Thursday, January 31, 2013

On Tour with Watch Me Disappear by Diane Mulligan

Lizzie Richards isn’t excited to be starting over at a new school for her senior year, but she’s trying to take her mother’s advice and make the most of it—the only way she can: By disobeying her strict parents’ rules. Lizzie’s father has moved the family around every few years to advance his career, so she has never had a chance to develop the kind of “BFF” relationships she thinks most kids have. She’s bracing herself for another lonely year at her third high school when her neighbor Maura gets sick of watching her little brother when she could be partying. Thanks to Maura’s plotting, Lizzie becomes everyone’s new favorite babysitter. Seeing her opportunity, Lizzie decides to break her mother’s rules by using Maura’s computer to create a secret Email address and Facebook account. She is quickly friended by Missy, a fellow transfer student as eager for a friend as she is. Things are looking up for Lizzie until Maura’s ex-boyfriend Paul sets his eye on Missy. Caught between her new best friend and the neighbor whose friendship promises instant popularity, Lizzie doesn’t know what to do—because she’s fallen for Paul, too.

I have to admit that this wasn't one of my favorite reads.  I had a hard time finishing it.  I didn't really like Lizzie very much so I guess that set the tone for the book for me.  None of the characters really drew me in to where I felt a connection to them.  

I sometimes felt bad for Lizzie.  Her parents are overly strict and she has very little social grace.  I think we can all relate to her feelings of wanting to fit in and have friends.  We all go through that to some degree or another in our lives.  A good self esteem can be hard to come by especially if your home life doesn't build that.

I would say that this book seems a bit young, the characters mostly act juvenile and sound very immature, but the book is filled with underage drinking and drugs as well as sex, sexual innuendo and talk so it definitely isn't a book to put in the hands of young teenagers.  There was also plenty of swearing.

I'm not sure there was really a plot to this book but here are some messages I took away from this book:

~drinking, drugs and skipping school will hurt your grades and your chances for getting into a good college not to mention it is just plain stupid

~putting a guy before your best girlfriend is also stupid

~boys who sit around in sweats all day, drinking and farting, still living with their mothers are losers

~high school is tough

~parents need to build their children's self esteem (but not by giving them everything they want and not by depriving them of everything they want)

I know that many people have read and enjoyed this book.  I'm just one girl with one opinion out of many.  Please check the tour schedule below and see what other people are saying about this book.  Also, there is a giveaway as part of this tour.  Leave me a comment to be entered.  You can also score more entries by commenting on other reviews on this tour.  

Diane Vanaskie Mulligan began writing Watch Me Disappear during an after-school writing club she moderates for high school students. This is her first novel. She holds a BA in American Studies from Mount Holyoke College and a Master’s degree in teaching from Simmons College. When she isn’t teaching or writing, she’s the managing editor at The Worcester Review and the director of The Betty Curtis Worcester County Young Writers’ Conference You can also find her occasionally strumming her guitar and singing at various bars in central Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband.





Buy Link
·  Smashwords.
·  Kobo


The Author will be giving away 3 $10 Amazon gift cards to randomly drawn commenters throughout the tour. The more stops you visit and comment on, the more chances you have of winning.

Follow Along With This Tour! 

January 15 - Magical Manuscripts - Review
January 16 - Lov Liv Life Reviews - PROMO
January 17 - Mom With a Kindle - Interview/PROMO
January 18 - Addicted to YA Books - Review
January 19 - Snifferwalker - Review
January 20 - My Cozie Corner - Review
January 21 - Lovely Reads - PROMO
January 22 - Queen of All She Reads - Review
January 23 - Comfort Books - Interview/PROMO
January 24 - A Thousand Lives - Review
January 25 - My Devotional Thoughts- PROMO
January 26 - Book Briefs - Review/Interview
January 27 - Andi's YA Books - Review/Interview
January 28 - Books For Me - Review
January 28 - Sweet Southern Home - Interview/PROMO
January 29 - Oh, The Books You'll Read - Review
January 29 - My Neurotic Book Affair - Review
January 30 - Above Average, Below Special - Review
January 31 - Getting Your Read On - Review
February 1 - A Bibliophiles Thoughts - Review
February 2 - My Bookmark Blog - Review
February 3 - Books and Needlepoint - Review/Interview
February 4 - Reading With Anacrasia - Interview/PROMO

