Thursday, April 18, 2019

Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations by V. Joy Palmer

Seventeen years after being orphaned, Apryl Burns and her twin sister Courtney have their own expectations for life. While Courtney continues to shine at everything, Apryl holds fast to the mantra that as long as her potato chip stash remains intact, then she’ll be fine.

But when their beloved grandmother ends up injured and unable to manage her struggling antique store, Courtney makes it their mission to revamp the business and save what’s left of their family’s legacy. Despite rampant doubts in her abilities, Apryl finds herself trapped under the weight of family loyalty as they transition to a wedding venue decorating service. Soon she’s forced to ask (translation: blackmail) their grandmother’s renter/handyman, Chance McFarland, for help, an arrangement that is made even worse by the fact that Chance is her former (ahem, and current) crush.

Chance knows a few dozen things about family loyalty, which is why he begrudgingly agrees to Apryl’s insane plan. While Apryl claims they’re archenemies, the girl Chance only glimpsed in their teens starts to emerge, stealing what remains of his heart.

But expectations are a powerful thing. Amidst the glamorous weddings and swaying willows, can those old expectations be revised into something new?

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

V. Joy Palmer is a new to me author.  That's always a bit scary but a bit exciting too, especially when it turns out well and this one did turn out well.

I do have to say that this book is high on sarcasm and snark.  And by high, I mean really high.  I'm a girl that finds humor in some sarcasm and this book had plenty of moments that made me smile but there came a point when I wished Apryl would tone it down a bit.  Apryl is definitely a girl who uses sarcasm and snark as a shield of deflection and protection.  Her internal struggles are deep and the voices that tell her she will never be good enough are loud and strong.  This both humanizes Apryl and makes her completely frustrating, especially in context to Chance.  When Apryl finally lets go and decides to believe in herself I felt such a sense of relief.

Chance.  I simply adored him.  I swear he has the deepest well of patience.  That boy keeps coming back, showing up and trying no matter how many times he is knocked down and dragged through the mud.  He's a saint.  Oh, and he can definitely hold his own in a verbal sparring match with Apryl.  Thank goodness.  Chance is the reason I remained so invested in this story.  I loved the way he picked himself up after every down by reminding himself what he believes and why.  He kept his heart soft.

For the most part, I enjoyed the journey of this story.  I was always invested in the outcome, wishing and hoping for the very best.  The ending was very satisfying.

Content:  kissing, strong Christian elements

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

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Plague by Gregg Luke + Win a Copy of This Book!

Professor Mitch Pine knows all too well the history of epidemics, so the startling new information he’s discovered has him racing to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. Mitch has uncovered a startling pattern: dramatic environmental changes always occurred prior to devastating outbreaks, and current climate change may be such a catalyst. But before his plane lands, Mitch’s journey takes a terrifying turn. He is intercepted by a woman who represents a dangerous faction whose interest in Mitch’s research opposes his mission to save lives. To secure Mitch’s cooperation, his research assistant is being held hostage. With so many lives on the line, Mitch embarks on a turbulent trip around the world, uncovering pieces of the puzzle until he ultimately holds the key to prevent—or precipitate—global devastation. Unless he can find a way to stop the lunatics behind his abduction, a plague the likes of which the world has never known will be unleashed.

Author Gregg Luke has such a creepy, creative mind and I mean that in the best way.  His books always make me wonder how he comes up with such crazy ideas.  I would scare myself trying to come up with the things he writes about in his books!

I have to say that out of all of this author's books (that I've read), this was probably one of the least intense and fast paced.  It progressed slowly and lacked some of the intense forward momentum I've come to know in most of his other books.  Things picked up in the last third of the book but even then it still felt a bit more sedate.  I would say that this book was more about intellect, paying attention to small clues and piecing together information.

In this story we follow Mitch around the world, collection information that helps him piece together a puzzle of globally devastating consequences.  It's a lot of information gathering.  I liked that things were happening on dual fronts so we got multiple perspectives.  Mitch is a genuinely nice guy and it was easy to like him and to appreciate his intellect.  

