Saturday, 23 June 2018

Review: Hedging His Bets (Brits in Manhattan #3) by Laura Carter

A high-flying investor
New Yorker Jake Harrington loves a lot of things about living in London. His lucrative hedge fund job. The way British women melt at the sound of an American accent. His just-sex arrangement with his gorgeous roommate, Jess. And, oh yes, being thousands of miles away from the girl who betrayed him.

His sexy British flatmate
Jess’s deal with Jake suits her fine. No commitments, no risk of being hurt again, just friendship and mind blowing pleasure. And friends do each other favors, like agreeing to go on a trip to New York where Jake will have to face his past.

And a vacation that will change everything…
What friends shouldn’t do? Suddenly find themselves feeling something much more complicated than simple lust. When “no strings” is no longer enough, will Jake be willing to take the ultimate gamble?

Kindle Edition

Published May 22nd 2018 by Lyrical Caress

Terri's Thoughts

I Had received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  Unfortunately I am really behind and I am just getting this posted now.

I have been a fan of this series since the first book.  I would not recommend reading it as a stand alone as the characters from the previous story are all present in this one and it could get confusing.  Not a big deal, start at the beginning and read the whole series.  I can see at least one more to follow this one.

This is a bit of a steamy read so those who like their stories hot should be pleased.  In fact, I think that the steam factor may have been raised a notch or two vs. the previous ones in the series.

There are no surprises in this story however it is a fun journey for Jake and Jess.  Fans of this genre will enjoy this story and the ones that came before it

About the Author

Laura Carter is the international bestselling author of the Vengeful Love series. Her books are available in English and Italian. Laura writes contemporary romance and women's fiction from her country home in Jersey (UKCI), where she lives with her husband and (gorgeous) dog. She loves all things romance, including paper hearts, flowers, chocolates and champagne (not necessarily in that order). If she isn't writing or hanging around on social media, you can probably find her watching a romcom with a tub of Ben and Jerry's.

Review: Fully Dressed (The Bayou Bachelors #1) by Geri Krotow

There’s nowhere hotter than the South, especially with three men who know how to make the good times roll. But one of the Bayou Bachelors is about to meet his match…New York City stylist Poppy Kaminsky knows that image is everything, which is why she’s so devastated when hers is trashed on social media—after a very public meltdown over her cheating fiancé. Her best friend’s New Orleans society wedding gives her the chance hide out and lick her wounds...
Brandon Boudreaux is in no mood to party. His multi-million dollar sailboat business is in danger of sinking thanks to his partner’s sudden disappearance—with the company’s funds. And when he rolls up to his estranged brother’s pre-wedding bash in an airboat, a cold-as-ice friend of the bride looks at him like he’s so much swamp trash.
The last person Poppy should get involved with is the bad boy of the Boudreaux family. But they have more in common than she could ever imagine—and the steamy, sultry New Orleans nights are about to show her how fun letting loose can be…

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: March 13th 2018 by Lyrical Caress

Terri's Thoughts

I had received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  I apologize for the delay in writing this review as family obligations have pulled me away.

This review will be short but I will say that I think I may have found a new series to read.  It follows the expected roadmap from this genre, with two broken people whose paths cross and help each other heal, not without drama and angst along the way

The writing was in such a way that the story felt fresh and the reader is rooting for the characters.  For me, the highlight was the setting.  I haven't read many stories that take place in New Orleans but this one made me want to be there.  In fact, as someone who has never been, it ranks high on my bucket list of places to visit.

Without disclosing the plot, I will say just pick this book up and read it if you are a fan of this genre!

About the Author

Award winning, bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. A US Naval Academy graduate and former Navy Intelligence, Geri uses her global life experiences to bring her readers thrilling stories.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Review: Luck of the Draw (Chance of a Lifetime #2) by Kate Clayborn

Buying a lotto ticket with her two best friends didn’t change Zoe’s life. Only following her heart would do that...

Sure, winning the lottery allows Zoe Ferris to quit her job as a cutthroat corporate attorney, but no amount of cash will clear her conscience about the way her firm treated the O’Leary family in a wrongful death case. So she sets out to make things right, only to find gruff, grieving Aiden O’Leary doesn’t need—or want—her apology. He does, however, need something else from her. Something Zoe is more than willing to give, if only to ease the pain in her heart, a sorrow she sees mirrored in his eyes...
Aiden doesn’t know what possesses him to ask his family’s enemy to be his fake fiancée. But he needs a bride if he hopes to be the winning bid on the campground he wants to purchase as part of his beloved brother’s legacy. Skilled in the art of deception, the cool beauty certainly fits the bill. Only Aiden didn’t expect all the humor and heart Zoe brings to their partnership—or the desire that runs deep between them. Now he’s struggling with his own dark truth—that he’s falling for the very woman he vowed never to forgive.

