Friday, July 29, 2016

The Crush Dilemma (Dear Aubrey, #1) by Susan Hatler

Teen geek, Poppy Pinkleton, is adding some spice to her senior year of high school: A year of psychological experiments that will 1) Earn her three units of college credit; 2) Give her an outlet to say what she wants, when she wants; and 3) Will NOT include her parents telling her to be the “bigger person.”

How, you ask? Poppy’s gotten the green light from Mrs. Peterson, the newspaper head, to write an online advice column for the school. She’s found the perfect name for her alter ego: Aubrey. It means someone who rules with “magical wisdom.” She’ll be in control of her online experiment, online identity, and divvy her wisdom to the masses while tracking the results for her mini-thesis.
Now, protected by a secret identity, she’s got the popular crowd clambering to know what she thinks about fashion, homework, and eek . . . even sex! And the best part is, her parents and best friends don’t know anything about it. Finally, she can let loose a wild side and speak her mind—right or wrong, without having to meet anyone’s expectations.

Soon, however, dishing out advice leads to more than Poppy can handle on her own and she must make a choice. Hide behind her alter ego or take the chance that everyone, including the new boy at school, will like her for everything she is.

Here goes Susan Hatler again- changing up her genre a bit and writing a fun YA book.  I love Susan's adult clean romance books.  They always make me swoon dreamily.  This book is written for a younger audience and isn't necessarily swoony but has so many things that teenagers in high school will be able to relate to easily.

Poppy.  Here's a girl that is focused on grades and college.  She isn't in the "it" crowd, but usually she doesn't mind that so much.  When Poppy has the great idea of writing an anonymous advice column for her school she feels on top of the world.  People are paying attention to what she says and putting her advice into practice.  But then things start getting a bit messy.  Poppy is caught up in the drama of relationships, secrets and heavy expectations.  Yeah, things get messy alright!

I liked Poppy.  She is book smart but not exactly always people smart.  Her advice column was a way for her to express what she thought because in her real life she wasn't nearly as courageous.  I loved watching Poppy grow in confidence as her secret life and thoughts started to mesh with her real life and she learned how to speak up.

This book was easy to settle in with and made me smile many times.  It also tugged a bit at my heartstrings.  This life can be so hard to navigate.  People can be mean.  It takes courage to stand up and let your voice be heard.  It takes courage to stand against the mean people and the bullies.  It is so important to surround yourself with good people and good friends and to be that for other people.  That's the message I took away from this book.  

Content:  Some talk of teenagers "hooking up" and cheating on each other, teenage drinking.  Nothing described in detail.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Sophie's Path by Catherine Lanigan + $50 Giveaway

Sophie's Path

Sophie's Path
(Shores of Indian Lake #6)
Catherine Lanigan
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
July 1st 2016 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Her choice. His consequences.

Nurse Sophie Mattuchi has seen a lot of angry patients in the ER, but no one's ever rattled her like Jack Carter. He has no right to blame her for his friend's death. Sophie did everything she could. Didn't she? Yet his accusations sting, and that sets off all kinds of internal alarms. She's never cared this much about any man's opinion of her. But Jack is different. He stirs up feelings. Strong feelings. Guilt. Anger. Attraction. Curiosity. Sympathy. Sophie's definitely not interested in Jack, but even if she was, he'd never forgive her for the decision she made that night in the hospital. Would he?

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequin

I'm happy to be a part of the blog tour for this new addition to the Shores of Indian Lake series by Catherine Lanigan.  Harlequin Heartwarming is one of my favorite publishing lines because I know I can trust that books from them are sweet and clean.

I think this is the third book I've read in this series now.  It has all the old characters popping in at some point or another which really gives this series a feeling of community.  You don't have to read the books in order to understand or enjoy each one, but as always, reading the stories of previous characters gives an added measure of knowing and a feeling of coming home.

This book moves at a very sedate pace.  Sometimes I felt it dragging a bit, but the story is a good one and worth sticking with.  If you love a gentle romance with slow build, you will love this book.

Sophie and Jack have a rocky start.  They meet in the ER after Jack has been involved in a car accident and one of his business colleges dies.  The man that hit them was high on drugs.  This leads to a lot of anger on Jack's part- especially when he finds out that Sophie has aligned herself with an outreach agency that tries to help addicts recover and prevent children from getting hooked.  It's quite a mess there for awhile!

Sophie and Jack are each on their own personal journey through some life changes.  And then, they are on another journey together.  It's bumpy no matter what path you are looking at.  Somehow the little dog connects several people together in a way only a cute little dog can, I guess.  :)  

The ending was sweet and it made my heart smile.

Content:  Clean, some talk and events involving drug abuse and suicide.

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

Other Books in the Series


Catherine Lanigan is the international bestselling and award-winning author of forty published titles in both fiction and non-fiction, including the novelizations of Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile, as well as over half a dozen anthologies, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living your Dream”, “Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul”, and more. Ms. Lanigan’s novels have been translated into dozens of languages including German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese. Ms. Lanigan’s novels are also available in E-books on and Barnes and, Apple Store, Mobi and Kobo. Several of her titles have been chosen for The Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Clubs. Her Vietnam war-based novel, The Christmas Star, won the Gold Medal Award Top Pick from Romantic Times Magazine and has also won Book of the Year Romance Gold Award from ForeWord Magazine as well as Book of the Year Romance from Reader’s Preference.

Lanigan is the author of a trilogy of non- fiction books regarding angelic intervention in human life: Angel Watch, Divine Nudges and Angel Tales published by HCI and Cedar Fort.

Skyhorse published Lanigan’s “how-to” book on writing: Writing the Great American Romance Novel.

Lanigan was tasked by the NotMYkid Foundation to write a non-fiction book addressing teen addictions. Ms. Lanigan’s first Young Adult adventure novel, The Adventures of Lillie and Zane: The Golden Flute, was published by Cedar Fort.

Currently, she has published six novels in the Shores of Indian Lake series for Harlequin Heartwarming: Love Shadows, Heart’s Desire, A Fine Year for Love, Katia’s Promise and Fear of Falling. Sophie’s Path pubs July, 2016. She has recently contracted for three more in the series: Danger Zone, Wedding for Isabelle and A Bride for Mica.

As a cancer survivor, Ms. Lanigan is a frequent speaker at literary functions and book conventions as well as inspiring audiences with her real stories of angelic intervention from her Angel Tales series of books. She is an outspoken advocate for domestic violence and abuse and was honored by The National Domestic Violence Hotline in Washington, D.C. (THE EVOLVING WOMAN). She has been a guest on numerous radio programs including “Coast to Coast” and on television interview and talk show programs as well as blogs, podcasts and online radio interview programs.

Tour Schedule

July 18th: Launch
July 21st: Brooke Blogs
July 22nd: Hardcover Feedback
July 25th: EskieMama Reads
July 26th: deal sharing aunt
July 27th: Colorimetry
July 31st: Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway

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Ends August 5th

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Beyond the Narrows by M.R. Durbin + $25 and Book Giveaway

You’re never too old for an adventure!

After being the subject of an explosive assassination attempt, O’Reilly (Obie) Begay, a retired Navajo archaeologist, finds himself in the middle of the hunt for an ancient record—the personal journal of a Spanish Templar leading to a legendary treasure.

When Obie tracks down the journal, he enlists fellow retirees Peter, Bill, and Jack to assist him in following its clues. Facing gunfights and car chases, the treasure hunters locate a 500-year-old Mayan codex, the next clue on their adventure. Peter’s grandson, Charley, and Obie’s granddaughter, Mac, come along for the quest, but they may find themselves drawn to a different kind of treasure.

Constantly one tiny step ahead of their enemies as they scour the caves, cliffs, and canyons of Southern Utah, Obie’s team will have to rely on each other if they want to reach the treasure before their pursuers. But what will they do if not all in their numbers can be trusted?

I think the thing I loved most about this book was the setting of Southern Utah and it's beautiful red rocks and canyons.  I spent my earlier years growing up in this area- Hurricane, actually.  And that's Hurri-cun not Hurricane.  I laughed at that part in the book because that's exactly what we all used to say all the time.  I was little when I lived there but I hated when people said it wrong.  It made me mad.  Ha!

I also loved the reminder of the storms that caused flash flooding.  We had a "wash" behind our house and when the storms hit the mountains, we had flash flood waters that came in hard and fast.  The wash was a dangerous place and I was forbidden to play in it because you never knew when those waters were going to come.  It could be sunny at my house but raining in the mountains.  I was scared to death of the wash.  

So, yeah.  The setting brought back lots of memories for me.  I could easily imagine the places because I have been to them or places similar to them.  As for the story itself, it was okay.  It wasn't the best mystery/adventure/suspense book I've read, but it was okay.  None of it really engaged my feelings.

This book has an unusual group of main characters.  Three of them are older, retired men who are friends.  They each bring their own set of experiences and knowledge to the group.  Mac and Charley are younger and needed in the plot for their vitality and more youthful energy and abilities.  This book has a lot of treasure hunting and running from bad guys.  It's set up in the end for another book to follow.

Content:  Mild violence, LDS fiction (many conversations and references to things specific to the LDS religion).

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.


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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Winter's Heir (Fairy Queens #4) by Amber Argyle

A price must be paid.

Elice has left behind the ice and isolation of winter. Before her is the warmth and wonder of summer with all its color and life. Adar, the young man she saved from the sea, is by her side, and his touch sends tendrils of heat where before there was only cold.

But all is not as it seems. There are secrets hidden in the heart of summer. Secrets that could burn Elice to the ground and take the whole world with her. The decades-long war between the fairies of winter and summer has thrown off the balance of nature, leaving the world in its death throes.

Adar believes Elice can stop the destruction—if only she will listen to him. But like the fairies’ bargains, that trust comes with a cost. And the price Elice will pay will tear asunder the boundaries between dreams and family, loyalty and betrayal.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

I've been waiting to read this final installment of the Fairy Queens series.  The last book ended in the middle of the saga so this book was much needed to bring conclusion and resolution to my mind and heart.

The whole fairy queen saga is so intense.  Each book pulls you in and just refuses to let you go.  The world of the fairies is brutal, violent and beautiful all at the same time.  It has been quite the journey.

I think I loved this last book the best though.  It just fit in with my heart the best.  Love has it's triumph in many different ways, resolution came and everything was tied together from the other books.  It just felt good.  It was a hard journey to get there though which makes the resolution all the sweeter.

Amber Argyle is a gifted and talented writer.  She creates fantastic pictures in my head- of worlds, people and creatures.  I'm really looking forward to what she comes up with next.

Content:  violence

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Thirty-Three Going on Girlfriend (Spinster Series Book 2) by Becky Monson

Julia Dorning thought she would die a lonely spinster. That was until nine months ago, when her world was turned upside down. Now she’s got a dream career as a bakery owner, and a relationship with handsome Jared Moody—a life she never thought possible.

Just as she’s starting to feel comfortable in her new life, Julia is invited to battle it out on national television making cupcakes. An amazing opportunity, if she can muster up the confidence to do it, that is. Then, out of the blue, Jared goes and throws a rather large wrench in their relationship causing Julia to have to make some big decisions.With her two trusted confidants off in wedding la la land, Julia is on her own to figure everything out.

Left to her own devices, will Julia be able to work things out for herself? Or will she make a disaster of it all? Find out in Becky Monson’s sequel to Thirty-Two Going on Spinster!

I had the chance to meet Becky Monson at a book signing in May.  She was kind enough to give me a copy of this book to read and review.  I love meeting authors and having books signed by them.  It's awesome.

This is the second book in this series and is somewhat dependent on reading the first book.  I guess you could just jump in here with the second book but you would probably feel a bit lost.  If you haven't read the first book, now is an EXCELLENT time to pick it up because it's FREE on Amazon unlimited.  Just .99 to buy!  :)  (at least it is as of today, the day this post is sent out to the world)

Julia Dorning is guaranteed to make you smile.  Some of the things that go through her mind- and sometimes out her mouth- so funny.  This book is told in the first person so you really get to know Julia on a very intimate level.  Her head is a crazy place to be.

I loved the cupcake battle show.  I could easily picture it because I have watched that show on TV a couple times.  Seeing it from Julia's mind was fun.  There were moments I wanted to shake Julia and moments I just wanted to hug her.  That's what made her real.

This is a fun series and I'm looking forward to the next book!

