Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Powerplay (Northbrook Hockey Elite Series) by Heather B. Moore

He’s ready to quit his pro-hockey career. She’s doing everything to keep her career afloat. And neither of them have time for distractions.

Jax Emerson, legendary forward for the Chicago Flyers, is ready to throw it all away when he uncovers the truth behind his NHL contract. The last thing he needs is more media attention, or his father to get involved in his contract, or a beautiful woman apologizing once again for an accident.

Meg Bailey didn’t think her life could get any worse, until it does. Time is running out before her business is forced to close. When Jax Emerson offers a solution, she knows that by accepting his help, she might be getting in too deep. And deep is not a place her heart is prepared to go.

Welcome to Northbrook Hockey Elite!  Visit us on Facebook: Swoony Sports Romances

Six professional hockey players used to play on an elite club team together, but have all separated and now play in the pro-hockey leagues. Not all of them were friends, yet circumstances bring them together, and for the greater good, maybe they can put aside their differences.

I am loving this series so far.  I knew I would after reading the Belltown Six Pack baseball series because it was so good.  Fortunately for me, the characters from the previous series pop up so it's like one big family.

This series is set around a group of guys who play hockey.  I know absolutely nothing about hockey but it really doesn't matter because the authors do an excellent job of making me think I do!  I really need to attend a live professional hockey game someday.

I love the main characters in this book- Jax and Meg.  They are both good people who are easy to like.  Even when they are both faced with difficult and frustrating circumstances, they are likable.  I'm just glad they both survived their first encounter!  There is some excellent swoon in this book- yummy kissing and lots of sparking attraction.  Who knew Pac-Man could be so hot?!  haha  

This was an excellent book to end the year on.  It had all my favorite elements in it.  Heather B. Moore is one of my favorite authors and I loved this book.  I can't wait to read the next book in this series!!

Content:  kissing

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

Heather B. Moore 

Heather B. Moore is a USA Today bestselling author of more than fifty publications. Her historical novels and thrillers are written under pen name H.B. Moore. She writes women's fiction, romance and inspirational non-fiction under Heather B. Moore. This can all be confusing, so her kids just call her Mom. Heather attended Cairo American College in Egypt, the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University in Utah. Heather is represented by Dystel, Goderich, and Bourret.

Email list: http://hbmoore.com/contact/

December 30- Rachel DeVaughn - www.EmpowerMoms.net; Suzie Waltner - https://remembrancy.com

January 1- Cathy Jeppsen - http://mybookaday.com/
January 3- Heidi Robbins -http://heidireads.com 
January 4-Amy Smelser - https://pausefortales.blogspot.com/
January 4- Crystal Job - www.booksaresanity.blogspot.com

Friday, December 27, 2019

Return to Sender (A Pine Falls Novel Book 1) Jennifer Peel

He never wanted to leave her. She never expected him to return.

If Ariana Stanton has learned anything in life, it's that men leave. She's been taught this lesson well from the father she's never met, who sends her a mysterious letter once a year, to her ex-fiancé, who left her for another woman. So, when she meets the charming and seemingly perfect Jonah, she promises him they will never be more than friends. It's a promise she can't keep. But before he has a chance to leave her, she sends him away.

Dr. Jonah Adkinson has one regret--that he let Ariana remain convinced that love never lasts. But now, nine years later, the single dad is back in Pine Falls and on a mission: prove Ariana wrong. He's determined to win over the love of his life. And this time he won't let anything get in the way, not even her.

Now, not only does Ariana have to face the man she's still in love with, but she must confront the mystery of her father's letters, forcing her to reevaluate the past and her choices. But will it be enough to make her believe that, unlike the letter she's always returned, Jonah is hers to keep?

 * Amazon * Goodreads

There is a reason I am so drawn to Jennifer Peel's books. It's the real emotional connection I always find with her characters and in her words. I know when I open a new book I am in for the most fantastic journey filled with wonderful characters and amazing chemistry. Jennifer Peel doesn't shy away from hard topics that dig deeper emotionally. 

