Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Review: A Texas Christmas Homecoming (Whiskey River Christmas #3) by Nancy Robards Thompson

Elijah Lane left Whiskey River under a cloud of suspicion about a car theft he didn’t commit. After a stint in the army and years learning the wine industry, he’s back, ready to develop an elite boutique winery. With backing from a Hollywood A-lister, Eli intends to prove that this boy from the wrong side of town has made it big. There’s no one he wants to prove it to more than Rachel Wilson, the high school sweetheart who didn’t believe in his innocence and married someone else practically the minute he left Whiskey River.

Busy running her specialty baking company, widowed Rachel has no interest in romance—even when her first love comes back to town. Though she feels guilty that she didn’t stand behind the boy her mother persuaded her was certain to become a Barrels ne’er-do-well like the father who abandoned them, she has neither the time nor the energy to explore second chances.

Moved by the star-crossed couple's repressed passion, which is hotter than cinnamon candy and sweeter than sugar icing, a benevolent Christmas ghost, who lives for happy endings, might just be cooking up a delicious new chance for Rachel and Eli. 

My Review: 

This book will make you believe in the magic of Christmas.  

Every Christmas since her death in 1918, Felicity Blanchard returns to Harwood House to help unite deserving couples.  This time Felicity sets her goals on Rachel Wood and Elijah “Eli” Lane.  

Rachel and Eli broke up years ago after Eli was caught driving Rachel’s mother’s car and it was assumed he stole it.  Rachel’s mother made Eli leave town without him ever saying goodbye to Rachel.  Rachel thought he just gave up on her.  So, Rachel moved on with her life and ended up in a bad marriage.  The only good thing she had from the marriage was her daughter and she was determined to raise Katie the best she could and give her all the love and attention she deserved, unlike the way Rachel was brought up.  Rachel lives a modest life, but she has her own cookie shop which was one of her dreams.  

While catering the annual Christmas Ball at Harwood House, Rachel runs into Eli.  He is back in Whisky River and is planning to open a winery with his friend Logan.  When Eli was sent away by Rachel’s mother, he went to work on at a vineyard in California where he discovered his new passion.  He ended up getting a degree in viticulture and enology.  Eli brings his expertise with him to start the new vineyard.  But he has unfinished business with Rachel.  He needs to talk to her about how things ended between them.  Will Felicity’s magic work on Rachel and Eli like it has for couples of the past? 

I really enjoyed this heartwarming story.  Felicity’s ghost made for some unique scenes.  Eli and Rachel definitely deserved a second chance after how things ended between them and I was happy to see them work it out.  Every time I smell lavender, I will be reminded of Felicity and this memorable book. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Review: Have Yourself A Crazy Little Christmas (The Greys of Montana Book 5) by Megan Crane

Dependable Devyn Voss is no stranger to cleaning up her mother’s messes, but this one’s gone supernova. In search of love, her flighty mom has invited all of her exes to celebrate her Christmastime 50th birthday. Which is trouble enough, but only gets worse when Devyn’s former stepbrother shows up to the party. His dark brown eyes and lazy smile still setting sparks off inside of Devyn that she’s desperate to ignore.

Nashville songwriter Vaughn Taylor only came to the party to support his dad. And if he happens to see his pretty ex-stepsister there, that’s just fine. But the minute he lays eyes on her, he’s gripped by all his old desires--to undo all her uptight and get past that guarded exterior.

They were never supposed to see each other again, but now that they have--all those sparks have become a bonfire. But will this little bit of Christmas crazy last... or will it end with the season? 

My Review: 

How could something that should be so wrong feel so right?

Devyn Voss arrived in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for her mother's crazy Christmas/50th birthday celebration where she invited all of her exes (who does that?), family and friends.  Devyn considered herself a good girl and refused to be like her mother who always drifted from one man to the next.  But when Devyn runs into her almost-stepbrother, Vaughn Taylor, after not seeing him in ten years, her mind went somewhere she knew it shouldn’t have.  And, Devyn really shouldn't have gone with Vaughn up to his hotel room.  That night changed Devyn in ways she never thought possible.

Vaughn was in town with his father who had hopes of hooking up again with Melody, Devyn’s mother, again.  He needed to keep an eye on his father to make sure he didn’t fall for Melody’s charm.  But Vaughn didn’t expect he would be the one falling under the spell of a woman too.   One night with Devyn and Vaughn couldn’t get her out of his head.  He will do anything to have her in his life.  

I really enjoyed this book.  It was a fun and totally unexpected story line.  The writing was fantastic and not detail was missed. 


Monday, November 13, 2017

Review: Their Christmas Miracle (Charity, Montana #2) by Lynne Marshall

Hunter Wood wants to be respected. A talented cook, he’s ventured out on his own, opening a breakfast and lunch diner in Charity, Montana. He’s got a lot to prove—mostly to himself—and more than a few people to convince he’s a changed man.

Tracy Blevin is a registered nurse and pie baker extraordinaire, who is drawn to a most unlikely man, Hunter Wood. A nurturer by profession, she likes to feel needed, but the only thing Hunter needs her for is her pies. Their friendship has changed over the last six months as business partners. The more time Hunter spends with Tracy, the more he finds things to like about her. She's smart, organized, and...those bright green eyes and delicate mouth are really starting to get to him. Maybe it's time to move beyond just partnership...

When a Montana winter car crash leaves a baby an orphan, Godfather Hunter, lives up to his promise, taking in the ten-month old. With the season of miracles upon them, Hunter can no longer deny his strong attraction towards Tracy. Is her life-long wish for her own family finally being answered this Christmas?

My Review:

After spending two years in prison involuntary manslaughter, Hunter Wood is finally getting his life together.  He decided to make Charity, Montana, his new home town.  He opened Wood’s CafĂ© and though it might be a struggle on occasion, he is enjoying his new life and career.  But when Hunter’s cousin and wife are killed in a car accident and Hunter is given custody of their ten month old son Adam, Hunter’s life really takes a new direction.  He doesn’t know anything about babies.  He is going to need some help. 

Tracy Blevin is an RN at Charity Urgent Care during the day and at night she uses Hunter’s kitchen to bake pies to sell to help with the mortgage of her new home.  Tracy’s dating life is non-existent after a bad marriage and several relationships which ended with the guys leaving her.  She has gotten to the point where she doesn’t believe love actually exists, but she secretly wants her own family.  Spending time with Hunter, Tracy starts to think maybe there might be a chance for romance.  But she is afraid it will end badly like her other relationships, so she keeps her feelings to herself.
When Hunter needs help with baby Adam, Tracy is more than happy to help.  Will baby Adam be the miracle Hunter and Tracy need to see the love that is right in front of each other’s eyes?

This was an emotional story and it has a great message to it.  I enjoyed seeing Hunter and Tracy put their insecurities behind them and finally find love.  And who couldn’t love little Adam?  He really stole the scenes at times.    

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Review: Sweet Holiday Wishes (Indigo Bay Sweet Romance Series) by Melissa McClone

Lizzy Hamilton wants to skip Christmas this year. Working as a nurse while holding her marriage to an Army Ranger together has drained her energy and joy. She’s a pro at caring for others, but she needs someone to look out for her, too. However, when her soon-to-be ex-husband, Mitch, asks if she’ll spend the holidays with him—just as friends—so he won’t be alone, she can’t say no because, other than his platoon, she’s the only family he has.

Staff Sergeant Mitchell Hamilton wants only one Christmas gift—his wife. Frequent deployments and training exercises sent him away from home, and he had no idea how taken for granted Lizzy felt until she asked him for a divorce two months ago. Now his mission is to show his wife he’ll do anything to save their marriage. He only hopes his plan to win her back with a holiday vacation to Indigo Bay, a coastal resort town, works. He can’t—won’t—lose Lizzy forever.

My Review:

Christmas magic at its best.

U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Mitchell "Mitch" Hamilton will do anything to get his wife, Lizzy, back.  He did not want a divorce.  He learned he needs to put her first.  After two months apart, Mitch decided he wanted to take Lizzy to Indigo Bay for Christmas. Lizzie had always wanted to go there.  Maybe this will win her back.  Lizzy agrees, but she states they are only going as friends.  Will the magic of the small town and romantic cottage works it magic on Mitch and Lizzy.

This is a short story so it is a very quick read.  But even being short, it was still packed with information, a great plot and perfect dialogue. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

Review: Christmas at the Graff (Holiday at the Graff Book 2) by Kaylie Newell

When Jemma Banks’ father breaks his pelvis, she only comes to Marietta to take care of him because it’s close to Christmas and he has nobody else. He abandoned her as a teenager and even though he’s desperate to make amends, she’s determined to leave with the frosty walls around her heart firmly intact.

Local physical therapist EJ Corpa is good at three things: sex, snowboarding, and healing. When he lays eyes on his patient’s daughter for the first time, he knows he wants to show her all three. Jemma is beautiful, stoic and guarded. But deep down, he sees a woman who’s longing for a little fun. When she agrees to help with his clinic’s tree for the Mistletoe and Marietta auction, the armor she’s so carefully constructed begins to fall away, and the magic of the holiday season takes hold.

As EJ and Jemma fall for each other, she will finally consider peace and forgiveness. And EJ will begin to see that life’s adventures are more thrilling when there’s someone to share them with.

My Review:

A holiday romance not to be missed.

Jemma Banks was in Marietta, Montana, to help her father recover from an injury.  She never forgave her father for leaving her family when she was younger, but she felt a sense of duty to take care of him now.

EJ Corpa grew up in foster care and never really had a place to call home until he settled in Marietta.  He befriended Joe Banks and over the years came to consider him family.  When Joe's daughter arrived to help care for Joe, EJ had no idea how he would feel towards Jemma since she never visited her father.  But as soon as he met her, he felt the pull towards her.  EJ knew he shouldn't think of Jemma in any way other than just Joe's daughter, as she would soon be leaving Marietta.  But the more time EJ spent with Jemma, the harder it was for him to get her off his mind.

When Jemma heard Joe always helped EJ decorate a tree for a hospital fundraiser, but now couldn't because of his injury, Jemma offers to take his place.  Together, Jemma and EJ come up with the perfect theme for their tree and along the way they discover something they never thought would happen.  They fell in love.

This magical romance will open your eyes to what is right in front of you and help you realize your past doesn't predict who you will be in the future.  And forgiveness is always important. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Review: The Best Man's Bride (Royal Wedding Invitations #4) by Anne McAllister

Rock star Jack Masterson is every woman’s sexy, heartthrob fantasy. He can have any woman he desires—except the one woman he wants — Celina Harris, the one who got away. Two years ago, focused on his career to the exclusion of all else, he let her slip through his fingers, but now there’s a royal wedding coming up, and both Jack and Celie will be there.

It’s taken two long, lonely years, but Celina is finally putting the pieces of her life back together. Now appointment secretary to San Michele’s Serene Dowager Margaret she spends her days assuaging royal egos, and ensuring that all runs smoothly. Each night she returns home to solitary peace after the heart ache of her tumultuous relationship with Jack.

Thrown together by the royal wedding arrangements, Celie knows the key to survival is to resist Jack’s careless charm. But Jack isn’t the man he once was, and seeing Celie awakens all his former desire. Can Celie resist the former love of her life, or will he break her heart all over again?

My Review: 

Rock star Jack Masterson hasn’t seen or heard from his ex-wife, Celina, in over two years and is surprised to find out she is attending his best friend’s wedding.   But, Jack shouldn’t have been too surprised as Celina was also friends with Prince Jonas when they were in college.  The biggest surprise is that Jonas kept it a secret that Celina was working as an assistant to San Michele’s Serene Dowager Margaret.   Now if Jack can only convince Celina that he still loves her and wants her back, he will be a happy man.

Celina left Jack after walking in his hotel room and finding a girl in his bed.  She didn’t stick around to listen to Jack’s excuses.  She left, never looking back and filed for divorce as soon as she could.  Celina is finally content with her life and doesn’t need a man in it.  She gets the shock of her life when she sees Jack has arrived for the wedding.

Celina tries her best avoid Jack and not think about him.  When Jack insists they spend time together it is hard for Celina to not remember the reasons they fell in love.  And, the reason she left him.  But Jack never got to tell his side of the story and hearing the truth just might change everything for Celina.

Jack and Celina never got to talk about what happened that night in that Barcelona hotel room.  Celina just filed for divorce and Jack agreed to it.  So I enjoyed when Celina finally found out the truth and was able to put it behind them.  Their reunion was a bit tense at first, but I really liked seeing how they came to terms about the past and moved on to the future.  The story was easy to follow and some areas surprised me.  It was the perfect ending for this series.