Saturday, December 11, 2010

Underneath the Mistletoe by Rebecca Goings

Faith Jenkins has lost her faith in Christmas. Not only did she never celebrate Christmas as a child, but last year, a few days before the holiday, she was dumped by the man she thought was "The One". To save herself from further
heartache, she's vowed never to let another man into her heart.

Enter Jeremy Kitteridge, Faith's fun-loving neighbor, a man who adores Christmas and seems to adore Faith as well. His sexy smiles and obvious advances are not lost on her, but she's determined to keep her promise to herself, guarding her heart. Yet Jeremy is just as determined to show Faith the magic of Christmas come hell or high water!

When Jeremy finally gets her underneath the mistletoe, will he be able to slip under her armor and win her heart? Or will Faith be too afraid to take another chance on love?

There's nothing like a Christmas story to get you in the spirt. Lacking Christmas spirit? Well Rebecca Goings will fix you right up with Underneath the Mistletoe which was an incredibly funny and entertaining read. Faith was a woman much like myself and I just had to laugh at some of the things she said and did. My favorite line was when Faith said to Jeremy "I need to borrow your thingy". That was too funny. Jeremy's character was to die for. Such a sweet and arrogant man. I never thought the two went together until I read this story. Rebecca Goings writes about real characters with real issues. She is one of my favorite authors and this novella proves why. If you are looking for a comedic, saucy and quick Christmas read to get you in the spirit of Christmas, look no further, you've found it.

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Reservations for Two by Kinzie Monroe

Widower’s Maggie O’Brien and Carson Jennings are both on a journey to rediscoverwho they are. Maggie, an adventurous former pastor’s wife of thirty-nine years, hopes to find closure in the place she and her husband spent their honeymoon. Carson, a retired judge, is living his lifelong dream of traveling across the U.S. in his RV. When their paths cross in the tranquil setting of Mason Springs, New Mexico, love is the last thing that either of them expects to find.

When this mix matched pair comes together they find themselves in some hilarious and even precarious situations that will make you laugh and sometimes cry. As the romance begins to blossom they face many obstacles that threaten to tear them apart and what Maggie discovers about herself in New Mexico will redefine her future and alienate one of her children.

Will Carson and Maggie’s love for one another be strong enough to weather the storms or will their love for their children keep them apart?

Although Maggie and Carson are older, they are in no way slowing down. The relationships that Maggie and Carson develop with each other as well as the people they meet seems to be on a fast track but the deep feelings are believable and made me want to turn the pages just as fast as I could. I found Reservations For Two to be a story that was filled with humorous moments with imperfect characters and because of that, I could relate very well. Maggie was on a mission of closure. What she seems to find, is a hidden strength brought about by God. I loved when she questioned her feelings but knew that Satan deals with doubts. This was a very valid point and I think it shows just how much we question ourselves when God has already told us what the answer is. God was whispering to Maggie when she was listening for a shout. I really felt a connection to the characters in this book. The one thing I loved about this book, because I rarely see it in others, is the incorporation of Maggie's children and grandchildren. It was so refreshing to watch as the different generations dealt with the same trials and tribulations although in different ways.

Kinzie Monroe has written a story laced with intrigue, drama and a very pure and captivating romance. Reservations For Two is the type of book that captures your attention and takes you away to places you may not have been. The imagery is spectacular and I felt as though I was hiking and experiencing the sunsets right there with the characters. If you are looking for a sweet romance that will give you an "aha" moment, then look no further than Reservations For Two. I highly recommend this book to any lover of the romance genre. Ms. Monroe, I commend you on a well written book with characters that kept me coming back for more.

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Honeysuckle Summer by Sherryl Woods

Her devastating marriage behind her, Raylene Hammond is truly thankful for her best friends, the Sweet Magnolias. They’ve taken her in, shielding her from the world. Then she meets sheriff’s deputy Carter Rollins, and suddenly Raylene’s haven no longer feels quite so safe.

Carter understands why Raylene is trapped inside. He’s even taken to bringing the outside world to her. But with two kid sisters to raise, just how much time can he devote to this woman who's stolen his heart?

Raylene knows Carter is a man worth loving, but she may never be strong enough to accept what he’s offering. How long can she ask him to wait? Maybe they’ll never have more than this one sweet summer.

I fell in love with this book within the first few pages. Raylene's character was complex, emotional and strong. She faced issues with integrity while trying to help those around her. The relationship between Raylene and Carter was breathtaking. He was incredibly patient with her and was everything I look for in a romantic hero. The friendship between the Sweet Magnolia's was what we are look for I believe. They were funny (especially on Margarita night), supportive and wouldn't take no for an answer, I don't want to give away any of the book but loved the ending!

