Sunday, December 31, 2017

Review: His Merciless Marriage Bargain (Conveniently Wed!) by Jane Porter

The Italian’s shock heir…

Raising her sister’s child has left Rachel Bern penniless and desperate. Since her orphaned nephew’s family has ignored her attempts at contact, she has no choice but to bring him to the Marcellos’ Venetian door.

Losing his brother devastated Giovanni Marcello. Rachel’s news is another bombshell, and he can’t believe that she doesn’t have an ulterior motive. One kiss should unravel her deception, until their smoldering chemistry has Gio reconsidering…

Gio exacts a high price for acknowledging his heir, but Rachel cannot help but succumb to his outrageous demands. Even if it means walking down the aisle!

My Review:

A baby.  A scandal.  A fake marriage.  And a perfect happily ever after. 

All Rachel Bern wanted was a little help raising her nephew, Michael, after her sister’s death.  Michael’s father had also died, so he was no help.  So she headed Venice to see Italian billionaire, Giovanni Marcello, in hopes that he and his family could help out.   Rachel arranged for the paparazzi to be outside the Marcell palazzo when she went to meet Giovanni.  But the tables were quickly turned when Gio came up with a plan of his own.  Though it left Rachel frustrated, she had a hard time saying no.

This was an emotional roller coaster of a story.  Giovanni seemed so stubborn and set in his ways at first and Rachel was just a nice girl with insecurities.  But together, they brought out the best in each other to finally give Michael a good family.   The romance was intense and the details in the story were very descriptive.  I could just imagine myself being whisked away down the canals in a gondola and seeing all of the sights.   It was hard to close this book and walk away.  I needed more. 

My favorite quote:
She’ld woken him, and the desire consumed him.  It had been far too long since he’ld felt emotion, or hunger, and he felt both now.  He wanted her.  And he would have her. 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Review: A Mistletoe Kiss (Tangled Charms Book 2) by Jennifer Faye

Jaded by love, Suzanna Simms has resigned herself to focusing on her art business. But with Christmas quickly approaching, she receives word that her family is returning to Marietta. And Suzanna failed to mention that her latest relationship had ended abruptly. Now she’ll have to admit to her family that she failed at love—again.

Enter Sergeant Jake Hamilton, a new resident to Marietta and Suzanna’s next door neighbor. He's not looking for anything permanent, he's just passing through Marietta for the Christmas season, hoping to keep to himself. But when Suzanna's family mistakenly assumes that Jake's her boyfriend, he agrees to continue the charade.

Suzanna is certain she's immune to his rugged good looks and sexy smile until they find themselves standing under the mistletoe. When Jake finds her kiss sweeter than her sugar cookies, he knows he's in trouble. But it's too late by then... the Christmas charade is on.

My Review: 

This was such a fun story.  Suzanna Simms has given up on love.  But, when she finds out her family is coming to town for Christmas, she is in a panic as to what to so.  She doesn’t want her family pitying her after another breakup.  Everyone in Marietta remembers when Suzanna was dumped on her wedding day.

Sergeant Jake Hamilton is in Marietta to help out on of his friends after he is discharged from the army because of an injury.  He is staying in the rental next to Suzanna and they become friends pretty quick.  So, when Suzanna’s parents show up early for Christmas and assume he is her new boyfriend, Jake plays along.  Things soon get out of control and they find themselves with feelings neither of them expected.  But, Suzanna worries as Jake mentioned after Christmas, he would be leaving town.  Should she really get involved with someone who is going to be moving on so soon?

I really enjoyed this book.  There is so much more to the story than just romance.  There is family fun, learning to trust in love again and Suzanna’s fear of dogs.  Jake has a Saint Bernard named Rufus and Suzanna is terrified of him at first, but eventually learns to trust him.  I could relate to this part because I also have a fear of dogs after being bit on the face when I was a little kid.  And ironically, it was a Saint Bernard.  I think Rufus and Suzanna’s cat Pixie made for fun reading with their silly antics.  I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good clean romantic comedy.    