Content:  Mild swearing, drinking alcohol

Friday, July 15, 2016

Not Quite Sheer Happiness $50 Book Blast

Not Quite Sheer Happiness 
Sienna Harris is back and appears to be on top of the world! Her company, Sheer Happiness Events, is booming, but personally she’s a mess. She never imagined that with amazing success would come tremendous pressure. Although her professional life seems in disarray at times, her relationship with the dashing Ace Eckelund is finally progressing. Friendships are tested and so is her relationship when—once again—the past collides with the present. Sienna begins to question everything in her life and wonders if she should throw out her desire for constant certainty and live life on the edge for once. But, will she be able to change the person she has always been for who she wants to become? Find out in this captivating third installment of The Event to Remember series.

  amazon get it

Praise for Not Quite Sheer Happiness I absolutely loved the book from start to finish and I was extremely gutted that it ended because of its sheer brilliance. Melissa Baldwin is a truly talented writer and I regret not finding her books sooner. Not Quite Sheer Happiness is a hug in a book. A feel good, relatable and loving story that will make you want more, because I definitely do. Amazing book, definitely sheer happiness. I laughed, I swooned, I shook my head, and I loved every moment. A great read! The plot moved at a good pace and at times I didn't want to stop reading. It was interesting to have a main character who has insecurities. I thought Melissa Baldwin wrote this in a way that everyone could possibly relate to in some degree.

  add to goodreads

Excerpt “Sienna, are you able to go out for drinks with us?” Lisa asks. Interestingly enough, it appears that Craig and Lisa are becoming good friends now. Just then we hear the door, we all turn to see Ace standing in the doorway. I quickly look at Lisa and her reaction says it all. “Oh, I’m terribly sorry. Didn’t mean to interrupt your meeting,” he apologizes. “Ace, is that you?” Lisa exclaims. Oh please, like she doesn’t know that’s him. She stands up and reaches up to give him a hug. Craig’s eyes get big and he looks toward me, probably waiting for me to react. I calmly take a deep breath. “Lisa,” he replies with a warm smile. “It’s very nice seeing you. Sienna told me that you two were working together.” She looks surprised. “It’s nice to see you. How many years has it been?” Ace puts his hand to his chin. “Many years. And congratulations on the job; Welsh and Taylor is a fantastic firm.” Lisa looks surprised. “How do you know them? They just started their practice.” “Oh, Ace knows everyone,” Craig interrupts. “He’s an international man of mystery.” I roll my eyes. “Craig, he’s not Austin Powers.” Everyone laughs. So far so good, it’s not completely awkward. “Oh, and congratulations on your engagement,” she says, pointing at me. His gorgeous smile widens and my heart speeds up a little. “Thank you. I’m very lucky.” He looks at me lovingly, which gives me chills. Lisa nods. Okay, this is going better than I thought it would. I guess I was reading too much into it. Craig motions for me to go to his office. We excuse ourselves, leaving Ace and Lisa talking about her firm. “What?” I ask as soon as we get in his office.
 “Everything seems to be going good. I told you that you were overreacting,” he says.
 “I know,” I agree. “I feel a little guilty about not having more trust in Ace. Am I a horrible person?”
 “I wouldn’t say you’re horrible,” he says unconvincingly. “I do think you acted like a jealous girlfriend, though, and that’s not very attractive. But I get it, a first love can be hard to beat.”
What is he talking about? Who said anything about a first love? “Craig, they dated but that doesn’t mean that they were each other’s first loves?” Or were they? I realize I don’t know much about the details other than Lisa was the one to end their relationship. My palms are starting to sweat. “We should probably get back in there,” I say quickly. I head back to our tiny conference room, which is actually just a small office with a table in it. I don’t want Ace to think that I’m bothered even though I am. When I walk back in, my heart sinks. Ace and Lisa are leaning in, looking at her phone, their heads closer together than before. It’s not that they’re doing anything wrong; they just look too . . . comfortable.

  Melissa B

Author Melissa Baldwin Melissa graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications; she has always had a love for writing. An avid journal keeper, she took her creativity to the next level by fulfilling her dream with her debut novel, An Event to Remember . . . Or Forget. Since then, she has written and published three more novels, Wedding Haters, See You Soon Broadway and Not Quite Sheer Happiness. Melissa resides in Orlando, Florida, with her husband and young daughter. When she isn't writing, this multi-tasking master organizer is busy being a mother, wife, chauffeur, PTA President, and Fitness Trainer. When she has free time, she enjoys traveling, running, fitness, fashion, and taking a Disney Cruise every now and then.

