In high school, Tess Bonham was the ultimate party girl. So it’s ironic that building a successful party planning business has resulted in all work and no play. But Tess loves her job—most of the time. Planning her own ten-year reunion weekend promises to be the highlight of her career, even if making it perfect for her former classmates means she won’t actually have time to enjoy it herself.
Hotelier Jeremy Wright has wanted Tess for years, and he’s tired of never fitting into her overbooked calendar. So when she’s short-staffed, Jeremy jumps at the chance to help out with her reunion during the day—if Tess surrenders the nights to him. He’s got plans for a private party, and she’s the guest of honor…
Tess should say no. But she really, really wants to say yes. Spending time with Jeremy reminds her just how much fun life can be. But she’s not sure she can be “just friends” once she knows how amazing the benefits are…
Tess Bonham has made a living, planning parties. She’s one of those nice girls from high school that doesn’t want to put anyone out so instead of relying on the people who signed up to help her with the 10 year reunion party planning, she does everything herself. Well, almost by herself. She has the help of Jeremy Wright, the guy who runs the hotel that she’s having the reunion at. Jeremy knows that Tess is too nice and that she’s going to end up doing everything herself so because he likes her (and wants to bang her), he steps in and helps her with…everything. He also tells her that he’s mighty interested in pursuing a little after hours fun time for the two of them outside of business and though it takes Tess a while to come around…come around, she does.
What I liked about this story was that it was short and it didn’t drag on and on and on. I liked getting to know Jeremy because a) he’s hot and b) he was sweet. I liked that he was upfront with what he wanted from Tess and left her to make up her own mind about where to go from here. I also liked that he stuck around and did what he could to help her, even when he’s pissed at her.
Tess was nice too. Sometimes a little too nice and I thought it took her too long to blow up and give her planning committee a piece of her mind.
I could tell that Tess had some good friends and that she was a good friend to them but I would have liked to see the friendship a little more but with the page restraints and the shortness of the story, I understood why that was left out. But, still. It would have been nice to see a little more of her friends.
Overall this was a cute and short read but it’s not one that I’ll likely read again. It’ll do in a pinch but it’s not something that I’d come running back to read, again and again.
Grade: 3 out of 5
This book is available from Carina Press. You can puchase it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
“It’s just another manic Monday. Wowo wowo” (Starting with a little Bangles music from 1986.)
Actually I think the Monday so far is going alright but I’m still manic from this past weekend. On Saturday we helped some friends move and that was tiring of course. Then on Sunday morning I helped, with 3 other parent, run a youth group car wash fundraiser in the church parking lot. The adults moved cars and the youth group washed and dried while the car owners were in church. The wash was free we just asked for donations. We ended up raising over $1,000.00 so we were exhausted afterwards but quite excited. The money will help pay for the mission trip the youth will be on at the end of the month. They’re headed to the Diocese of Navaholand to help out. I think it will be great. My oldest is going – hopefully she’ll have a good time.
After I got home from car wash I wound down a bit and then my youngest asked the hubby and I to rearrange her room and add the bookshelf that’s been sitting in the garage forever. She’d asked before but the weekend schedule just never left enough time. Well it was mostly the Tracy show with the hubby coming in when he needed to muscle things around but it finally got done and looks great. It should after spending 5 hours moving, trashing and reorganizing the place! lol Needless to say there wasn’t much time this weekend for reading but I did get some done this past week:
So, what did I read last week?
