Ms. Mayberry has yet to write a book that I haven't enjoyed. I really appreciate her mature characters and their romances. Oliver is only months from...moreMs. Mayberry has yet to write a book that I haven't enjoyed. I really appreciate her mature characters and their romances. Oliver is only months from learning that his wife has cheated on him for years, and Mackenzie is a year into a difficult physical recovery after a car accident. Both are damaged in different ways, yet they manage to find love and new direction in their lives. Also, I'm a big fan of dogs in books (wink, wink) and the two dogs play a pivotal role in bringing the two together.
I also really enjoyed that both characters are in their late 30s, yet there was no mention of children, the lack thereof or any desire for them in the future. I love that!
Very cute contemporary romance! I loved the rescue dogs and the brooding hero. For some reason it felt like the book ended abruptly. I turned the page...moreVery cute contemporary romance! I loved the rescue dogs and the brooding hero. For some reason it felt like the book ended abruptly. I turned the page on my Kindle expecting a little more, only to find a letter to the reader from the author about the next book in the series. Overall the book was a lot of fun, though, and I definitely recommend it!(less)
Very cute category romance about a cranky cop (Oliver Sullivan) who's caught on video rescueing a puppy from a river. When the vid...moreRating: 3.5 out of 5
Very cute category romance about a cranky cop (Oliver Sullivan) who's caught on video rescueing a puppy from a river. When the video goes viral, a local woman (Sarah McDougall) tries to convince him to agree to several national interviews so he can talk up the small town's summer festival and bring in some much needed tourism dollars. She's a bubbly, optimistic woman who's recovering from discovering that her fiance has cheated on her; he's a burned out cop who tries to distance himself emotionally from everyone. I'm sure you can imagine how she melts his cold, cold heart.
Cute, but I felt that Sarah and Oliver's characters were a little underdeveloped. She was so optimistic and determined that at times I found her too naive, and I was never really certain why he kept spending time with her. Plus, she wouldn't give up on him, even when he was pretty darn rude to her.
Despite that, this was a cute, if somewhat forgettable small town romance. I'm looking forward to reading more of Ms. Colter's books. (less)
Very cute category romance. The tension/ big misunderstanding between the hero and heroine didn't rear its head until a bit late in the book but was r...moreVery cute category romance. The tension/ big misunderstanding between the hero and heroine didn't rear its head until a bit late in the book but was resolved nicely. Really enjoy the Banksia Bay books.(less)
Very cute category romance set in Banksia Bay. Lots of angst in this one, mainly because the hero had a traumatic upbringing and r...moreRating: 3.5 out of 5
Very cute category romance set in Banksia Bay. Lots of angst in this one, mainly because the hero had a traumatic upbringing and rough failed marriage. However, the Banksia Bay series is a real winner for dog lovers. Horse, the injured wolfhound mix rescued by the heroine, will steal your heart. (less)
Very cute category romance set in Australia! I love the border collies, and if you're a dog lover this book will really tug at the heartstrings. I als...moreVery cute category romance set in Australia! I love the border collies, and if you're a dog lover this book will really tug at the heartstrings. I also love that Mardie manages to put Blake in his place more than once when he makes assumptions about what she's been doing for the last 15 years while he's been in medical school and doing charity work in Africa. He's definitely a flawed hero. My only complaint is that the present day romance seemed a bit rushed, but that seems to happen a bit with category romances, given the short length. Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I'll definitely be reading more Banksia Bay and Marion Lennox books!(less)
This contemporary romance made me laugh and cry, and I absolutely loved it! I highlighted so many different sections of the book and have re-read them so often that if I were reading a physical book instead of my Kindle the pages would be falling out. Scrawny 5’2” Posey is charmer, and you’ll fall for hottie bad boy Liam. Who wouldn’t? He rides a motorcycle, wears black leather, and only shaves every few days. Reformed bad boys make for great romance heroes, and you’ll definitely swoon for this one!
Until There Was You is a reunion romance of sorts – Posey Osterhagen was madly in love with bad boy Liam Murphy when she was sixteen, but he barely noticed her. In fact, he was indirectly responsible for her disastrous prom experience, so when he moves back to Bellsford, New Hampshire, with his 15 year old daughter, Posey tries to play it cool around her former crush. Posey runs a successful architectural salvage company in town, and she tries to keep busy to avoid him, but her adopted parents’ attempts to play matchmaker with the good-looking widower and their niece Gretchen ensure that Liam and Posey are thrown together. But Liam’s not looking for romance, and some well-meaning family members seem determined to keep the two apart. Can the bad boy and the quirky runt from high school find a way to be together?
