Author: Liora Blake

Review: Second Chance Season by Liora Blake

Posted July 10, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Second Chance Season by Liora BlakeReviewer: Rowena
Second Chance Season by Liora Blake
Series: Grand Valley #2
Also in this series: First Step Forward, First Step Forward
Published by Pocket Books
Publication Date: June 20th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 336
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Return to Liora Blake’s Grand Valley series with Second Chance Season, in which an avowed country boy with a family duty meets an ambitious city girl with even bigger goals and who shows him just what he’s been missing.

Garrett Strickland is unapologetically country, fiercely loyal, and perfectly happy with his job at the Hotchkiss Co-op. Garrett is all about living in the present and not dwelling in the past—even if he was once on his way to a lofty agricultural sciences degree that would guarantee the brightest of futures, only to end up back home when his old man died, leaving behind a debt-ridden family farm that was impossible to keep afloat. After that, it was easy to see why dreaming big wasn’t worth the heartache. And until he crosses paths with a city girl who’s hell-bent on kick-starting her own future, he’s sure that good enough is just that.

Cara Cavanaugh is ready for more from life, even if that means changing everything; including dumping her boyfriend of ten years, turning down a lucrative job at a major newspaper, and leaving behind the upscale suburbs of Chicago where she grew up. Now, she just has to pray that temporarily relocating to the middle of nowhere in Colorado will be the first step in building a career as a freelance journalist—all she has to do is prove she’s got what it takes to make a name for herself. Unfortunately, her tony country day school is as close to “country” as she’s ever been. But when a goodhearted guy who looks like he just stumbled out of a country music video offers to help, she ends up falling hard…and discovering that the perfect story is a love story. And it’s theirs.

Second Chance Season, book two in the Grand Valley series, is a charming, feel-good romance, perfect for fans of Jennifer Probst and Kristan Higgins.

Second Chance Season is the second book in Liora Blake’s Grand Valley series and it follows the cutie patootie that works at the Co-Op, Garrett Strickland. In First Step Forward, we learn that Garrett was going to college to earn a degree and learn all he can before he took over his family’s farm. He had plans for his future and he was hoping to learn all he can to make his family business a profitable one but all of his plans went to crap when his father died and he ended up losing the farm because he couldn’t come out of the mountain of debt his father was in to save it.

Garrett’s world was rocked after his father died. He not only lost his father but he also lost his childhood home and his plans he made for his future. He never went back to college, he got a job at the town Co-Op and has been working there ever since. He doesn’t live the most glamorous life but he’s okay with his lot in life. He’s okay with living alone in a trailer. He’s okay with not knowing what the future holds and all of that stays true until he meets Cara Cavanaugh.

Cara Cavanaugh is making some changes in her life. She dumped her boyfriend and moves from Chicago to Hotchkiss, Colorado to write her first freelance writing article on the AG scene in Hotchkiss. She’s not sure how to go about interviewing the locals for her story but when she meets Garrett Strickland, hometown boy, things take a turn for the better. He knows everything and everyone around town and decides to help her any way that he can. He starts by introducing her around and getting her in the door with the local farmers, setting her up to interview people and he takes her out with him to help his neighbors on their farms so that she can see how everything works and he’s a real knight in shining armor even though things have to be weird for him since she’s staying in the only home he’d ever known growing up. The home that he lost after his father died.

Second Chance Season is a slow simmering romance that really worked for me. I adored getting to know Garrett and seeing him come into his own after his world was rocked upside down. I loved seeing him come to grips with the past, making peace with it and then finally making plans for his future. It was a long time coming and I really liked that Cara was able to help Garrett just as much as Garrett was able to help Cara when she got into town. It wasn’t a one-way thing and their attraction that blossomed into that love was a journey that I loved being a part of.

This book was rich with charming characters that I couldn’t get enough of and I’m super excited to continue the series with Braden’s book. Both Garrett and Cara were characters that really came alive with each passing page. They were normal and they were fun to get to know and even when they were both being boneheads, I adored them. Liora Blake did a great job of weaving a compelling romance with characters that readers will connect with and I’m happy with the story she wrote here. It was fun and it was sweet and I’m definitely in for more.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: First Step Forward by Liora Blake

Posted January 17, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Guest Review: First Step Forward by Liora BlakeReviewer: Tracy
First Step Forward by Liora Blake
Series: Grand Valley #1
Also in this series: First Step Forward, Second Chance Season
Published by Pocket Books
Publication Date: November 29th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
five-stars

Pro-football player Cooper Lowry is off the field and into some trouble—in the form of a very alluring, very free-spirited apple orchard owner named Whitney Reed—in the first installment in Liora Blake’s all new Grand Valley series.

