Blog Tour, Book Reviews

Blog tour and review: The Girl in the Pink Raincoat, by Alrene Hughes

The Girl in the Pink Raincoat,

by Alrene Hughes

Publication: Head of Zeus; May 1, 2019

Book Cover

About the book:

In wartime, it takes courage to follow your heart.

Manchester, 1939.

Everyone hated the heat and the deafening noise, but for Gracie, the worst thing was the smell of chemicals that turned her stomach every morning when she arrived at the Rosenberg Raincoats factory.

Gracie is a girl on the factory floor. Jacob is the boss’s charismatic nephew. When they fall in love, it seems as if the whole world is against them – especially Charlie Nuttall, who also works at the factory and has always wanted Gracie for himself.

But worse is to come when Jacob disappears and Gracie is devastated, vowing to find him. Can she solve the mystery of his whereabouts? Gracie will need all her strength and courage to find a happy ending.

**My Review**

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Alrene Hughes’ The Girl in the Pink Raincoat! Set at the start of World War II, this novel is about a young woman Gracie, employed at Rosenberg Raincoat Factory. Despite her mother Sarah’s warnings, Gracie falls for Jacob Rosenberg, the nephew of the factory owner, and they start planning a life together. However, Jacob suddenly disappears as things start to change and fall apart in Gracie’s heart, her home, and in Manchester.  

I honestly don’t know why I don’t read more historical fiction, because it seems that whenever I do, I absolutely love it! It took me a while to get started on this one and I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it, but as soon as the book started and I caught a glimpse of the beautiful and spunky Gracie, I was hooked. The first third or so of the novel focuses on Gracie’s life living with her mother, her friendship with Maria, and the blossoming attraction between her and Jacob, then leading into the declaration of war and the many changes in her life after that.

I hope this does not offend anyone, but I struggled to connect with and like Jacob. Something made me wonder about his reliability and honesty regarding Gracie, which is explained as the novel goes on. Along with that, I found myself worried and frustrated at and for Gracie at times, thinking that she was blowing their feelings for one another out of proportion. Eventually, I got the answers I needed to the questions I had about Jacob, making this novel even more heartbreaking than it already was.

I loved Gracie’s mother as much as I loved Gracie herself. Sarah had been raising Gracie alone since her husband David died and was employed at a hotel as a housekeeper and sometimes, a waitress. It doesn’t take long to realize that Sarah was holding on to painful memories from her younger days, and I loved watching her character start to transform as Martin was introduced into the story. 

Alan turned out to be an enormous surprise to me, as I adored him from the beginning. I was impressed with Hughes’ character development overall, but Alan is one of the characters from this novel that truly highlight her characterization skills. There were so many unexpected layers to him, just as with Sarah and Martin, and the writing of these characters blew me away. 

And of course, there is Sam.  Ahhh, Sam, where can I find one of you? I loved Sam and adored the friendship that he and Gracie built. He allowed her to be her true self and shine, as well as, became someone that she could trust when she didn’t feel she had anyone left. 

Haven’t said much about the plot, have I? Well, that’s because I’m not sure how to do it without spoilers. However, I can say that this is a beautiful and powerful novel not only about a young woman and a first love, but about the impact of war, the hurt of secrets, and the wonder of chasing one’s true dreams. The Girl in the Pink Raincoat will stay happily in my mind for quite some time. This novel exceeded all expectations, surprised me, and had my emotions all over the place. I think my favorite part was the ending, which means you’ll have to read the book to figure out what that means! An outstanding novel that I highly recommend!

*Thanks so much to Head of Zeus and the author for providing this copy in exchange for my honest review!

Buy links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2HU9E4V

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2HKJRN5

iBooks: https://apple.co/2TEXaQO

Google Play: https://bit.ly/2YqUREC

Alrene Hughes

About the author:

Alrene Hughes grew up in Belfast and has lived in Manchester for most of her adult life. She worked for British Telecom and the BBC before training as an English teacher. After teaching for twenty years, she retired and now writes full-time.

Follow Alrene:  

Facebook: @alrenehugheswriter

Twitter: @alrenehughes

 

Follow Head of Zeus:

Website: www.headofzeus.com

Twitter: @HoZ_Books

Facebook: @headofzeus

The Girl in the Pink Raincoat poster 1

The Girl in the Pink Raincoat poster 2

 

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Book Review: The Charmer in Chaps (The Princes of Texas Book 1), by Julia London

The Charmer in Chaps (The Princes of Texas Book 1),

by Julia London

Publication: Berkley (May 7, 2019)

charmer in chapsAbout the book:

A Texas Prince Meets His Match…

Cimarron County knows the youngest son of the fabled Prince family as a womanizing hell-raiser, but Luca has changed and he intends to prove it. There’s just one problem—a woman with sparkling eyes and more fight than a barnyard cat.

After a childhood of living in foster homes, Ella Kendall has exactly three things to her name: A dog, a pig, and the rundown house she just inherited. Luca may not remember her from high school, but she definitely remembers him. He is as seductive as he was then, but Ella isn’t about to fall for his flirtingShe recognizes a playboy cowboy when she sees one.

Luca knows Ella has learned the hard way to trust no one but herself. Yet the closer he gets to Ella, the more he wants to be the only one she leans on. Because Ella is the only woman for him, and he wants to be the man who finally gives her the home she truly deserves.

**My Review**

I am a newbie to Julia London, but no more! I absolutely loved this book! The Charmer in Chaps is hilarious (Luca’s mother and grandmother especially), honest, sexy, and romantic. Regardless of how things were growing up, we all had that one guy that was our vision of perfection, right? Twelve years after Luca randomly kisses Ella at prom, they meet again when she moves back home to inherit her grandmother’s crumbling house. She snubs him at first, mortified that he doesn’t remember her, but once he realizes she’s not falling at his feet like other women, he’s a goner and finds himself sharing more with her than he ever imagined.

I’m going to start with the only thing I didn’t like about this book – Ella’s oldest friend and fellow foster child, Stacy. I’ve thought about this a lot during and after reading but honestly, she had no redeeming qualities, brought Ella down, and was just awful. I tried to put myself in her shoes regarding the foster care life, but being a child of a parent that grew up in foster care, I don’t buy it. She was just a shitty person. Selfish, immature, killer of joy, thief, etc… Shall I go on? No.

Moving on, besides Stacy, I loved every other character. Even the horrible Sherriff, Blake, was a well-written character, despite his sleaze factor. Ella was amazing, as was Luca, and as I stated before, Luca’s mother and grandmother were fantastic! London’s realistic characterization was fabulous and left me longing to lounge around the tombstone with the mom and Grandma!

But I can’t help but saying that one of the things I loved most was Ella’s random animals that ended up at her house, followed her, etc. I mean, I LOVED this part of the story!

So many important issues were covered in this book ranging from foster care to environmental concerns to dyslexia to death. I applaud Julia London for tackling such difficult issues with grace, respect, and above all – amazing humor! I am truly overwhelmed at the incredible balance within this novel. It’s hilarious, sexy, frustrating, and socially relevant all at once.

I adored The Charmer in Chaps and hate that I didn’t get to this one sooner, however, it comes out next month and is certainly not a book to miss. This novel made me laugh, made me crazy, and made my heart swoon all at once. This is a must-read for anyone that loves romance, family drama, overcoming insecurities, and especially, anyone that has ever lived in a fixer-upper.

Julia London, I am now your biggest fan!

*Many thanks to Berkley and Netgalley for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest review!

Pre-Order The Charmer in Chaps!

Blog Tour, Book Reviews

Blog tour & review: My Husband’s Wives, by Faith Hogan

My Husband’s Wives,

by Faith Hogan

Publication: Aria; April 4, 2019

Book cover

About the book:

Is it better to have loved and lost, then never to have loved?

Paul Starr, Ireland’s leading cardiologist, has died in a car crash with a pregnant young woman by his side. A woman who is not his wife.

Evie, Grace, and Annalise never thought they’d meet, but now they have to uncover the truth of their pasts. And suddenly they find themselves united by a man they never really knew at all.

As these women begin to form unlikely friendships they discover that Paul’s death could prove to be the catalyst they needed to become the people they always wanted to be…

**My Review**

It is with my pleasure that I get to share my review of Faith Hogan’s latest in paperback, My Husband’s Wives! This book is one part the worst nightmare and one part blessing – and I truly loved it. The main cast of characters is cardiologist Paul Starr, his first wife, Evie, his second wife, Grace, and his third wife, Annalise. However, when Paul is killed in a car crash, a fourth woman comes into the picture, the young and pregnant Kasia. Before you dismiss this as another book about a man cheating on the woman he supposedly “loves,” know that there is so much more to this novel than just Paul’s indiscretions, or I guess I should say, his inability to find long-term contentment with one woman.

I will admit that I struggled with this one initially as I attempted to decipher who was who and what each person’s true intentions were. As I stated previously, Evie was Paul’s first wife and they each claimed that it was love at first sight for each of them. Yet, years later Paul and Grace meet and fall in love and have a daughter. Years into their marriage, things take a sharp decline, leading up to Paul and Annalise falling in love, having children, and getting married. Annalise is Paul’s wife at the time of his death, although they are separated, then there’s the issue of the other woman in the vehicle with him, Kasia, and whether they were romantically involved. 

However, one consistent theme became clear early on in the novel and continued to the end – Paul was an ass. I won’t get into all of the details of his parting ways with one wife and moving onto another, etc., but he refused to let anyone move on after him. Paul’s character was a textbook example of a narcissist man that needs love and attention from as many people as possible. Furthermore, he continued to be a constant presence in their lives in order to maintain the flow of ego-stroking needed in order to feel like a man. But, the clever one that he was, he masked this behavior by coming by the house to fix a sink, or take care of the lawn, visits with children, etc. 

The one positive thing about Paul is that he brought Evie, Grace, Annalise, and Kasia together. Each of these women had experienced highs and lows throughout life both personally and professionally, but as they were forced together after Paul’s death and their relationships grew, so did each woman individually. And that is where the light bulbs begin to go off above each of their heads! After spending so much time loving and taking care of Paul, watching Paul move on with someone else, and then mourning Paul’s death, these women found that life went on without this man and that finally, they had the chance to truly look at themselves and the lives they wanted, separate from Paul and what each of them had been for him. 

Maybe not to everyone, but to me and countless others that I know, a family does not have to be genetic relatives. We have the beauty of building our families in a way that represents what we want and need from others, as well as, what we want and are able to give. Granted, we may have family out there that we would prefer not to have, but the family that you spend time with, support, and love doesn’t have to be someone technically related to you. The beauty of this novel was not only the woman learning to become their own selves, but also learning that their unusual, blended family was the family that they never knew they wanted or needed. 

