. And Jamison! He definitely doesn't have any lack of confidence. Even though he comes off cocky, you can still see that he's a really good guy with his own insecurities. The two of them together have great chemistry and there are several moments that are just funny.

I did feel for Daisy too. She had so much fear about the cancer because of her mother dying from cancer that she couldn't allow herself to hope for the relationship she wanted with Jamison.

As always, Checketts' writing made it easy to fall in the story and not come out until the very end.

I give Romancing the Singer a Clean rating with a 4.5 on the scale. Nothing pulled me out of the story and that's a big deal for me.

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

Movie Ratings in relation to my review:
Clean--Hallmark movies, some kissing, no nudity, no sex on or off "screen"
PG--Some innuendo but nothing kids don't hear every day, sex is all closed door
PG-13--some language (swear words not related to sex), more talk about sex, heavy petting, removal of clothing on screen, but sex is closed door.

 R--swearing (F bomb, on “screen” sex, sometimes feels like the whole story is about the sex and not the relationship or some other plot, but not always

A Merrily Matched Christmas Anthology

Unwrapping in time for Christmas 2017.​

Preorder until November 23rd for only $0.99!


Snuggle up with new holiday favorites for a kiss under the mistletoe. From handsome strangers to second chances, this collection will keep your heart warm and toasty this holiday season! So grab some eggnog and a blanket and curl up by the fire with a sexy new book boyfriend! ​

I've asked each author what their "movie" rating would be based on my scale. I've included that with their blurbs. The scale can be found at the bottom of the post.

Includes the following multi-heat level novelettes:

A Merry Matchmaker Mess (Clean) by USA Today bestselling author Virginia Nelson
Veronica “Ronnie” Murray loved fixer-upper projects, and she’d never met one as challenging as her coworker, Elijah Conrad. Eli may be an absentminded and sometimes grumpy genius, but he carries a sadness in his eyes… one she knows love will cure. Eli isn’t looking for love, but he can’t help but notice the feisty little Ronnie’s attempts to play matchmaker. She might be his best friend’s little sister, but Ronnie has something about her… something he would like to explore, if he could get her to stop throwing women at him like snowballs.​
Can these two opposites find a lifelong love from their stolen Christmas kisses? ​

Lovers of Christmas Past (R) by USA Today bestselling author Ashelyn Drake
Holly Michaels loves managing the children’s center in Sapphire Springs, but she longs to have children of her own. She’s haunted by her decision to leave the love of her life after he declared he didn’t want kids. Nick Masters never got over Holly leaving him at the altar five years ago. Now, he’s volunteered to play the part of Santa at the children’s center’s Christmas celebration to get close to Holly again.​
Nick is all smiles for the little ones, but will his attitude change when it comes time to hang up his red suit for the season? ​

A Christmas Prayer (Clean) by River Ford
Newly divorced, Lindsey leaves Idaho for the first time in her life. Abandoned by her husband, she prays that taking her two year-old daughter east to live close to family will give them both the life they deserve. Unfortunately, a car accident leaves her stranded in the middle of Wyoming. Jake's felt like something's missing for a while. He's finally turned to prayer for guidance. Almost immediately, he get's to rescue a beautiful woman and her adorable daughter.​
Could love be the answer to both of their prayers? ​

All I Want for Christmas Is My Book Boyfriend (PG) by Beth Fred
Katie spends all of her time in the OR or re-reading about the Gypsy Eliam Monaj her favorite Regency romance hero. Who needs a real boyfriend when she has a perfect book boyfriend? But when Katie ends up on a Christmas cruise--of sorts--alone with Eledon she finds the mutual attraction hard to ignore. Still a gambling loaf is no match for a conscientious doctor. Can Katie find a real happily ever after or is she destined to live in books? ​

A Cowboy for Christmas (PG-13) by Cate Grimm
Fashionista Sarah Jayne traded in her Laredos for Louboutins and planned to make it big in New York City. But, when her life in the Big Apple falls apart, she comes home to Love, Texas. Cody Hayes is focused on getting his family’s failing ranch patched together and sold so he can return to his wanderlust career as a journalist. He has no intention of embracing his cowboy roots and making Love his permanent home. Until he finds himself distracted by a certain sassy New Yorker who's making him think Texas roots might not be so bad. Will Love, Texas be the perfect place for two people with wanderlust to find a happily ever after? ​

Merry Mismatch (R) by Lily Vega
Stick-in-the-mud Director of Finance Aaron gets under edgy party girl Zara’s skin. His budget cuts jeopardized her project, putting her video game on the company chopping block. Inviting Zara to Windy City Gaming’s holiday retreat to pitch her project seems like the perfect solution. Aaron didn’t count on his ex-girlfriend’s quest to eliminate the competition by getting Zara fired. He must convince his ex of Zara’s value to the company, while keeping his growing attraction wrapped up tighter than a Christmas present.

Movie Ratings in relation to my review:
Clean--Hallmark movies, some kissing, no nudity, no sex on or off "screen"
PG--Some innuendo but nothing kids don't hear every day, sex is all closed door
PG-13--some language (swear words not related to sex), more talk about sex, heavy petting, removal of clothing on screen, but sex is closed door.

R--swearing (F bomb, on “screen” sex, sometimes feels like the whole story is about the sex and not the relationship or some other plot, but not always

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Nine Ladies Dancing 2017 Anthology

Nine Ladies Dancing 2017 
Clean Regency Boxed Set

Ten bestselling authors present ten Regency romances — some traditionally sweet, some clean, some mildly sensuous — in a boxed set you won’t want to miss! This anthology will available through January 2018 at only 99 cents, only through Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07751BK3K/

Books and authors included:

A Lot Like a Lady by Kay Springsteen and Kim Bowman — Ladies’ maid Juliet Baines finds that pretending to be a lady isn’t nearly as hard as guarding her heart against the folly of wanting a man who’s completely out of reach.

Love, Unmasked by Vivian Roycroft — Armed with a new and sensuous gown, a full-face mask, and complete anonymity, Fidelity Scott is determined to make some scandalous memories to sustain her for the rest of her loveless life. But is her life truly without love?

