It's official. I'm ditching the tough chick stigma and giving over to the sappy, weepy girlie girl that cries over every one of Marie For[image error]
It's official. I'm ditching the tough chick stigma and giving over to the sappy, weepy girlie girl that cries over every one of Marie Force's novels. What's up with that, Marie? I'm 6 for 6 now.
The Wreck is Carly Holbrook & Brian Westbury's love story...two high school seniors that have found "the one" in each other and realize it for the blessing it is. They are planning to go away to college together in the fall & will be living together in an apt. off campus. A few weeks before graduation, Brian & Carly are hanging out with their 5 closest friends and Brian's younger brother, Sam. Ok, 6 closest friends. Deciding they want a pizza, the kids climb into Sam's station wagon but Brian & Carly back out at the last minute because they want to "spend some time together" (ack! I can't say it because I have a 17-yr-old daughter lol). Lying together under the willow tree, Brian asks Carly to marry him. Why sneak and live together when they can just get married a little earlier than they originally planned? Naturally, Carly says "yes" and for these two the future looks bright and the possibilities endless.
As Brian is walking Carly home later that night, a car crashes into a tree directly in front of them and bursts into flames...killing all 6 occupants. The night that was meant to signify the beginning of their lives together becomes the nightmare responsible for separating the two for the next 15 years.
"Every dream I've ever had begins and ends with you. No matter how much time passes, if you want to come home, I'll be here. I love you always. Only you."
~ note from Carly that Brian carries with him for 15 years ~
Although the plot centers around an elusive serial killer who has terrorized the small, close-knit town for almost 2 decades, this book is first and foremost a romance! Did Brian & Carly have a love connection strong enough to sustain them 15 years? Was it powerful enough to withstand marriages to others, psychological/traumatic disorders, and, completely different lifestyles? Yes, yes yes to all the above! We're talking Marie Force here... master author of tear-jerking, soul-searching, heart-wrenching contemporary romance novels that will break your heart one minute and see it overflowing with happiness the next. She writes the hottest, sexiest heroes that love their women with all they've got and don't give a damn who knows it. She isn't afraid to engage sensitive subjects and use them in her stories. In fact, there is a plot device used in The Wreck that is often debated by readers... one controversial enough to turn a 5* read into a 2* read for some. So she's got huevos. I think it's great!
Overall, this is an excellent love story with a hero to die for and a heroine to cheer for. But be warned: It is a heart-wrenching story so you'll need a box of tissue handy at all times because the teary moments sneak up on you from out of nowhere. If you've enjoyed anything written by Marie Force...Line of Scrimmage, Everyone Loves a Hero, True North, etc...I promise you this is more of the same and you will be pleased that I rambled on and on about it until you finally caved.
The Wreck is available for Kindle at Amazon for only $2.99 and if you don't have a Kindle you can download one to your PC for free and read it there! Enjoy!
This book is absolutely amazing, but be forewarned... it will not fit into the perfect, orderly, sunshine and roses fairy-tale world that many of us rThis book is absolutely amazing, but be forewarned... it will not fit into the perfect, orderly, sunshine and roses fairy-tale world that many of us read to escape to. In fact, it steps way out of the box. It is shocking, it is heart-wrenching, and it will take you to a very dark side of real life that you might not know much about and are probably better off for it. Yet despite all that - or because of it - the sweetest love story takes root from the very beginning of the story, grabs you heart and soul, and doesn't let go until long after you've finished reading the last page. Ryan is a true hero in every sense of the word, and I can't imagine anyone not rooting for him and Sara to find the HEA they so desperately seek and so rightly deserve. If you have a Kindle or Kindle-on-PC, please do yourself a favor and download this book as soon as you can.
Straight up...this book deals with the death of a child; and, although it occurs several years before the story begins, there are a few flashbacks toStraight up...this book deals with the death of a child; and, although it occurs several years before the story begins, there are a few flashbacks to when it actually happened. This is simply a heads-up for those of you who do not feel comfortable reading a romance novel that employs this subject matter.
Lisa Alvarez is getting married again. Her fiance is her boss...a solid, hard-working businessman 22 years her senior. True, she never knew her father; but she is not seeking a father figure in Raymond. He is a good companion, a courteous lover and an overachiever in his business endeavors. Does Lisa love Raymond? She supposes she does in the way one loves a good friend. But love him in the heart-stopping, stomach-fluttering, sex on the kitchen table or up against a wall, wild & passionate sense? No. Never again. Lisa had that long ago...and when it was over, the grief and sorrow and pain was so intense she vowed she would never be that person again. Lisa is glad she is marrying Raymond. They are quite compatible.
Maggie Scott is seriously considering having a nervous breakdown. Her three kids are running her ragged, her house is a total mess and her life has been reduced to nothing more than one pile of dirty laundry after another. Since her husband had died less than a year ago, she thought she was doing pretty good holding it all together. But then she received that letter the other day...addressed to Keith from some woman named Serena who wanted to know why he hadn't called her. Didn't he want to see her again? And suddenly Maggie felt like her world was crumbling around her. She had to get away...have some time to herself...relax...breathe again...and track down this Serena woman to find out how she knew her husband. Maggie would ask Lisa to come stay with the kids for the weekend. As her best friend, Lisa would do this...in fact she owed it to her for not showing up to Keith's funeral. Okay, so Lisa had made it clear she was never coming back to San Diego. After the death of their child, she had divorced Maggie's brother Nick and had made a new life for herself in L.A. But this was a matter of Maggie's life or Maggie's death. She grabbed the phone and headed into her sanctuary, otherwise known as the broom closet...
One True Love was one of those books that I couldn't seem to find the right place to stick the bookmark in, close it up and walk away. Just one more page...just five more minutes...and then it was morning; and through blurry eyes (more from the predictable but satisfying ending and less from exhaustion) I read the epilogue. What a sweet, romantic ending to a story that, overall, wasn't very sweet or romantic. Instead, it was a well-orchestrated blend of three, individual stories with one common theme - surviving the loss of a loved one. Maggie...her husband killed in a freak accident that threw her into the immediate role of both mother and father...never stopped to grieve alone. Lisa...her baby girl dying from SDS at 2 months old...shut everyone she loved out of her life and ran. Nick...losing his daughter, which soon led to the loss of his wife as well...sought comfort through alcohol. Barbara Freethy does an excellent job of fleshing out these characters and giving each one a unique personality. As a reader you share their private thoughts & emotions, understand the personal demons they face; and, ultimately, feel an overwhelming (with just a hint of bittersweet) happiness when everything falls into place.
For the reason previously stated, I won't be recommending this book to anyone in particular. However, although somewhat abstract, I hope that I have conveyed a relatively decent idea of what this story is about. I am pretty sure you will enjoy the book if you choose to read it.
Lady Elyssa has a secret admirer and she wants to meet him. Her brother Harrison, the Marquess of Fellingsdown,An excellent HR by a new author for me!
Lady Elyssa has a secret admirer and she wants to meet him. Her brother Harrison, the Marquess of Fellingsdown, is horrified when he learns that the so-called admirer is nothing more than a fictitious gentleman their twin sisters have created in the hopes that their older sister will feel better about herself. You see, although she is breathtakingly beautiful and has a charming personality, Elyssa has never had a suitor. A freak accident at the age of nine left her with a mangled foot that could not be corrected, and she can not walk without the use of a cane. Her coming-out Season had been a mortifying experience, and she has been residing at the familial country estate ever since. Harrison, ever the protector of his sister, immediately organizes a house party to which he entices Brent Montgomery, the Earl of Charfield and most eligible bachelor in London, to attend. If Brent will "pay attention" to Elly for the 2-week duration of the party and cause her to forget about the secret admirer, Harrison will let Brent sire a colt on his prize-winning Arabian horse.
