Thursday, December 8, 2016

Close Encounters of the Furred Kind by Tom Cox - Review

Have you ever moved house, over a distance of 350 miles, with four cats? If you haven't, and are thinking about it, I'll give you some advice: don't.

If you really must move, try to get the cats to arrange their own transport. Focus on yourself instead. You'll have plenty to think about as it is, and the cats will only get in the way with their sarcasm and hairballs. I moved from Norfolk to Devon with four cats and it felt like such an impossible ordeal, part of me believes that I actually died somewhere along the way and am now living in some kind of afterlife: very much like real life, but a little slower moving, and with slightly clearer air. "That's just the West Country," I've been told, but I can't be 100% certain.

My Review:

Not only do Tom Cox and Gemma wish to find the perfect home for themselves, they have four cats that they want to be sure will be happy as well.  The ups and downs of house hunting from a distance and moving are told in Tom’s witty style.  While reading, I found myself nervous and worrying just like they were.  It was just like being there with them.  I enjoyed learning about each of their cats and their personalities.  Tom’s dad comes across larger than life with the capital letters he writes him in and his wisdom is something you don’t want to miss. 

The book is broken up into little sections like the conversations with cats and their horoscopes.  To me they felt like little bonuses along with the story.  There are also lots of cat pictures to enjoy as you read.  Any cat lover will really enjoy this book.  

Thank you St. Martin's Press for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review!  

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Away in Montana (Paradise Valley Ranch Book 1) by Jane Porter - Review

Beautiful, spirited heiress McKenna Frasier–daughter to one of the Butte Copper Kings—vowed eternal love to Sinclair Douglas before she left for college and an introduction to society. Four years in New York and travel abroad have opened her eyes, making her realize she wanted more than marriage and a simple Montana life. But when McKenna commits an unforgivable transgression and destroys her reputation, her dreams are shattered and she is forced to return to Montana disgraced, disowned and unmarriageable.

Sinclair Douglas left Butte to escape the Frasier power and Frasier name, but suddenly all anyone talks about in Marietta is scandalous McKenna Douglas, Paradise Valley’s new teacher. Sin doesn’t want to know about McKenna anymore. He doesn’t want to have to help her, and he sure as hell doesn’t want to love her. But McKenna has lived so long in his heart that it’s her home–even if she doesn’t deserve to be there.

But if there is one man who knows how to rebuild a life when all dreams have been smashed, it’s fierce, uncompromising Sinclair Douglas. Can Sinclair and McKenna heal enough to find their own Christmas miracle, and one more chance at love?

Paradise Valley Ranch series
Book 1: Away in Montana
Book 2: Married in Montana - coming soon - June 2017
Book 3: Home in Montana - coming soon - Winter 2018

My review:

If you have ever wondered about Montana Born’s fictional town of Marietta before it became the modern day Marietta we all know and love, this is the book for you.

The year is 1889 and McKenna Frasier has returned to Montana after a scandal left her the disgrace of New York society.  Her father has disowned her too.   She is starting her life over as a school teacher and living in a modest cabin without the luxuries she was accustomed to.  She has avoided Sinclair Douglas, her first love, since returning.  She couldn’t face him after the mistakes she made while living in New York.  But he was always in the back of her mind as her one true love. 

Sinclair has worked hard for everything he has, starting as a teenager working in the mines that McKenna’s father owned.  Sinclair now owns a large ranch with cattle and making a good living for himself.  The only things missing in his life are a wife and children.  When Sinclair sees McKenna at The Bramble’s Halloween party, he has to talk to her.  He never stopped loving her.  But his heart was broken by the way she left him waiting for her return while she studied, traveled and eventually falling in love with someone else.  Even after all of that, Sinclair still can’t help but want McKenna to be his wife.  But his mother and sister have already picked out a woman for him, Ellie Burnett, the daughter of a Texas cattle rancher.  Will Sinclair be able to convince McKenna that they are meant to be together or will he give in and ask Ellie to marry him?