Healing Hearts by Miranda D. Nelson — Joanna Leighton has seen what love can do to a person and she refuses to subject herself to that pain. But when the quiet and secretive Colin Aldridge moves to town, she begins to wonder if love is perhaps worth the pain it inevitably brings.

Midsummer Love by Elizabeth Hanbury — Three sweet, clean short stories explore just how much fun Regency romance can be.

The Bartered Wife by Sherry Gloag — When her father informs her she’ll be marrying his stepson the next day, Abigail Cavendish stumbles in shock from the house and directly beneath the hooves of a frightened horse. Unconscious, she’s unable to fight back when her father decides to go ahead with the marriage by proxy.

Four Calling Bards by Patricia Kiyono — Faced with a sudden plethora of suitors, vicar’s daughter Amanda Collins must choose between the lord of the manor, his footman, the town doctor, or the butcher. Or dare she remain unwed, caring for her father and advocating for the abolition of slavery?

The Color of Deception by Ruth J. Hartman — After artist Kitty Sullyard mysteriously disappears, Nathaniel Bexley has only a single clue with which to find her. Will he be able to decipher the secret message she’s hidden in a drawing, or will Kitty be doomed to the hands of her kidnappers?

The Duke and His Bluestocking by Nicole Zoltack — Augustus Balfour, Duke of Carlisle, needs a wife. But the only woman he finds interesting has no need of a husband. Is there anything he can say to change bluestocking Georgiana Allen’s mind?

The Golden Goose by Felicia Rogers — Rose Walsh tried to escape one man only to be kidnapped and held prisoner by another. She has lived under disguise as a ship’s boy for eight years. Then she hears the voice of a man that sparks a memory of the woman she once was. Will the bond they form see them to safety — and maybe beyond?

Something Like a Lady by Kay Springsteen and Kim Bowman — Lady Annabella Price prefers hiding out in an abandoned cottage in the country to being with her stepbrother, the Duke of Wyndham, for even a day. At least she did... until the insufferable Lord Seabrook showed up.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Saving Sycamore Bay by Cami Checketts

From Goodreads:
A football hero. A southern belle in need. Can they rescue her home together?

Harrison Jackson graduated from Auburn University with his master's in accounting and thought he was leaving the world of college football and adoring fans to crunch numbers and make money. Little did he know his boss has other plans for him--a beautiful southern belle and her family's mansion that are both in need of rescue and more than a little TLC.

Grace Addison lost her mother and daddy within a year of each other, she is not going to lose the only home her family has known. Her ex-boyfriend and lawyer are trying to talk her into selling and she has no money to fight anyone, but she has her determination and her pride. When the most handsome and strong-looking man she's ever seen shows up on her doorstep, claiming he's been sent to help her, she thinks he's salvation and an angel combined. When she finds out he's an accountant, she laughs in his face.

Someone is determined to take or burn Grace's home no matter how hard she and Harrison fight. Can she trust Harrison to protect her or should she give up her dreams?

My Thoughts:

I always enjoy Checketts' stories. She writes with a light had that makes it easy to get lost in the story and use my own imagination to filling details with the setting and so forth. This one was no different. Harrison is such a good man. Strong and confident where it counts, he is just the man Grace needs to get through some troubled times. I loved how gallant and determined he was to keep her and her home safe.

Grace was sweet if a bit naive. Her greatest strength was also her greatest weakness--she cares deeply about people and sees the good in them even when the warning signs are there. Because of this, there was just enough suspense to add some extra depth to a sweet love story.

I give Saving Sycamore Bay a solid 4 and clean rating.

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

Movie Ratings in relation to my review:
Clean--Hallmark movies, some kissing, no nudity, no sex on or off "screen"
PG--Some innuendo but nothing kids don't hear every day, sex is all closed door
PG-13--some language (swear words not related to sex), more talk about sex, heavy petting, removal of clothing on screen, but sex is closed door.
R--swearing (can be related to sex), feels like the whole story is about the sex and not the relationship or some other plot

Romancing the Singer by Cami Checketts coming Nov 7th!



Two superstars, two lonely hearts, and the storm that tears them apart.
Don't miss this Return to Snow Valley Romance by bestselling inspirational author, Cami Checketts.
Daisy Castleton hasn’t been home since she won Singing with the Stars and a huge recording contract, but where else do you escape from the tabloid sharks when you discover you have throat cancer? Daisy wants nothing more than to disappear as she faces the fact that she may never sing again. Between family issues and an impossible to ignore attraction to her childhood hero, Daisy can’t catch a break. After all, how do you stop yourself from falling in love with the perfect guy?  
Jamison Hall came home to Snow Valley after a successful career in the European Basketball Association. When he literally runs Daisy off a hiking trail with his horse, he discovers a connection and love he’d never imagined. But Daisy is like a beautiful fairy: always out of reach and afraid even the best of men will burn her wings.  
Can they survive a snow storm and the media storm, together?

Snow Valley Romances by Cami Checketts


Friday, October 20, 2017

The Princess and the Pizza Man by Cassie Mae

From  Goodreads:
Twelve years of tossing pizzas in his hometown in Alabama is like a dream come true for William Monroe, but his sister is ready to leave the Podunk place, desperate to find herself a man and get hitched. He’s not too thrilled to hear about the mansion she’s dragging him to, claiming it’s haunted with the spirit of Cupid, and it’s his job to make sure she doesn’t fall for the first guy who looks her way.

Winter’s been running the Frostville Murder Mysteries ever since she inherited a hefty sum of cash, wanting to give back in a fun and profitable way for her home city. Noticing a lot of puppy-eyed patrons, she gives herself the job of matchmaking, picking out the ones who seem best suited for one another. But when the outspoken and grumpy man from Alabama arrives with his eager-to-be-matched sister, her focus starts to falter, and she wants nothing more than to prove to Will that her mansion can feel like home, too.

My Take:
What fun! I loved that Maybelle tricked her brother Will into taking her to Frostville so she could have her chance at love. Well, I guess she told him that part. However, leaving out the part about the murder mystery made for some cute moments. Will and Belle are your typical brother, and sister due and I loved their interactions. I thought it funny they were both so loud. Add in the fact that Winter isn't your typical soft-spoken, well-mannered heiress and you've got lots of fun. Some of the southern dialogue started to but me, but it wasn't a deal breaker.

