Second chance and Christmas stories are two things I love to read together. They both bring the warm and fuzzy feelings I want at this time of year. RSecond chance and Christmas stories are two things I love to read together. They both bring the warm and fuzzy feelings I want at this time of year. REKINDLED captured that perfectly and the fact that it features a military hero just added to the appeal.
Alex and Tori took a break from their relationship because the long distance demands were getting to be too much for Tori to handle. Alex still thinks he's coming back to find her waiting for him only to realize she's dating and soon to be engaged, to another man.
I loved the fact that Alex goes into full courting mode. The little details that showed he knew her better than anyone and cared for her. I was rooting for him all along.
I also really loved Tori's character because she's a strong and independent woman. She's had to overcome her family's disapproval of her. Knowing they don't see her or some of her decisions as good enough for what society expects of their family, but she still follows her heart all the time.
There were lots of cute and funny one-liners and moments that added a lot of charm and warmth to this story. It is on the short side, so we were missing some steam for sure. But the characters had chemistry all along. Wish we would've gotten a few extra pages there in the end ;)
I was expecting to love this book a lot because I was really intrigued with the characters and the storyline from the first book. Our heroin3.5 stars
I was expecting to love this book a lot because I was really intrigued with the characters and the storyline from the first book. Our heroine is a bit of a wild child and now that she’s pregnant she’s reconnected with her birth mother and moved to Sanctuary Island looking for a more stable life for her and her child. She then meets the stiff and stern veterinarian, Ben, and the sparks were flying from their first meeting.
But then when I got to their book I thought my expectations might’ve been a bit too high. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy their story. The trope here is a marriage of convenience and I was ok with that setup, but I also think the approach slowed down the building of their relationship a bit too much for my liking. However, the pace was true to character for both Ben and Merry, especially Ben! I guess what I was expecting was to see Merry shake him up more with her lively ways and instead we get to see Merry’s issues and the things she’s looking for herself, which reflected in how she approached this relationship. Where I thought there would be crazy sparks flying, there was just a slow, steady simmer that never got to boil over. If that all doesn’t make sense, sorry, trying not to give much in the way of spoilers.
The conflict towards the end was a bit predictable and maybe, after, easily resolved. But I was still happy to see them standing on solid ground as a couple and it definitely left me believing in the longevity of their HEA.
As with the first book, I’m really liking the town and the overall vibe of this series. It does mix well women’s fiction and romance and gives us a good feel for other characters around the main couple as well. I loved the side storyline in this one and hope we get to see more of that in the next book....more
I have been following this series from before this spin off and what always attracts me is the movie-like action of the plot. OUT OF THE BLUE still h
I have been following this series from before this spin off and what always attracts me is the movie-like action of the plot. OUT OF THE BLUE still has that, and I am usually a sucker for stories that feature a reality TV type setting. In this case, our hero and heroine find themselves competing against each other in a song writing competition. They originally met on vacation while Casey was on her non-honeymoon after her ex called off the wedding, and they had a one night stand. She thought they would never see each other again only to be faced with each other on the most important stage of their careers.
But as I was expecting, there’s someone that is seriously displeased with Casey and wants to see her dead. While I really liked Brendan’s character (we had met him previously in the series), I thought we could’ve explored more his dark side and the effects that the abduction had caused him. Then there was Casey. I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with her because at times she came off so immature (both characters felt really young to me) and I just don’t have the patience for that. Admittedly, she fit the role for her age. But some of her reactions and decisions did get on my nerves. This book is a bit more new adult than I like to read so that was one thing that didn’t quite connect with me.
The action or suspense should we say was good and entertaining but not something that couldn’t be figured out quickly. I do think the previous books in the series are better at that than this one, but it was still entertaining to read.
I think Ms. Adams has a talent for telling stories that feel very vivid as if they were playing out in front of you, and I like to change up my suspense reads sometimes with something a bit more fun like this. Do I’ll still be on the lookout for the next book by her to come out....more
WILL NEVER FADE is a pretty short but very sweet second chance romance story. Our heroine, Phoebe, is at a New Year’s Eve party with her co-worker an
WILL NEVER FADE is a pretty short but very sweet second chance romance story. Our heroine, Phoebe, is at a New Year’s Eve party with her co-worker and she’s wanted to introduce her to a hot guy she thinks she’ll click with. Turns out it’s Garrett, her really good friend in college and the man she ran out on after they finally had sex one night after months of just friendship. Some of the same obstacles that kept her away from him then are still haunting her now and she struggles to give him another shot.
I loved both characters. Garrett was sweet and determined to sweep her off her feet. He’s achieved all the career goals he set for himself back then when they were just two struggling students. He’s successful and handsome. And deep down he’s always known the connection he had with her was special and is not willing to let her walk away from him again without knowing why she keeps fighting them. I loved that determination and the fact you could really tell he cared for her. That’s not something so easy to do in such a short story and I believed every bit of it. And I loved how clueless she was about the attraction Garrett felt.
Phoebe, my heart went out for her and what her struggle is. But at times I had to question if her reasoning would be the same that I would go through in that situation. Pushing people away and basically not fully living her life doesn’t seem like the answer for me and I definitely got a bit annoyed at times. That might’ve taken a bit away from the story for me.
Nonetheless, these two are so cute together and this was just a simple and sweet story....more
I’ve been on my quest to find new books, authors and series to get me excited again and I thought THE LEOPARD KING had the markings of everything I w
I’ve been on my quest to find new books, authors and series to get me excited again and I thought THE LEOPARD KING had the markings of everything I was looking for from the moment I saw the cover and then read the blurb. I love shifter stories and I don’t think there are as many as I would like out there. This book starts off with our heroine, who is latent and can’t shift, going up to find the alpha who had retired away to sort of die after the death of his mate. Her task, assigned to her by her lifelong crush, was to bring the Alpha back before a Peace assembly of different races. Of course, from there mayhem ensues along with political intrigue and even some explosions. On paper, I should’ve loved this. The execution? Well, it was just okay for me with a few issues.
I don’t want to give spoilers away but I will say that I was not totally happy with the setup of how our hero and heroine get together and the loose ends from their past are quickly swept under the rug as if they weren’t such big deals. Hard to explain more than that, but I kept getting annoyed throughout the book. I wanted either better resolutions for those obstacles to the HEA, or just a different storyline that didn’t involve those specific romantic issues in the backstory. So overall, this was my biggest issue with the book and why I didn’t end up liking the main characters.
The intrigue aspect was interesting but I think the pacing was a bit slow for me. I didn’t think the storyline flowed easily for me to continue being interested and found myself putting this down quite a bit.
I do have a small interest in finding out what happens next, but I’m not sure if it’s enough to make me pick up the next book. I think I’ll see how I feel when it comes out. As of right now, it’s not one I need to rush to get nor am I left thinking about these characters....more
I am really glad this series got a cover makeover this month because I had passed it several times without reading it. Also, this year I rea3.5 stars
I am really glad this series got a cover makeover this month because I had passed it several times without reading it. Also, this year I realized that Lily Everett is a pen name of Louisa Edwards (whom I’ve read and enjoyed in the past) so I was excited to see what her Sanctuary Island was all about.
This was maybe a bit more subdued than I was expecting, but definitely a book that leaves you happy after reading it because of the human connections. Ella and her sister go visit their estranged mother in Sanctuary Island to try and mend their relationship (at her sister’s insistence). The image of her mother Ella has carried for many years is not the reality of the person she has now become and Ella has to struggle with accepting the two very different realities and try to overcome her past reservations of not wanting their mother in her life.
While dealing with this internal battle she meets Grady. He’s very different than any man she’s met before. The strong and silent type. Grady is very reserved and likes his privacy which is why the quiet of Sanctuary Island is the only place he feels comfortable at. But the spark between him and Ella can’t be denied and puts them bot a bit out of their element to hopefully meet halfway.
There are some elements in this story that read a bit like women’s fiction, even though the romance elements stand out. I actually enjoyed this because it had a more laid back feel and really made for a great feeling of connection with the surroundings characters. The town has a nice vibe that I’m dying to explore more of, and we get just enough glimpses from the side characters that make me want to read on.
Overall, SANCTUARY ISLAND is a feel good romance. Uncomplicated and tender. I am looking forward to reading more by this author now....more
Fans of the Starcrossed series, this is the perfect holiday treat! Three novellas featuring three different main couples. I’m going to be honest. Goi
Fans of the Starcrossed series, this is the perfect holiday treat! Three novellas featuring three different main couples. I’m going to be honest. Going in, I was expecting to love Ethan and Cassie’s story the best. I think because I’m so invested after having more books about their story. But while I thought their story was cute and enjoyable, Liam and Elissa stole the show in this one for me.
HAVE YOURSELF A SEXY LITTLE CHRISTMAS
This is Ethan and Cassie’s story and this also felt the most like a “slice of life” story than a full fledged novella. While it was fun to read and a treat for fans, it didn’t feel like it had a lot of substance or added much to the overall plot than we already knew was going on. It was nice to have a glimpse into their daily lives, though.
THE NAUGHTY LIST
Ahhhh my favorite story in this anthology. The sexy Liam Quinn is off shooting on location and hasn’t seen Elissa for a while. They reconnect for a special vacation that fans will love to read about because of the latest adventure in their lives and …. LIAM.FREAKING.QUINN. That man is sexy! I ate this story up in no time and loved every bit of it.
HAPPY, HORNY NEW YEAR
This was a fun treat! The main couple in this story is Josh and Angel. Now they didn’t get a full length book but we got to know a lot about them in WICKED HEART and it was fun to see more of them and their relationship as Josh struggles being away from Angel and seeing her working closely with her sexy new co-star. Another thing I loved about this story is the fact we get to see more from other characters from The Grove. Fun insights into the bigger picture characters and the perfect wrap up for this cast....more
After I discovered Sarah Morgan’s holiday reads, I look forward to getting more. MIRACLE ON 5TH AVENUE didn’t disappoint. It captures the magic of th
After I discovered Sarah Morgan’s holiday reads, I look forward to getting more. MIRACLE ON 5TH AVENUE didn’t disappoint. It captures the magic of the holidays that I love seeing in my holiday reads.
In this case, it’s not the classic small town romance but a big city story set in NYC and I couldn’t have been happier. First off, it starts with a couple of complete opposite characters snowbound together in an NYC penthouse. Eva is endearing and all the things sweet and ideally romantic, while Lucas is cynical and a bit grumpy. The fact that they are stuck with such close proximity, along with the overall spirit of the holidays, made their fast track relationship believable for me. And it was a lot of fun to read!
Lucas hasn’t been able to move on after the death of his wife and closed himself off from most of his family and friends. Eva is also dealing with grief after the death of her grandmother. While they had so many things they were complete opposites on, and that made for plenty of fun sparring, there were plenty of things that they seemed to fit perfectly and understand each other. That made for good chemistry.
Another thing I found endearing about this story is that even though it has a solid big city feel, the set of characters and relationships between them made for a small town closeness vibe.
Since I haven’t read this series yet, this is definitely one I have to remedy and go back and start with the beginning. The small glimpses we get of Eva’s friends have already piqued my interest. But this worked really good as a standalone novel, if you want to pick it up like me for the holiday theme....more
Yet another series I haven’t read and the only reason I picked it up is because I’m always on the lookout for a holiday themed historical romance at
Yet another series I haven’t read and the only reason I picked it up is because I’m always on the lookout for a holiday themed historical romance at this time of year. THE HEIRESS AND THE HOTHEAD was released last year as part of an anthology that I hadn’t seen and I had to jump on it when I saw it was being released as a single novella.
I was pleased to see this worked okay as a standalone novella. I don’t think I had the opportunity to read this author before and I was quite happy this features a plot I hadn’t seen before. The heroine, Amanda, owns a cotton mill in America while the hero Stephen is an English journalist trying to expose the bad working conditions at the local mills. Meeting Amanda at a Christmas celebration is his one chance to write a new piece to expose the similarities between America and England in the treatment of workers in his quest for bettering their lives.
This is a quick story so I was expecting a bit of insta-love, and we certainly got that. Being that they live in different continents and have such ingrained views about the other to overcome, it seems a bit far fetched that there would be an HEA after such short time. But aside from that, this was a cute story. It managed to weave in some sweet and playful moments and it kept things simple. I couldn’t help but keep turning the pages, mostly because I enjoyed the authors’ voice. I’ll be looking forward to going back and reading the first book soon....more
I hadn’t read a Shannon Stacey book in a while but when I saw this one I knew I had to pick it up. I’ve always enjoyed her holiday stories and this b
I hadn’t read a Shannon Stacey book in a while but when I saw this one I knew I had to pick it up. I’ve always enjoyed her holiday stories and this book didn’t disappoint. I breezed right through it in one sitting and it left me with all the feelings I love from a holiday read.
HOLIDAY WITH A TWIST is the right amount of sexy and sweet with plenty of small town charm. Leigh recently broke up with her fiance and quit her job in the big city but hasn’t told her family any of it. She comes back home for the holidays and reconnects with a high school friend and whom she had a big fall out with years ago.
