Posted in 4 paws, Review, Romantic Suspense on August 26, 2017

Publisher: Red Adept Publishing

Release Date: February 13th 2017

Synopsis

Love is worth fighting for.

Alexa Wolving has just one rule: never give a guy a second chance. That works just fine in the safe life she’s built. In the charming town of Willowdale, her day job as a librarian balances perfectly with her evening job as a black belt instructor. But when she attracts the attention of a stalker, Alexa’s carefully built world begins to crumble.

Drew Cosimo knows he broke Alexa’s heart five years ago when he took his first Ranger assignment and disappeared from her life. Now that he’s out of the army, he’s moving back home to Willowdale. He’s not looking for a fight, but making peace would be easier if Alexa hadn’t told the entire town he was a money-grubbing jerk. Despite the tension between them, Drew is quick to offer his protection when a stalker forces Alexa from her home.

As the stalker’s attacks escalate, Alexa and Drew are forced to face their painful past and the simmering attraction between them. They must fight to save each other before everything they care about goes up in flames.

Review

This romantic suspense book will keep you guessing as to who is after Alexa. I know I didn’t figure it out but there was a clue or two that might help you figure it out ahead of time.

The great thing about the romantic suspense genre is that you get 2 great genres in one book. The suspense side kept me on the edge of my seat at different times. Then the romance side, while it took awhile to get there due to emotional baggage, a past between Alexa and Drew, and just general timing issues, finally did culminate in something more between them. There was a good balance of sexual tension and misunderstandings that extended how they acted and reacted to and around each other.

The book takes place over about 2 weeks but there are a few flashbacks to Alexa and Drew’s past so that we gain a better understanding of what happened.

Overall very enjoyable!  We give it 4 paws up.

 

About the Author

Lily Black believes in true love, but is also quite sure going after it is the scariest thing we’ll ever do!  She explores this dynamic in her romantic suspense novels, which are set in the small imaginary town of Willowdale, where people dream big, love deeply, and kick butt if necessary.  She has a black belt in Chung Do Kwan Tai Kwon Do, and has also trained in everything from judo to broadswords.  She lives in North Carolina, where she works as a content editor for a small publisher, and divides her free time between the mountains and the sea with her very patient and loving husband and their teen daughter. She is also the co-creator of the Book Ninjas’ Blush-O-Meter. Readers everywhere search the Book Ninjas’ online catalog for romance, YA and chicklit novels in all genres, and find books that match their preferred blush level!

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Posted in 3 paws, excerpt, Review, romance on August 24, 2017

Title: HELLO, MY LOVE
Author: Evy Journey
Publisher: Sojourner Books
Pages: 317
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Synopsis

In this modern-day tale inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, bright, beautiful law student Elise Halverson looks forward to a promising career. Falling in love is low in her priorities.

Well-known playboy Greg Thorpe is engaged to be married when he meets Elise. He finds her so unlike the women he used to date and he’s deeply intrigued. Distrusting the image she has of him, Elise avoids him.

But Elise’s parents invite Greg to their frequent dinner parties. There, Greg and Elise butt heads. She’s surprised to find that, behind his rich playboy persona, he’s intelligent and engaging.

The night before his wedding, they give in to their mutual attraction. Although Elise expects nothing more from that night, Greg is in for trouble. His jilted fiancée strikes back, intent on revenge.

Two years later Greg and Elise get a second chance but they find that the way to their happy-ever-after is not so easy.

At the core of this women’s fiction is a literary and realistic romance spiced with a twist of mystery. Hello My Love is Book 1 in the series Between Two Worlds, a family saga about three strong women.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Excerpt

“Going to your parents’ dinner tonight?” Elise could not help smiling at the text message.

She texted back: “Yes. See you.”

Greg had been sending her text messages for some time. Often, they were greetings, in the morning, at night, on school holidays; or good luck wishes on exams, debates, and mock trials. Sometimes, he asked her opinion or a question about a legal matter or some fact of interest to either of them. She answered most of those messages although he told her she did not need to, if they were the usual greetings.

Before they met, Elise had known Greg—from numerous news reports—as the young, progressive owner of a growing internet-based business, and one of the country’s twenty-five most eligible bachelors. The consensus in the media, especially among women reporters: tall, dark, and handsome. But Greg also had a reputation as a playboy, whose many romances were fodder for gossip columns. While Elise hesitated judging looks and personality, sight unseen, she was certain of one thing. She distrusted the likes of men such as Greg.

But that was a year ago.

Since he began consulting with her father, Dr. Halverson, an economics professor, Greg had been to many dinners at her parents’ home. There, Elise got to know him better.

