Thursday, April 19, 2018

Seeking Mr. Perfect


Seeking Mr. Perfect (The Jane Austen Pact) by [Youngblood, Jennifer]

I enjoyed this book. Ms. Youngblood does an excellent job of giving the inner workings of her characters depth and authenticity. Both Sierra and Dalton are well fleshed out and strong in their thoughts, opinions, and actions. The side characters all have unique personalities and motivations. The only who comes off a bit shallow and without development across the story is Parker. Perhaps he will get his own story where we can see more growth from him. 

There is plenty for Sierra, Dalton, and others to sort out based on past decisions. A wonderful tangle to unweave one page at a time. Plus I enjoy all the theater references. 

The cover doesn't do the story justice. 

Definitely a clean and wholesome read with believablility. 

Broken trust, broken hearts, and a twist of fate that could change everything.

Sierra McCain has her life figured out with a fabulous job in New York City and a perfect boyfriend who is the modern-day equivalent of Jane Austen's Mr. Darcy. The type of guy Sierra always wanted to find. 

Then, a frantic call from an old friend sends her rushing back to South Carolina where she comes face to face with the very guy she's spent the past seven years trying to forget--Dalton Chandler whose slow, Southern smile unleashes an army of butterflies in her stomach and sends her heart into flips. Under no circumstance can she fall for him again, and she certainly can't tell him her long-kept secret.

Caught between two worlds and two very different men, Sierra must decide which love she'll choose--Mr. Perfect or Mr. Right.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

A Walk in the Woods


A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail (Official Guides to the Appalachian Trail) by [Bryson, Bill]

This is likely Mr. Bryson's most known book. I picked it up for book club.
It is an interesting and informative read regarding his expereiences on the AT. I would be curious to see if he did a follow up so many years later. Not likely.
The first half is better than the second.
I've read other books by him that strike my sense of humor better.

Amazon
Back in America after twenty years in Britain, Bill Bryson decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. The AT offers an astonishing landscape of silent forests and sparkling lakesand to a writer with the comic genius of Bill Bryson, it also provides endless opportunities to witness the majestic silliness of his fellow human beings.

For a start there's the gloriously out-of-shape Stephen Katz, a buddy from Iowa along for the walk. Despite Katz's overwhelming desire to find cozy restaurants, he and Bryson eventually settle into their stride, and while on the trail they meet a bizarre assortment of hilarious characters. But A Walk in the Woods is more than just a laugh-out-loud hike. Bryson's acute eye is a wise witness to this beautiful but fragile trail, and as he tells its fascinating history, he makes a moving plea for the conservation of America's last great wilderness. An adventure, a comedy, and a celebration, A Walk in the Woods has become a modern classic of travel literature.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Accidentally Married (The Married Series Book 1)


Accidentally Married (The Married Series Book 1) by [Lieske, Victorine E.]

This premise is entertaining from the start and the characters were in danger of coming off as comical cartoons save for Ms. Lieske's excellent writing and choice to make them people of depth.

Madison is wonderfully relatable and I liked her spark of spunk. She has a tendency to let her mouth get carried away when her emotions run high. We've all done that. I love the way she helps Jared to loosen up and heal in unexpected ways.

Jared makes the bigger transformation over the course of the book, going from arrogant to adorable in a want-to-throw-something-at-you way.

There's lots of twists and turns for the romantic reader to keep you guessing where the plot is going to go next, besides the obvious trip to the altar mentioned in the blurb.

Well-written and well emoted, this is a clean read that will have you ready to click buy for the next book in the series.

Plus, I love the cover. It's my favorite of the series.


Amazon
From the New York Times best selling author of NOT WHAT SHE SEEMS.

Madison Nichols, aspiring actress, is floundering. Her rent is due and she needs a job. Desperately. After getting a tip about an open position, she rushes to Jameson Technologies and meets CEO Jared Jameson. Unfortunately, due to a misunderstanding, she is put in the awkward position of pretending to be his girlfriend. Not the job she was applying for. And when she finds out Jared lied to her to get what he wanted, she decides to get back at him. In front of his family.

Jared is stunned when Madison announces they are getting married. She pushed her revenge too far. How can he tell them it’s all a lie? And when his sick aunt asks them to be married before she dies, Madison comes up with a hair-brained plan to hire an actor and stage a fake wedding.

What they both don’t know is Jared’s father has found out about the fake wedding. And he’s got his own hair-brained plan.

This is a sweet romance, appropriate for any age.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Fixing the Billionaire (A Clean Billionaire Romance Book 5)


Fixing the Billionaire (A Clean Billionaire Romance Book 5) by [Meyer, Anne-Marie]

With each book, I'm becoming a fan of Ms. Meyer.

Millie and Jospeh are likeable, believeable characters with heartwrenching tales of woe as their backstories. All you want to do is fix both of them so the title is apt for the tale.