My Husband’s Wives is certainly a character-driven novel but there is plenty of depth and structure to the plot to avoid making you feel overwhelmed with mundane details about everyone while reading. There were some surprises throughout the plot and certainly some twists and turns, but I would consider this more of a steady-paced novel than an edge-of-your-seat read. 

My only real issue with the novel is the time frames. There were times I felt like Evie’s character was 80 years old and other times maybe in her 50’s. And I remained confused about Grace’s age and the length of time between when she met Paul and when the book ended. Towards the end of the novel, I’m thinking Grace is in her 60’s but then there was her crush Jake who was in his late 30’s. It was just a bit confusing to me. 

Enough with my rambling! My Husband’s Wives is an engaging novel that evokes a variety of emotions while reading. I loved the themes and the characters, I just hope any younger woman out there reading this will find this one as an example of what not to do concerning men and relationships. 

*Thanks to Aria and the author for providing this copy in exchange for my honest review!

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2H1j6DM

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2NMQdfm

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2TBnv6A

iBooks: https://apple.co/2Ut8y3i

About the author

Faith Hogan

Faith lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, four children, and two very fussy cats. She has an Hons Degree in English Literature and Psychology, has worked as a fashion model and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector.

Follow Faith:   

Twitter: @GerHogan

Facebook: @faithhoganauthor

Follow Aria

Website: www.ariafiction.com

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Facebook: @ariafiction

Instagram: @ariafiction

My Husband's Wives blog tour 1

My Husband's Wives blog tour 2

 

 

Uncategorized

Book Review: Hot Lap (Arkadia Fast), by Leslie Scott

Hot Lap (Arkadia Fast),

by Leslie Scott

Publication: The Wild Rose Press, Inc (March 6, 2019)

hot lap

 

About the book:

Starting a new life isn’t easy when the skeletons locked in her closet are the notorious town drunk for a father and a haunted past. But, Hadley Morgan isn’t one to shy away from second chances or giving them either.

When a young, single father wrapped up in an octane fueled package takes particular interest in her, she begins to dream. But well-known drag racer Aiden Casey is also her boss, making her hesitate to grab at her chance at happiness.

Will her secrets shatter their chance at love or will his past come back to destroy both of them?

 

**My Review**

First of all, let me begin by apologizing to Leslie Scott for just now getting to this amazing, sexy, exciting, and romantic read! I was thrilled to read and review this for her, however, I am becoming more scatter-brained by the day as far as keeping up with my TBR and review dates!

Anyway, this book is about the ultra sexy, romantic, masculine specimen called Aiden and a little crush that develops between his employee/tenant/sister’s best friend, Hadley. Recently divorced Aiden has two adorable babies, Logan and Molly, as well as, emotional baggage from his ex-wife and the death of a friend. Hadley has spent a life of mostly turmoil, trying to re-invent herself separate from her alcoholic father that forever changed her life years ago. When one day, out of the blue, she gets up the nerve to be a bit flirty and Aiden flirts right back, things quickly change between the two of them. However, both of their pasts come back to haunt them and test how they really feel and how committed they truly are.

Never have I ever read a book of any genre that was about racing, specifically, street racing. Who knew that I would like it so much? So, I must say that the bulk of my enjoyment revolved around the main characters, their romance, challenges, etc. But damn if the racing parts weren’t exciting too! Unfortunately, I have not read The Finish Line, which was the first in this Arkadia series, nor had I read anything by Leslie Scott, but now I’m completely hooked. 

Besides the excitement, drama, steamy scenes, and so forth – here is what I loved about this book… First and foremost, it was completely addictive from the first word to the last. I carried my iPad around while I was doing laundry and feeding the dogs because I could not put it down.

Secondly, for a fairly new author, Leslie Scott is a master of imagery. Whether it involved setting, characters, sights, sounds, smells, or anything in between, the author propelled me into the story making me feel as if I were there experiencing it all myself, rather than reading about it. 

Lastly (though not really because I loved a million things), was the beautiful portrayal of the themes involving love, friendship, lack of judgment regarding our pasts and/or family, and most of all – family does not have to be genetic. We have the amazing opportunity to love and be loved by anyone, whether blood-related or not.

Hot Lap was beyond my expectations and I so regret not reading it earlier. Aiden, Hadley, their family, and their children will be on my mind for days. What a fabulous book! 

*Thanks to Leslie Scott for providing this review copy in exchange for my honest review!

Purchase Hot Lap on Amazon!

About the Author

Leslie spends most days attempting to wrangle the voices in her head and often wishes she could clone herself so that their stories get told faster. She loves words, romance, and characters that feel like family and spends almost all of her free time with her own family; including a boisterous eleven-year-old that she homeschools and an assorted cast of rescue pets. She lives her own happily ever after with her soul mate and best friend in the northern part of Alabama and hopes you enjoy reading her stories as much as she enjoys writing them.

Leslie Scott on the internet:

Website:  http://lesliescottromance.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lesliescottwrites/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/leslieSwrites

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lesliescottwrites/

Youtube Playlists: http://bit.ly/2O6IDea

Excerpts

I had to force my gaze out the window. Private conversations in a confined space with Aiden meant thinking way too much about how long it had been since I’d been intimate with anyone. Not to mention how nice the warmth of his hand had been on my skin. Even if the touch was fleeting.

“For almost sex, it wasn’t half bad.” I tried to make light of the situation and failed.

Aiden’s ocean colored gaze caught mine. Whatever good humor he’d had before had vanished. The air grew thick and hard to breathe as he looked right through me.

He stripped me bare. If he could do that with such ease, I was way out of my league. No man I’d ever met sent me reeling so easily.

“For almost sex, Hadley, I can do way better than that.”

“Oh, wow.” I swallowed a mouthful of air.

“All you have to do is say the word”—he wheeled the truck into what would now be my driveway—“and I’ll prove it to you.”

Aiden obliged me everything, letting me do as I wished. I gave to him, anything to erase the pain and worry etched on his face.

“Hadley.” When it was over, Aiden shook my tangled hair free from his fingers and pulled me close.

“Never”—he whispered in the dark, hands stroking my back—“have you been more beautiful to me than you are right now.”

“You can hardly see me,” I whispered, his breath warm against my mouth.

His gaze caught mine and held. The sorrow gone from his face. “I always see you.” 

 

 

 

Blog Tour, Book Reviews

Release tour & review: Two For Holding (425 Madison Avenue Book 4), by Kay Gordon

RELEASE TOUR FOR TWO FOR HOLDING by Kay Gordon
 

 

Savannah Callaway has a wonderful life with her amazing son and a great career. Hockey star Porter Hamilton was living his best life on the ice. They both thought life couldn’t get any sweeter until one fateful day when one puck over the glass set everything in motion. Fans of sports romance will find themselves cheering as Sav and Hammy navigate their new life together. The fourth book in the highly adored 425 Madison series is now live! Read TWO FOR HOLDING by Kay Gordon today.

 

Only on Amazon + Read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited

 


About Two For Holding

 

Savannah
I didn’t think I was missing anything. I had my son, a great career, and a home that I’d made for both of us. One puck over the glass at a hockey game made me realize I wanted more. The larger-than-life hockey player inserted himself into our world and I never wanted to let him go.

The thing is, I don’t know if I’m strong enough to keep him.

Porter
My home was on the ice, with a stick in my hand and a puck on my tape. It took one little boy with a toothless smile and his spitfire mother to change all that. I wanted them to be my home and I was willing to take all the penalties necessary to make it happen.

Now I just have to convince her that we can handle it all together.

Melding three lives into one isn’t as easy as it seems, especially with the traveling, the media, and the insecurities. Savannah and Porter have to decide whether to use the breakaway to head to the goal or take a seat on the bench.
After all, 425 Madison Avenue is the perfect place to fall in love.

*Each story is completely standalone.

**My Review**

Welcome to my stop on the tour for the latest in the 425 Madison series, Two For Holding! Not sure what else to say except that this has been the absolute best novel in this series!

Just kidding, as far as nothing else to say, but hands down this is the best book so far! Why did I love it so much? First, the characters! They are all perfect, yet realistic. Imagine finally meeting your knight in shining armor while in jeans and a t-shirt… Get my drift?

I am new to Kay Gordon’s writing but she blew me away with her characterization, as well as, her perfect balance of romance and real-life. When nurse and single-mother Savannah meets famous hockey player Porter, you aren’t really sure how things will go. But he proves himself again and again.

The star of this novel, however, was Savannah’s young son Logan. He reminded me so much of my baby (that is now 20 years old) with his sweet yet mature demeanor. And when Porter fell in love with little Logan, my heart was officially stolen! 

The dark horse, in a positive way, was Theo. I’m hoping, crossing my fingers, and sending up prayers that he will get his own 425 Madison story, but even if he doesn’t, I loved him nonetheless. 

This is the best feel-good book that I have read in a while and cannot recommend it enough! There are a few mentions regarding previous characters but this is absolutely a stand-alone so take a chance on this one!

Excerpt
Copyright @ 2019 Kay Gordon

 

Hamilton was spelled out across the back, right above his number. A grey C was on the front, right above the left breast, and I knew right away it would fit me. Also in the bag was a matching jersey, although quite a bit smaller, and I felt my heart pounding in my chest.
Porter Hamilton was surprising me at every turn.
Moving to my feet, I tugged off the sweatshirt I had on and pulled the jersey over my head. A slight thrill went up my spine at the thought of wearing his name on my back. I turned to look at my friends and held my arms out.
“How does it look?”
Holly gave me a thumb’s up while John nodded his head in approval.
“You’re a real hockey girlfriend now.”
I rolled my eyes and took my seat when our food and drinks showed up. I’d just finished off a hotdog when a slew of skaters hit the ice for warm-ups. The crowd cheered like crazy and people pushed towards the glass, trying to get the attention of their favorite players.
My eyes found number twenty-two almost immediately. He wasn’t wearing a helmet and his eyes were laser focused on the ice as he took several laps around the net. I watched his tall, powerful frame as he skated with purpose.
That man was sexy as hell.
Porter finally looked up from the ice and glanced over to where we were. A smile hit his face instantly and he skated until he was standing at the glass in front of us, tapping on it with his stick. He pulled a glove off one hand and crooked a finger at me.
I cleared my throat and stood from my seat. He flicked his fingers again, indicating I should turn, so I did, allowing him to see his name and number on my back. When I faced him again, a look a pride had overtaken his features.
He said something but it was so loud that I couldn’t hear what it was. I shook my head and gestured to my ear, causing his grin to widen. He pointed to me and said it again, slower that time, making it easy for me to read his lips.
“You’re so beautiful.”
My cheeks immediately blazed and I fought to keep from averting my eyes. “Thank you.”
Porter just grinned again and glanced behind me to where John was standing with a look of boyish excitement on his face. The hockey player jerked his chin at him in greeting before giving me another grin. He held his hand up in a wave, shoved the glove back on, and turned to skate back to his team.
“Wow.” Holly looked at me with wide eyes as I sat back down. “That boy has it bad.”
He wasn’t the only one.

