Friday, August 26, 2016

Harvest Moon


Harvest Moon (Blue Moon Lake Book 2) by [Struth, Sharon]

Blue Moon Lake 2: Harvest Moon by Sharon Struth is my first read by this author.

I didn't read the first book in the series, but didn't feel behind in any way. It seems the books can be read as stand alones, which is great because you can always go back and pick up the rest should you accidentally start in the middle like I did.

The characters are likeable with their own issues to work out. A plot twist is revealed in the blurb, and the reader can quickly figure out what is going on before the characters do. The setting is pleasant with the desire to know the stories of the side characters better.

The book does deal with a heavy women's issue: rape and the long term effects on a woman who doesn't receive help to work through it and live a healthy fulfilled life. The topic is addressed with sensitivity.

Heads up: the characters have off page sex. Also, scenes leading up to it, nearly went past the tipping point of steam for me, especially the scene where Veronica is topless.

Overall, the story is well done and worth reading.


Amazon

Getting past the librarian’s guard…Trent Jamieson isn’t one for virtual romance, but there’s something about the intriguing woman he meets on the Internet he can’t resist. Then the small town bachelor discovers the mystery woman who shares her secrets with him online is the laced-up librarian in his self-defense class! Veronica Sussingham may just be his toughest student yet. Because how can he show the vulnerable beauty that some men are worth letting your guard down for?

Veronica returned to her hometown seeking shelter for her shattered spirit. The last thing she needs is a blue-eyed charmer who wants to show her how to live—and love—again. Then she discovers Trent is not just another admirer, but a man who knows her deepest secrets. Now Veronica must choose between running from her past—or finding future happiness with the kind of man she swore she’d never fall for….

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Accidentally Me


Accidentally Me is my first read by Kim Karras.

It's a YA/New Adult coming of age story. Sabrina is off to her first year of college. But will it be Caltech (her dream) or Boise State (her parent's practical pick)?

Lots of family dynamics at play in the story. Getting into them would take too long to review, but they move the story forward. The pacing is consistent.

The story is clean with a youthful vibe. Sabrina is a bit shallow and self involved at the beginning, which made her slightly unlikeable. However, this was intentionally done to give her lots of room for development and self improvement. She needs to grow up! And tell the truth. Her biggest mistakes: hiring a stalker and lieing to her family. Fortunately, after several poor judgements on her part, she comes into her own and redeems herself.

I'd like to read a book about her experience in college. I think there is more growing for Sabrina to do and I'd like to see more Joe.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon

WANTED: Pretend stalker. No experience required. Tall, dark, and quirky preferred. Sabrina is desperate to go to her dream college, but her parents want her to stay close to home. If she wants to maintain her perfect child image, Sabrina must break rules that even her rebel sister keeps . . .









Thursday, August 18, 2016

Men Like This


Men Like This (The Long Shot Romance) by [Smith, Roxanne]

Men Like This is my first read by Roxanne Smith.

The premise is pretty entertaining. Horror writer meets famous Brit actor and how their paths recross throwing them in an unusual situation of faking a relationship, which of course leads to blurred lines and deep feelings.

The story is well crafted with strong emotional arcs for the characters. Side characters are well developed. Pacing is quick, moving the story and relationship along. Characters have the right balance of flaws and redeemable qualities to make the story believeable.

It has an edgy witty vibe.
Fair warning, the characters have off page sex, where it belongs IMO. Passionate kissing.

The cover is an excellent representation of the book.

Amazon

Can she trust a man who pretends for a living?

Horror author Quinn Buzzly knows all about the dark side, but when she meets actor Jack Decker, she’s moved to explore something completely different—at least on paper. With his sexy good looks, intriguing manner, and charming Irish-tinged English accent, Jack is the perfect model for her next hero. Quinn decides to spend one year in London writing a historical romance inspired by him. Until real life butts in…

Jack’s jealous ex-fiancĂ©e sparks a media storm when she accuses him and Quinn of having an affair. But Jack knows how to play this game. At his insistence, Quinn agrees to go along with the faux romance until the chatter subsides. Then they’ll stage a quiet breakup and go their separate ways. Yet Jack is a shameless—and irresistibly convincing—flirt, and Quinn has to remind herself it’s an act. Or is it? If Jack means business, he’ll have to find the words to convince a wordsmith that their love is the real thing…

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Hohenstein


Hohenstein by [Lawson, Didi]

Hohenstein is my first read by Didi Lawson and appears to be her debut novel.

She has set the bar high with this period love story of an aristocrat woman who wishes to throw off the bindings of her class and marry below her so she can have more freedom. Interesting scenario. Further complicated by the aristocrat she's attracted to and the middle class doctor she forms a friendship with. But the overriding difficulty of the tale is her determination to save her ancestral home without being able to access her inheiritance.

To be honest, I couldn't pinpoint the exact time period of the story. There were hints with the mention of certain European cars, but not being versed in that area I couldn't say. I set the story in my imaginiation in the early 1900's, pre WWI.

The characters have depth and strong emotional arcs. The story is well crafted and well told, and obviously well researched. Pacing is consistent. Wonderful side characters.

If a period romance of the sweet, clean, and wholesome variety is what you're after, then you've found the right book.

I look forward to reading more of Ms. Lawson's novels and hope she won't take too long to delight her new fans with the next one.