Blast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 7/29/16 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 and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 14, 2016

O'er The River Liffey (Power of the Matchmaker) by Heidi Ashworth

From the Power of the Matchmaker series:

Irish heiress Caroline Fulton knows this house party, ostensibly celebrating the victory of Waterloo, is really an audition: will she make a suitable wife? Her host, an English lord, has already won over her father, who’s determined to buy a title with Caroline’s dowry. She is far from taken with the baron, however, especially once she meets Niall Doherty, the impoverished, perceptive tutor to her host’s younger brothers. He shares her love of Irish fairy tales and seems to guard a troubled past…but neither quality will earn Caroline’s father’s approval.

Here is another book in the Power of the Matchmaker series.  I love this series because each book is so different as they are written by different authors but they carry a common thread that ties them all together.  Each book is meant to stand on it's own which is awesome because you can read these books in any order, at any time.  My only suggestion would be to read the prequel novella to understand the common thread of Miss Pearl, the matchmaker.

This book has a more sedate pace to it.  It is gentle and very proper in it's romance.  Caroline and Niall are both kind and intelligent characters.  It was easy to sit back and enjoy them.  Niall is a storyteller and his Irish fairy tales are woven throughout the book.

I enjoyed this book but it was pretty slow moving.  It wasn't something that captured my attention in a way that I felt compelled to press forward.  I missed the presence of Miss Pearl.  She appeared at the beginning of the book but wasn't really a part of the rest.  I missed her.

If you enjoy regency books, you should pick this one up.  It is well written and presents the time period perfectly.

Oh, and I love the cover.  :)

Content:  Clean
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Hawaiian Masquerade (Destination Billionaire Romance) by Rachelle J. Christensen

Lexi closed her eyes. The waves rolled in slowly, rhythmically, with a dependability that would never be doubted. Shawn had been her rock and they’d worked together with a rhythm that had kept their jobs and life in sync. Before Derek, she might’ve entertained a future with Shawn … but the dark-haired man with a camera bag slung over his shoulder had changed everything. 

When Lexi Burke escaped the remnants of a cold winter in Chicago for the beaches of Kauai, it wasn’t a random vacation. She left the hectic pace of Burke Enterprises behind with enough money to retire at age thirty-two, intent on settling into the idyllic existence of island life. Until she met local photographer Derek Mitchell—a talented man with a grudge against rich tourists.

From art night to snorkeling lessons, hiking, and chopping coconuts, Lexi can’t talk herself out of spending time with the handsome, hardworking man who knows the value of every dollar. She also can’t find a way to tell him the truth about herself. But then Derek is selected to help in a benefit at a masquerade ball as one of the eligible bachelors up for auction. Lexi must decide whether to wear a mask or unveil her true self and risk losing Derek’s trust and a chance at love.

 * Goodreads * Amazon *

I have been loving these Destination Billionaire Romance books.  They are a quick romantic escape and in this case, it's a quick romantic escape to Kauai!  It made me almost desperate to be basking in the beautiful beaches and lush landscapes there.  Hawaii makes for the perfect romantic set up-  especially for an artist and a photographer!

Lexi and Derek are a fun pair.  I loved that the billionaire in this case was Lexi.  Even with all that money, she was down to earth and so conscientious of those around her.  Her desire to become a part of Kauai and the people there made her so endearing as a character.

Derek, who's life experiences have left him a bit jaded about people with money, is the perfect person to sit opposite of Lexi, the billionaire.  I really liked Derek and how he wanted to share his best with Lexi.

I kind of wish that there would have been some kind of suspense to draw this book out a bit more.  Rachelle is sort of a name for me in the romantic suspense genre and I love her books.  I really liked this one too, I just saw the potential of it becoming a bit more suspenseful but it didn't.  

As I said, this was a fun, diverting escape.  I enjoyed my time with Lexi, Derek and the supporting cast in Kauai!

Content:  Clean

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

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

I Am Delilah by Josi S. Kilpack

Although Delilah works in New York, she’s a small-town girl and eager to finish her job as a nanny and return to Big Fork Montana where she’ll marry her high-school sweetheart. When she ends up the focus of a Hollywood stunt centered around her being the Oscar date of Hollywood heartthrob Sam Hendricks, life as she knows it becomes a thing of the past. Delilah promptly refuses him, only to find that it isn’t so easy to step out of the limelight once you’ve ended up in the middle of the public eye.

