Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Saved by the Movie Star - Michelle Pennington

Synopsis: Despite the fact that nothing is going on between them, Veronica is being accused of stealing Chris away from Kim and breaking up Hollywood's power pair. Now she's stuck with him as her co-star in her next movie. It also happens to be her dream role so she's not about to give it up just to avoid him. Chris is glad to be rid of Kim and isn't at all sorry to be starring in Veronica's next movie. If he can just get her to stop seeing him as the bad guy...

Review: A fun light read. Good cast of characters to add some dimension to the story. A touch of mystery and intrigue to keep things interesting. Chris and Veronica are a good couple. Definitely some good chemistry. He's persistent but patient. She does a good job of trying to keep her wits about her despite his efforts. Nice clean read. 

Amazon $.99

I received an ARC

Monday, February 4, 2019

Wedding Belles - Anthology

Synopsis: A series of novellas with interconnecting plot points and characters. Each is a stand alone but each builds on events in the previous story. Beginning with the event planner for an upcoming wedding, then the musician, followed by the maid of honor, and ending up with the photographer.

Review: Probably one of the best anthologies I've come across in a long time. Each story is written by a capable author and each holds its own. Often, anthologies include stories that aren't all up to snuff and occassionally just one saves the rest. Not the case here. Each couple is as well developed and engaging as the next. They've done an excellent job of interweaving details but keeping them independent and satsifying in and of themselves. There's always a love hate with a novella you end up liking. You wanted a quick read but then you fall in love with the couple and you want to know more. Not so much with this collection. The authors have all done an exceptional job of giving you a complete and endearing story. In fact, each of their couples is so much fun to follow that you can only hope they create a few spin-off stories with other characters from their stories. You can tell it's a great anthology when you have a hard time deciding which couple is your favorite. And, in this case, it may prove difficult to actually pick one.

Amazon: $3.99

Healing Hearts - Sarah Eden

Synopsis: Miriam is running away from the asylum she's been committed to by her family. Landing a nursing job in a remote Wyoming town is exactly what she needs to start her new life. She doesn't, however, need an arranged marriage. Gideon is the region's only doctor and is desperately in need of some help. Getting a wife who's a nurse will solve all of his problems - until his mailorder bride arrives and realizes the company who sent her wasn't exactly upfront about all of the details. The town loves Gideon and can't for the life of them understand why she wouldn't want to marry him on the spot. When catastrophe strikes the town, and Miriam jumps in to help, they soon warm to her and are ready to help her when her own crisis hits.

Review: A sweet and honest romance. Not a lot of courting but definitely a lovely chemistry that brings this endearing couple together. There's plenty of drama to keep things interesting. The cast of characters is fairly extreme and sterotypical, but they add to the charm of the story. While it does get tense, it is a fairly light, fun read. The banter between Gideon and Miriam is fun and you can't help but want them to get their HEA. A delightful addition to the Proper Romance series.

Amazon Pre-order $8.89

I received an ARC

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Finding Jack - Melanie Jacobson

Synopsis: Emily's just gotten a promotion, is dating a great guy, and things are humming along nicely. That is, until her roomate puts her in Jack's crosshairs and she becomes the target of his photoshopping wizardry. Suddenly she's not so happy with her situation. They strike up a remote friendship and suddenly everything in Emily's life doesn't seem all that fantastic afterall.

Review: There's a reason why Melanie's books are on the automatic buy list. They're fabulous. The chemistry between her heroes and their heroines is always spot on. Like previous books (the List, Always Will, for example), Emily and Jack spend a good part of their relationship messaging each other. Melanie has this mastered and their banter back and forth is so much fun to read. The challenges the couple face are real but not impossible. There's no contrived miscommunication or angst. Just two great people trying to figure out how to make things work. The tight cast of characters are equally endearing and the bonus relationship is fantastic. Unlike most of her previous books, this one does not involve Latter-Day Saint themes or characters.

Amazon $2.99

Thursday, January 24, 2019

A Desperate Hope - Elizabeth Camden

Synopsis: As mayor, Alex is tasked with finding a way to keep his town from disappearing when the state's planned resevoir is built. He and Elois have a past that was cut short when her guardian ran him out of town and sent her off to a convent when they were teenagers. When she shows up to help with demolition plans, he sees an opportunity to rekindle their relationship. She's only interested in doing her job and returning to NYC to a quiet, respectable life.

Review: Elizabeth Camden is an excellent writer and this has been a really enjoyable series. The previous books laid the groundwork for this one but are not essential to understanding and enjoying it. 

While it's well written, this installment is not my favorite. Alex is a great, fun loving guy. The heroines in this series have all been bright, capable women and Elois is no exception. But she's a little cool and harder to become enamored with. 

Since they had a previous relationship, there's not a lot of tension that leaves you hoping they'll figure it out. In fact, there's very little courting. We're told they spend time together and Alex is trying hard to win her over, but we don't see a lot of it. Rather, the focus is on moving the town and getting the people up to higher ground before the government deadline. 

Old familiar characters from previous books show up, which is neat. There are glimpses of a larger ominous problem festering but it only really comes to a head near the end and is somewhat disconnected from the main narrative of the town's move. After spending a great deal of time rooting for the residents and wondering if they'd get all of those buildings moved, we are merely told that in the end they were successful and the lens shifts suddenly to the flash-in-the-pan crisis. Again, it's all well written, but it would have been just as satisfying if the only crisis had been the town's move. It didn't need a contrived event that required some daring-do.

Some faith elements but they aren't glaring or preachy.

Amazon Pre-order $9.99

I was given an ARC

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

My Not So Wicked Stepbrother - Jennifer Peel

Synopsis: Emma Loveless thinks her last name has cursed her in the love department. She's fallen for her stepbrother (by marriage) and knows they can never be together. She's trying hard to move on and forget about him. But Sawyer isn't quite as ready to give up his best friend.

Review: Once again Jennifer Peel has put out an all-nighter. Better clear your calendars because once you start, you won't get anything done until your finished. Like most of her heroine's Emma is sarcastic, self depracting, and a little pesimistic. Sawyer is the steady fellow you expect from Peel. They obviously make a great couple so you're definitely glad they get their HEA. While the characters aren't particularly unique, their story is, and it's fabulous. Keep your tissues handy. Emma encounters some tough challenges you can't help but get a little emotional over. 

Some mild language and some edgy dialogue you could easily skip over at the comedy club without missing too much. Fairly clean. There's a makeout scene that's a little edgy that more conservative readers might not appreciate. The proofreading in this one is better than previous Peel books but still could use some fine tuning.

Amazon $3.99

Saturday, January 12, 2019

A New Year's Kiss - Delaney Cameron

Synopsis: Norah works as a tour guide in a historical mansion. Lance is a lawyer who's just bought planning to keep it open and use it as a his home and office. He wasn't planning on falling for the cute tour guide. He was especially not planning to fall for a tour guide with a boyfriend. Norah's not sure who she's falling for - her old flame or her new boss.

Review: A consistent addition to the Finding Love series. Norah is a darling. It's nice to see Lance get his own story and get to know how great he is. The love triangle with Norah's old flame adds some twists and turns that really do get you wondering how things will play out. I'll admit that this series has a lot of installments and it's getting a little tricky to keep everyone straight. Even though it's a stand alone book, you sure wish you could still remember what happened with so-and-so when they pop up at family gatherings etc. No big surprises, no big angst, or miscommunication. A cute and easy read.

Amazon $.99