I started the week with The Secrets of a Runaway Bride by Valerie Bowman. This is book 2 in the Secrets Brides series and I have to say I liked this one much better than book one. In this story we have Annie or Anne who is love with a complete milktoast man who can’t seem to keep his own opinion. He’s always going with what others. If he’s with his father he goes with his pov. When he’s with Anne, he goes with her pov. Frustrating. Anne is making a bit of a mess of things as she can’t seem to leave Arthur alone and she’s pursuing him so that he’ll propose once again. They were stopped from getting to Gretna Green in the last book but that was 6 months before and she’s ready for the relationship to go to the next level. Her sister is on her honeymoon but before she left she asked a friend, Jordan Holloway, to look after Anne. He gets frustrated as well as he’s constantly trying to save Anne from herself but then falls in love with her himself. It was a very cute book and an enjoyable read. A bit predictable but fun, nonetheless. 3.5 out of 5 (read for Book Binge)
Next up was Flirting With Disaster by Ruthie Knox. This story is about Katie who took off with her boyfriend when she was just out of high school and got married but he eventually took off leaving her high and dry. She’s back in her hometown of Camelot and her brother has gotten her off the couch and into the office in his security firm. He lets her take a case along with one of his security guys, Sean, who has liked Katie since he was in high school. He has a stutter though so tries to refrain from speaking as he’s sure he’ll much it up. They eventually work together on the case as well as in the bed but they both get more involved in each other than they planned. This was a good read as well. I liked that Sean stuttered and Knox didn’t have him magically saved by the end of the book. He was who he was and I loved it. You can read more of my thoughts here. 3.75 out of 5
My next read was Damned if You Do: The Complete Collection by JL Merrow. This is the story of a male succubus and a police officer with the Paranormal Enforcement agency who meet and can’t keep their hands off each other. There are 4 novellas/stories in this m/m collection and they’re all very entertaining and sexy. I’ll post my review for this one later this week. 4 out of 5
The Secrets of Mia Danvers by Robyn DeHart is about a woman who is blind. She lives in a cottage at the corner of a Duke’s property but was abandoned by her family and the ton was lead to believe she was dead. When she witnesses a murder she heads to the Duke’s home and from there the duke and Mia become friends and then so much more. I really like blind heroines as they give a level of depth in a story that might not otherwise be there. Things get heated, especially when Mia thinks that the killer might be the duke’s brother. 3.75 out of 5 (read for Book Binge)
Last for the week was Life of the Party by Kate Davies. This is the 3rd and final story in the Girls Most Likely to… series. This story was Tess’s and it’s about her friend and kind of co-worker, Luke, getting together. She has self-esteem issues and he’s been burned by previous girlfriends due to his American Indian heritage. It was a good story and a good way to pass the time but nothing made it really stand out. 3 out of 5
Ten years ago, Marc and Bree were voted Cutest Couple—until a graduation-night argument destroyed their relationship. Unable to contact him, Bree had no choice but to forget Marc—and raise the son she never got to tell him about.
Marc got Bree’s message loud and clear when he never heard from her again. Now stationed near his hometown, he sees their high school reunion as a chance to make peace with the past. But after one glimpse of Bree, he knows he never really got over her. And after one glimpse of her son, Marc knows he’s the boy’s father…
Despite the secrets and lies that kept them apart, Marc and Bree can’t resist picking up where they left off. But when the weekend is over, it may be too late to build the future they once dreamed of.
While Marc and Bree were voted Cutest Couple in High School they weren’t so cute after graduation night. Marc had a couple of surprises for her but he what he thought would cause an argument that they were get over, him joining the military, was something that caused a rift so large they couldn’t get past it. Now both of them are at their 10 year reunion and while Marc is anxious to see Bree, she’s not all that anxious to see Marc.
Bree had become pregnant before Marc left for boot camp and Bree sent him a letter to inform him. When she never heard anything from him she assumed, quite mistakenly, that Marc didn’t care at all about the baby on the way. Marc would have been with Bree every step of the way but for the fact that A) after their argument that night she told him she never wanted to speak to him again and B) he never got the letter informing him of the baby.
Marc’s rightfully pissed at Bree and the circumstances but he sees that they will be in each others lives for the remainder of them. Bree seems to think that Marc will waltz off into the sunset and leave her to her life. Silly girl. They both need to come to an understanding before they once again ruin something that could be wonderful.
I have to say that as much as I liked this story, and I thought the author did a great job of putting it together, I had some issues with it.
I like Davies whole premise of bringing people together via a high school reunion – that’s something that I very much enjoy as you seem to view people in a different light than you once did when you see them after so long. Then again there are those who refuse to see others as changed at all and I think that was one of Bree’s problems. While Bree had had a baby and had been an independent woman and single-mother she hadn’t grown up and matured very much and unfortunately she believed the same would happen with Marc. When it hadn’t happened she was in for a bit of a surprise.