The cover for this book is pretty cool, I think.  The actual physical book is textured which gives it a creepy sort of feel.  

Content:  some violence, peril

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

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Monday, April 15, 2019

My Not So Wicked Ex-Fiancé (My Not So Wicked Series Book 2) by Jennifer Peel

He rocked her world. She wrecked his. Now their worlds are colliding again. 

Expensive schools and etiquette classes never prepared Shelby Duchane for Ryder Prescott. He taught her more about life in his hay field classroom beneath a blanket of stars than anyone. Under that Georgia sky, she pledged forever to the farm boy with soul-melting chocolate brown eyes, even though it meant forfeiting her large inheritance. She couldn’t wait to clip coupons and buy clothes off the sales rack until death do they part. But then she receives some photos of her intended with someone she had not intended. Brokenhearted, Shelby flees her hometown for Colorado without bothering to say goodbye to her cheating ex-fiancé.

A year later and wiser, Shelby’s doing her best to move on while running her boutique in Carrington Cove, when Ryder shows up and challenges all she thought she knew. Perhaps he wasn’t the wicked ex-fiancé she believed him to be after all. But will Ryder be able to swallow his pride enough to see why she was so persuaded? Will he realize before it’s too late that the only way to heal his own broken heart is to mend Shelby’s? 

Oh. My. Lan. Ta. Somewhere between Shelby's southern charm and Ryder's brooding masculinity, all my senses came alive. I was right there in the thick of it with Shelby; tormented, confused, sorry, desperate, determined, happy. My eyes saw Ryder (amen!), my ears heard Bobby Jay's support and confidence, my nose smelled those mouthwatering southern biscuits, and my heart twittered, pinged and pounded. It was SO, SO good.  

We first meet Shelby in My Not So Wicked Stepbrother.  She is a big part of the story but she isn't someone I was rooting for in that book.  I love that I had this chance to know her better and to love her.  She is a vibrant character who came across so clearly to me as a reader.  Her attraction to Ryder is palpable.  Yumma.  The intensity between Shelby and Ryder grows on every page.  

I also loved that the main characters in the previous book (Emma and Sawyer) were featured in this book as well.  It felt so good to have their familiar vibe threaded through Shelby's story.

 Thank you, Jennifer Peel, for another fantastic, romantic escape. I could live in your books forever.  

Oh, and one more thing.  I absolutely LOVE this cover.  The blue against the black and the sparkle!!  I just love it.  This book is available on Kindle Unlimited if you have that.

Content:  kissing, mild swearing

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

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Songs of You and Me by Mylissa Demeyere Just $.99!

The Songs of You and Me by Mylissa Demeyere

Book Blurb:


Jane Hartford fell head over heels for Jackson at the tender age of fifteen. She spent most of high school pining for him, until she realized he wasn't going to see her as anything more than his baby sister's best friend. Now she finds herself single with a daughter, a broken heart, and songs that remind her of a long lost love.

Jackson Wright is a man living with regret. His biggest one, never acting on his feelings for Jane. When he returns to Bellebrook, the town they grew up in, he literally runs into her and his world gets tossed upside down and sideways.

This time, Jackson isn't willing to give up. With a meddling sister eager to push both of them together, he believes things might actually work out. That is, if they can overcome the heavy baggage they both carry. Follow Jackson and Jane as they revisit their past, figuring out what went wrong so long ago.

Will they learn they have the power to make things right in the present? 

What Readers are saying:

A tender debut novel that will leave you remembering the sweet angst of first love. The Songs of You and Me is a charmer. - Taylor Dean, author of I’m With You and Chasing Fireflies.

In this romantic debut about first love, second chances, Ms. DeMeyere weaves the past and present together in a way that brings the characters' hearts to life as they heal from tragedies and struggle to move on in life. Sweet and heartwarming. – Charissa Stastny, author of Between Hope and the Highway and the Rules out Romances Series.

