Thursday, May 24, 2018

Silver Star by Lisa Swinton

Her cowboy might just be another broken-heart ballad waiting to happen…

Country superstar Sara Silver has it all: fame, fortune, and a mantel full of Grammys. She also has a string of chart-topping heartbreak songs to go with them—all based on her miserable love life. Now her manager says Sara doesn’t sing with the heart she used to. If she doesn’t come up with another hit album soon, then her label will move on to the next big thing.

Sara heads to a ranch in Wyoming to get back to her country roots and rediscover herself. To keep the press away, she hides her identity and is determined to let nothing distract her. Then she meets Cal: tall, brooding, and all cowboy. Sara falls for Cal and the quiet ranch life, but with each song she writes her time there draws to a close.

Sara will have to choose between the country stars of Nashville or the glittering stars of a Wyoming sky…unless she can find a way to have both.

 * Amazon * Goodreads

For me, a great story has to have characters that I both like (hopefully love!) and feel an emotional connection to.  That is what I found here.  Cal, Sara and little Stella were so likable!  The connection for me happened so naturally and easily.  I loved that.

The journey for Sara isn't so much an awakening as it is a re-awakening.  Her soul has just forgotten joy.  As Sara reacquaints herself with the core of who she once was, she finds her joy returning and it was so satisfying as a reader.  

I loved the gentle, developing romance even though I had to wait sooooooooooooo long for a kiss.  Good grief.  The build up!  It was killing me.  I loved the inclusion of music and how important it was to Sara.  And the ending?!  So good.  Yay for happily ever after endings!

This story was so good!  I loved every page of it.  💙

Content:  clean, kissing, one assault scene (almost rape)

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.
   

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Perfect Set by Melanie Jacobson + $25 and Book Giveaway!


Bree Mercer is an ambitious sports reporter who has risen through the ranks to land her dream job. Basking in the sun, sea, and seriously cute guys in her new singles ward, things couldn't be better. That is, until she's assigned to write a feature on the one person she can't stand—professional beach volleyball player Kade Townsend. A typical cocky athlete, Kade's previous attempt to woo her was foiled by Bree's hard-and-fast rule: don't date athletes. Ever.

Kade loathes the media, and for good reason: when his hard-partying ways were exposed by a reporter who claimed to be his friend, the scandal rocked his entire family. Now reformed, Kade has put his life back together, and he has no interest in talking to reporters—least of all Bree Mercer. But when the pair is thrown together despite their best efforts, their chemistry is undeniable. They can't seem to put the brakes on their feelings—until their connection threatens Bree's reputation and Kade's hard-won redemption. Now they must decide if there is a place for love in their plans for the future.


I love this cover!  It is a perfect representation of what is inside.  Plus, it's just cute!!  I love it.  I also loved this story.  

There was a perfect balance of tension and banter between these two characters.  The chemistry was sparking throughout the whole book.  I loved how I got to know both Bree and Kade more and more as the book went on- their likes, their personalities and what made them tick.  I really felt like I was getting to know them like I would get to know someone in real life.  And perhaps most importantly, even with their obvious flaws, I liked them!  

I read through this book so quickly.  It was a fun, diverting story and it made me happy.

Content:  LDS fiction so some mention of going to church and some things specific to the LDS religion (not drinking coffee, temples) but nothing preachy.  Mention of pornography addiction.  Kissing.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions expressed are my own.


Schedule:
* May 25th: http://www.iamareader.com/, http://bonnieharris.blogspot.com/, http://www.blogginboutbooks.com/, http://booksaresanity.blogspot.com/
 
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Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Promposal (The Ugly Stepsister Series, #2) by Sariah Wilson


Now that life has finally given her everything she’s ever wanted, Mattie Lowe has one thing on her mind: Prom. Determined to throw the most epic prom ever, Mattie sets out to plan a memorable and magical event—one that would make the late John Hughes proud.