Honeysuckle Summer was an outstanding read! Covering everything from agoraphobia to domestic abuse, there was not a dull moment. I would have thought that covering so many issues in one book would be overpowering but it truly wasn't. Ms. Woods did an extraordinary job of weaving complicated issues with understanding and excellent factual information. This is the second book I have read in The Sweet Magnolia's series and I must go back and buy the rest. These are definitely "not to be missed" books. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves to read about strong friendships, love and a whole lot of humor.

Honeysuckle Summer is #7 in the Sweet Magnolia series. I am listing the books in the series in order because I KNOW you will want to catch the other books in the series. Each book can be read as a standalone book and references relationships from previous books. Ms. Woods always gives you enough information on the back history to know what is going on. Happy Reading!

#1 Stealing Home
#2 A Slice of Heaven
#3 Feels Like Family
#4 Welcome to Serenity
#5 Home in Carolina
#6 Sweet Tea at Sunrise
#7 Honeysuckle Summer

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Motorcycle Woman by Larry Hammersley

Why don't you jump on the motorcycle of your choice and join me on a little journey through a book called Motorcycle Woman. Hold on tight though, it can get to be a wild and bumpy ride.

The woman pulling up to your right is Tess, she is a motorcycle girl, through and through. She's a fighter that one, so I suggest you don't start anything with her. She acts hard as nails but that is just to compensate for situations that are sometimes beyond her control. She is a beautiful person on the inside and out. Don't let her edginess scare you, she is a one in a million kind of person. If she happens to make friends with you, you have a friend for life.

That hunk of a man man riding next her is Johnnie. Hands off ladies, he only has eyes for Tess. You should see the chemistry between those two, makes you believe in love all over again. You should let them sit down and tell you the story about how they met. It's really exciting actually and their escapades will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time. Oh yeah, you won't believe what that gorgeous man does for a living!

That guy, way back there, that's Butch. I call him Bad News Butch! From the minute I met him, I knew I wouldn't like him. I wanted to punch his lights out but Johnnie and Tess handled the situation very well if I must say so myself. No one really likes him so let's not waste our breath on him.

That guy, is Jug, the top Harley Mechanic in Indiana. He plays an important role in Tess' life but that's not for me to tell, I'll leave that to Tess.

The guy riding in front of us, well that is none other that Larry Hammersley himself. He is the one who brought Tess, Johnnie and the rest of the gang riding with us today, to life. Larry is a brilliant man who knows how to tell an action packed story. Word has it that he's even on the internet! Yes, I saw for myself the other day, some lady from a site called You Gotta Read read heard about his story and gave it a You Need to Read, so you know the story has gotta be good!

OK, guys, we're here. This restaurant is called Eau Claire, they make the best breaded tenderloin sandwiches in all the county! Enjoy your lunch and don't forget to go on over to Larry, Tess and Johnnie, their story is amazing! And while you're talking to Larry, tell him that you want to hear more of his stories. Maybe we can convince him to tell us more about where Tess and Johnnie are headed in the future.

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End Of A String by Larry Hammersley

Set in the late 1950s this college romance features Slim Canton and Natalie Adams. Slim is on scholastic probation after flunking calculus. Natalie Adams is a brilliant, electrical engineering student, a beautiful sorority girl who has no interest in Slim. This serves to make Slim want to pursue a relationship with her. He takes a desperate step to find common ground between them and hopefully will be able to break through her icy and arrogant barrier.

I felt so comfortable and at home while reading End of a String. It was refreshing to read a book about how loved used to be before everything got so complicated. Sweet, romantic and with that first love feeling, the characters of Slim and Natalie drew me into the story. They were as different as night and day but with a little bit of patience and persistance, this relationship might just work. But of course Natalie would have to be agreeable to that. Natalie was a girl who, upon meeting her, has a very harsh and unfriendly demeanor and does not let people get too close. A beautiful girl on the outside who will do whatever is necessary to keep you at an arms length. Slim is her polar opposite. He felt he wasn't that good looking and wasn't as smart as Natalie, he questioned himself if he even had anything to offer her. I loved how he was so unsure of himself but stepped out of his comfort zone and had the nerve to ask her for a date even after she tried to make it obvious he wouldn't get anywhere. End of a String strips romance down to the bare essentials of love .... that pure genuine unconditional feeling where you would sacrifice your own happiness for the happiness of another.

I have read other books by Larry Hammersley and this book holds a special place in my heart. It just brought everything down a notch to show what true love really is. If you are in the mood for a quick read that is charming and engaging, I recommend you pick up End of a String. The 1950's college setting will take you back to a time and place where everything seemed right with the world. So come on, take a break, put your feet up and slip into this sweet read and yes, you can thank me later for suggesting you do so.

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Taking Advantage by Larry Hammersley

Zack Thompson has been crazy about Gloria Garner ever since she came to Sheffield High in their freshman year. She's been elected basketball queen four years running and only dates the three top athletes. How can Zack compete for Gloria's hand when he's no good at sports and lacking in the looks department? And as if that weren't enough, Gloria has a super strict mother who has to approve her daughter's every date. Does Zack's excellence in academics and his gentlemanly conduct count for anything?