Historical romances with house party themes are always fun and this one is no exception. Of course the "deal" goes awry from the get-go because Brent is immediately attracted to Elly, and vice versa. As they become better acquainted, Brent teaches Elly to look past her disability and strive to do all those things she once thought to be impossible. There were several touching scenes...Brent teaching Elly to waltz and how to play croquet...he was really the hero extraordinaire. In fact, their relationship reminded me of that between Kit & Lauren in Mary Balogh's A Summer to Remember. Add to this, a thoroughly enjoyable secondary romance between Harrison and the woman he loved and lost 4 years prior, a peer at the party who wants Harrison dead, a kidnapping and ensuing chase, and of course what transpires when the bet is discovered, and you've got one damn good book! The sexual content is mild and limited, but the sexual tension carries the story right on through.
I'm currently reading another book by Laura Landon that is showing promise of being just as good as Shattered Dreams, and Ms. Landon is showing great promise of becoming an auto-buy for me. Seriously, if you are in the mood for a fast-paced, well-balanced HR with an awww-worthy love story (or two) and a sweet HEA, this would be the book to pick up (for only .99c on Kindle)!
(No, Dina, I will never grow tired of him.:)...more
Thoughtless is a compassionate but heartbreaking story of three people caught in a contemporary love triangle. I read this book last Sunday, and I donThoughtless is a compassionate but heartbreaking story of three people caught in a contemporary love triangle. I read this book last Sunday, and I don't know if it was because Andy Whitfield passed away, or because it was the 10th anniversary of 9/11...maybe a bad case of the "Sunday blues" or simply because the angst was ratcheted up so high in the story. Whatever the reason, when all hell broke loose in Chapter 23, the damn burst. Reading with blurred vision is such a bloody nuisance but I had to finish the last three chapters to see if somehow, despite the cheating, deceit and lies, all 3 protagonists were able to find a measure of peace & happiness in the end.
Kiera and Denny, both in their early 20's, have been an exclusive couple for 2 years. When Denny is offered an intern position with a prestigious ad firm in Seattle, Kiera applies for and receives a scholarship to the University of Washington. Leaving small-town life behind they travel across the country...moving in with a close friend of Denny's from when he served as an exchange student in high school. Enter Kellan Kyle...an extremely good-looking, sexier-than-hell lead singer in a local band...and new roommate to the transplanted Ohioans.
What follows is an extremely intense story of a young woman who is torn between her love for two equally-deserving men and their unwavering love for her. There is no menage here, where in a fantasy world Kiera would keep both Denny and Kellan. This isn't erotica, yet the sexual tension is so prevalent and so fine-tuned you'll be buzzing with expectation. Told through Kiera's POV, it is a simple day-to-day story made complex by the unexpected attraction between Kiera and Kellan and the powerful, emotionally high-charged atmosphere that settles among these two as well as the unsuspecting Denny. Fortunately, even with the limited POV,the author won't ever leave you scratching your head and wondering 'what just happened here?' She leaves nothing to speculation and plays the entire drama out in explicit (although somewhat lengthy) detail.
As you can probably guess, there is cheating in this story. And while the idea of cheating in a romance novel might totally turn you off, at least the circumstances that prompt the cheating are not due to the overplayed drunkenness or selfishness or the big misunderstanding...they are simply due to inexperience, vulnerability and the inevitable loss in the struggle to follow one's head and not one's heart. As such, there are no bad guys in the story. Unfortunately, this greatly restricts the reader's ability to justify the cheating; and because of the devastating outcome, it was hard for me to forgive Kiera and be truly happy for her.
This book is angst at its best. I was riding the emotional roller coaster of a lifetime and had to physically unwind & stretch cramped muscles whenever I took a break. But I loved the fact that a story could totally consume me like Thoughtless did...blubbering tears and all. The author, S.C. Stephens really has the ability to express feelings and emotions and internal struggle. She gets to the heart & core of the characters and thoroughly fleshes them out...so much so you will feel like a personal friend to Kiera, Kellan & Denny. Their story is both heartwarming and heartbreaking, and you will live every moment with them.
