Friday, May 31, 2019

Forever in a Kiss (Kissed by the Bay #7) by Susan Hatler

Claire Davenport is a hopeless romantic who shared her first kiss with Alex Murphy during a game of Spin the Bottle. Only Alex never pursued her after their kissing session and Claire regrets not telling him about her crush. At twenty-seven, no boyfriends have captured her heart in the same way. Still, she hasn’t given up on finding the one. Unfortunately, Forever Designs, her boutique wedding dress business, is accumulating more bills than invoices so love has to take a backseat for now.

When a famous model books Claire to design her wedding dress, she jumps at the opportunity only to find out the client is her childhood best friend and rival, Missy Peters. Claire and Missy’s friendship imploded when Missy stole Claire’s high school boyfriend. To save her business, Claire has no choice, but to work with Missy. To Claire’s surprise, the best man turns out to be Alex Murphy. Gone is the skinny boy with the awkward-but-endearing kisses. Alex is now a sexy scientist, who for some reason seems determined to stop the wedding, which Claire can’t let happen.

Now, Claire must design the perfect dress for demanding Missy, while at the same time countering Alex’s attempts to break up the bride and groom. Can Claire convince Alex to give Missy and her fiancé a chance, and that true love is possible? And can she do it without him breaking her heart all over again?

 * Amazon * Goodreads * 

Susan Hatler's books make me happy.  I know exactly what I'm going to get every time I open one of her books.  She has a way of writing characters, dialogue and settings that feel natural and easy.  Love.

All the books in this series somehow include the legend of the bay in a small coastal town and I also love that.  It connects the stories in a small way and adds a bit of the magical.

Claire is a fun character, a romantic at heart who believes in true love.  She has never forgotten her first kiss with Alex (way back when!) so running into him, in her own wedding dress shop of all places, makes her heart pitter patter.  Alex swears he doesn't believe in forever love.  He is actively trying to stop a wedding and Claire is determined to save it.  It makes for some fun, sparky moments.  Claire and Alex begin to spend time together and learn more about each other.  The build up was great and I loved the easy way the story progressed.  Like I said before, Susan Hatler has that way about her writing.  It makes me happy.

This book is on KU if you have that!

Content:  kissing, mention of cheating

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

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Snatching the Catcher (Belltown Six Pack #4) by Rebecca Connolly

Grizz is about to break all of the rules for something he never imagined he would be risking . . . His heart.

Rachel Bennett has spent her entire life reaching for her dreams to dance professionally, and has come close enough that she’s content with where she is. Enter Grizz McCarthy, one of her brother’s best friends and a member of the beloved Belltown Six Pack. Ranked as one of the hottest pro athletes of the year, Rachel finds there is so much more to Grizz than that, and soon he has her reaching for more.

Rachel should be off limits for David “Grizz” McCarthy. That’s a universally accepted fact, courtesy of his bond with his brothers in the Six Pack. But the more time he spends with Rachel, the less he cares about that fact, and what it could do to his friendships.

 * Goodreads * Amazon

Ooh, yumma yumma.  Yummy yumma yum yum.  That's what this book is.  It fell right in my sweet spot and I sure must have been craving some Grizz and Rachel because I couldn't put this book down.  I wanted to eat it up.  

One of the things I loved about this book was it was all Grizz and Rachel.  They met up, they hung out a few times, and from there things just took off.  They were both all in and nothing else.  I LOVED that.  There was no big separation, no dramatic event causing hurt feelings and distance- just the two of them figuring things out together.  It felt super refreshing to just get a growing love story full of flirting, smiles and fun.  All the kissing was bonus yummy!

This is part of the Belltown Six Pack series but can be read as a stand alone.  It's on KU if you have that!  I can't wait for the next book!!

Content:  kissing, a couple instances of mild swearing

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

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Whatever It Takes by Jessica Pack

Sienna has no memory of her late mother, yet every significant day of her life—birthdays, the first day of high school, graduation—has been marked by a letter written during her last weeks of life. Sienna knows her father feels grateful to be able to offer up these connections to the loving, talented woman his daughter never got a chance to know. Yet for Sienna herself, the letters have become a dreaded burden, a reminder that every milestone is less than it would be if both parents were still living.

