Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Captive (Griffin Force #1) by Julie Coulter Bellon


Former Navy SEAL Jake Williams is the newly appointed head of a task force assigned to rescue a kidnapped American diplomat. Their only hope is Mya Amari, the daughter of a notorious Algerian hostage negotiator, but she is full of secrets and complications–something Jake takes as a personal challenge. As they grow closer, the threat to the mission escalates and time runs out for the hostages. Can Jake unravel the web of deception to save them all without getting caught in the crossfire?

Mya Amari has been in hiding nearly her entire life to escape her father’s enemies. But when her sister is kidnapped along with an American diplomat, she’ll do anything to bring her home–including walking into the enemy’s lair. She doesn’t trust anyone, especially the too-handsome-for-his-own-good Commander Williams, but when all her careful plans explode out of control, he’s the only one she can turn to with the truth about her family. Is it too little, too late?


It is always a happy day when I get to sit down and read one of Julie Bellon's books.  New releases from her are like Christmas for me.  Lucky me, I got to read this book over the Christmas holiday so it was like Christmas and Christmas for me!  :)

This book is the beginning of a new series but still brings the same elements that I've come to know and expect from Julie Bellon.  There is always action and mild suspense along with the romance in her books and this book was no different.

Jake is all things a male lead should be.  Strong, brave, smart, handsome and determined to keep people safe.  He is a take charge kind of guy but he is also kind.  Especially to Mya when she doesn't really look to deserve it.  I really loved Jake consistently in all situations.

Mya was a bit more prickly but it's her moments of weakness that helped me connect with her.  That and her love for her family.

I read through this book quickly and was a bit sad to see it come to an end.  It's so easy to get wrapped up in books by Julie Bellon.  She is one of my favorites!


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

All the Way to Heaven (Fallout #1) by Becky Doughty


Anica Tomlin, business major, has just learned that the man she's been planning her future around, her Global Finance professor, already has a beautiful wife and family. Ani cashes in her graduation gift to herself a little early a trip to Tuscany but from the moment she boards the wrong train in Pisa, her plans for solitude and self-indulgence begin to unravel around her.

When a bicycle accident thrusts Ani into the skilled hands of the dashing Dr. Cosimo Lazzaro, she reluctantly accepts his invitation to recover in his family's country villa, perched on a hilltop surrounded by the Lazzaro olive groves. But it's been a black year for olive growers all over Italy, and generations of tradition are being put to the test like never before.

Ani is swept up in the drama of life in Tuscany, the convergence of old and new, and the passions that drive people to pursue the desires of their hearts. Just as Ani begins to get her feet under her again, an unexpected turn of events leaves her doubting the very existence of happily-ever-after, unless she can learn to trust the desires of her own heart.

Although "All the Way to Heaven" is a stand-alone novel, it is the first book in The Fallout Series, a collection of sweet contemporary romances that follow characters featured in the first book.


Oh, man.  I have one problem with this book.  After reading it, I want to go to Italy.  And I can't.  That's a problem.  Booooooooo.

I really loved this book.  Loved like chocolate this book.  Chocolate in Italy.  Did I mention I really want to go to Italy?  Oh, then our friend comes over talking about his trip to Italy and how much he LOVED it.  Just a little salt in my wound.  Don't worry about me.  But if anybody is going to Italy and you want to take me along...

Okay, so the book.  Right.  The book.  I loved it.  ha.  Ani is an amusing character- sweet and a bit clueless at times.  But I loved all the characters in this book.  It felt like family and settled around me like a warm blanket.  I just don't think I can say enough about how much I enjoyed my time with this book.  It fit right in my happiest place for reading- clean romance that sweeps me away to a far off place.  I could see, smell and even taste things in this book.  All my senses were on high alert and that is hard to come by in a book.  At least for me.  Becky Doughty nailed the balance of describing the people and places without it becoming too much.  

I cannot wait to read the next book in this series.  I'm off to hunt down a copy to read right away.  Yay!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Fooling Around with Cinderella by Stacy Juba


What happens when the glass slippers pinch Cinderella’s toes? When Jaine Andersen proposes a new marketing role to the local amusement park, general manager Dylan Callahan charms her into filling Cinderella’s glass slippers for the summer. Her reign transforms Jaine’s ordinary life into chaos that would bewilder a fairy godmother. Secretly dating her bad boy boss, running wedding errands for her ungrateful sisters, and defending herself from the park’s resident villain means Jaine needs lots more than a comfy pair of shoes to restore order in her kingdom. First in the Storybook Valley series, a blend of sweet romance, chick lit, and fairy tale fun.


This is a new author to me and the beginning of a new book series.  I'm pretty excited about it!  It's always fun to find new authors that you enjoy.

I really liked Jaine.  She seemed like a real person to me.  In my head I called her Jainey.  Because it was more familiar and I felt like I knew her.  :)  My favorite parts are when Jaine believes in herself and stands up for herself.  It happens a few times in the book  and I wanted to clap every time.

This book was fun and flirty.  The sparks were zinging between Dylan and Jaine leaving me with the perfect amount of tension.  It was right in my sweet spot with dialogue and sweet romance.  I really liked it!

The secondary characters were fun as well and I'm looking forward to getting their stories next.  This is a series I will be following.

Content:  Mild-moderate swearing and profanity (which was the only thing about this book that I didn't like).  




Saturday, December 19, 2015

Roman's Holiday by Susan Aylworth + $25 Giveaway


Roman's holiday cover 

Four years after Roman Kincaid was catapulted into stardom as a country-western singer and A-list movie star, he is burned out: exhausted by a grueling schedule, drained by the ceaseless demands of producers and managers, weary of meeting the needs of others at the expense of his own. Leaving a sold-out show in Phoenix, he rents a car and drives north and east, landing in the Painted Desert town of Rainbow Rock.

Nearly three years after leaving her old life behind, Lottie Beale is feeding people and baking pies, managing the Kachina Café and tending secrets of her own. When circumstances conspire to give two attractive people some time alone together amid the world-class vistas of the Four Corners, they discover more than either had bargained for.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble 

   add to goodreads 

Roman's Holiday- the best sounding pie ever.  Oh, you thought I was talking about the book?  Well, yeah, it is the name of this book but it also the name of a pie in the book.  Honestly, the scene with the pie is probably the best scene in the book.  Here's an excerpt of that very scene!

In the kitchen with the door swinging closed between them, she took a moment to gather herself, planning to be at her sunniest when she went back to the dining room. He’s leaving and I’m not going with him. At least I can send him away with a smile. She cut into her Roman’s Holiday” pie and plated two slices, each on a swirl of chocolate sauce. Then she added another swirl and a dollop of whipped cream to the top. Picking up two forks, she took a deep breath, pretended a smile, and went to serve the man she loved. “Here it is, the new pie sensation of the century.”
“I can hardly wait.”
She set a slice in front of him. “Before you take a bite, I want you to know I made it to taste like you. No, that’s not what I mean! Not to taste like you taste—” She stopped herself. Then she grinned. “If I knew how to make that, every woman in the country would buy it.”
Roman acknowledged the compliment with a nod.
She tried again. “I wanted it to taste like who you are. Ugh, I’m botching this something awful. Just taste it and tell me what you think.” She waited while he cut a bite of the pie and lifted it to his mouth.
“Oh Lottie.” He closed his eyes, savoring the flavor. “It’s marvelous.”
“Really? You’re not just saying that?”
“It’s mar-ve-lous!”
“I thought it was a winner. Glad you like it.”
“Like it? I love it! Tastes like me, huh?”
“Well, like who you are, like what this time together has meant… to me.”

See what I mean?  That's a pretty good scene, right?  And now you want to eat pie.  :)

This book had three parts for me.  The beginning, the middle and the end.  The beginning was good.  It drew me in and I was excited about where things were going to go.  The middle was not good for me.  It was basically a travelogue of the area and I felt like it went on and on and on.  I will admit to skimming a lot of it.  I just don't need to know the history and stories that go along with every single place that these characters went (and they went a lot of places!).  It was too much.  The last part of the book got back to where I hoped the whole book would be- as demonstrated by the pie scene above.  It ended well and I was really glad for that.

Content:  mild swearing, kissing and talk about sex but it never happens.


   Susan A

Susan Aylworth started her first book when she was nine. "It was called Buff, The Proud Stallion. I wrote eight whole pages." For her fifth grade career day, she stated her ambition to become "a rich and famous author." Decades later, she is pleased to have achieved the 'author' part of that goal. A former university professor, she enjoys researching backgrounds and careers for her novels. "It's one way to live many lives at once." She lives in northern California with her husband of 45 years and two spoiled cats.
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Blog Tour Giveaway - $25 Amazon Gift Card or $25 in Paypal Cash Ends 1/21/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Roman's Holiday

Friday, December 18, 2015

A Player for Christmas: Book 4 The Last Play Series by Taylor Hart



Brooks Stone, wide receiver for the Miami Surf, isn’t the type of guy to make dreams come true; he’s too busy dealing with a high ankle sprain and the anniversary of his wife’s death.

Callie Given, a cancer patient at Primary Children’s Hospital, only has one wish for Christmas—dinner with Brooks Stone. He flatly refuses, until Sam Dumont threatens to make sure the coaches bench him if he doesn’t comply. 

Ana Given thought fighting for her daughter’s life was enough of a challenge. She never expected famous football player Brooks Stone to actually show up. If he was a friend of her ex-husband, he’s definitely not someone she wants hanging around her daughter. Good thing she sends him away. Too bad her daughter sees him before he can leave. 

When Brooks and Ana find themselves on a quest to find Callie’s father, neither would have imagined getting on a plane together, going to a cage fight, or…kissing.

Brooks wonders how these two women have become everything to him in less than seventy-two hours. Now he has to make a decision—get what he wanted for Christmas or become the player he was always meant to be.

 * Goodreads * Amazon *

I've been reading this Last Play series from the beginning and I really do love it.  Each book revolves around a professional football player who starts out ornery and jaded in some way, for some reason, but that usually doesn't last too long.  In this case, all it takes for Brooks to come around is meeting Callie who is a cancer patient with one Christmas wish- to meet him.  

There are lots of sparks and tension in this book.  The kissing gave me goosebumps!  I love how Brooks throws himself into helping Callie and Ana just like he would throw himself into a football game.  He's an all in, full on type of guy.

This was the perfect book to feed my romantic hankerings and put me in the Christmas spirit.  If you haven't read any of the books in this series, you really should.  Especially if you love clean romance.  This is easily one of my favorites.  Fun, flirty, clean, easy reading that leaves you with a smile.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Changing Light (Wentworth Cove #2) by Rebecca Stevenson


Haunted by a tragedy in his past and estranged from his parents, photographer Josh Whitehall shuns close relationships and wants nothing to do with pesky children. But when Faith Parker and her exuberant eleven-year-old brother move to Wentworth Cove, Maine, his world is turned upside down.

When Josh hears that Daniel needs a photography mentor, he can’t refuse fast enough. That is, until he meets Faith…

Gradually, Daniel’s zest for life and Faith’s friendship begin to bring healing to Josh in a most unexpected way.


Changing Light is the second book in this Wentworth Cove series.  I haven't read the first book, but I didn't feel like it mattered while reading this book.  I love the coastal Maine setting- it's someplace I'd love to visit one day.  Especially the lighthouse mentioned!  I'd love to photograph that myself.

This is a Christian fiction book but not overly preachy.  It was more faith based, which I liked.  This is a slow moving story of friendship.  The romance is hardly even there but the real story lies in the bonds of family and friendship.

I liked this story and it's characters.  While I didn't feel the emotional connection I was looking for, I did appreciate the message this story was trying to get across.  It was sweet and clean.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Bad Boy of Butterfly Harbor by Anna J. Stewart + $25 Giveaway

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

The Bad Boy of Butterfly HarborThe Bad Boy of Butterfly Harbor
(Butterfly Harbor #1)
by Anna J. Stewart
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 368 pages
1st 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Can people truly change?

Two things keep Holly Campbell grounded: her precocious son and preserving her forty-year-old family diner in the face of expansion and change. She doesn't need a blast from the past like Luke Saxon, who's back in Butterfly Harbor after more than a decade away. The hard-luck kid who nearly destroyed her family, leaving her to pick up the pieces, is taking over as sheriff. She can't trust him, even if Luke's ideas for the town's upcoming anniversary seem to show he's trying to give back to their community. Has Butterfly Harbor found its unlikely savior? And has the widowed single mother finally found a man she can believe in, rely on…and love?

Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Harlequin


Harlequin Heartwarming!  I love this line of books.  I'm always excited to be a part of reading and reviewing titles from this line because I know exactly what I'm in for.  These books are sweet and clean and well, Heartwarming.  :)  

Luke had a rough childhood.  He made a big mistake and paid a heavy price but someone believed in him and gave him a second chance.  Luke used that second chance and made something productive and good happen.  Life is hard though and Luke returns to Butterfly Harbor battered and bruised but full of determination to face his demons and redeem himself.  As a reader, I couldn't help but love Luke.

Holly holds onto a lot of hurt and resentment, especially when it comes to Luke.  When he shows back up in town, Holly is full of bitter.  It takes a whole town and many events to calm Holly but at least she knows how to admit her mistakes and offer an apology.

This book focused more on healing and redemption than on romance.  It was a community book and by that I mean that while there were a couple of main characters, it was more about the whole community than just those two characters.  This book felt to me like made for TV, feel good film.  I would watch this book on TV!  I enjoyed my time in Butterfly Harbor and look forward to going back again with another character.



USA Today and national bestselling author Anna J. Stewart can't remember a time she didn't have a book in her hands or a story in her head. Early obsessions with Star Wars, Star Trek and Wonder Woman set her on the path to creating fun, funny, and family centric romances with happily ever afters for the independent heroines she writes for both Harlequin and Berkley. Anna lives in Northern California where she deals with a serious Supernatural & Sherlock addiction, surrounds herself with friends and family and tolerates an overly affectionate cat named Snickers (or perhaps it's Snickers who tolerates her).

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Fires of Invention (Mysteries of Cove # 1) by J. Scott Savage


Trenton Colman is a creative thirteen-year-old boy with a knack for all things mechanical. But his talents are viewed with suspicion in Cove, a steam-powered city built inside a mountain. In Cove, creativity is a crime and “invention” is a curse word.

Kallista Babbage is a repair technician and daughter of the notorious Leo Babbage, whose father died in an explosion—an event the leaders of Cove point to as an example of the danger of creativity.

Working together, Trenton and Kallista learn that Leo Babbage was developing a secret project before he perished. Following clues he left behind, they begin to assemble a strange machine that is unlike anything they’ve ever seen before. They soon discover that what they are building may threaten every truth their city is founded on—and quite possibly their very lives.


I would classify this book as middle grade steampunk dystopian which is such an intriguing combination!  I know younger readers are going to love this series.  It has that appeal to both boys and girls which is really hard to do.

Can you imagine a city, fully functional and built inside of a mountain?  Powered by steam, the city of Cove is multi leveled and self sustaining.  It's people are kept under tight control though and told exactly what to do at all times.  Talk about stifling.  

Trenton is a smart boy and unfortunately for him, creative.  Creativity is frowned upon in Cove and Trenton  is full of it.  Because of this, trouble follows Trenton everywhere.  Kallista and Trenton and two like minds and that means double trouble!  As they work together to piece together a puzzle left by Kallista's father, they run into all kinds of scrapes and adventures.

One thing I loved was the picture at the beginning of every chapter.  In the beginning it is just a faint drawing of a dragon, made up of mechanical parts.  As the chapters progress, so does the dragon.  The mechanical parts become well defined and darker.  It gave me the sense that something big was happening and coming together.  Maybe something that I knew that the characters didn't.

I enjoyed reading this book.  It wasn't silly or over the top as many middle grade books can be.  The world building was excellent as were the characters.  The cross appeal to both boys and girls makes this an excellent book to read aloud to younger children, I think.  Very fun!

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Mariposa Hotel (A Tangerine Street Romance) by Julie Wright, Melanie Jacobson, Heather B. Moore

The Mariposa Hotel
A Tangerine Street Romance
(a novel in three parts)

Welcome to Tangerine Street

Tangerine Street is a must-see tourist stop with a colorful mix of one-of-a-kind boutiques, unique restaurants, eclectic museums, quaint bookstores, and exclusive bed-and-breakfasts. The Mariposa Hotel, a new resort, has revitalized Seashell Beach, bringing new life to the sleepy beach town. In the charming gardens of the hotel sits a three-hundred-year-old wishing well transported from Mexico. One toss of the coin, a sincere wish, and lives are changed forever…

 * Goodreads * Amazon *

I really love this idea and this series.  This is the third installment in this Tangerine Street Romance series.  All three books revolve around different businesses on Tangerine street and each book has three different stories about three different people.  (The magic number today is three!)  One of the things I love is seeing places and people from previous books pop up in the stories.  It gives the books a feeling of community and familiarity to me as a reader.

I loved each one of these stories.  These authors are good at what they do and they make reading so enjoyable.  I immediately knew when I started Melanie Jacobson's story. Snappy dialogue is her trademark, I think.

The Mariposa Hotel came alive for me.  I could picture the people, the places, and the whole hotel vibe.  I enjoyed every minute I spent reading this book.  It was the perfect diversion for this cold winter day.


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Suspect's Daughter (Rogue Hearts Series, #4) by Donna Hatch + Giveaways!


The Suspect's Daughter: Regency Romance (Rogue Hearts Book 4)
The Suspect's Daughter
(Rogue Hearts, #4)
by Donna Hatch
Adult Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 298 pages
December 15th 2015 by Mirror Lake Press

Determined to help her father with his political career, Jocelyn sets aside dreams of love. When she meets the handsome and mysterious Grant Amesbury, her dreams of true love reawaken. But his secrets put her family in peril.

Grant goes undercover to capture conspirators avowed to murder the prime minister, but his only suspect is the father of a courageous lady who is growing increasingly hard to ignore. He can’t allow Jocelyn to distract him from the case, nor will he taint her with his war-darkened soul. She seems to see past the barriers surrounding his heart, which makes her all the more dangerous to his vow of remaining forever alone.

Jocelyn will do anything to clear her father’s name, even if that means working with Grant. Time is running out. The future of England hangs in the balance...and so does their love.

Amazon

I just loved this book.  I had to start out with that and I'll probably end with that too.  This series (Rogue Heart) is one of my favorites.  These Amesbury brothers are a little thick headed to begin with but their transformations are awesome and when those boys let go and love, boy are they a force to be reckoned with!

Finally Grant has his story told.  I've been waiting for Grant's story- I just knew it would be good.  And it was.  Grant is one closed up guy.  And I mean closed up.  Sealed up tight.  Poor Grant.  He doesn't even know how shriveled up his soul has become denying himself love and comfort from family and friends.  But Grant has a good heart.  He tries to protect people from bad guys and he offers help to people where he can.

Jocelyn is so easy to like.  Even Grant has trouble disliking her and that's something.  The characters in this book are developed and I really felt like I knew them well by the end of the book.  I craved interactions between Grant and Jocelyn because they always made me smile.

This book was romantic and had a bit of intrigue.  I was happy to see glimpses of the Amesbury brothers throughout, still happy and well.  Now Grant's story has been told and I can't wait to see where we go next with Donna Hatch.  Wherever it is, I will be there.  I loved this book.  It took me to my happy place!





Donna Hatch 2014

Donna Hatch is the author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” and a winner of writing awards such as The Golden Quill and the International Digital Award. A hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, she discovered her writing passion at the tender age of 8 and has been listening to those voices ever since. She has become a sought-after workshop presenter, and also juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, and most of all, her six children (seven, counting her husband). A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty five years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

On Tour with Seaside Christmas by Stacy Claflin + $25 Giveaway


seaside christmas

He can’t stand her. She thinks he’s crazy. Will their feelings stay etched in permanent ink? Cruz Hunter has always stuck out in his small hometown. Now that he’s covered in tattoos, the residents peg him as even more of an outcast. It seems like the whole world is against his dream of opening a local tattoo parlor. When he finally finds the perfect place for his new business, Cruz discovers a pastor and his daughter have already bought it. The only thing more irritating than the change in his plan is Talia, a beautiful and feisty argument in a dress. Cruz would like nothing more than to have her out of his life and his mind, but for some reason, she’s the only thing he can think about. If Cruz and Talia can stop arguing long enough, opposites may do much more than attract.

  add to goodreads amazon 

This is such a fun series!  I have really enjoyed every one of the books I have read.  I still have one to go so technically I'm reading them out of order, but they are able to stand on their own.  You don't have to read one to understand the other.  However, it is fun to know the background of the other brothers when reading because then it feels like visiting old friends.  

This book revolves around Cruz- one of five Hunter brothers.  He may look like a tough guy, and he is, but he is also kind, hard working, helpful and loyal.  I love how these books portray these brothers as separate but united.  They have each other's backs- even as different as they all are.

Talia is a preacher's daughter.  She and Cruz are opposites and yet, they aren't.  Talia is a bit sheltered, a bit naive.  Her life is the religious world her dad is involved in.  In that way, Cruz and Talia are opposites.  But just like Cruz, Talia is hard working, kind and helpful.  She genuinely cares about people.

I enjoyed this story.  I don't think it was my favorite one of the series, but it was good.  This one had more Christian elements to it because obviously it is about a preacher and his daughter so I'm also adding this one to the Christian Fiction genre where the others have not been.

I'm super excited to read the next series by Stacy Claflin.  It's going to revolve around a set of cousins to the Hunters.  Fun!  If you haven't had a chance to read this series, and you enjoy clean romance with a touch of something more (depending on the book), now's a great time to start this series.  You don't have to wait for any of the books to come out!

Enjoy the following excerpt from Seaside Christmas!

Cruz double-checked the house number and walked up the sidewalk and to their walkway. A street lamp turned on as he walked underneath. He’d gone over what he was going to say countless times. There weren’t any other buildings in town he could use for his tattoo shop—the city council had made it clear the only place he would be allowed to do business was the outskirts of town—so he needed to be convincing if he wanted to talk them out of the building.
His sense of humor and charm had always gotten him out of trouble growing up, so he needed to tap into that. So many times, all he’d had to do was tell a joke and laugh, and his teachers would just melt and let him get away with whatever trouble he’d created. It didn’t work quite as well now that he had facial hair and tattoos, but that wouldn’t stop him from trying.
Cruz walked up the steps to the porch and knocked on the door, avoiding a wreath. It smelled of pine, like it had been freshly made.
Noise sounded from inside, and then the door opened. The blonde chick from the day before—what was her name again?—stood before him, wearing another dress. It was bright yellow with a pattern of tropical flowers. Her hair was pulled back and a floral scent engulfed him—her perfume?
She smiled and stepped back. “Come on in, Cruz.”
And she remembered his name. He forced a smile and nodded a thanks, stepping inside. The house had bare furnishings and almost no decorations, spare a few holiday ones.
Blondie closed the door and then Cruz saw a pile of moving boxes. That’s right. They were new to town. “Nice place.”
“We’re still trying to figure out where everything is. You know how moving is.”
“Not really.”
She raised an eyebrow. 
“But I imagine it’s a pain in the—uh, neck. I grew up in one house, and the only time I moved was when I went to college, and all I packed fit on my motorcycle.”
Her gorgeous blue-green eyes widened. “Really?”
“Don’t look so shocked. I went to UCLA. I graduated, even.”
“That’s not what surprised me. It was because you got everything on a motorcycle.”
He shrugged.
“Isn’t UCLA hard to get into? Less than ten percent get in, don’t they?”
Cruz looked away. “I didn’t really pay attention. Just wanted to hang out in LA for a while.”
“What brought you back here?”
“Sure wasn’t the town. My dad had some health problems and I wasn’t really gettin’ along with the guy I was working for, so I just packed up my bike and came back.”
“Is your dad okay?” Talia’s eyes widened. “Do you guys need anything?”
“No, he’s okay now. Takin’ care of himself and everything. My mom and all five of us brothers help out, too.” 
“Oh, good. Well, if you do need something, you have our number.”
Cruz nodded and slid off his jacket. Her eyes widened as her gaze went over his heavily tattooed arms. He tried to tell if she was judging him or checking them out. It was hard to tell because her expression didn’t reveal anything. He’d been judged before by religious people, making wild assumptions based on his body art.
Cruz flexed both arms and then held out his jacket. “Someplace I can hang this?”


Meet the Hunter brothers of Kittle Falls… The Seaside Hunters novels are a series of contemporary sweet romances. They’re set in the beach town of Kittle Falls, following the Hunter brothers as they make their way back to their hometown and find the loves they couldn’t elsewhere. Each book is a standalone.
  Seaside  


  Stacy
Author Stacy Claflin I don’t stick to a single genre in my writing, reading, or viewing. My favorite shows include Supernatural, The Walking Dead, Pretty Little Liars, Lost Girl, Vampire Diaries, and Once Upon a Time. I've been writing and telling stories for as long as I can remember. As a kid, my story telling would get me into trouble because I would try to convince others that my stories were real. When I'm not busy writing, I like spending time with my family and friends. I also educate my kids from home.


    $25 Blog Tour Giveaway Giveaway Enter to win an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 12/27/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by readinglight.com. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

  seaside Christmas (1)

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Painter's Daughter by Julie Klassen


Sophie Dupont, daughter of a portrait painter, assists her father in his studio, keeping her own artwork out of sight. She often walks the cliffside path along the north Devon coast, popular with artists and poets. It's where she met the handsome Wesley Overtree, the first man to tell her she's beautiful.

Captain Stephen Overtree is accustomed to taking on his brother's neglected duties. Home on leave, he's sent to find Wesley. Knowing his brother rented a cottage from a fellow painter, he travels to Devonshire and meets Miss Dupont, the painter's daughter. He's startled to recognize her from a miniature portrait he carries with him--one of Wesley's discarded works. But his happiness plummets when he realizes Wesley has left her with child and sailed away to Italy in search of a new muse.

Wanting to do something worthwhile with his life, Stephen proposes to Sophie. He does not offer love, or even a future together, but he can save her from scandal. If he dies in battle, as he believes he will, she'll be a respectable widow with the protection of his family.

Desperate for a way to escape her predicament, Sophie agrees to marry a stranger and travel to his family's estate. But at Overtree Hall, her problems are just beginning. Will she regret marrying Captain Overtree when a repentant Wesley returns? Or will she find herself torn between the father of her child and her growing affection for the husband she barely knows?

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

I was excited to delve into this new book by Julie Klassen.  One of the things I love about Julie Klassen is she knows how to make her characters human.  They have flaws and make mistakes but they are also full of characteristics that are endearing and likable.  The author never glosses over the mistakes.  As a reader I am fully aware of the ramifications those mistakes bring and it always feels like I am part of the redemptive process.

Sophie is easy to like.  She is gentle and wants to love and be loved.  We can all relate to that.  She is pulled into Wesley's open admiration of her because what woman doesn't want to hear she is beautiful to someone?  Sophie was so easy to relate to.  She was often hurt and confused but never spiteful or hateful.  She had a gentle nature about her but she also had courage and faith.

This is a book full of layers.  Each character has a story and they all blend together beautifully.  I loved the seaside setting with the cliffs and the cottages that painted such a vivid picture in my head.

I really enjoyed this book and I'm so glad I had the chance to read and review it.  My thanks to Bethany House for providing the review copy.  This book is Christian fiction.  The characters pray and believe in God but there are no extensive religious scenes.

Content:  sexual relations outside of marriage (no details, you just know it happened)


Friday, December 4, 2015

A Midwinter Ball (Timeless Regency Collection) by Heidi Ashworth, Annette Lyon, and Michele Paige Holmes


Join three bestselling authors for three new regency romance novellas in A MIDWINTER BALL.

MUCH ADO ABOUT DANCING by Heidi Ashworth. Two years have passed since Lord Northrup declared his intentions for Miss Analisa Lloyd-Jones and forbade any other man to court her. Angry at the neglect, Analisa stopped reading his letters, never even breaking the seals. Tired of waiting, Analisa joins the house party at Mrs. Smith’s famous country home, determined to find a beau. When Lord Northrup unexpectedly joins the party, Analisa discovers she is no longer repulsed by the man who first laid claim to her hand.

SWEETER THAN ANY DREAM by Annette Lyon. Olivia Wallington is firmly established as a spinster, but that doesn’t stop her from dreaming about the perfect man. Ever since her father’s death, Olivia has been forced into seclusion by her mother. When her brother and his wife come for a visit, they discover the extent to which she lives under their mother’s thumb. With their help, Olivia sneaks out to attend a local ball, where she meets Edward Blakemoore. For a few divine moments, all of her dreams seem possible. But even someone like Mr. Blakemoore would be hard pressed to get past Mrs. Wallington’s fortress of protection—or past Olivia’s pride.

AN INVITATION TO DANCE by Michele Paige Holmes. Lady Ella has been isolated on her father’s estate since her mother’s death as her father travels the world. When Alex Darling arrives with a letter from her long-dead fiancé, and a demand that she travel to London for a series of engagements, Ella thinks her father instigated the strange demands and agrees. In London, she discovers the truth behind her fiancé’s death, and that new love might be possible in the arms of the most unexpected man. 

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

A Midwinter Ball consists of three different regency stories, all novella length and each by a different author.  Regency romance is one of my favorite genres so I was excited to read this!  I love the pictures regency romances paint in my head- especially at the ball!

Sometimes when I read novellas I feel a bit disappointed because I feel like they were over too fast and I wanted more of the story.  These stories were all perfect though.  I felt like I knew the characters and had a firm beginning, middle and end.  They left me feeling satisfied in the end.  Romantic, sweet and sigh worthy.

Content:  Clean!



Thursday, December 3, 2015

True To You (Taking Chances #2) by Liwen Y. Ho

Wanted: A man with the four C’s (Chinese, Christian, Cash and Career). Ability to cure hives a definite plus.

Melanie Koo may be a physician skilled in helping others, but the one thing she can’t fix is her own love life. That’s why her mother comes up with the perfect remedy-an arranged marriage. Being the dutiful daughter that she is, she agrees to this loveless match … until a chance meeting leads her straight to the cure for her hopeless heart.

Ben Peters is everything Melanie was not looking for in a guy, but she can’t help but be drawn to his passionate and kind nature and, not to mention, those adorable dimples. For once in her life, she considers breaking parental expectations to go after what she wants. The only thing standing in her way is a five foot one traditional Chinese mother and her scheming ways.

Now Melanie has to make the biggest decision of her life. Will she stay true to her family or will she choose to believe that true love can be colorblind?

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

What a fun little romance!  I was pleasantly surprised by this book and how much I liked it.  There were so many little things that made me smile throughout.  

The characters were easy to like.  Especially Ben.  I loved his attitude toward life and how he was so easy going.  He brought out the best in Melanie and that is what love should do.

It was interesting to have the Chinese culture so embedded in this story.  I loved learning about cultural ideas and phrases.  In fact, the book refers to Chinese people who act more white as bananas.  Yellow on the outside, white on the inside.  And white people who act more Chinese as eggs.  White on the outside, yellow on the inside.  I'd actually never heard of that before.  I was sitting in a college class later that day and the instructor mentioned this very thing.  It was so weird because I had JUST read about it.  At least I could say I knew what she was talking about.  Ha!  In a way, this book reminded me of My Big, Fat Greek Wedding.  Only Chinese instead of Greek.

I really enjoyed this story and I'll be looking forward to more by this author.

Content:  Clean (there is a reference to sex outside of marriage that resulted in a pregnancy but no details)

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

A Healing Spirit (Riverview Series #2) by Melissa A. Hanson

A freak ski accident brings nineteen-year old Mia Kinney within minutes of death. Hurt and scared, Mia is calmed by the southern drawl and clear green eyes of her rescuer.

Twenty-one year old Dylan Blackburn is one of the first Ski Patrol members on the scene. As his patient is airlifted to the local trauma center, he can’t shake her from his thoughts.

As Mia fights for her life, Dylan, is haunted by the blond hair beauty, and knows he needs to make sure she’s going to be okay.

With a troubled past Dylan has vowed never to completely open himself up to another girl, but Mia continues to knock down every wall he’s constructed. When his past arrives at his front door and threatens once again someone that he loves, will Dylan be able to save Mia yet again? Or will he be too late this time?

A story of love, friendship, and the determination to turn a horrible experience into something worthwhile.

 * Goodreads * Amazon *

This is the second book in this Riverview series.  I read and reviewed the first book not too long ago.  As a reviewer, I don't always love the books I am reviewing.  That goes without saying.  But, I do believe that when I read a first book by an author, and don't really love it, I should give them another chance.  Sometimes authors get better as they go, sometimes I get better as I go.  :)  Either way, I believe in second chances.  I didn't really love the first book in this series but I had already signed on to review this one and like I said before, I thought I would give the author another chance.  

Unfortunately, all the reasons I didn't really enjoy the first book were amplified in this book.  This book is told in first person from multiple points of view.  It drove me nuts.  Especially in the beginning when it jumped from person to person.  By the end of the book there was really only 3 alternating voices going on which was a relief, but I still would have appreciated it more if there weren't so many voices.  The problem, especially in the beginning was that I didn't feel any connection to any of the characters.  I didn't feel like I needed those alternating points of view to convey the information or emotion.  It was just distracting.

My other problem was the swearing and profanity.  The first book had a few mild instances, this book had a few more, some not so mild.  Not a fan of that.  The first book mentioned the couple not being ready for sexual relations quite yet, this book did the same but took things just a little bit farther.  

I will say that by the end of the book I really did like the main characters, Mia and Dylan.  Mia has a fantastic attitude toward life and it's always refreshing to have characters that sends out positive vibes.  This book also tackles the very tough subject of domestic violence and I thought the author did a great job of capturing the emotions of abuse.  I also liked the fact that this story was based on a real life event.  I enjoyed reading about that in the back of the book.

I think now that I have a pretty good idea of how this author writes and I just don't think it's a good fit for me personally.


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Seaside Christmas $50 Book Blast

seaside christmas

He can’t stand her. She thinks he’s crazy. Will their feelings stay etched in permanent ink? Cruz Hunter has always stuck out in his small hometown. Now that he’s covered in tattoos, the residents peg him as even more of an outcast. It seems like the whole world is against his dream of opening a local tattoo parlor. When he finally finds the perfect place for his new business, Cruz discovers a pastor and his daughter have already bought it. The only thing more irritating than the change in his plan is Talia, a beautiful and feisty argument in a dress. Cruz would like nothing more than to have her out of his life and his mind, but for some reason, she’s the only thing he can think about. If Cruz and Talia can stop arguing long enough, opposites may do much more than attract.
  add to goodreads amazon

  Meet the Hunter brothers of Kittle Falls… The Seaside Hunters novels are a series of contemporary sweet romances. They’re set in the beach town of Kittle Falls, following the Hunter brothers as they make their way back to their hometown and find the loves they couldn’t elsewhere.
Each book is a standalone.
  Seaside 

   Stacy
Author Stacy Claflin I don’t stick to a single genre in my writing, reading, or viewing. My favorite shows include Supernatural, The Walking Dead, Pretty Little Liars, Lost Girl, Vampire Diaries, and Once Upon a Time. I've been writing and telling stories for as long as I can remember. As a kid, my story telling would get me into trouble because I would try to convince others that my stories were real. When I'm not busy writing, I like spending time with my family and friends. I also educate my kids from home.


50_Amazon_Paypal
  $50 Book Blast Giveaway Enter to win an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 12/20/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by readinglight.com. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway