Sunday, August 31, 2014

Take Me, Cowboy (Copper Mountain Rodeo #4) by Jane Porter


Take Me, Cowboy (Copper Mountain Rodeo Book 4)


Synopsis:

When Jenny Wright’s fiancĂ© leaves her standing at the altar in a Vera Wang bridal gown she can’t afford, she’s humiliated and heartbroken. To have Marietta hero bull riding champ Colton Thorpe witness her shame - makes the rejection even more devastating. 

Jenny and Colton grew up in the same rough neighborhood and they both left home right after school to pursue big dreams. Now they're both back, with Colton as the celebrity chair for the 75th Copper Mountain Rodeo, and Jenny in disgrace. 


Sexy, rugged Colton didn't get to be a national champion by chance. He's a man that takes risks and goes after what he wants. During the rodeo weekend, Colton makes it clear he wants Jenny. Flustered but flattered, Jenny finds it difficult to resist his charm. But what happens when the rodeo ends and Colton leaves town? Will she dare to dream again?

Review:

Take Me, Cowboy is part of the Copper Mountain Rodeo novella series. I enjoyed the others I have read, even if they did move quickly, but something about this one left me not liking it. It was too quick and easy for what was happening.

Jenny is left at the alter. Her rich boyfriend whom she works with and lives with in Chicago was worried she just wanted him for her money once he sees that she came from nothing. This at first is upsetting, but not because she loved her now ex. It was upsetting because she has tried so hard to get out of her small town and make something of herself only to end up way in debt trying to pay for this wedding that ended up not happening. When she runs off before the ceremony, after being dumped, she runs into Colton. Colton whom she remembers from high school. He is so dreamy and he left just like her, only he made something of himself.

Colton is back in town for the rodeo, but he has no intention of getting involved with anyone again. His ex was a shallow, money grubbing person who didn't really care about him. So now he is done with love. When he sees Jenny he is drawn to her, but then he hears what happens and thinks she might be all about the money as well. Well it only takes like 2 days to fall in love and change his mind. I didn't see it, I didn't feel the connection between them besides a physical attraction. I didn't see where they would ride off into the sunset together and live happily ever after. It was just too quick. She JUST got stood up and he never wanted to be in love again. It was all just a bit too fast.

Rating: ★ ★

Available on Amazon and Goodreads

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Indian Summer by Aaron Mahnke


Indian Summer

Synopsis:

The guilt of our childhood can haunt us for decades. 

Twenty years ago, a childhood tragedy drove six friends apart. But when one of them is found dead in the historic, wooded ruins of the New England settlement known as Dogtown, old acquaintances find themselves drawn together. 

Now they must work together to solve the meaning behind a message written in blood, a series of attacks, and the mysterious quills that seem to tie them all together. But time is quickly running out. 


Indian Summer is a chilling tale of six childhood friends and the things that haunt them—both natural and otherworldly.

Review:

Indian Summer was an odd read for me. The way it was written made it not as suspenseful/scary as it should have been. That and the evil thing that was after them was kind of lame...

The book opens with what happened twenty years ago, what happened to Kenny. Now for some reason twenty years later the remaining friends are being killed off. The one friend is a cop so he searches the crime scenes looking for evidence (even though he is not on the case). What does he find? Quills. Like from a porcupine. And that is the scary element of the book. The one guy, Bill, saw quills one day when they were all in Dogtown before the accident. The quills. They are supposed to be really creepy/scary/whatever. Bill seems to be terrified of the quills, but they were just...not scary to me. I kept thinking of a porcupine and well...they don't instill terror in me. I was just like aw, porcupine. So the quills didn't work for me.

When you find out what is going on, who is responsible, what is really attacking them and why it didn't help the suspense. I just kind of rolled my eyes and said okay and finished reading the book. It was a quick read so that was good. The real issue though is the writing style. It is kind of clinical and detached so you don't really get attached to the characters. The beginning, what happened twenty years ago, was kind of boring to read. I thought it would pick up once it came to the present, but it didn't. It was better, but is still kept that detached clinical feel that prevented me from really identifying with the story.

Rating: ★ ★

Available on Amazon and Goodreads

Friday, August 29, 2014

Wishes and Stitches (Cypress Hollow Yarns #3) by Rachael Herron


Wishes and Stitches (Cypress Hollow Yarns)

Synopsis:

It has always been Naomi Fontaine’s dream to practice small-town medicine—an ambition that brought her to Cypress Hollow, the charming, tight-knit community her late friend, knitting guru Eliza Carpenter, loved so well. But no matter how hard she tries, Naomi can’t seem to fit in here. Then rugged Rig Keller moves in to take over half of Naomi’s medical practice, and instantly charms everyone in town . . . including Naomi.

Rig saw what a broken relationship did to his brother, and has no interest whatsoever in getting serious. But the temptation to play doctor with his new partner is just too strong to resist. Any chance they might have of being truly knit together by love, however, depends entirely on what secrets they are willing to reveal . . . and on Rig’s willingness to risk his heart and Naomi’s desire to open hers completely.

Review:

It took me a while to get into Wished & Stitches. It took like a third of the book to connect with Naomi. I didn't get her at first. I have read and enjoyed books with socially awkward females, but at first Naomi didn't come across like that. You are in her head, but I couldn't understand why she wouldn't talk to anyone. The  book opens with her in the diner and you read how she wishes people would stop by and say hello. She wishes she were a part of the community like everyone else is. Right after this we get time after time after time where people reach out to her and try to include her and she pretty much blows them off. She knits, like most everyone in town, but for some reason she keeps it secret. When someone asks if she does she says no. They still invite her to come to knitting night, and in her head she is like yes! but then she is just like thanks but no. I didn't get it. I couldn't understand why. I was reading her thoughts, but they didn't make sense to me. Someone waved to her while she is walking on the beach and she thinks I could say hello, but instead she just waves and walks on by without stopping. It didn't make any sense to me. 

