Drawn to Her is a really smart, well-written contemporary romance about a young nurse who has taken a job as a hospice caretaker to a crusty old man wDrawn to Her is a really smart, well-written contemporary romance about a young nurse who has taken a job as a hospice caretaker to a crusty old man who has spent his life with the misguided priorities of business first, family second. Now in his final days, he has set his twin grandsons -- who he raised after the deaths of their parents -- against each other in a competition to win the family business.
In order to get a leg-up on the competition, one of the old man's grandsons moves into his home to get his business insights and, as of course must happen in a romance, the young man eventually falls in love with the sassy and headstrong young hospice nurse.
Jenna Harte is truly a talented author who completely nails the chemistry between the main characters in the first few moments of their appearance together on a page. It was well-done, believable, and had me truly rooting for the main female character.
Not only was this a really fun and fast read, but what I loved best about it was the eventual realization by the old man that the most important thing in life isn't business, but family. To me, watching the realization of that "life lesson" unfold for the characters took this book to a new level and gave me far more enjoyment.
If you're a fan of contemporary romance, I strongly recommend this novel by Jenna Harte. Drawn to Her will be released on April 12th by Penner Publishing, and is the latest in a string of fun romances by the talented Jenna Harte. Check it out!...more
One of my goals for the Christmas Holiday was to try to get caught up on my reading. I'm so behind! Toward that end, I finally sat down to read On theOne of my goals for the Christmas Holiday was to try to get caught up on my reading. I'm so behind! Toward that end, I finally sat down to read On the Rebound, by Jim Cangany. Jim's book is set to release a week after mine on January 26.
Let me start by being honest: I was really worried about whether I'd like this book. I knew that Jim wrote sweet romances that women enjoyed, but I had a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that the Jim I'd come to know could write women's fiction.
Oh boy was I wrong! On the Rebound was wonderful!
The premise of the story is based around Coach Greg Miller whose career is in the toilet after a cheating scandal at his last university. He was totally innocent, but s*%! runs downhill, and he got caught up on the scandal, making him mostly unhirable just as his career was really taking off. He's offered a job as an assistant coach under a former college friend who needs a good coach to help with her collegiate women's basketball team. It's a huge step down in the world, but he's desperate to prove himself.
Things start off rocky at Irving University and Greg finds it difficult to fit in -- nobody wants him there, especially the athletic department's Academic Advisor, Ciara. She wants nothing to do with Greg, and wants him gone.
I don't want to give too much of the story away, so I'll just tell you that sparks fly between Greg and Ciara until they eventually embark on a romantic relationship.
Now, here's what I really enjoyed about this book:
★ The characters are real with real problems (realistic trust and breakup issues, depression/anxiety concerns, etc).
★ Much of it is written from the male perspective, and it's refreshing to see men be as awkward and unsure as women are in the dating world.
★ The characters are mature adults who really aren't into playing games. They may not be ready to settle down (or are they?) but they behave like adults.
★ The relationship develops naturally and, though I don't mind at all the depiction of intimacy between characters, the relationship was about getting to know and enjoy each other first and foremost.
★ The intimacy wasn't explicit. Let me explain: it's not that I don't read and enjoy my fair share of very graphic romance novels, but I'm always looking for something that wouldn't embarrass me to pass on to my 85 year old mother. There just aren't a lot of romance novels like that out there anymore. And, to be honest, as I told Jim: I'm not sure I'd ever be able to look him in the eye when we finally meet face-to-face if there was too much graphic intimacy in the novel. I can take it when "the girls" write it, but having to read it from Jim would be like playing voyeur to one of my bothers. Phew! Dodged that bullet, thank goodness!
Overall, this was a great read! With On the Rebound, Jim Cangany has definitely scored a home run...er...knocked it out of the ball park....er...um...scored a 3-pointer to win the game? You get the idea. It was a wonderful read and I give it an enthusiastic 4-stars!...more
Winna Jessup is a woman of maturing years who returns to her hometown to close the estate of her recently deceased father. There she is reunited withWinna Jessup is a woman of maturing years who returns to her hometown to close the estate of her recently deceased father. There she is reunited with her former high school sweetheart, the best friend of her youth, her estranged sister, and her grown daughter – all while tying up loose ends in the home once ruled by her grandmother.