Zack's character reminded me about how unsure we all are to go after what we want, not only in high school but in later life as well. Gloria's character was sweet and and actually surprised me by some of her actions, in a very pleasant way. I don't want to give away the story but it really such a sweet sweet book. It takes you back to high school and you get to feel those pure feelings once again of having that high school crush that you just couldn't get out of your head. Zack's relationship with his sister was very sweet and I loved being able to sit back and watch how close they were with one another. The dramatic turning of events was brilliant! I never saw it coming.

Larry Hammersley always takes you back to a simpler time in life where all the rules were so different than they are today. I did not grow up in this era so getting a glimpse of what life was like for a high school student back then, really made it very unique. Larry Hammersley writes very sweet romances of a time I wish I had grown up in. The rules were different, the time seemed so innocent. I look forward to reading more of Larry Hammersley's work. I always feel an almost calming effect once I've read one of his books. Taking Advantage is no different. If you would like to read a sweet high school romance, then Taking Advantage is for you!

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Before The Season Ends by Linore Rose Burkard

England, 1813: Romantic woes at home send Ariana Forsythe to her Aunt Bentley's town house in the fashionable Mayfair district of London. There she finds worse troubles than those that prompted her flight from home. Under her aunt's watchful eye, Ariana is soon steeped in high society--and at odds with Mr. Phillip Mornay, London's current darling rogue.

Then, unexpectedly, rumour of a scandal changes Ariana forever. Her faith and her future are at stake in an unexpected adventure that gains even the Prince Regent's attention.

Will Ariana's faith survive this test? And what about her heart? For it is Ariana's heart that most threatens to betray the truths she has always believed in. When she finds herself backed against a wall, betrothed to a man who cannot share her faith, how can it ever turn out right?

I was intensely charmed by the character of Ariana. She was a young woman who often spoke her mind much to the chagrin of those around her. She was impulsive, witty and a beautiful woman inside and out. She lived her life on a path with God and did not take to making important decisions light heartedly. From the moment she meets Mr. Mornay, her heart skipped a beat and she knew there was something very special about him and that he had entered her life for a reason. I watched as Ariana transformed from a young lady into a woman with her faith tested in a way that was beyond her imagination. She always put God first in her life and her main objective in life was to share with the world the grace God has for everyone.

Phillip Mornay was an important, rich man who had a foreboding quality that steered people away from him. He was not a man to cross. When he first meets Ariana, it is in a rather awkward situation that he finds very amusing. In fact, he finds her ways refreshing and entertaining. He feels connected to Ariana which takes him by surprise and he wishes to do all that is in his power to protect her. The bond Ariana and Phillip possess made me fall in love with their characters. The humor they shared between the two of them had me giggling. These two were the perfect match.

I was transported to the Regency era and it has been a journey like no other I have been on before. I have visited places that I had never experienced before and met some very intriguing characters. This was the first time that I have read a full length regency novel and I found myself in love and fascinated with this particular period of time.

Before The Season Ends was an stunning and sensational book. I was amazed at how intricately detailed the entire story was. From the imagery to the clothing of this particular time period, there was not one detail that was ignored. I actually felt transported to a beautiful time and place and I didn't want to leave. It is very apparent that Linore Rose Burkard has thrown her body and soul into this particular book and I enjoyed every minute I spent with these characters. Ms. Burkard is an extremely talented writer who has obviously researched this time period extensively as it shows throughout the book. I am unquestionably going to add any future work of Ms. Burkard's to my automatic to be read list. I have obviously become a huge fan and can't wait to see where these characters are headed next. If I could possibly give this rating a higher than You Gotta Read, I would in a heart beat. If you are looking for an engrossing book that immerses you into the Regency era where things are so much sweeter, and brings romance to a higher level, then I would strongly suggest Before The Season Ends, you will not be disappointed.

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Falling For Her Heart by Chriss Hill

Jimmy and Tara were unwittingly separated in their teens. Now successful adults, what happens when the two different lives collide and desire still lingers, even after all of these years? Even more miraculous is that Jimmy is a father, one of three men to claim such status to Tara's special brood, and he never had a clue! Even with this secret out, Tara feels conflicted whether to let Jimmy back into her life, when there are other men who want her too. She's too busy to think, with an upcoming concert debut, a family wedding, and a role in a movie, yet the septuplets want their father in their lives, even if bringing together two households puts their parents in danger from old lovers scorned. With the help of the Cross Family and Jimmy's roommates, they embark on a journey of self-discovery. Can true love overcome obstacles and unite them all as one family?

