Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Review: What Holds Us Together by Sandi Ward

From the author of The Astonishing Thing and Something Worth Saving comes a tender, wise, and insightful novel of a family cat, a second chance, and the love that persists through the deepest heartache . . .

They say that cats don't like change. But Luna, an imaginative tabby, understands that sometimes it's necessary. When her owner, Annika, moved back to her small New England hometown six months ago along with her sixteen-year-old twins, Luna knew it was for the best. Ever since Annika's husband, Peter, died suddenly, the family has been floundering. Luna, too, is guilt-ridden, sure she could have done more to save her favorite person. Luna also knows something the others don't know. Peter's spirit is still with them, and Luna believes there is something he needs her help to do . . .

Annika has been struggling to move on. It doesn't help that her son, Donovan, blames her for his father's death. Peter always told Annika that they had the best love story going, yet the fact is that much of their story has been hidden away, even from their children. When Annika's first love, Sam, arrives to plow them out during an intensifying storm, the truth begins to emerge at last. And Luna--watchful and unwavering in her affection--may be her family's best hope of learning how to forgive and to heal . . .

My Review: 

If you have read any of Sandi Ward’s books in the past, you don’t want to miss this one.  As the others, it features a beautiful cat on the cover and a heartfelt family story. 

After Annika’s husband, Peter, suddenly dies in his sleep, she moves back to her family home with her twin teenagers and their cat, Luna.  Only Luna knows Peter is still with them.  She can see and communicate his ghost.  While trapped at home during a snow storm, along with Annika’s high school boyfriend and his brother, Luna helps her family heal from their loss.  Annika also learns to trust in love again.  

This was an enjoyable, and emotional, book and I liked how it was told from different points of views, including Luna’s.  The story switches from the present to the past, telling Annika’s story about her life with Peter, Sam and the troubled relationship with her sister, Lisa.  The author fully uses her imagination to weave a tale that is unexpected and highly memorable.  I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. 

Thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.      

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Review: Christmas Contract for His Cinderella by Jane Porter

December in the brooding Sicilian’s castle…

Spending the holidays with the man who broke her heart is Monet’s worst nightmare. But when commanding Marcu’s children urgently need a nanny, she can’t refuse. Landing back in his aristocratic world, where free-spirited Monet never belonged, is bittersweet torture…

Marcu doesn’t anticipate his overly ordered life being disrupted by the enchanting woman Monet’s become. Duty has always dictated his actions, making Monet, with her infamous family history, strictly forbidden. But when their long-simmering passion burns intensely enough to melt the snow, will Marcu finally claim his Christmas Cinderella…?

My Review:

A magical Christmas romance.

Monet Wilde spent her teenage years in the Uberto palazzo in Palermo where she fell in love with Marcu Uberto only to end up with a broken heart.  With a loan and a plane ticket to London, Monet put the Uberto family way in the back of her mind.  She worked hard for her new life managing the bridal department at a department store.

The last thing Monet wanted to do was to leave her job at the peak of the busy Christmas season.  But she owed Marcu a favor and when he asked Monet to repay it, he wouldn’t take no for an answer.  He needed her as a temporary nanny to his three children while he set off on a Christmas holiday to propose to his girlfriend.  But when old memories and feeling return, anything can happen.

I got totally swept away in this book.  Everything from the characters to the setting, in the Italian Alps, was just right.  I couldn’t ask for more.  There were a lot of memorable scenes.  Of course this is a romance book and I was glad to see Monet and Marcu get their happily ever after, but the children are such a big part of the story too.  I couldn’t help but fall for them just like Monet did.  I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a feel-good Christmas romance.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Review: A Stranger's Love (Psychic Heat Book 3) by Roxy Boroughs

Undercover cop Grady Keys is on the trail of a serial kidnapper in Fort Lauderdale. A kidnapper turned killer.

The crime touches a nerve for Grady. He can’t shake the memory of his high school sweetheart, Brianna Webb, who was also kidnapped and murdered as a teen.

That twenty-year-old case is still unresolved, and it’s the reason Grady entered law enforcement. And why he avoids emotional attachments.

Former child star Caitlyn Glasberg, financially strapped after a disastrous marriage, buys fixer-upper homes and sells them at a profit. Hoping to make a TV comeback, she’s filming her current renovation project — which happens to be Brianna’s childhood home.

When Caitlyn hears ghostly noises and sees visions of a present-day kidnapping, she contacts police. Intrigued, Grady launches his own investigation, while struggling to guard his heart from the beguiling actress.

A woman the killer wants.

My Review:

I didn’t think this series could get any better, but it did.

Former child star, Caitlyn Glasberg, is trying to reignite her career by filming a home renovation show when she starts having visions of women being abducted and murdered.  Her friend convinces her to go to the police with it after one of the visions becomes reality when Caitlyn sees the girl’s picture in the newspaper the next day. 

Police officer, Grady Keys, takes an interest in Caitlyn’s case as he has a personal connection with the house she is renovating.  His high school girlfriend lived there before she was found dead.  Things get hot between Caitlyn and Grady but when Caitlyn finds out Grady has been keeping secrets from her, she kicks him to the curb.  But when the tables are turned and Caitlyn becomes a victim, Grady will do anything to rescue her.   

I sat on the edge of my seat while reading this book.  I just wish it was longer.  I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to these characters.  I would suggest reading these books in order because of the way this book ends.  I think it was the perfect ending for the series, but actually hope more books will follow.     

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Review: A Stranger’s Kiss (Psychic Heat Book 2) by Roxy Boroughs

Sam Hutchinson, a successful lawyer, is devastated by the murder of his son. Hoping to gain closure by learning more about the suspected killer, Sam traces the murderer's roots to a small town in Montana.

There, against a serene mountain backdrop, he finds Amy Tesher. Lies are Amy's camouflage, all fabricated to escape the secrets of her dark past. And to protect her eleven-year-old daughter, Renee, who is able to communicate with Sam's ghostly son.

Unaware of Sam's real mission, Amy takes him into the boarding house she's inherited from her grandmother. Just as the serial killer, James Ryan Morley, returns to claim Amy … and her daughter.

My Review:

An intriguing story that I had a hard time putting down.

Sam Hutchinson, a lawyer from Calgary, traveled to Bandit Creek, Montana, looking for someone who had information on his son Tommy's murder.  He ended up staying at The Dewdrop Inn, the B&B that Amy Tesher recently inherited her grandmother.  But what no one knew was Tommy's ghost was hanging around the B&B and Amy's daughter, Renee, had befriended him.  Tommy knew trouble was headed their way and he wanted to warn everyone.

This book had a lot of twists and turns and surprises that I didn't see coming.  I enjoyed learning more about the murderer, Morley, who was introduced in the first book in the series.  I was blown away by the connection between him and Amy.  I also enjoyed the romance between Amy and Sam.  This book is a really great addition to the Psychic Heat series.