Kindle Edition, 300 pages
Expected publication: April 24th 2018 by Lyrical Shine

Terri's Thoughts

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

This is the second in the Chance of a Lifetime series and I enjoyed it just as much as the first one, perhaps even more.  I was swept up in Zoe and Aiden's story right from the get-go  I have to admit I am a fan of the fake relationship storyline as you always know that drama and feeling will unfold.

As someone who has grown up every summer in a campground (in addition to most of my adult life), this story really resonated with me.  I could identify with the nostalgia of it and it made me in turn enjoy the story further.

I also identified with Zoe.  I too work in a high pressure job that sometimes conflicts with who I am as a person.  Not to the extent of Zoe however enough to understand her conflicts.

Then there is the tension and obvious attract between Zoe and Aiden.  You couldn't miss it and I enjoyed the ride it took me on as their feelings began to change for each other.  I will not disclose more, you have to read the story to know.

All in all I had a good time with this book.  I can't wait to read the third story when it is released.

About the Author

Kate Clayborn lives in Virginia, where she's lucky enough to spend her days reading and talking about all kinds of great books. At home she's either writing, thinking about writing, or—during long walks around her fabulous neighborhood—making her handsome husband and sweet-faced dog listen to her talk about writing.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Review: Wartime Brides and Wedding Cakes by Amy Miller

January 1941: As Charlie Barton tiptoes silently out of the house one cold winter morning to go off and fight for his country, his wife Audrey is left to run the family bakery on her own.

Times are tougher than ever, but at the Barton Bakery in Bournemouth, Audrey is determined as always to serve the town with love, loaves and cakes, even as the town is reeling from the struggles of the Blitz.

Audrey’s brother William has returned from battle with serious wounds. His fiancé Elsie is waiting for wedding bells, but William is a changed man, and will her hopes be in vain?

Bakery helper Maggie has her heart set on dashing officer George. But will George still want to marry her when he discovers the truth about her family?

And Lily, Audrey’s stepsister, is struggling to raise her illegitimate baby and facing judgement from many in the town. The man who broke her heart returns with an offer, and Lily faces a hard decision about where her future lies.

When disaster strikes the bakery, Audrey fears that everything she has worked for may be ruined. With her shop threatened and her family in turmoil, can she fight to save everything she holds dear? 

Kindle Edition, 230 pages
Published March 7th 2018 by Bookouture 
Series: Wartime Bakery #2
Genre: Historical Fiction
Kristine's Thoughts:
** I received an advanced readers copy from Bookouture in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**
Wartime Brides and Wedding Cakes is the second book in the Wartime Bakery series. I did not read the first book in the series but reviews assured me that it could be read as a stand alone. I have to disagree a little bit with that statement. Although I eventually was able to follow along I spent a significant amount of time trying to figure out who was who and getting quite confused. I feel like I needed to read the first book to familiarise myself with the characters. I constantly felt like I was missing something because the characters were already developed before I was introduced to them.
Once I became familiar with the different characters I did find myself enjoying the story and the struggles that they each were dealing with. I'm a huge fan of historical fiction and WW11 stories to be more specific. Although it was a horrific time and there were many hardships, including for the characters in this book, this book is more on the fluffy side of the WW11 stories that I am use to reading. Not to take away from any of the issues that arose but it wasn't as hardcore for a lack of better words.
In the end it was a quick and easy book to read that I was eventually able to get lost in. I do recommend reading the first book first. I feel that my rating might have been higher if I had done the same.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Review: Beartown by Fredrik Backman

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove returns with a dazzling, profound novel about a small town with a big dream—and the price required to make it come true.

People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.

Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published April 25th 2017 by Atria Books
Genre: Fiction

Kristine's Thoughts:

Beartown was my first ever audiobook so I wasn't sure how I would feel about it. As an avid reader I wasn't sure how I would feel about someone elses voice deliver the story. However, I had suffered a severe concussion and regular reading was not an option so in order for me to get my reading fix I had to turn to an audiobook. I didn't want to pick just any book to listen to. First of all, they are extremely expensive and because I was going through reading withdrawls I wanted something that I could almost be guaranteed to love. I looked at different lists of top books of 2017 and ended up with Beartown. I passed on the opportunity to read an ARC earlier in the year so I thought it was time to give it a go.

This book was about a small town in the middle of nowhere that had nothing going for it. There was no tourism or industry to think of. The only thing it had was its junior boys hockey team. With the possibility of them winning the season came the possibility of putting them on the map and bringing some life back to the dying town. Everyone's hopes and dreams were sitting squarely on those teenage boys shoulders. They understood the magnitude of what they needed to do and the privilege that came with it. They were the stars of the town. When the unthinkable happened involving one of the players it tore the town apart. Sides were taken, accusations were flung and lives changed forever.

