Saturday 30 June 2018

Review: Charmed at First Sight (Charmed in Texas #4) by Sharla Lovelace

In the small town of Charmed, Texas, plenty of folks have found the path to true love. But now two outsiders have arrived to shake things up . . .  
Never one to do things by the book, Micah Roman couldn’t just chalk it up to bridal jitters, or even quietly call off her wedding to her long-time fiancé. No, she has to high-tail it out of the church sporting a dress that cost more than her car, and jump on the back of a smoking-hot stranger’s motorcycle. Her knight in all-black is headed to a town called Charmed, so that’s where she’ll go and try to lay low. Except their appearance raises plenty of eyebrows . . . and a sudden, intense attraction she has no business exploring.
Who knew picking up a damsel in distress would lead to lust at first sight? Leo McKane headed to Charmed prepared to deal with some family secrets—including his status as long-lost brother. This runaway bride is an unexpected distraction his set agenda and loner lifestyle doesn’t include. She’s everywhere he turns, getting under his skin with her quirky, headstrong ways and eyes he can’t forget. But when Micah’s jilted ex comes looking for her and opens up his shady past, Leo knows he has a choice to make.
They both do.

Run to safer ground again? Or take a leap that their untrusting hearts are wary to take

Kindle Edition, 244 pages
Expected publication: July 10th 2018 by Lyrical Shine

Terri's Thoughts

I received and advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you! The expected publication date is July 10th

This is the 4th story in the Charmed in Texas series and I have enjoyed every story in the series thus far.  While perhaps it could be read as a stand alone, I would not recommend to do so.  As all of the characters from the previous stories play a role in this one it may confuse a reader without the context of their stories.  Also some reference may lost meaning without such context such as the man in the woods as one specific example.

This story is just as quirky as the ones that came before it.  I mean when the main characters meet because the female is running from the alter in her wedding dress and jumps on a complete strangers motorcycle, you know you in for a ride, literally.

The formula pretty much stays the course with the other installments as well.  The attraction between Micah and Leo is instant and intense leaving the reader in anticipation of if and when they will succumb to the attraction (you now that the when will be the winner).

This story took me no time at all to read.  While I felt the L word was used way to soon, I had to realize that in a story that is only 244 pages, perhaps the characters will get there before me.  And seriously, isn't that what we all came her for?

This is a quirky story and series that I have enjoyed thus far.  There will be at least one more that I am aware of and I will make sure to pick it up!

About the Author

Sharla Lovelace is the Bestselling and Award Winning Author of five standalone novels, the exciting Heart of the Storm series, and the fun and sexy new Charmed in Texas series, all featuring sexy small town love stories with heat and humor. Being a Texas girl through and through, she's proud to say she lives in Southeast Texas with her husband, a souped up golf cart, and two crazy mutts.

Thursday 28 June 2018

Review: The Room on Rue Amelie by Kristin Harmel

For fans of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and Martha Hall Kelly’s Lilac Girls, this powerful novel of fate, resistance, and family—by the international bestselling author of The Sweetness of Forgetting and When We Meet Again—tells the tale of an American woman, a British RAF pilot, and a young Jewish teenager whose lives intersect in occupied Paris during the tumultuous days of World War II.

When newlywed Ruby Henderson Benoit arrives in Paris in 1939 with her French husband Marcel, she imagines strolling arm in arm along the grand boulevards, awash in the golden afternoon light. But war is looming on the horizon, and as France falls to the Nazis, her marriage begins to splinter, too.

Charlotte Dacher is eleven when the Germans roll into the French capital, their sinister swastika flags snapping in the breeze. After the Jewish restrictions take effect and Jews are ordered to wear the yellow star, Charlotte can’t imagine things getting much worse. But then the mass deportations begin, and her life is ripped forever apart.

Thomas Clarke joins the British Royal Air Force to protect his country, but when his beloved mother dies in a German bombing during the waning days of the Blitz, he wonders if he’s really making a difference. Then he finds himself in Paris, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, and he discovers a new reason to keep fighting—and an unexpected road home.

When fate brings them together, Ruby, Charlotte, and Thomas must summon the courage to defy the Nazis—and to open their own broken hearts—as they fight to survive.

Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published March 27th 2018 by Gallery Books 
Genre: Historical Fiction

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

In the interest of full disclosure I need to explain that I read this book months ago so my thoughts are not exactly fresh when it comes to The Room on Rue Amelie. I finished it at the same time that my mother became critically ill and eventually passed away. So forgive my lateness in posting my thoughts but I needed to work through my grief before I could get back to my love of reading.

Anyone who follows my reviews knows that I love historical fiction and stories that take place during both world wars. I have read hundreds of books that take place in these time frames and yet no two stories are alike. What drew me to this book was the comparison to two different books and authors in the synopsis. Being a genre that I adore, I had read both of those books and adored both of them. It was a no brainer to pick up The Room on Rue Amelie.

