Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Review: Christmas at the Chalet by Anita Hughes

It's the day after Christmas, and Felicity Grant is at a gorgeous ski chalet in St. Moritz for the biggest fashion show of her career. Felicity is a rising star on the bridal design scene, and this is her best collection yet. But when her boyfriend gives her a spa day instead of a diamond ring for Christmas, she has to face the possibility that she may never walk down the aisle in one of her own stunning designs.

And then there's Nell, the top model headlining Felicity's show. Nell is planning her dream wedding to her wonderful fiance with one catch: her divorced parents can't stand each other and threaten to no-show if the other is there.

Add to that Felicity's race against the clock to create a special gown for a prestigious bridal salon, and what both girls need is a Christmas miracle. What better place to find one than in the Swiss Alps with its dark forests and sparkling vistas?

But for Felicity it's hard to recognize a miracle even when it's right in front of her, and for Nell one miracle might not be enough to fix the past. Can dreams really come true or is that the stuff of Swiss fairytales?

Anita Hughes's Christmas at the Chalet is full of romance, gorgeous gowns, and the stunning scenery of the Swiss Alps. It's about love and forgiveness, and creating one's own miracles during the most festive time of year.

My Review:

I could almost feel the cool snow and picture the beautiful people and scenery. 

This book really transported me to another world.  I loved the setting of St. Moritz.  It’s a place I know I will never get to see in real life.  But, after reading this book, I felt like I had just gone there.  There are beautiful people, stunning scenery, fantastic sounding food, fun events and beautiful wedding dresses and clothing.

Wedding gown designer, Felicity Grant is in St. Moritz for the debut of her winter collection after having a fight with her boyfriend, Adam on Christmas day.  She wants to get married and he doesn’t.  Since arriving in St. Mortiz, Felicity has been struggling with her emotions and wonders what she should do to get Adam to see things her way.  When she takes a fall on the street, a handsome doctor, Gabriel Innes, is there to pick her up and help her.  But then a picture of Felicity and Gabriel ends up online claiming they are having an affair.  It was strange consequences that Felicity finds herself in other situations where Gabriel is there to help her when she needed it.  They end up forming a friendship and Felicity gets relationship advice from Gabriel.  But as more pictures turn up online, rumors start to spiral out of control.  Was it just coincidence that they always seemed to be in the same place at the same time?  But when Adam shows up, Felicity really has a big decision to make. 

A second story in this book was about one of Felicity’s models, Nell, who is planning her own wedding and wants both of her divorced parents to be there.  They both refuse to be in the same place at the same time.  Nell goes on a truth finding mission to find out why they really split up.  The reason will surprise you.  The reason never crossed my mind. 

All around, I loved everything about this book.  And it doesn’t even need to be Christmas time to enjoy it. 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the ARC to read in return of an honest review.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Review: Bitter End (Bitter Root Mysteries Book 3) by C. J. Carmichael

Murder in a small town is always personal.

When a young mother is murdered in the isolated ranching town of Lost Trail, Montana, the father of her child is the first suspect. In this case, there are two: the biological father who hasn’t seen his daughter in over a year and the adoptive father whose life hangs in the balance as he struggles with cancer.

Zak Waller is Lost Trail’s newest deputy. He’s also locked in a power struggle with the town’s old-school Sheriff. If Zak solves this case maybe he’ll finally get the respect he deserves. But is he willing to tear a family apart in the process? 

My Review: 

Intriguing and addictive.  I can’t get enough of the residents and town of Lost Trail, Montana. 

I really enjoy this series and it was fun to catch up with the characters again.  In this book, Zak Waller has received a shiny new Deputy badge, but he is still stuck behind the dispatch desk most of the time.  But he has a bigger goal in mind.  Zak plans to run for Sheriff during the next election.  While things are starting to heat up between Zak and Nadine Black, the other deputy, Zak is also hard at work on the murder case of Willow McTavish.  There are a lot of suspects, but the clues just aren’t adding up.  But with Zak on the case, he is sure to find the killer.

This story had me hooked from the start.  Along with the mystery of who killed, Willow, I enjoyed catching up with the other characters.  I was anxious to see how Justin and his daughter Geneva were doing and learn more about Justin’s battle with cancer.  I liked seeing how Tiff and Kenny’s relationship was coming along too.  But the main story is the murder.  About half way through the book, I was certain I knew who the killer was when the story took a different turn.  But even then, my guess was wrong.  Let’s just say, this town has a lot of secrets and just when you think you know someone, you don’t really know them at all.   There are a lot of secrets in Lost Trail.   This is a really good story.  Be prepared to be surprised when you read this book. 

Monday, October 1, 2018

Review: Unleashed (Hotel Temptation #1) by Caitlin Crews

She has fantasies…

Now he’s bringing them to life!

Notorious seducer Thor Ragnarsson runs the scandalous Hotel Viking in Reykjavik, where tourists go to fulfill their wildest fantasies. When straitlaced American professor Margot Cavendish gets snowed in while studying Icelandic sex culture, Thor challenges her inhibitions with some very hands-on research—soon she’s exploring every inch of his delicious body. It’s only one night of passion, but when the snowstorm clears they’re left aching for more…

My Review: 

First off, before you start reading this book, make sure you have a nice big cold beverage ready.  This story is HOT!

