Friday, October 18, 2019

Sugar & Spice: A Destination of Heart Romance Book 4 by Lisa Swinton

She’s sugar. He’s spice. Can the dance of passion bring these two together during a romantic mix-up in Spain?

Sweet and shy Clara takes a leap of faith and lands in Spain to pursue her dream of becoming a travel writer. While there, she runs into a woman who could be her visual twin—and her personality opposite with a fiery persona and penchant for drama. Isabella is a Flamenco dancer for a troop that’s facing financial ruin. When she leaves them high and dry, they beg Clara to take her place. She agrees, believing the experience will make for a great travel article.

Spicy Teyo becomes Clara’s Flamenco mentor, teaching her to embody everything that is passionate about the dance. When things heat up between Clara and Teyo during tourist-filled days and dancing nights, Clara knows her heart’s in trouble. With no sign of Isabella’s return, she feels obligated to continue the switch, even if it means letting the press think Teyo and Isabella are dating.

But when Clara learns that Teyo once held a flame for Isabella, she wonders if he's truly in love with her or the woman she pretends to be—and how will she know the difference? If she can't figure it out before Isabella returns, her whirlwind romance in Spain may leave her head spinning and her heart on the dance floor.

First, I the couple on the cover of this book.  I love her dress (those swirls make me happy!) and I love how the cover represents the book so well.  πŸ’™

Clara is really the sweetest.  A bit naive as well, but I love how Clara's sweetness captures all around her.  People cannot help but be drawn in.  I love how Teyo tries so hard to protect Clara.  They meet under very unusual circumstances but they build a solid foundation of friendship and trust as the book progresses.

The dancing was awesome.  It was my favorite part of the book because that was where the passion and connection came in.  I could envision the dancing in my mind and I loved it!  Teyo and Clara visited many places on their tour and sometimes the descriptions of these places got a little long and drawn out but other than that, I really enjoyed this book!  The ending was dreamy. This is a fun series and I'm always looking forward to the next book.  While this is a series, each book can easily stand on it's own.

This book is just $.99 right now (!!) AND it's also on Kindle Unlimited if you have that.  

Content: kissing, mild peril, mention of intimate relations outside of marriage

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

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Smarter Than a Monster: A Survival Guide by Brandon Mull, Mike Walton (Illustrations)

Page Count: 32
Juvenile Fiction / Social Themes / Manners & Etiquette
Ages 4 to 8, Grades 1 to 3
Cover Illustration by Mike Walton
Book Design: © Shadow Mountain

No monster wants you to read this book. The more you know about monsters, the more you will know how to defeat them.

Little kids have big fears, which they often imagine to be scary creatures, like monsters. But this book helps explain how knowing "Monster Facts" can help kids outwit them.

Want to avoid monsters?

Fact: Monsters love dirt and grime, so when faced with two kids, the monster will choose the dirty one every time.

And if toys and clothes are all over the floor, you may get ambushed by a mess-loving monster.

Survival Tip: Take baths and keep your room clean.

Smarter Than a Monster
will arm young readers with practical advice in this innovative and imaginative parenting tool that teaches common sense and positive and healthy habits.

This book is the cutest!  I absolutely adore it.  Of course, as a parent, this book encourages kids to do everything you want them to do- brush their teeth, clean their rooms, sleep in their own beds, take a bath, etc..  I can really get behind a book like that!   Yes, this book is filled with monsters, but they are more cute than frightening (as you can tell from the cover of this book).  The illustrations are bright, engaging and fun.  Youngsters will love looking at them.  I love looking at them!  The best kind of book is one that adults and children can enjoy reading together.  This book is perfect because adults will be just as entertained as the children.  I was laughing out loud in a couple places.  I really, really love this book!

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

About the Author:

Brandon Mull is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of the Fablehaven, Beyonders, and Five Kingdoms series. A kinetic thinker, Brandon enjoys bouncy balls, squeezable stress toys, and popping bubble wrap. He lives in Utah in a happy little valley near the mouth of a canyon with his four children and a dog named Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Brandon loves meeting his readers and hearing about their experiences with his books.
Follow the author on Instagram @writerbrandon and Facebook @authorbrandonmull

About the Illustrator:

Mike Walton has been a professional illustrator for more than twenty years. He earned his B.A. in Illustration from art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. He’s worked in animation, comic books, web comics, trading cards, and all manner of media throughout his career. Smarter Than a Monster is his debut children’s book. He currently resides in Southern California and considers himself a nerd who loves visiting Disneyland attending the San Diego Comic Con. 