Marc had been in the military for 10 years and he loved it. He’d seen his share of action and the front line but now he was living at a nearby base and was looking forward to doing non-combat duty. He really seemed to have his shit together and was livid when he found out he had a son that he knew nothing about. I was so happy when Marc took Bree to task over the fact that she’d sent a letter and then never tried to contact him any other way to notify him of Ben’s existence. She really deserved the tongue lashing she got. (They argued for most of the book) He was also plenty pissed when he found out that Bree had told him never to contact her again as a test of his devotion to her. OMG that’s SO high school! I would have thought she would have outgrown that petty stuff but apparently when he took her up on her request she didn’t take that too well. Despite that Marc still had feelings for Bree and I thought the way that Davies brought them together was done well, if not a little too quickly.
Overall it decent read and I’ll, of course, be reading the last book in this series to see what happens with the elusive Tess that has shown up in the first two books of the trilogy.
The fact that I’m typing this is proof that I survived last week. It was close but I did it. I did wake up with a sore throat and slight cold yesterday so my body is trying to fight back for running it ragged. Oh well, at least I’m still up and kicking which is always a good thing in my book. 🙂
My youngest daughter loved all of your kind words about her black belt. She has decided, after a bit of thought, that she will be continuing on. We’re gonna play it by ear to see if she’ll actually stay until she gets her second dan (2nd degree black belt). Right now she’s going for another year and we’ll go from there. I’m actually happy she’s continuing because I think it does her good both mentally and physically and teaches her a lot about discipline that she then applies to her every day life.
Here are a couple of pictures of my girls in their Easter dresses that my sister sent them:
I do have to apologize for ignoring the blog last week and I haven’t been blog hopping in so damn long either I’m not sure I remember how! lol I’ll try to do better this week and in the future.
On to what I read last week:
First on my list for the week was Ride With Me by Ruthie Knox. This was a great story about a man and a woman biking across America and eventually falling in love. You can read more about the story and my review here. 4 out of 5
Next was a novella called The Quizzing Glass Bride by Hayley Ann Solomon. This was the story of a woman who is pledged to marry a man she’s only met a couple of times. It contains a serious case of mistaken identity and…well, you’ll just have to read my review later this week. 🙂
Cutest Couple by Kate Davies was my next read. This novella is about Marc and Bree who haven’t seen each other in 10 years but were once voted Cutest Couple. That was long ago and now they have a lot to talk about after not speaking for so long, including talking about the son that Marc didn’t know he had. I’ll post my review later this month. 3.5 out of 5
Josh of the Damned Triple Feature #2: The Final Checkout by Andrea Speed continues the story of Josh Caplan and his crazy life working at the Quik-Mart. In this novella he gets to fight all sorts of interesting beings that all hate him for one reason or another. I’ll post my review for this one later this month as well. 3.5 out of 5
Last for the week was The Devil’s Heart by Cathy Maxwell that wraps up The Chattan Curse series. I didn’t actually read the first few books in the series but this one was a decent stand alone. It told the story of Lady Margaret Chattan who is determined to stop the curse that is killing her brothers by heading to Scotland and dealing with the Macnachtan family herself. She doesn’t plan on falling for the Macnachtan Laird, however, and that puts a whole new twist on the curse. It was a decent book that was a bit heavy on the paranormal for my liking (I’m not a HUGE fan of historical paranormal stories) but it was a good book. 3.5 out of 5
I’m a little behind this week – so sorry. For those of you who know I work at a church all I have to say is that it’s Holy Week. The week before Easter is a incredibly busy week for me and frankly I was so exhausted when I got home last night I couldn’t have written a coherent sentence if I wanted to! Luckily it’s a short week for me since I have Friday off so I’ll have 3 days to recover. :P)
It was a pretty exciting week at the Tracy house last week. My youngest, after 4.5 years, got her black belt in Taekwondo this past Saturday. She did a really great job and I’m just so damned proud of her I could hardly stand it. The test was 4 hours long so after she was done she was almost too exhausted to enjoy it, poor thing. A few months ago she had decided that she wasn’t going to continue after she got her black belt but now that she has it she’s reconsidering so we’ll see what comes next. I put together a video that is made up of various parts of the test so but it’s fun. She actually had to learn Korean terminology and the Korean national anthem for the test, which is on the vid (sorry it’s a bit shakey).
