Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Beauty Among Ruins by J'nell Ciesielski


American socialite Lily Durham is known for enjoying one moment to the next, with little regard for the consequences of her actions. But just as she is banished overseas to England as a “cure” for her frivolous ways, the Great War breaks out and wreaks havoc. She joins her cousin in nursing the wounded at a convalescent home deep in the wilds of Scotland at a crumbling castle where its laird is less than welcoming.

Alec MacGregor has given his entire life to preserving his home of Kinclavoch Castle, but mounting debts force him to sell off his family history bit by bit. Labeled a coward for not joining his countrymen in the trenches due to an old injury, he opens his home to the Tommies to make recompense while he keeps to the shadows. But his preference for the shadows is shattered when a new American nurse comes streaming into the castle on a burst of light.

Lily and Alec are thrown together when a series of mysterious events threatens to ruin the future of Kinclavoch. Can they put aside their differences to find the culprit before it’s too late, or will their greatest distraction be falling in love?

* Goodreads * Amazon *

I'm always on the lookout for books by this author.  She excels at giving me characters who grow and develop throughout the book.  Lily was questionable to me in the beginning and I wasn't sure I was going to like her but it didn't take too long for me to change my mind.  I loved how hard Lily worked to bring light and sunshine to those who needed it.   I always knew I was going to like Alec even when he was growling, brooding and barking.  His sense of duty and loyalty were there from the beginning and are traits I always find attractive.

The story evolves as threats and mystery enter from the shadows.  It gave life to the book and helped with the forward momentum because things got a little slow here and there.

I enjoyed the Scottish setting and the large cast of secondary characters.  This book was a good one and provided an excellent distraction.  As always, I will be watching for future books from this author!

Content:  mild peril, mild violence, war time violence talked about.  Kissing.

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

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Georgana's Secret by Arlem Hawks


A Regency romance on the high seas.

1811, HMS Deborah

Georgana Woodall dreams of freedom—freedom from her past and freedom from her secret. She has been living on her father’s ship for years, disguised as a cabin boy named “George.” But hiding her true self is becoming more difficult, and she yearns to break free of her life on the sea.

Lieutenant Dominic Peyton has no time in his life for love, not with his dedication to His Majesty’s Royal Navy claiming his full attention. Determined to prove himself to his new captain, he strives to be an exemplary officer and leader. When he sees the captain’s cabin boy being harassed by the crew, he immediately puts a stop to it and takes the boy under his wing.

Georgana quickly loses her heart to Dominic’s compassion and care, but needing to maintain her disguise as a cabin boy, she is convinced nothing can come of her affection.

Georgana’s Secret is about two hearts yearning to find a safe harbor, and possibly, a lasting love.

 * Amazon * Goodreads * Deseret Book *

It was so refreshing to read this regency, set on a ship on the high seas.  I loved the change in scenery and feel of the story.  The author did a great job in describing things so I could imagine in my mind what was happening, how it looked and even how it felt.  

Georgana is a character that pulls at your heartstrings.  She has endured so much and yet still remains loyal to her father and soft in all the ways that count.  Her longings touched me and I wished I were there to wrap her up in love.  I loved seeing her blossom under kindness.

Dominic is a kind man.  I wish there were more people like him.  He is observant and quick thinking and has a passion for the ocean and sailing.  It was so easy to like him.

I loved how the story progressed gently but picked up in intensity as things moved forward.  There was a battle, a violent storm and even some mutiny to liven things up.  It kept me engaged and interested all the way through.

This is the first time I've read a book by this author.  I look forward to reading more by her.

Content:  mild peril, mild violence, bullying, death.  Kissing.

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

About the Author: 

ARLEM HAWKS began making up stories before she could write. Living all over the western United States and traveling around the world gave her a love of cultures and people and the stories they have to tell. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications, with an emphasis in print journalism, and she lives in Arizona with her husband and three children.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

The Accidental Text by Becky Monson

Wrong number. Right guy?

Once upon a time, Maggie Cooper lived for adventure. Jumping out of planes was child’s play. Now she can’t even work up the nerve to ask out her coworker. For a bit of self-therapy, she begins to text her recently deceased mother’s phone—the only problem is that the number has been reassigned and for weeks she’s been unknowingly texting a stranger her deepest thoughts and feelings. There have also been some not-so-deep texts, like the ones about her appreciation for her coworker’s butt.

