Book Reviews

Book Review: Coming Home (Whiskey River Road, #1) by Kelly Moore

Coming Home (Whiskey River Road, #1), by Kelly Moore

Publication: October 15, 2019

whiskey riverAbout the book:

It was my big day.
The day I’d marry the man of my dreams.
So what stopped me from walking down the aisle to the perfect man? To my happily-ever-after?
I loved him but I ran away.
To what you ask?
A life I thought I wanted. Far away from the only life, I’d known. The only man I’d ever loved.
I was a rebel. It’s my only excuse.
Boone didn’t deserve any of it. He was sweet, protective, and one hot rancher.
He’d make any girl blush just looking at his handsome face.

What a day it was supposed to be.

I never thought I’d see him again but Coming Home after seven years is all I can think about.
I knew little about his life now and was damn sure he wouldn’t want me in it.
He had to hate me.
I wasn’t prepared for him.
I definitely wasn’t prepared for him to be engaged.

**My Review**

I’m so excited to bring you my review of the upcoming new release from Kelly Moore, Coming Home (Whiskey River Road, #1)! This fresh and unique novel is about a young woman Clementine Calhoun, returning home to her family’s Kentucky horse ranch for the first time in seven years. And, as she expected, not everyone welcomes her with open arms. Why you ask? Because all those years ago, Clem left without any warning, abandoning her horse training, her family, and worst of all – leaving her fiancé Boone Methany literally standing at the altar. After time spent in the military, Clem returns with her best friend Ethan, hopeful that she can resume training horses, start her own cybersecurity business, and get back in the good graces of her family. Oh, and she either needs to get Boone back or get over him once and for all.

There’s a long list of players in this one, other than Clem and Boone, including Chet and Amelia Calhoun (Clem’s parents), Wyatt, Bear, and Ellie (Clem’s siblings), Missy (Clem’s niece), Margaret Maynard (Boone’s fiancé), and Tom Maynard (longtime enemy and hater of the Calhouns). Seems like a big cast, but each character is wonderfully unique and plays a very important role within the novel. Clem’s mom, sister, brother Bear, and Missy are happy to have her home. Everyone else, not so much. Therefore, a great deal of the plot initially focuses on Clem’s attempts to make amends with her father and with Boone. Anyone even remotely familiar with any family discord will relate to and cringe at some of the dialogue that passes between Chet and Clem, but I also promise you’ll be clapping and crying tears of joys with Clem’s victories both small and large.

Speaking of crying, yes there are some sad moments within Whiskey River Road, but most tears will be tears of laughter thanks to the absolute hilarious personality Moore has created in Clem Calhoun! The banter between Clem and Boone, Clem and Ellie, and Clem and Ethan will have you laughing at loud with all of their names for various body parts and there is an especially wonderful moment when Clem is drowning her sorrows at the local bar and starts singing about all of her problems. But God love Clem, the poor woman just keeps on going no matter life brings or even when she brings it on herself.

An enormous part of this novel is all things involving ranches and horse racing, which has been executed in an intriguing yet realistic way. Horse fans will absolutely love this, and those not as familiar will become just as invested in the ins and outs of ranching. Prepare for Moore’s writing and imagery to completely transport you to the Calhoun ranch where you can smell the stables, hear the horses running, and see the cattle out in the distance. I can easily close my eyes and picture the main house, the cabins, and especially Chet sitting on his porch with his rifle by his side. But an even stronger impact of her writing is the emotions that it evoked while I was reading! I hated the Maynards (of course), found myself rooting for the horses, celebrated with the characters, and was completely heartbroken a time or two along the way.

What’s the most amazing thing about Whiskey River Road? Kelly Moore’s unrivaled plot development. This author has the magical ability to take an already strong and interesting plot and add so many unexpected twists and turns that it turns her books into a complete addiction for the reader. There were several times reading this when I thought something was going to happen in a certain way, but then something else came along or just didn’t work itself out the way I expected. This novel quickly became such a page-turner and at the end of every chapter, I was dying to know what would happen next. Take note that this is a “read in one sitting” novel because I assure you that you will not be able to put it down once you start.

I cannot express how highly I recommend Whiskey River Road, although I struggle to specify a certain audience that it is most suited for. Fans of romance, comedy, family drama, horses and ranching, suspense, sagas, and feuds – the list could go on forever – will love this novel. I’m not even sure what genre this will technically be classified as because it beautifully represents them all in one amazing package. Not only is Whiskey River Road unlike anything I’ve ever read by Kelly Moore, but it is also unlike anything I’ve read ever. The magnificent characters, the phenomenal plot development, and a setting that dreams are made of all make up one of my favorite reads ever.

*Thanks to Kelly Moore for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion! 

Pre-Order Coming Home (Whiskey River Road, #1) on Amazon!

WR1

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Blog Tour, Book Reviews, Giveaway

Blog Tour, Review, & Giveaway: After She Fell, by Amber Laura

After She Fell
Amber Laura
Publication date: July 30th, 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

She’s tried for years to convince herself that she isn’t in love with him. If it hasn’t worked, at least she’s managed to convince him of it, anyway.

A tragic love affair from her past had shattered Christina’s illusions of romance—it’d shattered her entire world, left her utterly broken and blamed. She’s fallen once before. She isn’t about to make the same mistake twice!

Jason Gordman is off-limits. Charming, playful, confident—he’s everything dangerous to her defenses. Worse yet, he’s the boss’s son. Hiding behind antagonism and indifference, Christina manages to keep him at a careful distance. That is, until one fateful night when she finds herself snowbound with him in a blizzard and she slips, allows herself one, forbidden kiss…

Struggling to reconcile her feelings, Christina is entirely unprepared for where that one stolen moment will lead her.

**My Review**

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Amber Laura’s latest novel, After She Fell. This contemporary romance is about Christina, who works for the best boss on the planet, Matthew. Matthew and his wife Mary have sort of adopted Christina into their family, always welcoming her to their home for meals and holidays. This would be wonderful if it weren’t for the tiny problem of Christina being in love with their son Jason. But instead of being flirty with one another, they fight like cats and dogs – Christina’s method of ignoring her true feelings for him. But when things finally start to sizzle between her and Jason, all of the bad things from her past stand in the way of her finding true happiness.