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Mistaken Reality by Traci Hunter Abramson + Win This Book!

Hadley Baker can’t believe her boyfriend finally invited her on a fancy hotel dinner date only to break up with her in public. Even more unbelievable is the moment FBI Agent JD Byers finds her crying in the women’s restroom and demands she evacuate. Seconds after JD ushers Hadley outside, an explosion shatters the building. Could her life be any more disastrous?

JD didn’t anticipate seeing Hadley, the beautiful schoolteacher, again after he saved her from the hotel attack. But soon after her ex-boyfriend became a lead suspect of the hotel bombing, the man turned up dead—and now it seems that Hadley herself is a target. Determined to keep her safe, JD shelters Hadley as they join forces to put together the pieces of the perplexing case. When they discover the horrifying truth behind her ex-boyfriend’s nefarious work, Hadley realizes her life is far from the only one being threatened. Countless others are in danger, and she and JD may hold the key to saving them.

This book was exactly what I was hoping for when I started reading.  Fast paced, exciting and full of wonderful characters.  I have been reading and loving Traci Hunter Abramson's books for a looooooong time now.  Every time I see she has a new book coming out it is cause for celebration!  

The story starts off with a bang.  Literally- because a bomb goes off.  From there the story expands and expands to include more people in many locations.  Once it has stretched out fully, it begins to come back in as all the players in the game start to converge in one place and all the puzzle pieces start to come together.  The story gains momentum and intensity as it goes and I LOVE that.

JD is everything you could want in a lead man.  He is strong, smart and he takes his job as an FBI agent seriously.  He protects people.  I appreciated that he was attentive and kind as well.  Those make for the best kind of heroes in my opinion.  Hadley seemed like a normal, every day kind of gal.  She teaches school, cares about her students and exudes kindness.  I liked her.  While this story focuses on Hadley and JD, there is a whole cast of people from previous books who also play key roles in making everything happen.  I would say that this book and it's characters will mean more to you if you have read previous books by this author. 

I loved this book.  Simple as that.  This is romantic suspense at it's best. πŸ’™

 Content:  some violence, peril, kissing, human trafficking, death, some of the characters are Christian (specifically LDS) so there are some mentions of religious things although nothing preachy.

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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Secrets and Suitors by Joanna Barker + Book Giveaway!

Reluctantly returning to London for yet another Season, shy Nora Hamilton has nearly given up hope that she will ever find the love match she longs for. After all, the one man she does harbor feelings for—her closest friend, James—has made it perfectly clear he views her as just that: a friend. With James traveling half a world away and Nora's father pressuring her to marry for wealth and status, Nora is forced to set aside her desire for love and accept the future she has always dreaded.
Until James returns unexpectedly and Nora's feelings once again rush unbearably close to the surface. Determined to save what is left of their friendship, Nora ignores her own heart and allows herself to be swept up in the London Season, soon finding herself the object of two very different gentlemen's affections. Though she should be thrilled, both men come with a glaring fault: neither is the one man who holds her heart.

But there is much more at stake than heartbreak. When long-kept secrets are laid bare, Nora must face the fears that have plagued her all her life and decide what true love is worth.

How sweet was this book?!  I really fell in love with both Nora and James (through Nora's eyes).  Nora's family is so important to her and that is the motivating factor for most of her decisions and filled the majority of this story line.  Difficult circumstances and bring out the best and the worst in people and this book does an excellent job of highlighting that.  Nora finds herself on a bumpy road, trying to navigate her family's expectations and desires, her third London season and her conflicting feelings for the different men in her life.  Poor Nora and her tender heart, trying to do the right thing all the time, but getting knocked down repeatedly.  She was so easy to root for and I found myself silently cheering when she spoke up, defended, acted and followed her heart.  I love when I feel invested in a story, it's characters and it's outcome!  I loved this one.

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

Joanna Barker was born and raised in northern California. She discovered her love for historical fiction after visiting England as an eleven-year-old, and subsequently read every Jane Austen book she could get her hands on. After graduating Brigham Young University with a degree in English, she worked as an acquisitions editor before devoting herself full-time to writing. She enjoys music, chocolate, and reading everything from romance to science fiction. She lives in Utah and is just a little crazy about her husband and two wild-but-loveable boys.