I thought it would be more of an enemies to lovers story, but it’s actually more of a friends to lovers because the connection and friendship that was there between Leigh and Croy surfaces from the very beginning. I loved seeing the added element of attraction slowly peak in where neither of them ever thought it would develop.
Another thing that stood out to me, and in keeping with that sense of family, are the Dawson and Holloway families. Ms. Stacey managed to get me interested in the whole cast in such a quick story and I would love to read more about the Dawson brothers and get to see their HEA.
HOLIDAY WITH A TWIST is the perfect season story to curl up with on a cold winter afternoon and some hot chocolate. It’s light,, cute and uncomplicated and left me with a smile on my face....more
I was extremely excited to read this because Santino Hassell is my 2016 author discovery and I’ve enjoyed all his books. Seeing that he wrote a vampir
I was extremely excited to read this because Santino Hassell is my 2016 author discovery and I’ve enjoyed all his books. Seeing that he wrote a vampires story, I had to jump on it because I’ve been craving more paranormal! STYGIAN has things about it that worked and others that didn’t.
First of all, it’s a romance, but I was disconnected with the main characters of this story. Jeremy is the newest member of the rock band STYGIAN and he’s been in love with Kennedy for a long time. He hopes that this writing retreat will bring the two closer together and finally give him the opportunity to get his man. I never got to the point where I thought they had chemistry together and I honestly didn’t care enough about Jeremy to worry what the end result would be.
That being said, the story is interesting because it’s a little darker and with a hint of horror to it that I found very appealing. The take on vampires as the bad guys is not one usually found in paranormal romance so it was a nice change to see them as the dangerous predators they are. But I still think this could’ve been explored more as the paranormal element itself was not at the forefront of the story enough for me either.
All in all, even though I was able to finish the story, this was definitely not my favorite story by this author. However, I do think it would be nice to see more of this type of book from him in the future....more
From the first page (or first few minutes, since I was listening) I knew this would be an emotional read. Not an ugly cry book, but emotional nonethe
From the first page (or first few minutes, since I was listening) I knew this would be an emotional read. Not an ugly cry book, but emotional nonetheless. I shed a few tears there and then along the way. And I was along for this ride with the heroine as she had to pick up the pieces of her life after her husband died and she found herself alone with her four children.
This book is told on the basis of the five stages of grief. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I think the author did a great job at weaving that into our heroines daily life and showing us how she was reacting at different stages. Getting to acceptance isn’t easy. Dealing with what’s left behind isn’t easy. But it’s even harder to let yourself feel that love again, open your heart up again.
From early on Liz meets Ben. He moves into the house next to hers a few months after her husband passed away. He’s first a friend and solid support through the times when she needed to crumble. I honestly can’t think of a hero more perfect than Ben. The love, patience and understanding he shows is truly beautiful.
There is no hot romance here, this is a slow burn of the best kind. It’s a beautiful romance, pure and simple. Because this is more than just Liz’s second chance at love. It’s mostly her story about how she got there. And I loved that, because while the romance is always there and it’s an integral and important part of this story, it’s never in your face when it shouldn’t be. Ben is resilient and perseveres. And Liz has to deal with herself first before she can open herself up to him.
This is the second book I read by this author and I know I won’t let this much time go by before I dig more into her backlist. Her voice is raw and honest in a way that sucks you in and all you want to do is settle in and read the whole thing. Addicting. I can’t wait to read more.
This is my first Claire Contreras book. I admit, I did it for the cover. Well, that and the fact it’s a soccer book. We don’t get nearly en3.5 stars
This is my first Claire Contreras book. I admit, I did it for the cover. Well, that and the fact it’s a soccer book. We don’t get nearly enough sports romance books with soccer stars and I’m a huge fan so I couldn’t wait to see this unfold. Another thing I immediately liked about this story is the fact that the heroine is latin and living in NYC. I just HAD to read it.
This was a book I overall enjoyed. There wasn’t a lot of angst to deal with so it’s not a heavy book. And I genuinely liked the heroine and that she was just a real every day girl and she wasn’t blinded by the fact the hero is a soccer superstar (mainly because she doesn’t follow soccer and had no clue who he was). She treated him as if he was no big deal and at times it was funny to see him in a situation that was probably completely out of his comfort zone (like riding the subway with her). Those were the things I absolutely loved about this story.
But I think something was missing in the pacing for me. Not that I stopped liking the story at any point, but it wasn’t calling to me to get back to reading it. And it did take me longer than usual to finish reading this book mainly because I wasn’t going back to reading it when I had a chance. So that little bit of magic and pull was missing for me.