After She Fell is a good novel that contains a variety of life lessons ranging from avoiding unhealthy relationships to dealing with difficult parents. This book was a bit slow for me and at times, I felt that everything was dragging on, however, it ended up being a good read. I initially struggled to connect with Christina because of her always prim and proper demeanor, but once the painful events from her past came to light, I found myself relating to and rallying around her – especially the issues with her mother, because good Lord, I’ve had mother issues since I was old enough to remember anything. I feel that the author will truly reach numerous readers when they learn of the events that caused her family issues, and hopefully, the author will reach readers with her message of forgiving oneself for mistakes in the past.

Jason was an outstanding male character in this book that has countless swoon-worthy moments, but it is Jason’s family that truly makes him an amazing catch. I loved his funny and sarcastic attitude, although it was fairly obvious early on that he had similar feelings for Christina as she had for him. 

Though it takes a lot of stops and starts to get there, this novel has a happy ending and I had nothing but warm and fuzzy feelings once I finished reading it. The author put a great deal of effort into her character development resulting in a novel that reels the reader in and produces genuine interest in the characters’ outcomes. There are happy times, heart-wrenching times, and funny moments that all result in showing that love and family are worth it in the end. 

*Thanks to the author and Xpresso Book Tours for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest review!

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

 

Author Bio:

Amber Laura’s biography, also known as “Five Fun Facts about the Author”:

  1. As a writer, Amber Laura does her best daydreaming as a window-gazing passenger on long car rides.
  2. If there’s creamer, she’s drinking coffee. When she edits, there’s always creamer.
  3. A blogger, she also writes web fiction—(free stories updated chapter-by-chapter, week-by-week). Check it out at www.litliber.com.
  4. Psst! Her debut novel, Topaz and Lace, a contemporary romance set in a fictitious Texas town, got its start on that same blog.
  5. While she may physically reside in the beautiful country of Northern Minnesota, in her imagination, Amber Laura lives all over the world. She considers it one of the best perks to being a writer: easy, cheap travel. That and the oddball characters she meets along the way….

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Blog Tour, Book Reviews

Book Review: The Year I Left, by Christine Brae

The Year I Left, by Christine Brae

Publication: Vesuvian Books (August 20, 2019)

The Year I leftAbout the book:

“A thousand half loves must be forsaken to take one whole heart home.”

Carin Frost doesn’t understand what’s happening to her. A confident businesswoman, wife, and mother, she begins to resent everything about her life. Nothing makes sense. Nothing makes her feel. Maybe it’s the recent loss of her mother in a tragic accident. Or maybe she’s just losing her mind.

Enter Matias Torres. As their new business partnership thrives, so does their friendship—and his interest in her. Carin is determined to keep her distance until a work assignment sends them to Southeast Asia where a storm is brewing on the island. In the midst of the chaos, Matias asks her to do something unimaginable, exhilarating, BOLD. Carin knows the consequences could be dire, but it may be the only way to save herself.

An honest look at love and marriage and the frailties of the human heart, this is a story of a woman’s loss of self and purpose and the journey she takes to find her way back.

**My Review**

I am so happy to be reviewing this emotional and beautiful novel, The Year I Left, by Christine Brae. I first discovered this author when I read and reviewed Eight Goodbyes and once again I’ve fallen in love with Brae’s characters and writing.

Carin Frost is a wife, mother, and successful businesswoman but has been struggling with everything since the loss of her mother. Where her marriage and life, in general, used to fulfill her, she’s now feeling lost and confused about what she wants in her life. Soon she meets the handsome and successful Matias Torres and their friendship begins to blossom into a somewhat of an emotional affair as their business partnership grows. While on an island in Southeast Asia for a business deal, a horrible storm hits prompting Mattias to ask Carin to do something romantic, drastic, insane and every other adjective you could imagine. Thus begins a beautiful, yet heart-breaking love that some may not agree with, but it makes it no less beautiful. 

If you’ve ever lost someone you love, struggled with depression, or just reached the point of feeling empty – you will relate to Carin. On the outside she seems to have the perfect husband, perfect life, etc. but on the inside, she feels nothing until she meets Matias. Would the average person take the giant leap that Carin did with Matias? Probably not. Isn’t it just understood that your children and family always come first? Author Christine Brae poses the question, is there a point where it’s not only o.k., but healthy to absolutely put yourself first?

The Year I Left is one of the best things I’ve read all year, if not the best. Every imaginable emotion and feeling appears in this novel so prepare yourself to feel them all right along with the characters. There is complacency, sadness, frustration, elation, desire, joy, guilt, and so on. My heart broke for Carin and the emptiness she was dealing with until visiting the island with Matias. I pitied her husband who seemed so content in their lives while she crumbled around him. I felt so much sadness for her young son missing his mother while she was away. But in the end, I felt nothing but peacefulness and love. 

As a result of Carin’s journey with Matias, she found an all-consuming romantic love. After returning home, she started rebuilding her relationship with her son and nurturing the love between them. She switched career paths and started a whole new life that she was passionate about. It took some time, but everything did get better. By putting herself first, Carin fell madly in love, rediscovered painting, made new friends (both human and four-legged), and changed every little aspect of her life and future. 

Brae’s writing and imagery are exquisite, the plot is unique and well-developed, and the characterization is awe-inspiring. I have read this book from beginning to end three times already and I plan on buying a print copy so that I can share it with all of my reader friends nearby. This is a must-read that should be bumped to the top of your TBR. 

*Thanks to NetGalley and Vesuvian Books for providing this review copy in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Purchase The Year I Left on Amazon.

Learn more about author Christine Brae.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Split-Level A Novel by Sande Boritz Berger

Split-Level A Novel, by Sande Boritz Berger

Publication: She Writes Press; May 7, 2019

split levelAbout the book: For young wife and mother, Alex Pearl, the post-Nixon 1970s offers pot parties, tie-dyed fashions, and the lure of the open marriage her husband wants for the two of them. Alex is a painter, stifled but loyal, and when she realizes just how far her husband’s eye has begun to wander, she’s faced with difficult choices about what marriage and family mean, and whether an “open” lifestyle mimicking communal living might be for her. Yearning for both greater adventure and intimacy, yet fearful of losing it all, Alex must figure out the truth of love and fidelity—at a pivotal point in an American Marriage.

 

 

 

**My Review**

And now for something completely different than everything I’ve been reading lately! I spotted this one on NetGalley and was intrigued because of the unique storyline: seventies, making tye-dye shirts, lots of pot, dissatisfaction in marriage, open marriage, and so on. This story is about Donny and Alex Pearl who are married with two young daughters. Alex isn’t satisfied but not completely sure why. Donny is basically a brat that hates his job, is immature, and does questionable/skeezy things from time to time. After some time they meet a couple, Charlie and Paula Bell. They become friends, have their kids hang out together, and then one thing leads to another… But once those lines are crossed, all four of them, but especially Alex, find themselves struggling with right and wrong, as well as, what their true feelings are. 

So, there were a few things I wasn’t crazy about in this novel and I will start with that because there was much more that I loved. First, Not many of the characters were very likable and/or relatable. Perhaps just because the story is told only from Alex’s point of view, but I don’t feel like I really knew them. Actually, the only two main characters I felt invested in at all were Alex and Charlie, but again, it could have been a POV issue. Secondly, with the exception of Charlie, I don’t feel as if I knew what any of the characters looked like. Maybe I missed descriptions in the beginning, but other than Paula being sort of mousy and Donny enjoying giving Alex wide-eyed and smirky looks, I couldn’t tell you what anyone looked like. 

What I loved about this novel was the realism in Berger’s writing! Her writing and execution of this plot felt personal as if it were her own story. We all know that it’s all fun and games until real feelings get involved and I feel that she captured Alex’s ever-changing and evolving feelings perfectly. One minute, there was this new exciting/taboo part of their lives, then the next minute she was jealous, but then she would be enamored with Charlie all over again. None of it made sense. Moods and feelings seemed to change like the weather, but it seemed honest to me. Messy, emotional, exciting, horrible, etc., but honest. 

Moreover, with regards to the realism in the novel, were Alex’s struggles with her marriage and young motherhood, completely separate from the open marriage issue. A child starts wetting the bed again, her husband hates his job, yet wants to succeed, Alex isn’t completely successful at her artistic endeavors but keeps trying, her best friend is somewhat of a mean-girl and judgemental of Alex and Donny, etc. Granted, these are timeless challenges that all of us girls have faced, but that’s what I loved! This author took a woman from a time period when I was born, and delivered her story in a way in which I could empathize with many of her struggles. It was difficult to relate to all of her approaches and handling things, but it still served as a reminder about the internal and external battles and dialogue that go on in our lives. 

Split-Level’s ending is very ambiguous and I am not a fan of these endings because I need concrete information about what will happen next in character’s lives. But what I did know, and hope is somewhat on point, is that by the time the novel ends Alex has grown a spine, quit being whiny and unhappy, and has taken back control of her life. Open marriage, swinging, swapping, whatever you want to call it, obviously was not the best thing for Alex and Donny. The ending left me feeling sad because of a somewhat lack of closure and the uncertainty about the futures for the main characters. However, it also left me hopeful that Alex was on her way to finding happiness while learning for sure what would not result in a happy ending. 

*Thanks to NetGalley and She Writes Press for providing this review copy in exchange for my honest opinion. 

 

Blog Tour, Book Reviews, Giveaway

Book tour, review, & giveaway: Promise of a New Beginning, by Addison Cole

NEW RELEASE…

Discover the magic of the Bradens, and fall in love with Addison Cole’s rich and romantic storytelling. Addison Cole is the sweet-romance pen name of New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster. Addison Cole novels are the sweet editions of Melissa’s steamy romance Love in Bloom series and are written to stand alone or to be enjoyed as part of the larger Sweet with Heat series.

In PROMISE OF A NEW BEGINNING…

After having her heart broken by a country music star, Savannah Braden has sworn off men. She takes a break from her fast-paced Manhattan lifestyle for a weekend at a survivor camp to rebuild her confidence and readjust her priorities. But when she meets the handsome guide, Jack Remington, she’s drawn to everything about him–from his powerful physique to his brooding stare–despite the big chip on his shoulder. Powerless to ignore the heated glances and mounting attraction, Savannah begins to reassess her hasty decision.

After losing his wife in a tragic accident, Jack Remington found solace in the Colorado Mountains. This solitary existence allows him to wallow in his guilt and punish himself for having made a decision that he believes cost his wife her life. He never expected to want to return to the life he once knew–but then again, he never expected to meet gorgeous, stubborn, and competitive Savannah Braden.

One passionate kiss is all it takes to crack the walls the two have built to protect themselves, and allow love to slip in. While Jack fights his way through his guilt and struggles to get back into the lives of those he left behind, Savannah is there to help him heal, and together they nurture the hope that they’ve finally found their forever loves.

Promise of a New Beginning is a Sweet with Heat novel and conveys all of the passion you’d expect to find between two people in love without any graphic scenes or harsh language. If you’re looking for a more explicit romance, pick up the steamy Love in Bloom edition, Bursting with Love, written by Melissa Foster.

**My Review**

Welcome to my stop on the tour for Addison Cole’s latest in her Sweet with Heat: Weston Bradens series, Promise of a New Beginning! This wonderful novel is about Jack Remington and Savannah Braden meeting when she signs up for his weekend survival training trip. Savannah is still getting over a recent heartbreak and Jack is still trapped in years of guilt and grief over the loss of his wife. Although they initially butt heads, they quickly realize the attraction between them and Jack learns that if he wants to move forward, he has to deal with his past. 

Oh, my heart…. Jack Remington is my new book love! His character goes from mysterious, grumpy, and brooding to such an amazingly romantic charmer. Prepare yourself for some serious swooning…

Savannah surprised me in this novel because, although I was already familiar with her character, I had no idea how loving, patient, and generous she was. The beautiful think about this story is the messiness of it all. Savannah and Jack do not start out with some perfect meet-cute and insta-love. They aren’t perfect characters with perfect lives. They each had their own issues and Jack had some tremendous steps to take in his life before he was truly ready to make Savannah a part of it. So she challenged him while also supporting him. She helped him face uncomfortable situations while also giving him space when he needed it. Their road was a bit bumpy, but it was so completely worth it.

Promise of  New Beginning is emotional, romantic, sexy, funny, and will just make your heart swell over and over again while reading. Addison Cole brings so much life to her characters and develops realistic yet amazing plots that will have you addicted after the first few paragraphs. This is a must-read for contemporary romance fans, as is the entire series. I cannot wait to read Hugh’s story next!

Available to buy from…
Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Barnes and Noble   Kobo   iBooks   GPlay   Paperback

“Addison Cole’s stories are the perfect blend of sizzle and sweet. You won’t be able to stop reading.”
– New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne

“Romance, fun, emotions, and happily ever afters that will warm your heart, Addison Cole writes charming and unforgettable stories about real people and love in its most wonderfully moving forms.”
– New York Times bestselling author Violet Duke

“Addison Cole has created characters you’ll fall in love with and a seaside world you’ll never want to leave.”
– USA Today bestselling author Chris Keniston

Also Available in Sweet Heat Series
Each book may be read as a stand-alone novel, or as part of the series.

A Love So Sweet (Sweet with Heat: Weston Bradens, Book 1) by [Cole, Addison]A Love So Sweet (Sweet with Heat: Weston Bradens, Book 1)

Treat Braden wasn’t looking for love when Max Armstrong walked into his Nassau resort, but he saw right through the efficient and capable facade she wore like a shield to the sweet, sensual woman beneath. One magnificent evening together sparked an intense connection, and for the first time in his life Treat wanted more than a casual affair. But something caused Max to turn away, and now, after weeks of unanswered phone calls and longing for the one woman he cannot have, Treat is going back to his family’s ranch to try to finally move on.

A chance encounter brings Treat and Max together again, and it turns into a night of intense passion and honesty. When Max reveals her secret, painful past, Treat vows to do everything within his power to win Max’s heart forever—including helping her finally face her demons head-on.

Available to buy from…
Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Barnes and Noble   Kobo   iBooks   GPlay   Paperback

Our Sweet Destiny (Sweet with Heat: Weston Bradens, Book 2)

After ditching a troubled relationship—and her veterinary practice in the process—Jade Johnson returns to the safety of her small hometown and finally finds her footing. That is…until her horse is injured and the son of the man her father has been feuding with for more than forty years comes to her rescue. She’s spent forever trying to deny her attraction to headstrong, too-handsome-for-his-own-good cowboy Rex Braden. The last thing she needs is that particular man complicating her life.

Fiercely loyal Rex Braden has never put anyone or anything before his family. Despite the irate family history, sparks fly between Rex and Jade, unleashing fifteen years of stifled, forbidden love—and causing the rebel in each of them to rear its powerful head.

Loyalties are tested, and relationships are strained as Rex and Jade find out if true love really can conquer all.

Our Sweet Destiny is a Sweet with Heat novel and conveys all of the passion you’d expect to find between two people in love without any graphic scenes or harsh language. If you’re looking for a more explicit romance, pick up the steamy edition, Destined for Love, written by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster. Addison Cole is Melissa’s sweet-romance pen name.

Available to buy from…
Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Barnes and Noble   Kobo   iBooks   GPlay   Paperback

Unraveling the Truth About Love (Sweet with Heat: Weston Bradens, Book 3)

Small-town overachiever Riley Banks has finally scored her big break–working in Manhattan as a fashion design assistant for her childhood crush, Josh Braden. She enters her new job hoping to make a name for herself and–just maybe–explore the romance that slipped through her fingers way back when.

Josh Braden has models at his beck and call, a staff that never says never, and an elegant clothing line for the holiday season. When he hires Riley Banks, he expects her to learn the business from the ground up. But the girl next door turns out to be much more than he remembered.

When Josh and Riley’s friendship heats up, every steamy kiss, and every passionate caress stirs a love they cannot deny. But when Riley designs a wedding gown that would cause even the most jaded fashion editors to swoon, Riley’s mentor accuses her of stealing the design.

Facing indisputable proof and the mistrust of her lover, Riley is not sure she can take the heat of life in the fast lane of the fashion industry–and Josh is forced to choose between the woman he loves and the career he adores.

Unraveling the Truth About Love is a Sweet with Heat novel and conveys all of the passion you’d expect to find between two people in love without any graphic scenes or harsh language. If you’re looking for a more explicit romance, pick up the steamy edition, Friendship on Fire, written by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster. Addison Cole is Melissa’s sweet-romance pen name.

Available to buy from…
Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Barnes and Noble   Kobo   iBooks   GPlay   Paperback

The Art of Loving Lacy (Sweet with Heat: Weston Bradens, Book 4)

Lacy Snow wasn’t looking for love when she met strikingly handsome and seductive Dane Braden. But how could she ignore the six-foot-three darkly handsome god who tagged and researched sharks for a living—and made every nerve in her body tangle into an overly sensitive knot? Even her fear of sharks could not suppress their intense attraction.

As founder of the Brave Foundation, Dane Braden travels from port to port, educating and advocating on behalf of the mammals he adores—and spends his nights finding solace in the arms of strangers. The last thing Dane was looking for when he met Lacy Snow was a relationship, and the last thing he expected was to fall in love.

More than a year—and hundreds of flirty texts, steamy phone calls, and sensual video chats—later, they reunite and take passion to a whole new level. But as Lacy’s phobia meets Dane’s past love life, their steamy romance is upended, and when tragedy strikes, Dane and Lacy are forced to face their deepest fears head-on as they try to navigate their own sea of love.