Now, when curious acquaintances learned she knew Greg, they invariably asked, and Elise hardly ever varied her answer: “Yes, to news reports. Greg Thorpe is tall—taller than my father who’s more than six feet. Dark—tanned from jogging, bushy hair the color of French Roast woven with golden strands. And beautiful—clean-cut, cleft chin, smiling greyish blue eyes, and, yeah, lean. But, I think, muscular. I’m not sure. I haven’t seen him without his clothes on.”

It always amused her that her incantation never failed to elicit sighs from young women.

Elise was about to slip her iPhone into her shirt pocket when it rang. Greg—she expected that. He often answered her text messages within minutes of her sending them, usually by texting. Once in a while, he called instead.

“Hello, Elise. How’s the light of my life this afternoon?” Greg said, in his teasing voice.

“Greg, hi. That’s quick. Aren’t you busy?”

“Not for you. And I’m glad you picked up. I was afraid you’d turn off your phone again.”

“I can’t turn it on in class, when I’m studying, or when I’m at work, and that’s almost my whole day.”

“Are you staying over at your parents after dinner?”

“I don’t plan such things. Depends. How late it is when dinner ends, whether I have some easy way to get back to my apartment, how guilty I feel about not having seen my parents for a while, etc., etc.”

“I see. It’s Friday so I thought you‘re staying the night with them. Can I give you a ride home?”

Elise protested. “But I live across the bay. That’s sixty more miles of driving for you, both ways.”

“Less than an hour in my fast powerful car.”

She smiled. Only when she opened up to him a few months after they first met did she realize that Greg had a wry, often self-mocking, sense of humor.

She teased him back. “But don’t you need your beauty sleep? Aren’t you getting married in two days? I’m surprised you’re even coming to my parents’ dinner party. I always thought weddings were exhausting. Don’t you need to rest up for yours?”

“Think of this as my last fling.”

“Isn’t that when your buddies get you all soused and cavorting with some pretty young things? You definitely need stamina for that.”

He groaned. “I’m afraid you have this unflattering image of me. But, believe it or not, that prospect doesn’t excite me. I feel too old for all that.”

“Thirty-two’s not old. To me, old is decrepit. You’re not quite there yet.”

“I’m glad you think so. Twenty-year olds think thirty is old”

“I turned twenty-three a few weeks ago,” she said, her smile replaced with pursed lips.

“That still makes you a young thing in my book. What if I cavort with you?”

Elise scowled. She couldn’t think of a quick retort, which she knew Greg had come to expect from her. It was not that what he said irritated her. And she didn’t actually dislike it. But she felt a vague sense of unease in her chest.

“I’m kidding. I know you’re not the cavorting type. But we’re buddies, right? Well, more like sparring partners, maybe. Don’t buddies kid around?”

That’s it, Elise thought. I’m not the pretty, young cavorting type. At least, I didn’t think he thought so. It didn’t annoy her, but it did bother her in some way. She did not answer.

He added in a softer voice, “Am I wrong?”

She picked up an edge to his voice and she hesitated through the ensuing silence; for her, an uneasy silence relieved only by his audible breathing. He was going to wait until she said something.

“I guess we are…friends, or whatever you wanna call it. That makes everything all right, then; kidding included. So, yes, you can take me home tonight. What’s sixty miles between buddies? No guilt, on my part, that you’re going out of your way. I gotta run.” She hung up and did not wait for his reply.

Review

This book is a romance that takes place over several years and shows how relationships can have their ups and downs no matter the circumstances.

Elise and Greg are multifaceted characters. Elise is a law student but is well educated/smart and cares about what happens to people. Greg has a playboy reputation but is intrigued by Elise and connects with her on a level that he has never connected with his fiancee. I think this is because their relationship was built on conversations and really getting to know one another, where Greg proposed because his mother said it was time to get married.

The story flowed fairly well, at least until we got to Elise’s pregnancy and then it would jump several months. Then when it was about time for her to have her baby it jumps forward a year but you have no idea because there is no indication that it is a year later. In fact, you have no clue what happened when she had the baby or if it was a boy or a girl. There is a little bit of a mystery near the end and it takes some time for the police to figure it out. But it did make it intriguing while wondering who was involved.

Overall a good story and we give it 3 paws up.

About the Author

Evy Journey, 2015 SPR (Self Publishing Review) Independent Woman Author awardee, is a writer, a wannabe artist (since she was nine years old), and a flâneuse (feminine form of flâneur). Her pretensions to being a flâneuse means she wishes she lives in Paris where people have perfected the art of aimless roaming. She’s visited Paris, even lived there a few times as a transient; that is, she stayed from two to six months.

She’s a writer because beautiful prose seduces her and existential angst continues to plague her even though such preoccupations have gone out of fashion. She takes occasional refuge by invoking the spirit of Jane Austen and spinning tales of love, loss, and finding one’s way—stories into which she weaves mystery or intrigue and sets in various locales.