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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley by Kelly Miller

What will the master of Pemberley do when confronted with the mercurial whims of an all-powerful angel?
Fitzwilliam Darcy’s well-ordered life is about to become a chaotic nightmare. A man of fortune, property, and social prominence, he has everything he could desire. Blissfully married to his wife, Elizabeth, they have a two-year-old son. With so much to live for, Darcy is shaken by a near-fatal riding accident. After a miraculous escape, he is visited by an otherworldly being: an angel of death named Graham. Threatening dire consequences, Graham compels Darcy to guide him on a sojourn in the world of mortals.

Darcy immediately questions the angel’s motives when he demands to be a guest at Pemberley. Can he trust Graham’s assurance that no harm will come to his wife and child? And why does Graham insist on spending time with Elizabeth? How can Darcy possibly protect his family from an angel with power over life and death?

In this romantic fantasy, the beloved couple from Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice must contend with both human and unearthly challenges. Are the fates against them? Or will their extraordinary love conquer all?

 * Amazon * Goodreads

As I began this book all I could think about was that movie, Meet Joe Black.  Have you seen it?  I re-watched it recently so maybe it's fresh on my mind.  This book seems a LOT like that movie but in a different setting.  I think that kind of put me off in the beginning because I want things to feel original.  The other thing I had a hard time with is really just a personal thing and not about the writing specifically.  I have now learned that I don't really like people re-writing, adding on to, or changing my Austen stories.  Good to know, right?  

This book maybe wasn't a great fit for me personally, but the writing itself was good- it felt in keeping with the time and place.  If you DO love your Austen stories and specifically Pride and Prejudice, added on to, you will probably really enjoy this story.  3/5 stars

Content:  kissing, references to a couple engaging in intimate relations outside of marriage with no details.  Innuendo between a married couple, some references to intimate relations.

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


Monday, October 7, 2019

Snowflakes and Sparks (Old Pine Cove, #1) by Sophie-Leigh Robbins

One small town. One hot neighbor. One second chance at love.

The best fake snow decorations in L.A.? Done by me.

About to get a promotion? Also me.

Sent to a sleepy small town right before Christmas to save a bookstore? Unfortunately, me again.

Old Pine Cove was the one place on earth I had sworn I’d never return to. Then my boss asked me to manage one of our bookstores there. I wanted to tell her no way, but that would definitely lower my chances of being promoted once I returned to L.A. So I sucked it up. Besides, it was only supposed to be temporary. What could possibly go wrong?

Gosh, how naΓ―ve of me.

Alex Denverton opening the door with that smoldering look of his, that’s what went wrong. It had been ten years since I crashed his truck and made a run for it. And now he was back in my life. How was I supposed to focus on work knowing he was right next door? And why did I ever agree to organize the annual Winter Walk with him?

One thing was certain, though. If I wanted to have a magical Christmas, I couldn’t ask Santa to make it happen. It was up to me to decide: go big or go home.

This is a sweet story of love and second chances.  The classic small town Christmas setting was just as you might imagine it with tradition and busybodies all wrapped up in candy canes and hot chocolate.  Oh!  And don't forget the snow globes!  It's what this town is known for.

I liked Suzie.  She has my dream job of working in a bookstore!  Her worst nightmare comes true when she has to return to the small town she ran from, humiliated, all those years ago.  Poor Suzie.  But, then she gets there and the boy seems to hold no grudges, and only one old lady in the town even cares.  Not so bad after all. 

The story, for me, lacked emotion.  I felt like the characters were likable but nothing really drew me into them.  Alex especially was tepid at best.  The sparks were lacking but the sweetness wasn't.  The story was sweet all the way around.

3/5 stars

Content:  mild swearing

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

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Master of the Phantom Isle (Dragonwatch #3) by Brandon Mull

Cursed by the Key of Forgetting, Seth has lost all memory of his past—his relationships, his experiences, and who he really is. For now he will align with his new mentor, Ronodin, the dark unicorn, who takes him to the Phantom Isle, the secret gateway to the Under Realm. Though Seth is not formally a prisoner, Ronodin wants to use him and his shadow charmer powers for his own dark ends.

Kendra is frantic to find her missing brother, but the quest will take her and her companions, including Warren, Tanu, and Vanessa, far from Wyrmroost to Crescent Lagoon—a recently fallen dragon sanctuary made up of many islands and underwater domains. Its caretaker has regained a foothold on one of the islands. If Kendra and her friends can save that sanctuary, they might uncover the answers they need to rescue Seth.

With each sanctuary the dragons overthrow, Celebrant, the Dragon King, comes closer to the dawn of a new Age of Dragons. With the forces of darkness on the march, can Kendra and her allies gather enough power to win the epic dragon war?