Margot and Thor couldn’t be more opposites if they tried.  Margot is a professor from the University of Ohio researching Iceland’s reputation for being the most feminist country in the world and how the country’s hookup culture intersects with those feminist values.  Thor owns Hotel Viking, known for fulfilling people’s sexual fantasies.  Margot has no desire for a relationship and doesn’t want or need a man in her life.  Thor is everything Margot disliked about men.  When Margot is waiting to interview Thor, she finds herself stranded at the hotel during a snow storm.  When Margot spends the night with Thor, all in the name of an experiment, Margot discovers a side of herself she never knew she had.  Once the weekend is over and Margot and Thor go back to their normal lives, they can’t seem to stop thinking about each other.  

This book took me on a journey to a place I ever would have thought of going.  Iceland.  I never knew anything about the country or culture, so this was a learning experience for me.  At first I wasn’t sure how the story would actually turn out with all of the intimate scenes in the beginning of the book, but I found myself really getting into it.  Margot and Thor both had interesting backgrounds that helped form their characters and the story.  The dialogue was a bit brainy for me as I had to look up a couple words, but I understand that was because Margot was so intelligent.  The wording fit her character.  Thor was an interesting character too and I really liked learning more about him.  Overall, this is a fun book to read, but only if you are open to a very passionate story. 

Thank you to Harlequin and NetGalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Review: The Wedding Lullaby (One Night to Forever, #2) by Melissa McClone

One night of fun—one night of escape.

That’s all Laurel Worthington’s joke marriage to Brett Matthews was ever supposed to be. But somewhere between the tacky Reno ceremony and annulment day, the troubled socialite surrendered to the romance of a honeymoon night and her wealthy husband’s undeniable charm.

Now back in the real world, broke and alone, Laurel finds out her faux wedding has produced a very real result. She reaches out to Brett for help, but what can she expect from a virtual stranger—even if he is the father of her unborn child?

Determined to be the kind of father he never had, Brett has his mind set on marriage. But this time around, Laurel won’t settle for less than a love match. Does Brett have what it takes to win her heart and keep his new family together?

My Review: 

An inspirational friends to lovers story with a few twists and turns to keep things interesting.

What else could go wrong for Laurel Worthington?  Her father left town with a younger woman taking Laurel’s trust fund money with him.  Her mother took off to find another rich man to marry.  And, Laurel was left penniless with idea of how to survive without her parents help.  But the kicker was when Laurel found out she is pregnant, after a fake wedding with one of her friends, which ended with them spending the night together in a Las Vegas hotel room. 

Brett Matthews had no idea his friend Henry’s yearly birthday event would have repercussions until Laurel showed up at his office asking for a job and telling him she was pregnant.  Brett is a man of honor and wants to marry Laurel, but Laurel doesn’t want to marry someone like her mother and grandmother did, just to have a good life.  Laurel wants to provide for herself and her child on her own.  She just needs a little help getting started with her plan.  That’s where Brett comes in.  But, Brett has a plan of his own to win over Laurel.  He will do anything to keep their child from growing the way he was raised, without a father.  In the process of the plan, Brett and Laurel start to fall in love.  But their road to love isn’t paved in gold.  There are a lot of factors that almost tear them apart. 

This was a fun read.  It is a good clean romance with characters you can’t help but cheer on as the story progresses.  I enjoyed getting to know Laurel and Brett and what drove them to who they had become.  Their strengths, fears and concerns all added to the story.  I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a romantic story. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Review: Rescued by Christmas by Erika Marks

All pop star Jackson Wilder wants this Christmas is a few weeks out of the spotlight in a rented cabin in the Colorado mountains. But when a blizzard leaves him stranded on a country road on his way out of town—and still wearing the Santa costume from a last-minute commercial shoot—he takes shelter in a nearby horse barn to wait out the storm.

Miranda O’Keefe will be lucky to get a wreath up on her door this year. Between raising her six year-old son, Ollie, running her vet practice, and getting her horse rescue project off the ground—Christmas will have to take a back seat. But when Ollie tells Miranda he’s found Santa Claus asleep in their horse barn—and has asked Santa to heal his beloved rescue horse Twisty—the self-reliant single mother finds herself asking for a stranger’s help to grant her son’s Christmas wish.

But when attraction turns to affection, will love come to the rescue this holiday for Miranda and Jackson too?

My Review:

A sweet story about an unlikely match who make a memorable Christmas for one special little boy.

Pop star, Jackson Wilder, just finished up shooting a Christmas commercial where he portrayed Santa right down to the red suit and spray on white hair and beard.  He slipped out the back door in his costume so his fans wouldn’t recognize him and hit the road to the cabin that he rented to spend Christmas alone working on some new songs.  Along the way Jackson loses control of his car in the snow and wrecks.  He manages to get himself to a barn to take shelter only to be found by Ollie who thinks he really is Santa and he is hurt. 

When Ollie comes running to his mom, Miranda O’Keefe, claiming Santa is hurt and needs help, Miranda goes to see what he’s talking about.  She helps Jackson and lets him stay there until the blizzard passes.  During this time, Ollie comes to believe Jackson really is Santa.  Jackson and Miranda play along with it to keep Ollie happy.  But as the days pass, it gets harder and harder to keep Jackson’s true identity a secret.  Will they be able to pull it off until Christmas?  And, will Jackson be able to fulfill Ollie’s one Christmas wish, to help their horse Twisty get better? 

I enjoyed this book.  It was almost too short for me.  I was really getting into the story when it started wrapping up.  I liked the relationship that Miranda and Jackson formed.  Ollie was a sweet little guy who I couldn’t help falling for.  I also enjoyed the background of the horse rescue and how much of her heart Miranda put into helping the horses.  The author did a wonderful job keeping the story flowing along and keeping it fun, light hearted and entertaining.  If you’re looking for a sweet Christmas story, don’t miss this one.