Tag: 3.25 Reviews

Review: Snowfall on Lighthouse Lane by JoAnn Ross

Posted October 29, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Snowfall on Lighthouse Lane by JoAnn RossReviewer: Holly
Snowfall on Lighthouse Lane (Honeymoon Harbor, #2) by JoAnn Ross
Series: Honeymoon Harbor #2
Also in this series: Herons Landing (Honeymoon Harbor, #1)
Publisher: HQN
Publication Date: October 30, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
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three-half-stars

Lose yourself in the magic, charm and romance of Christmas in the Pacific Northwest as imagined in JoAnn Ross’s heartwarming Honeymoon Harbor series.

Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks, Jolene Harper is forever indebted to the mother who encouraged her to fly—all the way to sunny LA and a world away from Honeymoon Harbor. Although Jolene vowed never to look back, returning home isn’t even a question when her mom faces a cancer scare. Which means running into Aiden Mannion all over town, the first boy she ever loved—and lost—and whom she can barely look in the eye.

Aiden’s black-sheep reputation may have diminished when he joined the marines, but everything he’s endured since has left him haunted. Back in Honeymoon Harbor to heal, he’s talked into the interim role of police chief, and the irony isn’t lost on the locals, least of all Aiden. But seeing Jolene after all these years is the unexpected breath of fresh air he’s been missing. He’s never forgotten her through all his tours, but he’s not sure anymore that he’s the man she deserves.

Despite the secret they left between them all those years ago, snow is starting to fall on their picturesque little town, making anything seem possible…maybe even a second chance at first love.

Snowfall on Lighthouse Lane is book two in the Honeymoon Harbor series. Jolene was the character from the previous book I was most looking forward to learning more about.

Jolene grew up dirt poor with a wonderful mother but an alcoholic father in a small town. As soon as she could she left town and made a life for herself as a makeup artist in California. After an Emmy nomination, things are going very well for her in her career, but after the mother of all bad days – she finds out her boyfriend is engaged to someone else and her apartment burns down – she learns her mother may be sick. She’s been wanting to develop a line of organic beauty products, so she heads back home to Honeymoon Harbor to work on that and be with her mom.

Aiden Mannion was a hellion as a teen, but after a stint in the Marines and several years working undercover with the LAPD, he’s settled down. After his partner was killed in an op gone bad, he’s back in Honeymoon Harbor to lick his wounds and heal. The town needs an interim Sheriff and he reluctantly accepts the job on a temporary basis. He and Jolene have history, and he’s quick to renew their friendship – and more – once she returns to town. But things are never simple in a small town, especially when he’s starting to think he never wants to leave and Jolene has a life several states away.

The small-town of Honeymoon Harbor came to life and I felt a real connection to those who live there. It was clear Jolene and Aiden had a true, deep foundation once they got past their initial awkwardness over their separation. They dated in high school, but broke up right before Aiden left for the Marines. He always regretted not telling Jolene how much he cared for her, and he’s glad to have the opportunity to renew their friendship…and possibly have more. It was lovely how quick he was to recognize Jolene as the only person he wanted in his life. Their romance set off sparks, but was also very heartwarming.

I did struggle a bit with the pacing. Parts seemed to drag on, especially in the middle. The book had a paranormal element I wasn’t expecting that seemed out of place given this is a contemporary romance.

View Spoiler »

Still, I can’t deny I enjoyed those parts, so I guess I can’t complain too much.

Overall I liked the story, though not quite as much as the first book, Herons Landing. JoAnn Ross always writes sweet, lovely stories. This small-town romance delivers in a big way.

3.25 out of 5

Honeymoon Harbor

three-half-stars


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Review: Dearest Clementine by Lex Martin

Posted October 24, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Dearest Clementine by Lex MartinReviewer: Rowena
Dearest Clementine (Dearest, #1) by Lex Martin
Series: Dearest #1
Also in this series: Finding Dandelion (Dearest, #2), Kissing Madeline (Dearest, #3)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: July 14, 2014
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 368
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Goodreads
three-half-stars

Twenty-year-old Clementine Avery doesn't mind being called bitchy and closed off. It's safe, and after being burned by her high school sweetheart and stalked by a professor her freshman year of college, safe sounds pretty damn good.

Her number one rule for survival? No dating. That is until she accidentally signs up for a romance writing class and needs material for her latest assignment. Sexy RA Gavin Murphy is more than happy to play the part of book boyfriend to help Clem find some inspiration, even if that means making out...in the name of research, of course.

As Gavin and Clem grow closer, they get entangled in the mystery surrounding a missing Boston University student, and Clem unwittingly becomes a possible target. Gavin tries to show Clem she can handle falling in love again, but she knows she has to be careful because her heart’s at stake…and maybe even her life.

DEAREST CLEMENTINE is a stand-alone with two companion novels. Look for book 2, FINDING DANDELION, on July 11, 2014. This contemporary New Adult romance is recommended for readers 18+ due to mature content.

Dearest Clementine is the first book in Lex Martin’s Dearest series and it follows Clementine as she lets go of the past and moves on to the future with Gavin. Clementine is an undercover YA author who is struggling to write her next book and needs to get it written and make some money before her next tuition check is due. She’s on her own trying to pay for college and she does that by writing books. Past hurts have turned her into a cold woman who has neither the time or the inclination for relationships. She has too much to do and too much to lose to waste her time on guys that will end up just hurting her anyway. When she meets Gavin Murphy, he changes the way she is and the way that she sees her future and personally, I was glad he came along.

Clem was not an easy person to like in the beginning of this book. I have never been a fan of people lashing out at innocent bystanders when they’re hurting or making the people you meet or are in your life pay for the crimes of other people. There’s a difference between protecting yourself and being a total brat to people who haven’t done anything to you to warrant the brattiness. Clem came off as bitchy and I wasn’t a fan of that. Poor Gavin didn’t know what he was battling day in and day out with this girl but he liked her and he put up with it so that he could get to know her. So that he can understand her.

I really did like how Clem came into her own and really grew into herself. She learned a lot from her past and man, what a past it was that by the time the end came around, I was happy for her. I still thought she was a brat in the beginning, but I understood what motivated her and I even respected the life she made for herself. She was really strong, had to be strong for herself because nobody else was going to be and I respected and even admired her for that.

The romance between her and Gavin was probably the highlight of the book for me. I loved how determined Gavin was to win her over and I loved how comfortable Clem was with him…even though there were some immature shenanigans with Gavin’s ex, I loved how they handled everything together. So while I wasn’t cool with some of Clem’s behavior in the beginning, I thought Lex Martin wrote a great story of two young people falling in love and overcoming the obstacles in their lives. It was a quick but fun read and I was interested enough in the second book that I jumped right in.

Grade: 3.25 out of 5

Dearest Series

three-half-stars


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Review: Down with Love by Kate Meader

Posted August 28, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Down with Love by Kate MeaderReviewer: Rowena
Down with Love (Laws of Attraction, #1) by Kate Meader
Series: Laws of Attraction #1
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: August 7, 2018
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 237
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three-stars

Sparks fly when the hot-shot divorce lawyer meets the high-powered wedding planner. The only question is, what kind?

If you ever get married, remember my name: Max Henderson. In my line of work, you acquire a certain perspective on supposedly everlasting unions. . . .

1. Pre-nups are your friend. 2. The person you married is not the person you’re divorcing. 3. And I hope you didn’t spend much on the wedding because that was one helluva waste of hard-earned cash, wasn’t it?

But some guys are willing to take a chance. Like my brother, who thinks he’s going to ride off into the sunset with the woman of his dreams in a haze of glitter on unicorns. And the wedding planner—the green-eyed beauty who makes a living convincing suckers to shell out thousands of dollars on centerpieces—is raking it in on this matrimonial monstrosity.

The thing is, Charlie Love is not unlike me. We’re both cogs in the wedding-industrial complex. As the best man, I know her game—and I can play it better than her. But after one scorching, unexpected kiss, I’m thinking I might just want to get played.

Down with Love kicks off Kate Meaders brand-spankin’ new series, the Laws of Attraction series and the first book features a divorce attorney and a wedding planner. Should be fun, right?

Right.

Max Henderson sees the aftermath of love at work so he’s learned that for himself, he wants nothing to do with it. He’ll take the sex and the fun but the feelings and all of that madness are not for him. So when his younger brother announces his engagement, Max wants to be happy but he also wants to make sure that his younger brother isn’t taken for a ride. So he starts going on and on about prenups and everything his younger brother wants no part in and Max struggles with keeping his opinions to himself and that’s made even harder when he finds himself attracted to the wedding planner.

Charlie Love believes in love and she believes in creating memories for the happy couples that come to her for help in planning their big day. She’s good at what she does and she believes in happy endings, no matter how much shit her latest client’s brother throws in her face. He’s the most irritating person and she’s not at all happy that he’s attracted to her and she’s attracted right back. It’s going to be an interesting few months and no matter what, she’s stuck with Max Henderson underfoot at every turn.

Max and Charlie were a fun couple though Charlie was super extra in her interactions with Max throughout most of the book. I kept wanting to tell her to relax because, damn girl??? And then once I’m over her extra-ness then it was Max’s turn to get on my nerves and I wanted to smack some sense into both of them.

Overall, the story isn’t my favorite from Meader but it was still enjoyable. I did like getting to know Max and his family, seeing them embrace Charlie right from the beginning was fun and I really liked the friendships on both sides with Max and his partners and then Charlie and her best friends. They had a good support system but their romance kept making me roll my eyes but the sex was hot though. 🙂

Grade: 3.25 out of 5

Laws of Attraction

three-stars


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Review: The Hellion by Christi Caldwell

Posted July 31, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Hellion by Christi CaldwellReviewer: Holly
The Hellion (Wicked Wallflowers, #1) by Christi Caldwell
Series: Wicked Wallflowers #1
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: April 3, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 295
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three-stars

USA Today bestselling author Christi Caldwell’s Wicked Wallflowers series burns hot as two rivals meet in the flesh and feel the heat…

Adair Thorne has just watched his gaming-hell dream disappear into a blaze of fire and ash, and he’s certain that his competitors, the Killorans, are behind it. His fury and passion burn even hotter when he meets Cleopatra Killoran, a tart-mouthed vixen who mocks him at every turn. If she were anyone else but the enemy, she’d ignite a desire in him that would be impossible to control.