Ariana is a complex character with a troubled past that will just tug at your heartstrings. Her perceived truth starts shifting when Jonah walks back into her life and brings some of his own troubles. There is an invisible cord that binds Ariana to Jonah and it sparks to life every time they are together. You can just feel the sparks and the longing between them. Ariana tries so hard to push it all away but that Jonah, wow, he is determined. And patient. Almost a saint, really. He really is out to prove something to Ariana and I loved every second of it. 

I loved the secondary characters, I loved the letter aspect and how things unfolded with that. I loved seeing my old friends from the Not So Wicked series. I loved the sweet little girl that Jonah brings into Ariana's life. I loved the all the "feels" that came with this book.

Every page, every word. LOVED IT. 

Content:  some mention of abuse, neglect.  Kissing.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Kit and Elizabeth by Karen Tuft

Lady Elizabeth Spaulding’s world has fallen apart. Despite living her entire life to please her demanding parents, the Duke and Duchess of Marwood, she has little to show for it. After Elizabeth’s second failed betrothal, her father’s debts and appalling acts of retaliation force him to flee the country, consigning Elizabeth and her bitter mother to a life of poverty and exile. But Elizabeth’s fortunes change one day when an elderly acquaintance makes her an offer she can’t refuse.

Lady Walmsley, widowed and childless, is in need of a lady’s companion—and who better than the lovely Lady Elizabeth? Determined to rescue Elizabeth from her dreary life in the country, Lady Walmsley secures the help of Kit, the dashing Earl of Cantwell, in her quest. But the young woman they find is a ghost of the charming girl they once knew. Taken in by Lady Walmsley, and with Kit’s enthusiastic encouragement, Elizabeth finds herself pushed further and further from her empty solitude as she discovers the joy of truly living. Now, for the first time in her life, she must decide for herself who she is and if she deserves to be loved.

First, before I write my review, I need to show you something that I love about this book.  It's the chapter heading pages.  I absolutely love when there are pretties to go along with my books!  This one made me want to pull out my pens and color.  That's one perk of physical books VS e-books.  E-books don't usually give you pretties!

I really found myself caught up in the story of Kit and Elizabeth.  I loved them both from the beginning for different reasons.  Kit is light and joyful for the most part.  He has a good energy about him and I was really drawn to him.  He is a good friend and a steady companion.  I loved how hard he worked to get Elizabeth to experience life and find herself after so many years of being who her parents expected her to be.  

Elizabeth is the character that you are empathizing with, rooting for and celebrating with.  She has a great emotional journey and it was very satisfying as a reader.

I found so many real life parallels for me in this book.  And one quote that sums up everything in this book and many things that my family is dealing with right now.  "For some bonds were stronger than lineage, and some loves deeper than blood."  This is a gentle story with a gentle, slow blooming romance.  I enjoyed it very much.

This book has carry over characters from the previous book by this author but can easily stand alone.

Friday, December 6, 2019

A Holiday Affair (Holiday Harbor Book 1) by Michele Paige Holmes

Welcome to Holiday, Alabama—population 765. In Holiday everyone knows their neighbors—and their business—a Mr. Roger’s look alike leads the local congregation Sunday mornings, and Annabelle, Breanna, and Carson have been best friends for over two decades.

On the eve of Anna and Carson’s wedding, Bree shares a secret and she and Carson embark on a journey that will break hearts and rock the town, where the biggest news is usually the size of the trout pulled from the harbor.

But the force of the river running through Holiday is nothing compared to that of its citizens, whether they’re holding a grudge, or standing behind someone. With both hearts and lives on the line, Breanna and Carson’s love story becomes a true Holiday affair.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

Right up front I should say that this book may not be for everyone.  It all revolves around an affair between two people that hurt many people.  It could be a possible trigger for the many people who have suffered in a similar way.  I think most of us have either directly or indirectly experienced or seen the painful after effects of affairs.  This book in no way makes light of those feelings or the consequences of those actions.  I thought it was tastefully done.  The pages within this book are filled with emotion and struggles of all kinds.  I was completely invested in these characters and their journey.

This is a Christian book- forgiveness, repentance and God are spoken of often.  Carson's father is a preacher and he brings a steady, loving, gentle voice to the situations.

I wasn't sure I would like this book going into it and while the subject matter is difficult, the journey is a good one and the emotions are fleshed out well.  It drew me in and made me care.  There are always multiple sides to every story and I'm looking forward to the next book where Anna's story unfolds.

Content:  mention of an affair with no details, situations between a married couple, some innuendo, kissing

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

Thursday, December 5, 2019

The Piper's Pursuit (Hagenheim #10) by Melanie Dickerson

A plague of rats. Children going missing. A giant beast attacking just outside the walls of Hamlin. And one young woman determined to save her town.

Katerina’s stepfather, Hennek, is neither a good father nor a good husband, but he is the mayor of Hamlin. Could he somehow be causing the misfortunes that have befallen her beloved town? The evidence points to a beast of unusual size—a wolf, perhaps, or a large dog—killing people who venture too far from town. But does that explain the disappearance of so many children, many of whom seem to have gone missing from inside the town walls?

Steffan knows he must reconcile with his father, the Duke of Hagenheim, but he’s not sure he’s ready. In the meantime, he roams from town to town seeking adventure and reward. When he hears of a giant beast terrorizing the town of Hamlin and an equally giant reward that includes gold, money, and the mayor’s daughter in marriage, he heads to Hamlin. Steffan plans to kill the beast, rid the town of its rat infestation, and take the reward—everything except the girl in marriage. However, when he meets Katerina, he’s not so sure. Perhaps his plans need changing.

Katerina is hunting the Beast of Hamlin for herself, determined to win liberation from her conniving and controlling stepfather. When she finds one of the children who has been missing for many months, dirty and wandering around the woods, the mystery only seems to deepen. Katerina will have to team up with Steffan, the handsome but brash duke’s son who infuriates her—he’s the only one in town who isn’t controlled by the mayor. Danger dogs them from both man and beast. Can Katerina and Steffan stop the “Pied Piper” from stealing every last child from Hamlin? Or will their interference create an even worse fate?

 * Amazon * Goodreads

I really love the cover for this book.  I think it's so pretty.  

This story has excellent character growth, for Steffan especially.  He holds much guilt and remorse over past decisions and actions and is anxious to prove himself better.  His road to redemption is a satisfying one.  I love how hard he worked to be someone Katerina could trust and depend on.

Steffan and Katerina have quite the adventure, trying to solve the mystery of the missing children.  There is danger everywhere and working together proved to be better than working alone.   The author did an excellent job at creating a villain of Hennek.  My skin crawled right along with Katerina's every time he appeared.  I love the way Katerina stood tall and didn't cower to his vile words and actions.

 I enjoyed the story but mostly the character growth.  The romance is gentle and very slow building- definitely not the prominent part of the story.  This one got a little long winded with the whole "confession" and I will admit to skimming over that part but overall there was much to enjoy here.

Content:  mention of abuse, bullying.  Some violence, fighting.  Kissing.  Christian elements.

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

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

The Dating Charade by Melissa Ferguson

Just when you think you’ve met your match . . . the charade begins.
Cassie Everson is an expert at escaping bad first dates. And, after years of meeting, greeting, and running from the men who try to woo her, Cassie is almost ready to retire her hopes for a husband—and children—altogether.

But fate has other plans, and Cassie’s online dating profile catches the eye of firefighter Jett Bentley. In Jett’s memory, Cassie Everson is the unreachable girl-of-legend from their high school days. Nervously, he messages her, setting off a chain of events that forces a reluctant Cassie back into the dating game.

No one is more surprised than Cassie when her first date with Jett is a knockout. But when they both go home and find three children dropped in their laps—each—they independently decide to do the right and mature thing: hide the kids from each other while sorting it all out. What could go wrong?

Melissa Ferguson’s hilarious and warmhearted debut reminds us that love can come in very small packages—and that sometimes our best-laid plans aren’t nearly as rewarding and fun as the surprises that come our way.

 * Amazon * Goodreads

There were so many bits I enjoyed in this book.  The main characters are genuinely good people so it was easy to like them and root for them.  The brief moments they were actually together and interacting were great but those were few and far between.  It was mostly about Cassie and Jett in their separate lives, dealing with unexpected events and struggles.  The story sometimes got a little long winded with the secondary characters (there were SO many of them!) and I will admit to some skimming.  😳  I guess I thought this was more of a romance than it turned out to be but it was a love story.  A love for children however they come to you and how that love makes a family.  Family isn't always about who you were born to- sometimes it's more about who you choose to love.  It was a feel good aspect of this book.

I thought the ending was cute and again, I loved the overall message of this book.  I just wish there were more moments of connection between the two main characters and less of the secondary characters.

Content:  abuse mentioned in several different forms, mention of drug abuse.  Kissing.

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

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Rules Are Made To Be Broken (Love Under Wraps Book 2) by Mylissa Demeyere + $50 Giveaway!

I’ve loved Will Henderson from the first day I laid eyes on him. But I made a solemn promise that same day. I would never, ever date Will Henderson.

For almost a decade, Charlotte Dubois has loved Will Henderson from afar, squelching her heart's silent yearnings. But no way could she date her best friend Kelsey’s brother. Their whole friendship is based on one rule: No friend of Kelsey can ever date Will. Instead, Charlotte has watched him date and break more hearts than should be legal.

Will Henderson never got over that stolen kiss he shared with Charlotte years ago—though he's tried valiantly to rid his system of his sister's best friend.

When circumstances bring the two into each other’s arms again, Will wants to convince Charlotte to break the rules and take a chance on him. But to do so, they will have to hide their relationship from the ones they love most. Can true love triumph, or will they both end up losing?

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

Wowza.  This book has loads of excellent, sparking chemistry!  I loved that so much.  That whole forbidden love vibe really set the stage for the growing intensity between Will and Charlotte.  They have known each other for so long that all those repressed feelings are just bound to explode out at some point, right?  It's something you can just feel coming and the anticipation was fun!

Charlotte is trying so hard to guard herself against Will.  For her, it's more than just a promise made when she was young.  As her backstory unfolded, I found myself more and more sympathetic to Charlotte's plight.  I was rooting for her and I wanted so badly for all the good things to swing her way. 

As a reader, I am always looking for those personal connections to the characters and I want to feel emotion as I read.  This book had all of those things and I had a hard time putting it down.  I read late into the night to finish and it was ever so satisfying!  I really loved this one.  💙

This book is also on Kindle Unlimited!

Content:  kissing

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


“I let you out of my sight for one minute, and already you almost ruin a perfectly great tray of stuffed mushrooms, Charles?”

I didn’t need to turn around to know who had spoken. If the voice didn’t give him away, there was only one person in the world that would ignore using my given name and call me Charles, just to get a rise out of me. Will had an uncanny talent of sneaking up on me when I least expected it, delivering a line that sounded like melted chocolate with that husky voice of his. Most women swooned in his presence, especially when he worked his magic. I was not one of them. Well, at least not that I let him see. I’d known him too long and had trained myself to not give in to his charm. I’d been weak once before. Never again.

“You know me. I’m useless without you.” I laid on the sarcasm, and to add an extra push, I added, “William.”

It was our thing. Will riled me up by calling me Charles, I retaliated by calling him William. It was a childish habit we’d yet to outgrow.

Will’s face broke out into a wide grin, and I felt a flutter in my belly. No surprise there. He had that effect on me. He’d caught my attention that first day in high school, before I even met Kelsey. Who wouldn’t notice those ice-blue eyes and short, blond curls? It didn’t hurt that he had a broad chest with toned abs. I knew; I’d seen them up close many, many times. Be still my heart!

A female server passed with another tray, momentarily breaking up the intense stare-down between us. I took the opportunity to catch my breath and remind myself that Will was off limits. I would remain strong.

Will’s eyes followed the female staff member’s retreating form. She turned back and caught his eyes on her. I couldn’t blame her for turning back to take another look. The man was a nearly perfect specimen—absolute eye candy. He gave her his classic look, the one that made women want to have his babies, and her cheeks darkened. Instead of watching their exchange, I focused on Will. I’d seen him work his charm for almost a decade. I knew he was a player. So why did I let him get to me like this?

Without another word, I turned from the familiar scene. I was done having my heart crushed, as much as I hated to admit he still possessed the power to crush it.

Mylissa Demeyere was born in Belgium, and resides in the beautiful city of Ghent. She lives in a somewhat organized home with her four beautiful children and the love of her life. If she isn’t working, she’s writing, exercising, reading, or enjoying time with her kids, who are growing up way too fast. 

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