I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it!
Why didn't I know about this book? I mean, I've seen it on occasion when searching through the Kindle books at Amazon, but I don't recall seeing a revWhy didn't I know about this book? I mean, I've seen it on occasion when searching through the Kindle books at Amazon, but I don't recall seeing a review here on GR nor have I noticed it being discussed in a thread. O M G why not??!?
Julie Seagle has just moved from Ohio to Boston to begin her freshman year at Whitney College, only to find the "apartment" she had procured online (and paid 1st and last months rent) was a burrito stand! Fortunately, Julie's homeless situation was short-lived, as her mother was able to reach an old college friend living in the area who seemed genuinely happy to have Julie come stay with her family. And so began a year-long journey that was about to change Julie's life forever.
It didn't take long for Julie to realize that the Watkins family was the real-life version of Modern Family - completely dysfunctional but totally ignorant of the fact. Both parents were professionals who showed little compassion for their 3 children, and seemed to be content with being away from home most of the time. Their son, Matt, was a 21-year old college student and extreme techie geek who Julie forged a somewhat tentative friendship with. Their son, Finn, 23, was the free spirit of the group who was off to explore parts unknown and whose bedroom Julie was now "borrowing". Finally, there was the 14 yr-old daughter Celeste, who could only be described as "interesting". Oh yeah...there was one other painfully obvious member of the Watkins family (he sat at the table, he rode in the car)...Flat Finn.
FF (Julie's unappreciated nickname for Flat Finn) was a life-size cardboard cutout of the real Finn that Celeste carried with her wherever she went. While Matt had always had his nose in a book and the parents were busy with their careers, Finn was the fun-loving, carefree brother that always had time for Celeste when she was growing up. Now that Finn was out of school and away from home doing volunteer work in remote, foreign places, Celeste was lonely and missed him terribly... thereby prompting her to order his cardboard twin online.
Julie didn’t particularly care about Flat Finn’s presence. If everyone wanted to act as though it was perfectly ordinary to hang out with a flat, replicated family member, it was fine by her. After all, he was polite, not at all bad to look at, and didn’t hog more than his fair share of the Thai dumplings. Granted, his conversational skills were lacking, but he was probably just shy around new people…
Julie was cool with FF because she knew it was Celeste's way to keep Finn close and the loneliness at bay. however, she was not cool with the fact that nobody seemed to realize and/or care that Celeste was NOT a normal teenager. She did not interact with other kids, she dressed like a 6-year old; and, what infuriated Julie the most was that Celeste never used contractions when she spoke. Frustrated with the lip-zipped family members, Julie sought Finn out on Facebook. Delighted when she found both him and Matt, she sent each brother a friend request.
Matthew Watkins My visit to the O.K. Corral was… well…
Finn is God I “Facebook like” you, but I’m not IN “Facebook like” with you.
Julie Seagle Going to write a book called, “Binge, Screw, Loathe.” It will be about a hateful woman who travels across the U.S. visiting all-you-can-eat brothels.
It didn't take Julie long to completely understand why Celeste missed her oldest brother so much. Finn was witty and charming, understanding, compassionate and genuinely concerned about his baby sister. And, judging by the pictures he posted to Julie, as well as her interacting daily with his cardboard twin, Finn was - by all serious female standards - a total HOTTIE! As time progressed, the casual email correspondence Finn and Julie shared evolved into a personal Facebook chat where they conversed daily for hours. Finn would be home in the summer and Julie couldn't wait to finally meet and touch and kiss the guy she had fallen head over heels in love with.
For all the humor involving Flat Finn and the sweetness of Julie helping Celeste become a normal teenage girl, there is an essential element to this story that is very sad. I caught a glimpse of it coming but I stayed in denial until that was no longer an option. Then I started to cry.
As in buckets.
