Thursday, January 21, 2021

Review: Texan for the Taking by Katherine Garbera


Who turned up the heat?

Classically-trained chef Delilah Corbyn walked away from the cutthroat celebrity kitchen world to return to her hometown of Last Stand, Texas. Delilah’s excited to open her own restaurant where she can finally make decisions without being scrutinized by the media. She thinks she’s living her dream until the new “it” chef saunters into town with a wink and a challenge. Delilah can handle heat in the kitchen, but he stirs up passions she’d long ago buried.

Jock Rossi has come a long way in the culinary world for someone who isn’t formally trained. Now he’s a rising chef with fame and money finally within his grasp. Determined to attract investors, he launches his latest restaurant in Last Stand. But when he meets his local competition, Jock's plans skew off course. Delilah’s not only as talented as she is beautiful, she’s impossible to fool. Or forget.

Can Jock win her heart with his secret recipe or are they only destined to battle it out in the kitchen?


My Review:

It’s getting hot in the kitchen and it's not just the cooking.

Delilah Corbin is happy with her life and new restaurant in her hometown of Last Stand, Texas.  But the new chef in town, Jock Rossi, is starting to shake things up.  He is the hot chef from the popular television show Perfect Bite and he is opening his own restaurant in Last Stand.  Delilah soon finds herself unable to resist Jock.  But after being burned by another celebrity chef, Delilah wonders if hooking up with Jock is worth the risk? 

Jock had another plan, other than just opening his new restaurant.  He wanted to get close to Delilah because he was about to compete on his tv show against Delilah's ex.  He is looking for information to help him win the cookoff.  As Jock grows closer to Delilah, will his secret be the end of their new relationship?

This is the last book in the Corbyn Sisters of Last Stand series.  I hate to see the series end.  But I couldn't have asked for a better ending.  There was just the right amount of romance, family and drama to keep the story interesting and entertaining. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Review: Remember Me at Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt



Welcome back to Willoughby Close, with four new residents and happy endings to deliver…

Laura Neale is determined to make a fresh start. A year after her husband’s death, she’s still left with too many questions and struggles with feelings of guilt, anger and grief. Hoping to rebuild her family’s life, she moves to Wychwood-on-Lea with her children, Sam and Maggie, all of them struggling in different ways to fit in and find happiness.

The warm community of women in Willoughby Close welcomes Laura with open arms, and, although wary, she finds their friendship helps her to take those crucial and challenging first steps. But then a sudden, intense attraction to her son’s teacher smacks her in the face. James Hill is funny, charming, and incredibly gorgeous—but he’s ten years younger than her and completely unsuitable. Laura’s not ready to start dating again, never mind actually falling in love. But what if her heart has other ideas?

As revelations about everything she once held dear surface, Laura wonders if she’s reckless or maybe just brave enough to try for love a second time. And if she is, can James be as well?


My Review:

A new start and a new love.

A year after her husband’s death, Laura Neale was looking for a change.  So, she packed her house and kids and moved to Wychwood-on-Lea and rents a cottage at Willoughby Close.  Starting over wasn’t as easy as she thought it would be.  Laura is now dealing with her teenage daughter Maggie’s rebellion and insecurities.  At least her son, Sam, has adjusted well and with the help of his teacher, James Hill, Sam is quickly making new friends and even started an after-school group.  When Laura met James, she was instantly attracted to him and they eventually start dating.  But is it too soon, and will the kids accept their mother seeing someone new?

As with the other books in this series, I was instantly hooked and excited to see how Laura would start her life over and who she would fall in love with.  I liked seeing her start new friendships with the other women in town and even getting back into teaching again.  I also enjoyed catching up with the characters of past books.  I would recommend reading this series in order because there are spoilers to previous books in each story.      

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Review: Lana's War by Anita Abriel


Paris 1943: Lana Antanova is on her way to see her husband with the thrilling news that she is pregnant. But when she arrives at the convent where he teaches music, she’s horrified to see Gestapo officers execute him for hiding a Jewish girl in the piano.

A few months later, grieving both her husband and her lost pregnancy, Lana is shocked when she’s approached to join the resistance on the French Riviera. As the daughter of a Russian countess, Lana has the perfect background to infiltrate the √©migr√© community of Russian aristocrats who socialize with German officers, including the man who killed her husband.

Lana’s cover story makes her the mistress of Guy Pascal, a wealthy Swiss industrialist and fellow resistance member, in whose villa in Cap Ferrat she lives. Together, they gather information on upcoming raids and help members of the Jewish community escape. Consumed by her work, she doesn’t expect to become attached to a young Jewish girl or wonder about the secrets held by the man whose house she shares. And as the Nazis’ deadly efforts intensify, her intention to protect those around her may put them all at risk instead.