Eventually you start to see Naomi interact with people and then you can see how she is a bit awkward. She over thinks things and doesn't really know how to make small talk with people. She can't really talk to people outside of patients whom she is great with them. She knows what to say to them, but if it is just a random person on the street she gets a bit tongue tied and it can get a bit uncomfortable. Her awkwardness finally started coming through and then I enjoyed her story. 

Rig is the new doctor in town. His brother lives there so the townspeople instantly welcome him with open arms. Naomi is a bit upset that he is able to fit in so easily. Prior to coming to town Rig and Naomi did share one hot night of passion, something that is unlike Naomi. She was surprised to see her one night stand walk into the diner while she is there. Then when he is the new doctor where she works she is instantly not too happy. She quickly gets over it and they work well together. There is still an attraction there and they were cute together. Naomi can talk to Rig, though she keeps trying to stay in control and not fall for him. They just worked. 

Rig was fun and outgoing, friendly with everyone, but not looking to fall in love. His dad and brother both lost their wives so he doesn't want any part of that. He can't stop thinking about Naomi though. He can't stop wanting to be with her. In the end everything works out, but there are some issues getting there. That and some surprises from Eliza. Eliza reminds me a lot of the mayor in Susan Mallery's Fool's Gold series. She kind of knows everything, sets everyone up with who they should be with even from beyond the grave. It is fun and a bit ridiculous. By the end of the book I loved Naomi and her quirky ways. I loved her with Rig and seeing them together. I only with we got a little more time with them.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Release Day!! Beauty & The Mustache by Penny Reid!



Today is the day! It is finally live! Go purchase this book now if you have not pre-ordered it. Seriously go now. I have not had a chance to write up my full review yet (look for that in the coming weeks), but I can say this book is absolutely incredible. After reading through it the first time I could not put words together that would adequately describe how absolutely amazing this book was. I tried to talk to my husband about it as I had to share with someone and I think the conversation went something like this:

"I...yeah...it was just *crazy hand gestures*...I mean like.....yes...it was *more hand gestures*....like you know...Drew. Drew"

Yeah. I had no words when I was finished with it. Drew is incredible. This story is incredible. Penny Reid is incredible. I don't know how she always manages to top herself, but she does. She just set a very high bar with this book. It is romantic. Like really romantic. Drew writes love poems romantic. Normally that is not my thing, but Drew...Drew makes it work. So so so so good. Seriously I cannot recommend this book enough. Go purchase it. You won't be disappointed.


Available on AmazonNook • KoboiBooks  Goodreads




Synopsis:

There are three things you need to know about Ashley Winston: 1) She has six brothers and they all have beards, 2) She is a reader, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Former beauty queen, Ashley Winston’s preferred coping strategy is escapism. She escaped her Tennessee small town, loathsome father, and six brothers eight years ago. Now she escapes life daily via her Amazon kindle one-click addiction. However, when a family tragedy forces her to return home, Ashley can’t escape the notice of Drew Runous— local Game Warden, bear wrestler, philosopher, and everyone’s favorite guy. Drew’s irksome philosophizing in particular makes Ashley want to run for the skyscrapers, especially since he can’t seem to keep his exasperating opinions— or his soulful poetry, steadfast support, and delightful hands— to himself. Pretty soon the girl who wanted nothing more than the escape of the big city finds she’s lost her heart in small town Tennessee.

This is a full-length novel, can be read as a standalone, and is the fourth book in the 'Knitting in the City' series.




Also in the series (click the title for my review):

Neanderthal Seeks Human available on Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Kobo • Goodreads


Friends Without Benefits available on Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Kobo • Goodreads

Love Hacked available on Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Kobo • Goodreads


Get books 1, 2, 3, and 4 this weekend for only $12! All 4 books will be on sale for $2.99!



About Penny Reid


SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon... boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).

By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

How To Knit a Heart Back Home (Cypress Hollow Yarn #2) by Rachael Herron


How to Knit a Heart Back Home (Cypress Hollow Yarns)

Synopsis:

Lucy Harrison sells books by day and volunteers with the Cypress Hollow fire department by night. Her life is just the way she likes it—full, even-keeled, and smooth—until bad-boy ex-cop Owen Bancroft comes back to town. Lucy has always been fearless, never scared about diving in to help others. When it comes to risking her heart, however, she realizes she's absolutely terrified.

In a small town like Cypress Hollow, everyone knows your business—and there is nowhere to hide. Then Lucy and Owen are thrown together by the discovery of the lost work of local legend, knitting guru Eliza Carpenter. Now Owen, adrift and struggling to redefine himself as a civilian without a badge, will have to learn how to open himself up to life's new possibilities . . . while Lucy decides just how much of herself she's willing to gamble on love.

Review:

How To Knit a Heart Back Home was another great read. This series is a lot of fun and Eliza reminds me of the mayor in Susan Mallery's Fool's Gold series, always fixing people up with what they need when they need it. I love it.

Lucy has always had a crush on bad boy Owen. She loved him back in high school, and they shared one magical kiss only to find Owen left town later that night. She also is afraid of losing everything. She is afraid of a lot of things, but she tries to project this fearless imagine. She volunteer with the fire department because she needs to feel like she could help someone if needed. Her grandmother, who she was very close to, died shortly after collapsing while they were at the beach and Lucy didn't know what to do to help. Since then she has had this need to try and not be afraid, to try and be able to help save someone else.

Owen liked Lucy back in high school, but he didn't have the best home life. His dad was horrible and people in the community always figured he was a bad person too. He moved away when things go to be too bad, just after he kisses Lucy. He remembers that kiss just like she does, but figures she never cared. He is back in town after many years to help care for his mother and figure out what to do with his life. He was a cop, but ended up being shot and now walks with a limp and is not very quick on his feet. He cannot climb a lot of stairs or anything so he is more limited than he used to be and can no longer do the only thing he ever wanted to do.

Owen and Lucy meet saving someone's life. The town overall is not too happy that he is back. Lucy however wants to give him the benefit of the doubt. She has always seen the good in him when other haven't. He rents out the cottage behind her store and they keep getting closer and closer. They both have their issues, but they work it out in the end. Owen feels like he is not good enough for her, he has nothing to offer her now that he is broken.

