Another fun outing with Erika and her buddy Freddie. Their murder-solving is putting some obstacles in her budding relationship with Grady, but this tAnother fun outing with Erika and her buddy Freddie. Their murder-solving is putting some obstacles in her budding relationship with Grady, but this time its personal. This is a silly book, but endearing.
I am a huge fan of western and Scottish historical romances. It's a lovely double whammy to get both in the same book. I liked Fletcher's authenticityI am a huge fan of western and Scottish historical romances. It's a lovely double whammy to get both in the same book. I liked Fletcher's authenticity (and sometimes crassness) and Rosalyn's feistyness. They made a good couple. This felt a little short to me. I was like, "is that it?" when it ended. I would definitely keep reading this series.
I enjoyed the motif of classic literature running through this cozy mystery, and any person who loves books as much as I do feels like a friend. ThisI enjoyed the motif of classic literature running through this cozy mystery, and any person who loves books as much as I do feels like a friend. This was a good book and a well-plotted mystery, other than a bit of a pacing issue. The villain is a real nasty one (considering). I'd definitely continue to read this series.
A surprisingly serious although also humorous and quirky mystery featuring a feisty chef and her endearing but very quirky Irish family. I will definiA surprisingly serious although also humorous and quirky mystery featuring a feisty chef and her endearing but very quirky Irish family. I will definitely read more of these. I love the Irish flavor, and food always goes well in a mystery, methinks!
I have to be honest. I did not like the hero William, much at all. He was a selfish prick, in my opinion. He did come around slowly. He felt betrayedI have to be honest. I did not like the hero William, much at all. He was a selfish prick, in my opinion. He did come around slowly. He felt betrayed by his wife, but for good reason, but then he becomes a bad husband, visiting brothels and getting drunk, and when he decides to focus on his marriage, his wife has fallen into a depraved lifestyle. I know he was young, but he was old enough to know better. Then he goes into hiding in a small town, Loves Bridge. He sees his old flame, Belle, and decides he deserves to start hitting that again, and says something really mean to her when she says no, before they can do the dead. She had every right to stop things with a married man. Also, I didn't like that he was perfectly okay with cheating on his wife with prostitutes, but not with a respectable woman. I think prostitution is reprehensible. I don't think prostitutes deserve any less respect than any woman (even if they're paid sex workers), and I think less of a hero who believes that. While William does apologize for what he said to Belle, it left a bad taste in my mouth. As well as his double standards about his wife's behavior. She was acting out and he couldn't be a man and love her and commit to his marriage, even if she wasn't what he thought she was.
This novella pushed my buttons in the worst way about male and female relations and societal double standards that still exist today. The woman gets into trouble, and is forced to deal with it alone, and the man skips out blissful and free from responsibility. Young William didn't deserve Young Belle, and I'm not 100% sure that Old William does. She gave him her virginity and he goes off and forgets her, and leaves her to deal with a situation he definitely contributed to. Then when he sees her, he assumes she's going accommodate his horniness despite his wife back in town. Ugh. Belle definitely loved more than he did. I like that Belle is a normal woman with normal needs. I'm so glad that her conscience kicked in and she won't go through with sleeping with him, even if he's in a bad marriage. I think it would have been a dealbreaker if she did sleep with him while he was married. Women do have sex drives, and while she was celibate for many years, she still had those feelings. I hated that she was made to be the fallen woman by her awful father (a vicar of all things) while William goes off and sows plenty of wild oats, before and after his marriage (and going to prostitutes doesn't make it better than his wife's more public, less discrete behavior).
I'm really glad this was a free read. I would have been a lot madder if I hadn't read for free. I normally like this author a lot. I couldn't get past William's behavior and the blase' attitude about prostitution, which I know she's not alone about. It's treated as a casual thing but it's a social ill and it's a terrible life for those women (and often men and children). I would like to see more heroes who realize how wrong that it. Like another reader, the high point was the cat, Poppy, who becomes not just a matchmaker but a protector of the spinsters. I'm crazy in love with cats so that worked for me.
Having said that, if a reader wants to get a prequel for this series, it's free on Kindle. I have the Kindle, but I read this as a bonus novella with How to Manage a Marquess.