No one can make Cleopatra do anything. That said, she’ll do whatever it takes to protect her siblings―even if that means being sponsored by their rivals for a season in order to land a noble husband. But she will not allow her head to be turned by the infuriating and darkly handsome Adair Thorne.

There’s only one thing that threatens the rules of the game: Cleopatra’s secret. It could unravel the families’ tenuous truce and shatter the unpredictably sinful romance mounting between the hellion…and a scoundrel who could pass for the devil himself.

The Hellion is book 1 of the Wicked Wallflowers series by Christi Caldwell. It’s the first book in the Wicked Wallflowers series, but it’s a spin-off of another series I didn’t read. I felt like I missed out on quite a bit by not reading the first series. Especially the way the brothers interacted with each other and their rivals, the Killorans. I missed the backstory so their motivations didn’t always make sense. Despite that, it was a pretty solid story. I listened to the audio.

I really liked the premise of this. A sort of Romeo-and-Juliet scenario. They’re from opposing families who have formed a wary truce, and that aspect was well done. Both the hero and heroine were mistrustful of each other, which made their attraction interesting. I didn’t engage with the story, however. I wasn’t ever really invested in either character.

Part of my problem may have stemmed from the narrator. He didn’t do a very good job of separating spoken words and thoughts, so I ended up confused for much of the book. I may re-read it at some point to see if my feelings are different.

I may read the next book when it comes out. I’m curious about the heroine.

3.25 out of 5

three-stars


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Review: Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka

Posted June 29, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-BrokaReviewer: Rowena
Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley, Austin Siegemund-Broka
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: May 22, 2018
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 352
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Goodreads
three-stars

Megan Harper is the girl before. All her exes find their one true love right after dating her. It’s not a curse or anything, it’s just the way things are, and Megan refuses to waste time feeling sorry for herself. Instead, she focuses on pursuing her next fling, directing theatre, and fulfilling her dream school’s acting requirement in the smallest role possible.

But her plans quickly crumble when she’s cast as none other than Juliet–yes, that Juliet–in her high school’s production. It’s a nightmare. No–a disaster. Megan’s not an actress and she’s certainly not a Juliet. Then she meets Owen Okita, an aspiring playwright who agrees to help Megan catch the eye of a sexy stagehand in exchange for help writing his new script.

Between rehearsals and contending with her divided family, Megan begins to notice Owen–thoughtful, unconventional, and utterly unlike her exes, and wonders: shouldn’t a girl get to play the lead in her own love story?

I’m not reading nearly as many YA books as I used to but when I came across this book, I was anxious to read it. This book is surrounded by the Romeo and Juliet play but it features a main character that is more Rosalind than Juliet.

Megan Harper has always been the girl that guys date before they find their meant-to-be partners. She’s become a flirt, the girl that keeps things casual because of her status as the girl before but when she meets Owen Okita, an aspiring writer who teams up with her to write a play and hook her up with the guy she wants to hook up with.

I normally don’t have any trouble jumping into a contemporary YA because things happen sort of fast in those books but for me, this book started off really slow and it was hard for me to connect with Megan. I didn’t hate her or anything like that, I just didn’t really care for her and what she was going through. It took me a little bit to warm up to Owen but once I did, I really warmed up to him.

When Megan gets cast as Juliet in her school’s production of Romeo & Juliet, Megan freaks out because she wants to be a director, not an actress. She was hoping for a small role to add to her college application and now, she’s got to deal with the pressures of acting and acting alongside her ex-boyfriend who dumped her for her best friend. Sure, she’s over the ex but not over how the ex made her feel when she dumped her for someone so close to her.

This story was a character driven story and because I wasn’t that invested in Megan’s character, the story moved slowly for me. I did end up enjoying the book but it took too long for me to care and that was a bummer. Megan is written to be that fun protagonist who has a rep of being the school slut, which I thought was pretty unfair but she didn’t let that stop her from living her life and I liked that she was okay with the person that she was. She made no apologies and she was out there living her best life. My issues with her character was I wasn’t that logged into what was going on. I didn’t really care about the play, the secondary characters weren’t fully fleshed out characters that I could get behind and the love interest, well it took a while for me to like him because I was low key bored throughout the first half of the book.

I did warm up to both Owen and Megan, more Owen than Meg and the book ended on a high note for me so overall, the story was decent but not a favorite of mine. I will be willing to try out more from this writing duo though.

Grade: 3.25 out of 5

three-stars


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