There were times when Lucy was a bit frustrating. She needs to grow up and move on from the past. She holds onto what happened in high school and doesn't trust Whitney when she tries to help Lucy with her store. She doesn't trust her best friend and her brother and tries to control what they do. Her best friend sleeps with lots of people, and Lucy gets pretty judgmental about that. I liked Lucy over all, but she could come off a bit harsh at times. I liked that she did learn and grow in the book. She did realize how terrible she was being and how everyone else had moved on from high school. She was also really sweet with Owen's mom.

My favorite part of the book was Owen at the end when he went to try and win back Lucy. He was so cute! When he is all this is all I have to give her, it is not much but hopefully she will have me with his tupperware...Oh I loved it. I loved him. He is so good for Lucy and Lucy is so good for him. They are cute and sweet and wonderful together. Loved them. Really a great read.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2

Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Release Day Blitz: Assumption by Aurora Rose Reynolds

Assumptions Release Day Blitz.jpg

Congrats & Happy Release to Aurora Rose Reynolds!  
Assumption is LIVE!

assumption cover.jpg


Synopsis:

as·sump·tion:

a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof

They say when you assume that you make an ass out of you and me. Kenton Mayson learned this lesson firsthand when he made assumptions about Autumn Freeman and the kind of woman she is based on what little information he had. What he finds out is she’s not only beautiful, but also smart, funny, a fighter, and exactly the kind of woman he wants to share his life with. Autumn made assumptions of her own about Kenton, and now he needs to prove her wrong in order to protect her and their future.


Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes: TBD, Goodreads


assumption banner.jpg

ASSUMPTION.jpg



Also the ENTIRE Until Series is AVAILABLE in one box set for ONLY $0.99!! I LOVED these books (my reviews are here: Until November, Until Trevor, Until Lily, and Until Nico)

until series box set cover.jpg

Available on Amazon, Barnes & NobleiTunes, and Goodreads



Author the Author:


Aurora Rose Reynolds is a navy brat who's husband served in the United States Navy. She has lived all over the country but now resides in New York City with her Husband and pet fish. She's married to an alpha male that loves her as much as the men in her books love their women. He gives her over the top inspiration everyday. In her free time she reads, writes and enjoys going to the movies with her husband and cookie. She also enjoys taking mini weekend vacations to nowhere, or spends time at home with friends and family. Last but not least she appreciates everyday and admires it's beauty.





How To Knit a Love Song (Cypress Hollow Yard #1) by Rachael Herron


How to Knit a Love Song: A Cypress Hollow Yarn


Synopsis:

Abigail is more than ready for a change when she inherits a cottage from her beloved mentor, knitting guru Eliza Carpenter. Leaving the oppressive city for the greener pastures of a small California beach town, she intends to turn her cozy little windfall into a knitting shop and spend her days spinning, designing, and purling. But she's not going to be welcomed with open arms by her new neighbor. Eliza's disgruntled nephew, the gorgeous Cade, now owns everything surrounding Abigail's ramshackle new home, and he views this sexy city girl as an unwanted interloper.


But chemistry working overtime is drawing two very different people closer than they ever thought possible. And when the past that Abigail thought she'd left behind comes calling, she'll have to somehow learn to trust her handsome adversary with much more than just her heart.

Review:

How To Knit a Love Song was such an amazing read. I loved Abigail and Cade and oh their story is a great one. By the end you just feel so happy and full of love. Amazing.

Oh Abigail and Cade. This is definitely not a love at first sight story. Abigail shows up at Cade's house so full of hope and happy to have a chance to start again. Cade though is not at all happy to have her  there, especially when he finds out what is in Eliza's will. Cade thought he would get everything after Eliza passed away. After all he has been the one who has been taking care of the farm for years. He is the one who helped Eliza when she needed it. He is not at all happy that Abigail somehow worked her way into owning the cottage behind his house and the land it sits on.

Abigail needed a new start. She had a stalker in San Diego and when her good friend and mentor, Eliza, died she finds she has her chance at a new start. She has been a city girl, but dreams of opening her own knitting shop. Abigail is so sweet. How could anyone not like her? She is a bit naive at times, getting roped into buying some alpacas and a dog and such, but it just makes her that much more endearing. She's trying so hard to set up her shop and not get in Cade's way too much. She knows he doesn't want her there, but they keep getting thrown together. She is kind of fun and accident prone in a cute way. Like she falls out of a tree and hurts her ankle when she is looking for her alpaca. It is just ridiculous and fun. I loved her. She is so good for Cade.

Cade keeps trying to stay away from Abigail. Ever since his mother he hasn't really trusted women. He doesn't think they will stay. He dates lots of women, but once they start getting attached he leaves them. He likes his solitary life, likes being alone on his farm. Well he did until Abigail start infiltrating his home. He does not deal well with change and every time the two of them start getting closer something happens to make him angry and rethink it again and pull away. Cade was really sweet with Abigail, though whenever she brought up something new he would freak out at first. His go to is to get angry, then once he calms down he realizes he was not very nice. He gets scared by his feelings, and how much he comes to care about Abigail. Really he is kind of terrified that she will leave just like his mom did. They do have some communication problems that cause them to take longer before they realize they both want to be together. Through the give and take, the hurt and happiness they eventually manage to figure it out and come together. They were so sweet together and this was just a great read. Loved it.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2

Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads

Monday, August 25, 2014

Blog Tour: Indestructible (Harmony Series #3) by Angela Graham - Review & Excerpt


Indestructible (Harmony Book 3)

Synopsis:

Love. Passion. Respect.

Logan West finally has the one thing he believed unattainable: the fiery woman who challenges, protects, and adores him just as much as she does his young son, Oliver.

After having her world shaken yet again, Cassandra Clarke is ready to move forward, eagerly embracing the beautiful man who has laid claim to her heart. With secrets revealed at every turn, she refuses to lose the only man she’s ever loved.