I enjoyed this. The humor was good and I liked how both characters are set on their paths, but their paths keep intersecting. The Spinster House cat,I enjoyed this. The humor was good and I liked how both characters are set on their paths, but their paths keep intersecting. The Spinster House cat, Poppy is quite the matchmaker. Haywood was so protective of Anne, and I liked that. I wish he didn't think it was okay to go to prostitutes, although I understand his options were limited because of the vow he made to his mother. Looking forward to Lord Alex and Jane's story.
A cozy mystery that Anglophiles who find "Downton Abbey" a guilty pleasure will enjoy. The characters are zany and will keep the readers laughing. TheA cozy mystery that Anglophiles who find "Downton Abbey" a guilty pleasure will enjoy. The characters are zany and will keep the readers laughing. The mystery is surprisingly dark. I'd definitely read more of these.
This is definitely a funny book that had me laughing out loud. I liked the characters and the situations, but the mystery wasn't as well-thought out aThis is definitely a funny book that had me laughing out loud. I liked the characters and the situations, but the mystery wasn't as well-thought out as I would have liked. Having said that, I hope this is a continuing series. Lots of small town local color. I love funny cozy mysteries and this is one of them.
I loved this book. It's my first crack at the Berger and Mitry series, but I am hooked. The writing is so smooth, it practically read itself to me. ThI loved this book. It's my first crack at the Berger and Mitry series, but I am hooked. The writing is so smooth, it practically read itself to me. The humor is fantastic and Mitch and Des are such a cute couple. I love that Mitch is a plump hero, something you don't see too often, and as a fellow movie buff, I truly adored how he references movies for much of what he says and even in his crime-solving. Definitely recommend!
3.5 stars. It was entertaining and a pleasant read, but I did find both characters' stubborn insistence on not listening to their hearts irritating af3.5 stars. It was entertaining and a pleasant read, but I did find both characters' stubborn insistence on not listening to their hearts irritating after a while. I loved the humor, and the cat Poppy steals the show.
This was a quick, involving read, and part of me wanted to rate it higher because of that and the fact that Jess reminds me favorably of Veronica MarsThis was a quick, involving read, and part of me wanted to rate it higher because of that and the fact that Jess reminds me favorably of Veronica Mars, but the mystery was a bit too simplistic and predictable. But overall, I like the idea of a teenage English girl sleuth very much, and I'd recommend it to YA mystery readers.
Madison Carmichael loves the small-town lifestyle she'd grown up with in California, and has no desire to leave Serenity Hills. But all that iSynopsis
Madison Carmichael loves the small-town lifestyle she'd grown up with in California, and has no desire to leave Serenity Hills. But all that is threatened when Jake Colt shows up, claiming that he's the new owner of Oak Hills, her parents' winery. Jake is son of the owner of Colt Enterprises, living a rootless dilettante life as a vice president in name, although he mainly jet sets around the world, looking for the next adrenaline rush. He made a deal with his father that if he could make the winery profitable, he could be in charge of his own subsidiary of Colt Enterprises, far away from the father he's despised since he was ten.
Madison hates Jake from first sight. He reminds her of another city-bred man who broke her heart. She doesn't trust his intentions, not as the new owner and boss of her parents, or the seductive twinkle in his eye when he looks at her. Jake likes what he sees of Madison and wants to explore their attraction, at least as long as he's in town. He hires her struggling photography business to take some photos for his new marketing plans for the winery to increase its exposure, concocted as an opportunity to spend time with her and to gain her trust. However, Jake discovers a real affinity for the winery business and realizes that he really takes this business endeavor seriously. As Jake and Madison spend time together, they realize that she can teach him the delights of home and family and he can teach her to be more spontaneous and open to adventure.
Fearless Love is an enjoyable sweet contemporary romance. Initially, I felt disconnected from the lead characters, but they grew on me as I read more of their story. Jake isn't that likable initially, too much the textbook rich playboy born with a silver spoon in his mouth. However, he started growing on me as it was evident that his cavalier lifestyle was a reaction to deep hurts from his childhood. He shows a lot of consideration and concern for Madison, which belies his insistence that he doesn't want to get serious for her or have feelings involved. In that way, he earned my respect. It's gratifying to see him realize that he can put down roots and take life seriously, with the right motivation. Madison has her prickly moments that are at times borderline rude. While I could understand her inability to trust Jake, her attitude may rub some readers the wrong way, especially since she allows a past hurt to prejudice her against Jake and ‘pigeonhole' him unfairly. Her feelings for him are divided: a powerful sexual attraction warring with a head knowledge that he's bad for her based on her past failed serious romance. Kadence is very capable at developing the chemistry and growing emotions between the leads in an organic way. Their photography adventures provide plenty of bonding moments that show that they have a lot of potential together.
The small-town vibe is appealing, with evocative descriptions of the local natural wonders, and I liked the story about a famous star-crossed couple from the town's history. It was more than evident why Madison would love her town so much. Madison is surrounded by loving family and friends, showing Jake the positive side of small town life, which he needs to see. Readers who enjoy ‘fish out of water' and ‘opposites attract' romance as well as small town settings will appreciate that about this story. Also the fact that there is no rush to sexual intimacy, but a nicely paced development of their relationship, may appeal to readers looking for a sweet rather than erotic contemporary romance.
Fearless Love is a short, enjoyable romance with a good lesson about how easy it is to judge people unfairly without taking the time to know them or understand them on a deeper level. It also has a good lesson about letting go of past fears and embracing future opportunities with courage.
Hart is a good writer, with an evocative style. It's great that this is full of multicultural characters. But I gave this 3.5/5.0 stars, because it'sHart is a good writer, with an evocative style. It's great that this is full of multicultural characters. But I gave this 3.5/5.0 stars, because it's not really to my personal taste. I find I like straight contemporary romance less and less, and the romances are more HFN than HEA (which is not my personal preference). Overall, I think readers who enjoy the current small town romance series trend would like this very much.
I finished this about a week and a half ago, but this is my first opportunity to write a review. I have steadily become very enamored with mysteries oI finished this about a week and a half ago, but this is my first opportunity to write a review. I have steadily become very enamored with mysteries over the past few years, and I love when the sleuth is atypical. In this case, it's a ten-year-old girl with an obsession for chemistry, poisons in particular. This book stands out because of Flavia's very unique point of view.
I am a big nerd. I won't even lie. I love trivia and I love science facts. While my interest is more biological science and medicine, I admit to a love of chemistry. I connected to her in this way. This young woman has set up her own chemistry laboratory and regularly does experiments with compounds based on her readings from her deceased relative Tarquin de Luce, whose laboratory she appropriated in her family's home. Flavia has a sense of loneliness being the youngest daughter of three and so different from her older two sisters (and the fact that they are caught up in their own interests) and a father who is emotionally unavailable due to the loss of his wife and his war experiences. Like many children who grow up surrounded by neglectful adults, Flavia is rather precocious and mischievous. When a man is murdered in her garden, she takes it upon herself to solve the murder, especially when her father is accused of the crime. And she does an excellent job.
I liked Flavia's investigative process. She uses the tools in her arsenal and gets fairly hands on solving the crime. She displays a fearlessness that might put an older investigator to shame. Flavia is observant and has an inquisitive and analytical mind that allows her to process the information she receives as she discovers clues about the man who was murdered and how it connects to her family and others in her small community. And it makes that the world is a lot smaller than one would think.
At times, Flavia does come off as a bit bratty. But it's to be expected, considering that she is more or less ignored by her family. I like that this book shows how family work. Even good families have some degree of dysfunction, but in the end, the love of family members usually comes out. I appreciated her relationship with her father's retainer, Dogger, a troubled man suffering from PTSD from being a prisoner of war, but very kindhearted and loyal. Flavia's viewpoint touches on very adult issues in a hopeful, often humorous and essentially truthful way that I really appreciated.
I liked the backstory about her dad and how it relates to the mystery. It was sad and kind of disturbing at the same time. You can see that the person behind the murder truly has no moral limits to what he'll do, and when Flavia ends up in his path, I truly feared for her safety.
This book is as much a coming of age story as a mystery. I love them, seeing life through the eyes of a child or teenager, as they learn that life is a lot more complicated that they previously thought, and how this narrative shows the resilience and inner strength and intuitive intelligence of young people.
Flavia is a fun lead character. I'll definitely continue this series and see what mysteries of life and chemistry she'll encounter and solve next....more
Sarah Pendleton returns to her hometown of Mistletoe Valley, Oregon, to get her deceased grandmother's affairs in order, especially the sale oSynopsis
Sarah Pendleton returns to her hometown of Mistletoe Valley, Oregon, to get her deceased grandmother's affairs in order, especially the sale of her grandmother's home. Her past memories of Mistletoe Valley are painful, including her rebellious behavior and earned reputation as a "Preacher's Kid," her subsequent failed marriage, and most of all, having to give her baby daughter up for adoption. Her first day back, she meets handsome and friendly real estate agent, Rich Stevens, who happens to have an adorable daughter named Carly (who coincidentally is the same age as her daughter). An instant spark and connection develops between them, but Sarah knows she doesn't intend to stay in Mistletoe Valley, where the past has eliminated her hope for a good future. Besides, Rich is also a part-time youth pastor and a grieving widower, not an ideal choice for a romance, considering Sarah's bad reputation as a rebellious "Preacher's Kid" when she was younger. Can they spend the short time they have together, knowing that they will have to walk away from any love developing between them?
The Heart Leads Home is a sweet contemporary romance that has a meaningful message about letting go of past mistakes and pain and being open to a future. Both leads have distinctive burdens to carry, and they clearly help each other through their pain, although each has to work through the bulk of their emotional issues themselves. I could feel Sarah's anguish over having to give up her daughter, failing her grandparents, and her regrets over her short-lived marriage. Her fears are reasonable, and her desire not to ‘go back' is completely understandable. She showed a lot of courage to face people who knew about her mistakes, so when she had occasional lapses in mettle in being open to a future romance and letting go of the past, it's forgivable.
Rich's issues seem to take a backseat in the story. The author does mention his pain about his wife's death, and there is a sense that he is grieving, but not as much page time is spent on processing his grief as is spent on Sarah's journey. Also the stress of his juggling his single father status with his full-time job as a realtor and his work as a youth pastor wasn't as well-described as I would have liked. I felt that his portrayal was lacking, as a result.
The romance is well done. I appreciated that even though this is a sweet/lightly inspirational romance, the author does establish romantic chemistry with some sexual attraction between Sarah and Rich. One of my pet peeves with Christian romances is the way that the characters are often sexually neutered by the author, perhaps out of the sense that any sexual content is inappropriate. While I respect that not all readers would feel comfortable with graphic sexual descriptions, I see nothing wrong with a passionate kiss between the characters or even an acknowledgement that they feel attraction to each other. Voeller achieved a good balance in her portrayal of Sarah and Rich's developing feelings for each other. How, yes, they initially feel physically attracted to each other, although their love is built on a foundation of friendship and respect.
I did feel that the secondary characters lacked definition and development. Because they seemed one-dimensional, some of the dialogue between the characters seemed disingenuous. Overall, Carly was well-done as a child character, although the scene where she behaves badly could have been more authentic.
For readers who enjoy sweeter contemporary romance with a light inspirational theme, The Heart Leads Home will probably be an enjoyable read. In some ways it seemed to have an identity crisis, because the Christian message felt a little sidelined/watered down. For readers who don't really identify with the faith message, this might appeal. But for Christian readers or those who read books to gain insight into the way believers live out their faith, this might be disappointing. Additionally, the crises faced by both leads were watered down in how they were described (another pet peeve of mine with Christian romance). Being a Christian is hard, and Christians face some serious challenges in life, and the tendency in Christian fiction novels is to sanitize the content to the point that the message lacks profundity. Despite the way the end dragged, leading to the loss of some of my emotional investment, this was a well-paced, well-written book overall.
As always, I enjoyed this book by Ms. Thomas. Her writing is warm and sweet and beguiling. Her characters are distinct with interesting layers. I feelAs always, I enjoyed this book by Ms. Thomas. Her writing is warm and sweet and beguiling. Her characters are distinct with interesting layers. I feel like I am an honorary member of Harmony, Texas. I am always happy to go back there for a visit.
Gee, this didn't really feel like a Carole Mortimer book. I didn't feel a lot of chemistry between Cat and Caleb, and it wasn't very compelling. CalebGee, this didn't really feel like a Carole Mortimer book. I didn't feel a lot of chemistry between Cat and Caleb, and it wasn't very compelling. Caleb doesn't have the appeal of Mortimer's typical heroes. He was cute and had an adorable scholarly vibe that I liked. It was appealing that he wasn't taking no for an answer when Cat was not amenable to dating him. He was persistent and won her over.
Overall this wasn't bad. I liked the small town vibe, and I am a sucker for a hero who is a good dad (especially a single parent father). I liked that little Adam was actually in the book a fair amount. He was a cute kid, so it was good to see him recovering from the angst of losing his mom. Cat was a nice woman, but she didn't strike me as very memorable. I didn't care much for the big secret that Cat and her roomie Kate were keeping about Kate's grandmother. I didn't think it was that big a deal. I mean, it was sad what happened to parties involved, but as far as tension, it didn't make for an exciting conflict in this book.
Overall, a decent book, but it lacks the zing and the intensity that I look for in Harlequin Presents books. Small town charm and a slow-building romance is good, so I can't rate this lower than a three. Just not enough here to appeal to me. Definitely an average read.
I'm not a big reader of mainstream fiction, so I am probably not the target audience, but Hart is a good writer. The emotional landscape is complex anI'm not a big reader of mainstream fiction, so I am probably not the target audience, but Hart is a good writer. The emotional landscape is complex and gritty in this novel. Not light reading at all.
I enjoyed this book. It has a lot of heart and humor, and the characters are fun and likable. For those who would like an older couple romance, you'llI enjoyed this book. It has a lot of heart and humor, and the characters are fun and likable. For those who would like an older couple romance, you'll find a great one here with the secondary couple.
Oh my goodness. This is one of those that has a sappy romantic like myself sighing. A lonely, isolated man. A woman who 'has it together' or so it seeOh my goodness. This is one of those that has a sappy romantic like myself sighing. A lonely, isolated man. A woman who 'has it together' or so it seems, but is a wreck on the inside. And they find each other.
The Beauty and the Beast retelling doesn't get old for me. After all, I am a die-hard romantic and a die-hard fairy tale lover. Pepper Pace does both so well here. Yet, instead of the Beast being grumpy and surly, Christopher is the sweetest teddy bear (although he probably resembles a Grizzly bear) imaginable. I loved him!
Pace challenges the reader here. Our Beauty has a significant weight problem. And the weight problem isn't her issue, but the emotions underneath it, the ones that caused her weight issues, and the results of them. If you've ever been overweight, you know how it is for Ashleigh. The comments that hit like barbs, because someone thinks they have the right to say something or the fact that they are insensitive, because they've never struggled with weight problems. The assumptions made about you because of your weight.
On the other side, she doesn't make Ashleigh into a completely harmless victim. Ashleigh has some shallowness issues to work through. But that's the beauty of this story. She is able to see the beauty beneath the horrible scars and disfigurement that Christopher has. I truly loved the emotional connection between Christopher and Ashleigh. And there was also a very sensual component to this book, for romance readers who need that in their stories. Lots of spice and hot love scenes to go with an emotional love story that feels so authentic and timeless.
When I got to 38% on my Kindle and love declarations were made, I wondered what else could happen in this book. Well, plenty. This is a love story about not just two people finding each other, but also also finding their way to healing. Making a life together in spite of obstacles they both face.
When you read these kinds of stories, the stubborn person in you is determined to be upset if the problem is fixed, such as the heroine losing weight, or the hero getting his disfigurement repaired. But is that truly fair to the story for the characters not to go through that passage 'just because'? After all, it's easy to stay where you are. Even harder to take that step of faith to change something about yourself for the right reasons. In this case, the resolution made so much sense and only added to this story.
If I could change anything? That's a matter of personal tastes, and I'm sure many will disagree with me. However, I could have done without some of the graphic language in the love scenes. While they were scintillating and the chemistry powerful, I guess I didn't need to read certain terms when it came to body parts. That's a small quibble.
I'm personally no grammar stickler, but there were a couple issues there. I feel bad even pointing them out because a 100% accurate book doesn't necessarily tell a story that I love, like this somewhat imperfect one does. Overall, I found the writing very poised, professional, and so emotionally-stirring that I couldn't help but give this a five star rating.
This was a beautiful love story. That's kind of ironic, because this story is about how what's on the surface doesn't show you everything. That what is at the heart is worth fighting for in the end.
Highly recommended to romance readers who enjoy a more sensually descriptive love story, or just any old sap who can't resist a tried and true love story....more