Amazon

Anything but a typical aristocrat, young Baroness Marie-Louise is not afraid to roll up her sleeves and get to work, especially when it comes to saving her ancestral estate. Determined to shake loose the shackles of propriety and gain the warm family life her upbringing denied her, she has vowed to marry a man of lower rank. Blue-bloods need not apply.

But when she is forced to turn to a childhood friend for assistance, the handsome, debonair count may prove a temptation impossible to resist. Marie-Louise soon finds herself caught between the comfort of a middle-class doctor and the passion of a nobleman, with the future of her childhood home at stake.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Mix 'N Match



Mix 'N Match is the next novel in Lindzee Armstrong's collection of "Match" books and it doesn't disappoint!

I've grown used to the high level of sweet/clean/wholesome romance Ms. Armstrong dishes out and Mix 'N Match meets the bar.

Zoey and Mitch are so opposite,but as they run a crazy gauntlet of circumstances, in the name of friendship, what once drove them apart seems to be the same attributes that bring them together. This story is all about loving a person for who they are and not trying to change them into a version of themselves you think you'd prefer. A good lesson for all.

I loved their chemistry, the locations (who doesn't love Disneyland and Paris?), and more importantly their self introspection. Being honest with oneself is a hard lesson. Zoey and Mitch will tug at your heartstrings and have you rooting all the way to the end for them.

Be sure and grab all her books for a binge read!

Amazon

Fire and ice aren't meant to mix. For Zoey Carlson, being maid of honor is more than she bargained for. The groom is a billionaire, the bride is hounded by the press, and the super-secret wedding is across the ocean in France. Zoey will do anything to keep away the media—even spend two weeks wedding planning in Paris with Mitch, the uptight best man who drives her crazy. For Mitch, keeping the press away is about more than making sure his best friend has a perfect wedding—it’s his job. And as far as he’s concerned, chaotic and spontaneous Zoey is an attractive liability. When a reporter follows them to France, Zoey and Mitch must work together to make their best friends’ wedding day paparazzi-free while fighting their growing attraction to each other. Can these two opposites admit they're not so different and build a life together?



Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Inventor's Secret



I was first introduced to Mr. Morris's writing when I read the third book in this wonderful trilogy. Naturally, I wanted to go back to the beginning to see where and how this marvelous tale started and get to know the characters from the start.

I adore Abby. So many of us are Abbys in a sea of Dericks and Jacquelines. We all feel left out, not good enough, not smart enough, not fast enough, etc. But, as Abby's grandfather (another adorable character) points out, Abby has heart and that often proves more valuable than genius and many other desirable qualities found in the student body at Cragbridge Hall. Her character arc is the greatest.

The adventure/mystery is quite thrilling. Set in the future, it's reminiscent of X-men to me. The Bridge, the avatars, The Chair, all help to create a different reality. There is inventive technology, secrets, and the importance of going through trials on behalf of the ones we love. There are excellent lessons here for children, tweens, teens, and adults. Don't miss them or the excellent retelling of history and portrayal of historical figures.

In fact, I have my own children reading them. Hopefully the lessons sink in along with the adventure. They are tearing through them at rapid speed and thankfully I have all three books at the ready. They can't put them down!

Some violence and use of guns for the parents out there. Nothing they haven't seen in a live action Disney film or Star Wars.

On to the next one!

Amazon

Abby and Derick have been accepted to the most prestigious secondary school in the world Cragbridge Hall. Due to the inventions of their grandfather, Oscar Cragbridge, they will be able to experience history in 3D, use their minds to literally project visual interpretations of classic literature, and become animal avatars for zoology. But when their grandfather and parents go missing, Abby and Derick must follow clues Oscar left for them that will reveal a dangerous secret. Along the way, they discover there is much more to one of their grandfather s inventions than anyone has ever dreamed. Saving their family will take all of Derick s mind and Abby s heart as they come face to face with a crazed scientist who desperately seeks to change the past. If they fail, the world past and future will never be the same. This book is a page-turning, time-travel adventure that teaches powerful lessons about choice and consequence, believing you can do hard things, and valuing your history.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Diamond Rings are Deadly Things



This book is the first in the Wedding Planner Mystery Series by Rachelle Christensen.

Overall, I liked the book. Adri, Lorea, Luke, and all the cast are well designed, well crafted, and well executed. Sylvia is a pill and a half, intentionally so. Love characters like that.

Everyone loves a wedding planner, so that aspect brings lots of fun to this suspense. I appreciated the inclusion of the DIY crafts, though I would never attempt them as I'm not a crafty girl.

My only wish was that Adri had figured out who was behind what before I did.

Looking forward to reading the next book and seeing how things turn out.

Amazon

Adrielle Pyper knows how to plan a wedding, and she's especially good at pleasing bridezillas. But when her biggest client and best friend is murdered just three days before the wedding, Adri's world falls apart. She moves to the resort town of Sun Valley, Idaho, and starts from scratch. Thanks to Adri's impeccable taste and unique style, she lands two celebrity clients, and her business seems headed for success—until someone vandalizes the specialty wedding dresses she imported from overseas. Adri must race to uncover the secret hidden within the yards of satin and lace before she becomes the next victim. 
With a delightful blend of mystery, toe-curling kisses, humor, and spine-tingling thrills, Diamond Rings are Deadly Things will keep you turning pages long into the night.