Thursday, July 20, 2017

Marry 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…

Alice James has been a drifter her whole life, working her way through several foster homes before ending up in Wychwood-on-Lea, feeling anchorless and invisible. When a chance encounter leads to Alice accepting a position as a caretaker and companion to Lady Stokeley, she starts to feel as if she might finally be able to put down some roots and live the way other people do.

Then, Lady Stokeley’s nephew, city banker Henry Trent, storms into Willoughby Manor, seeming to find fault with everything, including Alice. As the next in line to the manor and title, he threatens to upturn everything she’s started to build. But Henry is hiding his own secret fears and weaknesses, ones he's desperate for no one to discover. A surprising and inconvenient attraction that simmers between them leaves Alice feeling more confused than ever, and Henry torn between duty and desire, fear and love.

When circumstances become even more difficult, both Alice and Henry must decide who they really are, and what they are willing to fight for. Could Alice possibly the next Lady of Willoughby Manor?

My Review:

I thoroughly enjoyed the conclusion of The Willoughby Close series.  I don't think it could have ended any better than it did.

Henry Trent came across as mean and uncaring throughout the series.  I was happy to find out more about him and hear why he seemed so mean, guarded and didn't want anyone to get close to him.

Alice James was the perfect companion and caretaker for Lady Stokeley.  Having been brought up in the foster system, Alice didn't have much and never experience real love or friendship.  The friends she made at Willoughby Close, with Lady Stokeley and Henry were priceless and helped her realize she was worthy of love.

If you haven't read this series yet, you will want to start book one to learn about Lady Stokeley as her story runs throughout the series. The rest of the stories are concluded at the end of each book.  The author did a wonderful job with this series.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Sweet Summer's Kiss (Love at the Chocolate Shop Book 10) by Debra Salonen - Review

A storybook kiss on New Year's Eve at the Big Sky Mavericks Masked Ball in Marietta, Montana should have been the beginning of a grand romance for Gretchen Zabrinski and Daniel Andrews. But when Gretchen overhears a phone call from Daniel to his brother about what he really wants from a woman, she takes off...without leaving so much as a glass slipper behind.

Daniel wants a family. Gretchen will never be able to give him that. So why does fate keep throwing them together so cruelly? First, at a Copper Mountain Chocolate Shop Speed Dating event, then when he’s hired to open a new division at her PR firm. But competing, shoulder-to-shoulder, to sell the most exotic chocolate kisses for charity really is the last straw.

Is love a cosmic connection or a karmic joke? Sometimes, the answer reveals itself in a kiss—a sweet kiss shared beneath a warm Montana summer sky.

My Review:

A new twist on the Cinderella story.

On New Year's Eve, Gretchen Zabrinski was set up by her boss with Daniel Andrews, a man social media called the prince of playboys.  The date was going perfect until Gretchen overhears Daniel on the phone saying he thinks he just kissed the mother of his future children.  This sends Gretchen running from the ball without a word to anyone.  Gretchen was recently diagnosed with a health condition and she knows she will never be able to give him what he wants.  Five months later, they meet again at Copper Mountain Chocolate's speed dating event.  This time, Daniel is not letting Gretchen out of his sight.  He will do whatever it takes to win her heart.

I have been enjoying the Love at the Chocolate Shop series.  I hate to think it is almost over.  This book is a perfect complement to the other stories.  The author did a great job writing a tale that I won't soon forget.

Featured Book: Searching for Irene by Marlene Bateman

Blurb; Searching for Irene

What happened to Irene?

When Anna Coughlin, a modern 1920’s woman, travels to the secluded hills of Virginia to work for wealthy Lawrence Richardson, she discovers that the previous secretary, Irene, mysteriously disappeared a few weeks before. Upon arriving at the castle-like mansion to begin working, Anna finds that Lawrence’s handsome, but antagonistic son, Tyler, wants nothing more than to have her gone. And he isn’t the only one—

After Anna sets out to find the truth behind Irene’s disappearance, a series of frightening incidents ensnare her in a maze of intrigue. Anna is helped—and often hindered—by the temperamental Tyler Richardson, who—despite her best intentions—begins to steal her heart.

But even as Anna begins to uncover dark secrets in a troubled household, she must continue to hide a significant one of her own. When her life is threatened, Anna is left to wonder if she’ll be able to unravel the mystery before she disappears as mysteriously as the unfortunate Irene—


Marlene Bateman Sullivan grew up in Utah, and graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor's degree in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan and they live in North Salt Lake, Utah with their two dogs and four cats. Marlene has been published extensively in magazines and newspapers and wrote the best-selling romance/suspense novel, Light on Fire Island. She has written three other cozy mysteries; Motive for Murder, A Death in the Family, and Crooked House, as well as the romance, For Sale by Owner.

Marlene has also written a number of non-fiction, LDS books: Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines, And There Were Angels Among Them, Visit’s from Beyond the Veil, By the Ministering of Angels, Brigham’s Boys, Heroes of Faith, Gaze into Heaven; Near-death Experiences in Early Church History, and The Magnificent World of Spirits; Eyewitness Accounts of Where We Go When We Die.

Marlene’s website:

Friday, July 7, 2017

Winning his Heart (Marietta St. Claires, #2) by Lara Van Hulzen - Review

Michael St. Claire, a widower and single father, fears his heart could never make room for another. Between raising his young daughter Annalise and rebuilding his dreams as a race car driver, love isn't on his mind... Until feisty Franchesca shows up and changes everything.

With her mom's health failing, Franchesca needs extra income. An offer from Mike St. Claire to be his daughter's nanny is an offer she can't refuse. She has always dreamed of making it on Broadway and living in New York, but her immediate attraction to Mike challenges all she thought she wanted.

Mike can't deny his feelings for Franchesca, even with the risk of losing his heart again. But he doesn't want to stand in the way of Franchesca's dreams. Will his past and what she wants in the future tear them apart?

My Review:

Sometimes you read a book that makes you wonder if it was based on a true story.  This is one of those books.

Mike and Franchesca both set their dreams aside for different reasons.  Mike wanted to be a race car driver but when he lost his wife, he turned his focus on raising their daughter, Annalise.  Franchesca gave up her dreams of making it big on Broadway to care for her mother.  They meet when Franchesca’s car breaks down on the side of the road and Mike stops to help her.  Neither, Mike or Franchesca has any idea how their meeting on the side of the road will soon change both of their lives. 

I enjoyed this sweet story.  The author detailed both character’s stories and brought them together in a memorable way.  If you enjoy a good contemporary romance, I would recommend this book.  It’s a good reminder that sometimes your destiny is right in front of you.