Tag: 3.5 Reviews

Guest Review: Harvest Moon Homecoming by Jessie Gussman

Posted November 15, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Harvest Moon Homecoming by Jessie GussmanReviewer: Tracy
Harvest Moon Homecoming by Jessie Gussman
Series: Sweet Haven Farm #1
Published by City Owl Press
Publication Date: November 14th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 130
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

When the high school’s float explodes five days before the National Farmer’s Day parade, Principal Calvin Finkenbinder sees his chance at the promotion to Superintendent disintegrate. Unless he enlists the help of Ellie Bright, the most annoying, disorganized and kissable woman he knows.

Standing in Principal Fink’s office, again, for driving her daughter to school late, again, Ellie is given two odious choices. Either her straight A daughter receives detention for another tardy that’s not her fault, or Ellie uses her artistic skills and helps the uptight, stringent principal build a new float.

As they scramble to construct the float in time, Ellie’s chaotic life collides with Fink’s methodical plans. A tangle of arguments and decorations leads to a stolen kiss. Underneath their long established animosity is an unexpected passion that threatens to ruin more than just a school float.

Ellie Bright is a mess.  While she’s artistic, talented and hardworking, she’s also disorganized and can’t manage to get her daughter to school on time.  She’s consistently a ½ hour late and the principal has had enough.  He lets Ellie know that she either needs to work on the high school’s float (replacing the one that exploded) or her daughter will receive a daily two -hour detention for two weeks.  Her daughter, Harper, is up for Valedictorian and Ellie doesn’t want anything to get in the way of that.  She agrees to work on the float but isn’t thrilled when the principal says he’ll help.

Calvin Finkenbinder aka Fink just wants to get the float done and move on.  He’s not worried about perfection, he just wants something to show for the parade.  Of course when the President of the school board tells him that it has to be perfection he has to work with Ellie to make it great.  Fink and Ellie are like fire and water but despite their yelling matches their insanely attracted to each other and their matches usually end in super-hot kisses.

As they two of them work more closely together throughout the week, their feelings start to grow and they’re soon falling in love. Unfortunately Ellie knows that she might not be good enough for Fink as he’s shooting for the superintendent job and she’s not sure that any long-term relationship would work between them.

This was a cute, clean novella about how opposites attract and what you think you want in life may not be what you actually want.

In this book Ellie and Fink were great together.  I was a bit shocked at their shouting matches and how quickly they escalated over seemingly minor miscommunications, but it was also kind of fun to watch their passion grow while they were arguing.  It was also fun to watch Fink realize that he needed Ellie and her messes in his life and to watch Ellie realize she needed Fink and his organization in hers.

The story was well written and if you want a fun, quick Fall themed read then I’d definitely recommend this one.

Rating 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Guest Review: Wanted: Mom for Christmas by Lee Kilraine

Posted November 8, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Wanted: Mom for Christmas by Lee KilraineReviewer: Tracy
Wanted: Mom For Christmas by Lee Kilraine
Series: Cates Brothers #5.5
Published by Kensington's Lyrical Shine
Publication Date: November 7th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Christmas is coming to Climax, North Carolina—and it’s delivering an unexpected second chance right to Hawk Savage’s door…

For small-town cop and single dad Hawk Savage, Christmas tends to be more hassle and worry than mistletoe and magic. His daughter, Heather, is ten going on teenager, while his son, Henry Lee, has decided he needs a mommy, ASAP. HL’s constant matchmaking is enough to break a father’s heart, but Hawk has a more immediate problem. His high-school girlfriend, Nora Joy, just arrived on his doorstep, claiming to be his family’s new Rent-A-Mom. He sure didn’t hire her, but he can’t turn Nora’s admittedly shapely tush out on the street.

Sidelined by injury, Olympic medal-winning volleyball player Nora receives a mysterious Rent-A-Mom job offer just when her finances, and her spirits, are at an all-time low. True, she’s not much for cooking. Or housekeeping. Still, it’s hard to resist Hawk’s children…and Hawk himself has changed from the lanky teenager she once knew to a strong, steady, very tempting man.

Christmas in Climax is shaping up to be full of surprises. But the biggest one of all might be the happy-ever-after that a little boy’s Christmas wish can bring…

After Nora finds her boyfriend in bed with her best friend she heads to her mom’s home to talk  things out.  She doesn’t get a whole lot of sympathy and then finds out that her mother has not only spent all of Nora’s money but has put her in great debt as well.  Nora’s not sure she’ll still be able to play volleyball for a living so sets out to find a job for herself.  This proves harder than it looks.  She finally gets an email from someone offering her a job as a Rent-A-Mom.  Nora has no experience and her mother was a horrible role model so of course, she takes the jobs.  Beggars can’t be choosers, right?

