The Summer He Came Home by Juliana Stone wasn’t a spectacular, or riveting, or exciting story. However, it was a simple, real, and heartfelt story imb...moreThe Summer He Came Home by Juliana Stone wasn’t a spectacular, or riveting, or exciting story. However, it was a simple, real, and heartfelt story imbued with wonderful ambiance, likeable characters and a lovely romance that kept me invested in the plot and characters until the very last page.
As much as I enjoyed the story, I especially liked Stone’s writing. She has a lovely writing style that allows the reader to feel as if they are actually within the story, experiencing everything the characters think and feel. The town, and the characters that inhabit it, came alive as a result of Stone’s vivid descriptions of the different people and places in the town of Crystal Lake.
After reading the premise for Secret Desire by Susan D. Taylor, I was interested in reading a story about second chances at love; complete with all th...more After reading the premise for Secret Desire by Susan D. Taylor, I was interested in reading a story about second chances at love; complete with all the complications, misunderstandings and insecurities that usually plague the heroine and hero. Secret Desire had all the usual complications, but the overall story, as well as characters, failed to deliver.
We spend a lot of time with Claire and Dustin, and rightfully so as they are the lead characters. However, in books with well-rounded and dynamic protagonists, and a well put together plot, this isn’t a problem, but in the case of Secret Desire, maybe a strong supporting character would have given this story the spark it sorely lacked. Because I found both Claire and Dustin to be extremely dull and the plot wasn’t much better. My interest in the characters, their motivations, their hopes and fears, and their romance, was pretty much none existent about less than halfway into the book.
Claire spends most of the book dissatisfied with her job as a journalist (when she’s not grieving for her parents or pining for Dustin). What she truly wants is to write erotic romance novels, but she’s too afraid to do so, due to her fear of what everyone else will think of her, in particular her twin sister Fran. She also spends a lot of her time comparing herself to Fran and coming up short, because Fran has the more glamorous life, has the more prestigious job, house, etc. Dustin spends most of his time pining for Claire while trying to rekindle what they once had. He also spends a lot of time contemplating Fran and the role she plays in his and Claire’s lives.
When I read the synopsis for Yours at Midnight by Robin Bielman, it sounded like it would be an interesting read, but I honestly wasn’t sure what to e...more When I read the synopsis for Yours at Midnight by Robin Bielman, it sounded like it would be an interesting read, but I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m happy that I decided to read this book, because I really enjoyed it in the end.
Yours at Midnight by Robin Bielman is a heart-warming tale about Lyric and Quinn; two people who are still dealing with the devastating loss of a beloved friend and brother. Throw in romantic feelings, betrayal, and a huge life-changing secret, and you end up with a story and characters that stay with you long after the story has ended. The plot was engaging and moved along at a nice steady pace. Therefore, I was never bored. In fact, I finished the book in one sitting. I thought Lyric and Quinn were well-developed, flawed, and yet very relatable. I really grew to care about these characters.
I’ve read some pretty decent contemporary romance novels lately, and Melting the Millionaire’s Heart by Linda Morris is no exception. It was a very sh...moreI’ve read some pretty decent contemporary romance novels lately, and Melting the Millionaire’s Heart by Linda Morris is no exception. It was a very short but sweet read, with an interesting premise and a likeable heroine and hero in Kayla and Ryan.
What I enjoyed most about this story was getting to know Kayla and Ryan and watching them grow as characters both individually and together. Kayla Johnston is smart and compassionate. She can also be very judgmental, particularly when it comes to Ryan Langford. To the outside world Ryan Langford appears to be a millionaire playboy, in reality he’s just a lonely guy who’s very guarded against those outside his immediate family, because most people only want to be around him for his money. When they meet, sparks fly and the two go on an emotional journey that changes the way they view themselves and each other.
A fearless girl named Max meets a perfect boy named Cade, and they both find out that neither is perfect nor fearless.
Faking It by Cora Carmack is the...moreA fearless girl named Max meets a perfect boy named Cade, and they both find out that neither is perfect nor fearless.
Faking It by Cora Carmack is the follow up novel to Losing It. It is a story about Cade and Max, and is told from both view-points. Two people meet, decide to pretend to be a couple, and end up getting much more than they bargained for. This was an achingly beautiful love story between two complex and broken souls. Cade is nursing a broken heart and has abandonment issues. Max has emotional intimacy issues and has a need to please her parents by pretending to be someone she’s not. Of course both of their issues run much deeper, and we eventually get more and more insight into their pasts and backgrounds as their relationship deepens.
After the death of her sister, Eva Ward returns to Trelowarth, the place where she and her sister spent many happy summers vacationing during their yo...moreAfter the death of her sister, Eva Ward returns to Trelowarth, the place where she and her sister spent many happy summers vacationing during their youth. Eva doesn’t know it yet, but she’s about to embark on an adventure filled with mystery, intrigue, and danger; all while falling in love with a mysterious stranger who couldn’t possibly belong in her time. Will Eva be able to hold on to a love that’s rooted in the past?
The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley was a mostly enjoyable read. Kearsley did a commendable job creating a mysterious world filled with danger, mystery, and romance; a world inhabited by unique and intriguing characters. In the beginning, the story dragged somewhat; therefore, I had a difficult time getting into the story. Thankfully, the pace eventually picked up about halfway through the book. In the end, there were enough twists and turns and revelations to keep me interested and guessing until the very last page.
At the center of the story is the concept of time-travel. I’ve always been a fan of time-travel; from Back to the Future, to Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, time-travel in movies and books has always fascinated me. So when I read the synopsis for The Rose Garden, I immediately jumped at the chance to read this book. Throughout the story, Eva slips between centuries. One moment Eva’s in the current century, and the next she’s in the eighteenth century. At times Eva’s ability to slip in and out of time was jarring, but I suppose it worked, because the experience was just as jarring for Eva.
