Single by Saturday is book 4 in the Weekday Brides series by Catherine Bybee and I will say up front that I haven’t yet read the first three...more3.5 stars
Single by Saturday is book 4 in the Weekday Brides series by Catherine Bybee and I will say up front that I haven’t yet read the first three books, but that in no way impacted my read. These can be read as stand-alone books if one grabs your attention more than another, but I am planning on going back and reading the first three as soon as I can!
This was actually a light & sweet read. Karen Jones is married to one of the biggest Hollywood stars, but she’s the one who’s actually playing a part. Her marriage is in name only to help her husband, Michael, hide the fact that he’s gay. The plan is to stay married for a year and then start divorce proceedings… but Karen and Michael didn’t expect Zach, Michael’s brother to show up at their house determined to get some answers for the Gardner family. And Karen certainly didn’t expect to have to fight an immediate attraction to her husband’s brother.
After some prodding from Zach, Michael and Karen plan a trip home to visit the family she’s never met and he hasn’t seen in a while and who he’s successfully hidden his secret from … or so he thought.
I really enjoyed the depiction of the many different family members in this story. While Single by Saturday is truly Zach and Karen’s story, they don’t have the only story we get here. From ex-girlfriends, to crazy paparazzi, to an abusive situation to kidnapping quite a bit happens in this small town.
But what about Zach and Karen … I liked them. I really did. I think I sympathized with Zach a bit more because he had to struggle with these feelings he was having for his brother's wife and the guilt those feelings caused had to be a bit overwhelming. Karen, while also struggling with these feelings, knew that her marriage was a sham and didn't have that extra layer of guilt.
I think the reason I gave this 3.5 stars though, is that there were a few things that I felt were a bit forced. There is one situation where Karen and Michael have a fight of sorts and I just felt it was a bit overdone in order to get to the part where we get Karen's story. Which yes, is sad, but I didn't agree with her over reaction... and yes it felt very much like an over reaction to me.
Additionally, I didn't find myself connecting with these characters, not like I do with a couple other romance series that I love. I just felt that the characters fell a bit flat for me.
That said, the writing is well done, the story is engaging and the characters are for the most part interesting. If you're looking for a romance series to add to your list, you can't go wrong with this one. I know I'll be checking out a few of the others in this series to see if I connect a bit more with them, and I'll definitely be checking out some of Bybee's other books!
Thank you to the publisher for a copy of the book and including me on the tour for this series. (less)
Do you love the movie The Holiday? I do… I mean, I was just reminded when talking with a friend on twitter just how much. I think it oftentimes gets o...moreDo you love the movie The Holiday? I do… I mean, I was just reminded when talking with a friend on twitter just how much. I think it oftentimes gets overlooked by movies like Love, Actually or the fact that Jack Black is in it, but the premise of it is something I would love to try… you know if people wanted to come stay in gross Wisconsin in the middle of winter. Anyway… there is a point to my ramble, I promise. Mine Under The Mistletoe borrows a bit from The Holiday, but only in that California Girl Ashley and Sexy Brit Oliver are set to trade places for the Christmas holiday.
Ashley, never having had a proper Christmas is set to live out her dream of a proper English Christmas and Oliver is running away…away from the memories that he continues to struggle with and he thinks sunny San Diego is the answer.
A freak ice storm grounds Oliver’s plane and he’s forced home never expecting that Ashley has arrived, and Ashley was definitely NOT expecting a naked brit to attempt crawling into bed with her. After a knee to the junk and a bit of panic they finally realize what has happened and who each other are.
Even though Oliver isn’t a fan of the holiday, he offers to show Ashley around the area and help her get her first Christmas just right. But the more time they spend together, the more their attraction to each other grows, both knowing that what they have can go nowhere and when the time comes, will they find a way to make things work, or will they go their separate ways? You’ll have to read to find out.
This is the second novella I have read in the All I’m Asking For Holiday Collection from Carina and I really enjoyed the story! The characters themselves were likable and well fleshed out for a novella.
