Saturday, November 28, 2020

Promise to Stay (Second Chances in Sapphire Cove #0.5) by Lindzee Armstrong


Can they work through their tangled past and trust in a future together?

For years, Aspen has avoided going home. But when a family emergency calls her parents away from Sapphire Cove, she agrees to spend spring break overseeing the renovations on the family inn. The timing couldn’t be worse—it’s only been a month since her fiancé called off their engagement, and she was supposed to spend the break on her honeymoon. But Aspen is convinced she’s finally strong enough to go home—as long as she doesn’t run into Dan, her high school boyfriend and first love.

Dan has never forgiven himself for breaking up with Aspen after her secret pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage, but he’s spent the last four years trying. Her interfering parents convinced him it was for the best, but Dan can’t move on. Now he’s back in Sapphire Cove where the memories assault him at every turn.

When Aspen arrives in town, she’s shocked to find that Dan is back, too—and foreman of the inn’s remodel. As they work together on the renovation, old feelings emerge while past hurts resurface. Can they take this second chance and finally make the right choice for their future?

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

It's always fun to read a new book by author Lindzee Armstrong.  This book is on the shorter side and it was over before I was ready!  I was really enjoying Aspen and Dan.  Second chance at first love is one of my favorite kind of love stories.  Aspen and Dan have history and it made it easy to understand the way they quickly fell into old attractions and love.  I loved how they went all in and provided a united front.  Together is so much better than apart. 💜

I'm looking forward to the next book in this series!  We got a little glimpse of Aspen's best friend in this book and I'm already feeling for her situation.  She needs a little love!

Content:  kissing, mention of intimate relations before marriage

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

Friday, November 27, 2020

Under Snowflakes & Stars (Fantasy Music Festival Romance Book 4) by Lisa Swinton


Her hula hips have him spinning. His cowboy skills will keep her alive. When a blizzard strands them together, sparks fly under snowflakes and stars at the Fantasy Music Festival.

When Noelani sees snow for the first time, she’s amazed by it’s beauty, but unprepared for the cold. She plans to spend her downtime at the Fantasy Music Festival curled up by a fire under a blanket with a perpetual mug of hot cocoa.

Cache hasn’t had a girlfriend in a decade, but the sun-kissed Noelani has him rethinking his flirty ways and craving something deeper. He invites her on a snowmobiling adventure, hoping she’ll love the serenity of winter. Having her arms around him is a bonus.

They both get more than they bargained for when a blizzard blows in, stranding them. Cuddling goes from pleasure to necessity in a heartbeat.

When the crisis ends, can they make a future together or have they only been under a yuletide spell?

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

This was the cutest little story!  I loved the flirtations and the good dialogue between Noelani and Cache.  I also loved how different they were but how those differences were attractive and interesting to each other.  There's nothing like being stranded together in a potentially dangerous situation to bring you closer together faster.

I read through this story in less than an hour.  It's short and sweet!

This title is just $.99 right now and is also on KU if you have that.

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

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Snowed In For Christmas : A Fun Feel-Good Holiday Romance Novel by Kimberly Krey

Three things are to blame for the chaos:

Easton lost a bet.
Ivy wants a promotion.
And Denver was hit with the biggest blizzard its seen in years.

Now, they're stuck in a hut for Christmas with nothing but the fire to warm them. Unless, of course, they can warm up to each other.

 * Amazon * Goodreads * 

This was the perfect book for me to read today.  I loved the romance and especially the kissing.  Author Kimberly Krey knows how to write a great kissing scene.  Yum.

Easton and Ivy are fun characters.  I loved their connection and how their romance blossomed quickly and deeply.  Easton was so considerate and did a great job of taking care of Ivy. 

 I'm really craving books that feel good around my heart right now.  I want light and I want happy.  This book delivered everything I was longing for and I'm super grateful for that.  It helped me combat some of those winter blues I tend to get.  Plus, 2020.  Am I right?

This book is just $.99 right now!  It is also on KU if you have it.  Grab it and enjoy a quick, romantic getaway that will leave your heart feeling happy.

Content:  kissing

Monday, November 23, 2020

Bound In Shallows (Natalie Marsh #4) by Stephanie Black



It’s the week before her wedding, and Natalie Marsh doesn’t have a moment to spare. But when a potential donor requests a meeting regarding Natalie’s mental health clinic, the soon-to-be-bride makes time for the conversation—especially since that donor is tied to a tragedy in the life of Natalie’s fiancé, Gideon: eight years ago, Gideon’s roommate Travis died of a drug overdose.

Now Travis’s mother wants to honor his memory by helping others avoid the same fate. It is a noble request that soon turns into a nightmare. As wedding celebrations ensue, old friends renew
acquaintances. But what begins as a party of wedding guests becomes a cast of suspects when the discovery of a bloodstained knife puts them all under the spotlight. Things are taking a deadly turn, leading Natalie and Gideon to a horrifying realization: all those years ago, Travis didn’t overdose—he was murdered. And his killer is willing to take deadly action to silence anyone who suspects the truth.

  * Amazon * Goodreads * Deseret Book *

Oh my.  I think Gideon and Natalie will need a lifetime of counseling after all the things that have happened not only in this book but the previous three.  How can two people go through so much?!

I love when I'm thinking about a book even when I'm not reading it.  This was one of those kind of books.   Every secondary character was a suspect in my mind at some point or another and it was a long list.  You know that a murder mystery is going well if you suspect everyone!  

Natalie and Gideon's relationship has been growing since the first book and in this book, it's wedding time.  I would really recommend reading this series in order.  You will have all the backstory understanding you need if you do.  While the books are more plot heavy, there are many characters who are in all (or most) of the books.  You will want to know them.  And if you are starting from the beginning, get ready for a crazy ride!!

The build up in this book was great.  I loved the tension and the multiple perspectives.  It was an excellent diversion.

Content:  Peril, violence, death.   

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

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Some Bright Someday (Maple Valley #2) by Melissa Tagg


He’s torn between love and honor...

Lucas Danby has always regretted the decisions that caused his dishonorable discharge from the military—and he’s never stopped trying to redeem his honor. He's spent the past decade taking on dangerous short-term missions as an elite private soldier—the only part of his life that's ever gone right. But the high-risk work never cures his shame. Now he’s stuck stateside, mentoring a new recruit. Worse, he's sick of lying to the people he cares about most—including the woman he’s secretly loved for years.

She can’t escape her house of memories...

Jenessa Belville should be happy. She's the hometown girl everyone loves, after all. But she’s also the last Belville left—and if she had her way, she'd leave the name and all its painful memories behind. Which is exactly what she hopes to do once she sells Belville Park, the massive estate she inherited from her parents. First, though, she needs to restore the property’s once-glorious gardens. But on the same day she puts up the “For Sale” sign, she discovers three children hiding in the caretaker's cottage, thrusting her into the unexpected role of temporary guardian.

Fighting for their future means healing from the past...

Struggling to mentor a young man with scars nearly as piercing as his own, Lucas offers to help Jenessa restore the Belville grounds. Though drawn together by a trio of kids who tug on their hearts and the sparks they can’t deny, past secrets and current sorrows threaten to pull them apart. Only the brightest love and hardest sacrifice can turn the house Jenessa never wanted into the home she and Lucas have always longed for.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

I just love sitting down with books by Melissa Tagg.  She is excellent at writing books with depth and meaning without overwhelming me.  Emotional, yes.  Overwhelming, no.  I really loved getting to know both Janessa and Lucas.  They are two people who have had lots of hard things happen to them but they still rise and push forward.  They are kind and they good.  The perfect kind of characters. 

There is a lot going on for these characters.  The past, the present and the future collide as Jenessa and Lucas start intertwining their lives together.  It was quite a ride!  Their journeys lead them to forgiveness, understanding and healing.  There was a realistic and natural progression to the story and it all just felt really good around my heart.  Especially the sigh inducing ending.

This book is available on KU if you have that!  

Content:  mention of war time violence, kissing, Christian elements.

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

Thursday, November 12, 2020

A Christmas Waltz by Josi S. Kilpack


One dance, once a year.

This defines Marta and David’s friendship from the moment they first meet at the Yuletide Ball. Now, dancing the annual Christmas Waltz is a tradition between the pair in which they agree to tell each other the truth about their lives. Over the years that follow, their lives take different directions, wrong turns, and heartbreaking spirals, but they never miss their chance to reconnect and encourage one another to live their best lives, even if they can’t live them side by side.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

This book was not what I was expecting it to be.  It definitely isn't your typical romance book in the way it is laid out.  Each chapter is told from alternating perspectives and at their dance together each year.  It begins when Marta is just 16 and David is much older.  Most of the book is, honestly, a bit sad.  Marta and David come together once a year to dance and recap their past year.  It's mostly disappointment, unfulfilled dreams, loneliness, death and struggle.  It has an air of melancholy. They do encourage each other during those brief moments, sometimes more than others and usually one person more than the other.  You definitely get to know both Marta and David- but without a lot of the good things to balance out the hard things. The Christmas Waltz is, for both of them, the highlight of their year.

This book definitely has depth and is neither light nor fluffy.  There isn't a lot of happiness but there is always a thread of hope.  I'm a little sad this week so I think my sad may have leaked into my feelings about this book.  I liked it but I didn't love it.

Can I just say that I LOVE this cover?  I think it is absolutely gorgeous.

Content:  depression, marital affair mentioned, death mentioned.  Kissing.

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

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Gentleman Jim by Mimi Matthews


She couldn’t forget…

Wealthy squire’s daughter Margaret Honeywell was always meant to marry her neighbor, Frederick Burton-Smythe, but it’s bastard-born Nicholas Seaton who has her heart. Raised alongside her on her father’s estate, Nicholas is the rumored son of notorious highwayman Gentleman Jim. When Fred frames him for theft, Nicholas escapes into the night, vowing to find his legendary sire. But Nicholas never returns. A decade later, he’s long been presumed dead.

He wouldn’t forgive…

After years spent on the continent, John Beresford, Viscount St. Clare has finally come home to England. Tall, blond, and dangerous, he’s on a mission to restore his family’s honor. If he can mete out a bit of revenge along the way, so much the better. But he hasn’t reckoned for Maggie Honeywell. She’s bold and beautiful—and entirely convinced he’s someone else.

As danger closes in, St. Clare is torn between love and vengeance. Will he sacrifice one to gain the other? Or with a little luck—and a lot of daring—will he find a way to have them both?

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

I started reading this as a serialized novel on Mimi Matthews website.  Every month a new part would be released and I had such a hard time waiting because I always wanted MORE.  Finally, I got it.  Right here in a whole entire book to devour at once.

It's no secret that I adore all that Mimi Matthews writes.  She really hits my sweet spot as a reader.  Her characters come to life for me bringing with them emotion and struggle that I connect with.  I always feel so lucky to be reading her books.

As I said before, I've been anticipating this book for awhile since I started with it in a serialized format.  My heart has loved both Nicholas and Maggie from the beginning.  I loved the tension in this book between all the characters.  It grew as the story progressed and it led to some explosive and satisfying scenes.  Think duels, bar room brawls, secret rendezvous, and yes, some revenge.  The story and the characters were well developed.  I loved it all.  It was so, so good.

Content:  some profanity (God, Lord used as exclamations), mild peril, mild violence.  Kissing.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  I will be buying my own copy as soon as it is available.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Wraith King (Forbidden Forest #3) by Amber Argyle


An enchantress. Her king. A dying magic . . .

An assassin has set his sights on killing Larkin and ending her new reign as queen. Worse, the magic is dying. The magic that protects mankind from the wraith. The same magic Larkin has used to keep the curse from destroying the man she loves.

Because once that curse reaches Denan's eyes, he will be worse than dead.

But there is one hope left. There is a darkness growing inside Larkin. And with that darkness comes power. Perhaps even enough power to defeat the wraith.

But in embracing that darkness, Larkin risks becoming the very thing that hunts her. 

 * Amazon * Goodreads

Book three!  The final installment!  This has been such an interesting series, unique to me in it's plot and setting.  I really like changing up what I'm reading to keep things fresh and books by this author always do that for me.  I'm not normally a fantasy reader but I make an exception for this author.

This book was long.  And not very happy.  There were a lot of bad things happening with lots of different characters as the story marched toward that very climactic ending.  I think I had a harder time with the violence and struggle because of where I am personally in this crazy year.  I find myself longing for happy escapes instead of turmoil and fighting.  Because of this and by no fault of the author, I had a harder time reading this book.  

I did love how the author surprised me with things in this book.  It didn't go where I thought it might go originally and I like when that happens.  I also really enjoyed Larkin's personal development from the beginning of this series to the end.  I also loved the relationship between Larkin and Denan. 💙

This series is one you must read in order.  There is no way you will have a handle on all the characters and the plot if you don't.

Content:  high violence (descriptive), killing, death.  Innuendo and intimate relations between a married couple with no real descriptions, but you know it happens.

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


Saturday, November 7, 2020

Resisting Dylan: Christian Cowboy Romance (Cowboy Inspired Book 2) by Sophia Summers


When a tall piece of old fashioned goodness walks into the deli smiling at everyone in sight, she knows this must be his first time in New York.

But when she sees him again, this time on his own land, sitting on top of a horse, she knows why he's always smiling.

Can two people as different as can be find enough inside to keep them together?

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

This is book two in a series of members of the same family.  I don't think the books need to be read in order although you might be happier if you do.  

In the beginning of this book, Dylan has set out to the big city to reconnect with his ex girlfriend.  He wants to settle down, get married and have kids and is hoping to rekindle their love.  The night before he is supposed to meet up with Shelby, he meets Kate.  I love that Kate and Dylan meet before he meets up with Shelby.  It gave me a few minutes to solidify that attraction and beginning friendship before Shelby entered the picture.

Dylan has a pretty good head on his shoulders.  I liked that he didn't come off completely ignorant of Shelby's character flaws.  Both Dylan and Kate a good people.  It was easy to like them.  It was easy to understand their motivations.  I liked the growing attraction between them and the kissy moments too.  Dylan's family is a good one and I love that they are all in each book- supporting and working through the hard things.

This was an easy reading, escape book.  It was gentle and enjoyed it.

Content:  Christian elements (praying, reading Bible, talk of God), kissing

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

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

The Gentleman and the Thief (The Dread Penny Society #2) by Sarah M. Eden


A standalone novel in The Dread Penny Society set in 1865 London brimming with secrets, scandal, suspense, and romance.

From the moment Hollis Darby meets Ana Newport, he's smitten. Even though he's from a wealthy, established family and she isn't, he wishes he could have a life with her by his side. But Hollis has a secret: the deep coffers that have kept his family afloat for generations are bare, so he supports himself by writing penny dreadfuls under a pseudonym. If not for the income from his novels, he would be broke.

Ana Newport also has a secret. Though she once had a place in society thanks to her father's successful business, bankruptcy and scandal reduced his fortune to nothing more than a crumbling town house. So Ana teaches music during the day, and at night she assumes the identity of the "Phantom Fox." She breaks into the homes of the wealthy to reclaim trinkets and treasures she feels were unjustly stolen from her family when they were struggling.

When Hollis's brother needs to hire a music tutor for his daughter, Hollis recommends Ana, giving him a chance to spend time with her. Ana needs the income and is eager for the opportunity to get to know the enigmatic gentleman. What neither of them expects is how difficult it will be to keep their respective secrets from each other.

When a spree of robberies rocks the city, Ana and Hollis join forces to solve the crimes, discovering that working together deepens the affection between them. After all, who better to save the day than a gentleman and a thief?

The Dread Penny Society is such a fun basis for this series and these books.  I am loving the whole premise of a group of people who secretly meet and spread help to those who need it most as they try to rid the city of the most vile.  They are quite a mash up of personalities but it takes all kinds of people with all kinds of knowledge and talents to make an organization like this work.  While I think this book can easily stand on it's own, I would recommend reading them in order because all the characters interconnect and you get to see them in each book.

Hollis is such a gentleman.  He is perceptive and kind.  Because of his upbringing, he is able to bridge the gap to polite society where some of the others cannot which definitely provides useful in this book!  I loved how sweetly Hollis viewed Ana and how gentle he was with her all throughout the book.  

There is a bit of mystery in this story and a bit of suspense although it is light.  The gentle build in the story felt good and really allowed me to love the characters along the way.  Sarah Eden is fantastic at crafting characters that are wonderfully relatable and easy to love.

Content:  mild peril, kissing

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

Sarah M. Eden is a USA Today best-selling author of historical romances. Her previous Proper Romance novel Longing for Home won the Foreword Reviews 2013 IndieFab Book of the Year award for romance. Hope Springs won the 2014 Whitney Award for “Best Novel of the Year,” and Ashes on the Moor was a Foreword Reviews 2018 Book of the Year silver medalist for romance. 

Combining her obsession with history and an affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting witty characters and heartfelt romances. She happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library and dreams of one day traveling to all the places she reads about. Sarah is represented by Pam Pho at D4EO Literary Agency.