Month: July 2015 (Page 1 of 2)

~ Review – Shrinking Violet by Jessica Prince

Shrinking Violet (Colors #2)Shrinking Violet by Jessica Prince
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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*** ARC provided for an honest review ***

Jessica Prince does it again. What a wonderful story!! Jessica Prince’s Shrinking Violet is standalone second novel in the Colors series. This is a heartwarming story about second chances. The story is told with chapters from both Cassidy and Carson’s points of view, allowing the reader to fully understand both sides of every situation.

We met Cassidy in Prince’s first novel in the series as a snobby, bully. Truth be told, I thought she was horrible and I could not stand her; so, I was leery of reading a redemption novel about her. Now we meet her again several years later as a single mother living in Texas on her aunt and uncle’s ranch with her daughter, Willow. Willow is the most adorable four-year old who has everyone wrapped around her finger. You will learn both about Cassidy’s past as well as how she is trying to move forward with her life. Cassidy has not dated since having her daughter, too scared that she will turn back into the person she was. She continues to punish herself for being that person. Then Carson arrived and turned her world upside down.

Carson, a hardworking, hot, hot, hot man enters Cassidy’s life when he arrives to work at the ranch she lives on. Carson has a past of his own having grown up in the foster care system. He hates bullies and is the ultimate protector. He is driven to succeed and lives for taking care of his foster sister, Navie, a senior in high school who aged out of the system. Carson is the epitome of a ladies man and does not believe he could ever trust love, until he sees Cassidy, his shrinking violet.

With both Cassidy and Carson coming from difficult pasts, could they ever trust love? Can Carson accept Cassidy’s past and open up about his own?

This story has a great message and shows us why we should never judge and what a difference a second chance can make in someone’s life.

This story by Jessica Prince was well written and emotional. She captures the reader with her ability to create deep, personable characters. The reader is able to feel and identify with emotions of the characters, making this book difficult to put down. There is mild violence, mild sexual situations, and mild, rare profanity in the book. It is a wonderful New Adult Romance. I would highly recommend this book and give it five out of five stars!
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~ Review – Opposing the Cowboy by Margo Bond Collins

Opposing the Cowboy (Entangled Bliss) (Hometown Heroes)Opposing the Cowboy (Entangled Bliss) by Margo Bond Collins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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Opposing the Cowboy by Margo Bond Collins is such a heart-warming book with coamplex characters, romance, and family loyalty. LeeAnn Walker has just discovered that she was dumped by “Darrell Cheating Jerkwad Vincent” because he is marrying someone else. She feels hurt, betrayed, and angry but when she sees Darrell at the local restaurant she moves so fast to get out of there that she “smacked into a muscled wall of masculine chest-then bounced right back off, her arms pin wheeling for a moment” before falling on her butt. All of a sudden her thoughts go to Darrell and she spits out “man slut.”

“Pardon Me?” The handsome stranger she ran into has literally taken her breath away. Feeling embarrassed she thinks on impulse and kisses him to avoid Darrell’s smirk, which he returns and happily plays along with all the way outside. Once outside the stranger realizes that must have been for some else’s benefit, but LeeAnn is still distracted and now a bit embarrassed about the kiss. As they continue walking, she is thinking about how it’s all Darrell’s fault and mutters “bastard.”

“Is there a reason that you keep calling me names?”

Thinking to herself, ‘because I’m clearly losing my mind?”

Neither one can deny the electricity they just experienced, but go their separate ways. She is clearly enthralled with him though “I could spend all day watching his *** slide onto that bench seat. I didn’t even get his name.”

Jonah Hamilton is in town to talk a thick headed, stubborn, ranch owner into letting his company drill oil and has had one heck of a time getting them to budge. When he goes to meet the owner, he is surprised to find it is LeeAnn Walker. “Holy ****. The ice queen of Fort Worth and the most sensuous woman I’ve ever kissed are the same person.” Things just became a little more difficult…

“Orphaned when she was four, she had gone to live with her grandparents on what had then been a working ranch. That land was the last connection she had to her gran, the woman who had been her refuge when her parents died, who had taught her how to ride a horse, to mend a fence, to care for the land she would eventually inherit. Her gran would not have approved of anyone drilling. She was certain of it.”

Once they realize that they are on opposite sides of a fight they find it difficult to maneuver around that hot, steamy kiss they shared. They come to an agreement to find the answers they are both searching for together, but can that really work? Can they avoid their feelings or will they eventually give in to their passion? As they each see new sides to the other one they soon understand that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Sometimes, the things you think are most important aren’t and you are forced to change your opinion and grow.

This story made me laugh, cry, and recoil. I felt completely connected to the characters and could feel everything they were feeling. Margo Bond Collins has a new fan for life, thanks to her strong writing skills, her emotional connection, and the way she expresses the story.
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~ Review – More Than Friends by Tabetha Thompson

More Than Friends (The Friend Zone)More Than Friends by Tabetha Thompson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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Wow! Just wow! More Than Friends by Tabetha Thompson is the first book in The Friend Zone Series. Thompson provides the reader will fully developed, relatable characters and entwines the readers with their emotions by telling their story in alternating points of view. I found myself experiencing many emotions while reading this book: happiness, sadness and tears, anger, surprise, and many more.

Chloe is a small-town girl who lives a carefree lifestyle working in BAR, the plainly named bar that her best guy friend, Tom, owns. Skye is an old friend of Tom, and also Chloe’s, sort of from high school. He was awkward back then, but almost ten years later he is now an insanely attractive bass player in a band full of attractive men, and has just moved back to their small town. Upon seeing Skye again for the first time, Chloe’s attraction to him is palpable and he cannot keep his eyes off of her; it turns out he never could. They begin a sexual relationship, but their connection is way deeper.

Chloe ended a tumultuous past relationship a couple of years ago and swore off relationships forever. She has put up many walls, but Skye is slowly trying to tear them down. He has made it clear that he loves her, he will never hurt her, and he will always protect her; but, Chloe is still wary. Chloe’s other best friend, Sara, urges her to let Skye in. But Chloe’s past catches up with her and she and Skye’s story takes a drastic turn forever.

This story by Tabetha Thompson was very well written and emotionally charging. She captures the reader with her ability to create deep, personable characters who are struggling with very real situations. The reader is able to feel and identify with emotions of the characters, making this book difficult to put down; in fact, I finished this book in one day! There is moderate violence, moderate sexual situations, and mild profanity in the book. I would highly recommend this book and even say it is a must read. I would give it five out of five stars and I cannot wait to read the next book in the series: Forever & More.
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~ Review – Texas Summer by Leslie Hachtel

Texas SummerTexas Summer by Leslie Hachtel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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** ARC received for an honest review ***

Texas Summer by Leslie Hachtel is a story filled with romance, suspense, murder, love, and secrets. The last thing writer Wylie Nichols expected to happen when his car broke down in a tiny little town is that he would meet a beautiful woman who may just be more trouble than she is worth.

Kennedy is a woman who has endured so much pain, betrayal, and disgust in her life she has begun to believe that everyone is right about her and she is the scum of the earth. However, Wylie doesn’t see it that way and “the immediate fire between them was almost palpable. Wylie drew in a breath, mesmerized, stumbled, then caught himself and continued forward, closing the distance. She raised her eyebrows, as if daring him to speak.”

When Kennedy’s sister Delie is found brutally murdered Wylie becomes an immediate suspect. Could this kind stranger really be capable of that kind of violence? Is this another case where Kennedy’s bad judgement surfaces? As the body count continues to rack up, it looks as though Wylie and Kennedy are the prime suspects. Did Wylie’s car really break down or is that just part of an elaborate plan him and Kennedy came up with?

Kennedy’s other sister Dolores has such contempt for Kennedy it is dripping from her mouth. She is convinced that Wylie and Kennedy are behind all of it to prevent Delie and Dolores from receiving money they all inherited. The mayor Freddie is also Kennedy’s stepfather and is breathing down Sheriff Miller’s neck to solve this crime immediately. As Sheriff Miller is trying to put the pieces together secrets begin to surface and he soon realizes that things aren’t always how they seem.

Why would this little town suddenly be riddled with violence and murder? Nothing will prepare the reader for what unfolds and secrets that come to light. Can Wylie and Kennedy survive the predicament they find themselves in? Are they really strangers who just fell in love or are they calculated murderer’s one step ahead of everyone else?

I think that Leslie Hachtel did a beautiful job of writing strong characters with a very complex history. The author took the time to give a lot of history on the characters which causes the reader to engage. I also enjoyed the fact that the author sort-of tricked us with the cover. I expected a mushy, sweet, romance between two quirky people and instead got one heck of a mystery with all kinds of things I never saw coming!

WARNING: This story contains some violent sexual situations, some vulgarity, and violence.
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~ Review – The Talented Mr. Maxwell by Julia Harlow

The Talented Mr. MaxwellThe Talented Mr. Maxwell by Julia Harlow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Julia Harlow’s The Talented Mr. Maxwell is a great story about an undeniable and sexy romance between Dorrie and Grant.

Dorrie Applegate is assigned the most important assignment of her career thus far: to write the biography of the famous, powerful, and gorgeous male model Grant Maxwell. On the way to London, she meets an attractive, friendly man, with whom she spends an amazing night with, only to find out the next day that he is the subject of her project, Grant Maxwell himself. This begins a complicated relationship full of secret trysts and steamy moments between Dorrie and Grant.

Dorrie is an independent, hardworking, and confident woman. I also appreciated that Dorrie is described as a curvy, full-figured, and beautiful woman. She is a very relatable character who is thrown into a situation where she has to balance work and romance. Dorrie finds herself in an intoxicating romance with Grant and she cannot ignore their undeniable connection. Then, Dorrie makes a decision that is so out of character for her, that it could ultimately ruin their relationship forever.

Grant Maxwell is down-to-earth, hot, generous, funny, and relatable, making him the perfect man (in my opinion). He is gorgeous and powerful, but very real. He is a deep character who forms a meaningful relationship with Dorrie. He cannot get her out of his head or his heart, even after he feels hurt and betrayed by her.

The story also hosts additional characters to fulfill the story including: the undeniably hot, cocky Cody Carlson, a professional football player and Dorrie’s next client who also has an interest in her, and the beautiful, self-made Carly Thomas who has her eyes set on Grant and who also has a secret, dark past that ends up colliding with her present.
To find out if love can win and trust can be rebuilt, read The Talented Mr. Maxwell.
This story by Julia Harlow was fairly well written, and told in third person giving the reader an unbiased view of story and all of its characters. There was great depth and development of all of her characters in the book, but the development and sudden changes from one character to another occasionally causes confusion for the reader. There is mild violence, some sexual situations, and mild profanity in the book. Overall this was an engaging read and I would give it four out of five stars.
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~ Review – Uncharted by Claudia Y. Burgoa

Uncharted (Unexpected Book 3)Uncharted by Claudia Y. Burgoa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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Uncharted by Claudia Y. Burgoa Rating 5 stars
I thought this was another great read by Claudia, I loved Jacob Decker’s story the best out of all three books. I must say uncharted was the best one of the series and is also the third book in the series. I think I loved both characters the best Jacob and Pria. Again the story was dual point of views of Jacobs and Pria. I like the writing style and the flow of the story line. Kind of like a second chance love story Jacob and Pria has, which are my favorite kind of love.

Jacob and Pria meets as young adults, where Jacob was kind, sweet, had a passion for music. They were a young couple in love. Then disaster strikes and Jacob and Pria are forced apart. But fate strikes and they meet again ten years later, except Jacob isn’t the same person again. He’s cold, distant, hates the world, angry, bitterness, guilt and a lot of loss in his life.

Which I did felt bad for Jacob, and I felt really bad for Pria because when she meets Jacob again he’s not the same person she fell in love with.

But they eventually find their way to each other, heal together. And that’s what I love most about this story. But so much emotion and angst which I love, I love books packed with that.
Highly recommend this read.
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~ Review – Walker Pride by Bernadette Marie

Walker Pride (The Walker Family, #1)Walker Pride by Bernadette Marie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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* ARC provided for an honest review *

Walker Pride by Bernadette Marie is the first book in what I hope to be a long series on The Walker Family. This book had me from page 1, and why wouldn’t it? Who wouldn’t love a book with a sexy cowboy willing to do anything to protect what belongs to his family? Throw in an unexpected romance, crazy family dynamics, good food, and family secrets, and you have all the fixin’s for a novel that will keep you engaged and melting non-stop.

Eric Walker is a quiet 40 year old man, who likes to live the simple life and his daily routine. He’s taken care of the family ranch for as long as he can remember and now that is being jeopardized thanks to his irresponsible Uncle. He is the brooding type who doesn’t necessarily have the best people skills after losing his mother at the age of 8. He is one of 5 brothers (Russell, Dane, Gerald, Ben), but the only one from his mom. Living not far from his mother’s side of the family who abandoned his mother and being raised by his father Everett Walker and his stepmom Glenda hasn’t been easy for him. Not to mention he can’t stand his “other” cousins Tyler & Lydia whom he just met for the first time.

Susan Hayes is a divorced woman who had to get out of Colorado and away from her ex. She’s on a journey to make a life for herself, figure out who she is, and not let anything get in her way. She misses her family, but is determined to make her catering business a success with the hope of someday having a restaurant. She is also a very trusting woman that wears her heart on her sleeve. It doesn’t help her plans when she meets Eric at a family occasion she is catering for his stepmom. “He was a distraction she couldn’t afford. She’d spent the last ten years being distracted by a handsome face and this was her time to rebuild her life. There was no need for her to get worked up over a set of chocolate eyes that had her knees going weak.”

Despite their differences, he eats meat, she is vegetarian, he is quiet, she is a talker, he is a fighter, she is a lover, their connection is strong and almost immediate. The one thing they both have in common is they love with everything in them 100%, all or nothing. This type of love is what helps them battle all the upheaval headed their way. When Eric suddenly finds out that the family dynamics are not what they seem and secrets begin to surface it throws his life into complete chaos. Someone is killing his animals, trying to move his mother’s grave, destroying his property, destroying his cousin Bethany’s property and Susan is somehow right in the middle. When all the pieces are finally put together it will leave the reader shocked with the true mystery.

This story is full of love, secrets, mystery, healing and family. Sometimes the people you thought were your sworn enemy are the only ones you can count on in a time of need. I can’t believe I have never read any of Bernadette Marie’s books but I see a summer filled with lots of them!

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~ Review – Chasing Shade by Sommer Marsden

Chasing ShadeChasing Shade by Sommer Marsden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Chasing Shade by Sommer Marsden is not just about instant love, but about how instant love can be so strong you find a way to rise out of despair, hurt, and the ashes of being alone, from a past that nearly destroys you.

Archie Rader was running away from a past that had left him broke, angry, hurt, betrayed, and alone when he ran over a hair piece in the middle of the road. That led him to Betsey Smith who was hiding out from a past that nearly destroyed her. The victim of a brutal crime, she had no one to count on except the small pseudo family she had built herself.

For Archie, “being homeless and drifting had not been in his game plan for this year. Settling down, starting a family, being a grown-butt man…that had been his plan.” He was “At least six-foot three, he had dark-dark-brown hair and pale blue eyes.” Betsey noticed him the moment he walked into the diner where she was a waitress. Archie noticed her too “There was something almost painfully real and honest and kind about Betsey Smith. Definitely a when-a-life-hands-you-lemons woman.”

When Betsey discovers how bad off Archie is she immediately helps him find food, a job, and a place to live without a second thought. Archie can’t believe the kindness from this stranger and it makes him feel a connection to her. Their attraction is almost immediate and extremely powerful, which makes each of them think it couldn’t possibly be real. Betsey sees how hurt Archie is and is convinced that she can only bring him pain. She doesn’t think that she is good enough for him or deserves someone like him. Archie believes that she is just what he needs with her kind soul, which makes him desire her even more.

Archie is a true “knight in shining armor” because he doesn’t try and save her. Instead he is there for her, by her side, asking her what she needs and giving her the space to do it. She is able to lean on him, talk to him, ask him questions, and go at her own pace. When she is faced with a tough decision about her past, Archie becomes her safe haven, when she is in his arms it feels like home and she finds strength in that, that she didn’t think she had. As they each try to let go of their pasts, will they be able to build a future? A future that is real and true? Is it possible to have instant love that will last? Is there such a thing as happily ever after when there was no “time” to fall in love?

I loved reading my first Sommer Marsden’s book, it didn’t disappoint me at all. It took me less than one day to read it because it kept me so engaged. The author keeps a steady pace with the exception of one chapter that felt rushed. The characters are strong, complete with great background stories, feelings, and sexual tension. The author writes vividly and it feels extremely authentic.

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~ Review – Fire and Ice by A.M. Hartnett

Fire and IceFire and Ice by A.M. Hartnett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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* ARC provided for an honest review *

Fire and Ice by A.M. Hartnett is a quick, easy, and hot read. Mick is a Russian hockey player who is an overachiever. He has decided to have the best shot at a future after hockey, he should learn not just English, but also French. Julia is a language tutor who is all about business, until she meets Mick and suddenly can’t keep her thoughts away from his sexy body, Russian accent, and smoldering eyes. Her roommate Kristen, keeps nudging her to give caution to the wind and see where it blows her.

After their first few meetings she can’t tell if he is really flirting or not. “Mick, are you flirting with me?” ‘Always, but you do not flirt back. You crush my ego everytime.’

As they spend more time together and after a Halloween party they can’t resist the urges building up in them. After their night of passion Julia worries that maybe she crossed a line but can’t help that they chemistry between them. She sets ground rules of tutoring during the day and long nights filled with sex, but that doesn’t last and they are both unable to keep their hands off. Their relationship progresses and new feelings emerge when Mick is hurt on the ice, but you will have to read the book to see how it ends.

This book is erotic and should be read by mature adults 18 and over.

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~ Review – Pieces of Paisley by Leigh Ann Lunsford

Pieces of PaisleyPieces of Paisley by Leigh Ann Lunsford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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Must read romance! Pieces of Paisley by Leigh Ann Lunsford is a powerful coming of age story about Paisley and her unexpected first love. Our first love is someone that touches us in surprising ways and is someone we never forget; but, many of us do not hold onto our first loves. Can Paisley?
The story is told in alternating points of view of Paisley and Jake, though primarily from Paisley’s. When the story begins, Paisley is a teenager and jaded with love. She unexpectedly finds an undeniable attraction to an older, hot-tempered 20 year-old Jake, who is in the military. Paisley and Jake fall deep and fast for one another, despite their age difference. They are fully consumed by their love and unable to see the other parts of their lives. They spiral out of control until their relationship is threatened by unforeseen complicating factors and kept secrets. Paisley, so young, sets out to find herself and become an independent young woman, but vows she will never let herself love like that again or talk to Jake again. She is convinced that a love so consuming could never be a good thing. Jake seemingly moves on, but often wonders how he let Paisley get away. I highly suggest you read this book to find out what happens. Can Paisley ever love again? Will she and Jake ever talk again? Pieces of Paisley was a very well written, page-turning read. I would definitely read more of Lunsford’s books. There is profanity and some sexual situations in this book. I would rate Pieces of Paisley 5 out of 5 stars!!

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