A month before her twenty-fifth birthday, Sienna finds a lump. Facing a cancer diagnosis, Sienna begins to ask questions about her mother’s terminal illness—questions that reveal unsettling inconsistencies and voids in the stories she’s been told. The deeper she digs, the more the image of her mother as a contented homemaker warps into something much darker and far more troubling. If Sienna’s dad lied about this, what else did he lie about?

 * Amazon * Goodreads

This book wasn't what I'd expected it to be and I freely admit I didn't read the blurb because this author (also known as Josi Kilpack) is an auto yes for me.  That's why this whole book came as a surprise.  But honestly, I like it that way with the books from authors I have read for so long and know I enjoy.

This story was full of trouble and difficult things.  It was hard to find the light, the positive, and the hope to hold on to.  As a reader, I don't mind hard things but I am always looking for the hopeful thread that will carry me through.  It was hard to find that in this book.  The other thing I am always looking for is the emotional connections to the characters.  I really didn't get that in this book.  Sienna is an expert at blocking people out and I felt that strongly.  It felt as though I was blocked out as well.  I definitely had compassion for the many, many hard things Sienna was facing but found myself constantly frustrated by her too.  I had a harder time with this book.

It is so interesting to me how we, as people, so inherently want to know who we are and where we come from.  There is an instinct deep within us that craves that foundation of knowing who our people are.  I think this book really brings those achings to life.  I liked the constant surprises in the plot in this book.  I was guessing all along at what I thought was happening or where things were going and I wasn't always right.  I like plot surprises.  Even though I didn't love this book as much as others by this author, I'll still be coming back for more.

Content:  swearing, drug use, death, infertility, cancer, intimate relations outside of marriage with no details. 

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Sweet on You (Bradford Sisters Romance #3) by Becky Wade + HUGE Giveaway!!

Sweet on You
(Bradford Sisters #3)
By Becky Wade
Christian Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 368 Pages
April 30th 2019 by Bethany House Publishers

Britt Bradford and Zander Ford have been the best of friends since they met thirteen years ago. Unbeknown to Britt, Zander has been in love with her for just as long.

Independent and adventurous Britt channels her talent into creating chocolates at her hometown shop. Zander is a bestselling author who's spent the past 18 months traveling the world. He's achieved a great deal but still lacks the only thing that ever truly mattered to him--Britt's heart.

When Zander's uncle dies of mysterious causes, he returns to Merryweather, Washington, to investigate, and Britt is immediately there to help. Although this throws them into close proximity, both understand that an attempt at romance could jeopardize their once-in-a-lifetime friendship. But while Britt is determined to resist any change in their relationship, Zander finds it increasingly difficult to keep his feelings hidden.

As they work together to uncover his uncle's tangled past, will the truth of what lies between them also, finally, come to light?

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This author and this book series is one of my favorites.  I have loved delving into the lives of these sisters and their unique family structure.  Britt is the youngest and I was so excited to finally get to her story.  Actually, it's as much Zander's story as it is Britt's and it was Zander that my heart really followed.

Zander has loved Britt since he was fourteen.  Unrequited love.  It's the worst kind of love.  Zander's love for Britt has tortured him his whole life.  But Zander is the best of men and he demonstrates this to Britt in his every word and his every action.  The best friend gig is a good one but not the one his heart wants the most.  His struggle become my struggle and I was starting to feel both overwhelmed and indignant on his behalf because Britt was just not catching on or catching up fast enough.  I'm so impatient!