Both Oliver and Ashley are struggling with loss and they form a bit of a silent bond over it, and while their stories are a bit sad, they never really overshadowed the build of the relationship between them.
My only issue of course was the quick ‘I love you’s’, but I also realize that this is a novella and there are only so many pages to get there. I just struggle with that insta-love portion of these short stories sometimes. I will say that that doesn’t take away from the sweet love story that you get with Mine Under The Mistletoe.
If you’re looking for some quick holiday reads that will have you cheering for the characters and swooning over the guys, I can vouch for 2 out of the 3 short stories in this compilation –Mine Under the Mistletoe is the perfect read I’ll definitely be looking for more from Kat Latham in 2014! (less)
Robin was a party girl… in college it’s the thing to do right? That is, she was until she got so drunk she blacked out and had...more2.5 stars rounding to 3
Robin was a party girl… in college it’s the thing to do right? That is, she was until she got so drunk she blacked out and had sex with her best friend’s boyfriend. Now she’s struggling with the guilt of it and she’s cut herself off socially from everyone, shutting them all out. Until she meets Phoenix.
Phoenix is recently released from jail on the day he meets Robin. Sleeping on his cousin’s couch he overhears a conversation between her and her friend. He’s inexplicably drawn to her… the quiet withdrawn, sweet and artistic girl has secrets… but doesn’t everyone?
This was my first Erin McCarthy book, and while I may look for other books by her in the future, I’m not sure I’ll read anything else in this series. I struggled with this book. A LOT.
Let’s talk about what I did like first… The writing was really well done, the story flowed really well, and the characters were wonderfully developed.
I liked Robin. I really did. I mean how many of us have done something incredibly stupid after drinking? It just so happens that her mistake is constantly reminding her about it and pursuing things he shouldn’t be. This really put her struggle in a different light for me, because most times we can move on from our stupidity, but between living with her best friend, and getting random text messages from the douchebag, she really wasn’t allowed that.
I even liked Phoenix… His struggle to make something of himself, his fierce loyalty to his family despite their faults … these things make him a wonderful guy. And the way he and Robin connect was wonderfully done. It wasn’t forced, you can see how why they end up together.
The things I didn’t like though, overshadowed these positive for me.
I struggle all the time with insta-love and let me tell you this book had it in abundance. Yes, as I said above, I understand the connection they have and the bond they form, but (view spoiler)[OMG PHOENIX TATTOOS HER FACE ON HIS BODY ONE MONTH AFTER THEY MEET!!!
I mean… I get it, you’re young… you want to make a statement. But come on. I would have been running for the hills. (hide spoiler)]
Also, the tiny bit of a plot point with the former prison mate? I didn’t get it. I didn’t understand the point of even having that be part of the drama and to be perfectly honest, it was done pretty half-assed. I mean, the story would have been fine without it. Believe me, there is enough drama in other areas of this story. Yeah, okay, his past is catching up with him… but if you wanted it to be a serious plot point, then at least put the effort into including it and making it a serious part of the story.
Finally, the anger issues that Phoenix has. I know they are touched on and discussed as part of his ‘problems’… but do we have to keep making beating the shit out of people and things sexy? It could just be me, but I don’t find it sexy. AND the fact that Phoenix does what he does at one point and there are absolutely no repercussions to it is unbelievable to me. UNBELIEVABLE.
So there you have it. Like I said I struggled a bit with this one for the reasons above. But if you’re a fan of drama filled New Adult stuff then this just might be a perfect fit for you. I see Ms. McCarthy has some other books I might try though, because as I said there were some things I really liked about this, but ultimately the characters and their actions didn’t work for me.
Thank you to Penguin and Netgalley for the advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Sleigh Bells in the Snow is a wonderful holiday read. Kayla Green no longer enjoys Christmas… instead she spends the time working and avoiding every s...moreSleigh Bells in the Snow is a wonderful holiday read. Kayla Green no longer enjoys Christmas… instead she spends the time working and avoiding every single thing that represents the holiday. When she’s given the opportunity to spend Christmas in a secluded cabin in Vermont, she jumps at the opportunity.