Nora heads from California to her hometown of Climax, North Carolina to meet the family she’s going to play mom to.  There’s 7-year-old Henry Lee aka HL and 10-year-old Heather and then there’s their hot father, Hawk.  Nora doesn’t really get a good look at Hawk because when she arrives at the house he’s sick with the flu.  Nora nurses him back to health with the help of the kids and all is well until he is coherent.  He realizes that the Rent-A-Mom is Nora, his girlfriend from 11th grade, and as hot as he thinks she is, he never ordered a Rent-A -Mom.  Events play out so that Hawk and the kids end up inviting Nora to stay until Christmas and this gives them all a chance to get to know each other and worm into each other’s hearts.

This was a very cute novella.  Nora and Hawk’s relationship from high school was sweet and their separation was sad.  I was happy that they got another chance with each other in the end.

Heather and HL were adorable kids who had their own personalities.  HL was outgoing and competitive and Heather was quiet and shy.  The pair were so opposite but they got along well.  Heather was a little leery at first with Nora, as she should be, but HL was all in.  These kids were just wonderful and I loved reading about them breaking out of their previous lives and inviting Nora in.

This was a lovely Christmas story and a complete standalone in the series.  I haven’t read any of the other books in the Cates Brothers series but didn’t feel like I was missing any information.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

Guest Review: The Scandalous Flirt by Olivia Drake

Posted November 3, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Scandalous Flirt by Olivia DrakeReviewer: Tracy
The Scandalous Flirt by Olivia Drake
Series: Cinderella Sisterhood #6
Also in this series: Abducted by a Prince
Published by St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: October 31st 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 352
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars


Scandal begins with just one kiss. . .

Aurora Paxton was once the belle of the ball, the most sought-after debutante of the season―until a scandalous mistake ruined her. Shunned by her family, Rory was banished to the country to live in disgrace. Now she’s been summoned back to London by her stepmother, who is being blackmailed by the least likely person Rory can imagine: Lucas Vale, Marquess of Dashell.

Lucas is someone Rory’s known for years―a man as devastatingly handsome as he is coldly disapproving of her. What in the world could he want from her or her family? Rory intends to find out as soon as she comes face to face with her old foe. What she never expects, however, is that the icy aristocrat has a soft spot for her―and a secret plan to redeem her status. Could it be that Lucas has been in love with Rory all along. . .and has finally found a way to win her heart?

Aurora Paxton had it all.  Beautiful, vivacious – having the time of her life during her first season.  That all came to a crashing halt when she was found in a compromising position with an Italian diplomat, Stefano.  When her father demanded that Stefano marry Rory, Stefano admitted to having a wife back in Italy.  Rory was devastated that the man she thought loved her had lied to her.  Then her father and stepmother banished her from London and off she went to live with her aunt in Norfolk.  That was eight years ago.

When a Lady Milford shows up at her aunt’s house unexpectedly and tells Rory that her stepmother needs her help, Rory is skeptical as her aunt dislikes her intensely.  Then Lady Milford mentions that not only is her stepmother being blackmailed but that Rory’s sister, Celeste, is getting married to a duke in a month – a man that Rory thinks is way too old for her sister.

Rory heads to London and after talking with her stepmonster…uh, I mean stepmother, she heads off to work as a companion to the Marchioness of Dashell, the current Marquesses mother who is bedridden.  Rory’s stepmother believes that the Marquess, Lucas Vale, is the one that stole the letters and is blackmailing her. While working as a companion Rory will be able to search the house for the missing letters. Rory remembers the Marquess as being a stuffy prig and he proves he still is – for a bit. The longer that Rory is in the household the clearer she sees that Lucas isn’t as stuffy as she originally believed.  When Rory determines that Lucas isn’t behind the blackmail he agrees to help her find the true culprit which pushes the pair together.

The Scandalous Flirt is a book inspired by a fairy tale.  Lady Milford has enchanted slippers that supposedly bring the wearer to their true love. When Rory heads back to London Lady Milford hands over the shoes for Rory to wear.  Now, I know that the whole premise of the fairy tale is that the enchanted slippers were supposed to bring Rory to her true love but that was mostly Lady Milford and the stepmother pushing Rory toward Lucas.  Yes, Rory wore the shoes but really, I didn’t feel they had anything to do with it and they were only mentioned a couple of times in the book.  Lucas had been smitten with Rory eight years earlier and with them in close contact constantly they were bound to get closer.  Since this is based on a fairy tale I just wish that it had been more fairy tale-ish.  But that’s me. 🙂

While I liked Lucas by the end of the story, he wasn’t a soft man and for most of the book I was on the shelf as to whether I actually liked him or not.  I did believe he truly loved Rory and was happy they ended up together in the end.

Rory and I had a love hate relationship.  There were things I liked about her, definitely, but sometimes her stubbornness and I-am-woman-hear-me-roar ways drove me a bit batty.  I understand she was a feminist and that was awesome but there were occasions in the book where what she thought of as feminism was her just being reckless and yes, I’ll say it, stupid.