There are a few things I love about this book.  First, the characters from book one to book four are the same.  They are always around and they feel like family.  Second, there is more than just a love story swirling in these pages.  There is a growing mystery to match the growing intensity of the relationship.  Lastly, as a reader I'm always looking for emotional involvement.  I want to feel something and be connected to the characters.  This book delivered that.  Lastly, chocolate.  CHOCOLATE!  I wish I could sit in Britt's shop.  I wish I could eat her creations.  I want to eat chocolate!  Is there anything better than chocolate and romance?  😍

Content:  peril, mild violence, kissing

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

Other Books in the Series

About the Author

Becky’s a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market before putting her career on hold for several years to care for her three children. When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction. She loves writing funny, modern, and inspirational contemporary romance! She’s the Christy Award and Carol Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, the Porter Family series, and the Bradford Sisters Romance series.

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Tour Giveaway

  • Tote bag highlighting Britt’s chocolate shop, Sweet Art
  • Paperback copy of Sweet on You
  • $100 Visa gift card
  • 1 pound box of See’s chocolate truffles
  • Set of chocolate scented soap
  • Box of colored pencils
  • “Tattoo” coloring book
Enter on Becky's website HERE

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Summer by the Tides by Denise Hunter

Following a painful betrayal, Maddy Monroe's love life is a wreck, and her restaurant career is in shambles. When her grandmother goes missing, she and her estranged sisters converge at the family beach house in Sea Haven, North Carolina. Being with uptight Nora and free-spirited Emma at the place where their family broke apart is a struggle, and undercurrents of jealousy and resentment threaten to pull the sisters under. In the midst of the storm, sparks begin to fly between Maddy and Gram's maddening neighbor, Connor Murphy.

As the sisters pack up the family belongings, memories of idyllic, slow-paced summers are resurrected. But long-buried secrets also come to light as Maddy discovers that all was not as it appeared that last summer in Sea Haven--nor today in the seemingly perfect lives of her sisters.

As family tensions rise and Connor causes tumult in Maddy's heart, the sisters must find a way to accept each other for the women they've become before the bitterness of the past destroys their hope for a future.

 * Amazon * Goodreads

I've been looking forward to this book for so long!  I was excited to finally get to sit down and enjoy it.  Denise Hunter is one of my go-to authors and I'm always watching for her next book.

The coastal setting of this book was magic to me.  I'm in desperate need of some summer beach time and this story made that desire even stronger.  

There are some strong family dynamics happening in this book.  Maddy and her sisters have drifted apart.  They really have no idea what is happening in each other's lives and when they are thrown together it makes for some tense situations.  The detailed backstory is revealed bit by bit, intertwining with current circumstances.  It made for an excellent build up of emotions.  I loved getting to know all the characters in such a personal way.

Maddy is the youngest by quite a bit.  She is the one trying to keep the peace between her warring sisters.  Emotionally she has a lot on her plate.  Poor Connor gets the brunt of Maddy's frustrations and betrayals in the beginning as he is misjudged and just a titch mistreated.  Fortunately, he is a good, solid guy.  He is honest and he is kind.  I really loved him.  Maddy eventually comes around to the knowledge of the kind of stand up guy he is and I loved when that shift started to happen. 

This book was full of emotion and conflict that came to rest in a very satisfying ending.  I was all in and enjoyed every single page.

Content:  peril, kissing, Christian elements (talk of God, trusting in God)

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

Friday, May 17, 2019

All For You (Pine Valley #8) by Heather B. Moore

Crash and burn pretty much describes Lindsey Gerber’s last six months at her law firm where she hoped to make partner. Now, every goal she’s made is suddenly out the window. She moves to Pine Valley, looking for a new start. On day one she meets pro hockey player Tyler Nelson, who’s recovering from an injury and in a physical therapy program that includes nature things like hiking the ski resort, which he hates, and makes no secret of. He also makes no secret of his interest in Lindsey. Their lives are two worlds apart though, and it will take one of them changing everything to make a relationship work.

 * Goodreads * Amazon

Oooh.  I might have a new favorite in this Pine Valley series!  This one definitely ranks in the top two.  I just loved both Lindsey and Tyler.  Mostly Tyler.  😊  I thought the story felt very realistic, mature and flowed very well.  The first meet between Lindsey and Tyler (I'm going to call him Nelson) was fun.  Nelson is all man and his presence fills up all the space around him.  He exudes strength and confidence.  I really liked that.  He is also a man who shows up.  His concern and care are evident in the way he treats Lindsey.  

I loved the natural progression of the relationship between Lindsey and Nelson.  The kissing was yummy and my heart did a lot of twittering.  This was the perfect read for me this week.

This book is on KU if you have that!  Also, this book is part of a series but can stand alone.

Content: mild implied swearing, kissing

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

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Finding Anne de Bourgh by Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen + Win This Book!

As heiress of Rosings Park, Anne de Bourgh’s health is of utmost importance to her mother, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Thus, following the shock of a recent fire at Rosings Park, the young woman is spirited away to Brighton to take the cure. While her domineering mother is bent on healing her daughter’s sickly constitution to secure her a suitable match, Anne herself is far more concerned with sketching the flora and fauna of the lovely sea town. It is in pursuit of artistic inspiration among the flowers that Anne becomes acquainted with Mr. Owen Talbot, a charming man with whom Anne feels an immediate connection, notwithstanding their differing stations.

But despite their growing esteem for one another, the couple faces an insurmountable problem: Lady Catherine has set her sights on a rich, well-connected man for her daughter, and Mr. Talbot is simply too common. With their love in jeopardy, the couple soon faces far graver problems. There has been a murder in Brighton, and Anne is innocently drawn into an amateur investigation that ultimately traces its roots to her own family. With a frightening foreshadowing regarding the de Bourghs, Anne begins to question whom she can truly trust.

As a fan of Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice, of course this book has been on my radar.  I love how this author developed the character of Anne de Bourgh.  She brought light and life to Anne showing how she might go from the character depicted in Pride and Prejudice to the young lady found in the last few chapters of this book.

Anne is the sickly daughter of an overbearing, opinionated mother.  In P&P, she is sallow, unbecoming and of no consequence but in this book we see what a little thought and imagination can bring to Anne's story.  I really loved the growth Anne made in this book.  She ventures her own opinion once and gains some confidence.  Every little instance of Anne expressing her own thoughts, opinions and desires felt like a small victory.  

In the meantime, a dangerous, unsavory plot is swirling around Anne.  It grows right along with Anne's confidence.  There's nothing like a bit of intrigue to liven things up.  This book is more gentle and placid in nature so I appreciated the growing plot to help keep me engaged.  It was a good balance of plot and characters and I enjoyed it.

Content:  mild peril and violence, death

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

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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Daisies and Devotion (Mayfield Family #2) by Josi S. Kilpack

Timothy Mayfield is ready to marry for love, but, since his personal finances are thinner than he’d like, he knows he’ll also need to find a wife with wealth. After receiving an unexpected inheritance, Timothy’s circumstances change, and he is free to pursue his “perfect woman”—one with blonde hair, blue eyes, a light laugh, arched eyebrows, elegant fingers, and a dazzling smile, among nearly twenty other characteristics.

Maryann Morrington doesn’t match anything on Timothy’s list—except for wealth. An heiress in her own right, she is tired of men pursuing her only for her money. But at nearly twenty-two years old, and not a particularly stunning beauty, she can’t be as picky as her friend Timothy is.

The two friends end up playing matchmaker for each other. Timothy will find a decent gentleman for Maryann, and Maryann will prove to Timothy that his “perfect woman” doesn’t exist.

Until Miss Shaw comes to London.

Now, with Timothy’s heart captivated by the blonde, blue-eyed beauty, Maryann must decide if she should risk her heart and reveal her true feelings for her friend, or if she should settle for someone else. It’s an up-and-down game of “he loves me, he loves me not” with both hearts and friendship on the line.

Sigh.  This book was so sweet.  So gentle.  I just loved how softly it fell around my heart.

Maryann is a fantastic character.  Her personality is well defined and I love how she is unlike the "norm" for the time.  She speaks her mind, stands up for herself but never in an unkind way.  She is gentle but strong too.  She laughs loudly when amusement fills her.  Maryann is exactly the kind of person I would love to be friends with.  Evidently, Timothy feels the same way.   Poor Maryann.  Try as she might, she just cannot help but wish for more with Timothy even when he insults her (multiple times) and puts her firmly in the friend box. 

It's such an interesting dynamic between Maryann and Timothy.  I was invested and interested in them from beginning to end.  I loved the ending chapters because by that time I really felt like I knew both Maryann and Timothy.  The anticipation for me as a reader was heightened and all my emotions were there.  I LOVE that. 

This book is part of a series but I think each book can stand on it's own.  I would recommend reading them in order just for your own enjoyment.

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


Monday, May 13, 2019

Spelled (Kingdom Chronicles #2) by Camille Peters

Rosie is fairly certain that there’s nothing wrong with putting a love spell on a foreign prince. At least she hopes there's not, because such a drastic measure is necessary in order for her to ensure that the perfect fairy tale romance she’s dreamt about her entire life includes her own prince charming. As the heroine in her story, she won’t be deterred by well-meaning friends, royal betrothals, hungry dragons, or the intriguing guard who stands in her way.

Luckily, Rosie has access to an enchanted bakery and a recipe book of spells, one of which will ensure she’ll win the royal heart she desires. Unfortunately, no story is complete without a few obstacles, and Rosie’s comes in the form of a most formidable foe—a stoic guard whom Rosie may or may not be developing feelings for, one who is committed to thwarting her at every turn. But nothing will stand in the way of Rosie’s happily ever after. After all, what harm can a simple love spell do?

 * Amazon * Goodreads

Wow.  Rosie.  I think I'm just going to say that I struggled with Rosie, she wasn't my favorite character, and leave it at that.  I did love the continuation of characters in this book from the first.  It gave me a sense of family and community.

The whole tone and voice of this book is young.  It reads as more of a middle grade than young adult.  Maybe that contributed to how I felt about Rosie?  She felt very immature.

I enjoyed the first book in this series, Pathways, although I did mention in my review of that book that it also felt "younger".  While I didn't enjoy this book as much, I still have hope for the next book and know who I hope the main character will be!

The cover for this book is pretty!  

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

Friday, May 10, 2019

Charlotte's Promise by Jennifer Moore + Win This Book!

One year ago Charlotte Bower's life was ripped apart when Creek Indians attacked, killed her parents, and separated her from her young brother—now, she will stop at nothing to find him. After a year of captivity, she has finally made her escape. Her search will begin in New Orleans, where captives were taken after the raid. But how to reach a city hundreds of miles away? As she watches men boarding a waiting ship, Charlotte formulates a bold plan: if it's men they need for the ship's crew, it's a man they'll get. Taking on her childhood nickname, Charlie, it is all too easy to gain passage on the New Orleans-bound vessel. Easy, that is, until Charlie is caught . . .

From the moment he sets eyes on the new deckhand, Captain Alden Thatcher knows one thing for certain: Charlie Bower is no man. But for reasons of his own, he keeps her secret. As their journey progresses, however, the voyage is increasingly ill-fated. With danger ever present, Charlie and the captain find themselves relying on one another in ways they'd never imagined. As they draw closer to her goal, Charlotte is faced with the most perilous adventure of all—an adventure that may risk her heart.

This is exactly the kind of historical fiction I love to read.  Anytime a book leaves me wanting to know more about a certain time and event in history I know the author has done their job.  I knew absolutely nothing about the battle in New Orleans.  I've never been there but if I am lucky enough to venture there one day, I will be sure to visit the museums and historical monuments that commemorate this part of the war.  The author has an ancestor who fought in this war which made it all so much more real, I think.  I could feel the research and dedication throughout the story.

 Charlotte (aka Charlie) is a great character.  So determined and strong.  I fell in love with her- right along with everyone in this book!  She is gentle, kind and resourceful.  I also love that nobody that really knew Charlie was fooled by her attempt to be a boy- especially Alden.  He knew right away but kept her secret and protected her.  The slow growing relationship between Alden and Charlie was fantastic.  Slow but fantastic.  It couldn't have been any other way.

I loved this book from beginning to end.  One of my favorites by this author.

Content:  peril, war violence

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

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Thursday, May 9, 2019

Upon My Heart Forever by Amber Lynn Perry

When Clara Moore learns of her brother's unthinkable scheme—to take her to England and force her into a hasty marriage—she knows she must escape New York. But when she finds out who has accepted the job of taking her to Boston, she almost rethinks her own hurried plan. For the handsome man who comes to her aid is none other than her former love, Ethan Barrik. He left her heart in shambles six years before. Can she trust him a second time?

Ethan Barrik is no stranger to struggle. But tracking the enemy, and war-time spying are nothing compared to the pain of regret. Ready at last to leave his past behind, he accepts one final job for a friend, only to discover the person he's really helping is the woman he still loves. Despite her ire, he knows he must make every attempt to make it right—and hope she will find a way to forgive him and give their love another chance.

 * Amazon * Goodreads

I love reading books by author Amber Lynn Perry.  She excels at writing characters that come alive for me and this book is no exception.  This felt like a short book (And it is!  I just checked- 99 pages) and even in that short amount of time I really felt like I knew the characters.  Knew them and was frustrated with them!  Especially Ethan.  I may or may not have yelled out loud to him, "COME ON, Ethan.   Man up and just tell her already!!"

When the story begins, Clara is hurt, angry and confused.  Ethan is guilty, remorseful and seeking forgiveness.  Both of these characters sit in silence more than they talk which is where my frustration with them came in.  Thankfully Clara finally musters the courage to confront Ethan which leads to some better communication.  Eventually.  I felt the mounting tension, the growing feelings and the unmistakable attraction.   I missed the historical depth I've come to love from this author but realize that with a story this length, that had to be sacrificed to some degree.  😭  I really did enjoy this little bite sized story though!

This book is on Kindle Unlimited if you have that!

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

Author links:

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May 10th - Peggy Urry

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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Missing in Maplewood by Elizabeth Bromke

Can a plane ride save a turbulent marriage? Only if the couple survives the flight...

After marrying his high school sweetheart, everything falls into place for Ben Stevens. He nails a college coaching gig. He and his wife have twin boys. Life is perfect.

Erica Stevens disagrees. Desperate to prove she’s as perfect as she seems, she needs more. After an early miscarriage and a cross-country move back to the state she was happy to leave, her picture-perfect image shatters.

Things get worse before they get better…

As if miscarriage and a looming divorce aren’t enough, Ben’s father falls ill. Together the couple boards a private flight to the small mountain town to see his dad. But they never arrive.

 * Amazon * Goodreads

A failing marriage, a looming divorce, a plane crash.  These are all fantastic elements to base a story on.  I was very interested in this book after reading the blurb.  I haven't read any of the other books in this series or any books by this author at all, actually.  This is my first and I do believe this book can stand completely on it's own. 

From the very beginning of this story we know that Ben and Erica are struggling.  Because the story is told from alternating perspectives, we can see both sides to the frustrations and arguments.  We also get the point of view of Erica's sister, Bo.  Even though I was interested in this story and the events happening, I had a hard time connecting emotionally to these characters.  They felt a little rough around the edges.  I was missing the backstory and foundation that made these characters likable- and I was missing the foundation of their love.  I got little snippets later in the book, mostly Ben thinking back but it just wasn't enough.  I think coming into the struggles with these two characters both acting at their worst was hard.  Maybe some flashbacks to earlier in their relationship would have helped?  I don't know but I just had a hard time connecting emotionally and feeling good things toward the characters.  Ben really did step it up the last bit of the book.  He change the downward spiral with one simple gesture and it was really sweet.

I will say again that I was interested in the story from beginning to end.  It had good forward momentum and the ending of the book was satisfying.  This was a plot driven book for me.

Content:  frequent mild swearing, mention of intimacy outside of marriage.  Some innuendo between a married couple.