I give The Princess ad the Pizza Man a solid 4 and Clean rating.

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

Movie Ratings in relation to my review:
Clean--Hallmark movies, some kissing, no nudity, no sex on or off "screen"
PG--Some innuendo but nothing kids don't hear every day, sex is all closed door
PG-13--some language (swear words not related to sex), more talk about sex, heavy petting, removal of clothing on screen, but sex is closed door.
R--swearing (can be related to sex), feels like the whole story is about the sex and not the relationship or some other plot

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Love Me At Sunset by Lucinda Whitney

From Goodreads:
An ex-con reforming his life. A pregnant widow hiding her past. Will the price of her secrets cost her his love?

Catarina Romano has lost everything: her husband, her house, her lifestyle. She flees to her cousin’s empty manor in the heart of Portugal, trying to find peace and to hide from the scandal spun by the media, only to discover she is pregnant.

Afonso Cortez is done with all the lies. Fresh out of prison for trusting the wrong person, he’s ready to leave the past behind and look ahead to new opportunities. The remote Sunset Manor, in need of a groundskeeper, is the perfect solution, promising to provide Afonso with the solitude he craves while he restores the grounds to their former glory.

Catarina avoids Afonso at first, not wanting to further complicate her life. But Afonso is intriguing, and she feels drawn to him. If only she didn’t feel guilty for all the secrets she’s keeping from him.

When suspicious accidents start occurring at the property, Afonso believes his past is catching up with him. Will he be able to protect Catarina or will he lose the woman who might restore his belief in love?

My Take: 
What a little gem. I felt for Catarina from the very beginning. You could tell she'd been through some tough times. I was mentally doing the math to figure out how young she was when she married. Although you get what kind of life she led during that marriage, I appreciated that Whitney didn't dig into it too much. However, I often wondered if Catarina would have been even more reticent about falling in love after such an experience. Granted, months go by and she is always surprised at how different Alfonso is to the way her husband had treated her.

Alfonso was such a good man. Some people like reading about bad boys, but I've always loved the good guys. He is caring and gentle, while being strong in his efforts to protect Catarina when his past comes calling. In the end, their love is a true partnership.

I give Love Me At Sunset a solid 4 and a clean rating. The only reason I didn't give a 4.5 is because the timeline felt muddled in places.

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

Movie Ratings in relation to my review:
Clean--Hallmark movies, some kissing, no nudity, no sex on or off "screen"
PG--Some innuendo but nothing kids don't hear every day, sex is all closed door
PG-13--some language (swear words not related to sex), more talk about sex, heavy petting, removal of clothing on screen, but sex is closed door.
R--swearing (can be related to sex), feels like the whole story is about the sex and not the relationship or some other plot

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Mending Fences by Lorin Grace

From Goodreads:
The fence that once brought them together now keeps them apart.

Mandy needs one last photo to complete her MFA project, digitally transforming the deteriorating Crawford mansion into the stately building it could have been. But a fence stands in her way.

Determined to keep land developers and paparazzi from his great-grandfather’s estate, Daniel Crawford has taken to chasing off intruders by any means possible. No one is going to cross the fence into his land. Or his heart.

My Take:
This was my favorite story in the Mansions series so far! There was nothing to complain or nit pick. The connection between Daniel and Mandy felt real, as did the things keeping them a part. You could argue that Mandy could have let him explain, but women need a cool down period. After that, she did listen. Sadly, the incident with Coach 'Handsy' also felt real to life. Every time "but the team was winning" was mentioned, I wanted to scream because all too often that is more important than women's comfort and safety.

I also loved how in the end, Daniel figures out that love is really about the every day small moments than the big gestures.

I give Mending Fences a 4.5 and Clean rating.

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

Movie Ratings in relation to my review:
Clean--Hallmark movies, some kissing, no nudity, no sex on or off "screen"
PG--Some innuendo but nothing kids don't hear every day, sex is all closed door
PG-13--some language (swear words not related to sex), more talk about sex, heavy petting, removal of clothing on screen, but sex is closed door.
R--swearing (can be related to sex), feels like the whole story is about the sex and not the relationship or some other plot

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Kiss Me in the Rain by Lindzee Armstrong

From Goodreads:

Will she risk the home she treasures for the man she loves?

Cypress Grove has always been a treasured constant in Layla's perfect life. Now the mansion will be sold to the highest bidder if she doesn’t date an investor's son. The problem? The man she really wants just rolled into town.

Tyler is done being responsible and never going after what he wants. Layla's finally given him the courage to quit grad school and use his student loans to flip houses. And he's decided to move near Cypress Grove to do it.

When Layla happens upon suspicious ledgers at the mansion, her family's financial woes take a sinister turn. As Tyler and Layla work together to find the culprit, the attraction between them threatens to burst into flames. But admitting their feelings could spell disaster for Cypress Grove.

My Take:
I enjoyed this story. It was a clean read with likable characters and some tangled emotions. The only reason I didn't give it a 5 is because I had trouble believing Layla would go along with her father's crazy plans for so long. She seemed like an otherwise strong woman who knew what she wanted, and yet she was willing to go along with a fake dating/engagement in spite of being in love with someone else to save her mansion. I also didn't believe that it took her so long to figure out who the real thief was. All the clues were there, plain as day.

However, I really liked how Layla and Tyler interacted. That felt real within the confines of the situation they found themselves in. Mostly, I loved the choice that Kayla made in the end. That was real, and it made me go, "finally!"

I give Kiss Me in the Rain a solid 4 with a Clean rating.

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

Movie Ratings in relation to my review:
Clean--Hallmark movies, some kissing, no nudity, no sex on or off "screen"
PG--Some innuendo but nothing kids don't hear every day, sex is all closed door
PG-13--some language (swear words not related to sex), more talk about sex, heavy petting, removal of clothing on screen, but sex is closed door.
R--swearing (can be related to sex), feels like the whole story is about the sex and not the relationship or some other plot

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Sweet Tea and Kisses Boxed Set

I'm not dead! Sadly, I've been super busy with work and helping plan a community event that will take place later this month. That hasn't left much time for reading for enjoyment. I did get the privilege of reading this fun collection set in Atlanta, Georgia. Having been married in that busy city myself, I definitely see the romance of the area.

