About Engaging Emma

Engaging Emma

As a successful doctor in Los Angeles, Tucker Madsen left his small-town roots behind long ago, trading his flannel shirts for a glossy lifestyle and a beautiful fiancée. But when his mother requests his help to sell the family farm, Tucker reluctantly returns to a place that holds more memories than he cares to admit. Normal, Missouri, was the site of the golden days of childhood—and the blush of first love. 

Tucker fell in love with Emma McAllister at seventeen, but when youthful promises of forever ended in heartbreak, he and Emma both moved on. Or so they thought. When they are unexpectedly reunited at the Madsen family farm, both are unprepared for the rush of feelings that brings into question everything they thought they knew. They could never have imagined that now, years after they were torn apart, fate would offer them a second chance in the place where it all began. But when faced with the realities of the separate lives they’ve built, history seems doomed to repeat itself.

My review

You never quite know what you’re going to get with a debut author. I was really impressed with this book by Elle M Adams. Her characters were great, her plot was engaging. This book is so great!

I love the way the reader is introduced to the backstory of Emma and Tucker. Little by little, through each of their eyes. It really kept me drawn in to the story. This is a second chance love story. And the author did such a great job with that part of the plot.

I really loved Emma. The way she and Tucker’s grandma, Miss Lily, were such great friends was sweet. I loved that there were things about her relationship with Tucker from before that Emma didn’t know and had to find out along the way. And she must have been a saint to deal with the mother-of-the-bride she had to deal with in this book!

Tucker is a California guy, come home to help sell the family farm. I loved his surprise for what was going to be done and concern for the family home. He thought he’d take care of things and head back, but that’s not quite how things went.

There are so many great side characters in this book. I’d love to know more about what happens to the people in the town, Nina, and Miss Lily in particular.

This is such a great debut novel, make sure to grab your own copy!

I was sent an e-copy of Engaging Emma as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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About Maybe I Will

maybe I will

He’s an ambitious chef who takes big risks. She’s a high-profile food critic with a secret identity. They’ve loathed each other for years. Except…not?

An adorable, laugh-out-loud comedy from USA Today bestseller Melanie Jacobson…

Chloe Morel, junior reporter by day, has a secret by night: she’s the most discerning—and notorious–food critic in New Orleans. Now one of the biggest food magazines in the business wants her, and she’s on the verge of making her food writing dreams come true. Everything would be perfect—if only her least favorite chef and seven-year nemesis wasn’t moving into the apartment across the hall.

Dylan Jones is back in town after a six-month exile for bad behavior that nearly cost him a career. He’s got a lot to prove professionally—but even more to prove to Chloe, the woman he’s been half in love with since he was nineteen. He’ll use every tool at his disposal to change her mind about him, from the dopiest rescue mutt in dog pound history to dazzling dishes and delicious kisses.

But when each of them is suddenly the only thing standing in the way of the other’s dreams, is their sizzling chemistry enough risk scorching their careers to find the recipe for love?

My review

Melanie Jacobson’s books are auto-read books for me! I know that her books are going to make me laugh. And they’re going to be full of a great romance story. This one is so great! I’ve been waiting for Chloe and Dylan’s story. And it was worth the wait!

I love that Dylan had been able to change. He had been kind of a jerk to Chloe for a really long time. There are so many great things about him. Firstly, I really want to try his food. I love that he loves to cook for everyone. And he’s really good at it. I loved that he took the initiative and got a food truck. How fun is that?! And he isn’t afraid to say he’s sorry. Definitely can’t forget Roscoe! Dylan was smart enough to get him.

Roscoe is Dylan’s dog. And he is a huge part of the story. I loved him so much! From Dylan picking him out at the shelter, to all the crazy things things that Roscoe does to get in trouble. And to him really bringing Dylan and Chloe together. Roscoe is really the best!

Chloe. I’m not exactly sure what to say about her. I completely loved her in this book. I’m not sure if it’s because I saw little snatches of myself in her critique writing, especially near the end with the things she learned. Or just why. But she is such a great character. I loved that she too needed to say she was sorry. And her love for Roscoe was contagious!

This book just made me happy! And don’t you just love the cover?!

What to read after Maybe I Will

About Kissing in the Deep End

Welcome to Diamond Cove, a beach community full of hilarious situations, meddling grandparents, and romance. From Erica Penrod, author of the Cowboy Reality Romance series, comes a sweet rom come about Nora Blackett, Olympian turned water aerobics instructor and gorgeous gardener, Paxton Greenwood, whose paths cross at Diamond Cove.