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

Friday, May 3, 2019

Knights of Obsidian (Obsidian Queen #3) by Shannon Lynn Cook

It’s been a rough couple of days for twenty-two-year-old Madeline Bennet, the newest (and most reluctant) member of Gray’s renowned team of knight marshals. Not only did her shadow creatures create a forest fire that’s burning down western Colorado, but she has no idea where to find the thresholds so she can send the beasts back to the land from which they came. (Or even how to open them.)

On top of that, her parents have figured out something is amiss with her magic, Rafe has taken off on a wild pixie chase, and the status of her relationship with a certain too-hot-to-handle member of her team is firmly seated in the region of “it’s complicated.”

What Madeline needs is a good, old-fashioned vacation, even if it comes in the form of a job. With her hairless cat in tow, she heads to Las Vegas with the guys, desperately hoping the shadow creatures will stay in hiding long enough for her sort through her feelings, find answers to her questions about her Obsidian magic, and catch a magic-thieving criminal prowling the largest fashion convention of the year.

If she gets a chance to buy a few pairs of heels to replace the ones that went up in smoke, that would be all right too.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

This is a series that I have been wanting more of since finishing the first book.  I'm now on book three and I still want more.  It's really hard to wait.  There isn't much resolution in each book but the characters are growing and changing as they encounter each new circumstance and adventure.  There is a whole cast of entertaining characters in this series that I feel as though I know.  They are distinct, vibrant and so much fun.

I love the great forward momentum in this book.  The action and mystery is perfectly balanced with dialogue and romance.  It makes for such a great combination- one I have a hard time putting down or getting enough of.  I am now in the same position I was before I started this book.  Waiting for more.  And not very patiently.  

This is a YA/NA paranormal/adventure series.  It really should be read in order.  This book and series is on Kindle Unlimited if you have that.  Happy reading!

Content:  peril, mild violence, death, kissing, mild innuendo

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

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Always You (Falling For You #1) by Lucinda Whitney

Simon Ackerley arrives in Lisbon for his temporary job as a consultant, not expecting to find his secret penpal easily. After all, he doesn’t know what she looks like or what her real name is. But when a biking accident reveals that Simon’s prickly co-worker Isabel is the elusive Amélie, he has to win her trust before he can confess his true identity. 

Isabel Antunes is content with her life as director of the English Academy in Lisbon, until the chairman hires a consultant without her knowledge. Despite Simon Ackerley’s repeated assurances to the contrary, Isabel believes he’s after her position, and she won’t hand it over without a fight. As if dealing with him at work isn’t enough, he shows up at her book club as well. Her only solace is writing to the penpal she knows simply as Elliot.

As they work together, Isabel realizes Simon is nothing like her first impression and a tentative friendship grows between them. But how can she explore the possibilities when her heart belongs to Elliot? 

Always You is a sweet secret relationship romance and it can be read as a standalone. 

*Part of this story was previously published as One Small Chance. It has been rewritten and expanded to include new content and a swoony epilogue.*

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

I read this story previously when it was titled One Small Chance and I loved it.  It has now been expanded a bit with a bonus epilogue!  These added scenes were fun and I loved reading this story all over again.

Simon and Isabel's first meeting was not a roaring success.  He crashes into her while riding his bike.  😳  Things don't get much better from there- at least for a little while.  Isabel is not impressed even though she is slightly attracted to Simon.  Isabel has cold to start in book.  As she begins to thaw I liked her more and more.  Simon and Isabel learn how to work together and that leads to friendship.  Simon is a champion in my eyes.  He is so patient, gentle and kind to Isabel even when doesn't treat Simon the same way.  That patience pays off in the end so yeah, champion.

I loved the setting which made me want to visit Portugal.  It sounds just beautiful.  The penpal aspect gave this story an established history between the characters even if Isabel didn't realize it until later in the story.  The growing, expanding relationship between Simon and Isabel was satisfying and I really did love the ending.  So sweet.

Lucinda Whitney's books are always a delight to read.  Her firsthand knowledge of Portugal always shines though in her books, making me feel like I am there too.  If you haven't had a chance to read any books by this author, you should!  Start with this one.  You won't be sorry.

Content:  kissing

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