After eight seasons playing pro-football, Cooper Lowry knows all the right answers.

Is he stubborn, short-tempered, and impatient? Yes. Are jersey chasers more trouble than they’re worth? Absolutely. Has he ever imagined a life beyond the game? Nope.

Cooper has built an enviable career—the result of staying focused, working hard, and keeping his head on straight—even as his body takes the brunt. So when a hard hit during a Sunday home game leaves him in a dazed heap on the field, it’s nothing more than another day at the office. The only thing that’s different about this Sunday is a chance encounter with a certain fascinating, beautiful free-spirited woman. And some sternly-worded instructions from his coach to take a little time off and give his body the TLC it craves—before he does lasting damage.

Whitney Reed is a few months away from losing the organic fruit orchard she bought three years ago in the tiny town of Hotchkiss, Colorado. At the time, she was just looking for a place to get lost. Instead, she found a home, somewhere she could finally put down roots. Now foreclosure is knocking on her door—along with a grumpy, gorgeous football player who might be just what she never knew she needed.

Cooper Lowry is a professional football player who is a “veteran” on the team.  He’s been in the NFL for 8 years and while his body is in top shape he’s definitely not as young as he used to be.  At one game he gets tackled and ends up with a concussion.  He is in the drugstore attempting to buy a large bag of Epsom salt but is having difficulty moving his body because his head hurts so badly.  He is assisted by a hippie looking woman who is in old man flannel pajamas and socks – who’s absolutely beautiful.  He pays for both his and her items, as a thank you, and goes on his way.  The next day he runs into her and is even more enthralled with her.

Whitney Reed is a woman on a mission.  She’s driven to Denver to attempt to get a loan that will save her orchard.  She’s in arears and needs to get the money to save her farm before she has nothing left.  She runs into the man who she helped the night before and finds him even more gorgeous in the daylight than he was in the drugstore.  They talk and she offers him a jar of the apple butter she made and goes on her way.  She doesn’t expect him to show up not long afterward at her home. He’s trying to take it easy with his concussion but all she wants to do is jump him.

The pair are hot for each other from the time they meet.  The longer they spend together the closer they get but Whitney is worried about her orchard and Cooper is worried about his career when he gets hurt yet again.  While Cooper is thinking of a future with Whitney he finds that she’s not being completely honest with him and it eventually causes them each to doubt what they have.

This book.  It was so good!  I almost everything about it.  Was it perfect? No, but there was so much love, laughter, romance, and reality to truly be a great book.

Cooper and Whitney had such a fabulous chemistry between them right from the beginning that it grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.  I loved reading about them and their experiences; they were so damned cute together!  Cooper was a fabulous blend of cocky, stubborn, loving man to Whitney’s hippie, organic, tree hugging relaxed self.  Of course she was a bit stressed because of the whole orchard foreclosure issue but other than that she was pretty relaxed.  Despite the differences between the two got along really well and had a great spending time together.

The humor, the love and the wonderful writing by Liora Blake made this a five star read for me.  I recommend that you don’t miss this one.

Rating: 5 out of 5

five-stars


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Review: First Step Forward by Liora Blake

Posted December 23, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: First Step Forward by Liora BlakeReviewer: Rowena
First Step Forward by Liora Blake
Series: Grand Valley #1
Also in this series: First Step Forward, Second Chance Season
Published by Pocket Books
Publication Date: November 29th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Pro-football player Cooper Lowry is off the field and into some trouble—in the form of a very alluring, very free-spirited apple orchard owner named Whitney Reed—in the first installment in Liora Blake’s all new Grand Valley series.

After eight seasons playing pro-football, Cooper Lowry knows all the right answers.

Is he stubborn, short-tempered, and impatient? Yes. Are jersey chasers more trouble than they’re worth? Absolutely. Has he ever imagined a life beyond the game? Nope.