 


 

Author Info:


Kay Gordon is a married, mother of two living near the west coast. She spends her days teaching young, impressionable minds in public school and evenings typing away furiously once her children are in bed. Her favorite genres to read are Contemporary Romance and New Adult/College romance, although she rarely denies a good paranormal or dystopian! When she’s not teaching or writing, Kay loves to spend time with her family. They’re all a bunch of nerds who can quote Disney movies and Star Wars quickly!

 

 

Amazon:   http://bit.ly/KG-AZN

 

About the 425 Madison Series

 

 

Welcome to 425 Madison Ave the perfect place to fall in love. Nine delicious romances set in fast-paced & sexy NYC just waiting for you to read.

 

The series features stories from some of your favorite romance authors: Leigh Lennon, MK Moore, Allie York, Aubree Valentine, Kay Gordon, Lauren Helms, Sylvia Kane, Katy Ames, and C. Lesbirel.

 

Join these authors as they come together, each with a standalone romance for you to enjoy.

 

Featuring some of readers’ favorite tropes: second-chance romance, best friends sibling romance to a good ol’ enemies to lovers romance. We’ve got you covered with a sports romance, a fake relationship and even an ugly duckling or two. Don’t forget a brother’s best friend and falling for your soul mate. Maybe a little love triangle as well. Each tale offers you something new, something different. After all, 425

 

For more information, visit the series website ➝ www.425madisonseries.com

 

Follow the series on Facebook ➝ https://www.facebook.com/425MadisonSeries

 

Did you miss MUST LOVE COFFEE, LET ME LOVE YOU, JUST SWIPE RIGHT? You can read them here:

 

Books five and six in the series are coming soon! Add them to your Goodreads shelf today!

 

Boyfriend Maintenance by Lauren Helms, Book #5
A Fake Relationship Romance

 

Love Under Construction by Aubree Valentrine, Book #6
An Enemies to Lovers Romance
Release: 5/16/19
This release event is brought to you by Forever Write PR – Forever your source for all your writing needs. https://www.facebook.com/ForeverWritePR/

 

 

Book Blitz, Book Reviews, Giveaway

Release Blitz, Review, & Giveaway: Love, Again, by L.P. Dover

 

 

Title: Love, Again
Author: L.P. Dover

Publisher: Loveswept, Random House

Genre: Contemporary/Second Chance Romance
Release Date: April 9, 2019

 

Blurb
Sometimes all you need is a second chance … 
Aubrey Reynolds is a small-town girl who’s made it big.

A successful Hollywood director, Aubrey doesn’t have time to linger on what
could have been.

But when a routine blood test comes back with a false positive, she decides to
take some time off to do the things she’s always wanted to do: taste the famous
chocolate chip cookies at the Minnesota State Fair, hike the Grand Teton
National Park, scuba dive in the Caribbean.

But after Aubrey admits to herself what she’s really missing,
she heads back home to Dusty Valley, Oklahoma . . . and the man she left
behind.Cole Haywood is a small-town fireman and that’s just fine with
him.

Sure, when the love of his life left their hometown to chase her dreams he was
heartbroken and—he’ll admit—damn mad.

But Cole would have never forgiven himself if he had held Aubrey back from
success.

So the last thing he expects after all these years is to walk into his favorite
bar one night and find the girl he’s always loved—there—looking for him.

Maybe now’s the time to make his dreams come true.  

 

**My Review**

Welcome to my stop on the tour for L.P. Dover’s latest romance, Love Again! This incredible second-chance romance is about famous movie director Aubrey and her high school sweetheart, Cole. After leaving Cole to follow her dreams of becoming a director a month before their wedding, Aubrey went on to earn her fame and fortune that she and her mother had dreamed about. But when medical tests are confused and give Aubrey the scare of her life, she decides to make some changes. She starts with a bucket list of all the things she has wanted to do and places that she’s wanted to go, but soon finds herself back home and face to face with Cole.

Let me start by saying that after reading this I looked at some other reviews that had issues with there not being enough drama or conflict. Maybe I was just in need of a feel-good read, but I didn’t feel that way in the least. This is a happy book with a happy ending. Although Aubrey has loved her career, her health scare inspires her to do other things with her life other than working. Besides the enjoyment she got out of those things, it also brought her back to Cole. There were unresolved feelings, anger, and regret, but otherwise, this novel was just a wonderful and romantic trip down memory lane, reigniting a spark, and realizing the need and desire to balance one’s life.

I loved both main characters together and separately, each having a good amount of humor, intelligence, passion, and interest in a variety of things in life besides just each other. My only criticism at all, and it’s a minor thing, would be that the ending was almost too perfect. I don’t mean how things panned out between Aubrey and Cole, but some of her dreams that came true seemed unrealistic. Nevertheless, I am now a huge fan of L.P. Dover and cannot wait to read more from this author in the future. Fans of contemporary romance and especially second-chance romance should add Love, Again to their TBR.

*Thanks to GMB for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest review!

Purchase Links

 

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

 

Author Bio

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author L. P. Dover is a southern belle living in North Carolina with her husband and two beautiful girls. Before she began her literary journey she worked in periodontics, enjoying the wonderment of dental surgeries.
She loves to write, but she also loves to play golf, go on mountain hikes, and has a passion for singing. Her youngest daughter, who she’s also written a children’s book with, expects a concert each and every night before bedtime, usually Christmas carols.
Dover has written countless novels in several different genres, including a children’s book with her youngest daughter, but her favorite to write is romantic suspense. However, she has found a new passion in romantic comedy, especially involving sexy golfers. Who knew the sport could be so dirty and fun to write about.
Author Links

-One $25 Amazon gift card-

Book Reviews

Book Review: Say You’re Sorry, By Karen Rose

Say You’re Sorry, By Karen Rose

Publication: Berkley Publishing; February 12, 2019

Say you're sorryAbout the book:

Introducing the first novel in the pulse-pounding Sacramento series from New York Times bestselling author Karen Rose.

There is a serial killer on the loose, preying on vulnerable women. The only identifiable mark the killer leaves are letters—sometimes one, sometimes two—all carved into the torsos of his victims.  Together they spell “Sydney.”

When he grabs Daisy Dawson, he believes he has found his next victim. But despite her small stature, she fights back with expertise that quickly frees her. Before fleeing the scene, Daisy also manages to grab what proves to be crucial evidence: a necklace from around the killer’s neck.

The necklace is more than a trivial item—it is a link to a cold case that Special Agent Gideon Reynolds has been tracking for seventeen years. With Daisy’s help, Gideon finally has the opportunity to get closer to the truth than ever before.

But they might not get the chance, as the serial killer has a new target: Gideon and Daisy.

**My Review**

Say You’re Sorry is the latest mystery/thriller from author Karen Rose about Daisy Dawson – recovering alcoholic, radio host, difficult childhood, and so on. A serial killer has decided that Daisy will be his next victim, but when he attempts to abduct her, she fights back and gets away, while also grabbing a necklace off of her attacker’s neck. Enter Gideon Reynolds, a Special Agent in the FBI that also has a sad and difficult background, including escaping from a cult. Daisy’s attack and the necklace are what bring her and Gideon together, but they soon find themselves drawn into each other and almost filling the empty holes within the other. The problem? The serial killer is now after them both.

I’m ashamed to admit that this one is another that has been on my NetGalley shelf for a while, but I finally decided to knock it out. And it takes a long time to read this one. For those of you not familiar with my reading habits and style, I typically start and finish a book within 1 1/2-2 1/2 hours at most.  I started and stopped this one about 5 or 6 times to where my Kindle said I was at about 26%. When I picked up at that 26% mark and finally decided to commit to it, it took about 4 1/2 hours to finish. 

Besides this one being so lengthy, it also felt weighed down with a lot of unnecessary “stuff.” But much of that “stuff” left me with questions. Like Brutus, for example… What an odd therapy dog relationship… I don’t even remember how or why she got Brutus but I think he could have better-served another person really in need of and wanting to utilize a therapy dog.

Moving on, I found this plot unique and it was refreshing to find something different than everything else that is out there. A shortened and perhaps more suspenseful version would have been nice, but the parts about the killer were at times, fascinating. They were also disturbing at times, but not so much that I wouldn’t push through it. 

I’ve read a great deal of character-driven novels lately, and even discussed these novels in reviews, with fellow bloggers, and with other authors. I’ve come to the realization that it’s just not my thing, for lack of a better phrase. I love in-depth characterization and I love the opportunity to connect with and grow attached to characters. But when their dialogue overtakes the entire novel (whether internal or external), becoming more prominent than action and events, I find myself bored to death. My point? I didn’t love this one, but it doesn’t mean that you won’t. If you like knowing every word every character thinks or says throughout a novel, then you may love this. I liked Daisy’s character and almost had a crush on Gideon, but at the end of the day, I didn’t find them memorable.

Say You’re Sorry was my first time reading Karen Rose. Although I didn’t love it, I will most likely read another one of her novels in the future. 

*Thanks to NetGalley and Berkley for providing this copy in exchange for my honest review.

 

Book Reviews

Book Review: If You’re Not the One, by Laura Briggs

If You’re Not the One,

by Laura Briggs

Publication: Bookouture; February 6, 2019

if you're not the one

About the book:

Natalie isn’t a romantic. She doesn’t believe in true love, or destiny. She thinks that people are just plain lucky if they happen to find someone. It’s coincidence and nothing more.

As a wedding dress designer though, she knows she has to keep these feelings under wraps. Even if she’s suspicious that Harper, the bride she’s working with, might secretly agree with her. Because if Harper admitted she wasn’t sure about love, it might also mean giving up on a millionaire husband-to-be and the lavish island wedding of her dreams.

But, for Natalie, as her feelings develop for both her on-off boyfriend Chad, and for the boy-next-door Brayden, she starts to fear that her heart might not be as immune to love as she claims…

Could love have been there all along? And as the wedding approaches, who will find a happy-ever-after, who will find their way to themselves, and who will get left behind?