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Review: A Chance This Christmas (Road to Romance #3) by Joanne Rock

Growing up in the Christmas-crazed theme town of Yuletide was fun for fashion designer Rachel Chambers until a family scandal made her unwelcome. Eight years later, she’s home for a friend’s wedding and trying to go incognito… until her old flame spots her.

Snowboarder Gavin Blake wants to make things right with Rachel, and smoothing her way back in Yuletide seems like the best way to do just that. Making Rachel his date for a week of pre-wedding parties is sure to bring them closer. Except he underestimated how long a small town can carry a grudge--or how much the memory of a long-ago kiss could tempt him all over again.

As the wedding approaches, Rachel remembers all she loved about her close-knit, Christmas-loving neighbors. But even if she can win over the town again, will she be able to convince her footloose, mogul-shredding wedding date that they can find happiness beyond the holidays? 

My Review:

I could easily picture this book being made into a tv movie.  In a Christmas theme town, two old friends get a chance at love that they didn’t get the first time around. 

Rachel Chambers left Yuletide, New York, eight years ago after a couple of embarrassing incidents that she wishes she could just forget.   She returned home after making a pact with her girlfriends to make peace with the people of Yuletide and her former long-ago boyfriend who is planning on marrying her former best friend the following week.  What Rachel didn’t expect was to run into her one-time crush, Gavin Blake, who is now a popular professional snowboarder.  As it turns out, Gavin just might be the one who helps Rachel move away from her humiliating past and get her the respect she deserves from her hometown.

Some Christmas books you get mostly romance or too much holiday feel.  But this book had a perfect balance of both.  The Christmas theme town was a little bit cheesy.  I would never visit it.  But it fit in perfect with the story.  I couldn’t help but cheer on Rachel and Gavin as their romance developed.  It was just the right speed too, not too fast or dragged out too long.  I was really happy when the town finally forgave accepted Rachel again.  I really enjoyed this book.         

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Review: New Year's at the Graff (Holiday at the Graff Book 3) by Marin Thomas

After being banned from celebrating the holidays with his stepfamily, San Diego businessman Lucas Kendrick arrives in Marietta, Montana, in time to attend the New Year’s Eve celebration at the Graff Hotel. The rodeo-theme party isn’t his style but he’s drawn to the pretty cowgirl running the dice table. When the clock strikes midnight and they ring in the New Year with a kiss, Lucas almost forgets he’s in Marietta on business and not pleasure. He believes he’s found the perfect property for his prized client. There’s just one problem—the pretty cowgirl has her sights set on the same piece of real estate.

Now that single mom Ava Moore has earned a business degree, she wants to help other struggling women get back on their feet by opening a co-op on Main Street. The last thing she expects is competition from the handsome city slicker whose New Year’s kiss she hasn’t been able to forget. Lucas isn’t only stealing Ava’s heart he’s bonding with her daughter. Can Ava convince Lucas that the best business deals are made with the heart and not money?

My Review:  

An inspiring and heartfelt story.

Lucas Kendrick and Ava Moore met at The Big Sky Mavericks Ball at the Graff Hotel on New Year’s Eve where Ava is working.  Lucas was in town to fulfill his mother’s wishes after she passed away.  She wanted to thank the people in Marietta who helped her when she needed it most.  He was also combining the trip with business to prove to his father he was serious about his job.

Ava is a hard working single mother who works as a maid at the Graff but her real dream is to run a co-op to help other single mothers further their education.  She has finally found a place where she wants the co-op.  Then she finds out Lucas is also interested in the same property.  This causes a little friction in the newly found relationship.  But, there is another force working behind the scenes which won’t allow anything to come between Ava and Lucas.

I was easily hooked on this book.  I enjoyed the parts where Lucas found his mother’s old friends and how he thanked them.  I liked how Lucas and Ava’s backgrounds were woven into the story.  It was plotted out very well.  Ava's daughter really added to the story too.  I couldn't help but love her.  But the real surprise was a secret Ava’s mother-in-law kept.  I would love to learn more about her and her psychic abilities. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Review: A Vicarage Christmas (The Holley Sisters of Thornthwaite #1) by Kate Hewitt

Welcome to Thornwaite, a quaint village tucked up in England’s beautiful but rainy Lake District… where homecomings happen and surprises are in store for the four Holley sisters…

Anna Holley, the third of four sisters, has always felt a little bit forgotten. A family tragedy when she was a child had her retreating deep into shyness, and social anxiety kept her on the fringes of the cozy chaos of the busy vicarage.

