Thursday, January 31, 2019

Review: A Dog Called Valentine by Roxanne Snopek

No good deed goes unpunished.

When an unwanted Valentine’s Day present is dumped at the shelter, volunteer Lily decides to foster the poor dog herself. A little attention is all he needs to blossom into a loving pet, ready for his forever home. Plus, helping a poor, rejected animal will distract her from her own problems. Win, win. Right? Wrong. Valentine needs more than a makeover if he’s going to be adopted. He destroys her home, hates to be groomed and when he behaves better for a perfect stranger than he does her, Lily swallows her pride and begs the good looking but quiet stranger for help

After losing his canine partner in a horrific moment that upended his future, sexy and stoic Shane turns to books, walks in the park and remodeling his grandmother’s home. No more intense K9 officer career, no more dogs, no more risks. But it’s hard to ignore the misunderstood mutt at the park and his well-intentioned, but clueless, handler. Shane reluctantly agrees to give her a few tips and tricks, but that’s all. He won’t care. He won’t get invested. And once Valentine finds his new home, his life can go back to normal.

But Shane doesn’t bargain on a new normal in town and, suddenly, Valentine’s Day will never be the same.

My Review:

A sweet and heartfelt story.

Shane is a police officer who is preparing his grandmother’s house to sell while he is recovering from a career ending injury.  His meddling grandmother is determined to get him dating again even if she has to submit his picture to the reality show, The Bachelorette.

Lily is an heiress who desperately wants to live life on her own terms.  Her dream is to start an interior design company with her friends.  But, her mother just wants her to dedicate her time to charity and settle down with one of the many so-called perfect men she knows.  When Lily fosters a dog from the shelter she volunteers at, she has no idea how much her life will change.  She didn’t expect to fall in love with the dog or Shane, who helps her train him. 

I loved this book.  I went through all the emotions while reading it, but mostly I laughed because of Valentine’s silly antics.  Lily and Shane were the perfect couple.  They were so good for each other, but they just didn’t see it at first.  I enjoyed the fake dating part of the story and watching Valentine heal their broken hearts and lives.  Shane’s grandmother was a fun part of the story too.  I almost think she needs her own book.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Review: Cowboy to the Rescue (The Hansen Brothers Book 1) by Ann B. Harrison

Can the twisted road to redemption lead to love?

Jethro Hansen knows how it feels to let down those he loves. Before his grandfather passed, he tried to make amends for his wild youth and has devoted his future to bringing the family ranch back to financial health. The last thing the confirmed bachelor expects is to stand in as a labor coach for his attorney, and enemy’s wife. Even more awkward, the attentive and attractive woman at the expectant mother's side is making it nearly impossible to keep his focus on his ranch and family legacy.

Sadie St. Martin interned in Denver for Layla Cox and followed her to Marietta, Montana, to run her law practice while she's on maternity leave. Sadie has some major decisions to make about her future and they become even tougher after she helps Layla through labor alongside a sexy, confident cowboy who is also a client.

Sadie’s fought hard for her career. Jethro is everything she shouldn’t want, but can this big city girl’s head overrule her heart in small town Montana?

My Review:

A sweet romance with two people who are looking for a change in their lives.

Jethro Hansen was trying hard to keep from losing his grandfather’s ranch.  If he wanted to keep it in the family and keep his grandfather’s legacy alive, he needed to put everything he had into it.  He was also trying to put his troubled past behind him and become a valuable citizen of Marietta.  But some people just didn’t seem to want to believe he had changed.   

Sadie St. Martin came to Marietta to help her friend Layla run her law practice while she is on maternity leave.  The first thing Sadie encounters is her friend going into early labor and having to rush to the hospital along with Jethro to help Layla through the birth.  Sadie didn’t expect to be attracted to a man she would be working for. 

Jethro and Sadie hit it off pretty quick, but will their newly found romance be enough to keep Sadie in Marietta when it’s time for her to leave? 

This book took a couple chapters to hook me.  But, I really enjoyed it once I got into it.  I felt a connection with the characters and really liked who they were and where the story took me.  I look forward to reading more of this series.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Review: The Secret Life of Mac by Melinda Metz

Inspired by the true story of a kleptomaniac cat who stole his way into America’s heart . . .

MacGyver the tabby is feeling very pleased with himself. His human, Jamie Snyder, has found the perfect packmate—and it’s all thanks to Mac. By stealing personal items from the home of Jamie’s handsome neighbor David, the matchmaking cat brought these two L.A. singles together. Now, while the newlyweds are off on their honeymoon, MacGyver is ready for a well-deserved cat nap. That is, until he meets his cat sitter Briony. Like most humans, she’s hopeless when it comes to romance. And Mac can’t resist a challenge . . .

Briony feels terrible about leaving her fiancĂ© at the altar. When her cousin Jamie offers her the chance to cat sit MacGyver, the runaway bride leaps at the chance to cuddle up with the only male creature she trusts herself around. But MacGyver has other plans. He lures Briony to a friendly neighborhood retirement community—run by a charming young hottie named Nate. Briony and Nate hit it off instantly. But Briony’s still not sure she’s ready for a relationship. And Nate’s got problems of his own—someone is sabotaging his community.

Crazy humans. Why can’t they follow their instincts and go after the love they deserve? MacGyver is on the case. And this time, he’s not pussyfooting around . . .

My Review: 

If you enjoyed Talk to the Paw, you are going to love Mac’s next adventure.  In this book, Mac is up to his matchmaking again.  This time, Mac sets his goal on Jamie’s cousin Briony.

What was supposed to be the happiest day of her life turned out to be Briony’s worst.  She had a panic attack walking down the aisle on her wedding day.  Turns out her body knew Caleb wasn’t the right man for her even though her brain said he was perfect.  Briony left town as quick as she could, heading for Los Angeles to Jamie’s house, to lick her wounds and care of MacGyver “Mac” the cat and Diogee the dog, while Jamie and David went on their honeymoon.  Mischievous Mac, the matchmaking cat, can tell from the start that Briony is sad.  Mac sets out to find her a mate.  After all, it worked for his people and some of the residents of Storybook Court.   This time Mac heads to The Gardens, a senior community that is near Storybook Court.  Along the way, Mac finds mates for more than just Briony and Nate, the owner of The Gardens, he also helps some other residents find love.

I really liked this book.  There is more to the story than just Mac’s match making, there is also a mystery to be solved.  I read Talk to the Paw a while back and fell in love with Mac.  When I saw there was a new book coming out, I couldn’t wait to find out what Mac would be up to next.  Though this book can be read as a stand-alone, I would recommend reading Talk to the Paw first so you can get to know Mac’s story.  I blew through this book quick as it was so entertaining.  This book is perfect for any cat lover or someone who enjoys a sweet women’s fiction story. 

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

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Review: A Cowboy and a Promise (Blackstone Ranch Book 1) by Pam Crooks

Her determination fuels his desire

When her dying friend pleads for help to finish a renovation project, Ava Howell can’t refuse, even though her promise means leaving her new career and familiar life in New York to travel to a remote ranch in Texas. She’s good at what she does, and the ghost town vacation resort would look great on her resume, but it means tangling with the ex-military cowboy who is determined to stop her as soon as she arrives.

Beau Paxton needs to sell the land and ghost town to save his family’s struggling ranch. He’s a formidable enemy to Ava’s determination, but the harder she works, the more his attraction for her grows. He doesn’t want to set aside his plans so she can succeed at hers, yet he finds himself doing just that...

Will a promise bring a city girl and a sexy cowboy together? Or will a broken one drive them apart?

My Review:

She was a risk for anyone to love. 

Ava Howell has lost everyone she ever loved.  Her most recent loss was her best friend Erin, who was working with her aunt in Texas, turning an old ghost town into a resort.  Ava had never been to Texas, on a ranch or seen a ghost town.  Everything would be new to her.  Blackstone Ranch would soon become a place close to her heart.  And, a certain cowboy, Beau Paxton, will be the one to make Ava believe in love again.

This is the beginning of a new series and it is already off to an incredible start.  Ava and Beau’s story was so good.  The angst between the characters in the beginning was fun to read, but when Ava started giving in to Beau’s requests, the story got even better.  I especially loved how the story wrapped up.  I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in this series. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Review: Blind Date Bet (Man's Best Friend Book 1) by Nicole Flockton

Never say never…

After loving and losing a soldier once, Isabella Knowles made a vow: No more military men. She’s rebuilt her life and has a classroom full of fifth graders to love, which is more than enough even though her father doesn’t agree. When he sets her up on a blind date, she only goes to humor him -- never dreaming that the man she meets will tempt her to break her one rule.

In theory, Ethan Masters is not opposed to the wife, kids and house with a white picket fence. But he loves his career as a K-9 handler in the air force, and a dream promotion dangles before him like dog tags. While contemplating his future, he accepts a drunken bet for a blind date, never dreaming that the captivating woman fits perfectly into his ideal, all-American dream. Only one problem. She's gun-shy about all things military.

Can Ethan prove to Isabella love is worth the risk?

My Review: 

Emotions run wild in this book.

Isabella Knowles vowed she would never get involved with another military man after losing her husband just a month after they were married.  Then, she was set up on a blind date with Ethan Masters.  Isabella really wanted to get to know Ethan, but her fears held her back.  She didn’t want to lose another loved one.  When Isabella finally decided to face her fears and date Ethan, she really had to fight the feelings and memories she was having.  When Ethan finally told Isabella about his next deployment, she broke up with him.  Will Isabella be able to set her fears aside once and for all before Ethan leaves the country?  

I really enjoyed reading this book and look forward to the rest of this series.  The book held a full range of emotions that kept it interesting.  The story moved along at a good pace.  The characters and plot felt true to life.  It was nice not to have been able to predict the final surprise at the end of the story. 

Friday, January 18, 2019

Review: Beshert by Erin Gordon

On a bus in Tel Aviv shortly before Shabbat, Chelsea, a tourist from Colorado, is about to make a grave error. Noam, a local on his way home from work, spots what’s happening. Though he helps avert the disaster she’s set in motion, their lives are forever altered.

Recovering from a trauma back home, Chelsea has traveled to Israel hoping to restore her shaken faith. A scientist and a proud secular Israeli, Noam is working through his own traumas, which include a dead girlfriend and a phobia he’s ashamed to face. Though Chelsea and Noam hail from opposite sides of the globe, they find something in each other they’ve never experienced before. But how can an atheist Jew from Tel Aviv and a Christian from Colorado Springs create a life?

Hitting the sweet spot between novelty and familiarity, Beshert will appeal to fans of Emily Giffin and Sarah Jio. With a novel premise and a vivid Middle Eastern setting, the story is told from two perspectives and explores what happens when your core identity is challenged.

My Review:

This book really took me on a journey.  I couldn’t get enough of it. 

Chelsea, a devote Christian, travels from Colorado to Israel, after breaking up with her fiancĂ©.  She was searching for clarity and wanting to reconnect with her faith.  She had booked a Holy Land tour.  She met Noam on a bus and they hit it off immediately.  When they parted ways, they didn’t expect to see each other again.  Little did either know, they would meet again and they would form a friendship which would lead to romance.  But, it wasn’t an easy task falling in love with someone who was of a different faith, or no faith at all, as in Noam’s case.  He considered himself an atheist Jew.  There was a lot at stake and a lot to learn if they were to ever have a lasting relationship. 

I really got caught up in this story.  I wasn’t ready for it to end at all.  There is so much more that I want to know.  The author’s writing made the book really come to life, especially the descriptions of the places Chelsea and Noam visited.  The story was emotional, inspiring and heartfelt.  It is a well-rounded book that I won’t soon forget.