Thursday, March 30, 2023

Just a Friend: a Sweet, Small-town Brothers RomCom by Deb Goodman

 

Sophie

Oliver and I have this thing. It’s an annual, not-a-date thing where we meet up in my small town every August and he buys me a milkshake.

That’s all. Nothing else. Except maybe an innocent hug or two.

But that’s it! I can’t fall for this man. He’s always seen me as just a friend. And besides the fact that my grandparents hate him, we’re complete opposites. He’s busy touring the world, running the family resort company with his brothers. I’m busy with pajama day at the broke-down mobile library I’ve sunk my heart and soul into.

So, yeah. It’s time for me to, once and for all, move on from this silly crush that has claimed me for far too long.

Oliver

Seeing Sophie again has…changed things. She’s different. She’s always been interesting, beautiful, and funny. But suddenly, everything I thought I knew about the world and how it operates has been mixed up in a blender. I’m all shook up, but I don’t think she feels the same way.

The worst part? I can’t seem to quit her, no matter how hard I try.

Send help.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

Guess what?  Two things.  

1.  New book

2. New author.  Well, definitely not a new author but an author new to me.  I haven't read any books by author Deb Goodman so this was a fun treat.  Why haven't I read anything by her before?  I have no idea, but it's a thing now.  I'll be reading more by her for sure!

Things I loved:

* Sophie is a librarian who loves books like I do!

* First person, dual perspective

* The library bus named Scotty

* the flower debacle.  Oh, and the water fiasco.  ๐Ÿ˜‚

* Oliver pushing the cart at the book convention

* compromise 

* friends to lovers, forbidden love.

This book was engaging, funny and filled with romance.  I'm really happy I had the chance to read it.  The set up for future books with Oliver's brothers has me excited!

Content:  kissing

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

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Return to Satterthwaite Court (Somerset Stories #3) by Mimi Matthews

 


A reckless Victorian heiress sets her sights on a dashing ex-naval lieutenant, determined to win his heart as the two of them embark on a quest to solve a decades-old mystery in USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews’s sequel to her critically acclaimed novels The Work of Art and Gentleman Jim.


Lieutenant Charles Heywood has had his fill of adventure. Battle-weary and disillusioned, he returns to England, resolved to settle down to a quiet, uneventful life on an estate of his own. But arranging to purchase the property he desires is more difficult than Charles ever imagined. The place is mired in secrets, some of which may prove deadly. If he’s going to unravel them, he’ll need the assistance of someone as daring as he is.

At only twenty, Lady Katherine Beresford has already earned a scandalous reputation. As skilled with pistols as she is on horseback, she’s never met an obstacle she can’t surmount—or a man she can’t win. That is, until she encounters the infuriatingly somber Lieutenant Heywood. But Kate refuses to be deterred by the raven-haired soldier’s strong, silent facade. After all, faint heart never won handsome gentleman.

From the wilds of rural Somersetshire to the glittering ballrooms of early-Victorian London, Charles and Kate embark on a cross-country quest to solve a decades’ old mystery. Will the greatest danger be to their hearts—or to their lives?

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

Author Mimi Matthews has done it once again.  Of course she has.  At this point I would expect nothing less.  What a gifted author writing in this regency genre.  Her ability to weave stories with characters of depth and connect me to it all, is amazing.  

This book was absolutely everything I hoped it would be when it was announced.  The second generation characters brought me back to the people and places I loved in previous books.  Honestly, you really should read the to previous books (The Work of Art and Gentleman Jim) before reading this one.  I wouldn't say you HAVE to but it will deepen your connections and make the story richer if you do.

I adored Lady Katherine.  She was so bold while still maintaining poise and kindness.  It was sort of one and done once she encountered Charles.  She pursued him, so determined to catch his attention and devotion.  I just have to love a woman from any generation that knows who she is and what she wants.

Of course Charles is amazing too.  His soft heart for family and animals tops the list of his charming qualities.  It takes him a little bit longer to settle into the idea of forever with Kate but he gets there.  I loved how once he was in, there was no going back. 

There is a bit of intrigue, wrongs of the past that need to be put right, secrets and of course, growing love.  I was invested from beginning to end.  Love, love, love.

This title will be released on April 11th.  You can pre-order now.

Content:  mild peril, kissing


Tuesday, March 21, 2023

A Novel Proposal by Denise Hunter

 


When novelist Sadie Goodwin is forced to stop writing westerns and charged with penning a contemporary romance novel to rescue her lackluster sales, there’s only one tiny problem: She’s never been in love.

Desperate to salvage her career, Sadie begins devouring romance novels. Knowing she must devote herself to this confounding genre, she accepts an invitation to hole up at her friend’s beach duplex for the summer. Where better to witness love in bloom than on the beautiful North Carolina shore?

However, once ensconced in the charming ocean-front home with her sweet maltipoo Rio, she finds many ways to procrastinate. First there’s the beach, right outside her backdoor, with all its interesting visitors (research). Then there’s the free library she decides to build and set up by the back deck (She has to do something with all those romance novels). To say nothing of Sam Ford, the grumpy neighbor on the other side of the duplex . . . who she can’t seem to stop annoying.

A social butterfly by nature, Sadie soon gets to know all the beach regulars—sunbathers, walkers, and surfers alike. The free books draw a crowd right up to the house for nice little book chats, which further irritates her reclusive neighbor, to break up her “writing.” But things take an unexpected turn when Sadie opens a recently-placed novel to find a secret compartment—and tucked inside is a beautiful engagement ring. To whom does the ring belong? Sadie is convinced she needs to find the owner and save the man’s proposal from certain doom.

She draws a reluctant Sam into the project, and slowly their connection begins to develop. Are these weird fluttery feelings the first stirrings of love? Has Sadie managed to stumble upon the very subject about which she must write—and wouldn’t Sam make the perfect alpha hero?

Will Sadie find the ring’s rightful owner? And will she manage to pen a career-saving romance novel by summer’s end?


There was so much to love about this book.  

* The ocean front setting
* The tiny library
* The mystery of the hidden ring
* All the book/writing references
* A cute dog

Sadie is a fun, friendly, lively character.  She's easy to like and easy to root for.  Her tangents made her human and relatable.  Sam wasn't really loving all that at first, but Sadie grew on him.  Of course she did.  It's hard to resist Sadie.  Almost no chance of it, really.  Poor Sam.  haha.  He just didn't know that he needed a Sadie in his life.

I really enjoyed reading this story!  It was personable and easy on the brain and heart.    
4/5 stars.

Content:  kissing

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

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

A Waltz with Traitors by A.L. Sowards

 


The Former Russian Empire, 1918

Czech soldier Filip Sedlรกk never wanted to fight for the Austro-Hungarian Empire. So at the first opportunity, he defected to the Russians. Now he and others like him have formed the Czechoslovak Legion. Their goal: leave the chaos of Russia, sail to France, and help the Allies defeat the Central Powers, thereby toppling a hated empire and winning an independent Czechoslovakia.

With the fall of the tsar, Nadia Linskaya’s life is in ruins. Her family is dead, her lands are confiscated, and her aristocratic world is gone forever. But Nadia is determined to elude the Bolshevik agent who destroyed her family and find a way to survive in this changed world.

When Nadia takes refuge with the Czechoslovak Legion, the last thing she expects is an ally. But when Filip proposes a sham marriage to ensure her safe passage across Siberia, she takes it. Neither Filip nor Nadia expect real love, not when the legion has to take over the longest railroad in the world—and then hold it against Bolshevik counterattacks, partisan sabotage, Allied intrigue, and a set of brutal Siberian winters. At risk is the future of Czechoslovakia, the fate of Russia—and their hearts.

* Amazon * Goodreads * Deseret Book *

I can't stop thinking about this book- the characters, the setting, the situations. It's just, WOW. This author did an amazing job at creating a world with emotion, conflict and purpose. I'm overwhelmed by it all in the best of ways.

Historical fiction is a favorite of mine because I love learning about events in history in a less "history lesson" sort of way. I had no idea about any of these events or the people of Czechoslovak legion who fought so hard and gave so much for the dream of a country of their own. What determination and endurance. What suffering, sorrow and loss. War is brutal and unfair. It was hard to read that part of it but necessary because we need to remember these brave people. I loved reading the author's notes at the back of the book too. Don't miss those.

Filip and Nadia are fantastic characters. I grew to love them so much. It's slow going for their relationship but I'm glad they really came to know each other through their actions. Neither one had a life they thought they would, but the way they adapted with grace and honor just swelled my heart. The whole cast of characters around them were all so good. There were multiple points of view throughout the book and I really enjoyed that.

I loved this book, I love this author. Oh! And I love this cover. It's beautiful and represents the story perfectly.

Content: violence (this is high because this is a war story), peril, death. Mention of rape and abuse with no details. Intimate relations between and husband and wife with no details. Kissing.



Covenant has a launch bundle for the first 100 people who buy a paperback copy of A Waltz with Traitors and submit their receipts.
Bundle includes a signed bookplate, bookmark, art print, vintage map, and exclusive stickers.

Author Info:

A. L. Sowards is the author of multiple historical fiction novels, with settings spanning the globe from the fourteenth to twentieth centuries. Her stories have earned multiple awards and nominations, including a Whitney Award and a Readers’ Favorite gold medal. Sowards grew up in Washington State, spent a few decades in Utah, and now resides in Alaska with her husband, three children, and ever-growing library. She enjoys hiking and swimming, usually manages to keep up with the laundry, and loves it when someone else cooks dinner.

Thursday, March 9, 2023

To Win Her Hand (A Gentleman's Match #1) by Jen Geigle Johnson

 



An expert at winning a woman's hand. A woman who cannot be won.

Lord Featherstone has the world on his shoulders. Or at least his world. With two brothers and a failing estate he must make funds somehow. But what happens when he falls for a woman? Will his tactics work when the situation is so close and personal?

Everyone thinks Lady Loveluck is a wealthy widow. What they don't know is that she is on the brink of hiring herself out as a Governess in order to pay for her next meal. The only thing keeping her from employment is a growing reputation as a matchmaker. As long as she never falls for another man, as long as she doesn't allow herself to be fooled into marrying, she will be just fine.

But she never counted on being caught up in the beguiling tactics of London's renowned and not so secret matchmaker for men.

 * Goodreads * Amazon *

BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY | BOOKSHOP

๐ŸŽœMatchmaker, matchmaker make me a match . . . Find me a find, catch me a catch.๐ŸŽœ  Does anyone know this song from Fiddler On the Roof?  This is the song that kept running through my head throughout this book.  It's now my theme song for this book.  

Lord Featherstone and Lady Loveluck are matchmakers of a sort.  They help people fine tune themselves so that they can make a love match.  They help them navigate society and give them confidence.  But then Lord Featherstone finds himself enamored with Lady Loveluck and has to become the matchmaker for himself!  (This makes me laugh because then he is singing my theme song to himself! ๐Ÿ˜‚ )  Lady Loveluck is harder to convince than most women.  And Lord Featherstone isn't the only one vying for her attention.  Competition!!

There is a lot of back and forth in this book.  Both characters trying to sacrifice for the greater good- their clients, mostly.  There is a slow growing awareness and attachment.  It was all very sweet and gentle in nature.  Pure regency.  A fun start to a new series by this author.

This book is also on KU if you have that!

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


Jen Geigle Johnson is an award-winning author, including the GOLD in Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards and LDSPMA Praiseworthy's top award for Romance,

Jen has more stories circulating in her brain than can possibly be told. She discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager. History is her main jam. Her literary heroes include the greats: Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. But she has modern sensibilities as well.

Six children and an inspiring husband keep her going and make certain she doesn't stay glued to a keyboard or lost in obscure fascinating details of old castles.

