I knew when the minute that Rocky and Jayce were together in Fool for Love that I was going to love them as a couple. There was just something about t...moreI knew when the minute that Rocky and Jayce were together in Fool for Love that I was going to love them as a couple. There was just something about the two of them together that I loved. So you can imagine how excited I was for their book to come out. I can tell you, it was definitely worth the wait and I was a little sad when it was all over. Rocky has been in love with Jayce Bello since she was a young girl. But Rocky's world came crashing down when she Jayce's proposal of marriage when she was seventeen is seen as a duty rather than a heartfelt confession of love. Thirteen years later, Rocky is still harboring that resentment towards Jayce. She tries to channel some of her energy into other things: her B & B, the Cupcake Lovers and her family, but Rocky's convinced she has bad luck. And it seems that bad luck is following her as she goes to New York City with her nemesis to speak with a book publisher about the Cupcake Lover book they are trying to publish for charity. Good thing the last person she wants to reach out to for her, aka Jayce, is there when she needs it most.
Jayce and Rocky has a lot of personal demons they need to dig through in order to get to a place where they can actually have some sort of a relationship. There's Rocky's misunderstanding of just what that proposal meant all those years ago, Jayce's demons when it comes to his family and then all the feelings they have towards each other and if they are on the same page with each other when it comes to a relationship. They have the sex stuff down, but it's all the other stuff that seems to get in their way. The good thing about Jayce and Rocky was once they did get things out in the open, they talked about just what they needed to do to move forward. In some stories you have to wonder if the couple will ever to go their HEA. With this one, you knew Jayce and Rocky were going to make it, no matter what life threw in their way.
A Cupcake Lovers book wouldn't be complete without having practically the entire town of Sugar Creek, VT show up in the pages. They do not disappoint and they add a level of comic relief to the story that has me wishing they were in it more. And Beth Ciotta wets our appetites for book three, Luke's story. You'll have to read this book to figure out just who Luke's going to be paired up with, but I can tell you I can wait.(less)
I like Marissa and Adam. They both had a boat load of emotional issues they had to deal with and figure out what they wanted out of life. Th...more3.5 stars.
I like Marissa and Adam. They both had a boat load of emotional issues they had to deal with and figure out what they wanted out of life. Their stubbornness made me want to shake them sometimes, but they finally figured it all out.
full review to post on Night Owl Review soon.(less)
I was expecting so much more out of this one. I couldn't really connect with either Jason or Claire. Jason seemed clueless at times as to why someone...moreI was expecting so much more out of this one. I couldn't really connect with either Jason or Claire. Jason seemed clueless at times as to why someone would be mad over him taking their decision making ability away, while Claire thought every man was her father. UGH! (less)
Annie, a strong willed young woman. Has decided that while her sister is on her Honeymoon, that she will try to elope to Gretna Green again with the m...moreAnnie, a strong willed young woman. Has decided that while her sister is on her Honeymoon, that she will try to elope to Gretna Green again with the man she is in love with.
Jordan was asked by his best friend and Annie's sister to keep an eye on her while they were away. Jordan hopes it would be an easy task to check on her once in while.
Annie believes that Arthur Eggleton, the man she tried to elope with was not paying her enough attention. Annie wants Arthur tell his father that they are engaged. So most of ton is laughing at Annie behind back because she is chasing after Eggleton, were he makes no effort to seek her out. Jordan, decided that he was going to put a stop to Annie's scheme.
I really enjoyed reading Secrets of a Runaway Bride, I was laughing threw most of the book.
The character development was a bit slow but the really made up for it. Character interactions were well written. The way every one interacted made they seem more real and likeable. The plot was awesome, I didn't feel like I missed anything starting to read the series in the middle. Secrets of a Runaway Bride was a great read, very hard to put down.
Reviewed by SammySosa for Cocktails and Books(less)
I'm sad to see the series come to an edit. I loved all the books in the series and their heroines, Cecily, Juliet and M...moreReviewed for Night Owl Reviews.
I'm sad to see the series come to an edit. I loved all the books in the series and their heroines, Cecily, Juliet and Maddie. But I think Maddie is my favorite, since she didn't bow down to her mother, father or society when it came to doing what she felt was right.