I...who never used to cry (before discovering indie authors)...was sobbing miserably. I do understand, however, that it was key to the plot and I love this author for pulling it off so beautifully. It also paved the way for a very happy ending!
Thank you, Jessica Park, for writing such a sweet yet poignant,touching story. I loved it and I'm in love with it! I loved how thoughtful and expressive Finn was and how he totally "got" the uniqueness that was Julie. I loved how the chapters began with the trio's Facebook status. I loved Julie's determination to make Celeste happy, even going so far as to put hinges on Flat Finn so he could sit comfortably! And I loved the Watkins brothers and their individual relationships with Julie. When it was over and I was reflecting back on the story, I came to the conclusion that, although extremely understated, Julia ended up with one of the best contemporary romance novel guys ever!
If you love college-age romances with happy endings, and can handle a scene guaranteed to make you cry (not just sniffle), then I recommend this book to you. Seriously, Flat-Out Love is a gem!
I just finished reading this book for the second time this week and loved it all over again. The story has everything I crave most in a romance...a toI just finished reading this book for the second time this week and loved it all over again. The story has everything I crave most in a romance...a tortured hero that is smokin' hot and jealous as hell, a heroine that sometimes allows herself to be taken care of and isn't always acting ridiculous trying to prove her independence, a vindictive ex that (finally!) gets what she deserves, a little mystery, a lot of great sex (spiced up with some "kinky fuckery") and a HEA with another book to follow! It just doesn't get any better than this!
Fifty Shades Darker is E.L. James' 2nd book in her Fifty Shades trilogy. While the first book Fifty Shades of Grey is a great read and introduces us to His Awesomeness, otherwise known as Christian Grey, it is also a much darker story. Seduced at age 15 by a friend of the family, Christian's sexual expertise at age 27 is strictly limited to the only type of relationship he has ever known...that of Dominant & Submissive. When Anastasia Steele interviews Christian for a college newspaper, he is instantly taken with her. Ana is quiet, docile and beautiful..everything Christian wants in a Submissive. So he proposes a contractual deal with her; but for once in his adult life, Christian isn't getting what he wants. Book #1 lays the early groundwork for the tumultuous relationship these two find themselves in through both books. As Christian freely admits to, he is "fifty shades of fucked up" and Ana doesn't disagree. Even so, their sexual chemistry is palpable and their encounters rock right off the pages! (Gawd, what I wouldn't give...) Add to this, their bantering (done best through their emails to each other) is just so damn cute you will be left with no choice other than to love the heck out of them both!
Note: Reading Fifty Shades of Grey first is an absolute must to truly understand and appreciate Christian & Ana's entire story, so don't embark on this amazing journey haphazardly and start with Book #2. (That would give Christian twitchy palms!)
So while Book #1 gives you the beginning of Christiana (haha), Book #2 Fifty Shades Darker focuses on the strengthening of their relationship, as Ms. James takes you to the heart and soul of their union. Although Christian and Ana are polar opposites, you won't have to suspend disbelief to accept their relationship as the author thoroughly fleshes these two characters out. You will witness first-hand how love triumphs over sexual preferences, extremely different lifestyles, outside interferences and all of the other idiosyncracies that would normally provide just cause to terminate a relationship. You will cheer right along with Ana's "inner goddess" who throws caution to the wind when it comes to claiming her man outright. Coming together is a hard-fought battle for Christian and Ana but staying together will be forever. If you really love romance, then this is one special, adorable couple you can't possibly live without knowing!
PS: Once again, have the tissues handy for there are some truly poignant scenes!
I picked this book up because I love tattoos on men and was intrigued by the cover. Also, the only other book I have read by Bonnie Dee was Finding HoI picked this book up because I love tattoos on men and was intrigued by the cover. Also, the only other book I have read by Bonnie Dee was Finding Home, which I loved, so I decided to give this one a go. What a wonderful love story! In the same vein as Finding Home where an average, everyday woman befriends a societal misfit, Ms. Dee once again takes us outside the box of what most of us perceive to be normal in romance.