A fun and enticing love story that combines the bitter with the sweet and keeps you laughing amidst the tears. You won't want to miss this touching story that explores true love in all its depth and beauty. – Aubrey, Amazon Reviewer

The Songs of You and Me pulled me in from page one. The characters came to life and I felt as if I was part of their story. I stayed up night after night fascinated with their personal and individual challenges. Their obstacles were relatable and tugged at my heart. I couldn’t wait to finish and yet I didn’t want it to end. As I read the last page, I was ecstatic to see what would come next from Mylissa Demeyere. – Jamie, Amazon Reviewer

Jane (15 years old)
“What was so funny back there?” He asked as his pen stalled.
“Huh?” I pretended not to know what he was talking about as I paged through the book in front of me.
“You know what I mean.” He pushed the subject a little harder.
“Oh, you know the effect you have on the female student body, Jackson. You don’t need me to spell it out for you.”
“Do I now?” He wagged his brows.
“Seriously, you know you’re the popular jock and you actually have half a brain. It’s a rare phenomenon as opposed to the others on the team that only have the looks but are so lacking in other areas.”
“Half a brain?” He looked genuinely insulted. Poor guy. I was sure he got enough of girls stroking his ego, he didn’t need me to help in that department.
“Yes, half a brain. Need I remind you, I’m a freshman helping out a senior with his English paper?”
His smug smile faltered, and his left eyebrow scrunched up. I guess I just took this guy down a notch or two. “I didn’t think so,” I continued. “You’re going to attract fans anywhere you go.”
“Are you a fan, Jane?”
I felt the color rise in my cheeks. His comment hit a little too close to home.
“You’re feeling pretty good about yourself right now, aren’t you? Do you want me to bring you a mirror and give you a moment alone?” I managed to divert the attention from me and set him straight.
“Never mind, I’m good. Let’s get to work.”

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, running, reading, or enjoying time with her kids, who are growing up way too fast.

The Songs of You and Me is her debut novel, with a sequel already in the works.

Connect with Mylissa online:

Buy The Songs of You and Me online:


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

A Song for the Stars by Ilima Todd

Hawaiian Islands, 1779
As the second daughter of a royal chief, Maile will be permitted to marry for love. Her fiancé is the best navigator in Hawaiʻi, and he taught her everything he knows—how to feel the ocean, observe the winds, read the stars, and how to love.

But when sailors from a strange place called England arrive on her island, a misunderstanding ends in battle, and Maile is suddenly widowed before she is wed.

Finding herself in the middle of the battle and fearing for her life, Maile takes John Harbottle, the wounded man who killed her fiancé, prisoner, and though originally intending to let him die, she reluctantly heals him. And in the process, she discovers the man she thought was her enemy might be her ally instead.

John has been Captain James Cook’s translator for three voyages across the Pacific. He is kind and clearly fascinated with her homeland and her people—and Maile herself. But guilt continues to drive a wedge between them: John’s guilt over the death he caused, and Maile’s guilt over the truth about what triggered the deadly battle—a secret she’s kept hidden from everyone on the island.

When Maile is tasked with teaching John how to navigate using the stars so he can sail back to England, they must also navigate the challenges of being from very different cultures. In doing so, they might also find the peace that comes when two hearts become one.

This story was so lovely.  I felt transported to another place and time and my heart expanded with every turn of the page.  Knowing that this story was based on the true story of the author's ancestors made it even more intriguing.  The whole story felt fresh and new- so unlike all the other books I've been reading lately.

The Hawaiian people have such a rich history.  Their culture and customs have always fascinated me.  Imagine being from another continent and country and coming across these people for the first time in history.  This book sparked all kinds of thoughts in my mind.

I love the feeling of being caught up in a story and not wanting to put it down.  This book reads so beautifully and I just loved it.  The emotional feelings were all there along with the flutters in my tummy at the slightest touch of a pinky finger.  I feel fortunate to have been able to read this book.  It's one of my favorites this year so far.

