Author: Sarah Mayberry

Joint Review: Temporary by Sarina Bowen & Sarah Mayberry

Posted September 28, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Joint Review: Temporary by Sarina Bowen & Sarah MayberryReviewer: Holly and Rowena
Temporary by Sarina Bowen, Sarah Mayberry
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 302
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four-stars

The most beautiful man I've ever seen is the one who can ruin everything...

The first time I lay eyes on Callan Walker, I know he’ll be trouble. With his smug grin, hot Aussie accent and thousand dollar shoes, he’s just the kind of rich guy who always gets what he wants.

And he wants two things: a night of sin, and my cooperation as he outmaneuvers his powerful mother to take control of his uncle’s estate.

I can’t afford either one. I’m the only thing standing between my little sister and the foster care system. He may have money and charm on his side, but I have something even more powerful -- pure desperation. This temp job at his mother’s company can become a full time job for me. It has to.

But when Callan’s eyes rake over my body, sometimes I forget my obligations. His piercing gaze finds the fun, optimistic girl I used to be and not the tired person I’ve become.

And it works--if only for a moment. Our night together was a mistake. I can't afford to get sucked into his high-powered family’s treachery. But the closer I get to Callan, the more layers I find beneath those expensive clothes. Though I can’t forget this is temporary. He’s temporary. I have too much to lose.

Too bad my foolish heart didn’t get the memo...

Callan Walker cut ties with his family and walked away from the family business two years ago. Since then the only person he really kept in contact with was his Uncle Jack.When Jack passes away, Callan is shocked when he learns his mother is the sole heir to his estate, since he knows Jack had other intentions. If he can find an updated will, he can stop his mother from auctioning off Jack’s prized art collections. It’s unfortunate that Grace Kerrington iis caught up in his family drama, but oh well….

…except the more he gets to know her the more he wants her around. And if he finds the will, she’ll be out of a job…and out of his life.

Holly: When I found out Sarina Bowen and Sarah Mayberry were teaming up to write a contemporary romance I was ridiculously excited. Both are favorite authors. I liked this, but I didn’t love it as much as I expected to. There were a few loose ends that weren’t tied up, and I think that marred my enjoyment a bit.

What did you think of it?

Rowena: I liked it. I thought it was well done and enjoyed the romance between Callan and Grace. Grace was thrown into the middle of a family feud and I thought she handled herself as well as she could without getting herself in trouble. She did what she felt was the right thing to do and I really liked seeing her and Callan grow closer and closer.

What about you, what did you think?

Holly: I liked the romance. Callan seemed like such an arrogant playboy in the beginning, but he had hidden depths. I liked Grace’s work ethic and how committed she was to her sister. Together I thought they were a good match. They complimented each other well.

Rowena: It took me just a minute to warm up to Callan after that entrance into Grace’s life and work. Once, I got over him being a brat, I really came to love both him and Grace and then loving them together. They made a good team.

Holly: What about Callan’s mother? Did you want to kill her, or what?

Rowena: Sure did. I didn’t understand her whole thing too. Why was she such a shit to Callan and Uncle Jack? I didn’t understand what motivated her, surely business can’t run someone’s life that much? Maybe that’s why I’m not rich. I don’t understand. But I did want to run ass over in my car. What a shit.

Holly: That’s one of the things that marred my enjoyment somewhat. There was no closure for me with how she was. I mean, yes, Callan took a stand and made her back down, but I wish we’d gotten to see more background info. I wonder if the next book will have more, though.

Rowena: Yeah, I wanted more resolution with his mother and I also was a bit disappointed that he gave her what she wanted in the end. (is that a spoiler?) My petty ass wanted him to keep his shares and rule the company over her….but no. He had to be the bigger person. Ugh.

Is there going to be another book? I thought this was a stand alone.

Holly: I wanted him to make her suffer, too. He should have at least pushed for 20% more than he got.

Rowena: Exactly! He freaking gave the farm away to his stank ass Mom. I’m annoyed just thinking of it.

Holly: I’m annoyed over it, too. I wanted him to get a little of his own back.

I don’t know if there’s going to be another book. I kind of assumed so, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part?

Rowena: There might be for Callan’s sister, there was a bit of lead in for another book featuring her. I forgot all about her but Nath reminded me.

Holly: Sorry I didn’t clarify. I was thinking of Callan’s sister when I suggested a second book. I haven’t seen either Bowen or Mayberry mention a second book, but I’m hopeful.

Rowena: Were you able to tell which author wrote which chapter? Was I the only person that caught on to the fact that they were each writing one character? LOL.

Holly: Sarina wrote her and Sarah wrote him, right? That’s what it seemed like to me, anyway. I haven’t looked to see if they said who did what.

Rowena: Yeah, that’s how it seemed to me too. Sarina wrote the American character and Sarah wrote the Australian character. I usually can’t tell which author is writing which parts but Sarina was all over Grace’s character in this one. I wonder if I could tell because I don’t read a lot of Sarah Mayberry?

Anyway, what did you think of the romance between Callan and Grace? Was it believable?

Holly: I liked how they were with each other, but I don’t know that I really believed they could make it go long term. His wealth and her family situation seemed to be standing between them. I’m not sure Grace can get past his wealth. How will that work? She’ll live with him and he’ll support her and her sister forever? He’ll buy her expensive things and she’ll just be okay with that? I wish we’d gotten to see more about that.

As a Happy For Now I bought it. I’m just not sure I buy Happily Ever After.

Rowena: I didn’t see it that way. I could see them working long term because I could see them fighting for it. Their feelings for each other was evident and even though Grace was stubborn and headstrong, she was fair and she loved Callan so I could see them finding common ground and learning to live a life together.

Holly: Maybe I just wanted more from them. It ended too soon for me. I’d have liked to see them living together and working some of those things out.

Rowena: Overall, the romance between Callan and Grace was believable for me and I did enjoy getting to know the both of them. I had some gripes with the way that Callan handled the whole Uncle Jack’s affairs thing but I did like how it all came together for him in the end. There was a lot of fabulous secondary characters and enjoyed them as well. Grace’s sister, even Callan’s sister came around for me and I would have loved to get to know Uncle Jack a bit more.

This was fun and I’d give it a 4 out of 5. You?

Holly: I liked both Callan and Grace. Together they worked well and I believed in their HFN. I would have liked a little more from them in terms of forever, but I can’t deny them getting together made me happy. I also really liked the secondary characters and I’d be happy if these two wrote another book together.

3.75 out of 5 from me.

Final Grades

Holly: 3.75 out of 5
Rowena: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Tanner by Sarah Mayberry

Posted May 30, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Tanner by Sarah MayberryReviewer: Holly
Tanner (American Extreme Bull Riders Tour Book 1) by Sarah Mayberry
Series: American Extreme Bull Riders Tour #1
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Publication Date: May 9th 2017
Pages: 217
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

He’s used to risking it all in the ring, but nothing prepared him for love…

After flying half-way around the world to surprise her boyfriend, Evie Forrester finds herself heartbroken and stranded in a strange city. What could be a total disaster becomes something else when a tall, dark bull rider turns out to be a white knight in disguise. Evie isn’t sure she needs saving, but Tanner Harding is a difficult man to deny.

He’s even harder to resist…

Tanner Harding can tame a monster bull with ease, but he never expected to be floored by someone like Evie. Sparks fly between them until injury threatens to end Tanner’s career –and suddenly he’s the one in need of a rescue.

Evie can’t turn her back on her wounded hero and, as Tanner struggles with his recovery, she’s not sure she can guard her heart against him either. Tanner knows Evie has slipped under his skin, but she lives in Australia and his future is under a cloud. Can two people with too many reasons to walk away make the bold decision to stay?

Mayberry always delivers sweet, lovely contemporary romances. Tanner was no exception.

Evie Forrester grew up with Troy, a foster kid her family took in when he was a teenager. She’s been in love with him most of her life, but he doesn’t know she exists…until he comes home for a wedding and they hook up. For months they’ve been video chatting and emailing. She decides to fly to the states to surprise him with a two week stay. She wants to cement their relationship and move on to the next step now that they’re together.

Only it turns out Evie was the only one feeling that way. When she arrives it’s to discover that Troy doesn’t share her vision of a future together. Stranded in the States with little available cash and a non-refundable plane ticket, she has two weeks to kill. Tanner Harding, another bullrider and friend of Troy’s, comes to Evie’s rescue. He lets her stay with him and helps her get back on her feet.

When Tanner is injured, Evie decides to repay the favor by helping him out until he’s back on his feet. They have chemistry in spades, but can they make something more lasting out of two weeks together?

Tanner was such a sweetheart. I really liked how sweet he was to Evie, and what an all-around stand-up guy he was. He did what needed to be done and didn’t complain about it. It was great how he rescued her, but then needed to be rescued in return. It made for a well balanced romance.

Evie was great, too. She was practical and down-to-earth. I really liked that she took responsibility for her part in the Troy fiasco, but she didn’t completely let him off the hook, either.

Though they didn’t have a lot of time together, their romance was believable. I enjoyed watching them take care of each other and fall in love. My only complaint is the story ended too soon.

4.25 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Guest Review: Wait for Me by Sarah Mayberry

Posted November 5, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Wait for Me by Sarah MayberryReviewer: Tracy
Wait for Me by Sarah Mayberry
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 20, 2015
Format: eARC
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four-stars

 

Three unlucky-in-love girlfriends make a road trip to the Outback Bachelor & Spinster Ball, a highlight of rural Australia life. One’s looking to move on, one’s thumbing her nose at romance, and one’s looking to slip away and hide. None of them are looking for love…

Three women are about to meet their match in a cowboy, a soldier and a country rock star. One magical night. One less than magical morning after. Forty-eight hours can change your life.

Sometimes it pays to wait for the things you want, even if it’s the hardest thing you ever do.

Beth Walker hasn’t just been burned by her philandering country music star ex, she’s been barbecued to a crisp. Coming home to Australia and into the arms of her best friends is exactly the balm she needs. Cocktails and laughter at an Outback Bachelor and Spinster Ball seem like the perfect distraction. Until she bumps into the last person she wants seeing her heartsick and pathetic — Jonah Masters, rising country music star and witness to the failure of her marriage. If only she’d met Jonah first. Now she’s broken and won’t ask him to wait until she heals.

Jonah can’t believe he and Beth are finally standing under the same stars. The connection they shared on the road years ago has haunted him but he wouldn’t pursue a married woman. Now she’s free, and Jonah can’t refuse the one night Beth impulsively offers. Can he convince the woman he’s always loved that he’ll wait — however long it takes — for her trust?

Beth met her husband in Thailand and it was almost love at first site. He was a country rock star and though she didn’t really listen to country she fell hard. Unfortunately he turned out to be a scumbag of epic proportions! He took infidelity to a whole new level so she’s been hiding out trying to keep the media and paparazzi off of her tail. Taking the trip to Australia is perfect for Beth’s situation and it adds the bonus of her seeing her boarding school friends once again.

Beth is dared to dance with any decent guy that asks her while at the Ball and she complies. She is stunned when she sees Jonah Masters arrive at the ball. On the first tour Beth ever went on with her ex Jonah’s band was the opening act. During the course of the tour Beth and Jonah became great friends and Jonah fell in love with Beth. Jonah is thrilled that Beth is at the Ball and takes every chance he has to get her to spend time with him. When they end up sleeping together it’s magical and extremely hot. They each know that there’s something between them but Beth isn’t ready to explore any kind of relationship with anyone.

This was a really great book. I loved Beth and Jonah together and the flashback we got showing us a bit of Beth and Jonah’s time together when they first met was pretty great. It gave the reader a good foundation to the relationship and I could see that they weren’t just starting from scratch.

The time that Jonah and Beth spend together looking at a house that he is looking to buy was sweet and I loved every minute of it. I also loved that the author didn’t rush this relationship. Beth was pretty broken when the series began and she needed that extra time to set her world straight. I loved that in the end it was Beth who seeks Jonah out as it just showed that she knew it was their time.

Overall a very sweet and romantic story with lots of laughter and fun.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Wait for Me by Sarah Mayberry

Posted October 20, 2015 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Wait for Me by Sarah MayberryReviewer: Holly
Wait for Me by Sarah Mayberry
Series: The Outback Bachelor Ball #3
Also in this series: Win Me, Woo Me, Win Me, Woo Me, Wait for Me
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 20, 2015
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Book Three in The Outback Bachelor Ball Series

Sometimes it pays to wait for the things you want, even if it’s the hardest thing you ever do.

Beth Walker hasn’t just been burned by her philandering country music star ex, she’s been barbecued to a crisp. Coming home to Australia and into the arms of her best friends is exactly the balm she needs. Cocktails and laughter at an Outback Bachelor and Spinster Ball seem like the perfect distraction. Until she bumps into the last person she wants seeing her heartsick and pathetic — Jonah Masters, rising country music star and witness to the failure of her marriage. If only she’d met Jonah first. Now she’s broken and won’t ask him to wait until she heals.

Jonah can’t believe he and Beth are finally standing under the same stars. The connection they shared on the road years ago has haunted him but he wouldn’t pursue a married woman. Now she’s free, and Jonah can’t refuse the one night Beth impulsively offers. Can he convince the woman he’s always loved that he’ll wait — however long it takes — for her trust?

Wait For Me is Book 3 in The Outback Bachelor Ball Series. Don't miss out on Book 1 - Win Me by Joan Kilby and Book 2 - Woo Me by Karina Bliss.

Of the three books in this series, this is my favorite.

Beth was royally screwed over by her ex, a country music star who cheated on her for the entirety of their marriage. He had her convinced the rumors were just that, and she ignored evidence to the contrary in order to make her marriage work. When the women he cheated with came forward, she was humiliated on top of being betrayed. Several months later, she’s still in hiding and wants nothing to do with men. Her best friends talk her into attending the Outback Bachelor Ball and dancing with any man who asks that isn’t a total creep. She agrees, but only to make them happy. When she runs into Jonah Masters, she’s happy to see him, but also ashamed, since he was there when she first heard the rumors of her ex cheating, and he knows she chose to ignore them.

Jonah is thrilled he found Beth. He was one of the acts on her ex’s tour. They spent a lot of time together and he felt a serious connection to her. He’s been thinking about her a lot since the news of her husband’s infidelities came out. He can’t wait to catch up with her and see how she’s really holding up. He isn’t surprised to see they still have a striking connection, but he is surprised by the blinding amount of lust he feels for her – and that she seems to return.

Beth agrees to spend some time with Jonah, but she isn’t prepared for the feelings he stirs up inside of her. After they spend the night together she agrees to accompany him on a trip to look at a potential new home for himself. She can’t deny the connection between them, but she isn’t in a place where she can pursue anything with him. She can’t ask him to wait for her. He can’t do anything but.

I was most anxious for this book at the beginning of the series. Beth was pretty broken in the beginning, and I wasn’t sure how Mayberry was going to make a happily ever after – or even a happy for now – work. Beth had her world rocked when her husband’s cheating came to light in such a public way. Not only was her heart broken, but she lost trust in her judgement. How could she have stayed with a man so long when all the signs pointed to his perfidy and she just ignored them? To buy into her falling for someone else in short period of time wouldn’t have made sense. Thankfully that wasn’t the case.

Jonah was a well-balanced character. I thought there’d be more angst over the fact that he, too, was a country music star, but Beth recognized the differences between him and her ex. I thought that was well done. It can be frustrating when a woman paints all men with a tarnished brush because of the actions of one. It was easy to see why Beth felt for him the way she did. He was a strong, steady guy whose values and ideals lined up with her own. They had great chemistry in and out of the bedroom. There was a strong connection between Beth and Jonah that came across very well. I believed in their chemistry and their friendship. Since they knew each other before the burden of forming a connection wasn’t there.

When Beth makes the decision to leave Jonah behind to find herself and establish her life, I was both sad and relieved. She needed to find herself again, and put some distance between her old life and her new one. I’m so glad she took that time.

I really loved both Beth and Jonah, together and on their own. They were well suited and their friendship and connection really worked for me. The ending was very satisfying. I finished the book on a happy sigh with the feeling that all would work out as it should.

To be honest, I’m sad to see the series end. I would have loved more time with all three woman. Do yourselves a favor and pick this up now.

4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Woo Me by Karina Bliss

Posted October 20, 2015 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Woo Me by Karina BlissReviewer: Holly
Woo Me by Joan Kilby, Karina Bliss, Sarah Mayberry
Series: The Outback Bachelor Ball #2
Also in this series: Win Me, Wait for Me, Win Me, Woo Me, Wait for Me
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: 10/20/15
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Can true love overcome a bad hide day and a series of unfortunate events?

Disillusioned in love, Jen Tremaine is done with men. So when her best friends dare her to wear a cow costume to their reunion at an Outback Bachelor and Spinster Ball, she's all over it. Who would have thought dressing as a heifer would make her irresistible to a bunch of lasso-twirling, drunken cowboys?
Maybe you should have thought this through, says the sexy security guard who keeps finding her at the center of trouble. Even though Jen's always dismissed soul mates as a load of bull, the sizzle between them is making her wonder: What if you met The One while wandering lonely as a cow? Would you find the courage to become a believer?
When ex-Special Forces soldier Logan Turner is roped into helping out with security at the B&S ball, he isn't expecting to find love - but after months in all-male company he sure is hoping for lust. He certainly isn't expecting to fall for a feisty, funny, trouble-making Cowderella. Only problem is, she's leaving Australia tomorrow. Convincing Jen they can still have a future together may wind up being the toughest mission of his life.

Woo Me is Book 2 in The Outback Bachelor Ball Series. Don't miss out on Book 1 - Win Me by Joan Kilby and Book 3 – Wait For Me by Sarah Mayberry.

Jen thought she had a good thing with her long-time boyfriend, until he suddenly announced his desire to get back with his ex-wife. Hurt and confused, Jen decides what she needs is a change of pace and takes a job with a former company that starts right away. But first she plans to meet up with her best friends at The Outback Bachelor Ball. In protest of bad relationships and philandering men, she decides to wear a cow costume. She expects to suffer through a torturous night then move on with her new life. What she never could have predicted was that she’d meet a sexy soldier who sees past her cow costume to the woman beneath – and makes her want things she swore off for good.

Logan just resigned his commission in the military and got suckered into working security at the Ball by his sister. He keeps having to rescue “Cowderella” from strange situations. Her sense of humor and dry wit intrigue him, and it isn’t long before he’s trying to get to know her better. They end up spending the night together, but she’s upfront that she isn’t interested in anything long-term. She’s been burned one time too many. He thinks they’re worth fighting for and he urges her to consider getting to know him better. Due to a misunderstanding, he misses it when she shows up at their designated meeting place, which just proves to her, once again, that love isn’t worth the risk.

To be perfectly honest, I expected Bliss to write the book featuring the country music star. I was surprised to see Bliss author this novel instead. She did really well with it, though. I really enjoyed Jen’s character. She was tough and a bit cynical, but also had a good heart and a lot of moxie. I cracked up while she was in the cow suit. She was quick witted and sharp. I liked her a lot. Her issues with love and her desire to protect herself made perfect sense. I was glad to see Logan push to break down her barriers.

Logan wasn’t as well fleshed out as Jen was, but I still really enjoyed him. He was strong and steady, and just what Jen needed. His determination to do the right thing and his strong values really came through. I liked that he was willing to take a chance on Jen and push for a future.

I was very satisfied with the ending, both in terms of their relationship and in the way it advanced the next story. This series is really working for me.

4 out of 5

four-stars


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