When Chase Beckett, the unsuspecting stranger who has more in common with Maggie than he’d like to admit, texts back, Maggie is beyond mortified. But message after message and night after night, Maggie realizes that Chase’s wit, charm, and advice are exactly what the doctor ordered. Is it enough, though, to get her back up in the sky? And what about her heart? Can she risk taking a leap of faith for the man on the other end of her accidental texts?

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

 Woosh!  This book! 💗 It wasn't quite what I was expecting but I love to be happily surprised.  Author Becky Monson typically writes books full of humor, sarcasm and wit and while there was witty banter and some humor, this book definitely had subdued overtones.  Not in a bad way at all.  Maggie lost her mother and I could feel her struggle with sorrow and missing that vital piece of her life.  

I fell in love with Maggie.  Her raw emotion, her longing to keep connections with her mother, and her desire to find the bits of her that felt lost.  Maggie is kind and works hard to create harmony and peace in her family.  I loved her adventurous spirit that clearly came because of her mother.  I felt like throughout her story, I came to know her mother too.

This whole story came together so wonderfully for me.  From the beginning where that first text came in from Chase (Chase! 😍) to their first meeting and on to the end, I felt like the relationship between Maggie and Chase progressed naturally and it felt good around my heart.  I was so invested in Maggie and Chase, wanting the very best for them.  And by the very best, I might mean kissing and love.  👄💙  There were so many awesome moments in this book.  I loved it all.  ALL.

Here is a song that the author had in her head while writing this book.  It's beautiful and I love it so I thought I would share that too.

This book is on KU! 

Content:  kissing

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

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

A Cowboy for Keeps (Colorado Cowboys, #1) by Jody Hedlund


Greta Nilsson's trip west to save her ailing little sister, Astrid, could not have gone more wrong. First, bandits hold up her stagecoach, stealing all her money. Then, upon arriving in Fairplay, Colorado, she learns the man she was betrothed to as a mail-order bride has died. Homeless, penniless, and jobless, Greta and her sister are worse off than when they started.

Wyatt McQuaid is struggling to get his new ranch up and running and is in town to purchase cattle when the mayor proposes the most unlikely of bargains. He'll invest in a herd of cattle for Wyatt's ranch if Wyatt agrees to help the town become more respectable by marrying and starting a family. And the mayor, who has promised to try to help Greta, has just the candidate in mind for Wyatt to marry.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

Ooh, I'm so excited about this new series by author Jody Hedlund and after reading this book I'm even more excited!!  

I love a good cowboy story and Wyatt is the very vision of all I imagine a strong, rugged cowboy to be.  This story has a lot of different dynamics with a mail order bride, a sick little girl, bandits, secrets, and unfortunate events but all throughout is growing friendship and trust, healing and love.  It was such a good blend of emotions, engaging me from start to finish.

The epilogue gives a glimpse into Wyatt's family and set things up nicely for the next book.

Content:  mild peril, mild violence, kissing

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

Monday, January 4, 2021

The Off Limits Rule (It Happened in Nashville #1) by Sarah Adams

I have found rock bottom. It’s here, moving in with my older brother because I’m too broke to afford to live on my own. But that’s okay because we’ve always been close and I think I’m going to have fun living with him again.
That is until I meet Cooper…

Turns out, my brother has very strong opinions on the idea of me dating his best friend and is dead set against it. According to him, Cooper is everything I should stay away from: flirtatious, adventurous, non-committal, and freaking hot. (I added that last part because I feel like you need the whole picture.) My brother is right, though. I should stay away from Cooper James and his pretty blue eyes. He’s the opposite of what I need right now.

Nah—Who am I kidding? I’m going for him.

Yes, I am starting this new year off right by reading Sarah Adam's new book, The Off Limits Rule.  Seeing that ARC land in my inbox made me feel like one lucky girl.  I absolutely adored this book- loved it, devoured it.  It was so, SO good.  Book hangover good.  Sigh.  I want to go back and read it again right now.

I am drawn to books told in the first person.  Getting to know Lucy and Cooper was so fun.  Emotions were all over the place but the attraction between Lucy and Cooper was the one steady thing!  There were so many swoon worthy moments and so many humorous moments.  I love when a book entertains me while providing those needed moments of depth and growth.  And swoon.  There was loads of chemistry and tension in this one, friends.

Sarah Adams is one of my favorite authors.  I've loved every single one of her books.  This one should definitely go on the top of everyone's list.  This book might be my favorite and yes, I say that every time.  Carve out some uninterrupted time and read this book.

This book is available on Kindle Unlimited if you have that!

Content:  some innuendo, kissing

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

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Rules are made to be Ignored (The Rules Series #2) by Mylissa Demeyere


I’ve sworn off men. For good! Finding your boyfriend cheating on you will crush even the most romantic of hearts.