As Winna begins her cleanup efforts, she discovers clues that lead her to believe that her grandmother may not have been the paragon of virtue she once believed. She first discovers a very expensive diamond ring, followed by a handwritten will and the beginnings of a novel -- which appears to be an attempt on her grandmother’s part to fictionalize events in her own life, maybe as a way to understand them herself. And then the weirdness starts: a late-night break-in, someone has tampered with the brakes on her car, and even an attempt to poison her. Someone apparently wants Winna dead – but who?
As you can already see, The House on Seventh Street may be a stately old mansion, but it’s anything but quiet. Told in third person and switching constantly from the 1990s to the 1940s, and then the 19-teens, the author takes the reader through the lives and thoughts of Winna and her grandmother, and even through her father, as slowly the story unfolds to explain the mysterious appearance of jewels found in the present day.
As a reader, I enjoyed this book and kept coming back to it; but I found the constant time shift a bit confusing. I loved trying to guess who the culprit was that kept threatening Winna’s life, but was then a bit disappointed when the culprit was revealed. And, sadly, I found the reveal at the end confusing – I’m still not quite certain what I read, and I’ve read it three times. For me, there was just too much going on at one time to simply fall in love with this book.
With that said, I really did like this book overall. The writing was compelling and the main characters were well-developed. And, for all that it just “wasn’t my thing,” I would definitely try another book by this author because, overall, it was an interesting read and I think there will be many readers who simply fall in love with it. ...more
Those who know me know that I’m a prolific reader. I’ll read almost anything, but my special love has lately turned to New Adult. With this in mind, IThose who know me know that I’m a prolific reader. I’ll read almost anything, but my special love has lately turned to New Adult. With this in mind, I was excited — yet more than a little bit nervous — to read Kelly’s book. I didn’t know what to expect, and I was truly nervous that it wouldn’t meet my hopes and expectations. I’m happy to report that it met all of my hopes and then some.
First let me tell you a bit about the story, because it’s unlike any NA title I’ve read to date. In fact, part of what worried me was the description–the characters are unlike any other I’ve read for this genre before.
Liv is a law student whose life is turned upside down by this “weird” student in her classes named Nicholas. He’s unlike any of the other students. He’s scraggly with a ZZ Top-like beard, hair that is long past the point of needing a haircut, and his bathing habits are questionable. Not that he emits an odor, but more like he appears homeless and anti-social. But Liv seems to have an affinity for bringing the lost into the fold, so she reaches out to Nicholas and this quite, unassuming young man becomes her best friend. The only problem is that Nicholas is clearly in love with Liv. Oh, and I forgot: He’s a boy-genius who has completed his undergrad work by the age of 18. So he must roughly four years younger than Liv and their peers.
Realizing this going into the story left me concerned. How in the world was I ever going to root for this “weird guy” and Liv. How in the world could I possibly want them to be together, as clearly the reader is expected to do? None of this did I share with my friend, Kelly. In fact, when she reads this will be the first time she hears it and I feel safe sharing my concerns now that I know that this book is amazing!
Altered is unlike any book I’ve ever read, especially for this genre.
1. The “hero” is the least hero-like of any I’ve ever read. Instead of being a buff, bad-ass MMA fighter, he’s quiet and brainy. Oh…and a virgin! Did I forget to mention that?
2. It features a multi-cultural relationship. Liv is African American and Nicholas is from Irish descent. Can it really be true that I’ve not read a book with that much diversity? Sad, but true.
3. The age discrepancy – Liv must be about four years older than Nicholas. I’m not usually into the whole cougar thing. All of these elements left me deeply concerned about how I was ever going to relate. My concerns were unfounded.
Kelly Cain’s story-telling was spot-on. The story developed believably, and the intimacy that eventually develops between Liv and Nicholas was sweet, sexy and completely natural. The story was thoroughly believable from beginning to end. Which is probably why Liv really got on my nerves. More than once I just wanted to smack her for being such an idiot! Why couldn’t she see what we all knew from the beginning? She was clearly in love with Nicholas, but she refused to accept it because he was so “different’ from everything she’d ever believed was her type.
I won’t tell you any more because it’ll ruin the story for you. So for now, I’ll just let you know that Altered is worthy of a full and enthusiastic 5-star review. If you like NA and are sick of reading the same tropes over and over again, you’re gonna love Altered. ...more
I really wanted to love this book. I read the first book in this series - Alex - and loved it so much that I had to reach out to the author to tell heI really wanted to love this book. I read the first book in this series - Alex - and loved it so much that I had to reach out to the author to tell her how much I loved it. It was that good. So it was with a great deal of excitement that I sat down to read this novel. Sadly, it wasn't entirely what I hoped it would be.
First let me clarify - I love this author's writing and storytelling abilities. She's truly awesome. What threw me on this book is that I completely hated the main character, Zach. I'm probably reading too much into his character, but the only redeeming value I could find with him is that he's a kick-ass dad who loves his son. I had a lot of problems with who he was as a man, though, and just couldn't embrace him enough to love the book.
The reader learns pretty early on that his son's mother is a woman he'd been with for something like 7 or 8 years before she died tragically. Together they played house and had a son, but he could never bring himself to marry her. That really bugged me and made me dislike him almost from the start. I'm sorry, real men don't do that. They admit that it's not the right relationship for them and cut their losses. Usually before children are part of the equation, but not necessarily. Instead he lived compatibly with his child's mother all of those years and deprived them both of any opportunity for a better relationship.
Then he meets up with our girl-hero, Kate. The two enter into a completely consensual relationship with the understanding that it was just for giggles on his part. Basically, it would never be for anything other than physical release, and he tells her that up front (to his credit). Sadly he leads her on, then pushes her away, leads her on, then pushes her away. And, for her part, she's "okie-dokey" with this. She's endlessly patient and forgiving.
I just found Zach to be completely selfish and without any real redeeming qualities. And maybe that's my own burden and not a reflection on the writer.
Sawyer Bennett is an awesome writer and I'll definitely check out the other books in this series. My review is truly not a reflection of her writing or storytelling abilities, rather it's a reflection of my inability to like the main character. I still read every page and enjoyed it overall, and i'm sure that other readers will find Zach's character to be more charming than I did. For the fact that I enjoyed the writing and the fact that the dialogue flowed smoothly, I give her a full three stars. ...more
I owe a bit of an apology to Bianca M. Schwarz today as I sit down to write my review of her book, A Thing of Beauty. In my ignorance, I imagined it tI owe a bit of an apology to Bianca M. Schwarz today as I sit down to write my review of her book, A Thing of Beauty. In my ignorance, I imagined it to be a romance and assumed it would fit within the tidy confines of a “set” recipe for romance. Don’t get me wrong — I love a good romance, especially everything Julia Quinn. All Ms. Quinn has to do is type the word “Bridgerton” and I’ve got my iPad fired up and ready to hand out 5-stars…and I don’t give out very many 5-star reviews! So I really do enjoy some romance, but most days I need more story to go with the romance.
But I digress…back to A Thing of Beauty. I did this novel a huge disservice by assuming it was strictly romance. Having finally finished this wonderful novel, I have to say that I’m not sure what genre to fit this book into. It has a little something for everyone: Romance, Intrigue, Mystery, Suspense, History…it has everything! And it doesn’t fail to deliver on each of those elements!
One of my favorite elements of this novel was the characters — I simply loved the characters, particularly Eliza and Sir. Henry. I love the relationship that they develop. Sure, their relationship is romantic and, for those who enjoy spicy intimate scenes, you won’t be let down; but it’s a relationship based first and foremost on respect and friendship. They are equals in a way that most book couples aren’t.
To delve a little more deeply, I fell in love with Sir Henry’s character. He’s basically what I think every woman looks for in a mate. He’s strong, yet sensitive. He’s protective, yet not smothering. At first glance, he’s fearless and yet he’s secure enough in his manhood to admit he’s afraid or openly show tears. And he has a moral compass that guides his actions. Simply stated, he’s awesome!
Now, I’m sure to get some flack for this, but the novel I can most closely relate this title to is the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. No, it’s not set in Scotland — and no, it doesn’t have the King of Men, Jamie Fraser. What it has in common with Gabaldon’s books, though, are strong leading characters who respect each other completely. It has a sense of time and place, a lot of history thrown in, and no small amount of intrigue and mystery. In those elements, I think the comparison is fair. What it doesn’t have is time travel and Jamie. But I think readers who enjoy the relationship between Outlander’s Jamie and Claire will find much to recommend the characters of Eliza and Henry.
If readers find they enjoy A Thing of Beauty, they’re in luck. The author has left it open for further editions to follow; and I think I heard she’s already working on followup editions. As for myself, I can’t wait to read what next adventures await Eliza and Sir Henry, because surely there must be more in their future! They’re just way too good together not to have a followup title. ...more