Cooper has built an enviable career—the result of staying focused, working hard, and keeping his head on straight—even as his body takes the brunt. So when a hard hit during a Sunday home game leaves him in a dazed heap on the field, it’s nothing more than another day at the office. The only thing that’s different about this Sunday is a chance encounter with a certain fascinating, beautiful free-spirited woman. And some sternly-worded instructions from his coach to take a little time off and give his body the TLC it craves—before he does lasting damage.

Whitney Reed is a few months away from losing the organic fruit orchard she bought three years ago in the tiny town of Hotchkiss, Colorado. At the time, she was just looking for a place to get lost. Instead, she found a home, somewhere she could finally put down roots. Now foreclosure is knocking on her door—along with a grumpy, gorgeous football player who might be just what she never knew she needed.

A charming love story for romance and sports fans alike, First Step Forward is a sexy, heartwarming romp perfect for readers of Jennifer Probst, Kristan Higgins, and Julie James.

Liora Blake is a sort of new to me author. I read and enjoyed her True North series so when this book came on to my radar, I knew that I wanted to try it out. I’m happy that I did because Blake wrote a sweet romance between an NFL player and a hippie apple orchard owner that had me smiling throughout the entire book.

Cooper Lowry is a wide receiver in the NFL, playing in Denver and the book opens with him getting wacked pretty hard during a game. He might have a concussion so he’s ordered by the team trainor to take a couple of days and not do a hot damn thing. Get away for a little while and be one with his thoughts before reporting back to work. The time off finds Cooper heading to Hotchkiss, Colorado where he meets up with a quirky woman that he can’t get out of his mind.

Whitney Reed is on the verge of losing her apple orchard. She’s having money troubles but she’s not going down without a fight. She’s going to apply for every loan and try every thing under the sun before she’ll admit defeat. She’s tenacious and she’s strong and she’ll figure something out. When she meets Cooper Lowry in a liquor store, she didn’t really know who he was and he needed help reaching the bottom shelf so she offers her assistance. She is immediately attracted to him because he’s hot stuff and looks strong and he totally does it for her but when she leaves Denver to head home, she doesn’t think she’ll ever see him again so she was prepared to put him behind her. That wasn’t going as well as she’d hope but when he shows up on her doorstep, she’s surprised and also happy because she wants to jump his bones. She’s so glad that he seems to want to jump hers too.

What a great romance this turned out to be. Their problems were real life problems and they fumbled their way through each situation that came their way but what I really liked about this was how once they realized that they had feelings for each other, they didn’t shy away from feeling them. They were grown ups about everything and yeah, they weren’t perfect but they were a charming set of characters anyway.

I’m curious about who will get their story told next because I didn’t really catch on to any story set ups. I’m hoping that Garrett will get his own book but that’s all I can think of, off the top of my head.

This was a sweet romance that really dug its way into my heart and I’m glad that I read it. I’m looking forward to more from this series.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: True Divide by Liora Blake

Posted December 9, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: True Divide by Liora BlakeReviewer: Tracy
True Divide by Liora Blake
Series: True series #3
Also in this series: True Devotion, True Divide, True North, True Devotion
Published by Pocket Books, Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: October 19, 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

What do you do when the one boy you were never quite able to forget lands on your doorstep?

Lacey Mosely feels stuck: in her rural town of Crowell, Montana, at her job as manager of The Beauty Barn, and in her lackluster love life. Enter Jake Holt, one-time misfit and Lacey’s secret high school love. Ten years later, Jake is a private pilot whose travels take him all over the world, and once he shows up in Lacey’s life again—at the most unexpected time—he can’t seem to stay away. Now it’s up to Lacey to decide if she’s ready to let go of the past…and take a leap of faith for love.

Lacey Mosley was born and raised in Crowell, Montana. As much as she feels stuck there she can’t imagine leaving. She has worked at The Beauty Barn since she was about 16 years old and now works there as a manager for her elderly boss.

When she takes her sister to the hospital to have her baby her brother in law has to fly in from Los Angeles as the baby comes a couple of weeks early. When Lacey sees who the pilot of the plane is she’s shocked to see that it’s Jake Holt, the boy she’d had a hidden relationship with during her senior year of high school. Jake was the bad boy skater and Lacey was the good girl cheerleader but they came together and made it work. When Jake left for parts unknown the day after graduation Lacey was shocked and stunned and now that he’s back in town Lacey’s not sure she wants to get involved with a man who she knows is just going to leave once again.

Jake needed to get out of Crowell as he felt like he was suffocating. He had lived an interesting yet hard life for a while but then got his pilot’s license and life was pretty good at the moment. He never forgot Lacey and wants to start up another relationship with her. Lacey never stopped loving Jake but again, she doesn’t want to get involved with a man who wants nothing to do with Crowell. When she finds out that The Beauty Barn will be hers for good Jake’s not sure he can handle being stuck in a small town with small-minded people. Can their love withstand the trials of each of them living in different states, or will it fizzle to nothing once again.

The final book in the True series was a good one. Lacey and Jake’s story was sweet and almost seamless for most of the book. Sure, Lacey didn’t want to get involved with him again but she can’t get past the feelings that never died for him. Their affair is fun and I loved their email conversations when they weren’t together. Jake was such a good guy and sent Lacey special gifts when he couldn’t be with her on certain occasions – it was all very romantic.

Jake could be a bit of an ass at times but truly once he figured out what he was saying would hurt in a way he didn’t intend he apologized immediately. It didn’t take the sting away completely but I liked that he was intelligent enough to realize his stupid mistakes.

The end was wrapped up a bit too quickly for my liking but I was happy that they managed to work out their differences. I’m sad to see this series end but hopefully we’ll get another great one from Blake sometime soon. 🙂

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: True Devotion by Liora Blake

Posted December 1, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: True Devotion by Liora BlakeReviewer: Rowena
True Devotion by Liora Blake
Series: True Series #2
Also in this series: True Devotion, True Divide, True North

Publication Date: June 22nd 2015
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Find out if rock sensation Simon can break through tough-girl Devon’s steely exterior—if he can keep his head on straight, that is—in this second sizzling romance in the True series!

Devon Jenkins is a feisty blonde, and Simon Cole is the arrogant, sexy guitarist playing in her brother’s band. When they met for the first time, it went something like this: He hit on her, she shot him down, he made a lewd joke, she told him he was an idiot.

In the two years since then, not much has changed. From the way Simon flirts shamelessly with any set of ovaries within a 100-mile radius, Devon knows the smartest thing she can do is keep an impenetrable wall between them.

But sometimes the smart choice isn’t necessarily the right one…

Devon Jenkins brother is a rock star. She’s around musicians a lot because of who her brother is and one of those musicians is Simon Cole. Simon Cole is a rich playboy who flirts with anything in a skirt and is in Trevor’s band. One of the girls that he flirts with all the time is Devon Jenkins. They have a love to bicker relationship but he’s not on Devon’s radar…like that. At least she thought he wasn’t, until he is and she can’t get him out of her mind.

Simon has noticed Devon since the first time he set eyes on her and after two years of bickering with her over every little thing, he’s still noticing her. It’s not to be though because she’s one of the few girls who hasn’t fell for his charming personality but at Trevor and Kate’s wedding, things start looking up for Simon because a very drunk Devon is finally noticing Simon…like that. Too bad she’s drunk because Simon doesn’t want Devon for one night. He wants her for a whole lot of nights and he won’t be the guy she regrets having sex with in the morning and drunken wedding sex with him is something she’s going to regret so after taking care of her that night, he walks away.

Devon tries to move on from Simon’s rejection and forget about the whole thing but the guy is everywhere! It’s getting harder and harder to ignore how much she wants him when he keeps showing up everywhere she goes and before she knows whats what, she gets a taste and she can’t stay away.

Holy crap did Simon win me over in this book. There was not one thing about him that I didn’t absolutely love. From his flirty personality to the charity work that he did to honor his Mom to that first gift he gave Devon…he was everything.

Devon was a good heroine but there were times when her hot and cold attitude toward Simon got on my nerves. I’m glad that once she decided that she was all in with Simon, she never strayed from that. I just thought it took her a while to finally get there and it was disappointing because she hurt my Simon.

Simon was my favorite hero in the whole series, I loved him so much. I loved how giving he was, how in he was with Devon. I loved how upfront he was with everyone about how much he liked Devon. When we find out about the way he was with Devon’s best friend, my heart melted. I could go on and on about my love for Simon Cole but I’m sure you get the idea. He was great. I freaking loved him and if you want to love him too, you should read this book. It’s good, I promise!

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars


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