Tara and Jimmy experienced a whirlwind romance at a very young age which resulted in septuplets, however because she was sent away, Jimmy never knew of his children. Later, when they are reunited, the passion between Tara and Jimmy is undeniable and the obstacles in their way are almost unbearable, yet with each other, they are able to face their problems one at a time. Their relationship seemed very real to me as they both jumped to conclusions about the other and the results lead to chaos. But there are people in their lives to catch them when they fall. Ross, Tara's very best friend since childhood has played many roles in Tara's life from friend to lover to confidant. I enjoyed reading about the relationship between Tara and Ross. It was a lifelong friendship that was constant and the changes the two experienced intrigued me. Ross loved Tara and and I found his loyalty to endearing. Jimmy, I found to be insecure with his relationship with Tara in that he had been wronged by a woman before. When he would hear whispers from others that Tara may not be the person he thought, he would doubt her love for him. It was so evident however, that the bond between the two could never be broken. Their relationship sizzled and I kept holding my breath that Jimmy and Tara would stay together. Throughout the book, there always seems to be at least one villain that is constantly lurking in the background. I love romantic suspense so this element fascinated me and drew me into the story just that much more.

Ms. Hill has written an intriguing tale of love lost and found once again under very unusual circumstances. The characters were multi-dimensional and captivated me. Falling For Her Heart was a book that was laced with intrigue and so many twists and turns, you won't want to put the book down. I found this book to be an emotional, warm, full-bodied novel with an ending that was explosive. Just a tidbit to throw in here is that I enjoyed the English as well as the American traditions that were weaved throughout the book. It's refreshing to see the split between the two and I really enjoyed it. OK, back to my review. Even though Falling For Her Heart is the sequel to Hostage to Her Heart, it can certainly stand alone. Ms. Hill describes the background of all involved in detail so you won't miss a thing. I highly recommend this book to any lover of romantic suspense. I also recommend you take your time reading this book so that you can really get to know the characters. Falling For Her Heart is a breathtaking and entertaining read. Give into your guilty pleasure of reading a drama filled, exciting book. Falling For Her Heart is a not to be missed book. Now if you will excuse me, I am off to read Hostage to Her Heart. Ms. Hill, Cheers to a job well done!

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Murphy's Law by Sandy James

Seth Remington had a fortune at his fingertips, but something was missing in his life. Purpose.
Knowing he has one last chance to redeem his son, terminally ill Sterling Remington rewrites his will. To earn his inheritance, his son Seth must labor as a groom for a horse trainer.

Katie Murphy's orderly existence is turned upside down by Sterling Remington's will. Raised on hard work and dedicated to her harness racing stable, Katie agrees to take Seth on as a groom. How can she ever fulfill the challenge of instilling a work ethic in Seth and still keep her faltering stable running? 

Kept at arm's length by the strict terms of Sterling's will, Seth and Katie are forced to struggle with their growing attraction until a devastating racing accident forces them to take a hard look at their relationship. How much is he willing to risk for her love?


Katie's character really spoke to my heart. She was an extremely likable person with a conscience and even when she was hurt, she would think about the best interest of the other person involved. In walks Seth Remington, with his huge ego and extravagant lifestyle. Katie calls things like they are which is a refreshing change for Seth. Seth's character was a man who was yet to find himself. I enjoyed watching the transformation between the man the book started off with and the man at the end of the book. It was a journey that was filled with laughs, tears and everything in between. Being attracted to Katie was not a part of the deal but what can you do when true love is involved. Seth and Katie together had my heart pounding and I was hanging onto every written word. Their relationship was electric. I love epilogues in the books I read and this has to be the best epilogue yet! It's full of surprises you didn't see coming.

Ms. James has written an outstanding piece of work that was packed with one thrill after another. The action scenes blew me away and the romance had such sexual tension, I was cheering for Katie and Seth the entire story long. I learned a lot about horse racing throughout the book which made it that much more fun. Murphy's Law is not a book you want to miss, trust me. It has all the elements of a superb novel that will tug at your heartstrings one minute and want to destroy someone the next. I highly recommend Murphy's Law and watch out for Ms. James, she is on her way to the top.

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Free Falling by Sandy James

Workaholic Ross Kennedy never learned to enjoy life until he meets the woman of his dreams. If only Laurie Miller can convince him that's exactly who she is.

A psychologist with empathic abilities, Laurie rescues Ross, who has been stranded in the middle of a Montana blizzard. The two strangers are completely snowed in and out of contact. In just a few days, their attraction to each other is overwhelming, but Laurie is troubled. Her empathic gift seems to have vanished. Fascinated by his pretty rescuer, Ross struggles to open up his heart enough to let this woman in.

When the two return home to Chicago, they try to solve a mystery revolving around a Prohibition Era journal they discovered in Montana. Will they find the missing treasure the journal points to? And as a former boyfriend begins to stalk Laurie, how will Ross be able to protect her?

Oh my gosh, where to begin with this book? Characters, we will start with the characters. I recently reviewed Murphy's Law which is book 1 in the Damaged Heroes series. Ross had been one of the characters in the first book which left me feeling that his character was just a bit too nice, safe, and maybe a bit too deeply infatuated with Katie. There weren't the sparks you would think when you thought of a romantic couple. So when Ross got his own book, I couldn't help but think, finally, I get to see what makes Ross who he is. I was stunned. Ross turned out to be a character who definitely had control issues, was a Type A personality and had a wide range of emotions that left me pleasantly surprised. To make a long story short, Ross turned out to be a dream hero! I fell in love with his character, humor and fierce protectiveness of Laurie. He was one to come to a snappy judgement but was slowly learning to look at situations in a different perspective. Laurie's character was so spunky, straightforward at times and humorous about eighty percent of the time (the other twenty percent she was too busy dealing with the action that was taking place in the book). Being a psychologist, she knew her self confidence issues were something she needed to deal with but out of habit, succumbed to regularly putting herself down. It would take a strong man to show Laurie just how beautiful and mesmerizing she really was. Having a gift of being able to read peoples emotions had hindered Laurie in the love department. She couldn't even kiss a man because she could read their deep emotional thoughts. It was just too much for her to handle. Ross and Laurie's characters were polar opposites with him being the type of person to need control at all times and Laurie's need to help everyone. These two characters complimented each other in a way that was unexpected and appealed to me. Alex was the ex-boyfriend who had left abruptly only to come back into Laurie's life a few months later. The drama he brings to Laurie's life is sure to put some stress on the relationship between Ross and Laurie, or will it only bring them closer? Shiela, Ross' secretary had me laughing so hard with her smart comments and spot on assessment when Ross did something wrong.

Now on to the plot of the book. Free Falling was an intense suspense read laced with a paranormal element that certainly brought a sense of intrigue to the story. A combination of two love stories that were intertwined throughout the book had me hooked. I loved how the clues were left along the way and I was kept on the edge of my seat trying to figure out the the answer to the mystery. The plot line was very well developed and the writing was so smooth it flowed flawlessly. I could feel the emotions of horror, anger and love from Ross as well the helplessness Laurie felt to keep the circumstances that were happening around her at bay.

This is the second book that Ms. James has written in this series and I have fallen in love with her writing style and ability to combine suspense with a breathtaking plot. I highly encourage you to read the entire series. Although Free Falling is book 2 in the series, it can definitely be read as a stand alone book, but I guarantee you that once you read one, you will want to read them all.

Murphy's Law - Damaged Heroes Book 1
Free Falling - Damaged Heroes Book 2
All the Right Reasons - Damaged Heroes Book 3
Faith of the Heart - Damaged Heroes Book 4

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Faith of the Heart by Sandy James

Investigative reporter Joshua Miller has turned his back on life. Since cancer claimed his wife, he can't bring himself to write another story. Then he hears about a fascinating woman who piques his curiosity.
After being struck by lightning, Sarah Reid finds herself with a gift... and a curse. She can heal the sick and dying. She soon realizes that along with the special gift also comes danger to her own life. Feeling responsible for the death of her best friend, Sarah reasons that perhaps she has received the gift to make amends, no matter the personal cost.
Neither expects sparks to fly when they meet. Sarah discourages Josh's persistence in investigating her while he fights his attraction, refusing to acknowledge that she can truly save people.
Can Sarah break through Josh's stubborn cynicism and show him that miracles really can come true by leading him back to love?

I am so in love with the entire Damaged Heroes series. Faith of the Heart did not fail to amuse, captivate and enthrall me! Joshua Miler's character was incredibly moving. He had just lost his wife the year before and in all reality had ceased living. Sarah had lost someone extremely close to her and found herself blaming the only person she felt was responsible, herself. The instant attraction Joshua and Sarah had, kept just enough sparks flying for me to rapidly turn the pages waiting to find out what happened next. The way Sarah was able to heal took my breath away. I thought the fact that Joshua had a teenage daughter made this book very relatable with very believable characters. This is truly a story about finding your hidden strengths. The ending was brilliant! This is a book that could be read on it's own but it was so wonderful to revisit the characters from some of the previous books.

Ms. James never fails to bring the heroes that are less than perfect emotionally but make up for it in the deeply devoted way they treat the women they fall in love with. This is one author who writes a touching story with very real emotions and a romantic story line that will leave you craving more. I highly recommend not just book but the whole series to everyone who is a fan of an intelligently written novel that is enchanting, intriguing and just down right sexy!

Murphy's Law (Book 1)
Free Falling (Book 2)
All the Right Reasons (Book 3)
Faith of the Heart (Book 4)

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All the Right Reasons by Sandy James

Can love heal all wounds? Lucas Mitchell returned from Iraq a bitter, changed man, wracked with guilt over his friend’s death. He buys an ancient mansion and deals with his injuries and grief by restoring his new home and rehabilitating retired racehorses. Joy Kovacs falls in love with Lucas at first sight. Descended from gypsies who are still influenced by the lingering effects of the Nazi Holocaust, her family follows the traditional ways. A husband has already been selected for her, and her father insists she work at their ethnic restaurant. But Joy wants to use her talent and be an artist, and she wants no one but Lucas. How can Joy find a way to help Lucas break from his prison of grief? Although they’ve committed their hearts to each other, can the growing love and passion between Lucas and Joy survive her family’s insistence that she marry within her culture?

Lucas Mitchell was a complex character who had emotionally given up after losing his buddy on his tour in Iraq. Joy was the woman that could save him when no one else could. The relationship between Lucas and Joy was one unlike any I have read so far. Being a Gypsy, Joy could sense what Lucas needed. In subtle ways, Lucas would be able to sense what Joy wanted and needed. To add to this intriguing plot line, the Romungro culture is steeped in tradition and Joy's family would not let Lucas join their tight circle as he was not of full Romungro ancestry. Joy had to choose and one way or another, would let someone down. Would it be her closely knit family or the love of her life? The addition of the villain, Tamas, was priceless. I anxiously delved into this book anticipating the third book of the Damaged Hero's series. The other two books in the series were amazing and All the Right Reasons did not disappoint. I was in for a shock when I cracked open the book. It was extremely hard to put down. All the Right Reasons evoked unexpected emotions in me. I felt a part of Joy and Lucas' lives and the pain in my heart ached for Lucas and the issues he was dealing with. The guilt he was carrying around was almost suffocating at times. It was truly phenomenal how Ms. James was able to so accurately depict how a soldier would feel in such a situation. All the Right Reasons was a multilayered, emotionally gripping story of the guilt of a soldier, the love of family, and just trying find closure. All the Right Reasons is laced with humor and oh my gosh, you have got to read the bachelor party scene, I laughed so hard. Joy and Lucas are my favorite couple in this series so far. I know I say this after each and every book but the characters truly get better with each book. Ms. James has once again gone above and beyond and delivered an exceptional well written, well rounded, touching love story with deep meaning. I can't recommend this book enough. I can promise that anyone who is not a fan of Ms. James yet, will most certainly be by the end of this book. I am anxious to read the fourth book in the Damaged Hero's series, Faith of the Heart. I am listing all the books so far in this series because, trust me, you will want to read them all. Although they can all be read as a stand alone book, you WILL want to read the entire series.

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Monday, May 3, 2010

It's Elementary My Dear Winifred by Miss Mae

Winifred Merryweather was an educated woman that had never married, it was by her own choosing and not for the reasons everyone else presumed. I loved Winifred's character because she was strong minded and very perceptive. She held others in high regard and did everything in her power to control the situations at hand. At first her attitude seemed rigid toward other men, that is until she met Remington. His character was captivating and he found himself extremely protective toward Winifred. I enjoyed watching as their characters became closer and as they worked together to find the answers to clues that were set before them. He truly was a magnificent character. The Countess was a character that I thought I wouldn't care very much for but by the end of the book, I was cheering for her. I grew very attached to all of the characters in this book regardless of their personalities. It's Elementary, My Dear Winifred had a wide variety of characters that were as different from each other as night and day. Combining them all and making the relationships mesh was brilliant.

I am new to historicals and very new to this type of mystery. I am a person who loves a good mystery and I really had to try to think through the characters predicaments and try to guess what might be behind the locked doors. Behind every door, there was a riddle to solve and the more riddles, the more I fell in love with the book. I must say that Miss Mae has set a high standard for other books that I will read in this same sort of genre from this moment on. I was fascinated by the turn of events throughout the book. This book felt like a big adventure that was shrouded with mystery and intrigue. I don't want to give the ending away but let me just say that you will not be disappointed as it ends PERFECTLY!

Words cannot tell you how good this book was. I can say I was holding my breath during the action scenes. I can say my eyes bugged out of my head and my jaw dropped during some scenes but until you read this book for yourself, you cannot appreciate it as much as I did. I strongly urge you to purchase this book. The writing was spectacular and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I give this book a You Gotta Read because I fell in love with the characters, the mystery element and most of all the style of writing. Kudos to Miss Mae for an extremely well written, attention grabbing, intellectual book that I will not soon forget. If you like mystery and historicals, this book is for you. If you are new to either genre, pick up Elementary, My Dear Winfred and you will find yourself falling in love with this time period just as I have.

Click here to buy this book in late summer

The Claddagh Ring by Sharon Donovan

Struggling with her faith after her mother’s death, Meghan O’Malley finds comfort in wearing her Claddagh Ring, believed to be blessed by St. Patrick. And when Meghan meets Rork, she finds love, friendship, and loyalty. But before everything comes full circle under God’s plan, Meghan must face the biggest challenge of her life.

Rork McGuire is ruggedly handsome, sings Celtic music straight from his soul, and has a dark secret. When he sees Meghan O’Malley, he falls hopelessly in love with her and wants nothing more than to give her his heart. Will the secret he harbors bring them together—or pull them apart?

Meghan O'Malley's character was so familiar to me. I could really relate to this believable character and the unrelenting heartache she felt at the loss of her mother. I know there are many people out there who can relate to the loss of a loved one to who has suffered at the hands of a terminal disease. Now it was Meghan O'Malley's turn to find her purpose for God in her life. Just what was her purpose in life? Rork was a singer of Celtic music that had the voice of an angel just as her mother did. I fell in love with his character and enjoyed their first meeting. Their bond was truly something to be cherished and I enjoyed how close they got. I don't want to give away too much of the book but just know that it is an breath taking read.

I have enjoyed Sharon Donovan's work since the first book I read written by her and The Claddagh Ring did not disappoint. Ms. Donovan's work is so different from a lot of authors in that along with a heartwarming and entertaining read, she also tackles health issues that are so prevalent today. After reading one of Ms. Donovan's books, you feel informed and left with a feeling of hope that you or a loved one can make it through a health crisis. I think this type of book is needed more than anyone can imagine and I am so grateful that Ms. Donovan is the author to take on this great task.

The Claddagh Ring is a quick, fun, informative and romantic read that you will not want to end. With God as the center focus and finding unconditional love a major part of the story, this was a book with a strong message on so many levels. It's about questioning God when you feel your prayer has not been answered and learning to accept the answer when the answer is no. It's about dealing with health issues you never thought you would and it is about finding purpose through all of it and finding the outcome to be something you least expected. The Claddagh Ring brought about some strong emotions in me and I feel this book holds a message that everyone needs to read for information, understanding and comfort. I highly recommend this book to anyone regardless of what genre you read or the type of book you read. It is so much more than a book about romance. It's about hope and miracles and I don't think there is one person out there who doesn't need both.

THE CLADDAGH RING can be purchased here

Lasting Love by Sharon Donovan

"When Vermont florist Abbey Jordan’s nursery manager quits a few days before Easter, she is left up the proverbial creek without a paddle. However, when she places it in God’s hands, she finds lasting love in a garden of roses. Brady Jones has a daughter to raise, is out of work, and knows a lot about cultivating roses. When Abbey meets him and hires him as the Horticultural Manager of her nursery, it seems like the answer to both of their prayers. Just on the brink of a budding romance, a fire destroys the nursery and buries all hope of love. Will their passion spark and resurrect or stay unlit beneath the burning bed of ashes?"

I loved the character of Abbey Jordan. She was a caring woman who had to endure a lot and was so taken when she met Kayla, Brady's daughter. She was caring and warm hearted and found that she needed to rely on God more often. Brady's character had me at hello! He was a gorgeous man inside and out. He loved his daughter fiercely and tried to do everything in his power to take care of her. Abbey and Brady's characters brought such a sweetness to the story that I just couldn't help but fall in love with them as a couple. They way they dealt with adversity in their lives touched my heart and reminded me that forgiveness is everything.

I enjoy reading Sharon Donavan's work and Lasting Love was no exception. It was very well written with vivid descriptions that made me feel like I was actually there with the characters smelling the flowers right beside them. Ms. Donavan paints a beautiful portrait with words. I feel like this book is entertaining but it brings with it a lesson of forgiveness and love that I really needed to hear at this moment in my life. God is everywhere if we just take a moment to look. I give Lasting Love a You Need to Read rating because I really do feel that you would be missing out of something very special if you pass this book up.

You can purchase LASTING LOVE here

Rockstar by Mina Carter

Zette Matthews was not your typical rockstar. All she wanted to do was sing, the fast life was something that held no intrigue for her. She wanted to make a difference with her life so when she gets the opportunity to host a charity concert and finds out that the concert location may be unavailable, she is ready to do whatever it takes to secure the location. Enter our hero JJ, the CEO of JI. He goes by the name Mr. Anders so Zette doesn't put two and two together. When JJ, introduces himself, Zette is stunned. Before her stands the man who broke her heart and spirit when she was only 18. This was the one man she compared all other men in her life to. JJ has only one plan in mind, the question is, can he pull it off?

I found the characters of Zette and JJ to be solid, believable, and dynamic. When they were together, they were electric, when they were apart, their worlds were fragmented. Zette was a beautiful woman who had built walls around her heart and that part of her I could relate to very well. JJ was a man very headstrong man who wanted one thing and would not rest until he attained it. The depths they fell for love were amazing and the Zette and JJ kept me wanting more. Without a doubt they were very well written.