Until a night ago, Mandy thought she had the perfect life; a wonderful husband and two amazing children. But when she catches her husband Mike in a ve...moreUntil a night ago, Mandy thought she had the perfect life; a wonderful husband and two amazing children. But when she catches her husband Mike in a very compromising position with another woman, life as she knows it changes forever. As she struggles with her husband’s infidelity, Adam Kraft enters her life. Adam’s attractive, kind, understanding, allows Mandy to cry on his shoulder, and he’s undeniably attracted to her. The two hit it off and genuine feelings become involved. Now Mandy must decide if she can forgive her husband or if she should take a chance on a new love.
Trouble Won’t Wait by Autumn Piper paints a vivid picture of infidelity and its’ consequences. Through Mandy we see just how destructive, painful, and humiliating infidelity can be. Mike’s affair affects not only their marriage, but their children, family, friends and even Mandy’s self-esteem. She experiences a wide range of emotions. From one minute to the next she goes from hating her husband, to loving him, to questioning whether or not she can ever forgive him, to thinking about taking him back, and so on and so forth. It was an emotional roller-coaster as well as a harrowing journey for Mandy.
I chose to read Wrong Bed, Right Guy by Katee Robert because the premise sounded fun and interesting. The fact that the heroine attempts to seduce the...moreI chose to read Wrong Bed, Right Guy by Katee Robert because the premise sounded fun and interesting. The fact that the heroine attempts to seduce the guy she has a crush on by getting into bed with him, made me want to find out what happened next. For one, I wanted to see if the fallout from a plan gone awry would be humorous, devastating, or just plain embarrassing. Because let’s face it, the plan didn’t sound like a good one. Also, I like books where the heroine likes one guy, but ends up falling for another guy. I was all set to read what I’d hoped would be a fun and entertaining story. Unfortunately, this book did not live up to my expectations.
We’re introduced to our heroine, Elle Walser. She works at the local art gallery as an art curator; the perfect job for Elle, because not only is she passionate about art, but she has a major crush on her boss, Nathan Schultz. Nathan Schultz is everything Elle wants in a potential boyfriend. He’s handsome, cultured, and he loves art just as much as she does. After several failed attempts to catch his eye, she decides that the best way to get his attention is to get in bed with him. Needless to say, everything doesn’t go according to plan when she ends up in bed with a guy who just so happens to be Nathan’s brother. Gabe Schultz is the bad boy to Elle’s good girl, and even though she’s attracted, she’s been burned by men like Gabe in the past. However, it’s extremely hard to fight her attraction to the bad boy when she starts to see past his tattoo riddled exterior.
I really wanted to like this book, but there was one character standing in the way of my enjoyment, Elle. The characterization for Elle was disappointing to say the least. The self-proclaimed good girl was downright irritating. Those surrounding her thought she was a sweet and decent girl, but whenever she interacted with Gabe she was extremely rude, judgmental and a snob. On top of all that, she was a huge drama queen. Elle isn’t the only character that I had issues with. The supporting characters like Nathan and Roxanne were extremely flat; they weren’t very memorable. Gabe was the only well-rounded character, therefore, he was the only character I liked and cared about.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I decided to read Hell on Wheels by Julie Ann Walker, but I was ready to take a break from the paranormal and histor...moreI wasn’t sure what to expect when I decided to read Hell on Wheels by Julie Ann Walker, but I was ready to take a break from the paranormal and historical romances I’ve been reading lately; I was excited to read something a bit more contemporary. So when I read the synopsis for this book, I was instantly convinced that this sounded like the type of book I would love. A sweet heroine and a motorcycle riding ex-marine, thrown into a thrilling world of mystery, romance and danger appeared to be the perfect recipe for an entertaining read.
One thing I really liked about this book was the author’s writing. Walker’s vivid and descriptive writing made me feel as though I was inside the story. I could almost hear the sounds, smell the different scents permeating the streets of Chicago, and feel the danger. The action scenes were impressive and well-written. And there was just the right amount of humor in the midst of all the danger and angst.
For the most part, I thought the supporting characters were lively, quirky and well-developed. I really grew to like them. Sadly, I had a couple of issues with the heroine and hero of the story, which is a problem because it’s extremely difficult for me to like, let alone love a book if I can’t connect with the main character or characters.
Julie Ann Walker is back with a story about the men of Black Knights, Inc.; a small team of covert government defense contractors. In the first book o...moreJulie Ann Walker is back with a story about the men of Black Knights, Inc.; a small team of covert government defense contractors. In the first book of the series, Hell on Wheels, we got to see love blossom between Alison Morgan and Nate Weller. Now, with the second entry in the series, In Rides Trouble, we get to see love flourish between Rebecca Reichert and Frank “Boss” Knight. Believe it or not, this story is filled with even more action than the first book, as well danger, suspense, guns, Somali pirates, and romance. This was one entertaining story that kept me riveted till the very end.
Once again, Walker has a wonderful writing style, and is especially good with writing great action sequences, in particular car and motorcycle chases, as well as realistic fight scenes. She also imbues her characters and stories with a wonderful sense of humor, which lessens the severity of any violence or drama that can be found sprinkled throughout her novels. That’s not to say that any of the violence inflicted upon any of the characters is treated lightly, just that humor helps to add balance.
The characters are colorful and intriguing, from the hero and heroine, to the supporting characters. Speaking of supporting characters, I especially enjoyed getting to know Becky’s big brother and fellow Knight “Wild” Bill Reichert and the newest Knight “Angel” Jamin Agassi. Each man had a unique personality, and had funny and charming interactions with Becky and each other.