Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The Stand-In Christmas Date - Rachel John

Synopsis: Shauna needs her cousin Alyssa to spend a quick 20 minutes with the guy she met speed dating. She's already had to cancel once and he's too awesome to lose just because she's got a cold sore. Alyssa reluctantly agrees. Wes turns out to be just as awesome as Shauna says. And, therein lies the problem. It doesn't take Alyssa long to start wishing she wasn't just pretending to be Shauna.

Review: Wes is fantastic. He plays this out so perfectly. Self assured and clear about what he wants, he's the perfect Hero for Alyssa. An easy and fun read, this is probably my favorite Christmas romance yet. Love her brothers, her parents, and even flakey Shauna turns out to be not so ridiculous afterall. Maybe we'll see her get her own HEA one day. For now, though, Alyssa and Wes are the perfect couple to spend a cold December evening getting to know.

Amazon $.99

I reviewed an ARC I received.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Who I am With You - Robin Lee Hatcher

Synopsis: The book follows two couples several generations apart. One is set in the depression and are the ancestors of the heroine. Newly married Andrew and Helen are faced with job loss and an uncertain future. Their marriage subsequently faces several challenges that are mirrored in their great grand-daughter's life. Newly widowed Jessica has a new neighbor. Ridley's moved to his parent's new vacation home to get away from bad press and a career catastrophe. Neither he nor Jessica are looking for a relationship. But, not too surprisingly, they find exactly what they weren't looking for.

Review: I'll admit that I first felt that Andrew and Helen's story was interrupting the flow of Jessica and Ridley's. But, as it began to unfold, I found myself wishing for more of it more often. Both are beautiful stories that could really be told in their own book. But, they are, of course, intertwined and wonderful together. Their stories are complicated and deep and soul wrenching. Keep your tissues handy. This is no light, quick read. It's beautiful and entirely satisfying. The characters are all thoughtful, multi-faceted people. They're forgiving, loving, and imperfect. Their stories aren't sugar coated and neither are their resolutions. It takes work and patience and a whole lot of faith to get to their HEAs. 

Very heavy faith element. Lots of quoted scripture, doctrine, and praying. Uplifting and edifying if you appreciate and want it. Hard to skip if you don't.

Amazon $8.99

I was pleased to review the ARC copy I received.

Monday, December 3, 2018

The Christmas Heirloom - Anthology

Synopsis: Four stories that span from the early 1800s to present day. They each revolve around a brooch that's a family heirloom with "magical" qualities. The brooch is passed down from mother to daughter and is thought to bring her true love. Beginning with an old dowager, then an American pioneer, followed by a 1950's tomboy, and finally ending up with a young woman in Washington State. 

Review: Watching the brooch get passed down in each story is kind of fun. Each is her own woman and doesn't really connect directly to the previous story since we usually miss a generation. The first story is a little light and frivolous and begs you to forget many historical facts, but it's cute and fun to see the couple get the HEA that leads to subsequent tales. Karen Witemeyer's contribution definitely stands out. Her hero and heroine are really lovely to get to know and love. We don't often see stories set in the mid-1900's so the third couple is intriguing to watch. While they get their HEA, there are some loose ends that would have been nice to have had resolved. Becky Wade's story ties in to her Bradford Sisters series. Though it is definitely a stand alone and won't likely have a huge affect on the main series, it's definitely fun to see the sisters show up in her contribution. All are short stories/novellas, so they aren't long to read and can't be expected to get too detailed. Nevertheless, the stories are fulfilling and the brooch connecting them gives them some context beyond their own dynamic. Love these sweet couples!

There are mild to moderate elements of faith in these stories.

Amazon $15.99

I received an ARC

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Lieutenant's Bargain - Regina Jennings

Synopsis: Hattie is on her way to Denver to prove herself as an artist. Plans change when her stagecoach is attacked and she finds herself rescued by a childhood friend. Jack's had a crush on Hattie since grade school. Little did he ever dream he'd be lucky enough to have her show up at the fort he's stationed at in the middle of nowhere. Luck, as it turns out, is a tricky thing.

Review: This has been a delightful series. Just when you think it can't get any better, Regina Jennings proves you wrong. These two are such an adorable couple. Jack's turned from akward to strong sensitive calvaryman. Hattie's learning a few things of her own about independence and compassion. Characters from earlier books make an appearance and add to the charm of the story. Witty banter and refreshing twists keep it light. A touch of mystery and peril make this a pleasure to read. Be prepared to stay up much too late with this one.

Amazon pre-order $9.99

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Her TV Bachelor Fake Fiance - Kimberly Krey

Synopsis: Canyon's gotten to the end of his bachelor stint on the popular matchmaking show, but can't choose between the last two women. He's already sent home the woman he'd pick. Cambria's been home for a while waiting to see who Canyon's pick will be. She's shocked to find out they want to bring her back for a special post season "can this work" edition of the show. She was totally into Canyon until she realized he wasn't who she thought he was. The incentives the show offers, though, are just enough to make her endure a couple more weeks with the guy.

Review: They're really meant to be. So, there aren't a lot of surprises. It's a cute light story you can enjoy on a cold winter day. If you're a Bachelor fan, you'll enjoy the drama the show tries to create between the couple. There's good chemistry between Canyon and Cambria and it's nice to see them get their HEA after working so hard for it.

Amazon $2.99

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Forgotten Life of Evelyn Lewis - Jane Rubietta

Synopsis: Evie's determined to renovate and sell the farmhouse and land she's inherited from her granparents. She'll use the funds to keep her Maryland design fim solvent and save her employees' jobs. She didn't bank on falling in love with the South and the people in the small Tennessee town she's stuck in for three months. Didn't plan on falling for the guy next door either. Taylor's a widower raising a darling daughter. His mission in life is to grow organic cotton - not fall in love with a city girl.

Review: It's pretty hard not to fall in love with the South. While it's clearly a caricature of the place and people, Rubietta has done a good job of creating a world that sucks you in and makes you one of them. As Evie discovers her past and learns to live in the present, you find yourself immersed in her story and falling in love right along side her. Not only with the heart stopping Taylor, but with everyone you meet. The rich and full cast of characters add a dimension and fun to the story. Rubietta has done a wonderful job in her debit novel and we can't help but look forward to many more fabulous tales from her. This is no light read. Expect to find a deep and thoughtful story that will move you and capture your attention more than you intended. There is a heavy faith element to the story.

Amazon $4.99

Monday, November 19, 2018

My Mistletoe Mix-Up - Judy Corry

Synopsis: Raven had a burning crush on her neighbor Jace Carmichael for years. She's thrilled to learn he and his twin have moved back after a year and a half away. She's not so thrilled to learn that Logan Carmichael has tricked her into kissing him (instead of his brother) under a mistletoe. Logan isn't at all repentent to have finally gotten to kiss his long-time crush and he's determined to show Raven why.

Review: This has been a fun series and this is a great addition to it. You don't need to read the previous books to keep up with this one but you'll want to read them if you haven't already. Raven gets her own story in this installment and it's nice to see her finally get a good guy. She's easy to like in this time around. As is Logan. Despite his teasing past, he's turned out to be an okay guy you can easily fall for. A quick fun holiday read. Like other books in the series, it's clean but on the edge. Parents might want to pre-read. 

Amazon $2.99

I was given an ARC

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The Betting Groom - Taylor Hart

Synopsis: Newly divorced Tara has just found out she's expecting. Not the best news ever, unfortunately. As she contemplates her fate, Will Kent knocks on her door. Her old flame has decided to look her up to try to rekindle their relationship. She's not so sure. He is.

Review: A quick easy read. The whole story takes place during the week before Christmas. So it's pretty fast paced and not super complicated. They're both endearing and easy to like. They're comfortable with each other and, while the romance is quick, it's not contrived. You're definitely glad they figure it out. Will is a sweetheart and you're so glad that Tara is willing to give him a shot.

Conservative readers might want to know that, although the book is very clean, the couple do share a hotel room.

Amazon $2.99

Monday, November 12, 2018

Not in the Plan - Rachel John

Synopsis: Rebecca has just gotten a job as an assistant wedding planner. She's excited until she meets her new boss. It's been over a decade but Jay's still not quite over being pushed away to accomodate Rebecca's fiance. Can they be friends again? Is that enough?

Review: The prologue doesn't do Rebecca any favors. Who sends their best friend packing just because she's getting married?! But, alas, she comes to her senses and sees what all of us know in the first few paragraphs - Jay is her HEA. They're a natural couple. It takes them a bit to figure things out, but it's not a frustrating story and it isn't filled with a whole lot of angst or contrived conflict. It's satisfying to follow their journey. Rebecca's grown up, put her family in their rightful place, and is ready to make her own mature, thoughtful choices; making her a worthy heroine. While Jay's never really lost his feelings for her, he's also not so quick to welcome her back with open arms; making him a strong and sensative Hero. Rachel John consistently puts out a solid clean romance. It's nice to know you can trust her to make you glad you picked her books.

Amazon $3.99

I received an ARC to review

Friday, November 9, 2018

Rule #4 You Can't Misinterpret a Mistletoe Kiss - Anne-Marie Meyer

Synopsis: Ava and Jacob's families are friends in an almost constant state of competition. They're  all headed to a cabin to try to outdo each other and win a family vacation from a local station. Ava's had a crush on Jacob for forever. He's had some legal trouble and is finally back with his family and ready to get on with his life. Ava's ready to get him to think of her as more than her brother's little sister.

Review: A cute and clean YA romance. It's a quick light read. Nothing too deep or heavy. Just a couple of teens dancing around their feelings for each other. Their families are a little over the top but they're a cute pair. Not surprisingly, they figure things out and knock some sense into their somewhat crazy parents. 

Amazon $2.99

I received an ARC to review

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

At First Glance - Susan Tuttle

Synopsis: Penny's sister is getting married and Penny's got to fit into a dress two sizes to small to be in her wedding party. She embarks on a weight loss and fitness plan to prove to her family that she can be just as good as her younger sister. Jonah's cousin is marrying Penny's sister, so he's in said wedding party too. He thinks Penny's got nothing to prove and would like to prove himself worthy of her attention. If he could just get her to stop dating her new fitness coach, he's pretty sure he could make some headway.

Review: How it takes so long for Penny to figure out how awesome Jonah is, baffles the rest of us who fell for him in the first few chapters. Such a great book. The fact that it's a debut makes it all the more spectacular. Susan Tuttle is a talented writer and has set the bar high for herself. The characters are deep and the situation is complicated. Jonah is a perfect hero. Penny is a thoughtful and real heroine. What's especially good about this story is how realistically Tuttle deals with the virtue dilemma. It's not enough to declare yourself saved for marriage, it's not easy to keep your standards when even your girlfriends give you grief for them, and it's hard to know what pitfalls lay ahead of you when your mind isn't in the gutter. Tuttle does an excellent job of painting a realistic scenario that many other authors gloss over. Good for her. Please say Rachael's story is coming soon...

Amazon $2.99

Friday, November 2, 2018

Lies, Love, and Breakfast at Tiffany's - Julie Wright

Synopsis: Sylvia's old boss miraculously shows up to help her get her new boss back to the office after a drunken evening out. New boss isn't fit to work to meet the deadline looming so old boss gives her some tips to get the project finished in time. New boss is a jerk. Old boss, not so much. Ben has been harboring a crush on Sylvia since they started working together years ago. Company rules kept him from acting on his feelings. But now that they've reconnected and she's no longer working for him, this just might be his opportunity to get her to consider him as more than just a nice guy. Or maybe not.

Review: This second book in the series is pretty good but I'll admit to not loving it quite as much as the first. I like that Emma shows up here and plays a significant role. Sylvia and Ben are a great couple. I like how their relationship develops. I like both of them. They're good people that you enjoy getting to know. I just don't love all the Audrey Hepburn. It's not horrible. I just felt like I'd had enough after a bit. It's a great story with a nice cast of supporting characters. Definitely worth a read and a fun addition to the series.

Amazon $11.59

I received an ARC to review.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

On Magnolia Lane - Denise Hunter

synopsis: Jack has a years long crush on Daisy. If he could convince her to think of him as something other than her pastor, maybe he could get somewhere. Daisy has tried just about everything to find her future husband. She's finally met a guy online she thinks she might be falling for. If only her growing feelings for her pastor/friend weren't confusing the issue.

Review: Clear your calendar, you're not going to get anything done once you start this one. Yep, it's a late nighter, don't get the housework done, we're having pizza for dinner book. This third book in the series is perhaps the best. Certainly it's my favorite. You get glimpses of the characters from the previous books but having read their stories is not essential to keep up with Jack and Daisy. They're just such wonderful people you love to get to know them better - finally. The whole story just makes you happy because you so want them to be happy; and they're getting there! Not as edgy (though there's definitely an eyebrow lifter) as the previous books, and the minimal talk of faith seems much more natural in this one. Yay Denise! This one is a winner.

Amazon $8.99

I was given an ARC to review.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Fearless Warrior - Kimberly Krey

Synopsis: Jace has been assigned to take down a human trafficking ring. Trouble is, he's discovered one of the prime targets for said ring is a teen crush he hasn't quite gotten over. Amy is thrilled to hear from Jace after so many years. Turns out, he's not the only one harboring a crush. If Jace can just keep Amy out of harms way, they might just be able to make things work out afterall.

Review: Kimberly always does a good job of balancing the action and adventure part of the story with a good dose of romance. Jace and Amy are an adorable couple that you're just so glad has reconnected. Jace is, of course, a terrific hero and Amy is a darling heroine. The books in this series may not be entirely realistic, but they're quick, fun reads that add a dash of adventure to your day. 

Bonus: A portion of the proceeds from this book go to Operation Underground Railroad. One of our favorite organizations and one definitely worthy of your time and attention. Check them out here:

Amazon $2.99

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Waiting for a Girl Like You - Delaney Cameron

Synopsis: Rowan's taken a job with a photography studio in St. Mary's to get away from the big city. She's spent years raising her younger siblings and, with an empty nest, she's getting used to having time for her own pursuits. Frank is thanking his lucky stars to have been reunited with the beautiful woman he met years earlier while helping his younger sister move into her college dorm. He's hoping he can convince her he should be one of her pursuits. She's not so sure he'd even want to be with an older woman.

Review: The 10th book in a great series. Rowan is a really likeable heroine. She's grounded and selfless and talented and wise. Frank is a reformed bad-boy that you just can't not like. He's kind and thoughtful and persistent! A really nice couple that just take a little while to work through their own insecurities and doubts about themselves. Once they do, it's lovely.

Amazon $.99

I was given an ARC to review.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Saved By The Rockstar - Michelle Pennington

Synopsis: Julie's a successful author who's got to start making appearances to promote the new movie one of her books has been made into. Despite the regular vlogs she puts out, she's deathly afraid of crowds and the public. When one of her fans turns out to be the sister of her latest crush, Julie suddenly finds herself conversing with famous boy-band lead singer Ryland Sterling. Texting and phone calls are one thing, meeting him in person will be something entirely different. Is she ready to be thrown into his world? Somehow he needs to figure out how to convince her there's no better place for her to be.

Review: Super couple. Both are grounded and living successful lives. Neither needs each other but both are so much better with the other. Really love how naturally their relationship develops. Not a lot of angst or misunderstanding. Just two people trying to figure out how to make their lives work together. A fun cast of supporting characters makes the book engaging. Ryland's relationship with his brothers is fabulous. Not sure I needed the drama at the end. But, it pulled things together and made some sense of plot points throughout the book. All around a great, quick read.

Amazon $.99

Monday, September 24, 2018

Lies We Tell Ourselves - Amy Matayo

Synopsis: Presley and Micah are childhood best friends. Lots of baggage and self doubt keep them from acting on their love for each other. Things become complicated when Micah meets Mara. Pressley knows Mara's not good for Micah but she knows he doesn't think she's good enough for him either. Micah and Pressley are messed up and need to figure themselves out before they can be good enough for anyone. At least, that's what they tell themselves.

