Thursday, July 18, 2019

Review: Meant to Be (Four Irish Brothers Winery #2) by Nan Reinhardt

Best friends since grade school, high-powered Chicago attorney, Sean Flaherty, and small-town mayor Megan Mackenzie have always shared a special bond. When Sean is shot by a client’s angry ex, Megan rushes to his side, terrified she’s about to lose her long-time confidant.

Upon his return to River’s Edge to recuperate, Sean discovers that his feelings for his pal have taken an undeniable turn for the romantic. While Megan struggles with an unfamiliar longing for Sean, she worries that he may be mistaking a safe place to land for love.

Can Sean help her realize that they are truly meant to be so much more than friends?

My Review:

It took years and a tragedy for them to realize what everyone else had been seeing all along.  They were made for each other.

Megan and Sean had been best friends since they were kids.  Their friendship remained as adults even though they live miles apart.  Sean became a lawyer and moved to Chicago and Megan was the mayor of their home town.  After Sean gets shot outside the courthouse trying to protect his client, he returned to River's Edge to recover with his family and do a little work at the family winery.  Spending more time with Megan made him realize how much he missed her and wanted her in his life permanently.  Megan was feeling the pull too, but she feared what might happen if they gave into their feelings and it didn't work out.  She didn't want to lose her best friend.  When Megan and Sean finally decide to give love a shot, they realized they were meant to be together.

I enjoyed how the author told this story.  She had me hooked from the start.  Of course, this is a romance book, but there is so much more too.  I enjoyed catching up with the characters from the previous book and learning more about the Flaherty brothers and the rest of the residents of River's Edge.  I can't wait to read the next book in the series. 

Monday, July 15, 2019

Review: The Russian's Pleasure Proposition (Greek Island Millionaires Book 2) by Joanne Walsh

Hannah’s excited to be working for Frankie Kontarinis’s property company in the Greek island resort of Agia Kalamaros. And determined to impress her first client. Even if he’s millionaire music mogul, Sergei Alkaev, who’s well known as the Russian Rake, is a heartless playboy who changes girlfriends as often as his socks.

Tired of dating greedy, fickle women, Sergei’s not looking for another relationship—until Hannah has him thinking again. But her opinion of him is that he’s heartless, so how can he change her mind and persuade her to be his lover? When Hannah lets slip she’s inexperienced, Sergei makes her a proposition: let him teach her about love-making until she’s ready to find a man who will give her the happy-ever-after she deserves… 

My Review: 

An enjoyable romance story with a bit of a twist.  

This is the second book in the Greek Island Millionaires series and it was just as good as the first.  The story opens with a wedding and Hannah and Sergei sharing an unforgettable kiss.  Four months later, Hannah moved to Greece to work with her friend, Frankie, as a property manager.  Hannah didn’t plan on meeting a man or running into music mogul, Sergei, again. But when Frankie put Hannah in charge of managing Sergei’s house, she had no choice but to see him again.  Though Hannah tried to fight her feelings and the memory of the kiss, she had a hard time with it.  But Hannah knew Sergei was a playboy and she didn’t want anything romantic with him.  She knew she was no match for him, but they could be friends.  Hannah has a medical condition that she let rule her love life.  When Hannah confides in Sergei about her condition, Sergei offers to help her through it.  He just got out of a bad break up and isn’t looking for anything serious.  So, a little temporary thing with no strings attached just might do the trick for them both.  But when emotions get involved, anything can happen. 

This was a quick easy read for me.  I enjoyed Hannah and Sergei’s story.  They were both a bit stubborn, but when they finally let go, it worked out perfectly.  It just took some time for them to get there.  The backdrop of Greece made the book visually stimulating as well.  I really liked how the author added a pregnant cat to the story.  It brought out Sergei’s softer side.  I would recommend reading the books in this series in order as there is an ongoing story about a missing brother imbedded throughout the series.   

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Review: On the Market (The Texas BBQ Brothers, #1) by Audrey Wick

Will she be the secret ingredient to his happiness?

Valerie Perry has just inherited her grandmother’s home in Last Stand, Texas, a far cry in the country from her city life as an organic grocery buyer in San Antonio. Her methodical daily routine suits her just fine, so she aims to freshen up the property, sell it, and take her funds back to the city. She’s only got two weeks during her vacation to make this happen. Now is the time to cash in and get out.

The oldest Hutchinson son, who people around town know as “Hutch,” is a third generation local who is poised to take over the family business with his brother, Cole. The barbeque brothers have very different ideas about the future of their restaurant, "The Hut." Just when he thought his biggest headache was his job, Hutch meets Valerie and both their worlds are upended. He’s drawn to this fish out of water, but Valerie’s time in Last Stand has an expiration date.

Their sweet and saucy styles don’t mix, but can they both find the recipe to a happy future?

My Review: 

An incredibly sweet story about two total opposites, a barbecue pit master and a vegetarian.  It just goes to show how love can be found in the most unexpected expected places.

When Valerie inherits her grandmother’s house in Last Stand, Texas, the only thing on her mind is selling it and heading back to San Antonio.  But, spending time in the small town and making new friends, especially the handsome Hutch, who is one of the owners of The Hut, a popular BBQ joint in town, plans can change pretty quick. 

Hutch fell for Valerie right away, but she kept giving off vibes that told him to walk away.  She wasn’t like any other women he had ever met and he was intrigued by her.  But Hutch wonders if he should he really invest his time in a relationship that had a time limit on it?

This was such a fun book to read.  I laughed in parts, I felt sad and worried in other parts, but most of all, it enjoyed watching Valerie and Hutch fall in love.  And let’s not forget about all the BBQ talk.  I was hungry the entire time.  I need some good Texas BBQ now.  I can’t wait to read Cole’s story in the next installment in The Texas BBQ Brothers series.  

Brief author bio: 
Audrey Wick is a novelist and full-time English professor at Blinn College. Her work has appeared in college textbooks published by W.W. Norton and Cengage Learning as well as various literary journals. She is also a 2018 teacher scholarship recipient of the Key West Literary Seminar.  Audrey believes the secret to happiness includes lifelong learning and good stories. But travel and coffee help. She has journeyed to over twenty countries—and sipped coffee at every one. Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram @WickWrites.



Monday, July 8, 2019

Review: What Happens in the Ruins by Kelsey McKnight

Can she stop her past from ruining her future?

Sorcha Mackinnon isn’t your typical tortured artist. She is also a party girl, a vintage shopper, and the heiress to a whisky fortune. But when inspiration suddenly flies out the window, she’s left with an empty whisky glass and a blank canvas…until a childhood friend waltzes back into her life.

She’s known Danny Gordon since birth, but they lost touch as their careers took them in different directions. He offers to show her the parts of Scotland he swears will spark life back into her brushes. And as they tour the sights on the back of his motorcycle, Sorcha realizes that under the tattoos and smart mouth, Danny may inspire more in her than just a new painting.

But as a good time begins to morph into an ever after, Sorcha is reminded of old wounds that just won’t heal. Danny tries to open her heart, but her self-imposed isolation makes things harder than ever. Now she must decide what to do, because what happens in the ruins doesn’t always stay there.

My Review:

A beautifully told love story set in the beautiful Scottish Highlands.

Two old friends, Sorcha and Danny reunite years after the death of Sorcha’s twin brother Johnny, who was also Danny’s best friend.  What happens next is full blown romance.  But Sorcha doesn’t trust love.  She is afraid of losing someone she loves again.  She is content with just hooking up with Danny while he takes her around the countryside helping her get her artistic inspiration flowing again, so she can paint for her upcoming art show.  When Danny confesses his love for Sorcha, Sorcha pulls away.   

My heart broke for Sorcha and Danny immediately when Sorcha decided she didn’t want to see Danny again.  But I enjoyed seeing how they worked their way back to each other.  I also enjoyed catching up with the characters from the previous books in this series.  The author did a fantastic job with creating interesting characters, that I couldn’t get enough of, and scenery that was easy to visualize.  I think I might need a trip to Scotland one day.  Even though this is a standalone story, I would recommend reading the books from the beginning of the series to get to know all the characters as their stories play out.     

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Review: True Gold by Michelle Pace

Growing up in True, Alaska, the only truth I knew was that Delilah Campbell was an arrogant pain in my ass. She was also my everything, and still haunts my every waking moment.

I don’t have a single memory that doesn’t include Lie, and I can still taste her, even though Alaska’s no longer big enough for the both of us. After our savage breakup, I fled, chasing my dream and becoming a decorated Green Beret. Ten years later, one bad jump propelled me straight from Special Forces back home, guiding rich idiots into the wilderness, where I struggle to keep them from getting themselves killed. It’s not the life I planned, but at least I’m not behind a desk somewhere.

Then one night, my cell rings, shattering my peaceful existence.

“Connor,” I’d recognize her voice anywhere, and it’s like I’m sixteen again, crazy in love and cocky as hell after finding all those gold bars everyone's been searching for since before we were even born.

I want to tell her to go to hell and throw my phone in the river, but it seems Delilah’s visceral grip on me is permanent.

“It’s mom. She’s missing. I need your help…."

My Review:

This book had nail-biting intensity.  I didn’t know who to trust. 

It all started with the hijacking of a plane carrying ten pallets of gold bars for Aurora Corporation and the gold getting dropped in various locations throughout the Alaskan wilderness. 

Many years ago, Delilah and Conner were teenagers and in love.  They gained fame when they discovered the ninth drop location.  There are still people with gold fever looking for the last of the treasure.  Now, Delilah’s mother, Luann, has gone missing.  Not knowing if she is dead or alive, Delilah and Conner are on a mission to find LuAnn before it’s too late.  Delilah and Conner find themselves in some serious jeopardy and the threat for their lives also brings them closer together again.    

I sat on the edge of my seat reading this book.  I had a hard time putting it down or finding a place to stop reading.  I thoroughly enjoyed the suspense part, but I also kept hoping Delilah and Conner would find a way to get back together.  They split on bad terms and through a lot of the book, they don’t get along very well, but they knew they needed each other to complete their mission.  In the story, LuAnn said not to trust anyone.  That statement was very true.  I had no idea who was good or bad in this book until the very end.  I definitely recommend this exciting book.