The Art of Loving Lacy is a Sweet with Heat novel and conveys all of the passion you’d expect to find between two people in love without any graphic scenes or harsh language. If you’re looking for a more explicit romance, pick up the steamy Love in Bloom edition, Sea of Love, written by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster. Addison Cole is Melissa’s sweet-romance pen name.

Available to buy from…
Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Barnes and Noble   Kobo   iBooks   GPlay   Paperback

Coming Next…

And Then There Was Us (Sweet with Heat: Weston Bradens, Book 6)

Brianna Heart has a six-year-old daughter and a twelve-year plan to keep her life as simple as possible until Layla turns eighteen. That means swearing off relationships and the drama that goes along with them, working two jobs, and being the best mother she can be.

The last thing Capital Series Grand Prix racer Hugh Braden wants after dating media-hungry leggy models and money-hungry fan girls is a blind date. But how could he turn down a favor to one of his best friends? Hugh expected the date to go poorly, but he didn’t expect to be intensely attracted to the beautiful brown-eyed bartender who completely blows him off—and steals his every thought thereafter.

When Brianna’s perfectly orchestrated life turns upside down, Hugh is there to help, softening the turmoil, and maybe even rescuing her heart from the lonely place where it has been hiding. Can a man who doesn’t believe in fate and a woman who doesn’t believe in true love find happiness in each other’s arms forever?

And Then There Was Us is a Sweet with Heat novel and conveys all of the passion you’d expect to find between two people in love without any graphic scenes or harsh language. If you’re looking for a more explicit romance, pick up the steamy Love in Bloom edition, Hearts at Play, written by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster. Addison Cole is Melissa’s sweet-romance pen name.

Releasing 9th October!
Available to pre-order from…
Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Barnes and Noble   Kobo   iBooks   GPlay   Paperback

About the author
SIGN UP for ADDISON’S Sweet with Heat newsletter. Fun, flirty romance with a dash of heat. www.AddisonCole.com/Newsletter

DOWNLOAD the first book in Addison’s Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers series free: READ, WRITE, LOVE AT SEASIDE

Addison Cole is the sweet alter ego of New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Melissa Foster. She writes humorous and emotional sweet contemporary romance. Her books do not include explicit sex scenes or harsh language. Addison spends her summers on Cape Cod, where she dreams up wonderful love stories in her house overlooking Cape Cod Bay.

Addison is proud to be part of the Main Street Romance family, a partnership with bestselling authors Nancy Naigle, RaeAnne Thayne, and Chris Keniston, bringing sweet happy-ever-after love stories to the Main Street Romance community. Join them at www.MainStreetRomance.com ~ open 24/7 just for you.

Addison enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups and welcomes an invitation to your event.

Addison’s books are available in paperback, digital, and audio formats.

Find Addison on the following sites…
Website   Newsletter   Facebook   Twitter   Google+   Pinterest   Goodreads   Bookbub   Amazon Author Page

 

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Blog Tour, Book Reviews

Blog Tour and Review: The Postcard, by Zoe Folbigg

The Postcard, by Zoe Folbigg

Publication: Aria; August 1, 2019

ARIA_FOLBIGG_THE POSTCARD_EAbout the book:

‘Heart-warming, wonderful escapism and brimming with charm. I marvelled!’ Christie Barlow

‘I absolutely LOVED this! The Note was fabulous and this follow-up was a real treat!’ Mandy Baggot

The sequel to the bestselling phenomenon The Note – based on the true story of one girl and her ‘Train Man’…

A year after the kiss that brought them together in a snowy train-station doorway, Maya and James are embarking on another journey – this time around the world. The trip starts promisingly, with an opulent and romantic Indian wedding. But as their travels continue, Maya fears that ‘love at first sight’ might not survive trains, planes, and tuk-tuks, especially when she realizes that what she really wants is a baby, and James doesn’t feel the same.  Can Maya and James navigate their different hopes and dreams to stay together? Or is love at first sight just a myth after all… Perfect for fans of One Day in December, Our Stop and Marian Keyes. The Postcard continues the once-in-a-lifetime love story that readers so took to their hearts.

**My Review**

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Zoe Folbigg’s The Postcard. This is the follow-up to her previous novel, The Note, about Maya and James. A year after finally getting together, Maya is trying her hand in baking while James is getting more and more work as a photographer. But these two lovebirds decide to take the year off and travel, although she sort of had to talk him into it. While they set off on their adventures, Maya is doing a column about their trip for Esprit magazine, James is still stressing about bookings that he canceled, although hopeful of getting work as a travel photographer, and Maya’s best friend is back home completely breaking down over the stress of motherhood. Sounds busy, but there’s more. Also woven into this story is the mystery of a young woman that has gone missing during her travels, as well as, Maya’s sudden realization that she wants to have a baby!

I loved The Note and was so excited to read The Postcard. But while I enjoyed The Postcard, I don’t think this follow-up is as good as the first novel. Perhaps it’s unfair to say that because rather than James and Maya remaining painted in a picture-perfect light at the end of The Note, The Postcard reminds readers of the realities of relationships and not everything stays so perfect after the couple walks off into the sunset. Not everything is going to be sunsets and roses after that amazing kiss that seals the deal with another person, however, most of my issues were with Maya herself. I found her hilarious and spunky in The Note, but this novel had me thinking descriptors such as “self-absorbed” and “spoiled.”

The Postcard is written with Folbigg’s trademark wit and charm, so any issues with a character here and there were frequently forgotten thanks to the writing and dialogue. This one started out a bit slow for me, but I assure you that once you get pulled into their travels and descriptions you will find yourself burning up the pages on this one. This author is the master of vivid language and imagery which evokes all the feels, sometimes gross, but I found the colonic hilarious, and she brilliantly keeps the reader on their toes as she navigates through her characters’ adventures. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future!

*Thanks to Aria and NetGalley for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest review!