Sam Hendricks is not used to taking no for an answer, and when his rejection become a leading story, he determines to do whatever it takes to turn the tide of public opinion back in his favor. Again and again Delilah refuses him until she proposes an offer—if he’ll spend two weeks on her family’s dairy farm, she’ll be his date to the Oscars. In no way is this a fair trade, but Sam feels he has no choice and therefore agrees to her proposal—they both agree no one will ever know.

Unfortunately for them both, there are plans other than their own at play, and when everything goes wrong they are faced with another fallout, bigger than the first.

(I AM DELILAH was originally published as STAR STRUCK in 2004)

 * Amazon * Goodreads

I have vague recollections of reading this book way back when it was first released under a different title.  It's been a long time though so most of it felt pretty new to me.

If you are looking for a romance, this story may disappoint you.  It's less of a romance and more of, well, I'm not sure what I would label it as.  A story of a growing friendship and learning maybe.

Delilah and Sam are both flawed and have their mean moments.  Of course, those were not my favorite bits, but they both were learning and figuring things out.  Both Sam and Delilah have somewhat warped ideas of how the other lives and as they come to know each other better, those perceptions change and soften.  

This book was good but it wasn't my favorite.  It was clean though and I really appreciate that.  Josi Kilpack is a fantastic writer and I've loved so many of her books- especially her more recent ones.  

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

Monday, July 11, 2016

Happy Release Day to Rachel Laine: Women of Merryton #3 by Jennifer Peel

Rachel Whitney’s life changed forever when Drew, the son of her twin sister, Sydney, was placed in her arms—and there he stayed. At twenty-two, she had no idea what she was doing, but in that moment, she knew that raising Drew was what she was meant to do with her life.

Fiercely independent, Rachel makes her own way managing her family's insurance agency. Decidedly against introducing any men into her life, or Drew’s, she protects her heart against all romantic entanglements. But what she didn’t count on was a letter from her sister that leads a famous secret to her door eight years after her sister’s death. A secret with the same eyes as her son’s.

Desperate not to get the courts involved, Rachel allows Drew’s previously unknown father, Andrew Turner, into their lives, and to her surprise, little by little into her heart. But for Rachel, taking that step could open her family to a firestorm of media attention that not even Merryton can protect them from. Is love worth the risk? Or will Andrew's fame and ambition ruin their chances?

I'm pretty sure that the word love is going to be severely overused in this review.  I sincerely apologize ahead of time.

Happy Release Day to Rachel Laine!!!

LOVE!  :)  

Here's my LOVE list.

1.  Jennifer Peel- seriously one of my favorite authors.  I met Jennifer a couple months ago where I scored a stack of her books, all autographed because she is generously awesome that way.  I haven't met a Jennifer Peel book I haven't loved.  Now they are gracing my bookshelf in full glory.  I LOVE that.  If you haven't read any books by Jennifer Peel, well, what are you waiting for?!  It's time!

2.  This Series- one of my favorites.  You don't have to read these book in any order, but it will just give you more perspective into the secondary characters if you do.  You can easily start with this book and be perfectly happy.

3.  This Book- LOVE!  The thing about Jennifer Peel is that she knows how to write characters that you feel like you know.  By the end of the book I feel like those characters are mine.  I know them, I love them.  I have been there every step of their journey and it feels like it's been my journey too.  

4.  These Characters!- Rachel is so fierce when it comes to loving and protecting Drew but she is also generous and kind.  She wants what is best for her son and she puts aside her feelings to give him that.  Rachel gives more to Andrew than I probably would have.  Drew is energetic and cute.  He is a great addition to this book and really makes the scenes come alive.  I didn't love Andrew right away but he grew on me right along with Rachel and Drew.

5.  The Ending- I love when I come to the end of a great, romantic book and my heart gives a contented sigh.  It just feels good.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Chasing Fireflies (Power of the Matchmaker) by Taylor Dean

My sisters think I’m crazy.

But, I’ve never forgotten the mysterious woman from my childhood who told me Paul is the name of my one true love.

She told me to search far and wide for him.

I haven’t stopped looking ever since.

When I stumble across an article about a successful American entrepreneur named Paul who lives and works in China, I’m intrigued. When the opportunity to teach English in China presents itself on the same day, I know it’s not a coincidence.

