Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Meet Me at Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt - Review

Welcome to Willoughby Close… a charming cluster of cozy cottages, each with a story to tell and a happy ending to deliver…

Ellie Matthews has come to Wychwood-on-Lea to find a new start for her and her daughter Abby. But, life there doesn’t start out as idyllic as she had hoped. While Ellie loves her cute cottage in Willoughby Close, the Yummy Mummies at the primary school seem intent on giving her the cold shoulder, Abby has trouble fitting in, and her boss, Oliver Venables, is both surprisingly sexy and irritatingly inscrutable.

But miracles can happen in the most unexpected places, and in small, yet wonderful ways. Slowly, Ellie and Abby find themselves making friends and experiencing the everyday magic of Willoughby Close. When Oliver’s nephew, Tobias, befriends Abby, the four of them start to feel like family… and Ellie begins to see the kindness and warmth beneath Oliver’s chilly exterior, which awakens both her longing and fear.

Ellie knows all about disappointment, and the pain of trying too hard for nothing, while Oliver has his own hurts and secrets to deal with. When the past comes rollicking back to remind both of them of their weaknesses and failings, will they be able to overcome their fears and find their own happy ending?

My Review:

From mean girls, to an uncertain new romance and even a gassy dog.  This story has all of the elements to hold your interest.

Ellie Matthews and her daughter Abby moved to Willoughby Close to start their lives over.  At first they don't know what to expect, but as they get settled in, life starts taking shape.  They find friends in unexpected places when they were about to give up the search.  Ellie also fights the growing attraction she has for her new boss, Oliver Venables.  Will Ellie let down her guard enough to allow this new romance to happen? 

I enjoyed this book a lot.  I liked seeing Ellie and Abby get the second chance they deserved.  They author did a good job with creating a believable new life for them both. I also enjoyed catching up with the characters from the first book.  This is a fun series filled with love, drama and laughs. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Hotel Hookup: Austin by Annabelle Snow - Review

Bridesmaid Amaree Lowell attends her long-time friend Whitney's engagement luncheon in downtown Austin to celebrate and help plan the wedding. Little does Amaree know, she is about to be paired with groomsman Evan, her former high school boyfriend whom she hasn't seen in eight years.

The chemistry still sizzles, with eight years only adding to Amaree's curves and Evan's sexual swagger. So when he invites her back to his room after the luncheon, she can't wait. The tryst eight years in the making may start with a slow burn behind closed doors, but it soon explodes as clothes are shed and boundaries are pushed.

With the wedding approaching and more events on the horizon, Amaree and Evan know they will be spending more time together. Will their chemistry flame out or will their passionate lust turn into more?

Get double the story and double the burn in the rest of the Hotel Hookup series.

The Hotel Hookup series
Book 1: Hotel Hookup: Austin
Book 2: Hotel Hookup: San Francisco
Book 3: Hotel Hookup: Chicago
Book 4: Hotel Hookup: Miami

My Review:

Just by reading the title, you know this book will be steamy.  It’s about a hookup; one night spent between Amaree and Evan, who used to date in high school and are reunited eight years later at their friends' engagement party. 

If you are looking a romantic tale that is wrapped up with a pretty bow, look the other way.  This book is for someone looking for a very hot quick read.   This is just the first book of a series and there is no real ending to the story.  I am hoping the last book will wrap up what happens to each couple in the end. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Phoebe Smith’s Private Blog by Lynda Renham - Review

Fashion conscious Phoebe Smith wants only one thing: a date for the works party in six weeks’ time. She embarks on a journey to find her man and keeps a private blog of all her disastrous encounters. But when her four-year-old nephew gets into her account, Phoebe’s problems only just begin. With Tinder calamities, a male escort and a pork pie addiction, Phoebe tackles her biggest problem: the just too irritating Harry Bloom. Come with Phoebe on her search for the perfect man and see who will accompany her to the party in this hilarious romantic comedy novel.

My Review: 

What happens when all of your private thoughts go viral on the internet?  Phoebe Smith becomes the talk of the town, and possibly all of England, when her nephew accidentally changes her private blog to public while playing on her computer.

The hilarious tales of Phoebe’s dating life, her problems at work and all of her secret thoughts have created a following that Phoebe never anticipated.  She has become a local celebrity and soon everyone wants to know who Phoebe Smith really is. 

I found this book to be a lot of fun.  I laughed through so many of the scenes and could visualize them perfectly through the writer’s words.  The dates were the funniest.  At first I felt sorry for Phoebe being dumped right before Christmas, but after that part, the fun began and it was one laugh after another.  It was a hard book to put down and I found myself staying up very late a few nights because I just couldn’t find a spot to stop reading.  If you are a fan of the Bridget Jones books or enjoy romantic comedies, you will love this book. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Tell Me True (The Cinderella Project Book 3) by Ally Blake - Review

April Swanson is so hopeful about all the possibilities New Year’s might bring, she’s practically Pollyanna. She’s hardly wishing for the world, after all – just a little less family crazy and the promotion she's perfect for. Surely then she can finally let loose and not strive to be such a good girl all the time.

For reformed bad boy, Finn Ward, hope is a four letter word, yet he has a New Year’s wish of his own - to silence his dark and twisted past before it unravels his future and hurts the people he cares about. No matter what.

So why would fate trick two such disparate souls into a fake first date? Maybe because they’ve both made the wrong wish...