The romance wasn’t typical in this book but it was good.  I liked Rory and Lucas together and they played well off of each other.  I was happy that Lucas went for the poor, scandalous girl in the end.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Guest Review: The Jingle Bell Bride by Scarlet Wilson

Posted October 11, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Guest Review: The Jingle Bell Bride by Scarlet WilsonReviewer: Tracy
The Jingle Bell Bride by Scarlet Wilson
Series: Christmas Brides #2
Published by Tule Publishing
Publication Date: October 3rd 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

New York wedding planner Jessica Christie always goes above and beyond for her clients. So, stopping in Alaska to pick up the famed Jingle Bell flower for her famous client's bouquet doesn't seem too outrageous–until she ends up stranded there.

Matt Holden has spent the last five years since his fiancée died, living in a virtual bubble in Alaska. His research work as a botanist and assistant at the local reindeer farm keep him busy during the holidays.

But when Jessica Christie bursts into his life, all bets are off. Her stay is definitely temporary, but the feelings she ignites aren't. Could Ms. Oh-So-Wrong actually be Mrs. Right?

Jessica is a New York wedding planner and does a lot of celebrity weddings.  She has an amazing attention to detail and likes what she does.  She doesn’t absolutely love it though, and her true dream is to open a bookstore, maybe multiple bookstores, that are focused on literacy for both children and adults.  She’s never told anyone about her dream and she’s not sure it will ever come true.

Jessica is currently working for an incredibly demanding pop star, Renee, and will head over to England right before Christmas to make sure that the wedding goes off without a hitch.  Six days before the wedding Jessica is set to leave for the UK when Renee calls and says that she’s heard that there is a flower called the Jingle Bell Flower and she wants it in her wedding bouquet. (Insert whining and foot stomping.) Jessica doesn’t have a problem with that news until Renee tells her that the flower is only available in Alaska and that Jessica must go personally get it.  What????

Being the great wedding planner she is, Jessica heads to Corona Creek, Alaska to get the flower.  Unfortunately for her she flies in right before a snow storm hits and she has no way of flying back out.  The botanist who is to give her the flower reluctantly lets her stay at his house until she can leave.

Matt has been in Alaska for three years…hiding.  He was engaged and his fiancé died.  The place he was living in Montana had too many memories so he took a job in Alaska and has been hiding from his previous life and feelings ever since.  When Jessica arrives he has no plans to break the ice around his heart but she ends up getting to him in ways he didn’t think possible.  He soon finds himself in love but how can he make it work when he’s in Alaska and she’s from New York?

The Jingle Bell Bride was a cute story.  Jessica was a great character and I liked her devotion to her clients.  She was a strong woman for the most part and that played well with Matt and his equally strong personality.

Matt could have easily been dismissed as meek in the story because of his emotionally charged state of mind due to the death of his fiancé.  Despite that he didn’t let the past dictate his future and when he found himself in love with Jessica he went for it.  I loved that!  Good for him.  He did do something a bit sneaky that I didn’t agree with and of course Jessica hated. It was done from a place of love, however, and I hated that Jessica blew it out of proportion.  Despite that the two got their HEA and I had a smile on my face by the end of the book.

Oh, and this book is clean.  When I say clean I mean that they only kissed and that’s it.  They didn’t ever even kiss in a bedroom.  No clothing came off but fit the story and timeline so it was all good.

This is a cute, sweet romance that was a fun holiday read.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Lightning Review: Trouble at the Wedding by Laura Lee Guhrke

Posted October 10, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Lightning Review: Trouble at the Wedding by Laura Lee GuhrkeReviewer: Holly
Trouble at the Wedding (Abandoned at the Altar, #3) by Laura Lee Guhrke
Published by Avon
Publication Date: December 27th 2011
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Annabel is about to marry the perfect man…

The last thing Miss Annabel Wheaton desires is true love. She learned the hard way that love makes a woman foolish and only leads to heartache. That’s why she agreed to marry an earl who needs her money. He’s got a pedigree and a country estate, and he won’t ever break her heart. There’s only one problem…

Christian isn’t about to let her marry that pompous prig…

Christian Du Quesne, Duke of Scarborough, thinks this stubborn heiress is about to make the biggest mistake of her life, and he’s determined to stop her. Tempting beautiful women is Christian’s forte, after all. When her family offers him a nice sum of money to stop the wedding, he’s happy to accept. Falling in love with Annabel wasn’t supposed to be part of the bargain…

Trouble at the Wedding by Laura Lee Guhrke is book 3 in the Abandoned at the Alter series. I didn’t read the other books in this series. I don’t feel I missed anything by reading out of order.

I enjoyed the setting and unconventional heroine. With the flood of regencies on the market, its refreshing to read about something different. This was a quick read for me. I enjoyed both Annabel and Christian. She’s an heiress with a fiance she know she’ll never love..something she’s quite happy about. Unfortunately, Christian knows she’s making a huge mistake marrying the pig she affianced to, so he sets about trying to convince her she’s wrong.

Ghurke writes fun, fast-paced historials. I really enjoyed the setting, the characters and the sweet romance.

3.5 out of 5

The series:

Book CoverBook CoverBook Cover

This book is available from Avon. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,