Never again will Shelley allow herself to believe in happily-ever-afters that don't exist. At least, not for her. The only guy she is willing to let into her heart is Ben, her adorable eleven-year-old nephew, who just moved into town with his dad.

Adrian has finally landed the job of his dreams. His new dreams, that is. He gave up on his real dreams eleven years ago. For the last decade, he has struggled to raise his son on his own after his girlfriend split, leaving him to figure out parenthood on his own.

When Shelley offers to help out with Ben, Adrian finds himself leaning on her in ways he thought he never needed. And it’s awakening something inside him that he thought was gone forever.

Will Shelley and Adrian continue to hide behind their fixed excuses, or will they conquer the obstacles that stand between them and take what could be theirs?

 * Amazon * Goodreads

Yay for book number two in this series!!  This is a fun one, friends.  It's the kind of relationship that has the potential for some cringes as Shelley's sister has a kid with the guy she is crushing on.  Awkward, right?  Nothing like falling in love with your sister's ex.  Fortunately it didn't come off too weird and Adrian and Shelley are both great characters.  It was easy to like them and easy to root for them.

This story is told in alternating first person perspectives.  I liked seeing things from both Shelley and Adrian's points of view.  One other thing I really liked is that Shelly and Adrian didn't have some great big misunderstanding that tore them apart.  They both faced a challenge that they had to work through but they did it with relatively little drama on their parts.  I like when characters face things together.  Their love for Ben was big, obvious and I loved how it drove their decision making in the best of ways.

It was fun to see characters from the previous book, giving a feeling of community and family to this book.  Don't worry, you don't have to read the previous book to love this book but you might have a more vested interest in the secondary characters if you do.  This book is on Kindle Unlimited if you have that.

Content:  kissing

Enjoy the following excerpt! 




“It’s okay, Shell.” He calmed me down. His voice sounded in my ear, so close. Looking up, my eyes landed on his lips. Right in front of me. I got up on my knees, facing him. “It’s only a shirt.” My hand stilled, right on his chest. The heat of his body blazed through the fabric of his shirt, causing my insides to melt in a pool of hot, dark chocolate. Staring up into a similarly colored pair of eyes didn’t do much good for my unbalanced state.

“Shell.” Adrian’s voice dropped low, and I started to tremble, affected by the nearness of him. My hand clasped the fabric of his shirt, hoping to ground myself in the moment and also keep myself from toppling over. Adrian’s muscles tightened under my touch, and it was nearly my undoing. He reached out and tucked a stray strand of hair behind my ear. “What are we doing here?” he whispered, his breath fanning over my face.

My eyes closed, and I released the breath I’d been holding. “I don’t know.” I opened my eyes and forced them up, passing Adrian’s tempting lips to his eyes. The same burning desire I felt reflected in his gaze.

“I don’t either,” Adrian whispered. His hand moved to my cheek and lingered there. I leaned in, soaking up the warmth of his gentle touch.



Mylissa Demeyere was born in Belgium, and resides in the beautiful city of Ghent. She lives in a somewhat organized home with her four beautiful children and the love of her life. If she isn’t working, she’s writing, exercising, reading, or enjoying time with her kids, who are growing up way too fast.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2020

The Captain's Christmas Promise (Griffin Force) by Julie Coulter Bellon



A Christmas they won't forget . . .

After spending every waking moment hunting the world’s most wanted terrorist, Colt Mitchell and Brenna Wilson decide to take a break and go home for the Christmas holidays. The minute they touch down on Canadian soil, however, they are pulled into an international conspiracy that would leave the son of a Kuwaiti diplomat dead. Colt and Brenna finally locate the target, but a contract killer is hot on their trail. Retreating to the Canadian wilderness to keep everyone safe, they'll need all their skills---and maybe a Christmas miracle---to make it out alive.

* Amazon * Goodreads

I've been so excited to read this story!  Colt and Brenna's story begins in The Captain (Griffin Force #2) and this story follows after that.  I don't think you have to read the main story first but I can guarantee you will be happier if you do.  I loved reconnecting with these characters here.  Colt and Brenna are awesome.

This story is novella length but it sure packs a punch!  It's not your typical Christmas story because, well, Colt and Brenna aren't typical people with ordinary jobs.  I loved the tension and danger as well as the sweeter moments with family.  It was balanced well and over before I knew it.  I just love Julie Coulter Bellon's military suspense books.  They are my favorite. 

Content:  some violence, peril, kissing 

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