Content:  some violence, death, peril.

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



Thursday, April 4, 2019

A Rancher to Remember (Rocky Mountain Cowboys #6) By Karen Rock + $50 and Book Giveaway! 

A Rancher to Remember
(Rocky Mountain Cowboys #6)
By Karen Rock
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 368 Pages
April 1st 2019 by Harlequin Heartwarming

They can’t change the past…

but they can choose their future

Globe-trotting journalist Cassidy Fulton is back in Carbondale, Colorado. Only she can’t remember why—or the accident that killed her estranged sister. Helping her piece together this mystery is her brother-in-law and former fiancé, Daryl Loveland. Overcoming their grief seems impossible. Yet one thing is clear: Cassidy can’t imagine her life without Daryl or her adorable niece and nephew. But can the ranch ever really be her home?

I lovey lovey love this series!  It has all sorts of hunky alpha males and strong females lighting up the pages.  I've grown attached to the Cade and Loveland families because while each book focuses primarily on one person, the whole family is still around and showing up on the pages.  It gives the series a real sense of family and home.  I don't think you have to read this series in order but you will definitely be happier if you do.

Daryl and Cassidy have history.  It's as painful and difficult to navigate as the present.  Old feelings and new feelings collide and it's stressful!  I'm talking about me here.  It was stressful for me.  haha.  I was personally invested in both Daryl and Cassidy.  I wanted them to figure things out, heal old wounds and be happy.  It was a roller coaster of emotions and wow, did things end in a dramatic way!  This book and it's characters were completely different than any of the other books.  It felt fresh and exciting.  I loved it!

Content:  death, peril, mild violence, kissing

Other Books in the Series

About the Author

Award-winning author Karen Rock is both sweet and spicy—at least when it comes to her writing! The author of both YA and adult contemporary books writes sexy suspense novels and small-town romances for Harlequin and Kensington publishing. A strong believer in Happily-Ever-After, Karen loves creating unforgettable stories that leave her readers with a smile. When she’s not writing, Karen is an avid reader who also loves cooking her grandmother’s Italian recipes, baking and having the Adirondack Park wilderness as her backyard, where she lives with her husband, daughter, dog and cat who keep her life interesting and complete. Learn more about her at or follow her on twitter at
 On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

1 winner will receive a $50 Amazon eGift Card - Open Internationally
1 winner will receive signed, print copies of the first five books in the Rocky Mountain Cowboys series (Christmas at Cade RanchFalling for a CowboyBad Boy RancherA Cowboy's Pride & Winning the Cowboy's Heart) - US Only
- Ends April 10, 2019

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Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Charming the Shortstop (Belltown Six Pack #3) by Heather B. Moore

He’s not looking. She’s been burned. But sparks fly, and they decide to go on a date. Just this once.

When professional baseball player Axel Diaz travels back to Belltown University for a friend’s wedding, he’s not planning on bringing a date. Until he meets Brighton West, the flight attendant who he can’t get off his mind. Although dubbed “Cold Axe” by some of his female fans, Axel asks Brighton to be his date to the wedding, all the while wondering why of all times and places he is breaking his no-dating streak. But the more he gets to know Brighton, the more he realizes she may be the one woman who can melt his cold heart.

Welcome to Belltown! Six baseball players meet in the college town of Belltown, Massachusetts, becoming best friends, their lives intertwining as they each get called up to the Major Leagues.

* Amazon * Goodreads *

Ooooh.  😍  That's how I feel about this book.  I've got spring fever and baseball fever and this book just hit my sweet spot.  I love that the baseball moments felt like baseball and that the sparking chemistry between Axel and Brighton felt, well, sparky!  (thank you for the excellent kissing scenes, Heather B. Moore!)  I was caught up from the very beginning and I probably read through this book way too fast but I just couldn't help myself.  It was yummy!  This is a fun series and I can't wait for more!  This book is available on KU if you have that. 

Content:  kissing

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