Below is the blurb for each short story and my thoughts in italics.

From Goodreads:
(Sweet Tea and Kisses: A Contemporary Romance Boxed Set) Discover the alluring world of the South with six sweet contemporary romance novellas from New York Times, USA Today, national bestselling, and award-winning authors.

Chase fireflies that glitter on starry nights, listen to the call of the cicadas, and smell the luscious scent of magnolias as you experience the adventures of cowboys, brides, second chances, and unexpected romance all set in Atlanta. Don’t miss your chance to fall deeper in love as you explore the South through the eyes and hearts of these unforgettable characters.

A Kiss is Just a Kiss by Melinda Curtis, USA Today Bestselling Author. Kitty Summer has a wedding to stop. She’s sure the groom doesn’t love her sister, but how can she prove it? By testing his fidelity with one very public kiss, of course.

I believe this was my favorite from the boxed set. Kitty and Beck were both strong personalities and that made the sparks fly. That first kiss was more than they both bargained for! I loved everything about the story, from the angry words, the road trip where everything that could go wrong did, sassy grandma Dotty, and the heart wrenching moment when Kitty tells Maggie, "Just...don't hurt him." The best part was Kitty and Beck were both trying to do what was right at the expense of their own happiness. Thank goodness for Maggie!

I give this a 4.5, with a Clean rating.

Taste of Tara by Shanna Hatfield, USA Today Bestselling Author. Falling in love never tasted so sweet… Pastry chef Tara Tarleton has one month to live out her dreams on a plantation in the South. Reality falls far short of her expectations until a chance encounter with a hunky horse wrangler changes her mind.

This was a cute story, and although I like the way it wasn't a play by play retelling of Gone With the Wind in modern times, I felt the connection was forced at time. Bret instead of Rhet for instance. There were lots of little things like that where I felt the author was trying to hard to make me think of Gone With the Wind, when Tara and Bret's story would have been just as good and compelling without it. 

As far as the romance, I appreciated the natural progression of their affection. I give this one a 3.75 to 4. I enjoyed it, just wanted to lose the correlations being forced on me.

The Wedding Charm by Susan Hatler, New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author. In order to retrieve and deliver an antique charm before her best friend’s wedding, maid of honor Sarah Carlton must fake being in love with her childhood nemesis, best man Ben Atkins.

This story give "A Kiss is Just a Kiss" a run for the spot of my favorite story from the collection. Sarah and Ben have been in love with each other forever, but they've both been quiet about it. All the tasks that are given to them are fun to read about. Even better is the way it shows Sarah how well she fits and works with Ben until she's reached the place he's been waiting all those wasted years. Very satisfying read.

I give this a 4.5, with a Clean rating.

Sassy Bride by Ciara Knight, USA Today Bestselling Author. A Cinderella meets Rich Charming tale set in small town, Georgia, full of sass and sacrifice. Can a girl form the wrong side of town win over the ugly in-laws, or will she lose her happily ever after forever?

*spoilers* I really wanted to like this one, but Sadie bugged me. Well, maybe it wasn't Sadie, but Ashton's mom? Not really sure. I grew up in the South and am glad to say I never knew any mom's as evil and devious as his mom. It just didn't feel real to me that you could get so close to your wedding date and not have worked out these family issues. In the end Ashton saved this story because he was a good guy who really loved Sadie and truly did choose her over his family. 

I'd probably give this a 3.5, with a Clean rating.

It Could Happen to Us by Lucy McConnell, Contemporary Romance Author. An irresistible contemporary romance about a not-so-humble cop who splits his raffle ticket with an unlucky waitress and the actor who falls in love with her.

This one was cute. At first I was worried about the story following the movie "It Could Happen to You", but luckily it took a detour rather quickly. Instead of winning money, they win a lunch with some celebs--and the cop is a total jerk. Anyway, I also loved that this short story had some time passage involved. Even when we have that first love/attraction/connection thing going on, life is never a fairy tale. Allie and Mark had to wait for their happily ever after for real world reasons. I appreciated that.

I give this a 4, with a Clean rating.

Hit and Run Love by Jennifer Peel, Award Winning and Bestselling Author. What happens when a no-nonsense lawyer and her ex-boyfriend, a police officer, run into each other? Lots of sparks, literally and figuratively. Will this be another hit and run? Or, this time around, will Harrison be able to convince Kallie to give up her running shoes?

This was one of my three favorites from the boxed set. It was easy to connect with Kallie as she kept running away even while I kept thinking she was being stupid. Maybe she's my brand of stupid? Harrison kept chasing her, always wanting to break down that wall he could feel between them. This was one that had me cheering when Kallie finally figures things out. 

I give this a 4-4.5, with a Clean rating.

The Sweet Tea and Kisses Boxed Set by the Sweet Six authors will have you falling in love with the South with every turn of the page.

I give the boxed set Sweet Tea and Kisses a 4-4.5 and Clean rating for easy readability with memorable characters.

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

Movie Ratings in relation to my review:
Clean--Hallmark movies, some kissing, no nudity, no sex on or off "screen"
PG--Some innuendo but nothing kids don't hear every day, sex is all closed door
PG-13--some language (swear words not related to sex), more talk about sex, heavy petting, removal of clothing on screen, but sex is closed door.

 R--swearing (can be related to sex), feels like the whole story is about the sex and not the relationship or some other plot

Friday, May 19, 2017

Cancun Getaway by Cami Checketts

From Goodreads:
Don't miss this inspiring and romantic addition to the bestselling Billionaire Beach Romances that bestselling author, Taylor Hart, has dubbed, "Fast-paced, fun, and flirtatious."

Moriah Jackson arrives in Cancun expecting a relaxed beach vacation with her son. She doesn't plan on meeting a charming, blond Adonis who's intent on sweeping her off her feet. And she certainly doesn't expect to be targeted by human traffickers. Fighting the urge to be drawn in by Jace's kindness, Moriah must let go of her past or she'll jeopardize more than just her own future.