With her main instructors
With the Grand Master
Other than that it was a pretty quiet week so I’ll get on to what I read last week. It may seem like I read a lot but really 6 of these were either shorts or novella’s so that counts as like 1 book, right. 🙂
I started off the week with Six Years by Harlan Coben. This is a mystery about a man and a woman who fall in love and spend 3 glorious months together. Jake knows that this is the real deal – like forever – and he knows Natalie feels the same. Unfortunately after 3 months she breaks up with him and then almost immediately invites him to her wedding to another man. After the ceremony she asks him to respect their marriage and never try to contact her. He promises but after six years he sees an obituary for the guy she married, Todd, and goes to the funeral. Surprise, surprise, the wife that Todd has had for many years, and has teen kids with, isn’t Natalie and Jake is more than confused. He’s never stopped loving Natalie and he won’t give up until he finds out what happened to her. This was a really good book that I just couldn’t put down. I read it in one sitting and I couldn’t figure out what was going on – which I loved. I hate when I figure it all out before the big reveal. Anyway, really good and definitely worth the read if mystery’s are your thing. You can read my full review here at Book Binge. 4 out of 5
Next up was Timeslip by Clare London. This is the story about Kevin who has the hots for his more than uptight new boss, Marcus. Kevin is really confused when Marcus starts showing up in his room. Marcus feels real but he can puff out at a moment’s notice. The reasoning behind it all was really quite clever. While the story was pretty short I really loved the whole premise and of course the way Clare wrote it I was completely involved. 4 out of 5
Next up was Light the Fire by JL Merrow. Kurt is sad and alone 2 years after his partner was killed. He gets frustrated by Matt in the gym as he just seems too…out there and perky. Kurt decides to give Matt a chance and things work out. I love Merrow’s stories and this one was no different. I could feel the pain and loneliness that Kurt was feeling, especially when he went to visit Raoul’s grave but I loved seeing him giving life a chance again and it was just a good story. 4 out of 5
Icicle by Natalie Vale was about Sean who has been in a serious relationship with Zack decides that he needs to go and do. He’s not sure what he needs but he’s got the bug and ends it with Zack, and not in a good way. Now it’s 10 months later and he gets caught in a snow storm and is close to death when he gets saved by Ezra. Ezra is a wanderer of sorts himself and he helps Sean see that sometimes home is the place you need to be. Good story with a paranormal aspect to it. 3.75 out of 5
Next was Second Son of a Duke by Gwen Hayes. This is the story of two men who force their siblings to marry. They’re more or less ambushed but they make the most of it. After a horrid wedding night they start to see each other in a different light and end up falling in love. It was a cute story but not real deep. 3 out of 5
Most Likely to Succeed by Kate Davies is the story about Kelsey who was voted Most Likely to Succeed in high school. Now it’s time for her high school reunion and she’s ashamed and embarrassed because she feels she’s done nothing with her life. Her old friend Nathan is there and while they become lovers he also shows her that taking care of your family is definitely something to be proud of. You can read my review here. 3.75 out of 5
Let it Be Me by Kate Noble is about Bridget who is an accomplished pianist who would like nothing more than to study with composer Vincenzo Carpenini. After he fails to show in England as she was told she talks her family into a vacation in Venice and goes looking for him. She ends up as his student but only because he’s in a competition to save his own skin. His companion, Oliver Merrick, thinks more of Bridget than he does the music and they end up falling in love. This was a great book. I loved the descriptions of the music and what it portrayed and how it made a person feel. Just a great story. 4 out of 5 (read for Book Binge)
My next read was Only Lycans Need Apply by Michele Bardsley. This is the story of Moira who is an archaeologist and has almost discovered the resting place of ancient vampires. She’s interrupted in her dig by Lycans and vampires both good and bad who want what’s in the tomb. Moira finds out she’s a different being than she thought and only she can open the tomb, with help from Lycan, Drake. I found this story to be entertaining and I liked the whole good vs. bad vampire and the adventure of opening the tomb but I thought the romance itself wasn’t much. It was kind of meeting, attraction, sex then love. It happened way to fast, imho and the characters really knew nothing about the other at all. A bit frustrating but the rest was pretty good. 3.5 out of 5 (read for Book Binge)