**My Review**

This title has been on my NetGalley shelf for a while so about a month ago, I decided I needed to read it. For some reason, I just could not get into it. However, I dug back into it today and am happy that I did. This was my first time reading Laura Briggs and I didn’t know until after finishing this that she had written previous books about two of the three main characters: Natalie, Tessa, and Ama. If You’re Not the One is Natalie’s story about their wedding planning business,  The Wedding Belles, Natalie’s efforts to become a designer, and her revelations about Brayden who annoyed her with his crush since they were young. Thrown in with everything about Natalie are subplots about Tessa, Ama, and their latest client/bride-to-be, Harper. 

First, I think I struggled with getting into this book because there was just so much going on. Plus, I didn’t realize there were previous books that would have provided some back-stories. Characterization is a huge element in how I feel about a book, but there were several times while reading this that I felt the reader was getting way more information than necessary to enjoy and understand the novels and characters. 

It took some time for me to really feel invested in the characters, however, once I did – I was all in. Their lives were so cluttered and crazy with other careers separate from The Wedding Belles, romantic issues, family issues, and so on. Even secondary characters all seemed to have 2 or more jobs, plus tons of hobbies or obligations. With all of the details about every part of their lives, I think that’s why the novel felt overloaded and unnecessarily long. But anyway, once I warmed up to the characters and figured out what was going on, I found myself cheering them on, rooting for them, and celebrating with them as if I were a part of the story itself. 

The best part of the novel for me was Natalie’s emotional growth. The more time she was around Brayden again, the more she began to not only soften but become more compassionate and less selfish. I wasn’t sure if I wanted him to tell her off for being such a bitch all of their lives or if I wanted them to ride off into the sunset together, but everything worked out as it should and I was happy not only with Natalie’s ending, but also with how things played out for Tessa, Ama, and Harper. 

If You’re Not the One probably isn’t my favorite read as of late, but I truly enjoyed this book and am very glad I gave it another chance after giving up on it before. It’s not a quick read, but you will truly feel connected with the characters once finished and it will leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling!

*Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for providing this review copy in exchange for my honest review! 

Purchase If You’re Not the One

Blog Tour, Book Blitz, Book Reviews, Giveaway

Book tour, review, & giveaway: Money Or Men, by David Burnett

 

NEW RELEASE…
Love or loot?

Erin chose “loot” when Chris, her former husband, competed for her hand against the god of money.

Now, eight years after leaving him, with a promotion within reach, she is poised to take her place among the elite of Wall Street. She will soon be working twenty-four-seven to reorganize a failing company, and she must have someone to care for her children.

She has few options, and she reluctantly concludes she must beg Chris for his help. She has not talked with Chris, written, texted, friended, private messaged, or tweeted Chris since leaving him, but if she cannot convince him to help her, she will lose her promotion. Her dream of wealth will vanish.

Opposites had attracted when they had fallen in love. Erin remembers a Chris who was laid back, satisfied, and unambitious. He seems not to have changed. He lives on a small island with no home mail delivery. He has no obvious means of support.

She fears if she asks Chris to care for their children for the summer, she will be drawn back into his world. She will lose her drive to succeed and everything for which she has been working. If he does not help her, her promotion will be denied, and lightning will not strike a second time. How can she send their children to live with him without becoming entangled herself?

If you have ever “wanted it all,” buy this book! You will enjoy discovering how Erin makes the choice between “love or loot.”

**My Review**

Welcome to my stop on the tour for David Burnett’s Money Or Men! Wow, I’m not sure where to begin with this one or how I honestly feel about it! This is the story of a happy and in-love couple named Erin and Chris, that despite their feelings for one another, could not make their marriage work because of her career and financial ambitions and what she viewed as his lack of ambition. Divorcing when their twin daughters were eight years old, Chris made the painful decision to not carry on a long-distance relationship (700 miles away) with them. But when Erin is offered a huge promotion right before the girls’ summer break and realizes that she will literally be working day or night, she swallows her pride, calling Chris to take the girls for the summer.

This was my first time reading David Burnett and I really enjoyed his writing style. Although a long book, the character development, and the plot flowed nicely. My thoughts on imagery flip-flop on this one because there were times I could almost smell the marsh and hear the ocean when he was describing scenes in Charleston and on Folly Island. But other times, I felt like I was missing something. 

Regarding characters, I’m not sure that I have ever despised a character as much as I did Erin. I’ll get to why I disliked her in a minute but before that, let me remind you that nothing impresses me like an author that develops a character so well that it makes me forget that they are, in fact, just a character. I literally wanted to jump onto the pages and cause this woman physical harm. And on the flip side of that, there is Chris, whom I adored. So, kudos to Burnett for his outstanding characterization! 

Why did I hate the main character so much? Erin is one of the most selfish, self-centered, pompous, and confusing characters of all time. I have no issue with the woman’s drive to succeed and make money, but her disregard for her children and former husband was disturbing. Moreover, being the child of a Baptist preacher, she had numerous flashbacks about things her father would say to her that obviously troubled her and inspired her to rebel as much as possible after leaving for college. Yet, she was imposing the same ideals, beliefs, and judgments towards her own daughters that she tried to escape and appeared to be haunted by. But the most annoying and aggravating thing about this woman was her quick switch from a strong, powerful woman to tolerating verbal/emotional/physical abuse from a man. That in itself is, unfortunately, not uncommon but one minute she would break his nose then she would hop in bed with him. I almost wish Burnett would have delved more into her promiscuity and issues from her upbringing in hopes of shedding more light on her behavior. Two days after finishing this book, it is still driving me crazy that Erin made no progress towards becoming a less horrific person between the first word and last word of this novel. 