Rockstar was simply an phenomenal read. I lost myself in the characters and the plot line. Mina Carter has found a loyal reader from this moment on. I encourage all those looking for a fun, exciting short read to pick up this book. YOU NEED TO READ Rockstar, it is written with the reader in mind and you will not be disappointed in your purchase of this book.

You can buy ROCKSTAR here

Wired For Love by Amber Polo

"Wired for Love — Penny was a woman who had achieved a great deal but her personal life suffered the most. When her Godiva chocolate order doesn't end up being the Fed Ex man, Penny is shocked to learn what she does find."

Wired for Love was a quick fun read with quirky characters. You can call the characters geeky if you want to but I found them both downright sexy. The chemistry between Penny and Gordon was lighthearted and funny. The little slip ups with Gordon's character made this a laugh out loud read because it was so believable. A situation that could have been extremely serious turns into a hilarious relationship between two zany characters. Wired for Love was an engaging story that I hated to see end. I would like to beg Amber Polo, make it longer, PLEASE, I have to read more about the couple and what happens next.

Wired for Love can be purchased here

Lab Partners by Larry Hammersley

"Leroy Doyle, a college chemistry major and track star is on the verge of scholastic probation after flunking calculus. As he enters his sophomore year he can’t afford the distractions of having a girl friend, but that changes once he meets Jody Stinson. A chemical engineering major and the smartest student in the sophomore class, she is beautiful, arrogant, and not very happy about being forced into being his lab partner. But Leroy senses there is more to Jody than she portrays to the outside world. Her treatment of him only serves to fuel his interest and despite her barbed remarks, he strives to win her heart."


Leroy Doyle being on scholastic probation is more than relieved when he is partnered with Jody Stinson, the difficult young lady who no one wants to work with. He is confronted with her less than eager attitude the moment he opens his mouth but there is just something about her that intrigues him. Leroy's character was so appealing and charming. He was patient, kind and understanding, everything you would want in your dream man. Jodi's character seemed complex and standoffish to others but something about Leroy's persistence made Jodi open up to him. When the story progressed, Jodi's real personality flourished. I felt like I was getting to know a whole new person. And just wait until you see the lengths that Leroy goes to in order to show Jody that he is truly one of her best friends. I cried.

Lab Partners was an exciting and heartwarming read. It was so sweet and I could really relate to the characters because they reminded me of people close to me. This was an intriguing and at times down right funny story. If you are looking for a quick, feel good read that will excite as well as entertain you, I recommend you pick up a copy of Lab Partners. I enjoy reading work by Larry Hammersley and Lab Partners is one of his best. I look forward to reading more of his work.

You can buy this book here:
The Wild Rose Press

Mucho Caliente by Francesca Prescott

When Gemma’s stuffy, husband, Richard, leaves her for another woman, Gemma is stunned. She’s been married ten years, and her ex-husband’s snide comments and cruel remarks have left her feeling terribly insecure. However, she’s determined to build a new, creative, independent life for herself, so she turns down her husband’s divorce settlement and decides to move to Ibiza to live with her best friend.

While boarding a plane to Ibiza, she is seated right beside THE Emilio Caliente. Who is he, you ask? Well, only the most gorgeous and sought after Latino pop star in the world! Gemma's imagination takes off and the hilarious adventures begin.

I don't know anyone who could not relate to Gemma in one way or another. Gemma's character is beautiful, engaging and hysterically funny. She’s low on self confidence, but when she meets Emilio, she discovers a brand new, passionate, exciting and sensual side to herself, blossoming into someone she never thought she could be. As for Emilio, not only is he drop dead gorgeous, he’s patient, sensual and compassionate as well. This man oozes sex appeal, wit, determination and, oh yeah, sexiness AGAIN! I have to stress the word “sexy”; just wait until you read this book and you will understand. Emilio Caliente is every woman’s dream!

Gemma’s adventures will have you laughing your butt off. Seriously, you will be holding your sides from laughing so much. The friendship and electricity between Gemma and Emilio intensify as the story progresses. Believe me when I say that some scenes in this book had me crying with laughter; read the scene where Gemma is swimming out towards the boat and you will see what I mean. PRICELESS! I honestly laughed until I cried. At times I cried until I laughed. Trust me, it is possible!

I love Francesca's style of writing, which is realistic and easy to relate to. She really manages to tap into your inner emotions. The plot line is outstanding, and the imagery will take your breath away. I wanted to pack up and move to Ibiza when I’d finished reading this book. “Mucho Caliente!” is definitely not a book you will forget as soon as you’ve finished it. It is an ultra romantic, laugh out loud book that will leave you wanting more. If you’re hesitating about whether or not to buy this book, just buy it! You will be thrilled that you did! I look forward to reading more of Ms. Prescott's work in the near future. In my opinion, Francesca is an author to watch!

Can be purchased at
Barnes and Noble