Order Links:

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

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2Cg55hG

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

Folbigg_Zoe colourAbout the Author

Zoë Folbigg is a magazine journalist and digital editor, starting at Cosmopolitan in 2001 and since freelancing for titles including Glamour, Fabulous, Daily Mail, Healthy, LOOK, Top Santé, Mother & Baby, ELLE, Sunday Times Style and Style.com. In 2008 she had a weekly column in Fabulous magazine documenting her year-long round-the-world trip with ‘Train Man’ – a man she had met on her daily commute. She since married Train Man and lives in Hertfordshire with him and their two young sons.

Follow Zoë:

Facebook: @zoefolbiggauthor

Twitter: @zolington

Website: www.zoefolbigg.com

Follow Aria:

Website: www.ariafiction.com

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Facebook: @ariafiction

Instagram: @ariafiction

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Blog Tour, Book Reviews, Giveaway

Blog tour, review, & giveaway: Call Her Mine, by Melissa Foster

NEW RELEASE…

Fall in love in Harmony Pointe, where hearts are lost, found, and sometimes misplaced…and everyone get a happy ever after.

If a woman can’t find love in the quaint town of Harmony Pointe, it’s sure to find them—whether they’re looking for it or not. Here, the remaining single Dalton siblings are about to discover that they’re next in line to get swept away by love. A sweet and sexy spin-off of Melissa’s beloved Sugar Lake series.

Ben Dalton has always been honest, except where his heart is concerned. He’s been in love with his best friend—saucy, smart-mouthed Aurelia Stark—forever. But Ben’s a planner, and timing has never been on his side. When he finally decides to make his move, Aurelia beats him to the punch with a move of her own—to a different town.

Aurelia loves her new life in the charming town of Harmony Pointe. She has a great apartment and her very own bookstore, and best of all, the sinfully hot, commitment-phobic friend she’s crushed on for years is no longer just around the corner. Maybe she’ll finally be able to leave her unrequited love behind and move on.

But when a baby is left on Ben’s front porch—a baby that is presumably his—Aurelia is there for him. Neither one knows the first thing about babies, but how hard can it be? Ben and Aurelia are catapulted into a world of love, laughter, and tracking down the baby mama, and it might even add up to a very happily ever after . . . just not one either of them expects.

**My Review**

Welcome to my stop on the tour for Melissa Foster’s latest, Call Her Mine. This incredible romance is about Ben Dalton and Aurelia Stark and prepare to completely swoon! If you have read some of Melissa Foster’s other novels, you are probably familiar with Ben’s sisters, Remi and so on, but this can be read as a stand-alone. Anyway, Ben and Aurelia have been best friends forever even though they have been secretly pining for one another. Aurelia has just moved away to a nearby small town to open a bookstore but still hangs out with Ben, spends the night, etc. Ben has been trying to find the right time to tell Aurelia how he really feels about her when everything changes upon finding a baby in a basket on his doorstep.

So, I must admit that I tend to read other reviews of novels if available as I am writing my own. Mainly, I don’t want to be repetitive, but I also am insanely curious about what other readers think. I’ve seen fabulous reviews and some that weren’t the greatest. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, of course, but I couldn’t help but feel defensive when I saw some negative reviews. Why you ask?

I couldn’t even venture to guess how many novels I have read by Melissa Foster, but this is without a doubt my favorite. Yes, I’ve said this before about some of her books, but hands-down this one gets it. Yes, Ben and Aurelia resolved things between them quickly in this one, but it wasn’t just about them. Coming from Melissa Foster, this novel is a romance blended with a lot of family and friends. However, the focus of this novel, in my opinion, was two young adults (neither having any clue what to do with a baby) learning what is truly important in life. I am accustomed to laughing (hysterically at times) at some of the comments and actions of Foster’s characters, but this one also brought me to tears several times. Some were sad tears but for the most part, they were happy tears.

This novel is full of so much emotion and as someone that has read a zillion of Melissa Foster’s books, I feel that Call Her Mine shows growth and progress regarding her writing, despite her already being such a talented and successful author. It’s messy, funny, sad, romantic, sexy, and will make your heart so full that you’ll feel like it could burst. How she ever even thought up anyone as fabulous as Ben is beyond me, and Aurelia’s character is about as wonderful, patient, and loving as a person could be.  Call Her Mine comes with my highest recommendations regarding what to add to your TBR, and it was my honor and pleasure to read and review this one!

*Thanks to Melissa Foster, NetGalley, and Beck Valley Books for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion!

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

The Harmony Pointe series is published by Montlake Romance and will be available in paperback and audio formats, and exclusively in digital format for Kindle and Kindle apps. Download a FREE Kindle reading app HERE (or order the paperback)

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Also in the Harmony Pointe Series
This is Love (Harmony Pointe Book 2)
Actress Remi Divine is sick of bodyguards, sick of stalkers, and sick of feeling like she is always under a microscope. But this movie star isn’t helpless by any means. She’s got a rebellious streak and she knows how to use it. First order of business: Getting rid of the overbearing bodyguards who are sticking to her like glue.

Mason Swift has made protecting others his life, and when Remi ditches his two best men, he takes over and gives it everything he has. Having grown up in the foster care system, and as an ex-special operative, he knows all the tricks. Nothing gets by him, especially not gorgeous, sneaky, and rebellious, Remi.

He thinks she’s a diva. She thinks he’s arrogant. But when sparks turn to flames and their walls come down, their hearts are revealed and their connection is unstoppable. But when tragedy strikes, Remi realizes that being protected isn’t the worst thing in the world—but losing Mason just might be.

Releasing 3rd December 2019
Available to pre-order from…
Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Paperback   Audiobook

The Harmony Pointe series is published by Montlake Romance and will be available in paperback and audio formats, and exclusively in digital format for Kindle and Kindle apps. Download a FREE Kindle reading app HERE (or order the paperback)

She Loves Me (Harmony Pointe Book 3)

Fall in love in Harmony Pointe, where hearts are lost, found, and sometimes misplaced…and everyone get a happy ever after. If a woman can’t find love in the quaint town of Harmony Pointe, it’s sure to find them—whether they’re looking for it or not. Here, the remaining single Dalton siblings are about to discover that they’re next in line to get swept away by love. A sweet and sexy spin-off of Melissa’s beloved Sugar Lake series.