And starchy Christian was the perfect match for Maddie. He needed Maddie to help him loosen up a bit and to connect with his emotions. Boy...when he connected with the emotions Maddie stirred up....watch out!(less)
When She Says I Do is funny, touching, and inspirational. Celeste Bradley wr...moreLook for review on Night Owl Reviews. (Shannon)
Cocktails and Books Review:
When She Says I Do is funny, touching, and inspirational. Celeste Bradley writes a masterpiece by weaving together equal parts erotica, romance, suspense, family dysfunction, and humor. Calliope Worthington is our heroine. She is the big sister to several very creative and boisterous siblings. The author does a very good job of describing the shenanigans that Calliope's siblings pull. If you have siblings you immediately identify with the characters in this story. Calliope devotes herself to caring for her family because her parents are very eccentric to the point of being unable or unwilling to handle mundane tasks such as rearing children and caring for the home. The author portrays as Calliope as self-sacrificing, loving, and unselfish.
Lawrence Porter is physically and emotionally scarred sitting in his mansion waiting to die as he drinks his days away. He was nearly killed by members of his own spy team. He can't seem to forget or forgive them for what they did to him and for not killing him. While sitting in his room nursing a bottle of liquor Lawrence hears what he believes is the voice of an angel singing a song. He stumbles down the hall and finds Calliope wrapped in a sheet and wearing jewels that were stored in the room.
From that point the sparks begin to fly on both sides and Calliope marries Lawrence to preserve her family's honor and prevent her brother from killing him. ""Ren"" and ""Callie"" grow closer as Ren tries and fails miserably to avoid Callie except for their nighttime sexcapades. I cheered for Ren as he found himself running up the stairs to get away from Callie. Previously he hadn't been able to walk the stairs without having stop because of the pain. I absolutely fell in love with the way the author let the plot unfold so that the reader sees the power of love to heal the soul and the physical body. Through a series of mishaps that involve poisonous ginger, a masquerade ball, gun shots, poisonous snakes, and a mechanical bird that spits fire Ren and Callie's love perseveres.
I could not pull myself away from this story. I had to finish it. It was a fast paced read packed with romance, mystery, and hot sex. I found myself holding my breath as Ren finally unveils his scars to the people from the village. I didn't want them to reject him. I remember feeling that way when my kid walked up to another child to play. I didn't want him to get hurt if the child refused to play with him. That's how emotionally invested I became in this storyline and these characters. I cried when Ren had to hurt Callie and send her away to keep her alive. I could literally feel her hurt. I tried to figure out who was trying to hurt her, and I wondered if Ren and Callie had been all their humps and bumps just to lose each other. I can't say enough how much I loved this book and believe that anyone that loves romance would enjoy it just as much.
This is the kind of story that pulls you in and takes you along for the ride. So do yourself a favor, buy a copy, and buckle your seat belt.
Reviewed by Michelle for Cocktails and Books(less)
This was one of those books that had me at the blurb but then lost me when I started reading it.
Catherine Gray has always been in love with James. Sh...moreThis was one of those books that had me at the blurb but then lost me when I started reading it.
Catherine Gray has always been in love with James. She was heartbroken when he married another woman and went away for college to sulk. However, James marriage doesn't last so she hightails it back to Aurora Falls to practice psychology in a local office and finally be with the man she loves. But her life isn't neat and tidy with James and soon it starts unraveling when his ex-wife is found dead in his family's cottage. She's determined to stay by James' side, no matter what...even if it means her life.
On "paper" Catherine should have been a great heroine. She's finally got the man she's always loved and now, with someone out to hurt him or blame him (she wasn't sure which) I expected her to her to leap off the page and be James' champion and dare anyone to say he had anything to do with his wife's murder. What we got instead was a completely flat character who was too old fashion and out of date for this story (what late twenties woman drives around singing fifties music when she's happy?).
But Catherine wasn't the only one who seemed to suffer from flatness and come from a different era. James was even more at odds with present day. His speech and mannerisms, again, were too out of date for a story and was often times just so blase about what was happening that I truly didn't care about what happened to him.
While I had problems with the characters, this story did have a nicely written mystery. The author did a fantastic job of keeping me guessing as to who the real culprit was of the murders. It truly wasn't until the last few pages of the book that we finally get the whole story revolving around Renee's death. It was for the mystery alone that I kept turning the pages in this one, because in the end I had to know who was behind the whole mess.
