Tag: Blue Heron Series

When It’s Time to Let Go: 5 Series I’m Breaking Up With

Posted October 22, 2015 by Rowena in Discussions | 17 Comments

break up

There comes a time in every book nerds life when they have to make difficult decisions. Decisions like what to read next or who our book boyfriend of the week is and when it’s time to let go of a book or series. It’s never an easy decision to give up on characters before the series is done. I mean, you still have stories to read and characters to get to know but sometimes, it just has to be done.

For me, what it all boils down to are two things. My enjoyment and time.

There’s too many books on my TBR list. Hundreds and hundreds of them and I know that I’m not going to read them all. There’s just no way. So that’s all the more reason to start calling it quits with the series that I’ve fallen out of love with.

Here are the series that I’m breaking up with this…for good.

1) The Dark Hunters series by Sherrilyn Kenyon. This was the first paranormal series that I ever read and that was way back in the day. So long ago that I can’t even remember what year it was. It was back in our years on the JGBB, that’s for sure. I remember when Holly and I used to be obsessed with all things Dark Hunter. We would spend hours upon hours talking about books, characters, share our theories with what was coming up and we loved everything about the world that Sherrilyn Kenyon created for these supernatural characters. Over time though, she started moving away from the rules she created for her own world and our enjoyment of the books started dimming, not to mention she kept writing book after book after book. There’s like 100 books in the series now (not really but you get the idea) and I just don’t see myself ever picking up another book to read. I still have quite a few DH books in my possession but those will sadly go unread. shrugs Oh, well.

2) The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I know that this series was turned into the hit TV Show that everyone and their Mom loves. I know that Jamie is all kinds of wonderful and is one hot ginger. I had every intention of reading this series because one of my old book friends absolutely adored it and would not stop pimping it to me so I bought the first three books in the series and almost had a heart attack when I saw how big those suckers were. Have you seen how big those suckers are? Their sheer size has intimidated the hell out of me and when I read the first book, I really enjoyed it but thought that it could have been chopped in half and still been a really good read. I even wanted to read the next book in the series but every time I passed it while browsing my books, I always skipped it. That was years ago and so much time has passed that meh, I’m over it. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m never going to finish this series…but I might rent the series and watch that.

3) The Blue Heron series by Kristan Higgins. The first two books in this series rocked my socks. The third book? Not so much. The fourth book? Couldn’t even finish it. So yeah, I’m calling it quits on this one.

4) The Virgin River series by Robyn Carr. I absolutely, positively loved the first book in this series. I loved Jack. I loved Mel. I loved the small town of Virgin River and had such high hopes for the rest of the books. I loved the second book and enjoyed the third but I can’t remember anything about the fourth book but the fifth book? I remember that book. I remember it well. I remember that I spent most of the first read frustrated with both the hero and the heroine but the second time I tried reading it? I didn’t like it at all. Everything got on my nerves so much more than the first time I read it. The heroine? Ugh. The hero? Meh. I didn’t even finish my re-read of the book. I just gave up, on that book and since it’s been years since my re-read, I guess I gave up on the series too because I never read another book. I don’t plan to either. So it’s official, I’m dumping you Virgin Rivers.

5) The Vicious Cycle series by Katie Ashley. As much as I love those sexy ass covers, I don’t think I’d survive another book in this series. The hero and heroine in the first book drove me absolutely bonkers in both their book and the second book. The hero and heroine in the second book had such potential but the entire story just fell flat for me so I think I’m officially out of this one.

What about you? Are there any series that you’re thinking about breaking up with for good?

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Guest Review: In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins

Posted October 9, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: In Your Dreams by Kristan HigginsReviewer: Tracy
In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins
Series: Blue Heron #4

Publication Date: September 30th 2014
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: five-stars

Everyone loves Jack Holland, but Emmaline Neal needs him. Her ex-fiancé is getting married in Malibu and, obviously, she can't go to the wedding alone. In Manningsport, New York, tall, blond and gorgeous Jack Holland is practically a cottage industry when it comes to rescuing desperate women. He knows the drill, Em figures, so he won't get the wrong idea.

What Jack needs is an excuse to leave town. Ever since rescuing four teenagers from a car wreck, he's been hailed as a hero and the attention is making him itchy, especially since his too-pretty ex-wife is back, angling for a reunion. He's always liked Emmaline. She needs a weekend date? No problem.

So when they wind up in bed together, Em chalks it up to red wine and chocolate cake, just one impulsive night not to be repeated. But Jack's pushing for more, and if she lets down her guard, either she'll get her heart crushed again, or discover that Jack's worth more than just dreaming about.