With a feisty heroine and a reformed playboy hero, THE PLAYER was a solid read and enjoyable enough that I’ll read this author in the future, but I was hoping to get sucked into the story more....more
I generally read Vi Keeland’s books when they come out and life got in the way of reading this one. I finally got my hands on it (the audiobook) and
I generally read Vi Keeland’s books when they come out and life got in the way of reading this one. I finally got my hands on it (the audiobook) and I wish I would’ve done it sooner. Ms. Keeland has done it once again, BOSSMAN is incredibly cute and I had so much fun reading it. And I may even say this is my favorite book written only by her that I’ve read so far.
Our heroine, Reese, is out on a really bad date and she stands outside the bathroom of the restaurant she’s at leaving a message for her best friend to call her and rescue her. That’s when she first meets Chase, looking like a male model and calling her on bailing on her date. From there, I can tell you it won’t take long before you find Chase completely addictive. His talent for weaving tales and at times telling lies is only one of his many qualities. He’s vulnerable and direct, and his single minded focus is on getting Reese in his bed. That is after he hires her at his multi-million dollar company. Yeah, he’s a billionaire too ...more
I haven’t had the best experiences reading this series as it’s been a bit of a like and not for me. However, I was interested in this couple from the
I haven’t had the best experiences reading this series as it’s been a bit of a like and not for me. However, I was interested in this couple from the first book and I just HAD to read it! There are some things about it that worked and others still didn’t.
What worked for me:
The friendship. As much as there is an age difference (Leo is sooo young!) it was nice to see them taking the time to establish a strong friendship bond instead of jumping into a physical relationship right away. Character growth. This is probably more on Leo’s part I think because Will was a bit more hardheaded and set in his ways and I don’t think he really changed/opened up much. But Leo starts off this story as an impressionable 18 year old, romantic and in love. He gets dose after dose of reality and he takes those things in stride and learns the lessons he needs to in order to grow. In the end, he isn’t perfect, but he is better. And I always enjoy seeing a character evolve throughout a story. What didn’t work:
Sadly… Will. Not completely, I didn’t hate his character. But I found his reasoning behind why he keeps himself closed off and doesn’t want a relationship to be a bit shallow. Then his treatment of Leo at times was nothing short of callous. And I don’t think I saw a turnaround in that way of acting fast enough for me. Scene transitions. I had to re-read parts several times because when I thought we were still in one scene but apparently we had jumped into a different one. The scene transitions in this story are not very smooth and made the reading of this a bit bumpy and choppy. So in the end, I’m glad I read this but I’m not sure that I will continue from here....more
I remember reading the first book in this series, DANCE WITH ME, years ago. It might’ve been my first Heidi Cullinan read (I’m not sure) but I rememb
I remember reading the first book in this series, DANCE WITH ME, years ago. It might’ve been my first Heidi Cullinan read (I’m not sure) but I remember how special it was. There was a deeper connection to that story than just one on the surface. Now, when this book was announced I was excited to be revisiting the world, but I couldn’t really remember all the players. So a quick recap if you are like me. This book is about one of the dance teachers from the studio is one of the MCs in this book, and Duon, a dance student who was also in the first book, plays a big role in this story.
Now that being said, I enjoyed this book for several reasons, but I also feel the need to point them out because this book is very different than what I expected going in. And I feel like the same reasons why I enjoyed it are also some of the reasons my rating isn’t higher.
You know me and reading blurbs, right? I don’t. Even though this is a romance and we see Tomas and Spenser fall in love, the bigger feel is political. This book tackles not one, not two, but three major political issues in this country. DOMA and the legalization of same-sex marriage in Minnesota, illegal immigrants, social services and the foster care system. ENJOY THE DANCE shines a light on so many real world problems, and while the issues in this book have a happy ending, it also shows us how easily they aren’t for many people. This was both the best about the book, and also its biggest weakness. The romance never felt like it was the main focus of the book. Spenser and Tomas relationship slowly builds up in the background, as part of every day life. Their coming together is also quite subdued. As a couple, I think they were just ok for me while the story moved me because of its dose of reality.
I think Ms. Cullinan did a wonderful job at weaving in all these complex situations into the story. All while letting us get to know Spenser, Tomas and Duon more and revisiting with Ed and Laurie. I was missing some of the usual level of steam we get from her, though. So if you’re looking for a big romance, this may not be it. But if you want a book that hits home about real issues, then this one does it very well!...more