Dragonwatch, Master of the Phantom Isle doesn’t miss a beat, picking up right where the last book left off.  The dragons are still at it, seeking domination, and it’s hard to imagine a greater threat.  Though in this adventure a greater threat does reveals itself.  Can Kendra stand against this dark threat without the help of Seth?

For Seth, life is hard when dealing with memory loss and the choices one makes under those circumstances gets to the heart of the character.  It is fun exploring Seth’s character more in depth when past choices can no longer influence the present ones.  The true desires of Seth’s heart manifest themselves.

The book takes the reader to tropical places with beaches and palm trees but it’s certainly no vacation with peril everywhere ranging from plants that want to eat you, to the undead and a raging triclops.  Yet in the midst of all the trials Kendra is still willing to give her all for her brother.

From underwater adventures, to deep and dark places from your worst nightmares, this book provides another fun read from Brandon Mull. 
There are even a few surprise twists! This is a great series and adds another prized addition to the Fablehaven / Dragonwatch series.  I look forward to reading the series again; Master of the Phantom Isle gets an A+.
This is a series you must read in order as each book builds on the previous book.

Content:  peril, mild violence

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

About the Author:

Brandon Mull is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of the Fablehaven, Beyonders, and Five Kingdoms series. A kinetic thinker, Brandon enjoys bouncy balls, squeezable stress toys, and popping bubble wrap. He lives in Utah in a happy little valley near the mouth of a canyon with his four children and a dog named Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Brandon loves meeting his readers and hearing about their experiences with his books.  Follow the author on Instagram @writerbrandon and Facebook @authorbrandonmull  

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Wyatt (The Montana Marshalls #4) by Susan May Warren + Giveaway!

He’s lost her twice…he’s not going to lose her again... 

NHL Hockey Goalie Wyatt Marshall has everything--fame, money and a thriving career. But he’s hiding the two things that matter most...a career-ending injury, and his broken heart. He’s been in love with Coco Stanley since she walked into his life at age fourteen, a foster child for the Marshall family. She stole his heart years later, when, after a secret tryst, she returned to her home country of Russia. But she won’t let him back into her life—and he can’t figure out why.  

She’s harboring a secret that could cost lives... 

Coco Stanley is tired of living her life undercover. Or at least, with an assumed name, always pretending to be someone she’s not. And that’s not the only secret she’s harboring. If Wyatt discovers the real reason she left him, it might just destroy him. She’s resigned herself to loving him from afar... 

But when he discovers she’s in danger... 

Wyatt is horrified when he learns Coco has been shot and left in Russia, her fate unknown. There is nothing—nothing—that will stop him from finding her. So what if he’s not one of his super-heroic brothers, not a Ranger, not a SEAL...Wyatt is a hockey goalie, a special kind of crazy brave. Except, is he brave enough to face the secret Coco is keeping, or will it destroy everything he’s hoped for?  

What will it cost them to save her?  

What Wyatt and Coco don’t know is that revenge is stalking her and bringing her home just might cost them their long-awaited happy ending. 

Continue the breath-taking Montana Marshall series!

 * Amazon * Goodreads *  B&N

Hurray for another book in this Montana Marshall series!!  The story keeps growing in strength and intensity as one book ends and another begins.  I love the fast paced, constant forward momentum that keeps me glued to the pages from beginning to end.  I really had a hard time putting this book down.

Wyatt and Coco have history- most of which has ended badly, repeatedly.  Honestly, I love Wyatt.  He's a bit different than the other boys in his professional decisions and how he grew up mostly outside of the circle of home but he definitely has that Marshall tenacity. Wyatt is persistent and just keeps coming after Coco like he can't live without her and he lays it all on the line.  He is fierce in finding and defending her.  <sigh>

Susan May Warren creates characters that are definable, interesting and imperfect.  These Marshalls make mistakes, they get knocked down, but they get back up again.  Over and over.  They keep trying.  I think that's what I love about them the most.  

The plot has reach a point where all roads have converged.  The family is putting all the pieces together and the story has shifted from Russia back to the United States.  The next book is going to be a doozy!!  I'm so excited for it!

Content:  some violence, mention of intimate relations outside of marriage with no details, death, peril, kissing.  Christian fiction.

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

Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling, Christy and RITA award-winning novelist of over sixty-five novels. An eight-time Christy award finalist, a three-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Carol Award.
A seasoned women’s events speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: The Story Equation.
She is also the founder of, and Novel.Academy, a school for aspiring novelists.