Nora is starting over, fighting her way to the surface as she navigates an uncertain future. She’s got a part time job, a fixer upper for a house and isn’t looking for love. Dating wasn’t an Olympic requirement and her attraction to Paxton Greenwood has her headed for uncharted waters. The last thing Nora wants is for a man to pull her back into the deep end.

Paxton Greenwood has his feet planted firmly on the ground and knows what he wants to do for the rest of his life. So when he meets Nora, he’s uprooted by his feelings for her but she’s as high maintenance as a orchid but perhaps she just needs a little tender loving care.
If he holds on too tight, will they sink or swim?

My review

I’m loving the books in the Diamond Cove series! The Secret Seven, or S7, as Polly likes to think of them are so great! These grandmas and grandpas are sneaky, and tricky. And they’re getting their grandkids to get married, which is the best part.

This book features Polly, her grandson Paxton and Nora, the new water aerobics instructor at Diamond Cove. This book made me laugh out loud! I loved the characters so much. And the plot was great too!

I loved how much Nora grew through this book. At the beginning she was kind of unsure of herself. She has just finished a diving career. And she kind of attacks everything like she would diving. Which I really liked. But everything from her hair to her job reminds her of diving, and diving kind of broke her heart. So her plan is to focus on her list, and try every new thing. One thing at a time.

Enter Paxton. Polly is definitely pushing these two together. And Paxton knows it from the very start. But he just can’t seem to stop himself from falling for Nora. I loved how as soon as he saw her yard, he knew he had to help with it. Even when she didn’t want him to. He’s the kind of guy who works to get what he wants. And that can be a great thing!

I loved this book! And I can’t wait to read more of the books set at Diamond Cove!

I was sent an e-copy of Kissing in the Deep End as a gift from the author. All opinions are my own.

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About Not on the Agenda

Not on the Agenda

USA Today Bestselling Author Lucy McConnell invites you to Diamond Cove, a beach community full of hilarious situations, meddling grandparents, and romance. You’ll be swept away in this sweet romantic comedy where an uptight corporate executive is delightfully unwound by her surf-loving assistant.

Elizabeth Mabel Matthews is in the middle of the biggest deal of her life when she gets a phone call from the activities director at her grandma’s retirement village. Grandma Nancy isn’t doing well and they want Elizabeth to come for a visit. She calls her maid to pack a bag and she’s on a plane that afternoon.

Chad Huntington’s surf shop is going under. He’ll do anything to save it, including work as a temporary personal assistant for the weekend.

What these two don’t know, is that Grandma Nancy has a plan of her own and a team of matchmakers ready to jump in and help these two find love.

Can the Secret Seven pull off a match made in Diamond Cove, or, will their efforts flounder at sea? Find out in this sweet romcom.

My review

I really enjoyed The Secret Seven. So it was fun to read this book that showed exactly what the group was set up to do. I loved the way the author included not only the views of Elizabeth and Chad, but also Elizabeth’s Grandma, Nancy. It just makes the book so fun!

Elizabeth made me laugh. She’s the CEO of a big company, Nancy’s Niceties. But she is so accident prone. That leads to her being in crazy situations. Things like tripping over a sandcastle on the beach and needing to have an attractive man rescue her form the sand. I love that girl! How can you not? She went running when her grandma needed her, even though she was in the middle of a huge deal.

Then there’s Chad. He is the owner of the surf shop in Diamond Cove. It’s not doing so well because his last girlfriend stole his credit card and charged a lot of things. I loved how he was willing to go along with Nancy’s idea to be Elizabeth’s assistant for the weekend. Those two worked so well together.

This book has such a cute and fun plot! I loved everything about it.

I was sent an e-copy of Not on the Agenda as a gift from the author. All opinions are my own.

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About Danger Unknown

The small desert town seemed like the perfect place to disappear—until Brooke Steward’s worst nightmare walks into the diner where she works. The man who killed her husband has found her—again. Desperate to protect her young daughter, Brooke has no choice but to run for their lives.

Awakened by a haunting nightmare that has plagued him for years, Michael Calder is startled by a knock at the door of his remote Montana ranch. He is even more shocked when he finds a disheveled child on his steps who silently leads him to her injured mother. In making the split-second decision to bring Brooke and her daughter into his home, Michael is unwittingly drawn with them into the path of danger. Someone is determined to silence Brooke, no matter the cost. In their quest for the truth, Brooke and Michael come to trust each other completely, their relationship deepening into something more. But even as the lines between friendship and love blur, the explosive secrets of the past are finally revealed. Now they must fight to survive or risk becoming the latest casualties in a deadly conspiracy.

My review

I was so excited to borrow this book by Kathi Oram Peterson from my local library! I love the way she writes her books. They are so suspenseful and they just pull you into the story from the very first page. I loved this one for that!

Brooke is a woman on the run. I felt so bad for her. Not only is she on the run from a man who wants to kill her. She’s trying to hide and protect her young daughter at the same time. I can’t even imagine the stress that would bring to a mom. The author did a great job writing Brooke’s character. The reader can feel her desperation throughout the book.

I loved that Michael was the kind of guy who was willing to step in and help. And the way he was with Brooke’s daughter, Izzy, was priceless. One thing that really struck me with this one is the way that Michael felt almost unlovable at the beginning. He’d been through some really hard things. But by the end, he wasn’t the same person anymore. That was a great thing!

I loved Izzy too. There were a lot of things that she had gone through as well. And she really needed Michael and the healing his special horses could bring.

This book was so great! I didn’t want to put it down.

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About Games in a Ballroom

Games in a Ballroom

London, 1815

Olivia Wilde has resigned herself to never finding a love match. Her father has insisted she marry a man with a title, if only to increase his own standing and reputation in society. But the men her father deems acceptable are, at best, boring and uninspiring, and at worse, are as brutish as her father and are only looking to increase their own diminishing coffers. With her future looking dismal, Olivia decides to enjoy the last few months of freedom with her childhood friends, including the handsome Emerson Latham. His devilish smile and flirtatious teasing stirs up feelings she knows she cannot entertain.

Emerson is struggling to rise to his responsibilities after the death of his father. Though he might still be learning what he needs to do as the head of his household, one thing he knows for sure is that he wants Olivia Wilde to be his wife. Having grown up as childhood friends with Olivia, Emerson long ago had fallen in love with her quick wit, beauty, and passionate heart. However, without a title, he will never be permitted to court Olivia openly. But he has a plan that may give him a chance to court her in secret.

As the season kicks off, Emerson proposes a bit of fun with a playful game of tag. Olivia’s friends are delighted by the idea, though Olivia is more wary. After all, the game must be played in secret, and they must be discreet when tagging each other at dinners and balls and the theater. As the romance builds between Olivia and Emerson, so does the risk of being discovered. Not only are their reputations at stake, so is their safety if they are caught by Olivia’s father, who has an explosive, and at times violent, temper.

Can their love find a happily ever after before the game ends?

My review

You can not go wrong with any of the books from the Shadow Mountain Proper Romance line. I’ve loved each and every one of the book. This one by Jentry Flint was no exception.

I loved the way the author wrote this one. There are fun, games and even danger. This book kept my attention from the very first page.

I loved Olivia. She’s the sweetest. But, her dad was awful! Not only did he dress her in some really expensive and ostentatious clothes to show her off. But he was trying to basically sell her to the highest bidder in terms of her marriage. And Olivia knew that. Sometimes that works, but sometimes people have opinions and feelings. And that was the case with Olivia. Only, it felt like she wasn’t always sure how to share her feelings, or if she should.

Then there’s Emerson. Emerson is the type of guy who is always trying to play a game. And that is fun. But it sometimes leads to those around you not knowing your intentions. That was the case with Olivia. She had no idea that he was trying to court her. I loved the way Emerson worked so hard to get her to notice him. And he was the best type of guy, always there when you need him.

You really must read about the pig in this book. That part was so funny! I’m hoping for more books by this author very soon!

I was sent a copy of Games in a Ballroom as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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About Turn to Me

His promise will cost him far more than he imagined.

Guilt has defined Luke Dempsey’s life, but it was self-destructiveness that landed him in prison. When his friend and fellow inmate lay dying shortly before Luke’s release, the older man revealed he left a string of clues for his daughter, Finley, that will lead her to the treasure he’s hidden. Worried that she won’t be the only one pursuing the treasure, he gains Luke’s promise to protect her until the end of her search.

Spunky and idealistic, Finley Sutherland is the owner of an animal rescue center and a defender of lost causes. She accepts Luke’s help on the treasure hunt while secretly planning to help him in return–by coaxing him to embrace the forgiveness he’s long denied himself.

As they draw closer to the final clue, their reasons for resisting each other begin to crumble, and Luke realizes his promise will push him to the limit in more ways than one. He’ll do his best to shield Finley from unseen threats, but who’s going to shield him from losing his heart?

My review

I’ve loved reading this series by Becky Wade. I love how each book can be read as a standalone. Each one has been so great. And I’m sad to see the books end.

This one finally tells us Luke’s story. Luke was a character that I have been curious about since the beginning of the series. And I loved the way the author told his story. I feel like Luke didn’t give himself enough credit. He had gone to jail for stealing, and he kind of labeled himself as a convict. Instead of allowing himself redemption and grace. I love how he gains those things through the book though.

Finley is one of those characters. She’s the kind of woman trying to look out for and help everyone and every animal around her. I loved that about her. It allowed her to take a chance on Luke. And that made a huge difference for him.

The treasure hunt in this book was amazing! I’m not sure I could have ever solved the clues the way Finley did. Everything about the treasure hunt kept me reading this one. I wanted to know what the treasure was! And the danger element was something that left me curious too. The author did a great job wrapping that all up in this one. Such a great end to the series.

Make sure to grab this book, and all of the books in this series! You won’t regret it.

I was sent a copy of Turn to Me as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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Book Excerpt

Finley Sutherland’s father had left her several things in his will, the most surprising of which was a clue.
“But… I don’t understand,” she said to Rosco Horton, attorney at law.
“Your father planned a treasure hunt for you.” Mr. Horton leaned forward over his impressive potbelly, huffing at the exertion, to extend a white envelope to her across his desk. “He stipulated that you be presented with this, the first clue in the treasure hunt, at the reading of his will.”
She accepted the envelope, instantly recognizing her father’s handwriting and the thick flow of black ink from his favorite fountain pen.
For Finley, he’d written on the outside.
“He asks that you store the envelope in a safe location,” Mr. Horton said, “and wait until the morning of your next birthday to open it. When is your next birthday?”
“January.”
“Do you think you can resist peeking until then?”
“Absolutely.” It felt sacrilegious to even consider violating a request left for her in her dad’s will.
Finley held the envelope carefully, aware of the attorney’s attention on her as she looked down at it in her lap. Her father had named Mr. Horton the executor of his will. And since she was the only child of a bachelor, he’d named her his sole beneficiary. After th e will cleared probate, she’d inherit his
property, bank accounts, investments, and assets. And yet this—a simple envelope—was the thing stirring both grief and wonder within her.
Her father had died suddenly in prison one month ago. She hadn’t expected him to speak or write another word to her. Yet through this mysterious, surprising letter, he’d found a
way to continue communicating with her. For Finley.
“Your father told me that he used to create birthday treasure hunts for you when you were growing up,” Mr. Horton said.
She raised her face. “Yes. Every single birthday before I left for college, he’d send me on a treasure hunt to find my gift.”

“Sounds like a nice father daughter tradition.”
“It was.” Memories rushed like a film reel through her brain. Her gasps of discovery when she’d solved one of his clues. His deep chuckle. The patter of her feet as she’d race to see if she’d guessed the location of the next clue correctly. Tearing away shiny pink paper to reveal the dollhouse he’d given her when she turned seven.
Astonishingly, her father was reaching out from the grave to give her one final gift.

What to read after Turn to Me

About An Unfamiliar Duke

An Unfamiliar Duke

At eleven years of age, Rosalind Ainsworth was convinced that Sebastian Lumley, the future Duke of Kelbrook, was the most odious young man she’d ever met. And ten years later, after having had no contact with the nobleman in the intervening time, her opinion of him has not changed. Unfortunately, neither has the marriage contract their fathers signed soon after her birth.

As Rosalind’s twenty-first birthday and the appointed wedding day approaches, Sebastian makes a rare appearance in London. His first meeting with Rosalind since childhood goes less than perfectly, but Sebastian has a compelling reason for honoring their marriage contract—a reason outlined in a document kept behind his workshop’s locked door. 

After a quick wedding, the new couple relocates to Finley Park, where their acquaintanceship slowly blossoms into affection. But when Sebastian’s secretive work threatens their fledgling relationship and Rosalind’s life is placed in jeopardy, Sebastian finds himself forced to choose between the man he has pledged to help and the woman he has come to love. 

My review

There aren’t many authors who can do what Sian Bessey does. She takes you to a time and place, introduces you to amazing characters. And then, just when you think all is well, she throws in a bit of danger and intrigue as well. I loved this book, so much!

Rosalind knew Sebastian when she was a girl. And, he would not let her into his treehouse. Much to her horror, she discovered that she was to marry him on her 21st birthday, without her consent. That’s not a great footing to base a marriage on. But…I loved watching the way Rosalind grew to care for her husband. The list of his good qualities versus his bad ones was so great! And Rosalind is such a brave young woman. There were several parts in this book that she showed her bravery and courage.

Sebastian is the kind of man who hides out in his locked workshop and forgets dinner with his new wife. But he’s also the kind of man who can admit that he needs to change and work on himself. And he cares deeply for his household staff, those who live on his land, and his wife. I loved the scene where the two of them work on arithmetic.

And don’t miss the ending of this one! It’ll get your heart pumping and make you worried for both Rosalind and Sebastian. This is such a great book!

I was sent an e-copy of an An Unfamiliar Duke as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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About Thanks, Carissa, for Ruining My Life

Thanks, Carissa, for Ruining My Life

The person who ruined their lives just might bring them together…
 
Brad is ready for a perfect senior year: he has a seat at the popular lunch table, a gig co-hosting the school’s morning announcements, and a gorgeous girlfriend. But when Carissa breaks up with Brad, his carefully constructed life comes crashing down. Convinced everything would be perfect if only Carissa would take him back, Brad creates a “self-improvement plan” and vows to re-win her heart.
 
Rose wishes she were having a normal senior year like everyone else, but leave it to her twin sister Carissa to butt in and ruin her life. Carissa secretly nominated Rose for the reality TV show Help Me Lose Weight and Live Again-and now Rose is on her way to Texas for three months of calorie-counting, marathon-exercising hell. Rose already felt overshadowed by her “perfect” sister, and collapsing on a treadmill on national TV is not making things any better. Plus, Rose can’t squash feelings for her sister’s boyfriend Brad (even though she knows he would never see her as anything but a friend.)
 
For fans of friends-to-lovers romance comes a heartwarming novel about self-improvement, identity and acceptance in our image-obsessed culture.

My review

It had been a while since I read a young adult book. This one by Dallas Woodburn was a great one to get me back into the genre. I loved the way she did her characters, the reader could really feel their emotions. And her plot was great!

I love that you see things through two perspectives in this one. Brad is the guy who gets broken up with in the very first chapter. He’s confused as to why. And he decides the best thing to do is to make a list of things to change about himself and change them. But, a funny thing happens as he starts changing things, he realizes that he really is okay how he is. And that maybe he’s not happy with Carissa to begin with.

The other person the reader gets to “know” is Rose. Rose is Carissa’s sister. And Carissa really does something to hurt Rose. She signs her up for a weight loss reality TV show. Some of the parts there were kind of sad to read. It’s sad when we can’t be happy with our bodies the way they are. But Rose learns a lot about her body and herself there.

I loved this book so much! It’s one I didn’t want to put down.

I was sent an e-copy of Thanks, Carissa, for Ruining My Life as a gift from the author. All opinions are my own.

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About Red Cicada

Red Cicada

Twenty-eight-year-old Lana Baker knows the signs: the intense flashes of light and building pressure in her head herald yet another migraine. But this time, the unavoidable pain lands her in the hospital, where her unusual past raises more questions than answers. Her medical history is a complete mystery. Stranger still, her battery of tests reveals a shocking secret: Lana has a metal disk embedded in her skull—but she has no idea how it got there. Even more disturbing is the fact that the disk is etched with words—in Russian.

Lieutenant Lance Kipling has been tracking down information on a former marine he believes may have had ties to Cold War biological weapons. So when that man’s daughter turns up in a hospital with a metal disk in her skull, it does not go unnoticed. But Lance has competition for the information stored in Lana’s head—dangerous individuals with Soviet ties. 

Together, Lance and Lana follow a trail of clues her father left, bits of information that reveal Lana’s past and paint a deadly picture of a weapon that has the potential to wreak havoc on the planet’s entire population.

My review

This is one of those books that starts off so intense and stays that way! Gregg Luke is a master at writing this way. The way he writes leaves me not wanting to put the book down. In a good way.

This book starts off with Lana having to go to the hospital because of a migraine and seizure situation. She soon finds out that she has a piece of metal in her head. And apparently people are willing to kill over it. Lana isn’t sure who she can trust. Especially after she is kidnapped from the hospital.

Lance is looking into her father’s life. And he saves Lana, several times. I loved the way he was always there, right when Lana needed him to be there. Lance was really good at spotting traps and figuring out the puzzle.

There is so much danger in this one. I was on the edge of my seat from the very beginning. It was fun trying to solve the puzzles with Lance and Lana!

I got an e-copy of Red Cicada from Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

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