It’s destiny.

My sisters say I’m chasing a dream.

Just like the fireflies we tried to catch on the warm summer evenings of our youth, the dream seems beyond my grasp. Will my quest for the elusive Paul always be just short of fulfillment?

My sisters tell me it’s a fool’s errand.

Until I remind them of the day we saw the Red Bird.

The memory silences them.

The Red Bird Incident remains inarguable—and proves my search for Paul is not a silly fantasy.

I will find Paul . . . I will.

 * Goodreads * Amazon *

Okay, first I have a confession.  I had my doubts about this book.  From the blurb I wondered if I would really love this book.  I follow Taylor Dean and I read her blog (because I am a HUGE Taylor Dean fan- I just LOVE her books) and she has been talking about this book for a long time.  I've been anxious to read it, but just a bit skeptical.

I NEVER should have doubted the talent that is Taylor Dean.  Never.  Ever.  I am a silly girl to have been skeptical going in.  I'm going to spend five seconds hanging my head in shame.  5 . . .4 . . .3 . . .2 . . .1

There.  Now.  Now I will tell you how much I adored this book.  :)

Adoration and love.  This book just weaved itself around me.  The characters were alive and vibrant in my mind.  Everything just came to life like a movie for me.  I love when that happens.  This book should be a movie!

The whole blurb gives you more questions than answers, and for pretty much the whole book you still don't really have a clue as to what it all means.  It's fantastic because as a reader I was guessing and wondering and forming my own ideas but I was wrong.  Ha!  Totally didn't have a clue.  But after the whole book with these characters- the moment of dawning and understanding just filled me.  The connection to the book was complete and I just loved it.  L-O-V-E.  Love.

If you have never read a Taylor Dean book, you really should.  My first book by her was I Have People.  It was fantastic and started the beginning of my obsession.  I have read all of Taylor's books and like I said before- I am a fan.

This book is part of the Power of the Matchmaker series.  Each book in this series can stand alone and is not dependent on the others.  However, you may want to read the prequel novella to understand how all these books connect with one common character who is the matchmaker.

Content:  Clean

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

On Tour with When I Found You by Kate James + Giveaway!

When I Found You (K-9 Trilogy, #3)

                                       When I Found You
(K-9 Trilogy #3)
by Kate James
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 365 pages
July 1st 2016 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Is she part of the solution…or the problem?

It could be a terrorist threat. Or is it some other sinister plot? An unprecedented rash of security breaches at San Diego's international airport is putting passengers at risk and bringing the competence of the airport's chief of security, Ariana Atkins, into question. With explosives the weapon of choice, police K-9 unit captain Logan O'Connor and his bomb detection dog, Boomer, might be Ariana's best, if not only, line of defense. Logan is certain his belief in Ariana, and his growing love for her, aren't misplaced…but it wouldn't be the first time he's misjudged someone's intentions.

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequin

I am really loving this K-9 series by Kate James.  I've read every one so far and this book is a fantastic addition.  I loved how each book has a different setting- even though all the books are about K-9 handlers in the same police unit.  This book is mostly in an airport setting and I really loved it.  I don't think I've ever read a book quite like this and it was fun.

The suspense had me constantly pushing forward to read this book.  The pacing was awesome.  It had those full of suspense moments but a few downtime moments as well where I got to feel the growing relationship between Ariana and Logan.

Kate James is easily one of my favorites with Harlequin Heartwarming.  This book brings the end of this K-9 trilogy which is kind of sad, but I'm sure looking forward to what comes next!

Content:  Clean

I received a copy of this book from Prism Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.

Other Books in the Series

When the Right One Comes Along (K-9 Trilogy, #1)When the Right One Comes Along
(K-9 Trilogy #1)
by Kate James
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 293 Pages
October 1st 2015 by Harlequin

Brought together by disaster. Kept together by love.

In the aftermath of a deadly earthquake, it's chaos for trauma surgeon Jessica Hansen. Among the many victims, one patient stands out—San Diego Police K-9 search and rescue officer Cal Palmer.

Cal vows to help Kayla, a child orphaned by the disaster. But he needs Jessica's help. Will their shared concern for Kayla and for Cal's canine partner, Scout, allow them to put aside their personal torments and discover the difference love can make?