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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The Candy Cane Caper (A Culinary Mystery) by Josi S. Kilpack + Book Giveaway!

This Christmas, Sadie Hoffmiller Cunningham is making a list and checking it twice. For the first time since she and Pete married five years ago, their combined families are gathering for the holidays in Fort Collins, Colorado, for a party that would make Santa and Mrs. Claus proud.

She just has to bake the famous Cunningham Candy Cane Cake, make sure the looming snowstorm doesn't derail everyone's travel plans, and oh, yes, solve one teensy-tiny mystery before the big day.

At ninety-four and nearly blind, Mary, Sadie's friend and neighbor, knows this will be her last Christmas. When Sadie learns that someone has stolen antique Christmas ornaments from Mary's tree, she vows to find the thief, no matter what. The ornaments had been appraised at more than $40,000, but they were worth even more to Mary, who had intended to bequeath them to her great-granddaughter, Joy, as a final gift.

With Pete in Arizona wrapping up a case of his own, it's up to Sadie to question the residents of Nicholas House, where Mary lives, and deduce who had the means and the motive to steal heirloom ornaments during what should be the most wonderful time of the year.

When stories of other thefts surface, Sadie feels like she's creating a "naughty" list that could rival Santa's. Identifying the thief, recovering the ornaments, and restoring them to Mary's tree in time will take a Christmas miracle—and maybe a few extra-special cookies.

It's been awhile since I read a Sadie Hoffmiller culinary mystery!  It was so good to be back in the crazy that is Sadie's life.  She has mellowed a bit since her first books but she is still the same Sadie and I've kind of missed her.

Mysteries are Sadie's thing and when her friend's prized ornaments go missing, Sadie is on the case in an instant.  Her investigations have her talking to lots of people and that's where I find the most satisfaction.  She makes connections with people and learns about them.  Even though I'm always wondering who did it, I am enjoying the growing relationships and how perceptions change as Sadie gets to know people.  There is always guaranteed to be a scene or two that will make you smile because Sadie can't help but get herself into an embarrassing scrape or two.

This is a sweet mystery, cozy, and full of fun recipes, perfect for the holiday season.  There are a couple I'm going to try for sure.  

I have two copies of this book so I'm giving one away!!  The giveaway is for US residents only as it is a physical book and I'll need to ship it.

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

About the Author:

Josi S. Kilpack is an accomplished and prolific author of nearly two dozen novels including the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series. She has won multiple Whitney Awards for Myster/Suspense, Romance, and Novel of the Year as well as the Utah Best of State Fiction Winner. She lives with her family in Utah.

Follow the author on Instagram @authorjosiskilpack  

Monday, September 30, 2019

Mostly Perfect (The Women of Ambrose Estate) by Heather B. Moore

Lauren Ambrose has made a life for herself as a fledging artist, far from the ancient secrets and cobwebbed past of her family’s historic estate in Texas. Generations of the Ambrose women have suffered at the hands of a curse, and the last place Lauren wants to spend time is at the Ambrose Estate, among the tragedies of the past. But when her grandmother, matriarch of the Ambrose fortune, requires Lauren to attend an urgent business meeting, she reluctantly travels home.

Nick Matthews is ready for a battle. Lillian Ambrose, co-founder of Ambrose Oil, has agreed to hear his investment idea, but no one has ever successfully partnered with the business tycoon. When he arrives at Ambrose Estate, prepared with weeks of research, the last person he expects to meet is Lauren, a dynamic and captivating woman with a past full of secrets. As Nick gets to know Lauren, he discovers she is mostly perfect for him, except for one, major drawback . . . The curse that has the power to destroy everything between them.

Nick, Nick, I love Nick.  😍  And yeah.  That's how I'm going to start out my review.  I love Nick because he pays attention.  It's all in the small things.

The idea behind this series is a fun one.  This is the second book in the series and I have to say that I didn't read the first book by a different author.  I started it but didn't finish it.  It just wasn't pulling me in like I wanted and honestly I just don't have time for books that don't click for me.  I knew I would like this one because I haven't read a Heather B. Moore book that I didn't like.  

There is a family curse that haunts the Ambrose sisters.  It means no falling in love and no getting married.  Lauren has been able to stick to the rules until Nick.  Nick is just determined to win Lauren over.  He is persistent, kind and demonstrative but Lauren is rightly freaked out by the curse and can't help herself- pushing men away is what she does.
The story was frustrating and it was sweet.  I am very interested in the remaining Ambrose sisters now!  I want to know how each of them will deal with love and the curse.

