Tag: Beyond the Page Publishing

Guest Review: Stay With Me by Sharla Lovelace

Posted September 11, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Stay With Me by Sharla LovelaceReviewer: Tracy
Stay With Me by Sharla Lovelace

Publication Date: August 22nd 2014
Format: eARC
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two-half-stars

Ian was the wild boy every girl dreams of, a renegade who thrived on breaking the law and setting Savi’s body on fire. It was all fun and games and hot excitement, no strings attached, until the one day he got serious—and then disappeared without a trace.

Savi has spent the ten years since committing herself to her work, her daughter, and to not thinking about Ian—or love. Just when it’s possible she might have found the one man who can change her mind, Ian pulls into town, bringing with him all of the lust, danger, and excitement Savi remembers.

As Ian stirs up old feelings and draws Savi back into memories and passion she’s too weak to fight, he’s also digging up dirt on the man Savi is falling for, doing everything he can to prove that Duncan is not who he seems to be. And Savi, unsure whether she can trust either man, will be forced to decide between rekindling a love that never really burned out and building a new one that looks ready to catch fire.

 

Tracy’s review of Stay With Me by Sharla Lovelace

Savanna is a 43 woman who helps run her father’s business, has a 21 year old daughter who is grown and out of the house and has a huge crush on the new veterinarian in town. She keeps finding excuses to take her dog Gracie in to get checked just so she could see the guy. One of those times she actually gets the nerve up to ask him to coffee and he accepts! Yay!

When they head to the local butcher shop, the one owned by her sister and brother-in-law, she’s shocked to see her first love behind the counter. Ian was her best friend growing up and they got into shit tons of trouble together. They also were friends with benefits when they got old enough. Eleven years before Ian let her know that he loved her and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. Four days later, she found him in bed with another woman. He then he left town and she never saw him again. The fact that he’s back now freaks her out and she’s not sure how she feels about seeing him again.

While Savi is figuring out her feelings for both Duncan and Ian her father is considering selling his business, she finds out her sister is getting pressure from the local “mob boss” and that her business is in trouble. Savi’s life is in turmoil and she’s not sure what she can do about it.

This was my first read by this author and while I liked some things about the book, the overall story just wasn’t my cup of tea.

In a romance I usually find myself rooting for the couple on both sides of the coin – both hero and heroine. In this story I wasn’t sure who I was rooting for – Ian or Duncan. I didn’t feel like I had enough information about either one of them to make an informed decision and apparently Savi didn’t know either. Her emotions were all over the place in the story and when I thought she’d go one way (to one guy), she’d go the other. The man she ended up with was not the one I expected it to be and frankly I wasn’t feeling the love between the two of them enough to enjoy what I think was supposed to be a touching HEA.

As far as the other part of the book – having to do with Savi’s dad’s business – it was pretty convoluted and resolved quite easily which didn’t seem appropriate. We were led to believe that this “mob boss” guy was one evil bastard but he was quickly put in his place and he just kind of agreed and walked away. What?? It didn’t make sense to me.

The relationship that Savi had with her sibling, her father and her daughter were pretty cool. I thought that they had a great family dynamic and that was portrayed well. I also enjoyed the parts of the book that were humorous. The author has a fun sense of humor and when that was played up I found the book much more enjoyable.

So…while I didn’t love the book I thought it has some good aspects to it. I may read another of this author’s work in the future just to see I like one of her other books more than I did this one.

Rating: 2.5/3 out of 5

This title is available from Beyond the Page Publishing. You can buy it here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

two-half-stars


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Review: Play by Play by Kate Donovan.

Posted January 11, 2014 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Play by Play
Rowena’s review of Play by Play by Kate Donovan.

Former college football star Jake Dublin’s wildly popular sports blog also details his personal life. And lately it’s all about Sophie, the pretty young woman who just moved into his apartment building. His readers know her only as “Elevator Girl,” and they’re all rooting for Jake to score.

The blog posts and banter with his followers are all in good fun, and he fully intends to come clean with the woman he’s wooing and wowing. That is, until she confides that she grew up in a house full of jocks and even dated a few. Her verdict? Never again!

Jake knows he needs to confess. But somewhere along the line he fell in love with Sophie and can’t stand the thought of losing her. So he procrastinates, and blogs, and digs himself deeper into a hole, until it all leads to a showdown that’s so nail-biting, not even the best play-by-play guy could ever have seen it coming.

This was a novella featuring Jake Dublin, freelance writer who has a popular sports blog. On this sports blog he talks about whatever he wants to talk about. Most of it is sports but from time to time, he blogs about his personal life and when he meets his new neighbor, she makes it onto his blog. He’s completely smitten with this girl and wants to get to know her so when she shoots him down that first time, Jake takes to his blog and talks about it. The closer they get, Jake starts to realize that he needs to come clean about who he is and what he’s doing on his blog. Sophie (aka Elevator Girl from the blog) really likes Jake and she likes that he likes whatever she likes and that he’s hot and well, just a lot of things. One of those things that she loves about him? That he doesn’t like sports (haha). The story takes place while Jake is trying to come clean to the girl that he’s quickly falling for and the fallout from what happens when she finally realizes who he is.

This was a short story and it definitely felt like it was a short story. It really could have been a cute story but there was so much cheese thrown in that by the middle of the story, I almost DNF’d it. Jake was a likable character and I thought his blog was pretty decent as well. It was actually pretty funny to see his readership get really into the stories that Jake posted about Elevator Girl. Not once did I think that Jake was this phony guy in his interactions with Sophie but holy goodness Sophie was kind of dumb. I mean, the fickle way that she was about Jake liking sports. First it’s a really good thing that he hates sports and she really likes that he hates sports and then she wants him to like sports just a little bit because sports is a huge part of her family. The connection that Sophie had with Jake’s favorite football coach made me roll my eyes down the street and her cousins? They didn’t come off as protective brothers, they came off as idiot jocks that I couldn’t be bothered with.