The writing in this book is very impressive.  I could tell each scene was well thought out and researched.  The characters and their backgrounds were interesting and I enjoyed reading about the ancestors of the modern day Marietta characters that I have come to know so much about.  This is a great kick-off to a new series.   


Friday, December 2, 2016

Montana Secret Santa (Love at the Chocolate Shop #3) by Debra Salonen - Review

Ad exec Krista Martin, while feeling more Grinch than elf, still jumps at the chance to co-chair Marietta’s Secret Santa Society. Why not? Especially since brilliant, attractive, and innovative tech wunderkind Jonah Andrews has agreed to help. He’s well connected and Krista’s hoping for some advice on rebooting her career.

Jonah knows Krista has a not-so-hidden agenda, but sparring with her over cocoa at their Secret Santa meetings is the most fun he’s had since returning to his old hometown. Krista may come across as all business, but Jonah’s positive he’s glimpsed a little girl inside her who wants to believe in Santa… and in love.

My Review:

A sweet heart-felt story with a great message.

Krista Martin is forced into helping Marietta’s Secret Santa Society when her business partner ends up pregnant and is told by her doctor that she needs more rest.  Krista wasn’t in the Christmas spirit this year but when she found out Jonah Andrews, Marietta’s own tech genius turned millionaire, was going to be co-chairing with her, she figured she might be able to get a little free business advice from him.

Jonah didn’t have volunteering in his plans when he returned to Marietta, he thought he was just going to house sit and take care of his parents dogs while they were away in Florida.  But when he finds out the Secret Santa Society needs his help and fresh ideas, he decides why not.  It is for a good cause after all. 

Together Krista and Jonah come up with plans to help families in need and bring them some happiness during Christmas.  They also find themselves falling in love even though they both know the holiday season is not a good time to begin a relationship. 

The detailed writing about the main characters as well as catching up with characters from previous books, makes this book one not to be missed.  Everything is written out so well, you can picture being there, sipping hot cocoa and reminiscing with old (and new) friends.  The mischievous dogs were a fun addition to the story too. 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Texan's One-Night Standoff (Dynasties: The Newports) by Charlene Sands - Review

One night leads to a pregnancy bombshell! Only from USA TODAY bestselling author Charlene Sands. 

Chicago real estate hotshot Brooks Newport is on a quest to find his true father. But tracking him to a small Texas town puts Brooks on a collision course with horse trainer Ruby Lopez. After a no-strings-attached night together, he's on his way.

When Brooks finally meets the father he never knew, he must come to grips with the past—and the very shocking present. Because Ruby works for the man. And she has a secret of her own—not only is Brooks finding his father, he's about to become one!

The Texan's One-Night Standoff is part of the Dynasties: The Newports series.

My Review:

Brooks Newport had come to Cool Springs, Texas to meet his biological father Beau Preston.  His first night in Texas turns out to be one that he wouldn’t be able to forget.  Brooks meets a hot Latina in a bar and they end up back at his hotel room.  They both agreed it would only be a one night thing.   The next day when Brooks runs into Ruby at Look Away Ranch, he knew things would be going much further than just one night.  But Ruby works for Beau and he considers her part of the family, meaning she should be off limits. 

Ruby Lopez and her boyfriend had broken up six months ago.  When she meets Brooks at the C’mon Inn, she decides it was finally time to move on, not with a full blown romance, but a one nighter would fulfill her needs. 

While Brooks gets to know his father, he also gets to know Ruby even better.  Their secret get togethers bring out feelings they were both trying to deny.  But when Ruby’s ex-boyfriend, Trace, shows back up in Cool Springs, things get a bit more complicated. 

I really liked this book.  Ruby and Brooks had great chemistry.  They were two opposites who brought out the best in each other.  I also enjoyed the other characters in the book.  They all worked well together to make a memorable story.  The book moved along really quickly and every page brought something new and exciting.

Kitty Smile

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Her Christmas Cowboy (Copper Mountain Christmas #5) by Katherine Garbera - Review

There's no place like Marietta, Montana for the holidays, and retired Marine Lane Scott has finally, reluctantly, returned home...