Jace Browning lost his former love to the obnoxious and arrogant Brooks Hoffman. He buries himself in work until his brothers force him to meet them at an all-inclusive Cancun resort. He never dreamed he'd meet a dark-haired beauty who captures him with her dancing, positive attitude, and love for everyone. Now that he's found her, he's not going to let her go without a fight, but her son's biological father might ruin both of their futures.

Cancun Getaway is the fourth book in the Billionaire Beach Romances. It is a stand-alone book but has characters from Cozumel Escape and The Faithful One: A Billionaire Bride Pact Romance.
The bestselling Billionaire Bride Pact Romance series also features books by Jeanette Lewis.

The books in order would be:
The Resilient One (free on Amazon)
The Passionate One
The Feisty One (free when you sign up for Cami's newsletter at camichecketts.com)
The Rebellious One
The Independent One
The Adventurous One
The Protective One
The Faithful One
The Daring One
The Glamorous One

Enjoy these top-rated contemporary romance books FREE as part of your Kindle Unlimited Prime Subscription. You can read the ebooks on your Amazon Kindle Fire, on a computer via Kindle Cloud Reader or on any smartphone or tablet with the free Kindle reading app.

My Take:
This was another great read from Checketts. I will admit the way Moriah talked was really irritating for me at first. I'm a southern girl, even lived down in Mobile, AL for many years as a child. I don't remember people talking like that, but then again maybe it was just normal? Anyway, after I got used to it, I was fine.

Let's talk about the suspense elements first:

Checketts brings the traffickers back into the picture for the suspense element in this story. It's a different set from the ones in Cozumel Escape, but every bit as scary. There's also a fun suspense element with knowing Jace has a twin that Moriah knows nothing about. Of course it's going to be a great way to throw in a few more problems for our characters.

Now, the romance moves super fast, but it still feels believable. Moriah knows she has a type, and she tries to stay away, but man, how do you resist an Adonis? Especially one that makes your little boy so happy with his attention?

There's a lot of story in these few short pages. It's a fun, quick read.

I give it 4.5 stars and a clean rating.

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

Movie Ratings in relation to my review:
Clean--Hallmark movies, some kissing, no nudity, no sex on or off "screen"
PG--Some innuendo but nothing kids don't hear every day, sex is all closed door
PG-13--some language (swear words not related to sex), more talk about sex, heavy petting, removal of clothing on screen, but sex is closed door.
R--swearing (can be related to sex), feels like the whole story is about the sex and not the relationship or some other plot

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Reluctant Rescue by Cami Checketts

From Goodreads

Caylee Compton has determined she'll never commit to a man, especially a too-handsome, fun-sucker like volunteer firefighter, physician, and ex-military Captain Levi Turner. Levi determines to change her mind. In the beautiful and exciting location of Lake Powell, Caylee fights valiantly to stay strong, but Levi's patience, kindness, and kisses might conquer even her commitment phobia.

My Take:

This is my first book in the Park City Firefighter romances. Once again, Cami delivers a fun, quick read that is pleasantly different from so many romances out there. I don't know if it's the locations she visits or what, but I love her writing.

Caylee is a fun loving, in your face kind of girl. However, she has her dark secrets too. The kind that make you ache for her. Levi is a great match for her. He wears his pain on the outside, with his fun side hidden deep. I loved that they needed to bring each other's hidden side out in order for both of them to heal and be ready for the love waiting for them.

I give Reluctant Rescue a 4.5 and a Clean rating.

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

Movie Ratings in relation to my review:
Clean--Hallmark movies, some kissing, no nudity, no sex on or off "screen"
PG--Some innuendo but nothing kids don't hear every day, sex is all closed door
PG-13--some language (swear words not related to sex), more talk about sex, heavy petting, removal of clothing on screen, but sex is closed door.

 R--swearing (can be related to sex), feels like the whole story is about the sex and not the relationship or some other plot

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

SEALed with a Kiss by Leeanna Morgan

From Goodreads:
Three billionaires, an emerald lake, and a lifetime's worth of happy endings.

John Fletcher is used to living his life on the edge. He’s an ex-Navy SEAL and the owner of one of the most successful security companies in the world. He knows what he wants and he knows how to get it. When his daughter asks for the one thing he can’t give her, it breaks his heart.

Rachel McReedy isn’t impressed with John Fletcher’s money, fast cars or jet-setting lifestyle. What she cares about is Bella, his eight-year-old daughter. She might not have had the type of life Bella has, but she knows what it’s like to be left on her own. Rachel is determined to show John the error of his ways, but she isn’t prepared for what she’s about to find.

The day John meets Rachel, life as he knew it comes to an abrupt end. She stirs something deep inside of him, creates havoc in his orderly world, and makes him question what’s really important. He knows Rachel holds the key to his daughter’s happiness, but will she willingly hold the key to his heart?

My Take:
This story starts off kind of similar to "Sleepless in Seattle" in that the daughter mails a letter to Rachel's Bride's Maids Club to ask that they help find a wife for her daddy. She doesn't leave a last name or any other way to get in touch with her, but Rachel figures it out when Bella comes into the classroom she's subbing for. After that, we depart from the light hearted RomCom.

We get glimpses that there is something much more serious going on in John's life. There is a reason he's so protective of his daughter, and even though it takes Rachel a while to catch on, she only wants Bella to be happy. I love that she doesn't just cave to everything that John tells her to do. She tries to be helpful, even if it's a little outside of his comfort zone.

These two fight the attraction for as long as they can in an effort to protect themselves, each other, and Bella. After a blow up, where John says lots of mean things and fires Rachel, we have a PG-13 make up closed door scene. And it's all downhill from there. Which is what usually happens in romance novels. However, I appreciate that the split up after sex isn't because of something stupid like they didn't talk. Rachel asks John straight up what it meant, how he feels, and he just can't man up to his own feelings. That feels like a natural situation to me.

Anyway, we eventually get our HEA, although it kind of felt rushed to me for some reason.

I give SEALed with a Kiss a 4, with a PG-13 rating.