But when her gorgeous and perfect boyfriend, Jake Kingston hasn’t popped the most creative promposal of all time, Mattie starts to worry. Actually, Jake hasn’t asked her at all—he’s been distant and quiet. And Mattie isn’t about to go to her senior prom solo. Suddenly, it seems that everything is stacked against her and falling apart quickly. With rivals vowing to sabotage her event and her boyfriend’s odd behavior, Mattie’s convinced the night is headed toward ruin. Will the snarky, purple-haired manga artist lead her class to an unforgettable night of fun and frolic or will she go down in high school history as the worst president to run the school?

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

What a fun book!  This will take you right back those high school days- rival enemies out to destroy you, classes, boyfriends, prom, prom dresses- the whole shebang!  And if you are still in high school, you will relate to so much of this book.

It was awesome to have the carryover of characters from the first book in this series.  It pretty much picks up where the other left off.  So, because of that, I would recommend reading The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back first.  You won't be sorry.

There was humor in this book and I found myself smiling a lot because Mattie is just funny.  I loved the relationship between Mattie and her sister, and of course, between Mattie and Jake too.  

The ending was so super sweet and I may have just swooned a little.  And not just because there was chocolate involved.  😁  I am a Sariah Wilson fan!  I read everything she writes because her books just resonate in my happy spot.  

Content:  kissing

- I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley at my request.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Take a Chance on Me: A MyHeartChannel Romance by Kaylee Baldwin


Madelyn Stewart knows how to have fun, no matter what her ex-husband claims, but between working two jobs and taking care of her five-year-old son, opportunities for fun are few and far between. So when she is given tickets to take her son to see a live taping of the MyHeartChannel show Take a Chance, they go, even though it means she’ll have to stay up all night to turn in her latest article on time. To her shock, the daredevil star, Chance Risk, is none other than Graham Sawyer, the quiet accounting major she’d dated in college—someone she’d cowardly broken up with by note and hoped to never see again. When she makes a major mistake on her article, she has to swallow her embarrassment and reach out to Chance for an exclusive or risk losing her job.

Chance Risk doesn’t talk to reporters. Not after the way he’s seen them destroy his brother’s marriage and career. But Take a Chance is starting to lose viewers, he’s desperate. Despite his better judgement, when Madelyn reaches out, he can’t resist the opening to figure out why she broke his heart eight years before. His only condition: she has to come to three filming locations with him and his crew to get a real sense of what the show is about.

Swept up in adventure, they start to feel the chemistry from college rekindling. But the reason Madelyn left eight years before still looms between them. If Chance can’t convince Madelyn to take a chance on love, she’ll walk away again. This time forever.


 I love the idea behind this series of books, each written by a different author.  Each of the main characters has a social media channel where they specialize in something specific.  In this story, Chance does a travel, educational, daredevil channel.  He is an extrovert, full of charisma and charm.  And Madelyn?  She is his polar opposite in almost every way.  AND, she is the girl that ran away from him with only a note left behind and no explanation.

Chance is one forgiving, smitten guy.  After everything Madelyn did to him, and honestly continues to do to him, he just keeps coming back for more.  I'm not sure I understood what the draw was for Chance and what attracted him so much to Madelyn, but I guess the heart loves who the heart loves.  He definitely provided some swoony moments that had the butterflies swirling in my tummy!

The addition of Madelyn's little boy brought a much needed aspect to the story.  It helped give Madelyn some warmth and it helped me to connect with her as a mother because otherwise, I'm not sure I would have made that much needed emotional connection.

This is a sweet romance, just a bit of romantic fluff to fill your minutes.   I liked it!

Content:  kissing

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch


Addie is visiting Ireland for her aunt’s over-the-top destination wedding, and hoping she can stop thinking about the one horrible thing she did that left her miserable and heartbroken—and threatens her future. But her brother, Ian, isn’t about to let her forget, and his constant needling leads to arguments and even a fistfight between the two once inseparable siblings. Miserable, Addie can’t wait to visit her friend in Italy and leave her brother—and her problems—behind.