For this one, I'm grading on the mystery and deducting for characters I couldn't deal with. Total Score:
I've been wondering how Susan Mallery was going to create a love story for the girl who was raising goats and making cheese out at the Castle Ranch. I...moreI've been wondering how Susan Mallery was going to create a love story for the girl who was raising goats and making cheese out at the Castle Ranch. I should know by now to never question (even if it's only to myself) how Susan Mallery is going to make it work, because she always does and it's always entertaining.
Heidi Simpson thinks she the proud owner of the Castle Ranch, along with her grandfather. It's the perfect place for her to raise her goats and make her goat cheese in the tunnels underneath the ranch. She finally has roots, the one thing she didn't have all the years she lived with her grandfather during this time with the traveling circus. But her hopes and dreams come crashing around her when she finds out her grandfather tried to sell the ranch he technically doesn't own. She embarrassed, but at the same time devastated to think she's going to lose what she tried so hard to establish. But when she meets the man who wants to throw her out of her home, she decides to fight.
Rafe Styrker has done everything physically possible to stay away from the small California town her grew up in. But when his mother calls to tell him that she's been swindled out of $250,000 she thought was going towards purchasing Castle Ranch, he finds himself in his fast sports car heading to Fool's Gold. But when he wants to strike hard and fast to get what his mother wants, he finds his mother wants to co-exist with Heidi and her grandfather at the ranch and work things out.
Rafe and Heidi were an unlikely couple when we first meet them. She was all about her goats, cheese and the ranch, where all Rafe wanted to do was boot her out, instill his mother at the ranch and get back on his way to San Francisco. They immediately rubbed each other the wrong way and you had to wonder how on earth they were going to end up together.
But the ranch had a very calming effect on Rafe. For a man who vowed to never set foot on that ranch again, he took to the chores of a cowboy as if he has been doing every day since the day he was born. He loosened up and started to see that making money hand over fist wasn't the only thing that could make him happy. Of course, he doesn't come to that realization overnight and without a bit of emotional upheaval, but he eventually gets there.
Heidi was one of those people who you root for, from the very beginning, because you can tell they are trying so hard to get it right. She tries so hard to live up to the agreements she made with Rafe's mother and the judge, but it seems everyone is working against her...even her grandfather. And when she thinks she's been wronged by the man she's falling for, even her evil attempts to put a roadblock in Rafe's plan isn't all that horrible. She's too nice and feels too guilty when she's doing something that might cause someone else the slightest discomfort.
I enjoyed the story and look forward to reading the next two to see just what is up with those Stryker brothers and how they are undoubtedly going to be hooking up with Heidi's friends. (less)
Grace Brooks rolls into Lucky Harbor trying to catch a break. What she finds is herself dog sitting a terror of a puppy and the loveable son of Dr. Jo...moreGrace Brooks rolls into Lucky Harbor trying to catch a break. What she finds is herself dog sitting a terror of a puppy and the loveable son of Dr. Josh Scott. While there is immediate attraction between the two, they both fight it for different reasons. Grace is convinced she's only going to be in town for a short time, as she's trying to find that job that will make her worthy of her brilliant adoptive parents. Josh is determined not to repeat the past after a one night stand gave him his son and a broken heart when he wife left him.
Everyone knows you can only fight smoking hot chemistry for so long. As soon as Grace and Josh give into their attraction, every argument they make for not getting involved seems to be pushed aside to them actually starting a relationship.
Of course, past hurts have a way of molding us into the people we are today. The same is true of Josh and Grace. They are both determined to not fall into the pitfalls of their past with each other, they never realized that they've done exactly that. While Josh may not want a long term relationship, he's got a woman who can handle his out of control puppy, his argumentative sister and give a little boy the female motherly attention he craves. Not to mention, giving daddy what he needs too. For Grace, while she was so focused on finding a job that her parents would deem worthy, she found that she liked doing the menial tasks around the house, taking care of Josh's family and doing a little accounting on the side. It gave her the sense of fitting in and family that she never really had before. Once they both stopped looking at the reasons why not, they discovered they couldn't live without each other.
I love the Lucky Harbor series and the characters that Jill Shalvis creates. Lucky Harbor is a place that seems to magically be able to give people what they want, even when they think a small coastal town in Washington state isn't it. Somehow between the city and it's residents, they're able to provide that extra something to those who need it to get their HEA.(less)