Review: You can pretty much count on Amy to put out a great read. I was hesistant about this one because it sounded like it'd be pretty heavy and I'm not a huge fan of love triangles. But the triangle is pretty skewed so don't let that throw you. It is deep and a little dark but so very good. Pressley and Micah are both characters you want to know better. You feel for them and want them to get things figured out. No quick fixes or magic potions here. Just a lot of hard work and soul searching. Some forgiveness mixed in for good measure too. Definitely worth the read.

Conservative readers might not appreciate the abundance of innuendo and heavy make-out scenes. The book is clean but the characters' attitudes about intimacy are not particulary chaste.

Unfortunately, the text is also riddled with typos and proofreading errors. One of two you can overlook but there were enough to become a bit of a distraction.

Amazon $3.99

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Corporate Groom - Lucy McConnell

Synopsis: Kensington is an ice cream heiress in a fight with her sisters for control of the company after their father's death. In a last ditch effort to save it from being sold off, she agrees to marry Nash. Recently released ex-con, Nash, is just glad to have a second chance to prove himself in the business world. The chemistry between them is a definite bonus.

Review: That Kensington is the billionaire who needs help is a refreshing twist to Lucy McConnell's marriage-of-convenience stories she's come to be known for. Light, fun reads with couples you can easily root for. Kensington and Nash make a fabulous couple. He's a great Hero who truly sweeps you off your feet. Plenty of unrealistic situations but if you know these books, you won't be shocked and will be perfectly happy to let them slide to find out just how things work themselves out for these two. A great weekend read.

Amazon $2.99

Monday, September 10, 2018

Anonymously Yours - Rachel John

Synopsis: Chase has a long-time crush on his co-worker Ashley. When he learns their department is being down-sized, he knows he needs to do something to get her attention or he might never see her again. Ashley's baffled by the gifts she's suddenly receiving from a secret admirer. There are several possibilities, but she'd sure like it to be one guy in particular.

Review: Rachel John is quickly becoming a must-read. This third book in the series is a great addition. Glimpses of characters from earlier books add some depth. A solid Hero and Heroine with plenty of chemistry keep you up much too late. Realistic situations, good dialogue, and a good story make this a great contemporary romance. Clean and chaste. Easy to share with all your friends and family.

Amazon $.99

Man of My Dreams - Jenny Rabe

Synopsis: Rory works at the resort her late parents worked at. It holds fond memories for her so she puts up with a demanding boss with unreasonable requests. Dr. Camden has connections to the resort that aren't entirely clear to Rory but he doesn't want anything to do with Rory's crazy boss. He doesn't really want anything to do with Rory either but his heart has other ideas.

Review: A loose retelling of Sleeping Beauty. It's not immediately obvious that's where it's going but you can definitely see the connections. That said, it's a cute story with a solid couple. It's a little on the YA side so if you're looking for a realistic, deep, sophisticated read, this isn't likely it. But if you're looking for a light and easy one, this will certainly fit the bill.

Amazon $2.99

I received an ARC to review.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Perfect Set - Melanie Jacobson

Synopsis: Bree's just moved to Huntington Beach to work for a Sports magazine. Her assignment to get through to reporter-hating beach volleyball Olympic medalist Kade is going to be a challenge. But, determined to show her worth and get a great story, she dives right in. If only they hadn't started off on the wrong foot the first time they met. Kade's past mess-ups have made him weary of the press but he might make an exception for the tenacious reporter who keeps tracking him down.

Review: Melanie Jacobsen always writes a good story. Her characters are fun to meet and their relationships are always an adventure. I only wish she wrote faster and her kindle book prices weren't so high! Bree is driven and confident. Her baggage adds depth to her character. Her friends and family round out the cast of characters nicely. Kade is a good Hero. He's been burned and doesn't warm easily. He's focused, driven and sure of who he is. They make a great couple. 

A good clean, chaste, romance with no crude language. Something that seems to be getting harder to come but these days. 

Readers should know that although this is an LDS (Mormon) couple, there is little to no reference to beliefs, doctrines etc. There is some mention of culture (single adult and women's groups, for example) but it's minimal and not essential to be familiar with it to follow the story. 