Kristan Higgins always manages to crack me up with her humor, and despite several teary moments, this book was no exception. The secondary characters will keep you rolling in the aisles, especially Posey’s adopted parents, who are large, boisterous owners of a German restaurant in town. Posey herself has a dry wit that provides some great one-liners, and Liam’s protective instincts towards his daughter Nicole make for some hilarious moments as well. When her prom date shows up and Liam threatens him, I was crying with laughter. And Ms. Higgins clearly has teenagers of her own, as Posey uses “Oh, Bieber” as an interjection, and Liam tells his daughter, “Whatevs.” Of course, in my experience, if your Mom’s using slang in a book, it’s probably not cool anymore, but it makes for a fun read.
There’s also plenty of angst to go around, as we witness several flashbacks to Posey’s disastrous prom experience and Liam reflects on his marriage with the town’s golden girl. The relationships between parents and children are a constant theme in the book, whether those children are adults or teens, and you’ll definitely find yourself tearing up at times.
The biggest problem with the book and the reason I only gave it a four when I clearly love it is the lackluster romance between Liam and Posey. It’s clear from the beginning that Posey has feelings for Liam, but Liam’s feelings for Posey are never quite as obvious. In fact, at times I felt that he spent more time thinking about his dead wife and their marriage than he did thinking about Posey. He clearly cares for her and the ending feels like a scene from a John Hughes movie (set at prom, no less!), but afterwards when I was thinking about the book, I had the distinct impression that his wife had been the love of his life and Posey was merely second best. This is a pretty serious failing in a romance novel, so I think it speaks volumes about the book that I loved it in spite of this.
If you’re looking for a fun contemporary romance with a little angst and lots of humor, I highly recommend this one. It’s definitely going on my keeper shelf, and I suspect I’ll be re-reading it for years to come.
I received this book for review from the Publisher through NetGalley.(less)
I usually love Ms. Higgins' books, but this one didn't work for me. It felt like Harper was constantly taking the blame for the failure of her marriag...moreI usually love Ms. Higgins' books, but this one didn't work for me. It felt like Harper was constantly taking the blame for the failure of her marriage to Nick, when clearly Nick had contributed to the downfall as well. I kept getting really angry that no one called him on his past behavior and he didn't really acknowledge it either. This one was not a winner for me.(less)
I chose this novel to read and review, because I’m a big fan of Crusie’s writing and anything with dogs will usually draw me in. This novel is a conte...moreI chose this novel to read and review, because I’m a big fan of Crusie’s writing and anything with dogs will usually draw me in. This novel is a contemporary romance and had a paranormal aspect to it. It appears that each of the three authors focused on an individual character, since the point of view would switch from one to the other with clear breaks between changes. The novel begins when Abby arrives in Summerville, Ohio. Abby’s grandmother has recently died, and Abby has come to Ohio to look over her grandmother’s estate. She brings her dog, Bowser, and while looking over her grandmother’s bakery, sees a flyer for dog obedience classes, which Bowser doesn’t need, but which strike her as a good way to meet people in town.
It turns out that the other two protagonists, Daisy and Shar, also have dogs, and the three of them meet at the dog obedience class. At the class, they meet an odd woman named Kammani, who turns out to be a goddess. After drinking a tonic, the three women can suddenly hear their dogs speaking to them and the women learn that they are demi-goddesses, whose families served Kammani in the past. The women also meet their love interests, who vary in degrees of likeability and character development, mostly failing to be interesting. When the women realize that Kammani is trying to regain her powers, they look for ways to send her back whence she came.
Despite my comments about the male characters, the novel was enjoyable and a lot of fun. The female characters were interesting and likeable, even if the premise of the story was a bit odd. Unfortunately, I think the book suffered from having 3 principal characters, because the secondary ones were underdeveloped. While the authors did a good job of switching point of view without disconcerting or abrupt changes in voice, the limits of space (one novel, three protagonists) made it difficult to flesh out the secondary characters and thus the romance. (less)