Tracy’s review of In Your Dreams (Blue Heron #4) by Kristan Higgins

Emmaline is a cop in the small town of Manningsport, New York. When she gets a wedding invitation to her ex-fiance’s wedding she knows she has to attend to prove to him and everyone else that she’s over him, but she needs a date. She doesn’t want a fake boyfriend date, more like a friend who’ll be a human shield.

She tries to find one but strikes out with her friend Allison’s ex-husband’s cousin’s friend – who is a piece of work (this scene had me laughing so hard I almost fell off my chair) but that doesn’t work out. Of course Manningsport is small so everyone finds out she needs a date and her friend Faith asks her brother, Jack, who acts as date to a lot of women. He just loves helping out and he agrees to be Em’s date for the wedding from hell.

Em and Jack know each other because they’re on the same hockey team together but they’ve never said more than hi and bye to each other. When they head to California for the wedding they get to know each other better and Jack really like what he sees. He’s not looking for a relationship but he loves being with Em and soon they’re dating.

Jack loves being with Em but he has some issues that he’s not facing at all. One of them is huge – he’s got a serious case of PTSD from saving four boys from a car accident. One ended up in a coma and he blames himself that he couldn’t save that one boy faster. He denies he has an issue but Em can see it clearly. On top of that his ex-wife, Hadley, is in town trying to get him back but that will never happen. The problem is is that he’s a really nice guy and he’s not mean or rude to anyone. This makes it look to Em as if he still cares about Hadley even though he really wants her gone.

Em and Jack are wonderful together but they have their moments. Unfortunately his PTSD, Hadley and her machinations, and a couple of bad decisions on Em’s part might just have them broken up for good.

I really liked this book a lot! I loved that Em wasn’t this petite little thing and that she was more of a tomboy. I thought it was a great contrast to Hadley was a sweet little southern belle (hold on while I choke). It was nice to see Jack not dating just one type of woman and branching out. He saw the beauty, the loveliness in her that apparently not many other people had seen and I loved that he did.

The story had so much involved in it but it was done well and I didn’t feel like I was ever overwhelmed with information. We got to see Em as a cop in action, her working with at risk kids, her psychologist parents who are amazingly nuts, her wonderful sister who loves Em dearly and her with her friends. Then for Jack we got to see him with his wonderful family and their nutty goodness and his work with his father. With the flashbacks to Jack and Em’s former lives with their significant others we got a huge insight into the people they’ve become.

All of the parts of the book worked so well and I enjoyed almost every minute of it. The story was witty and fun, incredibly funny at times as well, but it also had some very touching and heartfelt moments in it that brought tears to my eyes. It really was a great blend of love, family and friendship.

I’m the first to say that I’m a fan of Higgins’ books but this one is definitely one of my favorites.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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


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Review: Waiting on You by Kristan Higgins

Posted April 8, 2014 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Rowena’s review of Waiting on You (Blue Heron #3) by Kristan Higgins.

Does being nobody’s fool mean that you’re nobody’s love?

Colleen O’Rourke is in love with love… just not when it comes to herself. Most nights, she can be found behind the bar at the Manningsport, New York, tavern she owns with her twin brother, doling out romantic advice to the lovelorn, mixing martinis and staying more or less happily single. See, ten years ago, Lucas Campbell, her first love, broke her heart… an experience Colleen doesn’t want to have again, thanks. Since then, she’s been happy with a fling here and there, some elite-level flirting and playing matchmaker to her friends.

But a family emergency has brought Lucas back to town, handsome as ever and still the only man who’s ever been able to crack her defenses. Seems like maybe they’ve got some unfinished business waiting for them—but to find out, Colleen has to let her guard down, or risk losing a second chance with the only man she’s ever loved.

*This review may contain spoilers from the book so please read at your own risk.*

I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book, so I went into it thinking that I was going to enjoy it and unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for me.

Colleen O’Rourke owns the hoppin’ bar in town with her twin brother, Connor.  She’s great at matchmaking but her time as being part of a couple are behind her.  She’s only ever been in love once and she’s starting to think that it’s also going to be the last.

Lucas Campbell left Manningsport, New York a long time ago and never really planned on going back but when his ailing uncle calls on him for help, he finds himself back in Manningsport and back to seeing the one woman that’s ever left a lasting impression on him.

There were quite a few things that didn’t work for me in this book, so let me count the ways.

Colleen doesn’t handle Lucas’ return to town well.  She’s got diarrhea of the mouth and she comes off as completely immature and I didn’t enjoy her clumsy cuteness.  I mean, I guess it was supposed to be clumsy and cute but it missed its mark with me.  It’s a shame because I liked Colleen well enough in the other books so to be so completely let down in her own book, sucked.

On top of the way that she treated Lucas when he came back into town, I was not a fan of the games she played to get Bryce to notice her new friend, Paulie.  It was all so forced and felt more like she was trying to trap Bryce than get him to notice Paulie.

The way that Lucas’ family treated him made me want to smack a monkey.  I hated that his uncle didn’t have a spine and wouldn’t speak up for a young Lucas, who lost everything he had in this world.  I hated that his uncle’s wife was a total bitch to him for so long and she basically got away with it.  I hated that his uncle died without apologizing to Lucas for being a total spineless piece of shit, especially since he had the nerve to call Lucas back “home” to help him get his shit together before he dies and then makes Lucas feel like the redheaded step child over and over again.  Lucas went above and beyond for his family and they treated him like shit.  And then all we get to resolve that whole thing was a small paragraph in a letter written to his good for nothing son, Bryce?

And then as if that wasn’t enough to drive me bat shit crazy, we find out toward the end that Colleen slept with Bryce and that pisses Lucas off…even though he didn’t have a damn leg to stand on with being pissed at Colleen for sleeping with his cousin, considering he was MARRIED at the time.

I’m trying to remember if I liked anything about this book and I will say that I loved when Connor punched Lucas out at the restaurant and then I liked Jack’s behavior on his “date” with Colleen.  But aside from those two things, I’m coming up blank.

This book was full of misunderstandings, a lot of immature behavior from grown ass adults and it really didn’t work for me at all.  Bummer.

Grade: 1 out of 5

This book is available from HQN.  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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Review: The Perfect Match by Kristan Higgins

Posted November 29, 2013 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

The Perfect Match
Rowena’s review of The Perfect Match (Blue Heron #2) by Kristan Higgins.

What if the perfect match is a perfect surprise? Honor Holland has just been unceremoniously rejected by her lifelong crush. And now—a mere three weeks later—Mr. Perfect is engaged to her best friend. But resilient, reliable Honor is going to pick herself up, dust herself off and get back out there…or she would if dating in Manningsport, New York, population 715, wasn’t easier said than done.

Charming, handsome British professor Tom Barlow just wants to do right by his unofficial stepson, Charlie, but his visa is about to expire. Now Tom must either get a green card or leave the States—and leave Charlie behind.

In a moment of impulsiveness, Honor agrees to help Tom with a marriage of convenience—and make her ex jealous in the process. But juggling a fiancé, hiding out from her former best friend and managing her job at the family vineyard isn’t easy. And as sparks start to fly between Honor and Tom, they might discover that their pretend relationship is far too perfect to be anything but true love….

Kristan Higgins writes great contemporary romances that I have enjoyed in the past so I knew that I would enjoy this one as well. She writes the cute and fluffy contemporary romances that I know and love. This is the second book in the Blue Heron series and it follows Honor Holland as she bungles her way toward that happy ending everyone is always striving toward.

When we met Honor in her sister Faith’s book, she was seeing someone in private and she was really hard to like. She didn’t have the best relationship with her sister and so for me, it was hard to like her. I’ll be honest and say that I wasn’t at all looking forward to reading her book but then I thought, “It’s Kristan Higgins, of course she’ll make it good for me.”

And she did.

In this book, we find out that Honor was having an affair with her best friend Brogan. She also had a huge crush on him and had one for a long time but when she proposes to him and he turns her down, she’s devastated. What does a girl do when she gets turned down by the guy she’s had a crush on for most of her life? She runs to her girl best friend, that’s what she does. And Honor does that. And while Honor is dealing with her broken heart, weeks later, she finds out that her best friend is engaged to the man who broke her heart.

So yeah, that sucked.

She cuts Brogan and Dana out of her life and decides to move on. Her grandmother tries to set her up with one of her friend’s nephews, but Honor isn’t expecting much. She’s expecting someone old, who smells like mothballs but when handsome British professor Tom Barlow shows up, things are looking up. But then he opens his mouth and things take a turn for the worse. She’s not at all impressed by him and is ready to cross him out of her life forever until he comes to her rescue when she needed him to.

After getting to know him, Honor finds out that Tom is about to be deported and his unofficial stepson who has two guardians that don’t care for him, a dead Mom and an absentee father will be left all alone, Honor offers to marry Tom so he can get a green card and stay close to Charlie.

The whole idea is pretty crazy by Higgins pulls it off with her usual humor and I enjoyed the emotional ride she took us on. Honor was so much more than what I saw in The Best Man and she turned out to be pretty awesome. She had a great relationship with her family, she was getting a lot closer with her sister (the relationship wasn’t so great in the first book) and she was so good to her grandparents. She was a solid heroine, someone that was strong and took care of those around her.

Tom wasn’t your typical, perfect hero. He didn’t have this sexy job like firefighter, cop, sports star. He was a teacher but holy goodness was he a sexy one. And he came equipped with a British accent so I ate it up. He was far from perfect though because there were times when I wanted to wring his neck because of the things he said to Honor and the way he handled certain things that cropped up in the book but in the end, I adored him. He was perfect for Honor and I was glad when they finally got it together and committed to each other…for real.

This book was filled with all of the things that I like in a Kristan Higgins book. It was an enjoyable story that I think fans of contemporary fans will enjoy. I recommend this one for sure.

Grade: 4 out of 5

This book is available from HQN Books. 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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Review: The Best Man by Kristan Higgins.

Posted March 13, 2013 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Rowena’s review of The Best Man (Blue Heron #1) by Kristan Higgins.

Hero: Levi Cooper
Heroine: Faith Holland

Sometimes the best man is the one you least expect…Faith Holland left her hometown after being jilted at the altar. Now a little older and wiser, she’s ready to return to the Blue Heron Winery, her family’s vineyard, to confront the ghosts of her past, and maybe enjoy a glass of red. After all, there’s some great scenery there….

Like Levi Cooper, the local police chief—and best friend of her former fiancé. There’s a lot about Levi that Faith never noticed, and it’s not just those deep green eyes. The only catch is she’s having a hard time forgetting that he helped ruin her wedding all those years ago. If she can find a minute amidst all her family drama to stop and smell the rosé, she just might find a reason to stay at Blue Heron, and finish that walk down the aisle.

It’s been a while since I’ve laughed this much while reading a book.  When I was reading this book, I kept thinking back to long ago when I would read a Jennifer Crusie book and laugh my brains out.  Kristan Higgins delivers a cute romance with little steam but loads of smiles, giggling and full out laughter.  When the book first starts, I thought I wouldn’t like the heroine, Faith Holland because she was such a b word to Levi Cooper.  And even though that changes, there were still times when I wondered why in the world Levi put up with her crap.  Their first encounter together after years and years, he’s pulling her over to give her a speeding ticket (he’s the town chief of police) and she mouths off to him like he’s dirt under her $1,000 boots.  I didn’t like it but I’m glad that I stuck it out because I came to like Faith (even if I never really loved her) and I absolutely adored Levi.

Faith grew up on a vineyard.  Her family owns the Blue Heron Winery and each of her siblings and other family members are employed by the family business…except her.  After she was left at the altar (by her fiance to turned to be gay), Faith fled to San Francisco to get her shit together and what was supposed to only be a few weeks turned into a few years.  She’s made a life for herself in San Francisco, made friends but when her family calls and tells her that she needs to come home and help them with a gold digging old lady that is trying to snap up their father, Faith goes home to help any way that she can.

One of the first people Faith sees upon her return to town is the very last person she wants to see.  Levi Cooper, best friend to man that who told her on their wedding day that he couldn’t marry her because he was gay.  The same guy who knew all along that her fiance was gay and never said anything to her.  She hasn’t quite forgiven him yet and well, that was the crux on my problem with Faith.  She was such a b word to Levi because she held him semi-responsible for her wedding day turning out the way that it did and while I understood why she hated him, I didn’t understand how she didn’t think he’d keep his best friend’s secret.  I mean, Jeremy was Levi’s best friend, not Faith.  So when she comes back after years away, she immediately makes up with Jeremy but keeps Levi at arms length.  That didn’t make sense to me but then I got over all of that because I was too busy laughing and loving the hell out of all of the characters in this book.

I adored Faith’s family and I loved Levi’s sister.  I really enjoyed getting to know each of the characters in this book and I can’t wait for more.  I’m super thrilled that this book is the first in this series and I’m kind of anxious to see who’s book will be written next.  I’m curious to see who Colleen ends up with (Jack?) and who Honor will end up with as well…I’m thinking that Honor’s book will be next since she was seeing someone and she was excited to bring him to the anniversary party and then he didn’t show…there’s lots to look forward to and I’m excited.

Like I said, Kristan Higgins delivers a sweet romance between two people that didn’t even like each other in the beginning and the journey was great fun to be a part of.  I enjoyed Levi, I came to like Faith and I loved the hell out of their families.  For me, that makes this book a winner.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

This book is available from Harlequin HQN. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

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