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

Movie Ratings in relation to my review:
Clean--Hallmark movies, some kissing, no nudity, no sex on or off "screen"
PG--Some innuendo but nothing kids don't hear every day, sex is all closed door
PG-13--some language (swear words not related to sex), more talk about sex, heavy petting, removal of clothing on screen, but sex is closed door.
 R--swearing (can be related to sex), feels like the whole story is about the sex and not the relationship or some other plot

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Reclusive Billionaire by Lucy McConnell

From Goodreads:
Lucas Scott, a world-renowned microbiologist, is desperate to find a cure for the butterfly flu before it spreads. Hounded by the media, he escapes to his houseboat in Santa Barbara where he meets a vivacious veterinarian with a penchant for taking in strays. While he searches for the key to unlocking the butterfly flu, Becca somehow unlocks his analytical heart.

Becca Lee isn't impressed with her new neighbor. His clothes are constantly wrinkled and he's grumpier than a cat with digestive problems. However, Luke isn't easy to brush off. He's always around, has a magnificent mind, and is full of surprises. But, what she can't figure out is why her instincts tell her to trust this rouge billionaire. It doesn't take long to realize he is the only one alive who can save the world and Becca has to make a choice--open her heart or watch Luke sail off into the sunset.

My Take:
This story went by fast. I don't know if it was shortish, or if I just flew through it. Anyway, I really like Becca and her love of animals. She seems to get along with them better than people at times, but everyone loves her. Luke takes a bit to get to know. He's hurting and hiding, but Becca is just what he needs. It's sweet that Big Red sort of breaks down Luke's defenses enough for him to let Becca in too. And Becca? Smart, loyal, forgiving and willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I loved that she's the one to help Luke's brilliant mind latch onto the one thing he was missing.

I will say that I didn't buy the end of the world because of some weird flu that was spreading. It's possible, but I didn't feel the peril of it breathing down my neck in the story. Other than that, cute romance with a little more pain and healing behind the heart.

I give this a clean 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

Movie Ratings in relation to my review:
Clean--Hallmark movies, some kissing, no nudity, no sex on or off "screen"
PG--Some innuendo but nothing kids don't hear every day, sex is all closed door
PG-13--some language (swear words not related to sex), more talk about sex, heavy petting, removal of clothing on screen, but sex is closed door.
R--swearing (can be related to sex), feels like the whole story is about the sex and not the relationship or some other plot

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Silver Screen Kisses (An Echo Ridge Anthology)

Silver Screen Kisses is a collection of stories inspired by movies from everyone’s favorite list. Written by award-winning and bestselling authors, these contemporary romances take the reader back to Echo Ridge in the spring, when the promise of new love is budding just like the tulips around the Emerald Inn Bed & Breakfast.

My comments will be in italics after each story synopsis.

My Fair Lacey by Janette Rallison 
Lacey Johnson has dreamed of opening a restaurant for years. All she needs is one little loan to make it happen. But with the way Lacey talks and dresses, she looks more like someone who would hold up a bank than someone who’d ever get a loan from one. When Garrett Halifax, her roommate’s Harvard-educated brother, volunteers to change her image and teach her to speak correctly, she jumps at the chance. But she quickly finds she’s in over her head. Pretending to fit in with the town’s elite is harder than she thought, and despite her best efforts, she’s falling for Garrett. Could someone who is handsome, rich, and educated ever consider her as more than just a project? A contemporary twist on My Fair Lady, this is a story that is sure to please Echo Ridge fans.


This fun take on My Fair Lady was a lot of fun with the modern take on the classic story. I’ll admit, listening to Lacey talk at the beginning was painful! So job well done for Rallison. I also appreciated that even though Garrett was strict and worked Lacey hard while she was practicing her grammar, he was always nice to her. You get these little glimpses of how he might feel even though he’s trying to stay professional. There were many great things to enjoy in this story, but I don’t want to spoil any surprises.  

You’ve Got Email by Heather Tullis 
Maria never expected to fall in love with a man she’d never met, but she can’t wait to get to her laptop every night to chat with Bobwhite67. She would be happy to focus on getting to know him better, but her two jobs and two sons keep her ridiculously busy. Then there’s her ex-husband’s bookie, who’s impatiently waiting for the last couple payments on his debt.

Bret can’t help but notice how hard the beautiful Maria works and the similarities she has with the Zoomama he’s been talking with online. Though he really wants to make things easier for her, Bret accidentally gets her in hot water with both of her bosses. Can he get Maria to give him a chance in the real world and not just online?


Brett is such a sweetie! I don’t know if I’ve ever watched the movie You’ve Got Mail, but I enjoyed this story between two people who have developed a relationship online. They’ve been attracted to each other in real life too, but always stayed apart out of shyness, or something. Anyway, I really liked how Brett handled the situation when the time came to meet and everything fell apart. Wise man!

The Princess Bride of Riodan by Rachelle J. Christensen 
When a mysterious man offers to help Elise redecorate the old Bed & Breakfast, she gladly hands him a wallpaper steamer. After she discovers his true identity, she doesn’t know whether to curtsy or run and hide. Unfortunately, hiding isn’t an option because her heart is already tangled up with the handsome prince. At the same time, Elise’s old crush from high school wants a relationship and she’s forced to decide whether to chase after a fairy tale ending or stay grounded in reality.


Another swoon worthy story. Elise is so cute and quirky with her non-stop talking. She’s honest to a fault and in the end that’s what saves her heart. Wes is the island god who steals her heart without even trying. I loved the characters and how they fit into the classic royal falls in love with commoner, feels betrayed by something, but all is right in the end trope. I loved that Christensen had them go watch Roman Holiday. That movie does not end well for the romantic of heart! It makes the bumbles and worries all the more pertinent to Elise’s situation.

My Best Man’s Wedding by Cami Checketts 
Jessica Mason made a vow to marry her best guy friend, Josh, when they turned thirty. When Josh calls with the news that he's coming home to Echo Ridge for his wedding, Jessica is determined to break up the happy couple and take her rightful place as his bride. Gentry Trine, a coworker, agrees to pretend to be her fiancé to stir up feelings of jealousy. However, Jessica didn't realize fake fiancés could kiss like champions, and make a girl smile nonstop. Can she figure out which is the right man for her before she loses them both?


