Thursday, February 28, 2019

Review: Rookie in Love by Sarah White

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Review: Lone Star Protector (Calamity Valley Series, Book 2) by Jennie Jones

If you don’t fight for what you love, you won’t know what you’ve lost.  

When Lauren Mackillop’s shady business partner gambles away her small business, she heads home to Surrender in Calamity Valley, Texas, to lick her wounds and plan her next move. But she walks straight into another battle to thwart a development company’s scheme to take over their charming Texas haven. 

Determined to safeguard her town, her senses are on alert when the sexy stranger she flirted with while briefly stranded at LAX turns up as the new owner of the saloon. Something’s going on, and this time, Lauren isn’t going to give in without a fight. 

Mark Sterrett has trouble on his heels and more on the way. To protect his family’s reputation from ruin he’s been tasked with ensuring this land deal goes through. But he’s up against more than he bargained for. Making his life more complicated, he’s drawn to the intriguing and enticing Lauren and as their attraction simmers and the threat to the town heightens, Mark wonders if he can get through the next two weeks with his conscience and his heart intact.

My Review:

An imaginative and highly entertaining story.

It was no secret that all of the Mackillop women possessed mystical powers and that they were cursed.  But, was it possible to break the curse?  Lauren is about to find out when she returns to her hometown of Surrender, Texas, after her life fell apart in California.  Lauren was needed to help restore Surrender and prevent Donaldson’s Property Development from swooping in and buying up the town.  The one thing Lauren didn’t expect to happen was to run into the man she met at the airport; the one who kissed her and caused visions of the future to appear.

Mark Sterrett was being blackmailed.  He would do anything to protect his family from the dangerous people who were making threats against them.  The one thing Mark didn’t see happening was for him to fall for the woman he was supposed to be watching.  As he got to know Lauren, he wanted to help her too.  This put Mark in a sticky situation, but with a little luck and some good planning, he might be able to save his family, Lauren and the whole town of Surrender.

This is the second book in the Calamity Valley series, but it can be read as a stand-alone.  In fact, I never had the chance to read the first book, but I will definitely be going back to read it soon.  The author’s writing style felt so real, like I was part of the story.  The book started out a little slow but I was glad I stuck with it.  It was such a fun book to read.  It is filled with action and interesting characters.        

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Review: A Little Bit Engaged (One Night to Forever Book 3) by Melissa McClone

One little public scandal—and now they’re engaged…sort of.

When Cara O’Neal finds herself dragged into a PR nightmare with A-list actor—and former crush—Brody Simmons, a pretend engagement seems to be the only way to stop the madness. But she’s not an actress, and faking anything with Brody has epic failure written all over it. It’ll take nothing short of an Oscar-worthy performance to survive with her heart intact.

Brody enjoys playing the role of Cara’s adoring fiancĂ© way more than he should. Acting like he’s in love with the pretty bookworm isn’t exactly a chore. She’s always been a good friend, but he can imagine her as more, which complicates their charade. When the lines between make-believe and reality blur, can Cara and Brody turn their fake relationship into a true happily ever after?

My Review:

A forbidden crush turns into a happily ever after.

Cara O’Neal has had a crush on actor Brody Simmons since high school, but she kept it to herself because he was dating her twin sister, Caitlin.  They were Hollywood’s hottest couple.  But, one night when Brody shows up at Cara’s apartment asking a favor of her, Cara learns the romance between Brody and Caitlin fizzled out a long time ago.  They have just been pretending to date because of a movie series that they star in together.  Now, Brody needs Cara to pretend to be his fiancĂ© to cover for a lie Caitlin told the press.  Caitlin said Brody has been seeing her sister and they are engaged.   Cara soon finds herself playing the role of a lifetime, even though she isn’t an actress.  The end result leaves Cara and Brody with the happily ever after they deserve. 

This book was a lot of fun to read.  I really got caught up in the story.  I felt bad for Cara and Brody who got caught up in her Caitlin’s.  But, I was glad they ended up together.  They were good for each other. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Review: Daughter of Moloka'i by Alan Brennert

The highly anticipated sequel to Alan Brennert’s acclaimed book club favorite, and national bestseller, Moloka'i

Alan Brennert’s beloved novel Moloka'i, currently has over 600,000 copies in print. This companion tale tells the story of Ruth, the daughter that Rachel Kalama—quarantined for most of her life at the isolated leprosy settlement of Kalaupapa—was forced to give up at birth.

The book follows young Ruth from her arrival at the Kapi'olani Home for Girls in Honolulu, to her adoption by a Japanese couple who raise her on a strawberry and grape farm in California, her marriage and unjust internment at Manzanar Relocation Camp during World War II—and then, after the war, to the life-altering day when she receives a letter from a woman who says she is Ruth’s birth mother, Rachel.

Daughter of Moloka'i expands upon Ruth and Rachel’s 22-year relationship, only hinted at in Moloka'i. It’s a richly emotional tale of two women—different in some ways, similar in others—who never expected to meet, much less come to love, one another. And for Ruth it is a story of discovery, the unfolding of a past she knew nothing about. Told in vivid, evocative prose that conjures up the beauty and history of both Hawaiian and Japanese cultures, it’s the powerful and poignant tale that readers of Moloka'i have been awaiting for fifteen years.

My Review:

A well written story that I was drawn into from the very start. 

First off, this is the first book by this author that I have read.  I didn’t read the prequel to this book, Moloka’i.  It isn’t necessary to be able to understand and enjoy this book.  But, I will definitely be going back to read it just because I loved this story so much. 

Daughter of Moloka’i is Ruth’s story.  Ruth was born on Moloka'i to parents who had leprosy.  She was brought to a convent in Honolulu where she would have a chance at a better life.  From an early age, Ruth struggles with being half Hawaiian and half Japanese.  When she is adopted by Japanese parents, she is brought up with their culture.  Ruth and her new family move to California to help on her uncle’s farm when she is five years old.  It turns out to be a big mistake.  They are faced with racism as soon as they arrive.  The story follows Ruth through her school age years, marrying and having children.  And, just when things seem to be going good, Pearl Harbor is bombed.  Ruth and her family are sent to live in  internment camps.  After the war ends, everyone is allowed to leave the camps and resume life, even though they don’t have a clue what they will do after losing everything they had.  Ruth also learns who her birth mother is and meets her.  She learns more about her Hawaiian side of the family and their culture, and with what it was like for her mother living in Kalaupapa, the leprosy settlement on Moloka’i.  

This is a story of love, loss, triumph, tragedy and overcoming the odds with dignity.  This book is so well written, I could easily visualize the scenes.  It is one story that will stick with me for a long time.   I highly recommend it.   

Thank you St Martin’s Press and NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Review: I Got You Babe by Jane Graves

She picked the wrong man... only to find Mr. Right.

On the run for a robbery she didn’t commit, Renee Esterhaus is stuck in East Texas with a broken-down car and a nasty bounty hunter hot on her trail. Desperate for a way out, she makes a promise she never intends to keep – offer the first man she sees a night of unforgettable pleasure in return for a ride. A night to remember, all right, since the man turns out to be a cop on vacation with zero tolerance for sweet-talking criminals.

When the truth comes out, John DeMarco is determined to take Renee to jail, but it isn’t long before he thinks she may be innocent after all. Soon they’re working together to clear her name, but that means dodging his all-cop family, dealing with oddball suspects, staying one step ahead of a pissed-off bounty hunter – and trying to pretend they’re not falling in love.

My Review:

Renee Esterhaus was on the run.  She didn't commit the crime the police said she did, but no one would believe her.  She wasn’t about to go to prison for something she didn't do.  When Renee met John DeMarco, she didn't know he was a police officer who is just taking some time away from his job.  He was the first person she saw at the diner when she ran in for help.  She just needed someone with a car to get her away from the bounty hunter who is after her.   After Renee pours her heart out to John, he starts to believe her story.  John decides to take in it his own hands, regardless of the consequences, and help her find the real person behind the robbery.

This was an intense, sit on the edge of your seat, book.  I couldn’t put it down.  It’s a wonderful romantic suspense story with characters will want more of.  This is the beginning of a new series and it is starting off with a bang.