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