Ah, finally we get Jessica and Gentry’s story. They’ve been around since the beginning of the Echo Ridge collections, and I was even happier to see they were meant for each other. Jessica’s best friend is getting married after a 2 week engagement and she’s determined to save him from it. For herself. Gentry sees his chance to get as close as possible to the woman who stole his heart, and hopefully convince her they belong together. I love Jessica’s confusion as the story progresses. Being a “change is hard” kind of person myself, I understand how someone can hold onto an idea for years with no basis in it being real or right. The end and the scramble to right everything is my absolute favorite part of the story.  

While You Were Skiing by Lucy McConnell 
Mia Davis’s new job in guest relations at Ruby Mountain Ski Resort gets complicated when the gorgeous Ryder Montgomery falls off the ski lift, tells everyone they are engaged, and then loses consciousness. Worried about a head injury, Mia plays along, making him lunch, kissing in the front entryway and planning a future together; a future Mia wants with all of her heart. Things become all the more complicated when Ryder’s estranged family gets involved. Caught up in the fantasy and romance, Mia has to tell the truth or risk losing a part of herself and the man she loves forever.


Okay, While You Were Sleeping is one of my favorite Rom Coms. I loved the way McConnell twisted this one around a bit. Mia is sweet and loving, Ryder every bit as swoon worthy as she thinks. I loved how she referred to him as her Black Dimond man and all that implied. Both have good hearts and they just needed a chance to get together. Two rambunctious boys are just the ticket they need. Favorite part? Leaning. :) Whoo!  

Getting lost in Echo Ridge was a great way to spend my weekend! I give the entire collection a 4.5 and clean rating.

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

Movie Ratings in relation to my review:
Clean--Hallmark movies, some kissing, no nudity, no sex on or off "screen"
PG--Some innuendo but nothing kids don't hear every day, sex is all closed door
PG-13--some language (swear words not related to sex), more talk about sex, heavy petting, removal of clothing on screen, but sex is closed door.
R--swearing (can be related to sex), feels like the whole story is about the sex and not the relationship or some other plot

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Hooked (River's Sigh B&B #2) by Ev Bishop

From Goodreads:

Knocked around by life—and then knocked up by a man she won’t speak of—Sam Kendall gives her baby for adoption.

Envisioning herself a lone cowboy, she avoids any relationships that might risk her heart or cause pain. There’s wonderful fun to be had if you don’t fall prey to the ludicrous notion of true love!

Lately, however, Sam is niggled by doubts. She’s not as content as she was. Plus her daughter Aisha has tracked her down—seventeen-years-old and pregnant. Despite misgivings, Sam checks into River’s Sigh Bed-and-Breakfast to meet her.

Then widower Charles Bailey, Aisha’s adoptive father, shows up, and Sam can’t control her outrage. What was her sacrifice for? She could’ve raised the kid to follow her stupid footsteps all on her own. And topping it off? Charlie’s a neurotic, stodgy jerk—even if he is ridiculously hot.

The longer Sam stays at River’s Sigh, exploring the wild outdoors—and her own inner desires—the more her terror grows. Maybe Charlie isn’t so terrible after all. Maybe his approach to life is actually refreshing. Maybe all this family stuff is something she could get hooked on.

Yet they’re opposites in every way, and worse: he’s her biological child’s adoptive dad. A romance between them would be too weird, wouldn’t it? Every part of Sam screams play it safe, run.

But what if, in spurning Charlie and Aisha, she’s turning her back on everything she never knew she wanted?

My Take:

It was great to be back at the River’s Sigh B&B for this story. Jo’s sister Sam gets the spotlight this go around. We finally get to see her well polished facade stripped away, and the pain and hurt beneath is so raw. I totally understood why she had run away and lived the life she had until that point. She’d been hurt, but did the best she could to make something good out of it. That made the situation all that more difficult. Had her sacrifice been for nothing?

Charles clings to his dead wife’s memory like a shield. He needs the protection against his attraction for Sam because even his worry she will steal his daughter isn’t enough for him to keep his distance. 

Sam has such inner strength even when you think she’s broken beyond repair. I grew to love and respect her, cheering when she finally decides to fight for what she really wants. A family.

I liked this one even more than the first book, so 4.5 with a PG rating. (I actually think both of Bishop's books were rated clean, but am marking PG just in case I forgot something)

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

Movie Ratings in relation to my review:
Clean--Hallmark movies, some kissing, no nudity, no sex on or off "screen"
PG--Some innuendo but nothing kids don't hear every day, sex is all closed door
PG-13--some language (swear words not related to sex), more talk about sex, heavy petting, removal of clothing on screen, but sex is closed door.

R--swearing (can be related to sex), feels like the whole story is about the sex and not the relationship or some other plot

Monday, February 27, 2017

Wedding Bands (River's Sigh B&B #1) by Ev Bishop

From Goodreads:

Ditched by her high school sweetheart, Callum Archer, on the night they’re supposed to elope, Jo Kendall casts out on her own, brokenhearted.

Over the years, Jo reels in a life she loves, centered on the outdoors, fishing (favoring a lucky wedding band lure), and her fine dining restaurant—a life that crashes away when her husband and business partner cheats her, leaving her bankrupt and alone.

Then her uncle dies, bequeathing Jo and her sister, Samantha, his rural property. Jo returns to Greenridge, determined to build a new business and permanent home—without the help of a man. Unfortunately Samantha wants her inheritance in cold, hard cash and hires a lawyer to get it for her, a lawyer who turns out to be none other than Jo’s long-lost love, Callum.

Jo’s fledgling plans—and her heart—are at risk once more.

If Jo can fight her insecurities, she might end up with a wedding band that doesn’t come with a sharp hook. But should she risk everything she’s worked for, yet again? Before she can decide, she needs to know: can a lost love truly be reclaimed?

My Take:

Oh, this one is hard. I enjoy Bishop’s writing style and grew to love Jo and Callum dearly. However, this story was also frustrating in that real life stupid way when people just don’t communicate. I wanted to smack them both so many times. I think they would have figured it out sooner though without Sam (Jo’s sister) casting doubt or the slimy snake Dave. Ug, he was almost TOO MUCH! Do people really act like that?