Releasing April 2020

The Harmony Pointe series is published by Montlake Romance and will be available in paperback and audio formats, and exclusively in digital format for Kindle and Kindle apps. Download a FREE Kindle reading app HERE (or order the paperback)

About the author
Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and women’s fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented–perfect beach reads for contemporary romance and new adult romance lovers who enjoy reading about loyal, wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines with complex relatable issues.

Melissa also writes sweet romance under the pen name Addison Cole.

Melissa enjoys chatting with readers and book clubs. Send her an email invitation to your next event!

Never miss a brand new release, special promotions or inside gossip again by simply signing up to receive your newsletter from Melissa.

Find Melissa on the following sites…
Website   Facebook   Twitter   Google+   Pinterest   Goodreads   Bookbub   Amazon Author Page

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Book Reviews

Book Review: You Deserve Each Other, by Sarah Hogle

You Deserve Each Other, by Sarah Hogle

Publication: G.P. Putnam’s Sons; April 7, 2020

you deserve each otherAbout the book:

Naomi Westfield has an Instagram-perfect life, including the perfect fiancé: Nicholas Rose holds doors open for her, remembers her restaurant orders, and comes from the kind of upstanding society family every bride dreams of being a part of. They never fight, complain, or disagree. They’re preparing for their lavish wedding that’s three months away. And they are miserably and utterly sick of each other.

Tired of contorting herself to fit the ridiculous standards demanded by Nicholas’s family, Naomi wants out of the relationship. But there’s a catch: Whoever calls off the engagement will have to foot the enormous bill for the wedding. When Naomi finds out that Nicholas, too, has been feigning contentment, the two of them go head-to-head in a battle of wills to see who can annoy the other into surrendering through pranks, sabotage, and all-out emotional warfare.

But now that they have nothing to lose, they’re finally being themselves. They’re having so much fun getting on each other’s nerves that it starts to feel like something else entirely. As Naomi discovers hidden feelings for Nicholas buried under three years of simmering resentment, she wonders if he feels the same way. Suddenly, the countdown to the wedding that may or may not come to pass feels more like a race to mutual destruction–and Naomi doesn’t want to be left alone at the finish line.

**My Review**

Oh my goodness I am so glad that I saw this on NetGalley and was approved! If you need a happy, funny romance – then this is your next read! I was crazy excited about the overall premise because who wants to actually admit that they are being the worst versions of themselves? Well, after being together a while and engaged, Nicholas and Naomi are no longer in love, friends, passionate, and so on. They tolerate one another and live the “perfect fake life,” until they stop. 

This book is funny, romantic, frustrating and at times, cringeworthy, as Nicholas and Naomi try to come to terms with their feelings and I honestly loved it. I think I am a bit partial towards Nicholas’ character because out of everyone, he seemed the most honest. As they battled their way back to one another there were several romantic and heartfelt gestures on his part, although it seemed to take Naomi a little longer to come around. Naomi, in general, was difficult to figure out because she literally had no ambitions in life. I found this odd for a twenty-something young woman engaged to a dentist to have no passions or dreams of her own. Nevertheless, her character had some positive qualities. The odd part about my opinions of the characters is that this is written from Naomi’s POV, yet she couldn’t make herself more likable. 

One thing that repeatedly popped into my head while reading this was, “thank God I have been blessed with sweet and loving in-laws, and even better – they live hours and hours away from us.” Nicholas’ mother was ridiculous with her cowering and controlling ways, however, I am also aware that Nicholas allowed it to continue for far too long. 

A huge theme of this novel is that often times, people work better as a team and there is no more important time to remember this then when you’re discussing relationships and marriage. Having one another’s back is critical to a successful relationship, as is being yourself and being honest. How much time do people waste in their lives trying to be something they are not? Keeping things real and putting your loved one first goes a long way in happy couplings, and I think the author did a wonderful job demonstrating that lesson. 

Congratulations to Sarah Hogle for such a fantastic debut novel! I can’t wait to read more from this author in the future. 

*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest review

 

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Moment We Fell, by Kelli Warner

The Moment We Fell, by Kelli Warner

Publication: Wave Runner Publishing (June 22, 2019)

moment we fellAbout the book:

Nothing good happens when people keep secrets.

Paige Bryant’s dreams of becoming a professional ballet dancer died along with her mother. Drowning in grief and plagued by guilt, Paige is blindsided by a provision in her mother’s will that sends her to live with the father she never knew. Forced to start over in a new town and at a new school where she’s now the principal’s daughter, Paige is convinced that her life can’t possibly get more complicated—until fate throws her into the path of the only boy her guardian tells her is off-limits.

Despite two years on the straight and narrow, Cade Matthews can’t escape his time as a juvenile delinquent. With his dad behind bars, Cade’s feelings of anger and betrayal are as relentless as the rumors he’s trying to outrun. The only person not listening to the gossip is the new girl with her own set of troubles, including a father who will never give Cade a fair shake.

As Paige tries to adjust to her new life and an uncertain future, a set of unopened journals reveals a dark family secret. When tensions rise to a boiling point, can Paige and Cade make peace with the past before it destroys them?

*My Review*

I’m so happy to bring you my review of The Moment We Fell, by Kelli Warner. Although this was my first time reading this author, it certainly will not be the last time. Described as teen & young adult romance, this novel is about a seventeen-year-old girl, Paige, who after losing her mother suddenly is sent to live with a father that she never knew about and also has decided to give up her passion for dance, that she has been doing since she was four-years-old. New in town and new to her new home with her father, step-mother, and half-siblings, Paige makes friends easily but is drawn to the “bad-boy” Cade. Cade has also suffered incredible loss, as well as, gotten involved in bad crowds leading to trouble. However, he has turned his life around despite still dealing with his emotions about everything that has happened with his parents. Cade and Paige find themselves unlikely friends and sharing things they tell no one else about their losses, hopes, and dreams. But their emotional baggage coupled with Paiges’s Dad’s adamant warnings about her staying away from Cade repeatedly stands in their way. 