My Review:

Hopeful and inspirational

Lana had experienced many losses early in her life.  Her mother fled communist Russia, to Paris, so they could have a better life.  When WW2 started, and Paris was occupied by German soldiers, she witnessed one kill her husband and the stress caused Lana to lose her unborn baby.  Soon afterwards, Lana is approached and asked if she would consider working undercover for the French Resistance.  She couldn’t think of anything she wanted to do more.  She is sent to the French Riviera to help Jewish people escape to freedom.  What Lana didn’t expect, was to fall in love with the man she was living and working with.  It was supposed to be a business arrangement only.  But with the uncertainty of war, could it even work out?  They didn’t know if they would live from one day to the next. 

I got swept away in this book.  Lana had a big heart and wanted to help anyone she could, especially when it was a child.  The friendship she made with a little girl named Odette really touched my heart.  I couldn’t wait to see how Lana would help her in the end.  There were also other unexpected friendships made along the way.  And there were a lot of secrets.  It was hard to know who to trust and who not to.  If you could say there is light and hope during the bleakness of war, this book brought it.   


Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, January 8, 2021

Review: Eventually Evie by Cat Lavoie


How are you supposed to get your life back on track when the Universe won’t stop messing with you?

After a series of personal and professional setbacks, interior designer Evie Glass has lost faith in herself and the world. The last thing she needs is her loud, boisterous family poking their noses in her business, so that’s why she avoids opening up about anything—especially her love life—during their weekly dinners. Thankfully, her bestie and next-door neighbor, Matilda, always has her back.

When Evie is asked to cat-sit Matilda’s beloved rescue, she’s not thrilled at the prospect. One well-meaning mistake later and a distraught Evie is rushing her furry charge to the ER where she meets and is instantly smitten with Fletcher West, a charming veterinarian who seems to return her interest. That is until they both realize they’ve met before—ten years ago when he was dating her temperamental cousin. Fletch’s break-up with Bee put him at the top of her family’s hit list and makes him the last person Evie should be dating.

In addition to navigating a secret romance with Fletch, Evie must also deal with a demanding new job, an eccentric client from her former life, and an ex who’s suddenly blowing up her phone. She convinces herself she’s got it all under control, but what is Evie going to do when things start falling apart and she learns she’s not the only one keeping secrets?

One thing’s for sure…
Eventually Evie’s got to take a chance—on love, on life, and on herself. 
My Review:
Chick Lit Purr-fection 

What a great book.  It had everything I needed to make it a new favorite.  Fun and witty dialogue, quirky characters, family drama, a love interest and of course cats. 

Evie Glass has been struggling lately with her profession and love life.  But when her best friend asks her to pet-sit her cat, Messi, and Messi ends up sick and needing emergency veterinary care, Evie finds herself crushing on the hot vet.  The only problem is, this hot vet just happens to be her cousin’s ex, Fletcher West, who Evie’s entire family hates.

I couldn’t put this book down.  From the beginning to the very end, I enjoyed every bit of it.  The author has a way of bringing the characters to life and adding a great sense of humor to them and making the story one that I won’t forget any time soon.  I didn’t want this book to end.  I will definitely be picking up more of her books in the future. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Review: Christmas in Angel Harbor by Jeannie Moon

This Christmas, she’s hoping for a miracle…

Twenty-five years ago, Jane Fallon put her rising career on hold to take over her family’s bookstore after the death of her father. Throughout the years, she’s transformed Angel Harbor Books into a place of comfort for her and her daughter, but when her landlord announces the building has been sold, Jane is faced with sudden uncertainty. If the bookstore is gone, what will she do?

As a young man, Dan Gallo couldn’t get out of Angel Harbor fast enough. Now a best-selling novelist, Dan returns home after a tragedy derails his career. His first stop is his favorite teenage hangout—the local bookstore. It’s almost exactly how he remembers it. But the girl who once worked there is now a beautiful woman whose smarts and spirit inspire him to write again, and open his heart to new possibilities.

With her world threatening to fall apart, Dan hopes that with the help of the town—and some Christmas magic—he can get Jane to see how important she is to the people of Angel Harbor…and him.


My Review:

A heartwarming second chance romance

Jane Fallon has a lot on her mind lately.  The holidays are quickly approaching.  The lease on her book store lease is up for renewal, but she hasn’t heard anything about it yet.  Her mother is getting ready to move and her daughter is about to leave for collage.  The one thing she didn’t plan was for her old friend, Dan Gallo, who is now a popular author, to return to Angel Harbor.  When Jane sees Dan, all the old memories resurface.  She knows she can’t get involved with him again.  He broke her heart once and he is only in town temporarily.  But Jane has a hard time not thinking about him. 

Dan needed inspiration for his new novel and knew he could find it in Angel Harbor.  Maybe the old table in the corner of Harbor Books, where his love for writing all started, would be just what he needed.  When he saw Jane was running the store now, he discovered another reason to be in Angel Harbor.  He never stopped loving Jane.  With a little Christmas magic, Dan and Jane just might have their second chance. 

This book was beautifully written.  Jane and Dan were perfect for each other but just needed a little help getting their romance started.  I really liked that they are in their 50s too.  They were easier for me to relate to.  The descriptions of the town and book store were easy to visualize.  I also liked how when Jane needed help, the town was there to support her.  This is the kind of book that I would love to see turned into a movie.