Now, she loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America, her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Wyoming Wild Sarah M. Eden

 

Wyoming Territory, 1876


US Marshal John “Hawk” Hawking is one of the most respected lawmen in the West, so when a telegram arrives from the small town of Sand Creek warning him of a death threat against him, he immediately begins an investigation.

Posing as a farmer, Hawk heads to Sand Creek, a town ruled by a violent and corrupt sheriff. Only one person is trying to stop him—Liesl, the sheriff’s own daughter. When she meets the self-assured and attractive new farmer, John, she hopes he might help her in the fight for justice.

John is completely unfazed by Sheriff Hodges’s attempts at intimidation, and Liesl is quickly swept up by Hawk’s courage and integrity. Just as quickly, Hawk finds himself falling for Liesl’s strength and bravery, as well as her grace and beauty.

When Liesl discovers John’s true identity, she feels betrayed. Despite her lingering distrust of him, Liesl agrees to work with him to enact a dangerous plan that will put the criminals away forever. Liesl must put her life, and her heart, in the hands of his lawman if she has any hope of saving her family and her town.


It was so good to return to Savage Wells and see some old friends again.  Western romances are a fun change of pace for me so I was excited to delve into this one.  I read through it quickly and really enjoyed myself!

I think Liesl is my favorite.  The beginning finds her aiding the people of her town who are being hurt and tortured by her father who is the sheriff.  She is smart and brave.  I loved how hard she tried to protect people at the risk of her own well being.  Then she reluctantly joins forces with John to take her father down.  It's quite the bumpy road with more sneaking, pretending to be married and hiding out in a new town.  Liesl just handles everything with so much dignity and grace.  She is intuitive and definitely gives more than she takes.  What's not to love about that kind of heroine?!

Hawk finally find someone to love and trust.  That's saying a lot.  It was a longer road to get to that place than Liesl, mostly because he denies it for so long but he gets there.  I love his fierce determination to protect people and bring peace to his territory.

Welcome to the rough and wild west.  They say "ain't" and lots of other words that might have you scratching your head.  Horse rides, shoot outs and plenty of bad guys that will have you rooting for the good guys.

Content:  mild peril, violence, kissing.

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

 

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Just Add Mischief (An Everly Falls Novel) by Heather B. Moore

 


New neighbor? No, thank you. Peace and quiet? Yes, please.

Fresh from a broken engagement, the last thing Brandy Kane wants is to deal with her standoffish new neighbor, even if his dog is a sweetheart.

Ian Hudson doesn’t like people, which includes the busybody family who’s apparently moving in the property below his private cabin. A place he thought was abandoned for good. He’s secluded himself for a reason, and he isn’t about to allow his peace to be disturbed.

But when the rest of his teetering world takes a nose dive, his new neighbor might be the only one to get him through. It will just take adding a little mischief.

 * Goodreads * Amazon *

Aw, what a sweet romance.  I loved the peaceful setting in the woodsy area, the gradual building friendship to romance between Ian and Brandy, the pop of suspense and the cute dog!

This is a sunshine/grump, fake dating troupe with the bonus of a little suspense toward the end to liven things up.  I love a little suspense.  Or a lot.  I like that too.  :)  

It was fun to see Brandy win over Ian with her kindness and understanding.  Both Ian and Brandy have some past (and present) hurts they are trying to work through and I love how they discovered it was better to deal with them together.  They were fun characters and I enjoyed getting to know them through this story.

Content:  mild peril, mild violence.  Kissing.  Mention of infidelity.

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

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Memory Lane by Becky Wade

 


After surviving a trauma several years back, Remy Reed relocated to a cottage on one of Maine’s most remote islands. She’s arranged her life just the way she wants it, spending her time working on her wood sculptures and soaking in the beauty of nature. It’s quiet and solitary—until the day she spots something bobbing in the ocean.

Her binoculars reveal the “something” to be a man, and he’s struggling to keep his head above water. She races out to save him and brings him into her home. He’s injured, which doesn’t detract from his handsomeness nor make him any easier to bear. He acts like a duke who’s misplaced his dukedom . . . expensive tastes, lazy charm, bossy ideas.

Remy would love nothing more than to return him to his people, but he has no recollection of his life prior to the moment she rescued him. Though she’s not interested in relationships other than the safe ones she’s already established, she begins to realize that he’s coming to depend on her.

Who is he? What happened that landed him in the Atlantic Ocean? And why is she drawn to him more and more as time goes by?

There’s no way to discover those answers except to walk beside him down memory lane.


First, I have to say that I am a fan of this author.  I've been reading her books for so long.  She's an auto read for me and I rarely read the blurbs for the books before agreeing to review.  That's why this book caught me a bit off guard.  It is totally different than what I've read before and not what I was expecting at all.  That isn't a bad thing!  

This book was more mystery.  Remy finds a man in the ocean that has been through things, clearly.  He's battered and can't remember anything.  There is the whole mystery around what happened and as he tries to recover and remember, the plot thickens.  I really liked *Jonah*.  He was quite determined and ever so patient with Remy, who has a shell harder than a turtle. The things he did to help and support Remy were so sweet.  He was always thinking of her.   I'm not exactly sure how *Jonah* became so enamored with her because man, was she hard to get to know and like for me, as a reader.  So prickly, that one.  Yes, she has some good reasons due to her own trauma, but still.

I would say this story was a bit heavier due to some of the trauma the characters experienced.  This wasn't a light read.  It was a little gritty and stayed pretty heavy all the way through but the ending was really good.  Everything came together in a great climactic showdown and it was completely engaging.  I loved that part!  The epilogue helped lighten things and gave me some happily ever after vibes.

I'm looking forward to the next book about Joel, who is *Jonah's* brother.  FBI and going under cover.  It should be so good!

Content:  peril, mild violence.  Kissing.  Some trigger warnings for rape and infidelity.  Some Christian elements.

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

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Fraser (Minnesota Marshalls #1) by Susan May Warren

 


Fraser Marshall is pretty sure his career as a Spec Ops fighter is over. Yes, he’s gone into private security, working for Jones, Inc, but his last gig ended with him wounded and taken captive. And those wounds just won’t heal. The last thing he wants to do is stick around his family’s winery pressing grapes. But what choices does he have?

The answer comes via a panicked phone call from his kid brother, Creed.

Help, Fraser. I’m in over my head…

Yeah he is, because he’s run away with a princess, with her bodyguard hot on the trail. And said bodyguard, Pippa Butler is going to hunt them down, no matter the cost.

Even if she has to join forces with a bossy, arrogant former American SEAL. But Pippa has her own set of lethal skills, and if Fraser gets in the way, she’ll leave him on the side of the road. Still, maybe he’s not a terrible side-kick. He is handsome, and he makes her laugh…

No, no, bad Pippa! She has no room for a man—an American—in her life. And Fraser hasn’t ever considered slowing down. Even if Pippa has him wondering if there is a different future ahead.

But there’s more to the story than a Romeo-and-Juliet runaway romance. Princess Imani has seen a murder, and the perpetrator isn’t going to let her get away. Will Fraser and Pippa find the couple first?

And if they do, can they work together to keep them safe?

It’ll be tough if their hearts get in the way…


In true Susan May Warren fashion, this story is full on, fast paced, heart pounding, edge of you seat excitement.  It really had me invested and anxious all the way through.

The first meet between Fraser and Pippa is literally shocking.  Haha.  It's definitely one to remember.  Forever.  Poor, poor Fraser.

Fraser and Pippa are both strong, smart and capable people.  I love how they learned that working together made them stronger.  They both have baggage and hard things to deal with but that never stops them from doing the next right thing.  They learned to trust each other and that was so satisfying.  I also loved the mending relationship between Fraser and Creed and the more trusting one that was formed between Pippa and Imani.  This author really does family/romantic relationships well.