Content:  kissing

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

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Love Sidelined (Jennings #3) by Tiffany Odekirk + Win A Copy of This Book!

Jason Jennings made a tough call two years ago when he left behind his status as a
hard-partying star quarterback in order to serve the Lord. Recently returned from a mission now, he's ready to get back on the football field at UCAL. But despite turning his life around, his bad boy reputation is proving hard to shake.

Allie Hollis is everything a cheerleader should be--beautiful, outgoing, and smart--but her brilliant smile hides a devastating secret. So when Jason begins to show interest in her, there's no question: her answer is no.

Yet, in the face of Allie's chilly response, Jason's gentle persistence pays off, and a tentative friendship grows. Their chemistry is obvious, but Allie's determination to steer clear of a relationship with Jason goes deeper than he realizes. When the truth of her painful history comes to light, the couple must decide whether they will remain on the sidelines or jump back in the game of love.

I've been looking forward to this book for months, watching it move up the pile as I got closer.  It's been tough to wait but finally, FINALLY, I got to read it!

I think one of the things I love most about Tiffany Odekirk's books is how she is able to make her characters feel so real.  They are imperfect.  They struggle.  There are good moments and bad moments but all the while I feel like I know them.  I am invested in them and I'm rooting for them.  Jason and Allie could be any one of us.  There is bits in each of their stories that every person can relate to in some way or another.  I love when I can connect with characters emotionally and with Jason and Allie it came gradually as I got to know more and more about them.  It was fantastic.

There is real struggle in this book.  Not just between Jason and Allie but in their own personal lives as they battle their own demons.  Even though there was struggle, it never felt overwhelming to me as a reader.  It was balanced nicely with happy moments of fun and love.  There was always hope threaded through every page and I really felt that.  Jason really stole the show for me.  He was so endearing and so all in with Allie.  He was persistent, fun loving and kind.  I loved how those same attributes crossed over to his family and teammates as well.  Yeah, I just loved Jason.

I'm a fan of Tiffany Odekirk's stories.  I'd love to see her branch outside her LDS specific writing and delve into a more secular contemporary clean romance genre.  But, until then, I will continue to enjoy the Jennings series and hope another book is coming!  Baby brother needs a book, I think!

Content:  LDS religion specific, Christian (talk of God, praying, attending church), talk of after effects of rape and alcohol abuse, kissing

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

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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Loving Like Jane (Princeton Ladies Book 1) by Connie E. Sokol

Allie’s dream of writing a best-selling novel for a top literary agent is finally coming true. Except, she's already agreed to go on a bucket list Jane Austen Tour for three weeks with her newly-divorced aunt and widowed mother. To complicate matters, Allie can’t decide what the Best Novel Ever idea should be, and the first three chapters are due in, what else, three weeks. Determined to buckle down, Allie devotes her time to writing while refusing to engage in the trip’s delights, or gorgeous but enigmatic Beckett, the assistant tour director. Despite her attempts to stay focused, Allie is drawn to Beckett's quick wit, Jane Austen wisdom, and deciding if his help will further her dreams or get in the way. Join Allie on her inspiring, hilarious, and romantic adventure as she learns how loving like Jane Austen creates unexpected changes that could lead to the life she loves.

 * Goodreads * Amazon

Wowza, this is a looooooooong book.  I didn't realize going into it that it was so long.  It's not that I necessarily have any against long books but when they start feeling long, then it's probably too long.  (if that makes any sense at all)  I will admit to skimming a bit because the story just started dragging and I became impatient.  It's funny because the author in this book, Allie, is given advice to cut her book down.  I feel like this book needed some of that.

Having said that, there was honestly so much about this book that I did like.  The Jane Austen quotes to begin each chapter and all the tidbits of her life incorporated into the story were fun!  Allie was so gentle with her mother and aunt.  I loved her desire to be an author and to write something special.  I love how she increasingly drew inspiration from Jane's life and words.  Beckett was sweet.  It was all in the thoughtful little things he said and did for Allie that made me love him.  He was definitely my favorite person in the book.  I enjoyed the moments of connection and growing attraction between Beckett and Allie and even some of their playful banter.  There were lots of really good moments.

I didn't love the last third of the book.  I think that's where things got longest for me.  The switch in locations and the new obstacles made for a totally different feel- almost like it should have been a different book.   🀷

A solid 3/5 stars for this book.