Not every battle is hers to fight, but she’s never been one to back down. Logan and Oliver are part of her now, and together they are…indestructible.

Book 3 in The Harmony Series with no cliffhanger.

Review:

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Wow. The trilling conclusion of Logan and Cassandra's story. Can I just say I need more! I got to the end and thought no! I need more Cassandra and Logan! I was glad to see Angela Graham is going to be working on a spin off series with some of the other characters which I am looking forward to. I guess I will just have to wait for them to see more of my favorite couples, though it won't be the same. This is a must read if you have enjoyed the other books. It has a lot of drama, but like I knew when going into it Cassandra and Logan stay pretty solid. Natasha can't shake them. I love them! Such a great series.

As with the second book this book picks up right where that one left off, dealing with the aftermath of Kurt. Logan is so great for Cassandra. He does whatever he can to keep her safe and secure. You can just see how much he cares about her. After almost losing her at the end of the first book, winning her back in the second, he is not going to do anything to mess this up. Loved him. He is always so calm and cool and knows everything, and yes his not talking about everything to Cassandra did cause some annoyance on her part, but I still love him.

Cassandra was great in this book. I knew Natasha wouldn't be able to shake her. Cassandra is confident in what they have so nothing Natasha did could change that. She knows Logan doesn't want Natasha and she knows he loves her. It was amazing and so cute seeing Logan, Cassandra, and Oliver as a happy family. I loved seeing Natasha's crazy plans and how Cassandra just ruined them, never reacting the way she had planned. Cassandra was so sweet and kind, even when Natasha was horrible she still tried to be nice to her for Oliver's sake. She really is a sweetheart and Logan is lucky to have her.

As for Natasha? By the end she was seriously delusional and crazy. She really needed help. She was a great villain of the story and I found her humorous at times. She started out as one of those girls who thinks if she can just break up the happy couple the guy will come back to her. I mean without Cassandra in the picture he has to choose her right? I  never understood that thought line. Like there are more than two girls in the world. Just because he is not with the other right now doesn't mean he will take you back, especially when Logan obviously doesn't want anything to do with you. Oh it was fun times. I loved it. Loved how Natasha underestimated Cassandra because of how nice she was. She is nice, but no one messes with her men. My favorite scene has to be when they are all in the room above the bar. Cassandra is amazing in there. Natasha is so crazy! I loved it. Hilarious. So good. Then in the end Natasha of course gets what she deserves. I thought for a  moment the author was going to take the easy way and out and was a little disappointed, but then they did not do that. It was not the obvious easy way to get rid of a problem. Then I realized again why I love this series. It is great. The writing, the story, the characters, love it all. I only wish I had more Cassandra and Logan main character stories to look forward to! One can hope.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2

Available on AmazonAmazon UKBarnes & Noble, and Goodreads


Excerpt:

The waitress looked to Hilary, who was staring past all of us. “I’ll be right back.”

She was up instantly and heading across the bar, where Caleb stood, his eyes on her. I scanned the room, my nerves spiking. Did Logan come with him?

“I don’t see him,” Natasha said.

“What?”

“Logan. I don’t think he’s here.”

“Right. Doesn’t matter. He knows it’s a girls’ night.” I peeked again in the direction of Caleb to find him and Hilary gone.

“Caleb seems like a friendly guy. Good to Oliver, from what I hear,” Natasha said, turning to face me.

The waitress appeared with our drinks, stunning me at how quick she was. “Anything else?” she asked.

“No, thanks.” I lifted my glass and took a sip before turning my attention back to Natasha. “Caleb loves Oliver. He considers him family.”

“I want Oliver to have a lot of good role models in his life, Cassandra. I don’t know much about Caleb, but I do know if he’s close to my son, I’ll be getting to know him better as well.”

I said nothing and took another sip—a bigger one this time, draining nearly half the glass. Hilary would have a real problem with Natasha cozying up to Caleb, even in the interest of Oliver. Hilary wasn’t one to trust easily, and Natasha wasn’t exactly easily trusted.

“I’ve known him most of my life,” I told her. “He’s a good guy. No need to worry.”

“That possessive, irritating, gorgeous man is gonna drive me crazy!” Hilary growled, slipping back into her side of the booth. “Seriously, can you believe him?”

“Is he still here?” I followed her penetrating stare and spotted Caleb watching us as he maneuvered toward the door.

“He’s leaving. Said he only stopped in to pick up some paperwork. I call bullshit! That bouncer called him, and he just had to come and check on me.”

“I think it’s sweet.” I smiled. “And it’s not like he’s standing here hounding you. He left, didn’t he?”

A slow smile brightened her face. “Yeah. Damn it, he is sweet.”

“Or has a guilty conscience. You know, those that cheat worry others will too,” Natasha blurted out.

My head snapped her way, my jaw dropping. I started as she continued as if she hadn’t just slapped Hilary in the face.

“I’m just saying—he’s hot and he’s been around the scene. I’d be careful.”

I shifted my gaze to Hilary, aware she was struggling to keep her claws sheathed.

“Caleb isn’t cheating on me, I assure you.”

Natasha frowned. “I’m sorry. That was a shitty thing for me to say. I didn’t mean it to come out that way."

“Right.” Hilary sipped the juice in front of her.


Check out the other books in this series (click title for my review):




Indulge, Logan's Novella (can be read anytime) Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads


About the Author:

USA Today, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble Bestselling author. 
Angela knew she found her calling in the world of fiction the moment she began pounding away at the keys for her first short story in 2012. With a baby on her shoulder, she wrote for about a year before deciding to try her hand at an actual novel. It was the best decision she ever made and since then she continues to bring characters to life in her free time snuck away from her first role as mother to her three young children.

-Be sure to check out her website at www.loveangelagraham.com

"Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong."
- Ella Fitzgerald

Stay connected by signing up to receive monthly newsletters. These include New Releases, Sales, Excerpts, Teasers, & more...sign up here

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Cora's Heart (Cypress Hollow Yarn #4) by Rachael Herron


Cora's Heart (Cypress Hollow Yarns Book 4)


Synopsis:

From bestselling author, Rachael Herron, comes another funny and sexy romcom set in the sleepy Californian coastal town of Cypress Hollow. 