I went into this story, wanting to like it and while there were times when I laughed, for the most part I just couldn’t get into it. I didn’t care for Sophie as a character, I didn’t understand why Jake fell so hard for her. I didn’t like her at all. Her whole wishy-washy crap and then the way she reacted to Jake’s blog, ugh….it was all just so juvenile. When the book ended, I was glad. It just wasn’t for me.

Grade: 1.5 out of 5

This book is available from Beyond the Page Publishing. You can purchase it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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Guest Review: Just One Day by Sharla Lovelace

Posted November 30, 2013 by Tina R in Reviews | 0 Comments

Genres: Anthologies (multiple authors)

just one day
Tina’s review of Just One Day by Sharla Lovelace

Fans of both contemporary romance and women’s fiction will love this smart, witty, and beautiful novella from national bestseller Sharla Lovelace. If you like Susan Elizabeth Philips, Susan Mallery, or Sarah Addison Allen you’re going to fall in love with this author.

She has nothing but time . . .

Twenty-four hours. That’s how long Andie Fremont has to say yes—or no. At forty-four with a daughter in college, she’s no young kitten with starry-eyed ideas of what love is. Still, when the man who is everything she should want pops the question with a ring he knows isn’t her style, during a party she didn’t want to have, Andie balks. Something tells her that it isn’t right.

Looking to clear her head, Andie hits the Texas highway in search of an answer. And when she stumbles upon an old roadside diner she decides waffles might be it, at least for now. What she didn’t expect to find was Jesse Montgomery. The man who stole her heart and broke it all in one day, two decades earlier.

As a Texas-size storm takes shape outside, the electricity between Andie and Jesse builds inside. Suddenly Andie is faced with more than just yes or no. As the storm clears there are two men who will want answers.

I have never read anything by Sharla Lovelace prior to this book, so I didn’t have any idea what to expect. It stated in the book description that if you were a fan of Susan Mallery or Susan Addison Allen you would probably love her work, so I had high hopes.

This was a very short little novella. I liked that it was a quick read, but it certainly left me wanting more! Just One Day is the perfect beach read, or anytime when you just don’t have all day to curl up with a great book. It tells the story of Andie, a woman who seems to have it all. She is in her forties and is dating the supposed “perfect man”. He has her throw this gigantic party on a yacht for all their friends and HIS co-workers that she didn’t want to have, and then in front of everyone proposes to her and pops out a huge ring that is SO not her style. She is totally horrified! So what does she do? She throws up!

You see, Andie is ready for marriage – she is just not ready to accept everything thrown at her in the whirlwind public fashion that she receives. She tells “Mr Perfect” that she needs time. He totally understands he says…..and gives her a GENEROUS 24 hours to decide! (What a guy!)

Meanwhile, Andie jumps in her car to go for a drive to clear her head. She sees a diner and decides to stop. Who happens to be in the diner?? The guy that broke her heart 20 years ago! And to top this off, there is a horrible storm rolling in…..

Needless to say, Andie has a lot of thinking to do. Will she stay with Brad the supposed “perfect guy”, or will she risk another chance at losing her heart again to Jessie?

I loved the story and I thought the characters were very down-to-earth. Besides the drama, there was also romance, suspense, and even a little comedy thrown in for good measure. I will definitely be looking for more by this author, and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a lighthearted romance that isn’t dull and predictable.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5

This book is available from Beyond the Page Publishing.  You can purchase it here or here in e-format.  This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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Guest Review: Relatively Dead by Sheila Connolly

Posted January 23, 2013 by Tina R in Reviews | 0 Comments

relatively-deadTina’s review of Relatively Dead by Sheila Connolly

If you are looking for a suspenseful story that will keep you on the edge of your seat, Relatively Dead may not be the book for you. But, if you are looking for a cozy little story with a little mystery, a little romance and a lot of history, then this one might prove to be an enjoyable read.

Relatively Dead by Sheila Connolly is the story of Abigail, a girl who moves to Massachusetts to be with her boyfriend, who has just gotten a new job there. After incessantly bugging her to get out and learn about the area and look for a job, Abigail decides to go on a tour of some historical homes in the area. It is there that she meets the tour guide, Ned. While touring the last house, Abigail begins to have visions of dead people (for lack of a better word). She has never had this kind of experience before and is of course a little shook up about it. She is never able to communicate with these “people”, but she seems to sense their emotions. Ned is there to try to help her understand why she is having these experiences, and also helps her research some of the the area’s history as well.

Meanwhile, her relationship with her boyfriend is not going so great. He doesn’t really seem to be all that into her in my humble opinion.. He seems more interested in her cooking and housekeeping skills than he is about her.

I had never really read a story like this one before. It wasn’t scary or very suspenseful or anything, but it wasn’ really a romance either. It had a paranormal-type setting, but I wouldn’t call it a paranormal mystery either. Whatever it’s genre is, it was an adequate story. I mean, I didn’t think it was dull or anything like that, but I can’t say it was the best thing I ever read either. It was easy and quick to read, and I did enjoy the author’s description of the historical setting. I would recommend it to anyone as a light, rainy afternoon-type read.

I received this e-book from NetGalley in return for my honest review.

3.25 out of 5

This book is available from Beyond the Page Publishing.  You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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