Casual Sex Friday by Evie Kiels was next. Ben and Calvin went out a while back and Ben was bored out of his freaking mind. Now Calvin asks Ben out every Friday and Ben has to repeatedly say an adamant no. Ben thinks he’s got Calvin figured out but when Calvin finds Ben in the park watching a live feed of people having sex on a website. Calvin takes over Ben’s fun from there and Ben sees that there’s a whole other side to Calvin he’d never known existed. This was another cute story with lots of sex and not too much depth…definitely entertaining. 3 out of 5
Semper Fi by Laura B. Cooper and Christopher Cooper was my next read. Hot cover, not so hot book. (I’m gonna just copy and paste what I put on Goodreads): Mattie gets drunk dialed by her boyfriend of 7 1/2 years, Travis, and since they’re in different states he asks if he can screw someone else cuz he’s horny. She says, “hell no” and he says, “we’re done.” She heads to the airport so she can fly to where he is and see him face to face. We get the impression that she’s going to just talk to him to see what’s up but later in the book we find out that she was going to break up with him. She’s stuck at the airport all night because of a storm and meets Logan who is a Marine who is on his way back to his unit after attending his father’s funeral. The two hit it off and talk for hours. Next think you know they’re kissing AND having sex behind the ticket counter at the gate (and getting caught)! Seriously! This scene was so ridiculous I just laughed. She had “heaving breasts” and “raging nipples” and when he looked at her “steam rose from his eyes.” OMG what a crack up! I was a bit perplexed by Mattie’s insistence that Travis not sleep with anyone else and then she’s goes and does it in public with a guy she just met. Double standard or what? Logan falls hard and fast for Mattie but Mattie doesn’t have a clue what’s going on in her life and can’t decide what she wants to do about the two men. The story goes on to deal with Mattie and Travis, Mattie and Logan, Mattie and her family, Logan and the memories and demons he’s dealing with, and it kind of goes off into a weird area with Logan’s dad and his kinky sex habits. It’s a story that had a great idea but it was just written oddly, imho. What started out as a fun romp tried to become too deep and it just didn’t work. 2 out of 5
The Duke’s Tattoo by Miranda Davis is the story of Prudence who was banished by her brother after an incident with the Duke of Ainsworth. Nine years later and she has the man kidnapped, drugged and tattooed but then discovers it’s not the right Duke of Ainsworth. Jem, the current duke wants to get back at the person who did this but when he figures out who it is and then meets her he wants something completely different – her, permanently. But Prudence is an independent woman and isn’t falling into Jem’s arms. The story was cute and I loved the humor and witty banter that Jem and Prudence had going but imho things were dragged out way too much and I found myself wanting things to move along. Prudence on one had was wonderful and the other so incredibly dense I wanted to shake the woman at times. In the end it was a good story and I’m glad I read it. 3 out of 5
Last for the week was Feral Sins by Suzanne Wright. Latent shifter Taryn Warner is the healer of her pack but treated like crap – even by her father – because of her latency. She is approached (in an unorthodox way) by Trey Coleman who wants her to act like his True Mate for 3 months so that he can build an alliance with her father’s pack in order to fight his uncle’s pack. The couple have their issues but they can’t stay away from each other in the bedroom. This doesn’t make things easy as they can be mates but each of their real True Mates died previously. The story is mostly a love story with a great number of incredibly hot sex scenes involved. We got a tortured hero in Trey and a snarky, sarcastic, smart-ass heroine in Taryn and I loved them both. Taryn was awesome. I know a lot of people don’t like the snarky bitch heroine but if done right they are wonderful. Taryn kind of reminded me of Sara Morrighan in Shelly Laurenston’s Pack Challenge (another book I love to pieces) in that she was an alpha female who was underrated and pushed aside for what is thought her handicap, but doesn’t take shit from anyone. Her snappy comebacks to Trey’s grandma (who was a bitch) were wonderful and I laughed each time. I will definitely be reading the next book in this series. 4 out of 5