After several years away from home, Anna returns for Christmas... and an important announcement from her father. As much as she once loved the village, coming back is hard and puts Anna's social capabilities to the test.

Avoiding her sisters’ bossy questions, she heads out to the local pub one night, and meets a handsome stranger nursing a pint. Somehow, unburdened by expectations, Simon seems like the perfect person to spill all her secrets to—including a hopeless, long-held crush on her sister’s boyfriend. Confident she’ll never see him again, Anna returns home… only to discover the next day that Simon is actually her father’s new curate!

Anna is beyond mortified, but Simon won’t let her retreat into her usual shyness—and for once Anna is forced to confront the past, and all the fears and feelings she’d tried so long to hide. But with his own heartache that needs to heal, can Simon help Anna to make this the most magical Christmas either of them have known?

My Review: 

An inspirational new series about sisters.

After three years, Anna Holley has returned home to Thornthwaite and she is immediately put in the spotlight with her family and the parishioners from her father’s church.   Anna never let her family know that she suffers from social anxieties.  So when all of the people in the house become too much for her to handle, she makes a quick exit to the pub for a drink.  While there, she meets Simon and finds him very easy to talk to.  Anna ends up telling him all of her secrets.  

The next day, Anna is shocked when she finds out Simon is her father’s new curate.  But as Anna and Simon spend time together, he helps her face her fears.  In return, Anna becomes the one to help Simon move on from what held him back too.  Maybe Anna can finally find the happiness in a man like her sisters have.

This book was beautifully written with great details.  You really get a feel for the characters and their situations.  Both Anna and Simon were flawed and together they were able to move on from their pasts that held them back.  They brought out the best in each other too.  I look forward to reading the next books in this series. 



Friday, December 8, 2017

Review: Miracle on Chance Avenue (Love on Chance Avenue Book 2) by Jane Porter

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Review: The Texan Takes a Wife (Texas Cattleman’s Club: Blackmail #11) by Charlene Sands

A temporary tryst with a sexy problem, right?
All it takes is a daring out-of-character ride on a mechanical bull to send Erin Sinclair straight into the arms of one fine-looking cowboy. With Royal, Texas, on edge over the criminal targeting their secrets, she needs to blow off steam. Dan Hunt is happy to give the ex-nanny the time of her life, but the rich rancher insists he doesn't do relationships. With Erin leaving Royal in a matter of weeks, why not have a no-strings affair? Even if it feels like it could be the commitment of a lifetime...

My Review:

A fall off a mechanical bull brings Erin Sinclair and Dan Hunt together.  But it's working together while trying to find Maverick, the person responsible for distributing inappropriate pictures of members of the Texas Cattlemen's Club, is when things really heat up.  Erin knows she shouldn't fall for Dan as she plans on going back to her life in Seattle soon.  And it becomes even more difficult as she spends more time with Dan.

Dan hasn't found a woman who sparked his interest in a long time and Erin has just broke that dry spell and it left him feeling conflicted.  Dan didn't do long term relationships, but being with Erin is making him want to change his ways.  When Erin is needed at her new job in Seattle sooner than she expected, Dan doesn't take the news very well.  When he sets his goal to get Erin back, nothing will stop him.

I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to Erin and Dan when the story ended.  I wish the book was longer.  But I am sure we will hear more about them in the next book.  The way they met was fun and unexpected.  I would have been totally embarrassed falling off the mechanical bull and wouldn’t be able to face anyone afterwards.  But it was a great introduction for them and even more interesting once Erin found out Dan was her friend’s brother.  The story moved along quickly but didn’t miss any details.  I was especially happy to see Dan was an animal rescuer.  I knew he was going to be one of the good guys when he helped the injured dog after getting hit by a car.  This is a good book for anyone who loves cowboys, animals and hot romance.