We also get Aisha’s story threaded through (more about her in book 2). Every time she popped up I wondered if...ah, but now I’m moving into spoiler territory. ;) Wouldn’t want to do that now would we.

In the end, I appreciated another clean read from Bishop. It’s actually been over a month since I read, but I think it fell in the PG realm, and I give it 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

Movie Ratings in relation to my review:
Clean--Hallmark movies, some kissing, no nudity, no sex on or off "screen"
PG--Some innuendo but nothing kids don't hear every day, sex is all closed door
PG-13--some language (swear words not related to sex), more talk about sex, heavy petting, removal of clothing on screen, but sex is closed door.
R--swearing (can be related to sex), feels like the whole story is about the sex and not the relationship or some other plot

Saturday, February 11, 2017

SEALed With Love by Heather Tullis

From Goodreads:
It isn't Sage Parker's fault that she mistakes former Navy SEAL Joel Watts as the stalker who had been sending her disturbing letters--he shows up every time she turns around. Too bad her father doesn’t tell her he sent Joel to protect her. When the stalker tracks Sage from LA to her new job in Colorado, she's glad to have Joel on her side. She didn’t plan to falling in love with him though—now if he would see her as more than just a client.

Joel takes his job as head of resort security seriously, but Sage is his number one priority, and the one woman he can’t get out of his mind. He isn't sure if he believes in her precognition, or some of her other hokey beliefs, but he soon finds he can't live without her. He just has to catch the stalker before he or Sage end up dead.

My Take:
I enjoyed book 2 in the DiCarlo Brides series even more than book one. We already know the sisters, so Tullis was able to put more into Sage and Joel's story, as well as the suspense elements. I also liked the way we got glimpses of what might be coming in book 3 with Lana and Blake's story, as well as seeing Cami and Vince continuing their journey.

Sage is a very lovable character. She's strong while being feminine and kind to everyone around her. I have to imagine it could be paralyzing knowing that your stalker has followed you thousands of miles, but she manages to keep going to work, to keep living her life the best she can. I love that as scared as she gets, her main concern is protecting her family.

Joel is all guy. He's so into the protect but don't fall in love mode of thought that he doesn't even realize how important Sage is to him. I actually like that he's an honorable man that has to be dragged (almost) into the relationship. However, once he catches on, he's going to do everything he can to make Sage happy as well as keep her safe. I loved the conversation between him and Harrison where Joel still thinks Sage will move on without him after the stalker is caught. To me, this was one of those moments where you could see true love. He wanted to be with Sage always, but he was willing to let her walk away if that would make her happy. Silly man! How can a woman resist a hero?

This is a clean (I guess technically PG on my scale) read with closed door scenes, and I give it 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

Movie Ratings in relation to my review:
Clean--Hallmark movies, some kissing, no nudity, no sex on or off "screen"
PG--Some innuendo but nothing kids don't hear every day, sex is all closed door
PG-13--some language (swear words not related to sex), more talk about sex, heavy petting, removal of clothing on screen, but sex is closed door.
R--swearing (can be related to sex), feels like the whole story is about the sex and not the relationship or some other plot


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Unexpected Gifts by Elena Aitken

From Goodreads:
Christmas represents everything Andi Williams is supposed to have, and doesn't. Running away to a remote mountain lodge in the Canadian Rockies, sounds like the perfect way to escape, until a mix-up finds her sharing a villa with sexy, rough around the edges, Colin Hartford.

Colin's determination to enjoy the holiday he’s missed for the last five years, sweeps Andi into a season of joy that she’s not sure she’s ready for. Can Andi open herself up to everything the holidays have to offer... including love?

My Take:
Good story, PG-13 This story had lots of nice moments. Andi's pain is believable, and yet it has been long enough that she's ready to move on and experience love again. Even if she didn't know it. I loved how Colin wanted to help her enjoy Christmas again as well. However, like one of the last books I read, I wish he had decked the ex when he had the chance. There isn't much else to say. :)

Note for cautious readers:
Although they never did the deed, clothes came off at one point. I only had to skip half a page to get pack to the story though.

I give this one a 3.5 (mostly because I had to skim to remember the story for this review) with a PG to PG-13 rating.

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

Movie Ratings in relation to my review:
Clean--Hallmark movies, some kissing, no nudity, no sex on or off "screen"
PG--Some innuendo but nothing kids don't hear every day, sex is all closed door
PG-13--some language (swear words not related to sex), more talk about sex, heavy petting, removal of clothing on screen, but sex is closed door.

 R--swearing (can be related to sex), feels like the whole story is about the sex and not the relationship or some other plot

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Aloha Baby! by Ann Omasta

From Goodreads:
Being pregnant and alone is not a situation Leilani Kehele thought she would ever be facing. Nevertheless, that is exactly how she finds herself in Aloha, Baby! Feeling like a disappointment to her family, Lani turns to her two handsome and loyal best friends, Kai and Honi, for advice. In an attempt to arrange the best possible outcome for this challenging scenario, the three hatch a plan to give Lani's baby a father. Will it work? Will Lani and her baby be able to find their happily ever after ending? Escape into the enchanting Hawaiian islands with Leilani, Kai, and Honi by reading this heartwarming tale of friendship, love, and triumph after heartbreak.

My Take:
I'm not going to rate this one because of certain things. One, I know how much time, effort, and self an author puts into a book (at least I hope everyone spends as much time as I do). Second, this is written in present tense which is one of my pet peeves. It just doesn't work for me.

Okay, the story itself has potential. However, I never felt connected to the characters and I felt like this was someone's outline draft for a book. It was all telling, no show (this could be a result of the point of view and tense). I wanted to like the characters and I wanted to feel something. Even though I finished it, I was left feeling disappointed.

There was a sex scene I skipped.

If I were to rate, I'd give a 3 on my scale with a PG-13 to R movie rating for the one scene. 

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

Movie Ratings in relation to my review:
Clean--Hallmark movies, some kissing, no nudity, no sex on or off "screen"
PG--Some innuendo but nothing kids don't hear every day, sex is all closed door
PG-13--some language (swear words not related to sex), more talk about sex, heavy petting, removal of clothing on screen, but sex is closed door.
 R--swearing (can be related to sex), feels like the whole story is about the sex and not the relationship or some other plot