This story has a halfway ending, with some resolution for Pippa and Fraser, but there is an overarching story that is continuing in the next book.  I can't wait!

Content:  violence, peril.  Moderate Christian Fiction elements.  Kissing.

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

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Shifting Sands by Kathi Oram Peterson

 


All Gloryanna Griffin needs is a full-ride scholarship to finish her master’s degree in marine biology in order to pursue her dream of saving the ocean. However, to be a serious contender for the money, she needs to publish in a prestigious magazine. A research dive off the Olympic Peninsula is a dangerous proposition but one that just might give her article the impact it needs. But when she’s swept into an underwater vortex, she realizes her life may be the price she pays instead.

When she awakens on the rocky beach—miraculously alive—the first person she sees is the handsome stranger who saved her. Over the years, Jonathan Dawson has saved countless lives from the perils of the ocean. But until now, no one has ever seen him. Nearly eighty years ago, he died on this same beach, and his spirit has been tied to the spot ever since. Now Gloryanna and Jonathan are irrevocably linked as they are plunged into a decades’ old mystery that promises answers to the past and keys to the future. But they soon discover that some secrets may be better left undisturbed.

 * Goodreads * Amazon * Deseret Book *

I have read so many books by this author (maybe all of them!) and this is the first one that features a ghost as a main character!  Yup, you heard that right.  This author is known for her mystery/suspense novels but this time she has thrown in a bit of the paranormal and I really liked it!  That sure changed things up!

Jonathan is a ghost.  A steady, unwavering, dependable ghost.  Still protecting the stretch of beach he did in life.  His dog is there too and good thing he was because he literally saved Gloryanna a handful of times all by himself.  

Gloryanna is a ocean loving student diver.  Resilient and smart.  She slowly but surely came to love her ghost, Jonathan.  It was a lovely process.  A ghost, a dog and a diver.  

I loved the whole mystery and how everything started connecting together with the characters and the plot.  The ending was great!  The last bit of the book really turns up a notch so I was reading really quickly!  So fun.

Content:  peril, violence, death.  Kissing.

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


Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Miss Newbury's List Megan Walker

 


Before Rosalind weds, she wants to experience ten things. Meeting Charlie wasn’t on her list. 

England, 1820 

Rosalind Newbury is counting down the days until her wedding to the Duke of Marlow, a man she has only met twice, and she knows exactly how she wants to spend her time. As a child, Ros created a list of ten things to do before her wedding day. So far, she has done none of them. She is determined to tackle each item, though she’ll have to accomplish them all in secret. After all, a soon-to-be-duchess is not usually allowed to bury treasure in the pasture, eat sweets all day, or learn how to swim. 

She enlists the help of her best friend, Liza, who brings along her cousin, Charlie, a prodigal son-turned-boxer who has come to the countryside to mend his reputation and learn how to be his father’s heir. 

Together, the three of them work to complete the list, and as each item is crossed off, an unlikely friendship blossoms between Ros and Charlie. The more time they spend together, the more Ros falls in love with this imperfect man and his good heart. 

With the wedding looming, Ros must decide to either admit her romantic feelings for Charlie and risk her family’s future, or keep her promise to marry the duke and start a new life as a noblewoman.

 * Amazon * Goodreads * Deseret Book *

What a sweet story!  It was so gentle in nature, so endearing.  Rosalind is a character that grows on you with every turn of the page.  She is determined but in a quiet way.  I loved her desire for adventure, the bucket list and the journey it took her on.  The personal growth that led her to knowing herself better was a satisfying one with a lovely ending.

This is a super slow burn romance- actually more like a friendship for most of the book.  In fact, Charlie isn't even a friend at first but obviously that changes.  Once Charlie decides to help Rosalind with her list, he's all in.  I loved how he encouraged, supported and provided opportunities for Rosalind to accomplish her goals.  It was just all so very sweet.  If you love regency novels, don't miss this one!

Content:  mild peril, sweet ending kiss

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



About the Author: MEGAN WALKER was raised on a berry farm in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, where her imagination took her to times past and worlds away. While earning her degree in Early Childhood Education, she married her one true love and started a family. But her imaginings of Regency England wouldn’t leave her alone, so she picked up a pen. And the rest is history. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with her husband and three children. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Love Rescheduled by Jennifer Peel


My name is Natalie Archer, and I confess to loving nothing more than scheduling my life. And by scheduling, I mean every aspect. So why not schedule my wedding? Do I have a groom? No. Am I dating anyone? Also no. But I have a plan. A good plan, even, to find a Mr. Right who fits all my criteria. The biggest one being he MUST not be famous. Been there, and never doing that again.

I’m just about ready to put my plan into action when my famous ex reenters the picture. Josh Keller, the hottest stand-up comedian around, otherwise known as the thorn in my side and the love of my life. With him comes a major embarrassing moment, caught on video no less. It only proves exactly how incompatible we truly are and that I made the right choice leaving him three years ago. Unfortunately, Josh doesn’t think so, and he’s doing everything in his power to prove that you can’t schedule love. Well, I’ll show him. Maybe. Possibly. Why does the dang man have to be so annoyingly charming? And how can we make it work when his famous life is way out of my comfort zone? Is there any way for us to save the date?


Wa-hoo!  Author Jennifer Peel has a new release!  Surprise!

Confession.  I've read it twice.  The first time I blew through it so fast because I was immersed in the story and the emotion of it, desperate for happily ever after ending I was looking for.  The second time I was determined to go slower and savor everything.  Easy enough because I already knew what would happen, right?  Nope.  I still read it like it was the first time, all aboard and full steam ahead.  It was just that good.

Emotions and feelings are something I always want to be caught up in.  I want to feel those characters and have a good sense of who they are and why.  Introvert Natalie takes quite a journey of self discovery and self love.  It felt so, so satisfying as a reader.  I felt like her cheerleader.  Extrovert Josh turns up after a few years, determined and present.  Like, literally.  He wouldn't leave Natalie's house.  Haha.  I love a determined guy.

Full of fantastic characters, amusing situations, emotionally charged moments and some fire kissing, this story is true blue Jennifer Peel.  If you've read her books before, you will know what I mean. If you haven't ever read one of her books, this would be a great place to start.

Content:  some abuse mentioned.  Kissing. 

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

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Meet Me In Talkeetna by Kari Monet

 




Athletic, vivacious, and enormously gifted, Sammy Bluefield has just graduated college and is ready for her next adventure: teaching elementary school in Talkeetna, Alaska. She’s immediately embraced by the village’s weird and wonderful: Lacey, her best friend and roommate; Walter, the octogenarian dumpster diver and self-proclaimed millionaire; and Blake, the quiet but competent hottie who lives on the mountain with his Gramps.  But when Sammy injures her knee at the same time the sun disappears for the winter, she finds herself in a perfect storm of mental illness. Her depression threatens her work at the school, her growing attachment to Blake, and even her life. In order to heal, Sammy must face her condition and ultimately, must face herself.


I've got a book for you today from debut author, Kari Monet!  It can be a little scary as a reader/reviewer agreeing to read a brand new author because, well, it's brand new!  None of my reader friends have read it so I don't know how it's going to be.  But guess what, sometimes you just have to take a chance and see where it takes you.  I had a good feeling about this book after reading the blurb so I decided to jump in.  I'm so glad I did.

Sammy has a big personality.  Impulsive, fun, shiny and engaging.  Until she isn't.  Depression is a beast and it sure sucks the life out of Sammy.  I thought the author did a great job of showing the light and then the darkness.  The struggle looked and felt real.  

We get multiple first person viewpoints in this book as it alternates between Sammy, Blake and Lacey (best friend).  I liked that as it helped me connect with them and their own battles as Sammy struggled.  Blake is a gem and he really shows up for Sammy in a big way- physically, mentally and emotionally.  Lacey is also a true best friend.