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequin

When Love Matters Most (The K-9 Trilogy, #2)When Love Matters Most
(K-9 Trilogy #2)
by Kate James
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 368 pages
January 1st 2016 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Keeping her safe at all costs

Could their backgrounds be any more different? Rick Vasquez, a K-9 unit sergeant with the San Diego Police Department, fled drug-related violence in Mexico as a boy. Madison Long, who recently became primary veterinarian to the SDPD's canines, is the privileged daughter of a judge. Rick has dedicated his life to curtailing cross-border drug trafficking and preventing other young boys from being drawn into the dark world of the cartels.

But everything Rick and Madison value, and the growing love between them, is threatened by the dangers of Rick's job, and the risks he's determined to take…

Kate James spent much of her childhood abroad before attending university in Canada. She built a successful business career, but her passion has always been literature. As a result, Kate turned her energy to her love of the written word. Her writing has been recognized with a number of awards, including first place honors for Silver Linings in both the First Coast Romance Writers’ Published Beacon Contest and Ancient City Romance Authors’ Heart of Excellence Readers’ Choice Award. Her November 2014 Harlequin Heartwarming release, A Child’s Christmas, received first-place honors from Southern Magic, the Birmingham Chapter of the Romance Writers of America, for the 2015 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, placed second in the Ancient City Romance Authors’ Heart of Excellence Readers’ Choice Award, and was a finalist in RWA’s Desert Rose Chapter’s Golden Quill Award and the Colorado Romance Writers’ Award of Excellence. Finally, her October 2015 release, When the Right One Comes Along, the first book in her K-9 trilogy, has received a Best Book of 2015 award in the contemporary category.

She and her husband, Ken, enjoy traveling and the outdoors with their beloved Labrador Retrievers, Harley and Logan.

Kate would love to hear from you! You can connect with her by e-mail, through her website, her Facebook pageTwitter, or mail at PO Box 446, Schomberg, ON, L0G 1T0, Canada.

Tour Schedule

July 5th: Launch
July 8th: Becky on Books
July 11th: EskieMama Reads
July 11th: Brooke Blogs
July 12th: Wishful Endings
July 13th: Mel's Shelves
July 15th: deal sharing aunt
June 18th: Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway

US/CAN PRIZE PACK: one K-9 trilogy women’s T-shirt, tote bag and a mug, a signed copy of the award-winning first book in the trilogy, When the Right One Comes Along, a signed copy of The Truth About Hope, signed book plates and a bag of Tim Horton’s coffee.
-Open to US/CAN only
-Ends July 24th
Grab Our Button!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

No Way Up (Cimarron Legacy #1) by Mary Connealy

When Cimarron ranch patriarch Chance Boden is caught in an avalanche, the quick actions of hired hand Heath Kincaid save him. Badly injured, Chance demands that his will be read and its conditions be enforced immediately. 

Without anyone else to serve as a witness, Heath is pressed into reading the will. If Justin, Sadie, and Cole Boden don't live and work at home for the entire year, the ranch will go to their low-down cousin Mike. 

Then Heath discovers the avalanche was a murder attempt, and more danger might follow. Deeply involved with the family, Heath's desire to protect Sadie goes far beyond friendship. The danger keeps them close together, and their feelings grow until being apart is the last thing on their minds.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

It's release day for this new book by Mary Connealy!  It's also the beginning of a new series- The Cimarron Legacy.  I am always on the lookout for new books by Mary Connealy- she is one of my favorite authors in the inspirational romance genre.  Her books are always more than inspirational romance though, they are full of adventure and usually some mystery as well.  That's what I love the best.

This book, while good, was not my favorite.  I've been trying to determine why that might be and the only thing I can really come up with is that I felt less connection with the characters than I usually do.  This book was more plot driven and there were a lot of characters.  I felt like I was getting a lot of information, sometimes in a way that felt like I was getting a lot of information.  Usually the characters shine with personality in Connealy's books and I felt like this one lacked a bit of that for me.

Having said that, I did enjoy the book- especially toward the end when things really got moving.  The action picked up and I was fully engaged as a reader.  I definitely felt the plot setting up for future books and I will be picking up the next book.  Even though there were some things that lacked for me in this book, I am a Mary Connealy fan and I'll be coming back for more by her.  Plus, now that I know more of the "story" perhaps the next book will bring out the character connections I'm looking for.

Content:  Clean

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.