Series: The Outback Bachelor Ball

Guest Review: Wait for Me by Sarah Mayberry

Posted November 5, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Wait for Me by Sarah MayberryReviewer: Tracy
Wait for Me by Sarah Mayberry
Published by Sarah Mayberry
Publication Date: October 20, 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

 

Three unlucky-in-love girlfriends make a road trip to the Outback Bachelor & Spinster Ball, a highlight of rural Australia life. One’s looking to move on, one’s thumbing her nose at romance, and one’s looking to slip away and hide. None of them are looking for love…

Three women are about to meet their match in a cowboy, a soldier and a country rock star. One magical night. One less than magical morning after. Forty-eight hours can change your life.

Sometimes it pays to wait for the things you want, even if it’s the hardest thing you ever do.

Beth Walker hasn’t just been burned by her philandering country music star ex, she’s been barbecued to a crisp. Coming home to Australia and into the arms of her best friends is exactly the balm she needs. Cocktails and laughter at an Outback Bachelor and Spinster Ball seem like the perfect distraction. Until she bumps into the last person she wants seeing her heartsick and pathetic — Jonah Masters, rising country music star and witness to the failure of her marriage. If only she’d met Jonah first. Now she’s broken and won’t ask him to wait until she heals.

Jonah can’t believe he and Beth are finally standing under the same stars. The connection they shared on the road years ago has haunted him but he wouldn’t pursue a married woman. Now she’s free, and Jonah can’t refuse the one night Beth impulsively offers. Can he convince the woman he’s always loved that he’ll wait — however long it takes — for her trust?

Beth met her husband in Thailand and it was almost love at first site. He was a country rock star and though she didn’t really listen to country she fell hard. Unfortunately he turned out to be a scumbag of epic proportions! He took infidelity to a whole new level so she’s been hiding out trying to keep the media and paparazzi off of her tail. Taking the trip to Australia is perfect for Beth’s situation and it adds the bonus of her seeing her boarding school friends once again.

Beth is dared to dance with any decent guy that asks her while at the Ball and she complies. She is stunned when she sees Jonah Masters arrive at the ball. On the first tour Beth ever went on with her ex Jonah’s band was the opening act. During the course of the tour Beth and Jonah became great friends and Jonah fell in love with Beth. Jonah is thrilled that Beth is at the Ball and takes every chance he has to get her to spend time with him. When they end up sleeping together it’s magical and extremely hot. They each know that there’s something between them but Beth isn’t ready to explore any kind of relationship with anyone.

This was a really great book. I loved Beth and Jonah together and the flashback we got showing us a bit of Beth and Jonah’s time together when they first met was pretty great. It gave the reader a good foundation to the relationship and I could see that they weren’t just starting from scratch.

The time that Jonah and Beth spend together looking at a house that he is looking to buy was sweet and I loved every minute of it. I also loved that the author didn’t rush this relationship. Beth was pretty broken when the series began and she needed that extra time to set her world straight. I loved that in the end it was Beth who seeks Jonah out as it just showed that she knew it was their time.

Overall a very sweet and romantic story with lots of laughter and fun.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

Guest Review: Woo Me by Karina Bliss

Posted November 4, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Woo Me by Karina BlissReviewer: Tracy
Woo Me by Karina Bliss
Published by Karina Bliss
Publication Date: October 20, 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

 

Three unlucky-in-love girlfriends make a road trip to the Outback Bachelor & Spinster Ball, a highlight of rural Australia life. One’s looking to move on, one’s thumbing her nose at romance, and one’s looking to slip away and hide. None of them are looking for love…

Three women are about to meet their match in a cowboy, a soldier and a country rock star. One magical night. One less than magical morning after. Forty-eight hours can change your life.

 

Can true love overcome a bad hide day and a series of unfortunate events?

Disillusioned in love, Jen Tremaine is done with men. So when her best friends dare her to wear a cow costume to their reunion at an Outback Bachelor and Spinster Ball, she’s all over it. Who would have thought dressing as a heifer would make her irresistible to a bunch of lasso-twirling, drunken cowboys?
Maybe you should have thought this through, says the sexy security guard who keeps finding her at the center of trouble. Even though Jen’s always dismissed soul mates as a load of bull, the sizzle between them is making her wonder: What if you met The One while wandering lonely as a cow? Would you find the courage to become a believer?