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Review: Midnight in Aisle 7 by Jay Lowder

You never know when God will show up.
At some point we all feel abandoned--by a friend, spouse, family member, or even God. We search to discover meaning for our lives. Often religion tries to confine the answers we seek to church buildings and candy-coated sermons, but in life's darkest moments hope is sometimes illuminated through the most unlikely people at the most unforeseen times. In Midnight in Aisle Seven Jay Lowder presents encouraging, raw, genuine stories of real people, including himself, to demonstrate how anyone, anywhere, can experience an encounter that brings significance to life.

It's been awhile since I've read and reviewed a book like this.  I like to change things up in my reading though and read lots of different kinds of books.  It helps me stay out of the rut of reading.  :)  I also enjoy reading personal experiences that give hope.

Here is my disclaimer for this review.  I am a Christian.  I DO believe that God can touch people anywhere, everywhere.  I believe He loves all his children.  God's love is not confined to a church building or to certain people.  I also believe in organized religion though.  There are always people who will hurt and disappoint no matter if it's in a religious sect or not.  The truth doesn't lie with the people, but with God.  I may not belong to the group of people who follow Jay Lowder or other Evangelical ministers, but I can appreciate and respect the message put forth by this book.

Okay, so having said that, here is what I liked about this book:

~It gave honest, emotional views into the lives of real people searching and needing God's love.  The accounts were touching and real.

~Everyone will find something or someone in this book that they can relate to.

~It helped me remember that we should be kind because everyone we meet is fighting a hard battle and you just never know when your kindness can help change a person's life.

~It strengthened my resolve to be a better person, a better representative of the God I claim to follow.

Here are a couple of my favorite quotes from the book:

"I guess if you stay in any place long enough, even when it is the wrong one, it can begin to feel like home."  (pg. 2)

"The quickest way to grow old, hard and sick is to refuse to forgive yourself or someone else."

You can find purchase links and more information about this book at 

Jay Lowder is the founder and head of Jay Lowder Harvest Ministries based in Wichita Falls, Texas. A dynamic communicator who speaks truth with passion, he has been featured on at least fifteen major networks, including CNN, ABC, Fox, ABC Family, Daystar, and TBN. Jay and his wife, Melissa, have three children.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Scent of Rain by Kristin Billerbeck

When deprived of her most prized sense, Daphne discovers a life she never expected, right under her nose.
Daphne Sweeten has left Paris – and a career she loves – in order to marry a man she loves even more. But when he stands her up on their wedding day, Daphne’s left reeling. Trained as a professional “nose” or perfume creator, Daphne soon realizes that her sense of smell has somehow disappeared too.
In the days following she moves to Dayton, Ohio, to take on a job creating fragrances for household products. Without her sense of smell, she must rely on her chemistry skills, and hope her handsome new boss, Jesse Lightner, doesn’t notice before she can figure out how to get it back.
Despite her desire to return to Paris, she can’t deny the way Jesse makes her feel. But when Daphne approaches former contacts, she learns her missing ex-fiancé has somehow snagged her old job.
As Daphne and Jesse work on a signature scent for their new line, she feels God at work in her life as never before. And the promise of what is possible is as fresh as the scent of rain.
One of the things I loved best about this book was Daphne's very interesting career of being a professional nose.  I honestly hadn't ever given much thought to such a career and it really interested me.  I loved being reminded how much scents influence our memories and feelings.  
Jesse was the knight in shining armor kind of guy.  The perfect guy to swoop in and save Daphne from herself (and her broken sniffer).
The book moved at a pretty slow pace.  In music I'd call it Andante.  Walking speed.  There wasn't anything hurried or exceptionally climactic.  The romance was slow but satisfying in the end.  It was a reminder that when something happens that we think is bad, it may just be God's way of moving us on to something better.  We just can't always see that when things are hard.
This is a Christian fiction book, light on the Christian and squeeky clean.
You can purchase The Scent of Rain at Amazon.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Take My Heart by Marie Higgins: Blog Tour and $25 Giveaway!

Take My Heart by Marie Higgins

Mercedes Maxwell’s sister’s last wish was for Mercedes to find evidence against Kat’s husband, William Braxton, and have him hung as a traitor to the crown. Mercedes isn’t naïve when it comes to capturing traitors, because her own deceased husband had once been an agent for the King when they lived in England.

When she meets William Braxton for the first time, all is not as it seems. Portraying her twin, Mercedes knows this is the only way to get close enough to William to discover his secrets. What she finds along the way are little surprises she hadn’t counted on, especially when she begins to give her heart to a man who may be a spy against the crown.

Book Trailer

My heart has just let out a little sigh of happiness.  I just finished reading Take My Heart and it was everything sweet and romantic.  I pretty much polished it off in a day and then wished I hadn't read through it so fast so I could have made it last just a little bit longer.

I love the setting just prior to the American Revolution.  William is a part of setting things in motion for the revolution.  He has a vision of a better life for his children but that vision marks him as a traitor to the crown.  You can't help but love William's devotion to his children and his ideals for freedom.  The poor guy is so confused over Mercedes that your heart just breaks for him.

Mercedes is kindhearted and gentle.  I think she represents the phrase "actions speak louder than words" very well.  I loved watching William and Mercedes come together.  It was full of yummy.

The only little tiny thing that bothered me was the repeated use of pet names at the very end.  What?  I can't help it.  It started going overboard.  Who actually says "My Love" like that?  If you said it out loud you would see what I mean.  But, I realize that I'm a total crazy woman when it comes to using repeated pet names like that.  It's my own pet peeve and nothing else.

The ending was (in spite of what I just said) very sigh worthy and happy.  It brought in a little suspense and intrigue.  Order me up one dish of William, please.

Overall,  a very good clean romance.  Which I love.  :)  Marie Higgins is a clean romance writer to watch.  I'll be reading more from her for sure.


Author Marie Higgins

Since Marie Higgins was a little girl playing Barbies with her sister, Stacey, she has loved the adventure of making up romantic stories. Marie was only eighteen years old when she wrote her first skit, which won an award for Funniest Skit. A little later in life, after she’d married and had children, Marie wrote Church roadshows that were judged as Funniest and Best Written. From there, she branched out to write full-length novels based on her dreams. (Yes, she says, her dreams really are that silly)

Marie has been married for twenty-six years to a wonderful man. Together, they have three loving daughters and several beautiful grandchildren. Marie works full time for the state of Utah, where she has lived her entire life. Marie plans to keep writing, because the characters in her head won’t shut up. But her husband smiles and pretends this is normal.


Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card
Ends 1/31/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Tour Schedule

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Heart of the Ocean by Heather Moore: Blog Tour and $25 Giveaway!

Heart of the Ocean
by Heather B. Moore

A dark secret . . . a grieving ghost  . . . a handsome stranger  . . .
What more could Eliza Robinson want?
Except for maybe her life.

In Heather B. Moore’s enthralling 1840’s historical romance, Heart of the Ocean, Eliza Robinson has turned down the very pretentious Mr. Thomas Beesley’s marriage proposal. As a business partner of Eliza’s father, Thomas quickly discredits the family and brings disgrace to the Robinson name.

While her father scrambles to restore his good name in New York City, Eliza flees to the remote Puritan town of Maybrook to stay with her Aunt Maeve. Although relieved to be away from all- things-male and unforgiving gossip columns, odd things start to happen to Eliza, and she is plagued by a ghostly voice. Her aunt’s explanation? That Eliza is being haunted by a woman who died of a broken heart twenty years ago.

After Aunt Maeve is tragically killed, Eliza's life is put in danger as she tries to uncover the mystery of her aunt's death. She encounters Jonathan Porter in Maybrook, whose presence in the town seems suspicious, yet she finds herself drawn to him. When she discovers that Jonathan’s dark secrets may be the link between the dead woman who haunts her and her aunt’s murderer, Eliza realizes that Jonathan is the one man she should never trust.

I'm so happy to be a part of this tour.  I always jump at the chance to read anything by Heather Moore.  She has a talent for writing to be sure.  I was especially interested in this book as it's a bit different than the other books she has written.  This historical fiction with some romance and a full on ghost story was absolutely enjoyable from beginning to end.

Eliza and Jon's paths cross when Eliza finds her aunt dead and goes out into a storm, desperate to find help.  Trouble just seems to follow Eliza no matter when she goes.  It doesn't help that the resident ghost has decided that only Eliza can help her find peace.  That ghost happens to be the mother of none other than Jon, her rescuer and a man of many secrets.

I really enjoyed the interactions between Eliza and Jon.  The romantic tension built nicely and it felt real, not contrived.  I enjoyed the glimpse historically into the life of the Puritans.   The secondary characters were great in this book.  Sniveling Thomas gives me the shudders!  Ooh, icky.  

Oh, and I must say that I love the cover of this book.  So pretty.  Overall this was a great read to curl up with on a cold, cold winter's night.  

There were a few instances of mild swearing.

Enjoy the following excerpt from Heart of the Ocean!

Jon & Eliza’s first kiss:

Without thinking of what she was doing, Eliza touched his cheek. Jon didn’t move, didn’t pull away, as she ran her fingers along his face then down his neck, stopping at his shoulder. “Jon,” she whispered, “you can’t change the past.”

His bloodshot eyes seemed to burn through hers. He brought his hand to her neck and lightly touched the brutal markings. Eliza bit her lip, suppressing a gasp as his fingers brushed her skin, but she didn’t move away. His touch was both painful and exhilarating at the same time. She closed her eyes, inhaling his nearness.

Then she felt his lips on hers, soft at first, hesitant. She couldn’t say she was surprised that he’d kissed her—there had always been something tugging them together—but still, she felt like she was in a dream, that this wasn’t really happening. Couldn’t be happening.


Author Heather B. Moore
Heather B. Moore is the award-winning author of ten novels, two inspirational non-fiction books, and two anthologies, including The Newport Ladies Book Club Series, A Timeless Romance Anthology, and Christ's Gifts to Women (co-authored by Angela Eschler).

Her historical fiction is published under the pen name H.B. Moore. She is the two-time recipient of Best of State in Literary Fiction, two-time Whitney Award Winner, and two-time Golden Quill Winner for Best Novel. Her most recent historical novel under H.B. Moore is Daughters of Jared (2012 LUW Gold Award of Excellence & 2012 LUW Best Book Trailer).

Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 1/3/12
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Simply West of Heaven by Monique Bucheger: Blog Tour and Giveaway

SIMPLY WEST OF HEAVEN: A Ginnie West Adventure: (BOOK 3)


Twelve year-old Ginnie and her BFF, Tillie, schemed to get Ginnie’s widowed dad to fall in love with Tillie’s divorced mom. It worked. But before they could become ‘for real’ sisters, Ginnie stumbled across her dead mom’s journals. Which was totally awesome sauce… until her dad took them away and won’t tell her why. Now all their plans are starting to unravel.

If that’s not bad enough, Ginnie’s favorite uncle drops the mother of all bombshells and leaves her in a maze of uncertainty. While her head is still spinning from that news,  a blast from her late mother’s past shows up and makes Tillie goes nutburgers. Ginnie realizes her best friend has her own agenda and Tillie’s plans to merge their families may not be so innocent.
SIMPLY WEST OF HEAVEN is a contemporary MG novel that follows Ginnie West as she tries to make sense of one too many curve balls tossed her way in the most pivotal summer of her life. 

This is my first Ginnie West Adventure book.  I haven't read any of the previous books in this series but I don't think it hurt at all.  I was able to easily settle in to this book without being confused.

To me, this book was like a soap opera from a child's point of view.  Ginnie's mom passed away when she was very little.  She is, naturally, very curious about her mother so when she finds some old journals written by her mother she is desperate to read them.  Ginnie's dad has other ideas though.  He doesn't want to deal with all the secrets the journals hold.  Meanwhile, Ginnie's uncle finds out he's a father and didn't know it, her aunt shows up to throw the whole family into an uproar, her best friend has a complete meltdown which stems from the abuse she endured from her father, her brother gets hurt, her aunt is getting married.  I'm telling you it's a family drama.

Ginnie is a determined little girl.  She is stubborn and impatient but she does care about other people.  She is right on the edge of child and growing up.  I really felt her desperation and need to know about her mother.  Luckily Ginnie has lots of people surrounding her that love her.  I guess that's the biggest message that I took away from this book.  Family is important.  No matter how that family comes together, blood bond or not.  The people that love you can help you work through life's challenges.

Simply West of Heaven was a good MG book with a contemporary setting that kids will be able to relate to.

Would you like an autographed, personalized copy? Visit Monique's page here to order:

Social networking links: 

Monique Bucheger was born in Landstuhl, Germany to active duty Air Force parents. After watching her creative writing teacher's astronaut son lift off in the Space Shuttle Endeavor, she recalled a promise to her teacher to write the books only she could write. In January of 2011, her first book made it through the first 3 tiers of Amazon's National BreakThrough Novel Award Contest to the top 5%. In November of 2012 Mrs. Bucheger was offered a 3 book contract for her Ginnie West series. Book one: THE SECRET SISTERS CLUB: A Ginnie West Adventure was published March 8, 2012. Her second book: TROUBLE BLOWS WEST: A Ginnie West Adventure was published April 14, 2012. 
Mrs. Bucheger has championed the cause of children as a foster parent to over 120 children and her books embrace and empower people on all sides of the child abuse issue.

Blog Tour Schedule for Ginnie West Adventure Series by Monique Bucheger

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

On Tour with Edge of the Past by Jennifer Comeaux + $25 Giveaway!

Tour Schedule

Life on the Edge

Nineteen-year-old Emily is new to pairs skating, but she and her partner Chris have a big dream–to be the first American team to win Olympic gold. Their young coach Sergei, who left Russia after a mysterious end to his skating career, believes they can break through and make history.

Emily and Chris are on track to be top contenders at the 2002 Winter Games. But when forbidden feelings spark between Emily and Sergei, broken trust and an unexpected enemy threaten to derail Emily’s dreams of gold.


Edge of the Past

Emily's skating career and personal life have never been more golden. She and her partner Chris have won every competition they've entered this season, and she's found the man of her dreams in her coach Sergei. But when one of the biggest competitions of the year takes Emily and Sergei to Russia, Sergei's past explodes into the present and makes Emily doubt everything in their future.


I am such a fan of competitive ice skating.  It's one of my favorite things to watch on TV, especially during the Olympics.  How fabulous to read a book (or in my case, books) combining two of my favorite things:  ice skating and romance!  :)

I'm not sure I would recommend Edge of the Past as a stand alone book.  I really think you need to read Life on the Edge first.  Emily and Sergei's story of coming together is romantic and has such a great build up that you don't want to miss it.  Life on the Edge is where we really get to know the characters.  Emily and Sergei try to fight the attraction and connection between them because as a coach and student, such a relationship is frowned upon.  It could ruin everything.  But love, as we know, doesn't usually follow rules.  I loved the kissing scenes and I loved the secondary characters as well.

It was awesome to just dive right into Edge of the Past right after finishing Life on the Edge.  I was so glad to have them both.  I honestly read through both these books in two days.  They were great!

The path of love rarely runs smooth and Emily and Sergei have their fair share of struggles.  In this book some of the past comes up to change the game plan.  I really felt Emily's battle within as she struggled with accepting and adapting even as her heart hurt.  There were real life issues, emotion and romance.  So enjoyable to read.  Enjoy the following excerpt from Edge of the Past.  It will give you a sneak peak into the drama that unfolds.

After dessert of Russian fruit cake, my parents helped Anna clear the table while Sergei and I went over to his room, if one could call it that. We stood between the bed and a tall wooden cabinet, and there was barely enough space for us to move. I thought of my bedroom in my parents’ house – the four-poster bed, my own bathroom, the window seat where I loved to read. Sergei hadn’t enjoyed any such comforts growing up.
“This bed looks even smaller than a twin,” I said. “How did you fit in this?”
He laughed. “When I had my growth spurt at fifteen and hit six feet, it got tough.”
“I can’t imagine not having a door for privacy. There were many times I needed to shut out my mom’s nagging.”
“I guess since I never had a door, I didn’t know what I was missing.”
“Where’d you keep all your stuff?” I asked.
“My clothes were in here.” Sergei tapped the cabinet. “Everything else got crammed under the bed.”
“It’s nice you had a window,” I said, running my hand along the sill. My fingers stopped when I reached a carving – one Russian word etched into the wood.

Author Jennifer Comeaux

Jennifer Comeaux earned a Master of Accounting from Tulane University and is a Certified Public Accountant in south Louisiana. While working in the corporate world, she sought a creative outlet and decided to put on paper a story that had played in her head for years. That story became Life On the Edge, her first published novel.

When not working or writing, she is an avid follower of the sport of figure skating, travelling to competitions around the country. Those experiences allow her to see a different side of the sport and serve as an inspiration for her writing. Jennifer is blessed with a wonderful family and many friends who have encouraged her to pursue her dream of being a published author.


Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 1/24/13

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop

For this hop, I'm giving away a book of your choice, whatever book you've been dreaming about, $12 or less from Amazon if you are US or Book Depository if you are INT.  I love giveaway hops!  Thanks for stopping by!

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Do Over by Shannon Guymon

Who wouldn't be tired of dating after falling for the wrong woman over and over again? Trey has decided to take a much-needed break from the fairer sex, until Iris tumbles into his life. Their romance will either be a disaster waiting to happen or the best fairy tale since Sleeping Beauty. This final installment of the Alpine series will have you giving love another chance.

This was such a fun read.  I knew the minute I saw it that I had to read it and I went right over to NetGalley and fetched it.  Thank you NetGalley and Cedar Fort for the review copy of Do Over!

Trey and Iris will make you smile both together and separately.  After an ugly relationship, Iris decides to experiment with her clothing and hair to fit what she feels is more like the "real" her.  After living a certain way for so long she felt stifled and needed a change.  Her "do over" shook everything up.  Where she lived, how she looked and definitely how she viewed herself.  I think it would be fun for even a week to just wear stuff that you normally don't wear and try something new.  I for sure want a pair of those boots!

That Trey is smooth.  He just lassos Iris without her even knowing it.  Trey is also loyal and devoted (well, except for that one moment where he is stupid.  Although I guess that just makes him human).  I've read all the books in this series and I'm glad Trey found his match.  It was fun to have the couples from the other books in this book too.  It was like visiting old friends.

This is a sweet romance and I loved it.  There were a few references to the LDS culture/religion but absolutely nothing preachy or religious was in this book.  I think this is a book anyone who loves clean romance will enjoy.