The Cinderella Project series
Book 1: Kiss Me Quick
Book 2: Love Me Tender
Book 3: Tell Me True

My Review: 

April Swanson saw what The Cinderella Project had done for her best friend JJ.  She met the love of her life while on a cruise ship.  So when April needs help landing a coveted promotion at her job, she enlists the help of the organization.  Little did April know she would be getting more than she expected.  She might actually lose her heart to a man she met at a bar during one of her first tests. 

Finn Ward has been contemplating leaving his job and town when his father is released from prison.  He wants to keep those he is closest to safe and doesn’t want anything to do with his father.  But when he meets April, things get a little more complicated. 

This was a cute story.  I liked April and Finn’s characters.  They had great chemistry together even though they had opposite personalities.  It was fun watching their relationship form.  The book also referenced to characters from previous books so you caught up with them a little bit too.  There were some slow spots in the book and a few spots where I got confused and had to go back and reread what I had just read to get back on track.  But the ending was sweet and made up for the areas where I had trouble. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The House of the Soul: A Novel by Annie Dawson - Review

Homemaker Ella Casey is circling the middle-age drain. Her once adventurous life is now measured in loads of laundry, her grand dreams of changing the world diluted with each rinse cycle. When she flies to the enchanting California estate of her best friend Teri for a Peace Corps reunion, the accomplishments of her peers threaten to soak up the last drops of Ella’s floundering self-esteem.

Teri Flores is everything Ella is not: glamorous, wealthy, and fearless. Her sprawling mansion, La Casa Del Alma, serves as both artists’ retreat and modern day salon to Teri’s eclectic entourage. Teri entertains her guests with lavish meals, outrageous activities, and impassioned debates, but the weekend sours when old grievances mix with new ambitions.

As past and present collide, Ella struggles to redefine herself, but will her growing need to validate her life end up destroying it?

THE HOUSE OF THE SOUL is a journey of love, loss, and friendship, and a treasure map for anyone brave enough to embark on the precarious voyage of self-discovery.

My Review: 

An incredible journey of self-discovery.

Once in the Peace Corps, Ella Casey’s life was so different.  She was helping make a change in the world and enjoyed seeing the smiles on the people’s faces that she was helping.  After she left the Peace Corps, she got married and raised her family in New Zealand.  But she kept thinking something is missing from her life.  When Ella’s best friend Teri invites her to a Peace Corps reunion in California, she questions whether she should go as she felt she didn’t have anything in common with the others anymore.  But in the end she goes as a plane ticket has already been purchased for her.   While Ella spends time with Teri and her friends, she does some soul searching about her life and the choices she has made.  What will it take for Ella to feel she has a purpose in life again?

I enjoyed the way the book was written with the present time and the flash-backs to the past.  It gives a good insight as to who the characters really are.  The writer has a way with words and spun a memorable tale that won’t soon be forgotten.  Having been in the Peace Corps herself, she had all of the facts to make this story feel very real.  Sometimes an author will write a book and research facts but they don’t always carry across onto the pages where it seems real.  Entertaining yes, but real, not always.  The scenes were easy to visualize.  The secondary characters had such strong roles in the story that I would love to find out what happens to them.

I loved this quote at the end of the story:

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; this is to have succeeded. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Purchase links for The House of Soul


Barnes & Noble


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Chocolate Cure (Love at the Chocolate Shop Book 4) by Roxanne Snopek - Review

No more chocolate! No more meddling! No more men!

New Year’s resolutions are great. Announcing them in a crowded bar, with a chocolate martini in her hand? Not Maddie Cash’s finest moment. It’s time this new realtor got serious about her life and this time, she means it.

But when hospital volunteering lands her at the bedside of bruised and battered Mick Meyer, who has no knowledge of Maddie’s reputation – and no memory of the kiss he begged from her during that long, pain-filled night, her best-laid plans are put in jeopardy. It’s not just his sweet tooth that’s tempting her.

The hunky bush pilot with the concussion has an old family property to unload. Making this sale could be Maddie’s professional salvation. But when Mick turns on the charm, she’s in danger of forgetting all her best intentions... on chocolate... on meddling... and especially on men.

Love at the Chocolate Shop series
Book 1: Melt My Heart, Cowboy by CJ Carmichael
Book 2: A Thankful Heart by Melissa McClone
Book 3: Montana Secret Santa by Debra Salonen
Book 4: The Chocolate Cure by Roxanne Snopek
Book 5: The Valentine Quest by Melissa McClone
More books coming soon
My Review:

A fun quick read.

Maddie Cash has decided to make some changes in her life.  But she made the mistake of announcing her New Year’s resolutions in public.  No more chocolate, meddling or men.  Now everyone in Marietta is watching to see if Maddie can keep her resolutions.  With her boss breathing down her throat about making a sale, she needs to focus on work even harder now.  She is given until the end of January to sell a house or she will be unemployed.

Pilot Mick Meyer was admitted to the hospital after a mishap with his plane which ended getting a concussion.  He arrived while Maddie was volunteering in the ER.  They quickly became friends with Maddie showing up to help Mick with his rehab.  When Maddie learned Mick was going to sell his uncle’s lake house, Maddie set her sight on making this sale.  Maybe then her boss will see she is serious about her job. 

When everything starts to fall apart in Maddie's life, Mick is there to help her pick up the pieces.  Mick didn't expect to fall for Maddie, and now he has to convince her to let go of her insecurities and accept the fact that he is not like other men.

The book moved along at a fairly good pace.  The writing was entertaining, the plot fun and the characters likable.  Maddie and Mick had great chemistry.  The book ended a bit quick for me.  I would have loved to have seen a stronger ending.