I wouldn't say this is a romantic comedy.  It was a bit too heavy for that, in my opinion.  But it was sweet and it was romantic.  The Alaska setting was fun (and cold- haha).  That's somewhere I have no desire to live.  Ever.  But it might be fun to visit on the very warmest day of the year.

I really enjoyed this book.  I hope to see another book from this author in the near future!  Cheers to taking a chance on a new book by a new author!  <clink>

This book is on KU if you have that.

Content:  mild peril.  Kissing. Depression in depth, suicide mentioned (in case those are triggers for you).  The characters go to church and God is mentioned but there isn't anything more than that.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Jack and Frost Bake-Off (Christmas in Connecticut #2) by Amanda P. Jones


Jack


I’m living my worst nightmare. Competing on a baking show surrounded by loud people all day. But it’s fine. I’m fine. Our family bakery is in trouble and I’d do anything to keep the memory of Mom alive since Love Bakes is the only place where I still feel her presence. Which is why I’m so determined to win the prize money. No distractions, no friendships, no having fun. It’s all about business. Until I meet bubbly Meg—someone whom I’d normally be annoyed by. Maybe life is about more than work? Meg certainly has me thinking that way. But what about Mom's bakery?

Megan

Paying Mom back to avoid law school is the main reason I signed up for Baking Spirits Bright. I also want to expand my bakery. But when all I can think about is my number one competitor, the gorgeously grumpy people-hater, Jack, my chances of winning diminish like cake crumbs. He’s aloof and ridiculously handsome and pretends not to know who I am. The longer we compete, the more distracted I am by him. How can I win if I’m staring at him the entire time? Although, I’m not even sure I want the money anymore. I just want Jack.


What a cute book!  Introvert Jack and extrovert Megan are on a baking show competition.  Ironically enough, they also live in the same area and are business competitors in their real life as well.  You can imagine just how well their initial meetings go.  It's a bumpy ride at first but they settle into a tentative truce, which leads to a kind of friendship (where they are both keeping an eye on each other) and eventually they end up kissing in the kitchen.  So appropriate given who they are, right?

I really had a lot of fun reading this book.  It was easy to settle in with and the characters were easy to like.  The desserts Jack and Meg made sounded amazing and I'm glad they weren't sitting in front of me or I would have eaten them all.  Yum!  Who wins this baking competition?  You have to read it to find out!  My lips are sealed. 

This book is on KU if you have that!  It's the second book of the series but can easily stand alone.  The first book is a novella.  Happy reading!

Content:  kissing

- I picked this book up on KU.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Critical Threat (Extreme Measures #3) by Lynette Eason

 


FBI Special Agent Grace Billingsley tracks serial killers, using her skills as a psychiatrist and behavioral analyst to get dangerous people off the street and safely behind bars. But prison psychiatrist Sam Monroe knows that just because a killer is incarcerated doesn't mean they're not a threat. His own father, Peter, is a serial killer--in prison but certainly not out of Sam's life, as much as he wishes he was.

When bodies start showing up with Peter's MO, Sam and Grace are both called in to consult. They've met before--and though Grace thought they'd made a real connection, Sam ghosted her. They'll have to get past the awkwardness and mistrust to solve this case--especially because it's about to get personal.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

I had to make a rule for myself with this book.  No reading it at night!  haha.  I'm such a lightweight when it comes suspense- especially serial killer suspense books.  This one really kept up with the creepy factor until the very end.  It was suspenseful and had great forward momentum.  The ending felt so satisfying.  So, so satisfying.

Grace and Sam have a growing friendship that turns into more throughout this book.  They have complicated, difficult pasts that they still deal with which actually made them even more suited for each other than they (or I) initially believed.  They worked together well.

I'm really enjoying this series!  It's exciting and gets my blood pumping without crossing my lines of becoming too gruesome or violent.  I can't wait for the next book.  Is there a next book?!  I really hope so!

Content:  peril, death.  Mild violence.  Kissing.  Some Christian elements.

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