So when Addie discovers an unusual guidebook, Ireland for the Heartbroken, hidden in the dusty shelves of the hotel library, she’s able to finally escape her anxious mind and Ian’s criticism.

And then their travel plans change. Suddenly Addie finds herself on a whirlwind tour of the Emerald Isle, trapped in the world’s smallest vehicle with Ian and his admittedly cute, Irish-accented friend Rowan. As the trio journeys over breathtaking green hills, past countless castles, and through a number of fairy-tale forests, Addie hopes her guidebook will heal not only her broken heart, but also her shattered relationship with her brother.

That is if they don’t get completely lost along the way.


First of all, I love this cover.  So simple, so cute.

I was pretty excited to read this book because I read Love & Gelato and fell in love with it.  This one wasn't as good as Love & Gelato for me but I really did enjoy a lot of it.  This is a contemporary YA book, no romance really, just some family and friends working things out.  

Road trip anyone?  Through Ireland?  Yes, please.  But maybe with a touch less drama than Addie and Ian's.  Real life issues face both Addie and Ian who are the best of friends and the closest of siblings until secrets come out and feelings are hurt.  Then they are at war with each other.  Just like with any real relationships, there are bumps in the road and sometimes you have to work through the hard stuff to find the beauty on the other side.  

I loved the real and messy feel to Addie, Ian and Rowan's feelings.  They are young, trying to find their way and becoming stronger.  It was a satisfying journey.

I didn't love the travel book excerpts so much.  I liked the idea behind it- especially how it ended, but the "voice" was a touch over the top and had me rolling my eyes a bit.  Maybe this would appeal more to the younger crowd?  I just might be too old for it.  Ha.

Content:  mild swearing

- I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Unforgettable by Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen + $25 and Book Giveaway!


Haley has always admired her strong-willed great-grandmother Grisa. The woman survived the disappearance of her husband and thrived after her immigration to America at the beginning of World War II. But when a shocking telephone call from a detective in Germany turns Haley's life upside down in an instant, she finds herself questioning everything she thought she knew about her heritage.

The body of Ulrich Krauss has been found, and the renowned toymaker and artist has a shocking connection to Haley: he is her great-grandfather—not missing but murdered. Now, at the request of her ailing great-grandmother, Haley travels to Germany to seek answers. What she finds instead are more questions and a growing sense of danger dogging her every step. Protection appears in the form of Joshua, an attractive man from Haley's past who is in Germany on business.
Together the pair embarks on an emotional quest for the truth, only to discover that a generations-old plot is very much alive, and there are those as determined as ever to keep the facts surrounding Ulrich's death hidden—even if it means silencing his great-granddaughter for good.


This is a mystery, light suspense novel.  There really isn't much romance, just a growing friendship that turns into more the last couple pages.  The whole book covers just a handful of days so it makes sense.

I thought the concept of this book was good, the plot was interesting.  I love how it started off giving us most of the information while the characters worked through the muddy stuff.  😀  I almost wish I could have had more of the historical stuff, more about Ulrich from his point of view like we did in the beginning.  He was such an interesting character to me and the one I had the most attachment to.

The story was a bit slow for me.  The suspense wasn't especially gripping where I felt the need to keep turning pages in desperation.  I didn't have a real emotional connection to the main character except to appreciate her devotion to her great grandmother.  I could sense her kindness but I wasn't emotionally drawn to her.  Even though this wasn't my favorite book by this author, I will be coming back for more because I love her mystery/suspense angle and how she keeps things clean!  3/5 stars

Content:  mild violence, peril, death

- I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions expressed are my own.


Schedule:
*May 18th: http://whynotbecauseisaidso.blogspot.com/, http://www.wishfulendings.com/, http://literarytimeout.blogspot.com/, http://booksaresanity.blogspot.com/
 
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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Cover Reveal: The Promise of Home by Michele Paige Holmes

I am thrilled to show you this amazing new cover by photographer Brekke Felt. 
Here it is...


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