In a previous life, armed with a Ph.D. and fascinated by the psyche, she researched and shepherded  the development of mental health programs. And wrote like an academic. Not a good thing if you want to sound like a normal person. So, she began to write fiction (mostly happy fiction) as an antidote.

Evy’s latest book is the contemporary women’s fiction, Hello, My Love.

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Posted in 4 paws, Giveaway, Review, romance on August 17, 2017

Title: HEARTS AT SEASIDE (Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers Book 3)
Author: Addison Cole
Publisher: World Literary Press
Pages: 280
Genre: Sweet with Heat Romance

Synopsis

Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers features a group of fun, flirty, and emotional friends who gather each summer at their Cape Cod cottages. They’re sassy, flawed, and so easy to relate to, you’ll be begging to enter their circle of friends!

Hearts at Seaside by Addison Cole is the sweet edition of New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster’s steamy romance novel Seaside Hearts. The stories and characters remain the same and convey all of the passion you expect between two people in love, without any explicit scenes or harsh language.

In HEARTS at SEASIDE…
Jenna Ward is vivacious, spontaneous, and confident–except when she’s around the man who stole her heart years earlier, strikingly handsome, quiet, and reliable Pete Lacroux. After years of trying to get his attention and overwhelmed from dealing with her mother’s new cougar lifestyle, Jenna’s giving up on Peter–and is ready to explore other men.

As the eldest of five siblings, with an alcoholic father to care for, boat craftsman Pete Lacroux always does the right thing and has no time for a real relationship. He’s looking forward to seeing his friend Jenna, a welcome distraction who’s so sexy and painfully shy that she equally entertains and confuses him.

When Jenna picks up a hard-bodied construction worker, jealousy ignites Pete’s true feelings, and he’s unable to ignore the desires for Jenna he never realized he had. But Pete’s not the quiet guy he appears to be, and his life is anything but conducive to a relationship. Can Jenna handle the real Pete Lacroux–the most alpha male she’s ever seen–or will she crack under pressure? And can Pete reclaim the life he once had without tearing apart his family?

SWEET WITH HEAT: SEASIDE SUMMERS SERIES
Read, Write, Love at Seaside
Dreaming at Seaside
Hearts at Seaside
Sunsets at Seaside
Secrets at Seaside
Nights at Seaside
Seized by Love at Seaside
Embraced at Seaside
Lovers at Seaside
Whispers at Seaside

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Excerpt

There should be an unwritten rule about drooling over construction workers, but Jenna Ward was sure glad there wasn’t. She sat on the porch of the Bookstore Restaurant, soaking up the deliciousness of the three bronzed males clad in nothing more than jeans and glistening muscles that flexed and bulged like an offering to the gods as they forced thick, sticky tar into submission. Their jeans hung low on strong hips, gripping their powerful thighs like second skins and ending in scuffed and tarred work boots. What red-blooded woman didn’t get worked up over a gorgeous shirtless man in work boots?

Heaven help her, because she needed this distraction to take away her desire for Peter Lacroux, which went hand in hand with summers on the Cape and consumed her in the nine months they were apart. She zeroed in on one particularly handsome blond construction worker. His hair was nearly white, his jaw square and manly. She wanted to march right out to the middle of the road that split the earth between the restaurant and the beach and be manhandled into submission. Right there on the tar. Wrestled and groped until all thoughts of Pete evaporated.

“Wipe the drool from your chin, chica.” Amy Maples handed Jenna a margarita and, pointedly, a fresh napkin, as she settled into the chair across from her. “Goodness, woman. What’s up with you this summer? I swear you’re in heat. I can practically smell your pheromones from over here.”

Jenna gulped her drink and righted her red bikini top, which was trying its hardest to relieve itself of her enormous breasts. Even her bikini top was ready for a man. A real man. A man who craved her as much as she craved him.

Jenna reluctantly turned away from Testosterone Road and faced her best friends. The women she had spent her summers with here in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, for as long as she could remember and the women she hoped would help her through her most important summer ever.

Review

Great beach read….especially since it is set in a beachside town!

Jenna has been crushing on Pete for years. Pete has noticed her but it takes her asking another guy out to spur him into action. Typical guy move IMHO! But I do like that he realized that Jenna is someone he wanted to pursue and get to know better and wasn’t going to let her get taken by another man. And the chemistry between the two could set off smoke alarms.

But there is more to this story than just a romance – it is also dealing with grief of losing a parent, whether it is to death or divorce, grief is grief and Jenna and Pete both have to deal with parents that are not handling it well. At first they want to handle it on their own and keep it close, as if it was a dirty secret. But I liked that they both learned something from each other and their respective situations – relationships is more than just physical and you have to connect in many other ways as well.

The 4 friends also have a close bond and are there for each other even in the middle of the night! Thankfully the men in the picture understand and respect their friendship.

One other thing that I appreciate is that the sex is behind closed doors. There is a lot that leads up to it and you know where it is going, but it is not spelled out for you. I prefer that as I can leave it the details up to my imagination.