...only to run into a sweet and sexy woman from his past, Felicity Danvers, who is running away from her Christmas loving momma.

Lane can’t resist playing the hero and sweeping Felicity out of town. He vows he’ll do everything he can to make this holiday special for her. And as Christmas approaches, they discover that their love can conquer and overcome any obstacle—but can they both trust that it’s not just Christmas magic bringing them together?

The Scott Brothers series
Book 1: A Cowboy for Christmas
Book 2: The Cowboy's Reluctant Bride
Book 3: Her Summer Cowboy
Book 4: Cowboy, It's Cold Outside
Book 5: Her Christmas Cowboy

My Review:

An emotional story that I had a hard time putting down.

Felicity Danvers had a huge crush on Lane Scott when they were in school together.  But she was shy and afraid she wouldn’t be good enough for him, so she steered clear of him.  When Lane returned to Marietta after a life altering injury in Afghanistan, he was a different man.  He had lost both of his legs after stepping on and IED.  Though he accepted his life as it was, he still felt something was missing.  When Lane meets up with Felicity again and they start dating, he feels he has finally found a new meaning in his life.  But first he must convince Felicity to trust him.  With Lane’s love, Felicity is finally able to put her fears in the past and move on.

I was very impressed with this story.  I don’t personally know anyone who lost limbs in a war, but after reading this book, I feel I know a lot about the subject.  I enjoyed Lane and Felicity’s story and how they bought light to each other lives.  The Christmas background was a fun addition too and the perfect tie in to the story. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Christmas Challenge (The Wilder Brothers Book 3) by Sinclair Jayne - Review

Prodigal daughter, infamous flirt and fiery-haired champion barrel racer Tucker McTavish blazes back home to Marietta with both a secret, and a personal challenge. She will keep a low profile at her twin sister’s Christmas wedding. Which means no whiskey. No kissing. No scandals. No fun. What she needs is a miracle, so it's too bad when she visits the legendary Miracle Lake to plead for inner strength: a tall, dark, and handsome bad boy is waiting with a challenge of his own.

Extreme sports guide Laird Hunter doesn’t do boring. And he thought he didn’t have secrets. He thrives in carving his own trail through tight and dangerous spots, but when he finds out his entire life has been built on a lie, he heads to Marietta for answers. But when he meets the redhead with the killer smile, laughing eyes and body with more curves than a mountain road, he finds himself asking a whole new set of questions.

Will these two daredevils – with more than a few secrets between them – find the one person from whom they don't need to hide ?

The Wilder Brothers series
Book 1: Seducing the Bachelor
Book 2: Want Me, Cowboy
Book 3: The Christmas Challenge

My Review:

In the previous book, Want Me, Cowboy, Tucker came across as annoying and someone who didn't care about anyone but herself.  And the way she hurt her sister Tanner by coming on to her boyfriend Luke was not right at all.  But the carefree Tucker is working on redeeming herself in this book when she comes home to help Tanner prepare for her wedding.  She even vows to the month of celibacy in order to keep from causing any scandals while she is in town.

Laird was a character that I instantly felt drawn to.  He had been hurt by a girlfriend and recently lost the woman who he thought was his mother.  On his mother's death bed, she confessed to Laird that he was adopted and that he possibly had a twin.  He learned that he was born in Marietta and so he was there seeking answers about his birth and hopefully find his twin.  He is also searching for a place to put down roots and prove that he is not the man that his ex thought he was.

Tucker and Laird meet while skating on Miracle Lake and form a friendship which leads them to challenge each other in their goals, the reasons they are in Marietta.  But when they start sharing the small apartment at Triple T Ranch, things change quickly and they find themselves fighting the urge to just hop in bed together.  They realize they need to stay focused on their goals before anything else can happen.  It will be tough, but if they make it through the month, they can give into their desires.

Tucker and Laird are as different as night and day.  Tucker is outspoken and does as she wishes where Laird is more laid back and go with the flow type of guy.  Typically I would have thought their personalities would have clashed, but the author did a good job of making their differences work.  Their backgrounds and the writing made this a memorable book for me.