When ex-Special Forces soldier Logan Turner is roped into helping out with security at the B&S ball, he isn’t expecting to find love – but after months in all-male company he sure is hoping for lust. He certainly isn’t expecting to fall for a feisty, funny, trouble-making Cowderella. Only problem is, she’s leaving Australia tomorrow. Convincing Jen they can still have a future together may wind up being the toughest mission of his life.

Jen and her friends Ellie and Beth have decided to attend the Outback Bachelor & Spinster Ball. The last time that they went, which was many years before, Ellie had worn a cow costume just to be funny. As the three friends are drinking and planning their fun Jen is dared to wear the cow costume to this years event. Jen agrees because she wants nothing to do with men.

Jen had been dating her boss and thought things were moving along. She thought they would get married eventually and she was good with that. She wasn’t looking for a passionate love she just needed to be settled and organized. When her boss went back to his ex-wife Jen was determined to stay at her job but seeing his children involved made up her mind to move on. The Ball will be a fun thing before she starts her new temporary job in New Zealand.

Jen is having an ok time at the ball when she ends up needing help from one of the security guys, Logan, who was roped into doing security by his sister, one of the Ball’s planners. Logan thinks that Cowderella is hilarious and he loves her sense of humor which he keeps seeing as he keeps having to save her in different situations. When he finally sees her face he likes her even more but it’s really her personality that cinches the deal. They end up together that night and though Jen had no plan to get involved the connection between her and Logan is something that can’t be ignored. She decides to go for it with him but when he doesn’t show it just proves her thoughts about men – not worth it.

I really enjoyed this story a lot. I loved Jen and her friends and their fun together. They played off of each other’s wit perfectly. Jen in her cow costume made me laugh. The situations that she got into were funny and I loved the sparks between her and Logan. I was extremely happy that she decided to go for it with him but sad when she ended up leaving hurt. It all worked out in the end and it was done really well too. I loved how Bliss got the two together and then showed us a little bit in the future. Very romantic and a perfect way to end their story.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

Guest Review: Win Me by Joan Kilby

Posted November 3, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Win Me by Joan KilbyReviewer: Tracy
Win Me by Joan Kilby
Published by Joan Kilby
Publication Date: October 20, 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

 

 

Three unlucky-in-love girlfriends make a road trip to the Outback Bachelor & Spinster Ball, a highlight of rural Australia life. One’s looking to move on, one’s thumbing her nose at romance, and one’s looking to slip away and hide. None of them are looking for love…

Three women are about to meet their match in a cowboy, a soldier and a country rock star. One magical night. One less than magical morning after. Forty-eight hours can change your life.

 

She’ll do anything to get him to see her as a woman…

Feisty, fearless Ellie McFarlane has tried forever to get cattle station manager, Rick Drummond, to notice she’s not another cowhand. So when her gal pals talk her into glamming up for an Outback Bachelor and Spinster ball she’s eager to prove she’s all woman, all the time, and leave her boneheaded cowboy eating dust.

Sexy wrangler Rick is crazy about Ellie just as she is but her father – his boss – told him long ago that his daughter was off limits. Even though she’s all grown up now, Rick still feels it’s his job is to protect her, not seduce her. Plus, he’s finally got an opportunity to buy back his family farm, which means moving far away.

Ellie’s transformation from Cinder-Ellie to belle of the ball has Rick’s jaw dropping – and all the other cowboys falling at her feet. Ellie tries to revel in her new-found sex-pot status but without Rick it’s a hollow victory. Has Rick left it too late to claim the only woman he’ll ever truly love…?

Ellie met Rick when she was just fourteen years old when he came to her father’s cattle station to become the manager. She had a crush on Rick then but as she grew up her feelings turned to love. Unfortunately Ellie can’t seem to get Rick to see her as a woman now. She’s quit her job in Wyoming and has moved back home. She plans on attending the Outback Bachelor & Spinster Ball with her friends Jen and Beth to find her a man who sees her for the grown up she’s become.

Rick sees Ellie as a woman but her father asked him years ago to keep his hands off her and he complied. He loves his job and sees Ellie’s family as his own to a point. He would never jeopardize that connection or his job. When he finds out that Ellie is attending the OBSB he finds himself jealous and decides to attend as well.