There's lots to love about the story and the charaters big and small as well as the setting. The villain is Millie's ex, but even by the end you hope he makes some changes and finds someone to have HEA with. I like Millie's roomy. She's a trip.

Hearts heal. Life continues. Love succeeds.

Clean and dreamy.




Amazon
After getting stood up at her spontaneous, almost Las Vegas wedding, Millie Pruitt has given up on love. After all, men never seem to show up when they were supposed to. Just when she thinks she has everything together, she rear-ends a parked car in front of the building where she works. When Joseph, a mysterious and handsome man, emerges, she can't help but feel drawn to him—especially when he keeps showing up to rescue her.

Billionaire, Joseph Maxwell is trying to atone for his mistakes that he made before his daughter passed away. Leaving behind his privileged life, he changes out silk sheets for dingy motel rooms—all in search of redemption by paying off stranger’s medical bills. When he gets rear-ended by Millie, a sweet and open nurse, he finds himself wanting the very thing he’d convinced himself he didn’t deserve. Happiness.

Fate intervenes and Millie and Joseph find themselves thrown together. When feelings arise and Joseph retreats, they must decide if they can forgive themselves long enough to find true love. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Second Chances: Love in Juniper Ridge (Carver Ranch Book 1)


Second Chances: Love in Juniper Ridge (Carver Ranch Book 1) by [Tullis, Heather, Justesen, Heather]


There's a lot going on in this story. Love, betrayal, trust issues, cute little kid, grandparents, aging parents, small town basketball glory...In short, it's a lot like life, but with a wonderful romance at the heart of it all.

Clean, well-told, witty, and heartfelt, this book is worth the read under a comfy blanket with a handful of your favorite chocolate treat.



Amazon
Karissa thought she knew exactly how her life was going to be, but when her marriage goes down in flames, she has to move home to the family ranch with her young son and start over again.
Marshal Wilmore has had a crush on Karissa since they were teenagers. The timing never seemed to work out for them before. Now that she’s home, he hopes she'll see him through new eyes. When several members of the high school basketball team he coaches are caught in a doping scandal, his job and reputation are on the line. Can he still convince her that he's worthy of her trust?

This book was previously released under the name Heather Justesen.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Secrets of a Charmed Life


Secrets of a Charmed Life by [Meissner, Susan]

This is my first read by Ms. Meissner.

The premise is an interesting choice: sisters separated by the bombings of London in WWII. In fact, the book is based on how our choices carry consequences and how those choices affect those around us.

The majority of the story is told in flashback, with the third part imparted by journal entries.

The characters are well fleshed out with strong motivations. The writing is strong and the read is clean. There are some mature themes, especially as war is involved, though I didn't find it to be overly graphic. Ms. Meissner has a distinct voice that tells the story well.

A good choice for a book club discussion.

Amazon

Current day, Oxford, England. Young American scholar Kendra Van Zant, eager to pursue her vision of a perfect life, interviews Isabel McFarland just when the elderly woman is ready to give up secrets about the war that she has kept for decades...beginning with who she really is. What Kendra receives from Isabel is both a gift and a burden—one that will test her convictions and her heart.

1940s, England. As Hitler wages an unprecedented war against London’s civilian population, hundreds of thousands of children are evacuated to foster homes in the rural countryside. But even as fifteen-year-old Emmy Downtree and her much younger sister Julia find refuge in a charming Cotswold cottage, Emmy’s burning ambition to return to the city and apprentice with a fashion designer pits her against Julia’s profound need for her sister’s presence. Acting at cross purposes just as the Luftwaffe rains down its terrible destruction, the sisters are cruelly separated, and their lives are transformed...

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Swing Vote


Swing Vote: Safe Harbors #3 by [Weaver, Donna K.]

I'm a long time fan of Ms. Weaver. I love how she has spun stories off of the original A Change of Plans so we can have the joy of knowing in depth more of her characters.

Marc's story faces many issues: politics, PTSD, loss of loved ones, entrepreneurship, and love. There's a vulnerability to Marc and McKenzie that's beautiful to behold and wonderful to read as they face work out their issues to come together.

There's emotion, plot twists, rivalry, antics, rescue operations, respect for veterans and active duty military. Ms. Weaver is a master at storytelling that goes beyond a superficial romance. Her characters are likable because of their flaws.

I'll happily buy the next installment in this series.

Amazon

An IED blew up more than Marc North's career as a Cobra pilot—it shattered his plans for marriage. After being dumped by his girlfriend and spending more than a year in rehab, all he wants is to fly again. He jumps at the chance to partner with a combat buddy in a helicopter sightseeing business. Now in a boomtown in southern Utah, Marc gets caught up with local politics. And the local election official.

At work, McKenzie Terkildsen struggles to keep control of a dangerously contentious election. At home, she shares the challenge of raising younger half-brothers with her older step-brother. He complicates things by inviting a Marine buddy to stay with them while the two build a business together. As a council member takes liberty with facts and stirs the already caustic election brew, the last thing McKenzie needs is one more guy messing up her life—or her heart.