Beartown was an absolutely stunning story in my opinion. It was very character driven which I don't always like but it worked wonderfully in this story. Coming from a small town where most people play hockey it was easy to visualise and even easier to relate. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing the voices of all the different characters and getting inside their heads. It showcased how one persons actions can impact so many different people in different ways and the chaos it can create.

I loved every minute of this book. A truly wonderful story and a great first audiobook!

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Review: Reality Wedding (Reality Star #3) by Laura Heffernan

When Jen Reid escaped a reality TV cruise with her relationship intact—if not her hair—she swore she was done with the cameras for good. Sure, she and Justin met, had their first kiss, and got engaged with tape rolling, but manufactured drama and ruthless producers have shaken them up more times than she can count. With Jen’s reality-themed bakery just getting started and her brand-new lawyer fiancé in a pile of debt, they’re a long way from glitz and glamour, and that’s fine by Jen. Until the Network calls and tells her that unless she says “I do” to a wedding special, Justin will be out of a job.
Now Jen has two weeks to plan an all-expenses-paid “dream wedding”—and dodge the tricks and traps of a showrunner happy to mess up her future in the name of ratings. Luckily for Jen, she’s got plenty of experience with cake and popcorn. But when real-life drama and reality TV twists collide, the cliffhangers may just follow her right down the aisle . . .

Kindle Edition
Published March 6th 2018 by Lyrical Shine

Terri's Thoughts

I had received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you (and apologies for posting it so late!).

This is the third in the Reality stars series and I do think it is necessary to read the series in the correct order.  I think to pick this up without reading the ones before would confuse the reader as the series follows the same character throughout all three.

In all honesty, this story is not going to win any awards in literature.  You never know I could be wrong but I don't think that it is the expectation with this series.  I look at it more as an entertaining poke at the ridiculousness of some reality T.V. series and for this I got what I wanted out of the story.  As wild an crazy as the events that occur (no spoilers here), I really do think there is a little truth to the real thing.

This story, and series, has been my little escape for reality (life not TV) and given me something light and funny and slightly ridiculous to pass some time.  For this I am thankful as sometimes you really don't want serious.  Thank you Laura Heffernan for offering me a series that encompasses all.

About the Author

Laura Heffernan is living proof that watching too much TV can pay off. When not watching total strangers participate in arranged marriages, drag racing queens, or cooking competitions, Laura enjoys travel, baking, board games, helping with writing contests, and seeking new experiences. She lives in the northeast with her amazing husband and two furry little beasts.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Review: The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published March 6th 2018 by Simon Pulse 
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Kristine's Thoughts:
** I received an advanced readers copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

Two centuries ago three sisters were accused of being witches. Their crime was making all the men fall in love with them. Stones were placed in their pockets and they were taken out in the harbour where they would meet their demise. For a few short weeks each summer the Swan sisters return to get their revenge by entering the bodies of local girls and luring young men into the harbour and to their death.

Although the story does detail some of the swan sister's lives the story took place mostly in present time over one summer. I enjoyed the tidbits about the three sisters and actually wished that there was a little more. It really added to the overall story. The book focused mostly on Penny who had the strange ability to see the sisters and who's body they were inhabiting, a secret she guarded closely. With her new friend Bo, they tried to make it to the summer solstice unharmed.

Admittedly, this type of book is not normally my cup of tea. If it can't really happen I tend to be quite critical of it. This book however was an exception. It leaned a little more towards magical realism than fantasy and I found I could get behind that. It was kept simple and not complicated by a far fetched, over the top plot like I find most in the fantasy genre are.

There were some twists and turns, none that I can mention without giving the story away. It kept me wanting to know more and the pages turning. Would Penny tell her secret? Could she save Bo? At the end I was left mostly satisfied however I did struggle a little bit with Penny and Bo's relationship. I'm not sure I fully understood or felt it or even wanted it to happen if I'm being completely honest. I was initially in their corner but events that occurred tainted my hopes for them. My rating and final feelings in regards to this book were impacted pretty strongly by my mixed feelings over Penny and Bo. I am very curious how other people felt about how it played out.

Over all The Wicked Deep was an entertaining and easy to read book that I think its target audience (YA) will thoroughly enjoy.

About the Author
Shea Ernshaw is an Oregon native and YA author. She often writes late, late, late into the night, enjoys dark woods, scary stories and moonlight on lakes. She drinks loads of tea and believes sunrises are where unicorns hide.

She lives with her two cats, a dog, a husband, and a stack of books beside her bed she still needs to read.

Connect with Shea