Tag: Novella

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
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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


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Guest Review: Going Up! by Safyre Starr

Posted October 13, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Going Up! by Safyre StarrReviewer: Tracy
Going Up! by Safyre Starr
Published by Purple Prose Press
Publication Date: June 15th 2017
Genres: Erotica
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two-stars

All Rachel wants to do is get to work on time. And coffee. She wants coffee. All Jamie wants to do is get out of this moving box quickly before his claustrophobia kicks in. Unfortunately for both of them, a stopped elevator traps them between floors in their office building. Will Rachel survive without caffeine? Will Jamie keep it together? Or will their enforced togetherness lead to a sensual encounter that neither of them expected?

Jamie and Rachel get stuck in an elevator together after an earthquake and that’s not good for either of them.  Rachel is a bear without her coffee (which she hasn’t had yet) and Jamie is claustrophobic.  If the building wasn’t so tall he’d have taken the stairs.

Rachel knows that James is the son of the founder of the law firm she works at and had recently been brought in as a full partner. He had worked at J.A.G. and though had never seen any combat he had still had a harrowing experience having to do with a bomber and had PTSD.  Rachel tries to soothe him in the elevator as much as possible and soon that comfort turns into the two are having an incredibly erotic experience together.

After they get out they talk and decide that they need closure because things were left unfinished. They decide to meet at a hotel to finish what they started. What this means for the future of their relationship – if there even is one – neither one knows.

This was a short, simple erotic story of lust in an elevator.  There wasn’t a whole lot of depth to it or the characters and I didn’t actually find it that erotic.  Once James and Rachel were in the hotel “finishing up” I found things awkward and stilted.  The story ended with them deciding to try to work things out but that was unsatisfying for me.  I guess it was good they didn’t fall instantly in love but I would have liked to have a least a little bit of romance involved.

The story was ok but not one I would recommend.

Rating: 2 out of 5

two-stars


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Guest Review: A Christmas Affair by Jodi Thomas

Posted October 2, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: A Christmas Affair by Jodi ThomasReviewer: Tracy
A Christmas Affair (Ransom Canyon #6.5) by Jodi Thomas
Series: Ransom Canyon #6.5
Also in this series: Sunrise Crossing
Published by HQN Books
Publication Date: October 1st 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 90
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four-stars

Maria Anne Davis was on her way to an exciting career as a chef in Dallas, until a terrible car accident left her blind. Ever resilient, Maria has reinvented her life on her own terms, starting a business out of her home kitchen, selling her jams and jellies to the local grocery.

Maria loves romance novels, and despite her bold spirit, she fears she’ll never have a big love affair like ones her heroines experience. That is, until she realizes how much she cares about the quiet Wes Whitman, the owner of the grocery.

Wes can’t keep Maria’s wildly popular jam on his shelves – just like he can’t keep the fierce, beautiful Maria out of his thoughts. But how could a firecracker like Maria come to love a shy, nervous man like him? Maybe all they need is a grand affair. Wes needs to convince Maria that some affairs last forever, though – just in time for Christmas.

Wes and Maria don’t talk or really interact when she brings her stock in.  He pays her the money owed her and then she leaves.  Wes would like nothing more than to talk to her – and more – but he’s just too shy.  Maria ends up making the first move on Wes, which shocks and thrills him.  Maria proposes an affair – something she wants as her Christmas present.  Wes is happy to oblige but it seems like every time they turn around there are unintentional road blocks being thrown up.  The more Wes thinks about the affair with Maria the more he realizes that he doesn’t want just an affair – he wants it all.

In this novella not only do we get the sweet but whirlwind romance of Wes and Maria but we also get a bit of a story about a 15-year-old boy, Travis Fuller.  His parents are neglectful and social services has now put him into the care of his three great uncles in Crossroads, Texas.  Travis doesn’t plan on being with his uncles any longer than he planned on being with his parents. As soon as he hits age 16 he plans on running away and plots constantly as to how he can do that.

By staying with his uncles Travis gets to see that people may be screwed up in different ways but they can still love each other.   When Wes Whitman hires Travis as a stock boy in his grocery, Travis starts to see that life can be different from what he planned.  Not only is Travis then making money instead having to steal things, but he starts to have a sense of worth.  He starts to see life in a different way and I loved that.  Thomas has such a way of wrapping my heart around her characters that I couldn’t help but start pulling for Travis from the first sentence of the book.  I was so happy that by the end that he found a small sense of peace.  He was a good kid and I liked his character a lot.

Maria and Wes were definitely not your typical couple but they were good together.  I do wish they had talked more throughout the story but as it was a novella it still worked.  Sometimes two people just know they’re meant to be together and that’s all there is to it. 🙂

Overall a lovely novella and one I recommend, even if you haven’t read all of the Ransom Canyon books.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Hold Her Again by Shannon Stacey

Posted September 29, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Hold Her Again by Shannon StaceyReviewer: Tracy
Hold Her Again by Shannon Stacey
Published by Carina Press
Publication Date: October 1st 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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three-stars

Ava Wright isn't happy to see her high school sweetheart rolling into their hometown a few weeks before Christmas. He's only come back to bury his estranged father, but there's no way she'll be able to avoid him. No one can: he's become a country-music superstar since going solo and leaving Ava behind.

Jace Morrow grew up believing "money can't buy happiness" was something people said to make themselves feel better. But now he knows it's the truth: no matter how many number-one hits he has, he'll never recapture the magic of singing with Ava. Missing her—loving her—and living with making the wrong choice in life were what made him who he is.

When Jace is roped into being part of the town's annual Christmas party, he only cares about earning Ava's forgiveness. And though Ava's heart has never healed, she loved Jace too much and for too long to shut him out when he's hurting. As they fall in love all over again, they're both faced with choices for their future…and this time Jace intends to make the right one.

Jace Morrow and Ava Wright were once a couple in more ways than one.  They were in love and couple and they were also a country singing duo singing in bars to make a living.  Six years ago they were approached in one of those bars and Jace was offered stardom – but Ava wasn’t.  Jace decided he had to give it a try and left Ava. Just left her in a strange town on her own even though they were a duo. She went back to their small home town in Missouri with a broken heart and started waitressing again.

Now Jace is back in town for the first time in six years to bury his father and he knows that he’ll see Ava again.  In fact, he’s hoping he does because he wants to let her know that he never stopped loving her.  Ava isn’t looking forward to seeing Jace because she never forgave him for leaving her like he did.  Of course, when they do see each other again Ava has a hard time keeping the love she never stopped feeling for Jace under wraps.  He soon has her in his arms but can they move forward from what happened?

I’d love to say that I adored this novella by Stacey but I didn’t.  I did think it was good but that was because it had a lovely heroine and of course, Stacey’s wonderful writing style.  That said, I couldn’t get past Jace and what he did.  This is totally on me, and I’m probably in the minority here, but he really pissed me off.  He said that he never stopped loving her but he never came back to get his girl! Not only did he leave her high and dry to pursue his dreams, but then stayed away for 6 years! I guess I could see Ava forgiving him after 1 year but 6?  I had a really hard time with that.  For me, he didn’t grovel enough.  Actually, I’m not sure he could have groveled enough to make it ok in my eyes.

Ava was such a strong woman and I really liked her a lot.  She seemed to have a good head on her shoulders but had never stopped loving Jace.  Maybe if I had been shown some of their times together in the past, rather than just been told how close they were, I would have had a different perspective on their relationship.  As it was I just didn’t see it strong enough to withstand the time apart.

Despite my problems with Jace, as I said, it was a well written story.  If it had been longer maybe I would have changed my mind about the hero but with short a short format he just didn’t work for me.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Review: Gaslight Hades by Grace Draven

Posted September 11, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Gaslight Hades by Grace DravenReviewer: Holly
Gaslight Hades (The Bonekeeper Chronicles, #1) by Grace Draven
Series: The Bonekeeper Chronicles #1
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: March 10, 2017
Genres: Steampunk
Pages: 117
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four-stars

Nathaniel Gordon walks two worlds—that of the living and the dead. Barely human, he's earned the reputation of a Bonekeeper, the scourge of grave robbers. He believes his old life over, until one dreary burial he meets the woman he once loved and almost married.

Lenore Kenward stands at her father’s grave, begging the protection of the mysterious guardian, not knowing he is her lost love. Resolved to keep his distance, Nathaniel is forced to abandon his plan and accompany Lenore on a journey into the mouth of Hell where sea meets sky, and the abominations that exist beyond its barrier wait to destroy them.

GASLIGHT HADES is a 39k-word novella-length gaslamp fantasy romance with a sprinkling of airships, monsters and ghosts.  This story may also be found in the duology, Beneath a Waning Moon, alongside an Elizabeth Hunter tale.

Gaslight Hades is a dark and gritty novella that introduces us to a new Steampunk series by Grace Draven.

Nathaniel Gordon used to be a gunner on an airship, until he fell into hell and was remade by a monster. Now he’s a Guardian; Able to walk between two worlds – the living and the dead – he’s a Bonekeeper, a protector of graveyards and those who reside in them from grave robbers, who steal dead bodies and deliver them to madmen to be experimented on and brought back to life in the worst imaginable way. Life as he knew it is over, he understands and accepts that…until his lost love, Lenore Kenward, turns up in his graveyard for her father’s funeral.

Lenore begs The Guardian to watch over her father’s grave, not realizing he’s what’s left of the man she was meant to marry. There’s something very familiar about him, and she finds herself drawn to him despite his appearance and the probably danger. But will she still be able to accept him once she finds out the truth?

This my first story by Draven. I really like Steampunk so I expected to enjoy it, but I was surprised by how much I liked it. I was very sad it ended when it did. I would have loved to have more: More of the world, more Lenore and definitely more Nathaniel. I’m really excited to see this is just the start of a series and I hope all 6 Guardians get their own books.

3.5 out of 5

four-stars


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