This story unfortunately was my least favorite of the series. Though the friends to lovers theme is always a favorite of mine it just didn’t work for me here. In this book Ellie was the cause of most of my issues with the book. I found her to be whiney and wishy-washy and pretty immature. I wasn’t sure that she was ready to settle down and that didn’t improve throughout the book. She was wonderful with her friends. When they Skyped or got together they made me laugh and I loved the close bond that they all shared. They were all very supportive of each other and that showed me true friendship.

Rick honestly had the hots for Ellie. He wanted nothing more than to be with her but he knew that they were after different things in life. He was considering buying his father’s old farm (that is now deserted) and that would leave Ellie behind. He thinks this might be the answer to his issues as to whether he should go for it or not with Ellie. Of course when he sleeps with her at the ball that’s it for him. Unfortunately Ellie’s still unsure of his feelings and their complete lack of communication was a bit off-putting.

Overall a cute premise and a cute story but the characters weren’t my favorite.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars

Review: Wait for Me by Sarah Mayberry

Posted October 20, 2015 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Wait for Me by Sarah MayberryReviewer: Holly
Wait for Me by Sarah Mayberry
Series: The Outback Bachelor Ball #3
Also in this series: Win Me, Woo Me
Published by Sarah Mayberry
Publication Date: October 20, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Book Three in The Outback Bachelor Ball Series

Sometimes it pays to wait for the things you want, even if it’s the hardest thing you ever do.

Beth Walker hasn’t just been burned by her philandering country music star ex, she’s been barbecued to a crisp. Coming home to Australia and into the arms of her best friends is exactly the balm she needs. Cocktails and laughter at an Outback Bachelor and Spinster Ball seem like the perfect distraction. Until she bumps into the last person she wants seeing her heartsick and pathetic — Jonah Masters, rising country music star and witness to the failure of her marriage. If only she’d met Jonah first. Now she’s broken and won’t ask him to wait until she heals.

Jonah can’t believe he and Beth are finally standing under the same stars. The connection they shared on the road years ago has haunted him but he wouldn’t pursue a married woman. Now she’s free, and Jonah can’t refuse the one night Beth impulsively offers. Can he convince the woman he’s always loved that he’ll wait — however long it takes — for her trust?

Wait For Me is Book 3 in The Outback Bachelor Ball Series. Don't miss out on Book 1 - Win Me by Joan Kilby and Book 2 - Woo Me by Karina Bliss.

Of the three books in this series, this is my favorite.

Beth was royally screwed over by her ex, a country music star who cheated on her for the entirety of their marriage. He had her convinced the rumors were just that, and she ignored evidence to the contrary in order to make her marriage work. When the women he cheated with came forward, she was humiliated on top of being betrayed. Several months later, she’s still in hiding and wants nothing to do with men. Her best friends talk her into attending the Outback Bachelor Ball and dancing with any man who asks that isn’t a total creep. She agrees, but only to make them happy. When she runs into Jonah Masters, she’s happy to see him, but also ashamed, since he was there when she first heard the rumors of her ex cheating, and he knows she chose to ignore them.

Jonah is thrilled he found Beth. He was one of the acts on her ex’s tour. They spent a lot of time together and he felt a serious connection to her. He’s been thinking about her a lot since the news of her husband’s infidelities came out. He can’t wait to catch up with her and see how she’s really holding up. He isn’t surprised to see they still have a striking connection, but he is surprised by the blinding amount of lust he feels for her – and that she seems to return.

Beth agrees to spend some time with Jonah, but she isn’t prepared for the feelings he stirs up inside of her. After they spend the night together she agrees to accompany him on a trip to look at a potential new home for himself. She can’t deny the connection between them, but she isn’t in a place where she can pursue anything with him. She can’t ask him to wait for her. He can’t do anything but.

I was most anxious for this book at the beginning of the series. Beth was pretty broken in the beginning, and I wasn’t sure how Mayberry was going to make a happily ever after – or even a happy for now – work. Beth had her world rocked when her husband’s cheating came to light in such a public way. Not only was her heart broken, but she lost trust in her judgement. How could she have stayed with a man so long when all the signs pointed to his perfidy and she just ignored them? To buy into her falling for someone else in short period of time wouldn’t have made sense. Thankfully that wasn’t the case.