This is the 3rd in a series so I am guessing the first two books are Leanna and Bella’s stories since they have their men. Amy will be book 4 and we already know who she will end up with.

We give this 4 paws up

About the Author

Addison Cole is the sweet alter ego of New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Melissa Foster. She writes humorous and emotional sweet contemporary romance. Her books do not include explicit sex scenes or harsh language. Addison spends her summers on Cape Cod, where she dreams up wonderful love stories in her house overlooking Cape Cod Bay.

Addison enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups and welcomes an invitation to your event.

Addison’s books are available in paperback, digital, and audio formats.

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SIGN UP for ADDISON’S Sweet with Heat newsletter. Fun, flirty romance with a dash of heat. www.AddisonCole.com/Newsletter

DOWNLOAD the first book in Addison’s Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers series free: READ, WRITE, LOVE AT SEASIDE on Amazon.

Giveaway

Addison Cole is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash!

Terms & Conditions:

By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.

One winner will be chosen to receive $10 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash.

This giveaway ends midnight August 18.

Winner will be contacted via email on August 19.

Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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Posted in 5 paws, Giveaway, Review, women on August 12, 2017

COMFORT PLANS

by

KIMBERLY FISH

  Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Date of Publication: May 23, 2017

Number of Pages: 320

Scroll down for giveaway!

Colette Sheridan is being remodeled.

As a San Antonio architect, she’d have vowed her career was to investigate the history and create new functions for the structures everyone else saw as eyesores. The old German farmhouse in Comfort, Texas, might be the screeching end of that dream job. The assignment seemed so ideal at the start; generous clients, a stunning location, and a pocketful of letters that were surely meant to explain the ranch’s story. All that goodness crashed louder than a pile of two-by-fours when her grandfather announced he’d lured Colette’s ex-husband back to San Antonio to take over the family architecture firm. Now, not only does Colette have to endure the challenges posed by Beau Jefferson, the client’s handpicked contractor, a house that resists efforts to be modernized, and letters that may hold the secret to buried treasure, but she also has to decide if she has the courage to fight for her future.

Set against the backdrop of the Texas Hill Country, Colette and Beau have to rely on plans neither of them constructed in order to navigate the changes of a house with a story to tell, and a future they couldn’t even imagine.

Praise

“Kimberly Fish’s unique writing style snatched me out of my easy chair and plunked me down into the middle of her character’s life where I was loathe to leave when my real life called me back. Her descriptive visual writing drew me in on the first page. Can’t wait to read more stories by Mrs. Fish.” –Vickie Phelps,Author of Moved, Left No Address

The author knows how to weave a tale and this book is a wonderful mix of romance, history and a splash of mystery.

I truly enjoyed this book because it is set in Texas near San Antonio which is rich in history that we don’t hear about very often. At the end of most chapters there is a letter from Colin to Laki and these letters give us a peek into what life was like for this couple and the trials they were going through.

Colette has had an interesting life that is set out throughout the book – from a divorce at a young age, to her grandfather wanting her to take over the architectural firm, to her own insecurities about what she can and cannot do, or so she thinks.

Enter Beau – a talented builder that has his own take on life..and Colette! Let’s just say there are some fireworks with their chemistry. But as with most books, both Beau and Colette have some baggage they have to deal with so that they can establish a relationship. There are quite a few funny moments as they deal with family and some others…I was definitely chuckling!

Nathan, Colette’s Grandfather, seems to be acting strangely especially when he let’s Colette know that since she won’t run the family company that he is hiring Julian – her ex-husband. This action has Colette wondering about her grandfather’s mental state especially when Julian starts taking the company in directions they probably shouldn’t be going. There is a LOT more to this story but you’ll have to read the book to find out because that would be a huge spoiler. But it does help Colette learn who she wants to be in this life and strengthens ties with her family.

The story that is woven in the pages is engaging and it was hard for me to put the book down.

We give it 5 paws up


Kimberly Fish started writing professionally with the birth of her second child and the purchase of a home computer. Having found this dubious outlet, she then entered and won The Writer’s League of Texas manuscript contest which fed her on-going fascination with story crafting. She has since published in magazines, newspapers, and online formats and in 2017, released the first novel in a series set during the World War II years in Longview, Texas—The Big Inch. She lives with her family in East Texas.

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Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, Monday, mystery, Review on August 7, 2017

Vangie Vale and the Murdered Macaron (The Matchbaker Mysteries Book 1)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Montana
Hummingbird Books (July 21, 2017)
Paperback: 362 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1548024437
E-Book ASIN: B073ZLKBZT

Synopsis

Small towns and gossip go together like flaky crust and sweet pastry cream. Between the police scanners, social media, and the senior center, it’s like a zombie apocalypse where the undead consume people’s secrets instead of living flesh.

But Vangie Vale wants nothing more than to stay under the radar…especially the police radar.

So when her new bakery becomes linked to a murder investigation, nothing will stop the gossip mill from connecting her to the dead body. Can’t have that.

Forced into the role of investigator, this new-in-town bakery owner has to become the very thing she hates–a nosy, small-town gossip–in order to clear her good name, and keep her face off the front page. But when a dating debacle brings her face-to-face with the Sheriff, Vangie can’t ignore the fact that one of her macarons was involved in a murder. She has to find the who-dun-it.

Book One in a cozy culinary mystery series from USA Today Bestselling Author, R.L. Syme.

Review

I think this was the first time I read a cozy set in Montana and after reading this book (and the author’s notes), I want to visit! It sounds like a calm and peaceful place to visit – assuming you don’t stumble across a murder!

Vangie is a minister that has been sent to Montana as part of a reconciliation. We really don’t know what happened in NC to get her sent to Montana or what the church council has been told. We find a little bit out at the end, but for me that just left me wanting to know more! It is hard to like Pete Mayhew from the church council because he seems to have it in for Vangie and reports her to the bishop for all these minor things – like standing on the corner of her property next to the Sheriff’s land to be able to use her cell phone. Granted the Sheriff is complaining but we don’t know why because she isn’t technically on his property. And then when her store window gets broken, Pete seems to think it is her fault some how. Like I said, not very likable and has way to much time on his hands!

Then there is the Sheriff who doesn’t like her for some reason and we never really find out why. He does seem to soften his attitude towards her in the end when she helps him solve the mystery of who killed Claire, but he doesn’t seem very happy about it! Perhaps because his beliefs were challenged especially when he was wrong.

Then there is the mystery – who killed Claire and why? The author does a great job in leading us down various paths and hinting at suspects…I was very surprised when it was all revealed because it was not a character i was suspecting…I was close but no cigar. And as with most cozies, Vangie finds herself in the middle of the investigation whether she wanted to be there or not!

I read a copy of the book that to my understanding was changed a bit – nothing too substantial but I am waiting to find out how this one incident changes the book. Either way the book was enjoyable and I liked reading the Macaron receipe at the end. I don’t know that I’ll try making any but they sure do sound yummy!

We give it 4 paws up!

About the Author

Rebecca Syme writes small town romance as Becca Boyd and cozy mystery as R.L. Syme. She is a long-time foodie and loves fancy cheese. Becca calls the mountains of Montana her home and draws inspiration from the beautiful vistas and heartwarming people. She is the USA Today bestselling author of the Line of Fire series of sweet romances and part of the Chick Tales series set in Somewhere, TX. You can find her on Twitter talking #fancycheese or #Chopped, and on Facebook with her fans in Becca Nation.

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August 3 – Varietats2010 – REVIEW

August 4 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

August 5 – Bookworm Cafe – REVIEW

August 5 – My Funny View of Life – REVIEW

August 6 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

August 6 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

August 7 – Sleuth Cafe – CHARACTER GUEST POST

August 7 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

August 8 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 8 – Teresa Trent Author Site – INTERVIEW

August 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

August 9 – The Power of Words – SPOTLIGHT

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August 10 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

August 10 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in 4 paws, Review, romance on August 5, 2017

Synopsis

’TIL DEATH DO US BARK…

Wedding planner Zoe Plum has brides from all walks of life vying for her services. The only problem is: happily-single Zoe doesn’t actually enjoy weddings―but that might change when she meets the singer of a local band playing at one of her weddings. His name is Levi Dolson and he’s too gorgeous for his own good. And now he’s gone ahead and charmed her new dachshund. . .

It’s no secret that Zoe doesn’t believe in fairy tales, but that doesn’t stop her from wanting to make sweet music with Levi. While she’s convinced she doesn’t need a man, when someone starts setting one trap after the next to make sure she never plans a wedding ever again, she might need Levi in more ways than she could have imagined. But just how far is Zoe’s hidden enemy willing to go? The only thing Levi knows for sure is that he will do everything in his power to protect the woman who brings music to his soul. Maybe that will prove to Zoe, once and for all, that he is a man worthy of her heart.

Review

Holy Mackerel – I did not see that ending coming!

This is the 3rd book in the rescue dog romance series and while you don’t have to read the first two books, it does give you a little more information on the characters and the history they have with each other.

This book focuses on Zoe Plum – wedding planner extraordinaire and best friend to Piper and Addison. Zoe has a lot she has to deal with in this book -finding out some information about her mom’s situation, adopting a cute dachshund, and finding out the truth about herself and what she wants out of life. It doesn’t hurt that she meets Levi and he seems more in her than she sees in herself, which is a good and a bad thing because it is forcing her to face the truth she has been avoiding for 6 years.