Jackson O’Neil left home years ago… he created his own amazingly successful business, but comes home when he finds out that his family resort is in trouble. His only answer is to have the best PR person help him make it the success it once was. Kayla Green.
Neither was counting on the fact that they would be attracted to each other and from the very first meet they find themselves fighting their attraction…Because Kayla doesn’t do relationships as much as she doesn’t do Christmas. Once you find out her reasons for her dislike of the holidays it all falls into place and I definitely found my thoughts full of sympathy for her.
”Loneliness could be felt at any time, of course, but there was something exquisitely painful about the loneliness that came along with Christmas.”
I really enjoyed the characters in this first book of the O’Neil Brothers series. We get to know not only about Jackson and Kayla, but we also get to know the entire O’Neil family and those that work for them. Each was unique and wonderfully developed and I’m looking forward to see where Morgan takes each of the characters … I have my suspicions, but I guess I’ll have to wait and see!
The family dynamic that Morgan shares definitely made this book incredibly interesting… all the different characters and how they interact are really what ultimately makes the story. From the gruff and grumpy grandfather to the sweet and understanding mother to the former competitive skier now turned ski instructor brother and his daughter you quickly realize that each of them is an important part of this story.
And so is the location. Having never been to Vermont, Morgan made it easy to imagine the resort and the cabins around it. Dare I say, I’d love a trip to Snow Crystal and a night in the cabin that Kayla got to stay in. And I’m not that much of a fan of winter or snow.
Here’s where I have to complain a bit. Because if I noticed it… I’m sure someone else will. There was way too much telling instead of showing. We’re told repeatedly as a reader that Jackson and Kayla have this amazing chemistry but I never actually read it… sure the sexy parts are sexy, but there are 30 instances of the word ‘chemistry’.
“…thinking about him and the chemistry. And that kiss.” “she felt the chemistry flare.” “his eyes dark, the sexual chemistry so intense she couldn’t breathe.” “the sheer force of the chemistry shocked her because it was as sharp as it was unfamiliar.” “…ripped through her, the sexual chemistry so intense the heat threatened to burn right through them.”
You see what I’m saying right? I never want to see the word chemistry in a romance book again because after I spotted it a couple times it was like fingernails on chalkboard every time I saw it afterwards.
That was my only complaint here for sure though…
If you’re looking for a sweet & sexy holiday story definitely pick this one up. The writing is wonderfully done and the characters are ones you’ll find yourself caring about more and more with each turn of the page.
Thank you to Harlequin for the advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts. (less)
Are you looking for a sweet, definitely sexy and absolutely wonderful holiday read?
You need to pick up this Novella by Brighton Walsh.
In Season of S...moreAre you looking for a sweet, definitely sexy and absolutely wonderful holiday read?
You need to pick up this Novella by Brighton Walsh.
In Season of Second chances we meet Claire and Logan... exes who went their separate ways several years ago. Claire finds herself stranded in the airport and Logan just happens to come to her rescue offering her a place to wait out the storm... and spend her birthday.
Despite being apart for two years, their chemistry certainly hasn't diminished and spending time in the place they once called home together reminds Claire of all the reasons they worked ... but also all the reasons they didn't.
If you guys have read other stuff from Walsh, you know she can create a swoony guy... Logan is no exception to that. Do hot, single dads make you swoon? Because Logan has a 7 year old daughter and the interactions we see between them will have you swooning just as much as Claire was.
And despite what I felt was an over-reaction on Claire's part at one point, you can't help but identify with her and the way she feels about Logan. Does she love him? yes... but sometimes loving someone isn't enough to make a relationship work and that is the call she had to make years ago and the issue arises again, just when she thinks they will be able to make things work.
Realistic characters, a love story that will have you fanning yourself on one page and swooning over sweet stuff on the next, and excellent writing is what is in store for you when you pick up The Season of Second Chances! Get this one as soon as you can! It's the perfect holiday read! (less)
If you're looking for a quick holiday read to get yourself in the mood put this one on your list.
'Tis the Season to Kiss Santa was a sweet novella and...moreIf you're looking for a quick holiday read to get yourself in the mood put this one on your list.
'Tis the Season to Kiss Santa was a sweet novella and the first I've read from Kate Hardy.
Mitch is on the way to the top as a PR Executive except his boss isn't exactly on the same page as he is. Sure, Mitch succeeds in his professional life, but his home life is a bit cold and lonely and he certainly doesn't have any Christmas spirit. His boss decides that he'll be the one going to play Santa this year at a hospice for children.
Ellie is a pastry chef, in the US from London to help out her godmother. Which also includes filling in as Head Elf in the same hospice.
The two couldn't be more different, but they connect on a level that neither was expecting.
I'm not going to say much more here, but I think if you're looking for something a little bit steamy to get you into the Christmas spirit this would be a good start.
Thank you to Netgalley and Entangled for the advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.
I can admit it… I like fluffy romances with hot sexy guys, and Candis Terry provides that with the Sweet Texas series.
In Something Sweeter, we’re sti...moreI can admit it… I like fluffy romances with hot sexy guys, and Candis Terry provides that with the Sweet Texas series.
In Something Sweeter, we’re still learning about the Wilder boys, and I have fallen for each one of them. This time we get Jesse’s story. Jesse is the biggest playboy in Sweet… at least that’s the impression he’s intending to leave. But when Allison whirls into Sweet, will that reputation cause him problems?
Allison is in town to make sure her dad isn’t falling for the wrong kind of woman and as someone who doesn’t believe in love anymore she’s sure there’s some other reason they’re getting married. Only she doesn’t count on running into Jesse Wilder her first night in town and she certainly doesn’t expect him to be the son of the woman her father is marrying.
Jesse might have a reputation in Sweet, but that doesn’t mean it’s true and it certainly doesn’t mean he doesn’t believe in love. He’s determined to show Allison that true love does exist and while she might just be perfect for him, it isn’t his turn to fall in love.
I think that what I like most about these books are the relationships in the Wilder family. Not only the brothers, but their mother. Jana, who always has some kind of sage advice and even the ladies in the family. Things may not be perfect… and they’ve certainly had their share of loss and heartache, but despite that, there always tends to be a silver lining that they can find. In Something Sweeter we actually learn a bit more about his brother which I really liked since he is a big factor in each of these novels.
If you’re looking for a romance with a sassy, spunky heroine and a sexy, slightly tortured hero… a charming, fun and lighthearted read… then I definitely recommend this series from Candis Terry.
A must read for fans of Jill Shalvis and Susan Mallery!
Thank you to Avon Books & Edelweiss for the advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts. (less)
Jackson Wilder has had a rough couple years, but the firefighter and former Marine is making his own way. When his former best friend returns to Sweet...moreJackson Wilder has had a rough couple years, but the firefighter and former Marine is making his own way. When his former best friend returns to Sweet all the emotions he pushed away are suddenly brought to the surface and he’s determined to confront her about the past.
Abby Morgan has returned to Sweet after her sham of a marriage falls apart and she’s tossed aside. She’s readying her parents’ home for sale. She was hoping to be in and out of Sweet before even being noticed, but that’s not the case when Jackson shows up on her doorstep. Just seeing him reawakens all the feelings she has buried away.
The last time they saw each other, Jackson was heading off to war after an amazing night spent in each other’s arms. But Abby was his best friend and the only person he can confide in and despite sharing all his firsts with her he’s not willing to risk that for the possibility of a relationship.
His lack of any kind of promise drove Abby away and into the arms of her now ex-husband Mark Rich. But being back in Sweet renews all the old feelings she had for Jackson and while he may deny that they may have feelings that are more than friend related she is determined to get him to see her as more.
First let’s talk about Jackson. *fans self* Best. Dad. Ever. We get to see him as a father… letting his 3 year old putting makeup on him and doing his hair … singing along to Disney movies and entertaining his daughter. But he struggles with his demons… the death of his brother and the guilt he carries because of it. He struggles with the idea that he scares his daughter because of those demons. And he struggles with the idea that he and Abby can’t have anything more than friendship. Oh… and he says stupid things. LOL But holy crap does he make up for it in sexiness and swoon.
I really liked Abby too. She was relatable and strong and determined to have Jackson see her for who she could be to him instead of being stuck in the friendzone. But his stubbornness is definitely going to be a problem.
As in the first book in the Sweet, Texas series, Terry has given us a wonderful small town feel with memorable characters and stories. The Wilder boys are larger than life and Jana Wilder, their mother remains one of my favorites.
You can definitely see the setup for the hopefully upcoming books which I assume will give us more on the remaining Wilder boys, Jesse and Jake. While the plot of the story itself isn’t completely different, Terry writes with a fresh voice and gives us interesting characters and stories that I can be invested and interested in.
If you’re looking for a light-hearted romance with some sexy guys you definitely need to add the Sweet, Texas series to your to read list.
This review can be found on my blog, Fic Fare: (less)
I love Kitty French - I first found her through her Knight novels and when I saw she had this novella coming I grabbed it as soon as I could.
This is d...moreI love Kitty French - I first found her through her Knight novels and when I saw she had this novella coming I grabbed it as soon as I could.
This is definitely a quick read but it uses one of my absolute favorite tropes - friends to more. And Kitty does an amazing job with it.
Ruby and Ford had been best friends from their university days. Upon their graduation Ruby is tied to England because of her responsibilities to her little sister and Ford... well he's not tied to anything and he's getting on a plane the following day.
Both dreading the departure, Ford takes advantage of an opportunity to share a moment ... a kiss that had been years in the making with Ruby. But then he leaves.
Eight years later, after no contact, Ford is set to make his arrival back in England for a mutual friends wedding, which means Ruby has to see him.
One of the reasons I love the friends to more trope is because you get that deeper connection between the characters and despite this story being short, you can definitely get a good feel for the one that Ford and Ruby had and the connection that reignites upon their meeting again.
Ford was ... yum. I don't even know if there is another word for him.
"I'm not asking to kiss you. I'm telling you that I'm going to."
And Ruby... I appreciate that she wasn't pining away for Ford all the years he was gone, and there was no drama when he originally left. She knew what her friend needed to do and she didn't try to hold him back.
I do wish that we would have gotten a bit more of this story - but that's just me being greedy because I love this author's writing. Definitely pick this one up if you're looking for a quick, hot, sexy holiday read!
Thanks to St. Martin's and Netgalley for the advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts. (less)
Lacey and Galen are just around the corner from their wedding day. Both excited to start their lives together. Lacey wants to start on the big family...moreLacey and Galen are just around the corner from their wedding day. Both excited to start their lives together. Lacey wants to start on the big family they've both been dreaming about, but problems arise in the form of fertility issues.
Galen doesn't care how many children they have and if it's not meant to be they will find another way... but he can't wait to start married life with Lacey.
When bad news arrives just a week before the big day, Lacey struggles with the idea that she can never give Galen the life he imagined and Galen does everything he can to show her that she is who she wants.
It was really wonderful to revisit Galen and Lacey. I really enjoyed their book in this series. Bell does a wonderful job of bringing us back to their story and these two were as hot as ever.
But there are some heavier issues in this short novella. Lacey is struggling with fertility issues and it's causing a rift between her and Galen. Her focus has been on doing what she can to get pregnant and start a family rather than on Galen and their relationship and in turn it's suffering. They feel disconnected from each other... and Bell does an amazing job of capturing the feelings that not only Lacey, but Galen is going through during it all.
I love that we got peeks at some of my favorite secondary characters, but also I'm kind of hoping that this leads into a story for Rafe and maybe Courtney... because I'm as intrigued by him as she is!
If you're looking for something short with a lot of emotion definitely pick up Down the Aisle! I'll be looking for more in the Dare Me series ... soon I hope!
Thanks to Entangled and Christine for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.