Let me just say that I couldn't put this book down. I loved the writing, the setting and the story. There was a simplicity to the writing that made a complex story easy to read and even easier to get lost in. I loved the evolution of Ruby and Charlotte's friendship and I found the work they did for the resistance fascinating. I understand that the story was fictional but things like what they did in this book happened all over during that time.

I loved every minute of this book and I would highly recommend it to everyone who enjoys historical fiction. I wish I could do it the justice it deserves with my thoughts but unfortunately I read it at a traumatic time in my life. I fully intend to read it again when I can savour and enjoy it even more and perhaps write my thoughts again when I can give it the detail it deserves.

About the Author
Kristin Harmel is the international bestselling author of THE SWEETNESS OF FORGETTING, THE LIFE INTENDED, WHEN WE MEET AGAIN, and several other novels. Her latest, THE ROOM ON RUE AMELIE, is out now from Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster. A former reporter for PEOPLE magazine, Kristin has also freelanced for many other publications, including American Baby, Men’s Health, Glamour, Woman’s Day, Travel + Leisure, and more.

Kristin grew up in Peabody, Mass.; Worthington, Ohio; and St. Petersburg, Fla., and she graduated with a degree in journalism (with a minor in Spanish) from the University of Florida. After spending time living in Paris, she now lives in Orlando, Fla., with her husband and young son.

Connect with Kristin

Wednesday 27 June 2018

Review: The Summer Nanny by Holly Chamberlin

Set against the beautiful backdrop of coastal Maine, bestselling author Holly Chamberlin's heartwarming novel tells of friendship, family, lessons learned, and newfound love--all under a summer sky . . .
Every June, the quiet beach town of Ogunquit is overtaken by wealthy families who hire local young women like Amy Latimer and Hayley Franklin to care for their children. Best friends since childhood, Amy and Hayley are eager to secure lucrative summer jobs. Amy wants to finance her upcoming move to Boston. Hayley hopes to squirrel away enough money so that her mom can finally leave her abusive husband.

Amy is immediately in thrall to her dynamic boss, Cressida Prior, so different from Amy's mother, Leda. Though skilled at creating tapestries and rugs, Leda lacks confidence. But one thing she does know, after a painful summer long ago as a nanny herself, is how damaging a manipulative boss can be.

Hayley's employers, Jon and Marisa Whitby, are loving parents to their two-year-old twins. Jon also has a grown son by a previous marriage. Ethan is kind, handsome, and not least, wealthy. For the first time, Hayley, usually so selfless, can't help seeing him as an opportunity.

But the passing weeks bring complications and revelations, altering friendships, testing the bond between mothers and daughters, and proving that the ripples from a single season can last forever . . .

Paperback, 352 pages

Expected publication: June 26th 2018 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

Terri's Thoughts

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

The synopsis of this book sums things up pretty accurately.  It is a story of mothers and daughters and best friends and how those relationships can be put to the test so I am not going to spend a lot of time regurgitating the plot.  Instead I want to get straight to what bothered me the entire way through the story and that is Amy!

For lack of a better word, I can't believe how stupid Amy was.  Now that may be harsh but I remember when I was her age, it really wasn't that long ago and I can say that I was never as naïve as her.  I came from a very sheltered background yet I was able to form opinions on what was right and wrong and stand up for what was wrong.  It was so extreme that she almost read like a fourteen year old as opposed to a college graduate.  It got to the point that everything about her annoyed me as she let Cressida walk all over her and worse, worshipped her for it.  Then add to it, continue to stand quietly while witnessing the violent and abusive behavior Cressida bestowed on her family.  While you knew Amy would learn some lessons in the end, I had a difficult time rooting for Amy for being so immature.  On the flip side, she angered me so that I thought this story would make a good book club discussion.  I myself debated numerous things in my head.

Moving on to Hayley's story I had the complete opposite reaction.  I was in her corner from the very beginning and I completely understood where she was coming from as she tried to find ways to get her mother and herself out of their current circumstances.  I could easily forgive her with her fantasies of wealth and how it would answer all of her questions.  Heck, I fantasize about it also however I am doing it the old fashion way with a job.

Aside from how much Amy annoyed me, I enjoyed the rest of the story.  It was a fairly quick read and it led me to have many inner debates which is always a good thing.

About the Author

Holly Chamberlin is a native New Yorker, but she now lives in Portland, Maine - the aftermath of stumbling across Mr. Right at the one moment she wasn't watching the terrain. She's been writing and editing - poetry, children's fantasies, a romance novel or two, among many other genres and projects - her entire life. She has two cats, Betty and Cyrus, and when she's not writing her hobbies include reading, shopping, and cocktails at six. 


Tuesday 26 June 2018

Review: Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer

The 2:00 a.m. call is the first time Lexie Vidler has heard her sister’s voice in years. Annie is a drug addict, a thief, a liar—and in trouble, again. Lexie has always bailed Annie out, given her money, a place to sleep, sent her to every kind of rehab. But this time, she’s not just strung out—she’s pregnant and in premature labor. If she goes to the hospital, she’ll lose custody of her baby—maybe even go to prison. But the alternative is unthinkable.