The book also has a mystery – there is a slayer on the loose in San Francisco and Zoe’s business seems to have been targeted to put her out of business. Who is doing all of this? Is it who she thinks – her nemesis Chelsea? You’ll have to read the book to find out but I don’t think you’ll discover the answer before it is revealed!

We give it 4 paws up!

About the Author

Casey Griffin can often be found at comic conventions on her days off from her day job, driving 400 ton dump trucks in Northern Alberta, Canada. As a jack of all trades with a resume boasting registered nurse, English teacher, and photographer, books are her true passion. Casey is a 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel finalist, and is currently busy writing every moment she can.

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Posted in 4 paws, excerpt, Review, romance, Trailer on August 4, 2017

Synopsis

In high school, Charlotte Windham was a typical student going through an awkward phase — glasses and all. She harbored a crush on Garrett Stephens, the teen heartthrob everyone can’t help but fall for during that unfortunate ugly duckling phase of one’s teen years. Flash forward fifteen years later, and Charlotte and Garrett have a second chance encounter at a Los Angeles restaurant. However, this time around, Charlotte has leveled the playing field. She’s a bestselling novelist and no longer “Glasses,” the humiliating nickname Garrett called her in high school. In short, she’s a catch now and, thanks to corrective eye surgery, it’s not just her eyes that see better…so does her heart! Garrett hasn’t fared poorly either, transforming from teen heartbreaker to adult lothario. A now successful professional golfer, he’s recently suffered a major setback in the form of a possible career-ending injury. With the upper hand, can Charlotte forgive Garrett for his past ways, and for his more recent Don Juan lifestyle? Will she even want to? And, can Garrett change his ways for a second chance with Charlotte, who may just be the perfect fit for him?

Excerpt

I stand but hesitate when I see Tamika’s disapproving look. Fi notices as well. “It’s okay, T. I got this,” she says, motioning for me to follow her back. When we get to her small office, she closes the door and gestures for me to sit on a red vinyl chair, circa 1972. She stands in front of me, leaning against the desk, and crosses her arms in front of her chest. “Spill!”

“Where should I start?”

“At the beginning.” She walks around to her chair behind the desk and pulls out a yellow legal pad.

For the next half hour, I go over my encounter with Garrett, from the moment we bumped into each other and he didn’t recognize me, to the embarrassment of being called ‘Glasses.’

Fi takes notes furiously on her pad and grins, nods, and cringes at all the appropriate times. When I finish, she puts her pen down and asks, “Do you want the ‘best friend experience’ or the ‘brilliant legal mind experience’?”

I can’t help but laugh. “Are they mutually exclusive?”

“They are,” she says nodding.

“Okay. I want the best friend experience.”

She rushes around from behind the desk, wraps her arms around me soothingly. “I’m so sorry, hon. That sounds just awful. Let’s go get margaritas tomorrow and drown our sorrows in tequila and lime wedges.”

“Thanks, Fi. You’re the best.”

“Anytime,” she says, rubbing my back. She pulls away and walks around to the back of her desk. She sits down and puts the legal pad to the side. I can’t help but notice the writing scrawled across it.

“Just for kicks, what would you have said if I had asked for the ‘brilliant legal mind experience’?”

“You sure you want to know?” Her lips pull into a grim line. Honestly, I’m not sure I do want to know, but curiosity gets the better of me.

“Lay it on me,” I say.

“You need to get laid. Not the kind of bland, missionary style sex you had with Alex. You need hot heat, sweating up the sheets, crazy animal sex.”

I bust out laughing. “That’s your brilliant legal advice. Crazy animal sex?”

“Yes. That’s my brilliant legal advice,” she says with complete seriousness. “Listen, hon, it’s been a year since that insecure jerk Keane dumped you. I have no doubt it’s been even longer since you’ve, well, you know.” She wags her eyebrows up and down. “Before that, you only seriously dated Travis the cheater and Alex who, let’s face it, despite being completely gonzo for you, was a cold fish and a bore. It’s time to stop comparing every man to this fantasy of Garrett Stephens and just do it with him to get it out of your system. He asked you out for Saturday night. Go! Enjoy!”

“I don’t compare every man to Garrett,” I snap at her.

“Don’t you?” she asks, looking down at me sternly.

“I’m offended you even suggested that.” She looks at me, her sharp eyes boring into me, like she can read my every thought and knows I’m full of it. I imagine this is how she bears down on witnesses on the stand. I don’t like being on the receiving end of that look.

“Even if that’s true,” I start and she nods her head, “and I’m not conceding it is.” I point my finger at her. “Even if he did mean to ask me out, there’s no way it’s a good idea. He’s a total player. It would only be one night of fun and I don’t think I could get over that kind of hurt.”

“Then you need to get over it now. Sorry for the tough love, hon, but you need to move past the fantasy of this man and find someone passionate and amazing who is deserving to love you for all of the great things you have to offer including your messed-up childhood and your incredible success today.”

Review

I really liked this romance novel! It was a little different as the two main characters, Garrett and Charlotte, took their time in getting to know one another as friends – or learn how each person was today vs when they were in high school. Sure maybe they had some hang ups from that time, but as with anyone, we learn from our past to change the future. I like how both characters saw something more in the other and help pushed for that growth. Of course there were still insecurities to deal with especially on Charlotte’s side, but that is part of being human!

There were lots of funny moments that made me smile or giggle. Garrett’s family was a bit nuts! And playing “I Never” at the cabin one weekend with the family?! Perhaps a bit TMI…or at least I don’t know what to know about intimate details about my siblings. Then there is Fiona (Fi) who is one of Charlotte’s best friends from college. Don’t mess with her! But she seemed like someone I wouldn’t mind having as a friend.

As a side note – there is some graphic language during the part they were playing “I Never”….I personally didn’t like the wording but that is my personal taste. The sex scenes are a little graphic in case that offends anyone. There aren’t many of those scenes and they are all near the end of the book.

We give it 4 paws up.

Trailer

About the Author

Lisa Becker is a romance writer whose previous novels include Click: An Online Love StoryDouble Click and Right Click. The books, about a young woman’s search for love online in Los Angeles, have been called, “a fast read that will keep you entertained,” “a fun, quick read for fans of Sex and the City,” and “hard to put down.” The first in the series was optioned for a major motion picture.

Lisa’s writings about online dating have been featured in Cupid’s Pulse, GalTime.com, Single Edition, The Perfect Soulmate, Chick Lit Central and numerous other book blogs and websites.

As Lisa’s grandmother used to say, “For every chair, there’s a rush.” Lisa is now happily married to a man she met online and lives in Manhattan Beach with him and their two daughters. So, if it happened for her, there’s hope for anyone!

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Posted in 3 1/2 paws, Cozy, mystery, Review on August 2, 2017

Synopsis

Gertrude has been called a lot of things: a hoarder, an odd duck, and a crazy cat lady—but she’s never been called a gumshoe. Until now. When her neighbor goes missing, she can’t help but get involved, no matter how many people ask her not to.

Review

A shorter book but quite a quirky main character. Gertrude doesn’t seem to be the brightest bulb but manages to solve who murdered her neighbor…but not without putting herself in danger!

I like that Gertrude, while I don’t think she is a senior citizen, is older and uses a walker. This does make it little harder for her to get around. At one point she decides to climb a lattice trellis. I really don’t know what was going through her brain that she could do that if she has issues walking without a walker! But it just adds to the humor of the book.

This will be a funny cozy series for sure.  We give it 3 1/2 paws

About the Author

Robin Merrill is an award-winning writer and performance poet from rural central Maine where she lives with her husband, their two children, and several furry friends. She is the author of several books, and her individual poems, essays, and short stories have appeared in hundreds of publications.

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Posted in 4 paws, Christian, Review, Romantic Suspense on July 30, 2017

Synopsis

In a quiet family neighborhood, during an unexpected thunder storm, Madison Leigh seeks shelter on the porch of a nearby home. While waiting, the inquisitive North Carolina law student glances at the mail, and thinks she recognizes the homeowner’s name. Madison suspects him to be the same Samuel Livingston being held for the alleged murder of his wife, Merry. Her suspicions trigger a surge of curiosity and lead to the discovery of an heirloom brooch owned by the Livingston family.

In order to return the family heirloom, Madison searches for Jamie Livingston, the only child of Samuel and Merry. When Madison locates Jamie in San Francisco, her involvement intensifies as Jamie looks to her for support. With Samuel Livingston being held without bail, and unable to comfort his grieving daughter, Jamie feels desperately alone. She is confident of her father’s innocence, and quickly convinces Madison of the same.

Jamie Livingston suspects the involvement of attorney, Phillip Boatman, her mother’s former employer. And Madison, determined to find the answers, uses her law student credentials to successfully land a position with the Boatman firm. But, if she uncovers the secrets that led to Merry Livingston’s murder, will Madison jeopardize her own life? Not if F.B.I. agent, Court Braxton can help it.

Keeping an eye on Madison while working the case, Court finds himself captivated by the spirited brunette. With every meeting, his feelings are in constant conflict. Professionally, Court knows that he must remain distant, and therefore does not yield to the tender emotions he feels.

With Madison, one glance is all it takes. The love she never thinks will happen catches her completely off guard. But she wonders if her feelings are one sided, as Agent Braxton is a hard man to read. At times, he seems to draw near, then abruptly he turns away. His constantly changing demeanor causes Madison to even question Court’s motives. Perhaps his interest is merely a ploy to obtain information. In a futile attempt to protect her heart, the more Court withdraws from her personally, the harder she focuses on finding the killer.

Taking a calculated risk, Madison searches through the Boatman files and discovers undocumented offshore accounts. Further investigation then guides her to the law firm’s primary client, and to another viable suspect. But, while Madison concentrates on trying to solve the mystery, she fails to recognize that she is directly following Merry Livingston’s former footsteps. The same path that ended Merry’s life.

FOR NO APPARENT REASON lures Madison Leigh from the shelter of law school into a world where she is about to discover the destructive nature of greed. In this maze of money laundering and murder, she experiences the value of true friendship, and witnesses the healing power of God’s love.

Review

I’d put this in the Christian Romantic Suspense/mystery category.

The book starts off right away with Madison snooping through the piled papers/mail on the porch where she was taking cover from a rainstorm. It seems like an odd thing to do but Madison has a tendency to stick her nose where it doesn’t belong (as you will find out reading the book and the situations she puts herself in to help solve a crime).

Enter Court Braxton, FBI agent. He was just finishing up doing something at the house where Madison took refuge during the storm. Let’s just say she caught his eye! Of course she was interfering with his investigation but she didn’t know that in the beginning.

Both Madison and Court are very interested in the other person but they are slow in moving towards a date because of the crime that both are trying to solve. I like that Madison is holding out for marriage and isn’t afraid to discuss her faith with Court to see where he stands. It was also nice to have this as a minor storyline and let the crime solving be the main focus at least until about 3/4 of the way through…and then the romance could ramp up.

Overall I enjoyed reading this book, the characters were engaging and the mystery was intriguing.  We give it 4 paws.

About the Author

S.K. DerbanBorn in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, S.K. Derban moved to London within the first three months, and remained in England until the age of five. Her father, an American citizen, was a decorated veteran of the second world war. Derban’s mother, born and raised in the United Kingdom, was involved with the London Royal Ballet Company, and a great fan of the arts. Even after returning to the United States, Derban’s life was filled with a love of the theatre and a passion for British murder mysteries. S.K. Derban has always remained passionate about writing, and is thrilled to finally share her work with others.

Her personal travel and missionary adventures also help to transport readers virtually across the globe. When writing, S.K. Derban relies on all aspects of her life, from her faith in the Lord, to her love and knowledge of the arts.

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Posted in 4 paws, Giveaway, Review, romance on July 27, 2017

Synopsis

Love, betrayal, and sweet revenge—life in Cottonbloom is about to get a whole lot hotter . . .

Sutton Mize is known for lavishing attention on the customers who flock to her boutique on the wealthy side of her Mississippi town. So when she finds a lace thong in her fiancé’s classic cherry-red Camaro, she knows just who she sold it to: her own best friend. In an instant, Sutton’s whole world goes up in flames. . .

Wyatt Abbott has harbored a crush on Sutton since he was a young kid from the other side of the tracks. He witnessed Sutton’s shocking discovery in the Camaro at his family-owned garage—and it made him angry. What kind of man could take lovely, gorgeous Sutton for granted? But then Sutton comes up with an idea: Why not give her betrothed a taste of his own medicine and pretend that she’s got a lover of her own? Wyatt is more than happy to play the hot-and-heavy boyfriend. But what begins as a fictional affair soon develops into something more real, and more passionate, than either Sutton or Wyatt could have imagined. Could it be that true love has been waiting under the hood all along?

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Review

When I picked this book up I didn’t realize it was part of a series. However, I don’t think the books have to be read in order, they just might give a little background on some of the characters in town.

I like how this one town sits on the state line between Mississippi and Louisiana. It has that “other side of the tracks” type mentality but that doesn’t stop people when they are in love from finding each other. Such is the case of Sutton and Wyatt – they went to school together and Wyatt has always had a thing for Sutton. It is just good timing that she bring a car to him to be restored and he finds evidence of her fiance’s betrayal which only works to his benefit!

But of course the path to true love can never be easy and both Sutton and Wyatt have different things to deal with from their past (or their reputation) but of course love is going to win.

This was a fun read and it felt like a town that I wouldn’t mind visiting and perhaps living in..although I’m not sure I would want to be related to a majority of the town.

We give this 4 paws up!

About the Author

An award-winning author, Laura Trentham was born and raised in a small town in Tennessee. Although, she loved English and reading in high school, she was convinced an English degree equated to starvation. She chose the next most logical major—Chemical Engineering—and worked in a hard hat and steel toed boots for several years.

She writes sexy, small town contemporaries and smoking hot Regency historicals. The first two books of her Falcon Football series were named Top Picks by RT Book Reviews magazine. Then He Kissed Me, a Cottonbloom novel, was named as one of Amazon’s best romances of 2016. When not lost in a cozy Southern town or Regency England, she’s shuttling kids to soccer, helping with homework, and avoiding the Mt. Everest-sized pile of laundry that is almost as big as the to-be-read pile of books on her nightstand.

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Giveaway

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