Jonah was a well-balanced character. I thought there’d be more angst over the fact that he, too, was a country music star, but Beth recognized the differences between him and her ex. I thought that was well done. It can be frustrating when a woman paints all men with a tarnished brush because of the actions of one. It was easy to see why Beth felt for him the way she did. He was a strong, steady guy whose values and ideals lined up with her own. They had great chemistry in and out of the bedroom. There was a strong connection between Beth and Jonah that came across very well. I believed in their chemistry and their friendship. Since they knew each other before the burden of forming a connection wasn’t there.

When Beth makes the decision to leave Jonah behind to find herself and establish her life, I was both sad and relieved. She needed to find herself again, and put some distance between her old life and her new one. I’m so glad she took that time.

I really loved both Beth and Jonah, together and on their own. They were well suited and their friendship and connection really worked for me. The ending was very satisfying. I finished the book on a happy sigh with the feeling that all would work out as it should.

To be honest, I’m sad to see the series end. I would have loved more time with all three woman. Do yourselves a favor and pick this up now.

4.25 out of 5

four-stars

Review: Woo Me by Karina Bliss

Posted October 20, 2015 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Woo Me by Karina BlissReviewer: Holly
Woo Me by Joan Kilby, Karina Bliss, Sarah Mayberry
Series: The Outback Bachelor Ball #2
Also in this series: Win Me, Wait for Me
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: 10/20/15
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Can true love overcome a bad hide day and a series of unfortunate events?

Disillusioned in love, Jen Tremaine is done with men. So when her best friends dare her to wear a cow costume to their reunion at an Outback Bachelor and Spinster Ball, she's all over it. Who would have thought dressing as a heifer would make her irresistible to a bunch of lasso-twirling, drunken cowboys?
Maybe you should have thought this through, says the sexy security guard who keeps finding her at the center of trouble. Even though Jen's always dismissed soul mates as a load of bull, the sizzle between them is making her wonder: What if you met The One while wandering lonely as a cow? Would you find the courage to become a believer?
When ex-Special Forces soldier Logan Turner is roped into helping out with security at the B&S ball, he isn't expecting to find love - but after months in all-male company he sure is hoping for lust. He certainly isn't expecting to fall for a feisty, funny, trouble-making Cowderella. Only problem is, she's leaving Australia tomorrow. Convincing Jen they can still have a future together may wind up being the toughest mission of his life.

Woo Me is Book 2 in The Outback Bachelor Ball Series. Don't miss out on Book 1 - Win Me by Joan Kilby and Book 3 – Wait For Me by Sarah Mayberry.

Jen thought she had a good thing with her long-time boyfriend, until he suddenly announced his desire to get back with his ex-wife. Hurt and confused, Jen decides what she needs is a change of pace and takes a job with a former company that starts right away. But first she plans to meet up with her best friends at The Outback Bachelor Ball. In protest of bad relationships and philandering men, she decides to wear a cow costume. She expects to suffer through a torturous night then move on with her new life. What she never could have predicted was that she’d meet a sexy soldier who sees past her cow costume to the woman beneath – and makes her want things she swore off for good.

Logan just resigned his commission in the military and got suckered into working security at the Ball by his sister. He keeps having to rescue “Cowderella” from strange situations. Her sense of humor and dry wit intrigue him, and it isn’t long before he’s trying to get to know her better. They end up spending the night together, but she’s upfront that she isn’t interested in anything long-term. She’s been burned one time too many. He thinks they’re worth fighting for and he urges her to consider getting to know him better. Due to a misunderstanding, he misses it when she shows up at their designated meeting place, which just proves to her, once again, that love isn’t worth the risk.

To be perfectly honest, I expected Bliss to write the book featuring the country music star. I was surprised to see Bliss author this novel instead. She did really well with it, though. I really enjoyed Jen’s character. She was tough and a bit cynical, but also had a good heart and a lot of moxie. I cracked up while she was in the cow suit. She was quick witted and sharp. I liked her a lot. Her issues with love and her desire to protect herself made perfect sense. I was glad to see Logan push to break down her barriers.

Logan wasn’t as well fleshed out as Jen was, but I still really enjoyed him. He was strong and steady, and just what Jen needed. His determination to do the right thing and his strong values really came through. I liked that he was willing to take a chance on Jen and push for a future.

I was very satisfied with the ending, both in terms of their relationship and in the way it advanced the next story. This series is really working for me.

4 out of 5

four-stars