Content:  kissing

I picked this book up on Kindle Unlimited. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

A Recent Reading Roundup

I don't know if this will come as a surprise or not but not all books I read make it to the blog.  😲  Sometimes I only post on Facebook, Amazon or Goodreads.  It just depends on why I'm reading the book and what I've promised to do.  Sometimes I'm part of a blog tour, sometimes I'm asked by an author to review and sometimes I'm just reading books because I have an extra minute and wasn't part of a review group.  These are books I've bought or picked up with Kindle Unlimited so reviews only go on Amazon and Goodreads.  That's what the following books are part of- books I picked up with only a review on Amazon when I was done.  They are only a couple sentences, but hopefully it's enough to spark your interest.

First book, Million Dollar Date by Susan Hatler:

Abigail Apple is running late to meet her blind date when she’s pulled over for speeding. Unfortunately, the follow-the-rules cop doesn’t care that she’s late, let alone that she’s heartbroken because her favorite dog rescue is in danger of being closed. Now she has to meet her date with mud drying on her heels, dog hair covering her dress, and the smell of a barn perfuming her hair. When she arrives, however, Abigail learns her handsome blind date is none other than the cop who pulled her over.

Abigail has no intention of staying until she learns Cooper Hill is heading a committee for the city that will award a six-figure donation to a charity of their choice. So, what’s a girl to do? Abigail decides a second date is the perfect way to convince Cooper to vote for the dog rescue. Soon, however, Abigail is less interested in Cooper’s vote than she is in his deep voice, kind heart, and tender touch.

Will this follow-the-rules cop and this follows-her-heart animal lover learn that despite poor first impressions, second chances can lead to love?

 * Amazon * Goodreads

This book was entertaining and fun. I love when books make me smile and this one definitely did that. Awesome dialogue, likeable characters, sweet romance and doggies! Save the doggies! I also love the cover with that bit of blue sparkle. I'm excited for more in this new series by Susan Hatler!

Second up is D is for Doctor (ABCs of Love Sweet Romance Book 4) by Brenna Jacobs:
ER doctor David Daniels thinks his neighbor, Avery, is way out of his league. But chemistry is chemistry, and he's pretty sure they have some. If only she wasn't dating someone else . . .

Avery Middleton thinks her neighbor is cute in a dorky brother kind of way. But the more she gets to know him, he seems a little less like a brother and a lot more like the sexy doctor next door. If not for her recently rekindled relationship with a boyfriend from the past, she might give the doctor a second look.

When David learns something incriminating about Avery's boyfriend, he's forced to decide: play it safe or risk his friendship with Avery and possibly his career to tell her the truth.

Will the sparks between David and Avery be enough to turn their friendship into more?

Very cute! I loved the setting (think beach!) and I loved David. Bumbling, blushing, sincere David. He was the star of the show. Fun addition to this series!

The next book is Something New by Joanne Bischof
After waiting four years for her best friend to return from sea, Wren Cromwell's dream of building a life with Tate Kennedy has wilted during his unexpected absence. Then, just as suddenly as he departed the mountain of their childhood, he returns, bringing with him tales of Norway's icy fjords and his time aboard ship on the North Sea. As spring unfurls around them, so unfolds a new hope in Wren's heart, and a new chance at love on the horizon. But with Tate's longing for exciting voyages still alive, will he vanish to the high seas again, or will this land he's returned to, and Wren's steadfast love, be enough to nurture his adventurous spirit?

How very, very sweet and gentle. I loved this tender story of reconnecting love and I loved Tate. He has to be the sweetest man ever. His devotion was demonstrated in his every thought and action. πŸ’™ This is a novella length story.

Last one!  Sea of Flames (Star Crossed Academy #1) by Wendy Knight:
He's loved her since he was five years old. And he will never feel her touch.
Adara is literally fire, and Beck is ice. Even the barest hint of touch burns them both.
He loves her with everything he has. Which is why he has to let her go.
Beck and Adara were raised together at Vitolas Academy, an elite boarding school for elementals. They learned to add, subtract, read, and harness the powers flowing through them.
They learned to fight.
To become soldiers.
But never lovers. It would hurt too much.
It takes everything Beck has to keep Adara at arms' length. She deserves a life with physical affection, and that's a life he can't give her. Not without a miracle.
A miracle that might come from the last source he expects--the monsters that he's spent his whole life learning to fight. The monsters that threaten his whole world.
The monsters that hold the key to Adara's heart and soul.