Cora has been hurt too many times, and by one man in particular . . . Abandoned by her mother and widowed in her mid-twenties, Cora Sylvan has learned the hard way that you should take nothing in life for granted. So everything is planned out to the last degree – from how to run her farm on a shoestring to how to survive a major earthquake. 

Unfortunately, there's nothing in those notes to cover the return of the infuriatingly handsome Mac Wildwood, her husband's cousin, the man she loved and lost. And Mac, it seems, has a secret plan of his own up his sleeve. Cora Sylvan safeguarded everything – but she didn't protect her heart . . . 


Fans of Debbie Macomber and Penny Reid will love this trip into Cypress Hollow, and into love.

Review:

I saw Cora's Heart for free the other day and decided I must read it once I saw "fans of..Penny Reid will love this." Well you know I love Penny Reid, so I had to see if this book would be just as amazing as her books. I did really enjoy Cora's Heart, though it is not as funny as Penny's books. There were a lot of times when I got frustrated with the main characters, but even though I did I still enjoyed it.

Cora has not had the easiest of lives. She was abandoned by her mom when she was young and grew up just wanting that safety and security of a family, a home. She is a widow trying to get by with her small farm, but she just accidentally burned down most of her supplies. All she has ever wanted was safety and security. She keeps a notebook full of what if scenarios. What if there is an earthquake? What if this and that? Anything she can think of, anything that she might have to deal with some day gets put in the book. She is a huge worrier and the notebook lets her gather those worries in one place so they don't overwhelm her.

The same day her barn burns down, Mac, the prodigal son, her husbands cousin, returns to town. Cora, Mac and Logan, her husband, used to be best friends. Cora has always loved Mac, but when she didn't think Mac liked her and Logan showed interest she got together with Logan. This story just breaks my heart in a lot of ways. If only Mac could have vocalized his feelings. If only Cora didn't stay with Logan just to try and have that safety and security of a home, if only things would have been different. Through the book you see Logan and Cora's relationship and how even though Cora didn't really love him like that she tried really hard to make a good, loving home for him. My heart just went out to Cora cause she seems so sweet and kind and kind of fragile.

Mac has always been in love with Cora, but Cora chose his cousin. Since Cora and Logan got together he has stayed away. He just couldn't deal with seeing the two of them together all the time. Cora and Logan were young when they got married, but Cora had gotten pregnant. Without that I honestly think Cora and Mac would have worked things out much sooner. Oh well, this is one of those stories where if they would have been able to share their feelings they wouldn't have had so much hardship to deal with by themselves.

When Mac comes back he still tries to stay away. After all Cora is Logan's. That kept coming up, by both Cora and Mac, how she is Logan's. It made me want to yell at them both like No she is not! She is her own, and besides that Logan is dead! Is she just supposed to give up her happiness because she was once married to him? It was a bit frustrating at times watching these two people who obviously care greatly for the other be so torn up about it. That and when Cora jumps to terrible conclusions about Mac...it just made me think do you even know him at all? And even if he wasn't a terrible person like you first assumed, why would what you think going to make it so you can't be together? I didn't get that or Cora's crazy pushing him away because of it.

The other thing I didn't get in this book? Trixie. They show what happened years ago when they were all in high school. They show when Logan and Cora first get together. I didn't understand, and still don't, why Trixie would push Cora towards the guy she, Trixie, actually likes. Why keep hounding Cora to get with the guy Trixie wants to be with? It didn't make much sense. Wouldn't she really try and get Cora to be with someone else so she could be with the guy she wanted? It was just confusing to me. Then when Cora finds out all the secrets near the end of the book her whole give away everything I have thing didn't make any sense. I could see wanting to do something, but everything she has should not go to someone else. She was Logan's wife. She deserves some of his belongings just as much as anyone else. She just went a little crazy at the end with the Mac conclusions and the fallout when she finds out the truth.

Overall though I loved this book. Even though Cora and Mac and their lack of communication could be frustrating at times, I still loved reading it. They were so sweet together and Cora really could use Mac in her life (you can really see this in the epilogue where you see Mac pushing Cora outside her comfort/safety zone). It took them a while to figure everything out, but they did it. Now off to find more books by this author!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Bloom (Unspoken #5) by Marilyn Grey


Bloom (Unspoken Series Book 5)

Synopsis:

Have you ever wondered how many people would still love you if you were no longer beautiful? Have you ever thought of people who wake up and can't stand the idea of seeing their reflections? Have you ever considered that death may be easier than life?

I never did. Not once. Not until one moment, one mistake, changed my life forever. 

I woke up to beeping machines, hovering faces, and pain like you wouldn't believe. I'm not just talking about my burns either. I'm talking about my heart. 

My name is Sarah Jordan and this is my story. I'm tired of pretending to be perfect. Of painting on a smile when I'm struggling. My story isn't always pretty and easy to read, but it hasn't been easy to live either. I'm opening up. Letting you in. So maybe, just maybe, together we can peel away the masks and find true beauty. True life. Underneath it all. 

Welcome to my heart ... bound within the pages of Bloom.

Book 5 in The Unspoken Series. This is a 10 book series, best when read in order.

A beautiful, successful, sweet personality with the world at her fingertips, Sarah Jordan falls in love with James, a charming man who adores her. But he comes with broken pieces and a daughter he adopted when his brother and sister-in-law died in an accident he feels he could've prevented. When she finally decides to say yes to his many proposals, they are both burned in a campfire accident. After a year of hospital beds and stark lights, Sarah is released to go home with everything but her former beauty. As she recovers, James struggles with regret and guilt as Sarah fights to overcome the depression that comes with a new life so different from the one she loved so much. Her joy and security are tested while budding relationships cleanse wounds they never knew they had.

Review:

So apparently I didn't read the full synopsis before starting Bloom as I didn't realize it was part of a series until I had finished it (and it says it is best when read in order). I don't really feel like I missed anything while I was reading, I was never confused as to what was going on or anything, but apparently you get to know Sarah in prior books. As it was Bloom was an interesting read for me. I loved parts of it, loved the sentiment at parts, but hated parts as well. Sarah was kind of all over the place for me. I cannot imagine what she went through, but even so she annoyed the heck out of me at times. So I loved parts, hated parts, and thought parts were just so so. An odd read.

Sarah and James are in love. When James proposes on a camping trip Sarah says yes and they are going to start their life together. Only things don't work out that way. They are both burned in a terrible accident, Sarah more so than James. Sarah has burns on half her body, including her face. The book picks up after she get released from the hospital and has been just wasting away her life hiding in her room. I get it. I cannot imagine how hard it would be to get back to a normal life after something like that. Not only the physical pain involved, but the way people would react to you now wherever you went. Sarah is used to people looking at her, desiring her. She goes on how she always hated that, but at the same time she just wants to be attractive again. She seems incredibly depressed and like she really needs a therapist or someone to talk to about her issues. She is horrible to everyone in her life, not wanting them to be there for her. James has stuck by her side for this entire time, even though she tries her hardest to push him away. She keeps thinking how she needs to find someone else for him as he deserved better. How could he possibly still want to be with her with the way she looks? Really that was some of what I loved/hated about this book. Sarah was all about her physical appearance. Nothing else mattered. She was ugly now so she would never be able to be happy again. Her poor me attitude got on my nerves quite a bit. I understand it would be hard, but she needs help. I just got tired of listening to it after a while. Her friends, though, had a lot of good thoughts.

"'We understand where you're coming from and I guess we can respect that, but try to see what we see.'
'What? That true beauty is within?' I mocked. 
'No,' he said. 'That you are still the same old Sarah and if you're getting uglier it has nothing to do with your skin.'"

Exactly. She might not be perfect on the outside, but she sure is ugly on the inside now. I felt bad for her, feel for what she is going through, and couldn't understand why she wasn't seeing someone to talk about all of this. Of course Sarah meets her physical therapist and has a crush on him instantly. His fiancee is like the exact opposite of Sarah. Natalie, the fiancee, is all about makeup and clothing and such. She is beautiful, but also kind of shallow. When Vasili, the physical therapist, wants Sarah to meet his niece, Anastasia, Sarah doesn't want to. But wouldn't you know Anastasia has similar burns on her body and instantly makes Sarah feel better about herself. She pretty instantly wants to start living again thanks to little Anastasia. It was a miracle. That is a part I did not like. I can't imagine that seeing a little dying girl with similar burns who is so positive would fix how dark and depressed and horrible Sarah was. I just didn't buy it was that easy for her to want to start living again. Sure after that she slowly comes out of her shell and starts to move on, but it was too easy it seemed.

The other odd thing? James turns into this crazy bad guy suddenly. Sarah keeps trying to push him away and finally she overhears something and has had enough. So then James just says horrible things to her, but then apologized, then horrible things, and on and on. It was odd. So then Sarah has Vasili.V They both seem to like the other, but he has a fiancee. The whole ending, how everything works out perfect for everyone involved, just was too much at times. It was too easy to get from don't want to live Sarah to Sarah in love. I did like how slowly Sarah did take it at the end though. How she was kind of afraid to move forward. It was nice to see, but then eventually that too got to be a bit much for me. It got to be like come on! Do something already! So yeah, overall I had many ups and downs with this books. Lots of exactly! Yes! followed by parts of eye rolling or annoyance. An interesting read.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Billionaire's Secret by Meadow Taylor


The Billionaire's Secrets

Synopsis:

Love on the Rock…

When Chloe Winters answers an advertisement seeking a private tutor for a six-year-old girl, little does she know it means relocating from metropolitan Boston to an isolated mansion on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in Newfoundland. Nor does she realize the little girl's widower father is Gaelan Byrne, a billionaire alpha-male type whose brooding good looks have brought him as much fame as his wealth. But Chloe, shocked by his coldness toward his daughter, vows to remain unmoved by both his fortune and his charisma.

Gaelan Byrne has been dragged to hell and back by women before and is none too happy to discover the matronly retired teacher he hoped to hire turns out to be the beautiful, caring Chloe. But how can he fire her when the daughter he is incapable of loving adores her?

Chloe and Gaelan edge toward one another, and the attraction they feel soon engulfs them with all the intensity of a spring storm. But the secrets Gaelan keeps makes any chance for happiness seem as remote as the windswept cliffs of Newfoundland.


Reminiscent of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, The Billionaire’s Secrets combines classic contemporary romance in the tradition of Kristin Hannah and Nora Roberts with the dramatic Gothic landscape of Atlantic Canada, showing us the true meaning of strength, loss, and what it means to risk everything to find, and keep, true love.

Review:

After reading Falling for Rain I was really excited to read more from this author. I started The Billionaire's Secret and thought oh this is going to be so good! The opening scene where Chloe and Gaelan meet on the road was just great. I loved it. So I thought aright! This is going to be great. Gaelan will be the moody, brooding, grumpy guy and slowly Chloe will melt his heart and they will fall in love and everything will be wonderful. Unfortunately it was not really like that and it went downhill quickly.

So Chloe shows up to tutor Gaelan's daughter. As soon as she sees the daughter she is in love with her and wants to protect her. The daughter also instantly likes Chole and wants her to stay. Gaelan wants her to leave as he doesn't want a young woman as a tutor and he is rather cold and mean to Chole, and to his daughter. But Chloe somehow is still super attracted to Gaelan, and you find that Gaelan is instantly super attracted to her as well. So then everything just got out of control ridiculous and way to fast paced. It was super attraction at first sight and after speaking to each other like twice in a week they are in love. Yep. That easy.