So, I don’t read a ton of Teen/Young Adult novels, but this one piqued my interest. And, I’m so glad to have read it. The Moment We Fell is very emotional and oftentimes, contains difficult subject matter about death and dying. Think back to when you were seventeen and felt like the world was on your shoulders at times… This was Paige and Cade for the majority of the novel and Warner’s writing and imagery is so real and well-done that there were times while I was reading that I could feel the characters’ tension, sadness, anxiety, and regret right along with them. 

Reading this novel will have you praying for people to give Cade the second-chance he deserves, cheering and rooting for Paige to re-discover her passion for dance, and whole-heartedly hoping that these two teenagers can find the peace and happiness that they deserve. The only thing that left me a little unsettled was the ending because I love a clear-cut happy ending in things that I read. The ending to The Moment We Fell is certainly hopeful, but I couldn’t help but long for more about what happens to these amazing characters in the future. 

**Thanks to LibraryThing for providing this copy in exchange for my honest review.

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Book Review: Normal People: A Novel, By Sally Rooney

Normal People: A Novel, By Sally Rooney

Publication: Hogarth; April 16, 2019

Normal PeopleAbout the book:

At school, Connell and Marianne pretend not to know each other. He’s popular and well-adjusted, star of the school football team, while she is lonely, proud, and intensely private. But when Connell comes to pick his mother up from her job at Marianne’s house, a strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers—one they are determined to conceal.

A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. And as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other.

**My Review**

Normal People, by Sally Rooney, is one of those buzz books that everyone has been discussing. I downloaded this novel in October, it published in April, but I have just now gotten around to reading it. Why did I wait so long? Do you know those books that leave you thinking about the characters and the messages within the story long after you finish reading? Normal People is that book. 

Marianne and Connell live in Carricklea (County Sligo) in Ireland, go to school together, but don’t technically know one another. Marianne is brilliant, has a wealthy family, is considered somewhat of an ugly-ducking, and spends her days at school socializing with no one, but rather, sitting at lunch with her nose in a book and off in her own world. Connell is popular, an athlete, was raised by a single mother who happens to work cleaning Marianne’s house, and although he hangs out with some frequently mean and offensive people, he seems to be more philosophical and intelligent than them. One day while picking up his mother at Marianne’s home, Connell and Marianne engage in more conversation than normal, going beyond their typical sparring about who is smarter and gets the best grades. Their conversations become more frequent when he arrives to pick up us his mother.

You know you were saying the other day that you like me, he said. In the kitchen you said it, when we were talking about school. Yeah. Did you mean it like as a friend or what?

No, not just as a friend, she said. Oh, okay. I was wondering. He sat there, nodding to himself. I’m kind of confused about what I feel, he added. I think it would be awkward in school if anything happened with us.

No one would have to know. 

And there is the beginning of a relationship that, over the next four years, is one part friendship, one part love story, one part sexual relationship, and a lot of miscommunication. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved and adored every moment of this novel, but oh my, what a shining example of the importance of open and honest communication. The incredible pull that Marianne and Connell have towards one another is evident throughout the novel, however, neither is ever quite able to put their hearts on the line and truly say what they mean or how they are feeling, resulting in so many missed opportunities at happiness. Initially, I was frustrated with the third person omniscient POV just because I prefer the first person POV. Then there was the flat, short, choppy dialogue as a whole in this novel, not just between Marianne and Connell. I wanted to scream at the characters at times to complete an entire thought using more than two or three words! But then I realized that it could partly be a regional thing that I am not accustomed to or could just be Rooney’s writing style. The best thing I can compare to is a show that was on when I was in middle school called Degrassi Junior High.  I mean the first one that started in the late ’80s (I’m showing my age here.) The show was set in Canada and I can remember watching it thinking how short and choppy their sentences were. But then I also remembered thinking that if those teenagers heard our dialogue, they would probably wonder if we ever shut-up or just talked forever. 

While Normal People is full of political and philosophical themes regarding post-crash Ireland and social class, one of the huge themes of the novel surrounds Marianne’s poor self-concept and her tendency to accept and crave abuse. Not only did Marianne tolerate and seek-out abuse in romantic relationships, but she also tolerated long-term emotional and physical abuse within her family. This made me wonder several times if Connell was “too nice” for her. He certainly did several emotionally hurtful things to her over the years, but was he too tender and respectful for the majority of their relationship to hold her interest?

She lies on her front and presses her face into the mattress, and he touches the back of her thigh with his hand. Her body is just an item of property, and though it has been handed around and misused in various ways, it has somehow always belonged to him, and she feels like returning it to him now.

Connell, as well as other characters also battle depression and other mental health issues, but the bulk of major events within the novel surround Marianne and her unhealthy outlook on relationships. As far as Marianne and Connell, their relationship is based on love, sex, rescuing one another, and miscommunication. That may sound odd or even a bit depressing, but I was still completely engrossed in their story from the first word until the last. 

I’ve read reviews where people are infuriated about the ending and I’ve read reviews where people love the ending. For lack of better words, I am fine with it. My reasoning for that statement is, I’m not really sure what the future holds for Marianne and Connell at the ending. Maybe that was Rooney’s intentions all along, for the reader to formulate their own opinion about them. Or, perhaps the author had a clear ending in mind for this couple and we have to read between the lines to figure out what it is? Regardless, the ending is not the meat of this novel and is not what I will be thinking about for a very long time. It’s everything that happened before the ending.

Normal People is a blend of literary fiction and coming of age fiction, so keep that in mind while reading. It serves as both warnings and reminders of how damn hard it is growing up and trying to find your place in the world. There is sex, romance, laughter, and tears that is so raw it is almost uncomfortable at times. While reading, you may find yourself relating to the characters or you could celebrate the fact that things were so much easier for in young adulthood. Regardless, this is an outstanding novel that will stay with you long after you finish it.  This is easily going into my top ten favorite books ever read.

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