The year is 1945 and Sarah, a young war widow, has been coerced by a group of friends to go to the circus. In the "freak show" tent, Sarah is mesmerized by the beautiful man who is covered from head to toe in brilliant, exotic tattoos. In the morning, she discovers said male hiding in her barn.
So begins this incredible journey of two people defying the overwhelming odds against them for the sake of love. Tom's story is horrific. His mother was the fortune teller with a gaudy traveling circus. When she died, Tom, age 8, was taken under the wing of the sadistic circus owner who used Tom as his personal, human canvas. For the simple creature comforts of food to eat and a place to sleep, Tom endured years of pain under the needle as well as the humiliation of being "rented out" to the gawkers that were willing to pay a little extra to get nasty with a circus "freak". When Tom saw Sarah for the first time, he recognized her as the woman who had been haunting his dreams for years. So, having known no other life but the circus yet unable to resist the urge he felt to be with her, Tom made his escape. Sarah, plagued by dreams of the tattooed man after seeing him, was shocked but not afraid of Tom when she found him.
One woman working a nice-sized farm alone was at times overwhelming. With this rationalization in mind, Sarah put Tom to work in the fields in return for 3 square meals and use of the guest room. Tom was quiet and polite - although his manners were atrocious - and he was illiterate as well. He had no idea how old he was or the date of his birthday, and Sarah's heart (and mine) went out to him. She taught him to read and write, manners and customs; and, as the days went by, she couldn't ignore the sexual awakening overtaking a mind and body she had thought long dead and buried with her young husband. Before long, Sarah seduces Tom (in a sweet way) and they become lovers.
The idyllic life cocooned away from reality is shortlived, however, when a local girl goes missing and the small-town folks are fearful that the "retarded escapee from the circus" is the one responsible. Tom is responsible in the sense that he can "feel" the girl's pain and can envision her surroundings (a gift handed down by his mother?). Sarah, being the decent & morally- conscious person that she is, takes Tom to see the sheriff & relay the story. For once we have a sheriff that is a good guy. Hurray! He accepts Tom's story as truth and they are off to find the girl. Afterwards, Tom is socially accepted by the majority, but the few that insist he is a freak as well as the deranged circus owner, cause enough problems to run Tom off. Sarah, plagued with the terrible thought of losing another man she loves, ignores everyone's advice to leave well enough alone and sets out to bring her man home.
One of the things I love about Bonnie Dee is the fact she is not in the least bit shy about being sexually descriptive. For some odd reason, I wouldn't connote the word "pussy" with the freshly- scrubbed Norman Rockwell faces I envision when thinking of 1945, but it's in this story, it works and what do I know about connotations? haha In other words (if that wasn't plain enough), she keeps the bedroom door wide open for the wannabe voyeurs like me...elevating a 4.5 star story to a solid 5 stars. Ms. Dee also makes good use of metaphors...giving her readers clear and defined mental images to enhance the story.
Bone Deep is a fast-paced read that packs a walloping moral punch that, once again, exposes the debase side of human nature that refuses to comprehend the law of God in that all things are created equal. Fortunately, Sarah wasn't part of the majority...
"Her gaze lingered on the meticulous artwork of each design that covered his skin like a painstakingly stitched quilt. Once again she admitted that despite his evil, Arthur Reed was a talented artist. Tom’s canvas of skin was intricately filled with dynamic color and motion. When she first saw Tom, Sarah thought there was no pattern or reason behind the designs but the more she looked at them, the more she felt there was something significant right beyond the edge of her grasp. Whatever the meaning, her lover’s painted skin was beautiful. He was beautiful--both inside and out."
Highly recommended to romance readers looking for something different!
Reading this book reminded me why I LOVE indie authors...you just can't get a sweet, touching romance like My Heart for Yours from a book turned out bReading this book reminded me why I LOVE indie authors...you just can't get a sweet, touching romance like My Heart for Yours from a book turned out by a publishing house!...more