So Gaelan has a lot of heartache in his past which is why he doesn't trust women. His ex was terrible and never cared for their daughter, and since he is good looking and rich other shallow women have tried to worm their way in. Of course this means that he cannot trust any women! So it was a quick read, but the not trusting Chloe, but then finding he can and he loves her and all the drama...it all just happened too quickly. Everything was just too unbelievable for me to get into it. It just seemed to skim over the surface and never went too deep into anything. If this would have been slower paced, if it would have taken longer for Gaelan to warm to Chloe, if everyone didn't have just an instant connection if would have been a good read.

That and by the end the whole not trusting each other or keeping secrets that almost ruin everything kind of annoyed me. I was like okay, did you really have to add in more drama lama's for no reason? It just got to be too much for me. I didn't believe anyone actually cared for anyone else and it was just disappointing. The story needed more, but it was a quick read so that was good. This is the authors first book and while I didn't enjoy it I loved Falling for Rain so much that I will pick up her latest book to see how it is. 

Rating: ★1/2

Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Dream Student by J.J. DiBenedetto


Dream Student (Dream Series, Book 1)


Synopsis:

What would you do if you could see other people’s dreams? If you could watch their hidden fantasies and uncover their deepest, darkest secrets…without them ever knowing?

Sara Barnes is about to find out. She thought that all she had to worry about was final exams, Christmas shopping and deciding whether she likes the cute freshman in the next dorm who’s got a crush on her.

But when she starts seeing dreams that aren’t hers, she learns more than she ever wanted to know about her friends, her classmates…and a strange, terrifying man whose dreams could get Sara killed.

“Dream Student” is the thrilling first installment of the Dreams series.

Review:

Dream Student started out with such potential, but it progressively just got worse and worse for me. I was really excited to start reading it at first, the first few chapters drew me in and made me want to find out what was going on. It quickly became tedious and kind of boring though. Unfortunate.

Sara is a pre-med college student and suddenly she starts being able to see other people's dreams. Not often, usually her roommate or boyfriend, but then they jump to a murderer. It is always the same thing until he kills the current girl and moves on to the next one. An interesting idea, and the dreams were the best part of the book, but it just didn't work for me. Maybe if they would have been a bigger part, and there would have been more dreams that weren't so normal, or just more people's dreams, it would have been more interesting. That and if Sara did something about the dreams, or used them for good, for the first 75% of the book.

So what was the first 75% of the book? Well it was a pretty boring, detailed description of Sara going to school. I swear you were told everything she ate, or didn't eat, or when she forgot to eat. It seemed like every single mealtime was in there. Why? I am not sure. I don't care. That is just one of the over detailed descriptions about her life in this book. There are also way too much detail about what classes she was going to and her study habits and just everything about her life. She is a college kid, finals are coming up, you don't have to detail every hour of her day. I will assume she is studying and going to class and eating sometimes. It was a bit too much.

The other issue with the book? It was almost all telling not showing. I like showing. If you just tell me I don't connect with the characters or what is happening. Sara meets Brian shortly after she sees his dream where he is dreaming of her. I actually liked that scene, liked how Sara described the love at first sight thing. I got it, but then it quickly just was not right for me. I don't know what it was. It was like someone who didn't know what this would be like writing what they think people would want to see or something. It was just off for me. Sara and Brian are both in love right away which was actually fine for me, but some of the thoughts she had about Brian...some of the ways she thought of him were just...I wouldn't want someone to think of me that way. It was almost like she didn't really like him that much at times, but for some reason she felt like she had to be with him. It was odd and I didn't like it. I didn't see the connection because once again we were told not shown. That and sometimes she spoke about herself in a strange way as well. She also got a different personality when all of this started, and she commented on it like why did I say that? I didn't know I wanted to do that until I said it? Odd. I've never spoken like that to anyone before, etc. It was just like she was being controlled by something or someone else, but nothing ever happened with that. It was just the way it was.

One last thing, this book is set in 1989/1990. I am not sure why. Really the only reason I know this is because the date was at the beginning of every chapter. It was just like if you are going to set the book at a certain time then set it in that time. There was only one or two scenes where I thought oh if this were now they would just use their cell phone or something. Basically there was no way to tell this was set in 1989/1990. It was just another thing I found odd.

So the last 25% of the book Sara finally decides to start trying to do something with her dreams. She finally figures out who the killer is (who unfortunately is the guy I figured it would be when you first see him at the beginning of the story) and then instead of going to the police they try and solve the crime themselves! I mean what if the police don't believe them? I get that, but really if it were me I would go to them first. If they did nothing then maybe I would try and stop it myself. But police first. Really when I saw the first girl who was killed and recognized her from my dreams I would have went to them to try and help with the next girl. Even if they didn't believe me I would have tried, and afterwards I would start trying to figure out if I can find a way to figure out who the killer is. I mean you have access to his dreams so maybe you can find something. I wouldn't just try not to think about it and hope it goes away and I don't have to continue seeing girls who are murdered every night. I guess that is just me.

Overall not a very good read. It had so much promise, but it just didn't work for me.

Rating:

Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Blog Tour: Within These Walls by J.L. Berg - Review, Excerpt & Giveaway!




Within These Walls
Synopsis:

Within these walls, he became my solace, my sanctuary and my strength. 

I am not strong. I am just a survivor of circumstance.
Isn’t that what we all do? Survive?

Each of us has our own set of circumstances to muddle through. Mine are just more…complicated. 

Born with a severe heart defect, I’ve seen the inside of a hospital room more than my own bedroom. 

I was drowning, a prisoner to the illness that owned me, until he appeared. He thinks he’s blocked out the world with his tattoos and hard exterior, but I see the real Jude, the one he so desperately wants to forget.

But is he the answer to my prayers or will he break my already damaged heart forever?

My name is Lailah Buchanan, and this is our story of hope, redemption and sacrificing it all for the one you love.


Review:

*Note I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review*

Within These Walls was a good read. I did enjoy the story, but things happened a little too quickly (especially for Jude) for it to be really believable. It was still an enjoyable read.

Lailah has been in and out of the hospital her entire life. She has a heart defect that prevents her from living a normal life. Her mom is super paranoid about anything happening to her so she pretty much just stays in her house when she is not in the hospital. She doesn't go to school (home schooled) or have friends (besides people at the hospital). She has had a really sheltered life, has had many hardships, but she still has such a positive outlook. She tires really hard to stay positive when it would be easy to become depressed or angry.

"My life is not horrible. It is just different, I remind myself"

Jude is just coasting through life. He does not really want to live anymore since his fiance died three years ago. They were on vacation in California and the hospital is the last place he saw her alive. He pretty much lives at the hospital, working as much as he can, and he feels closer to her when he is there. He comes from an affluent family, but after the accident that took his fiance he cut them off. He doesn't have friends or really even talk to anyone. No one knows who he is, and he likes it that way.

When Jude first sees Lailah he is drawn to her. It is pretty cute. He sees her eating a pudding cup with her hands and so he starts sneaking in late at night and leaving them for her. A pudding cup ninja (see excerpt below). Eventually they start talking and hanging out, but Jude does have a hard time with it all. There is a lot of his past mixed up with Lailah's present that he didn't realize. He is still clinging to his dead fiance and hasn't moved on from that, though Lailah makes him smile and laugh at times. Lailah has a list of things she wants to do one day and once Jude finds out about it he tries to help her accomplish some of her goals. Her heart is failing and she needs a transplant, but they don't know if one will be available in time or if their insuarnce company will even pay for it. There is a lot up in the air for her and she doesn't even know how much longer she will be alive. I loved her list (the full list is at the back of the book and really was one of my favorite parts. So sweet and hopeful and fun) and I loved how Jude tried to do everything on it. Or almost everything.

Jude and Lailah do quickly fall in love. I didn't really see it, especially for Jude. He is still so stuck on his fiance I didn't see him being able to move on that quickly. I didn't see him being able to admit that he fell in love so fast. I wish he would have been a little more conflicted, took longer and was harder for him to move on. After three years pining away for her, being a zombie in the hospital, I didn't see him changing so easily. Sure he has issues with it, keeps being nice then pulling away from Lailah, but overall he quickly moved on and fell in love with her.

Overall I enjoyed this story. Lailah was so bright and positive and was great for Jude and I enjoyed all the small things Jude did for Lailah. A good read.

Rating: ★ ★ ★1/2


Available on Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Goodreads

**A portion of the sales during the first week of release will go to a children's heart charity.**


About the Author


J.L. Berg is the USA Today bestselling author of the Ready Series. She is a California native living in the beautiful state of historic Virginia. Married to her high school sweetheart, they have two beautiful girls that drive them batty on a daily basis. When she's not writing, you will find her with her nose stuck in a romance novel, in a yoga studio or devouring anything chocolate. J.L. Berg is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, LLC.





Connect with J.L. Berg


Excerpt:

With one pudding cup snug in my pocket, I was the epitome of stealth.

I slipped through the door quietly, ignoring the fact that I looked like a creepy stalker, and I stepped into the darkened room like I had a purpose.

I did work here, so there could be a dozen reasons for me entering a patient’s room.

Delivering a fudge snack pack was probably not one of them.

Like the many times before, I tried not to linger as I entered the room, but with each passing visit, it became more and more difficult.

The first night I’d decided to do this, I’d quickly done this drop-and-dash routine. I had gone in and out without a second glance.

But then, I’d met her. I’d come to her room and found myself face-to-face with the girl behind my late-night pudding runs. She was shy and timid, her gestures clumsy and unpracticed. She was so different from the polished and sophisticated girls I’d grown up with. Even her name was awkward. It sounded like the classic Eric Clapton song “Layla,” but hers was spelled all wrong.

She had made me curious. I’d suddenly wanted to know what else in this world would make her smile.

Read the first chapter here! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sweet Reckoning (Sweet Evil Trilogy #3) by Wendy Higgins


Sweet Reckoning (Sweet Evil)

Synopsis:

It’s time. 

Evil is running rampant and sweet Anna Whitt is its target. Nobody knows when or how the Dukes will strike, but Anna and her Nephilim allies will do anything necessary to rid the earth of the demons and their oppressive ways.

The stakes are higher than ever, and Anna is determined that the love she feels will be her strength, not a liability. But trying to protect the ones she loves while running for her life and battling demonic forces proves to be perilous—especially as faces are changing and trust is fleeting. When the Duke of Lust sends Anna’s great love, Kaidan Rowe, to work against her, Anna must decide how much she’s prepared to risk.


In the most sensual and fast-paced installment yet, Sweet Reckoning brings all the beloved Neph together one last time to fight for their freedom.

Review:

Man I am sad this series is over. I want more Kaiden and Anna! So Sweet Reckoning is the third and final book in the Sweet Evil Trilogy (though there will be a book from Kai's POV covering all three books so I cannot wait for that to come out!!!). It starts off with everyone having to be really careful to not be noticed doing anything wrong. The Duke's are suspicious of Anna and her friends so they have been watching them closely. They finally have started to let up since for the past months they haven't stepped out of line, but the Duke's are worried that Anna is the one from the prophecy. Obviously they don't want that prophecy to come true as it would be bad news for them so things are a bit tricky.

One of my favorite parts came pretty quick, quicker than I thought it would. I will say that I literally did a happy dance around the room when I got to the part where they figure out how to fool Kai's dad into thinking Anna is not the one that the prophecy is about. I mean it is what I thought they should do anyways, but when it happened so early in the book I was just like YES! I love them! So so good.

So they are able to fool the Duke's for a bit, and try to assemble as many allies as they can, but things come to a head at the end. I will say right after I finished the big showdown I was like yes!! Way to go! Oh no, that means this will be over soon...but then I thought about the big showdown and it was a little not as epic as it could have been. There were some parts, like the sword's roll, which were not really that key of a part. I mean the sword is talked about a lot so I did expect it to play a main roll in the showdown at the end, but it didn't really. Still I did enjoy the book. I was sad when it ended and now I will just have to wait to read Kai's version of events. I cannot wait!!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads