Monday, January 26, 2015

Desperately Seeking Fireman (Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel #4.5) by Jennifer Bernard

The Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel is one of the few “must read” series on my shelves. The stories make me laugh, make me think, and have me falling in love again and again. Desperately Seeking Fireman is a shorter story, but it’s filled with all the things I love most about Jennifer Bernard’s writing!

Blurb…

Fire Captain Jeb Stone and incredibly successful press secretary Nita Moreno have both been burned by love before. That's why neither of them is looking for more than a few steamy nights of passion.

When circumstances find them stranded on an island together, babysitting a cross-dressing senator and the very pregnant wife of San Gabriel's most famous captain, they allow the sparks they feel to take center stage. But as their feelings grow, can they each allow the other past the barriers both have built to protect their hearts?

My thoughts…

I have to be honest, I loved this story and even though it’s a novella, I’m giving it 5 stars because of Jed and Nita. They are great people, the kind I’d love to count amongst my friends. Apart they’re amazing, together they’re perfect! My only complaint about this story is that I would have loved to spend more time getting to know them.

The bottom line…

Jennifer Bernard is a fantastic storyteller, and this series is wonderful. The stories are about real people and the ups and downs of finding that one person who makes you complete, and no matter how many times I read these books, I never get enough!

If you’re looking for something new to dive in to, something romantic, exciting and steamy, then look no further than The Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel!

An ARC of this story was generously provided by Avon Books.   

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sweet Surprise (Sweet, Texas #4) by Candis Terry

Welcome to Sweet, Texas, where neighbors are friends, friends are family, and family is everything!

Description...

Playing naughty or nice...

Fiona Wilder knows all about falling in lust. Love? That's another story. Determined not to repeat past mistakes, the single mom and cupcake shop owner is focused on walking the straight and narrow. But trouble has a way of finding her. And this time it comes in the form of a smoking hot firefighter who knows all the delicious ways to ignite her bad-girl fuse.

Can lead to heartbreak...

Firefighter Mike Halsey learned long ago that playing with fire just gets you burned. He's put his demons behind him, and if there's one line he won't cross, it's getting involved with his best friend's ex. But when fate throws him in the path of the beautiful, strong, and off-limits Fiona, will he be able to fight their attraction? Or will he willingly go down in flames?

Or a sweet surprise!

***********

Sweet Surprise is the fourth installment in Candis Terry's Sweet, Texas series, a series I absolutely adore. Each book is fun, romantic, and sexy, and gives me exactly what I look for in escapism reading.

In this book we finally get Fiona's story, and what a story it is! I have to honest, I'm not sure I really bought her being 100% happy with her ex husband, Jackson, finding his happily ever after with another woman, but after reading Sweet Surprise... well, there's no doubt in my mind that she is definitely that kind of awesome. She and Jackson, both. They care for each other, so much, in fact, that when it became clear to them both that they married for the wrong reasons, they divorced but remained close friends. That's a tough storyline to pull off, but Candis Terry does it with flying colors!

As I said, I adore this series. Ms. Terry never fails to deliver characters we can't help but fall in love with, whether they're the leads or the supporting cast. Mike and Fiona are great people with pasts they're trying to leave behind. And even though both have their demons, they're not needy. They are strong, intelligent, hard working people who want the same things we all want; health and happiness and love. And it's their normalcy that makes them people I believe in and relate to and cheer for and, truth be told, wanted to smack when they were being too dense to realize and admit the depth of their feelings for one another.

If you're like me and enjoy the close knit feel of small town romances that come with fun, quirky small town folks and just the right amount of passion and steam, then you absolutely need to read this book! I do recommend reading in order so you get get the whole back-story, but trust me, once you read Sweet Surprise, you'll want to go back and read them all, anyway. So save yourself the trouble and start from beginning. You won't regret it!

An eARC was generously provided by Avon Books. In appreciation, I'm giving them an honest review.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Wild and Free (The Three #3) by Kristen Ashley - Review and Blog Tour and Giveaway!!!


Wild and Free, the third and final book in Kristen Ashley’s The Three trilogy is an action packed, super sexy story about faith, trust, and never giving up on the people you care about, regardless of the danger to yourself. Most importantly, though, Wild and Free is a story of hope, dedication, determination, and unconditional, uncompromising love.

Blurb…
Abel Jin and Delilah Johnson have lived their lives with a hole in their soul, yearning for something they don’t understand.

Until one night Delilah is in mortal danger and a man who’s otherworldly strong and supernaturally fast saves her. Delilah is then cast into a world where fiction comes to life in the form of Abel, her destined mate, a vampire/werewolf hybrid who claims her at first breath as his.

But Abel knows the danger isn’t done. He’s dreamed for centuries that his mate will perish and he will stop at nothing to keep her safe.

For Delilah, she’s not only coping with fantasy come to life, but a mingling of very different families. Not to mention, she has on her hands a man who doesn’t understand his true nature and has lived his long life thinking he’s a monster.

Abel and Delilah together fills the hole that has been clawing at them for decades. But finally finding each other, it also tips their destinies as the last of The Three. They must unite with the other destined lovers, who with Abel and Delilah, are fated to save the world.

Or die trying.
My thoughts…

There’s so much to love about this story, and oh, how I love this story! I love it because I believe in it! I believe, with all my heart, that humanity can come together, beat back the selfishness and ugliness of the world and, with a little hope and goodness and sacrifice, make this planet we’re on an amazing place where we can all live together in peace, as one, not just tolerating each others' differences, but embracing them! I also love it ‘cuz it’s a great romance and holy hot alpha shifting bloodsucker burn up the pages sexy, but if I mention holy hot alpha shifting bloodsucker burn up the pages sexy first, you might think I'm a lusty wench, and I can't have that now, can I? ;)

Anyway, this is a great end to the trilogy. We get to spend time with Lucien and Leah, and Callum and Sonia, along with others we've come to love throughout the story. There are some laughs, some sighs, loads of fanning, but also some heartbreaking moments. If you think I loved each and every word of Wild and Free, you would not be wrong!

An ARC of Wild and Free was provided by the author, in part for my participation in the Wild and Free Blog Tour, but also because she's all kinds of awesome!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Say Yes to the Marquess (Castles Ever After #2) by Tessa Dare

Description...

Your presence is requested at romantic Twill Castle for the wedding of Miss Clio Whitmore and . . . and . . . ?
After eight years of waiting for Piers Brandon, the wandering Marquess of Granville, to set a wedding date, Clio Whitmore has had enough. She's inherited a castle, scraped together some pride, and made plans to break her engagement.

Not if Rafe Brandon can help it. A ruthless prizefighter and notorious rake, Rafe is determined that Clio will marry his brother—even if he has to plan the dratted wedding himself.

So how does a hardened fighter cure a reluctant bride's cold feet?
● He starts with flowers. A wedding can't have too many flowers. Or harps. Or cakes.
● He lets her know she'll make a beautiful, desirable bride—and tries not to picture her as his.
● He doesn't kiss her.
● If he kisses her, he definitely doesn't kiss her again.
● When all else fails, he puts her in a stunning gown. And vows not to be nearby when the gown comes off.
● And no matter what—he doesn't fall in disastrous, hopeless love with the one woman he can never call his own.
*********** 

Tessa Dare's Castles Ever After series is just so much fun! She's given historical romance a refreshing twist while staying true to what we love most about the genre.

Say Yes to the Marquess is the second book in the series, and tells the story of two of society's less...acceptable...peers - Clio Whitmore who has been given the nick name Miss Wait-More thanks to her eight year engagement to Piers Brandon who seems in no hurry to tie the knot, and Rafe Brandon, Piers' black-sheep brother who prefers the title of Champion Pugilist to any he'd carry due to his bloodline.

But eight years have given Clio enough time to realize that she wants more from life than to be the property of a man who doesn't care for her. She wants to be independent, to make her own choices. And if she ever does decide to marry it'll be to someone like Rafe, a man she loves.

Rafe knows he's been a constant disappointment to his family, so when it comes to watching over Clio until his brother returns from his wanderings to claim his bride, he's not going to let anything, not even Clio's decision not to marry Piers, stand in the way of holy matrimony.

There are only a handful of authors who can pen a tale guaranteed to sweep me off my feet, and Tessa Dare is one of them. Rafe and Clio are proof that opposites attract, and attract with a chemistry that burns up the pages. The supporting cast is made up of great characters, but Phoebe, Clio's sister...that is a girl I adore and want to see her find her happily ever after with a man who will love her for all her...quirks.

An eARC of this story was provided by Avon Books via Edelweiss. To show my appreciation I'm giving them an honest review.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

Many years ago I took my now adult kids out of public school to home-school them. This book was one of the first I bought to add to their reading library when I was looking for entertaining ways to teach history, and I loved it. I've thought about it often through the years and now... I think it's time for a re-read. It's thought provoking in a way younger readers can understand, and older readers can appreciate.

Blurb...

It's late summer 1793, and the streets of Philadelphia are abuzz with mosquitoes and rumors of fever. Down near the docks, many have taken ill, and the fatalities are mounting. Now they include Polly, the serving girl at the Cook Coffeehouse. But fourteen-year-old Mattie Cook doesn't get a moment to mourn the passing of her childhood playmate. New customers have overrun her family's coffee shop, located far from the mosquito-infested river, and Mattie's concerns of fever are all but overshadowed by dreams of growing her family's small business into a thriving enterprise. But when the fever begins to strike closer to home, Mattie's struggle to build a new life must give way to a new fight-the fight to stay alive.

I HIGHLY recommended this book!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Merry Christmas, Baby (Lucky Harbor 12.5) by Jill Shalvis


Chloe and Sawyer's happily ever after has always been my favorite of all the couples in the Lucky Harbor series because theirs was the hardest fought and the most richly deserved. These two amazing people grew up hard, and finding each other ... well, finding each other gave them a chance at a beautiful life filled with family, joy, and the best kind of love - the kind you get when you've found your soulmate.

Blurb...
Wild child Chloe Thompson can't believe how much things have changed. She still can't get enough of her sexy husband Sawyer, but he seems to prefer working to thinking about impending fatherhood. So tonight, a very pregnant Chloe is escaping her troubles at the town Christmas party.

Sheriff Sawyer Thompson hopes surprising Chloe at the party will give him a chance to set things right. But as the snow begins to fall and the wind rages, he wonders whether he can make it back in time. While mother nature conspires to keep Sawyer and Chloe apart, an unexpected arrival will require them to kiss and make up . . . and ring in the happiest holiday Lucky Harbor has ever seen.
Merry Christmas, Baby made me smile, made me sigh, and even had me a little misty eyed. I loved this visit with my favorite couple and being with them and seeing their family grow is the perfect ending to their beginning and a perfect holiday read!

An ARC was provided by Grand Central Publishers via Netgalley.

Purchase on Amazon: Merry Christmas, Baby: A Lucky Harbor short story


 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (Twilight 3.5) by Stephenie Meyer

I want to say, right up front, that I hadn’t planned to read this book because those of us who read the entire Twilight Saga already know that things don’t turn out well for Bree Tanner. She played a very, very minor role in the book, Eclipse - I don’t even think she appeared in more than 2 pages - so, why read something about a character I cared very little about and already knew the outcome of?

Well, one day I went to my mailbox and there was a package from my dear friend and fellow Twilight fan, Dee, and inside was my very own copy of The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. I was excited and touched by her thoughtfulness and realized that my fate was sealed! I would be reading Bree’s story, after all.

I’ll be honest, the first 50 pages or so seemed rather ho-hum to me, and I've decided that's because I began this book dreading the outcome. Once I wrapped my mind around reading this for the story as it related to Victoria’s army of newborn vampires, I couldn’t put it down. I’m not going to go into the plot, because frankly, if you've read Eclipse you won't need details, and if you haven’t read Eclipse, you’ll not understand what the point of this book is, and it would take way too long to explain.

What stands out most to me about Bree’s story is how all of the newborns were manipulated. It made me think of charismatic leaders around the world — political, religious, corporate or yes, even vampire — and how much influence they have over the people who are dependent on them, because if you can convince someone or some group that they need you, that you’re only looking out for their best interest and that life without you as their leader would be filled with pain and anguish, possibly even death… you’d have absolute control over them.

Such was the case with the newborn vampires, and when looking at them in this light - as people violently torn from humanity and forced into a new way of life which they nothing about – were literally newborns and dependent on someone else for their survival — I found myself actually feeling sorry for them. I started wondering about the families who are missing them, what kind of people they would have been had they lived out their human lives. So what started out being a dreaded read, became one that really made me think about life and those we trust to lead us.

And for the first time since reading Eclipse, I wished with all my heart that things could have been different for Bree Tanner.