 * Amazon * Goodreads

I was in the mood for something different than what I've been reading so I decided on a paranormal book.  With elemental powers, these characters are fighting the classic fight of good vs. evil.  They are being trained to use their powers to fight against the chaos.  It's YA and the main characters are mostly high school age but it didn't feel overly teenage dramatic.  In fact, I enjoyed it enough to pick up the following books in this series (there are six total).  Yup, I read them all in one weekend.  It was a good side binge from my regularly scheduled reading.  ;)  You should definitely read these books in order because it's a continuing story line with each book focusing on different characters, although all characters are present throughout all the books.  I loved the growing connections between the characters and how they all learned how to work together to make everyone stronger.  There was a strong sense of loyalty and family which I am always drawn to.  
Content:  some mild swearing 


Thursday, September 19, 2019

Cash Valley by Ryan K. Nelson

When FBI Agent Alex Travis receives an anonymous phone call on a September morning in 1954 with a tip concerning the now cold case of the Cache County Bank robbery, it has his undivided attention. The tip leads Travis to the top of the secluded Green canyon in Logan, Utah, where a young man named Jack Pepper proceeds to tell a story spanning the two years from the time of the robbery, when he and his girlfriend, Kate Austin, stumbled upon the crime of the century for the Cache valley. Travis must decide if he is dealing with the suspects or the victims of one of the largest bank robberies in U.S. history.

To get the answers, it will take one more trip up the canyon, to the entrance of the Spring Hollow mine, where the daylight ends and the cold dark begins.

 * Amazon * Goodreads

The way this mystery unfolded was not quite like any mystery I've read before.  It was, for the most part, interesting but sometimes I felt like the story was dragging a bit.  The pacing is slow up until the end and yet, I was curious the whole way through.  How would things end?  What was going to happen?  

This book is plot driven for sure.  I don't know that I had a lot of emotional or personal connections to the characters, but I liked them well enough.  I was definitely interested in the story which is mostly told in a series of flashbacks and verbal memories from one character to another which is what made it so different, I guess.  It's not heart pounding or dynamic but there is definitely something there that kept me reading to the end.  It felt like a story that might be told around a campfire late at night.

I think I would describe this book as a gentle mystery with a western feel to it.  If you love mysteries, you should give this book a look.  It's also on Kindle Unlimited!

Content:  some violence, death, kissing, peril

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

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Marquess Meets His Match by Julie Coulter Bellon + Giveaway!

A traitor with a deadly plan. Two agents sent to expose his identity before he strikes. But danger is closer than they think . . .

Lord Christian Wolverton―known as Wolf in a covert group operating during the war against Napoleon―has been called home from his military duties. For the moment, his family responsibilities require him to suspend his more clandestine activities. But information falls into his hands that a traitor will soon try to tip the scales back into French favor and Christian doesn't have much time to stop it from happening.

Going to the one person who can help him, the powerful Duke of Huntingdon, Christian comes face to face with Lady Alice. She's a beautiful member of the ton with a very big secret―she's also a trained agent and already on the case. Forced to partner with her to lure the traitor out of hiding, Christian wants to quickly close the case himself, before Lady Alice is more closely involved. But Lady Alice has ideas of her own and she's going to prove her theories correct―with or without him.

Danger is closer than they think, however, and it's a race against time to expose the traitor's identity before British lives are endangered. Both Christian and Alice have strong opinions on who he is, but which one will be proven right and can they catch him before it's too late?

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

What a fun romp this book is!  There is mystery, intrigue, danger and yes, a growing romance.  Lady Alice is fantastic- a trained secret agent with plenty of moxie.  She is strong, brave and smart but also very feminine and classy.  She felt like the perfect heroine to me.  I love how she stands her ground with Lord Wolverton and how much he grows to respect and enjoy that.  ;)

The story was entertaining, the plot moved at a great pace and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it.

Content:  mild peril, mild violence, kissing

- I picked this book up on Kindle Unlimited.

Julie Coulter Bellon is the author of nearly two dozen romantic suspense books. Her book All Fall Down won the RONE award for Best Suspense, Pocket Full of Posies won a RONE Honorable Mention for Best Suspense and The Captain was a RONE award finalist for Best Suspense. Most recently, her books The Capture and Second Look were both Whitney finalists for Best Suspense/Mystery.

Julie loves to travel and her favorite cities she's visited so far are probably Athens, Paris, Ottawa, and London. In her free time she loves to read, write, teach, watch HawaiiFive-O, and eat Canadian chocolate. Not necessarily in that order.
If you'd like to be the first to hear about Julie's new projects and receive a free book, you can sign up to be part of her VIP Readers Group at
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