As the weeks unfold, Lexie finds herself caring for her fragile newborn niece while her carefully ordered life is collapsing around her. She’s in danger of losing her job, and her fiancé only has so much patience for Annie’s drama. In court-ordered rehab, Annie attempts to halt her downward spiral by confronting long-buried secrets from the sisters’ childhoods, ghosts that Lexie doesn’t want to face. But will the journey heal Annie, or lead her down a darker path?

Both candid and compassionate, Before I Let You Go explores a hotly divisive topic and asks how far the ties of family love can be stretched before they finally break.

Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published April 1st 2018 by Graydon House 
Genre: Fiction/Contemporary/Adult Fiction
Kristine's Thoughts:
** I received an advanced readers copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

I suffered the loss of my mother a couple of months ago and I have had a difficult time getting back to the things that I love to do like reading. I picked this book up many times with the intention of getting through it but couldn't manage to get past the first couple of words. It was no fault of the book or the story it was telling but it was my frame of mind as a struggled through my grief. When I finally allowed myself to indulge in something that brings me great joy I was extremely glad that Before I Let You Go was the book I had waiting for me. Although the kind of grief that was inside the pages of this book were different from what I experienced I had the empathy to relate and understand the characters and the their own internal battles.

Lexie and Annie had a normal childhood experience until the day they lost their father and their mother fell into a deep depression. Lexie, although still young, became the primary caregiver for her younger sister until their mother married a new man and moved them to an isolated religious community with strict rules and regulations. As soon as Lexie was old enough she left the community leaving a struggling Annie behind to fend for herself. This was the beginning of Annie's problems.

As the years went on, Lexie found herself caring for Annie again but she was a much different person. She spend more time getting her out of trouble, into rehab and trying to fix her problems than anything else at the risk of her own future. Everything changed when Lexie got a middle of the night call from Annie saying that she was in trouble, high, and pregnant.

I'll stop here. I don't want to give away too much of the story but I will say that this was the point where the story really began. It was the difficult, heart wrenching and frustrating story of addiction, love and a very flawed system. To say that I was on an emotion roller coaster would be an understatement. This book showcased some of the many sides of addiction and the people affected by it in a raw and honest light. As the reader I got to hear both Lexie and Annie's voice which painted a large and thorough picture of both sides of their story. I experienced frustration, anger, sadness throughout most of the pages but I also saw a few moments of beauty.

Addiction is not an easy topic and this story wasn't easy but it was exactly what I needed when I needed it most. It reminded me of how much I love reading and that it is OK to find the joy in the little things. It was a very worthy read!


 About the Author
Kelly Rimmer is the USA Today bestselling women’s fiction author of five novels, including Me Without You and The Secret Daughter. Her most recent release is Before I Let You Go. She lives in rural Australia with her husband, 2 children and fantastically naughty dogs, Sully and Basil. Her novels have been translated into more than 20 languages.  
Connect with Kelly

Monday 25 June 2018

Review: The Work Wife by Allison B Hanson

Jamie Witmer recognizes a good thing when she sees it, whether it’s the elegant buildings she helps design, or her effortless working relationship with her partner, Weston Archer. But being the top team at their Boston firm doesn’t get Jamie and Wes invited to the couples-only bonding retreats and deluxe marital getaways. So Jamie has an idea—she and Wes will become married friends with (company) benefits…
Wes has been attracted to Jamie since she walked into his life five years ago, and her crazy plan has opened up all kinds of new possibilities. Fake marriage leads to even closer contact. Contact leads to temptation. And when they finally act on all that heat, the passion is more intense than even Wes could have imagined…
They say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But now that their friendship is irrevocably changed, it might be time for something even sweeter to begin…

Kindle Edition, 258 pages

Published June 12th 2018 by Lyrical Press

Terri's Thoughts

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you.  It has just recently been released.

I am a fan of the fake relationship stories.  You always know that there are going to be complications and feelings that get mixed up in the plan but it is always a fun journey.  This story was no different with one small exception.

I struggled with the relationship between Jamie and Weston.  They were amazing best friends however there was zero spark of attraction between the two for the first part of the story.  This made the journey to attraction a little bit hard for me.  If there had been an initial spark that had been deeply buried for the sake of their work relationship and friendship I would have had an easier time believing the story.  Instead, they seemed to have had a deeply platonic relationship and didn't start to see each other in any other light until after they were married.

Once they were married, it was easier to go along with the story.  It wasn't until then that the story delivered what I expected and I found myself rooting for them and enjoying their journey.

One highlight was Jamie's father.  while not playing a major role in the story, I enjoyed every bit of his contribution.  For some reason I was smitten with him.

Overall, while I was slightly let down with the beginning of the story, it picked up for me as it went along.  Although not my favorite of Hanson's work, having read several other of her stories, I will always seek further stories written by her.

About the Author

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.