Now that I’ve ranted and raved about Erin, let me remind you just how much I loved Chris, his friends, and of course, the twins Abbie and Ashlie. The best thing about this novel was Chris’ developing relationship with the twins, as well as, learning about all of his incredible accomplishments, despite all of the negativity Erin had thrown his way years ago. The ending was somewhat ambiguous, albeit a happy ending in its own way. 

Given the opportunity, I would definitely read David Burnett again. Money or Men has a relatable plot with realistic characters and settings. Chris and the twins learned so much about love, responsibility, and a healthy balance between work and play in life. And if you have ever been to Folly Beach, I assure you that you will be dying to visit again after reading this one!

*Thanks to GMB and David Burnett for providing this review copy in exchange for my honest review.

Available to buy from….
Amazon.com Amazon.co.uk Paperback

Other books by the author…

About the author
David Burnett lives in Columbia South Carolina, with his wife and their blue-eyed cat, Bonnie. The Reunion, his first novel, is set in nearby Charleston.

David enjoys traveling, photography, baking bread, and the Carolina beaches.
He has photographed subjects as varied as prehistoric ruins on the islands of Scotland, star trails, seagulls, a Native American powwow, and his grandson, Jack. David and his wife have traveled widely in the United States and the United Kingdom. During one trip to Scotland, they visited Crathes Castle, the ancestral home of the Burnett family near Aberdeen. In The Reunion, Michael’s journey through England and Scotland allows him to sketch many places they have visited.

David has graduate degrees in psychology and education and previously was Director of Research for the South Carolina Department of Education. He and his wife have two daughters.

Find the author on the following sites…
Website Blog Facebook Twitter Goodreads Amazon

 


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Book Blitz, Book Reviews

Release Blitz & Review: Served (Odd Jobs #2), by AJ Alexander

 

Title: Served
Series: Odd Jobs #2
Author: AJ Alexander
Genre: Contemporary NA Romance
Release Date: March 28, 2019
Blurb
Against all odds, the bartender gets the girl…

 

Heather

The term friends to lovers never ends well, as a publicist, I know it’s a
walking headline of a disaster. So when things shift with my long-time friend
from college, I’m torn between what feels right and the inevitable fallout.

I’ve given up on finding “Mr. Right,” but Wyatt won’t give up on me;
and I don’t know why. Despite knowing better, I find myself falling for him.
The gorgeous bartender who’s off limits.

Wyatt

I pour drinks, while other people pour out their hearts. I’m great at giving
advice, but following it… not so much. The last time I listened to my heart
it didn’t work out so well. I chased it and nearly destroyed my friendship with
the girl of my dreams.

I can’t keep bottling up my feelings and I know Heather feels the same, but I
know I don’t deserve her I know my time to be with her is limited, but I’m
ready to take another shot at love. With her.

 

**My Review**

Welcome to my stop on the tour for A.J. Alexander’s latest in her Odd Jobs series, served. Hopefully, you saw my review for the first in the series, Stay, about Addison and Cole, where I was crazy excited to read this one about Heather and Wyatt! After being friends for years, Heather and Wyatt finally try dating and taking their friendship to an entirely new level. However, they both have completely different ideas of what their relationship would be like, they struggle with open and honest communication, and have several personal hang-ups to overcome.

So, I loved Heather in the last book and was definitely falling for Wyatt. However, as much as I love them, they drove me completely crazy throughout this one. They were still great characters and they had incredible chemistry, but there was a continual cycle of them going in circles and avoiding conversations and feelings that they were having. 

Wyatt tries to be chivalrous and gentlemanly while Heather is wanting to get down and dirty. Neither thinks they deserve the other, yet they wait forever to share these feelings. Jealousy runs rampant. Immaturity goes through the roof with ignored calls/texts, calling together groups of friends for plotting and planning sessions, and worrying about keeping friends close and enemies closer. So what does this mean regarding my review??

I am truly enjoying this series and like the characters, but Served didn’t give me all of the warm, fuzzy feelings that I was hoping for. I feel like everything that happened in the first 90% of the book was repetitive and immature and, honestly, felt like filler material. I had high hopes for Wyatt and Heather’s story and although I got the HEA that I wanted, I wish that their story would have been developed into more than just assumptions and immature comments/actions. 

I’m going to rate Served a three out of five stars, however, please know that I love this author and know that the forthcoming books will continue to reel me in 🙂

*Thanks to Give Me Books and the author for providing this review copy in exchange for my honest review!

Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
Also Available
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
Author Bio
AJ Alexander is a wannabe psychologist, writer, and author of the
recently completed, SEAL’ed Series. AJ’s passion is writing angst-filled
happily ever afters that have to be earned by her characters. Women with no
backbone need not apply.  AJ uses sarcasm and an unlimited supply of song
lyrics to bring her romance novels to life.
AJ lives in the angst capital of the world, Seattle Washington with her
own personal knight in shining armour and her two beautiful girls.
Author Links