Amazon $10.99

Monday, July 16, 2018

Moonstruck - Sariah Wilson

Synopsis: Maisy's father is a musician who's got more kids and baby-mamas than he can count.  She's watched her mother put up with his antics and she's determined not to follow her example. That conviction starts to waiver after she unintentionally gets rock star Ryan's attention at a meet and greet her friend drags her to. Ryan's got plenty of women falling at his feet so he's more than a little intrigued when Maisy isn't one of them. He's pretty sure he can melt her icy exterior when he invites her and her brothers to open for the remaining dates on his national tour. 

Review: Not really a sequel in the #Lovestruck series but the characters in the first book make a cameo appearance which is fun. I like Ryan a lot. I think he's a great hero. Maisy is a little harder to like but they have good chemistry and the story is well told. While this is a clean read, there's a lot of physical interaction between them that looms large and, I'd argue, pushes the line on being "chaste". But, the first book did that too, so this shouldn't be a huge shock to Wilson's fans. Maisy is also really hard in the beginning and uses some language that seems to be coming into fashion but is less than tasteful. Conservative readers may not appreciate these two elements of the story. It's kind of a shame, because it doesn't last long (the language anyway) but may be just enough to turn readers off of an otherwise great summer read.

Amazon Pre-order $4.99

I was given an ARC to review.

Friday, July 6, 2018

It Was Always You - Judy Corry

Synopsis: Lexi's a band nerd. Noah's her brother's best friend and NOT a band nerd. Noah's offer to pretend to be her boyfriend for a week to help her save face is nothing short of heroic. Everything works out just fine until it doesn't. Falling for his friend's little sister was not at all in the plans. Neither was sleeping on her closet floor when he finds himself homeless. Turns out, Lexi might end up being his heroine afterall.

Review: A solid addition to the Ridgewater High series. There are sneak peeks at characters from previous books but this story stands alone nicely. Lexi and Noah make a good couple and it's fun to watch their tale unfold. A good YA romance. Parents might want to read prior to sharing with younger readers. There's some intimacy (though the book is definitely clean) and sneaking around that might be a concern. Judy Corry does a good job of capturing the high school experience without being too gritty. 

Amazon $2.99

I was given an ARC to review.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Narcissistic Tendencies - Jennifer Peel

Synopsis: Kate is tasked with being Nick's relationship manager when he signs up for Binary Search's matchmaking help. It's not her usual role with the company and she's not exactly thrilled to be working with him. Nick, on the other hand, is more than happy to be her client and sees no problem introducing her to his teenage daughter and widowed father - who promptly endear themselves to her. The actor/screenwriter just needs to find a way to  convince her to like him too.

Review: This third installment in the series features couples from the first two books in a prominent way, which is kind of fun. The relationship that Kate develop's with Nick's daughter is endearing and adds a lovely dimension to the one she's trying not to develop with him. He's definitely a worthy Hero and she sure gives him a run for his money. Which, of course, is how Jennifer Peel makes you stay up way too late and get way too little done in a day. A solid contribution to the series. 

Conservative readers might like to know that, while this is a clean read, the level of intimacy between this couple pushes the line on what might be considered "chaste".

Amazon $3.99

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

This Cowboy's a Keeper - Kimberly Krey

Synopsis: Payton is determined to drag her younger brother back from Montana so he can finish his schooling at Stanford. Her plan to stay a few days soon turns into a whole lot longer and a whole lot more complicated. Luke is convinced he'll be a bachelor for life. He's not super thrilled to have his hand's sister show up to drag him off when he's perfectly happy making his own life choices. Even if she is gorgeous, she's got a whole lot of bossy to get out of her system and he may just be the one to help with that.

Review: This is a great addition to the Unlikely Cowgirl series. Luke is a fabulous Hero. Strong but patient and not easily pushed around. He is the perfect match for Payton who is also strong, maybe not so patient, and not easily pushed around. To her credit, Payton's concern for her brother drives her to keep an open mind and gives her some depth that adds to her likability. A fun story with a fabulous cast of characters. One can only hope that Taylor and Jason get their own heroines some day.

Especially conservative readers might find the accomodation arrangements a little concerning. While the book is definitely clean, the main characters are staying in the same house and Payton does walk around in her nightwear. It's by no means lurid, but for those for whom this matters, they might like to know ahead of time.

Amazon $2.99