Posted in Colorado, romance on December 17, 2009

reasonsDelphi Brent is a self assured young woman who has the opportunity to travel to Colorado for the summer before starting a job in Maine.  However, her parents are not keen on this idea because of an accident nine years previously that left Delphi with a large scar on her leg and the death of a son of long time friends, Robert & Annie Laughlin.  What no one knows is who was driving the car and what really happened….or at least they are not saying.  What Delphi doesn’t expect is to fall in love with one of the Laughlin boys and for her world to turn upside down and will the secrets cause her to lose out on a chance of love and happily ever after.  

I read this book in about 3 days (at night) and could not put it down.  I really enjoyed the wit of Delphi and her reactions to Noreen, the fiancee of Bobby Laughlin, who thinks that Delphi is there to make good on a crush from 11 years ago when she was 15. I liked how she stood up for herself and didn’t let anyone get her down.  However, in the same respect, Delphi didn’t give others a chance to break down the walls around her heart.  That is until several people mentioned to her that Tam Laughlin looks at her like there is no one else in the world.  The power of suggestion!  Despite her reservations, she finds herself enjoying Tam’s company and getting closer to him until it finally ends in a kiss…but what a kiss!

Delphi also makes friends with Dave the vet, who has a secret of his own that surprisingly no one else figures out.

And then there is Bobby, the oldest brother who is engaged to Noreen and is it really for love or to join their ranches?  And is his heavy drinking masking anything else?

This was a very enjoyable read and I highly recommend it!

Posted in romance, suspense on July 24, 2009

Explosion in ParisAuthor – Linda Masemore Pirrung
978-1440140747, April 2009
Right always wins out over wrong in the end
4 out of 5 stars

Linda Masemore Pirrung is the author of several romantic suspense novels including “Cracked Hearts” and “I Will Wait for You”.

“Explosion in Paris” is the newest romantic suspense novel from this author. Angie has been married to Mitch for seven years and of those seven, only the first year was a good one. Mitch has a very controlling personality and subtly forced Angie to resign from her job as a teacher stating that he needed her at home to maintain their home and assist him with his career as an architect. Eventually his actions over the years become those of an abuser, both emotionally and physically. Angie knows she needs to get out but doesn’t have the confidence any more to know that she can make it on her own. That is until a chance meeting with Ross. It started with Ross accidently wandering onto their property from the woods behind their home to a chance meeting at a local restaurant. From that moment on, Angie feels a kinship with Ross and they start spending more time together as friends which eventually turns into more.

During this time Angie thinks that Mitch doesn’t know about her friendship with Ross but she later finds out she is wrong. Mitch has a business trip to Paris and Angie must go along with him. Mitch has other plans for this trip besides business which include killing his wife in a boat explosion. What Mitch doesn’t realize is that Angie wasn’t on the boat when it exploded, that she managed to get off before that happened. The up side to this is that she is able to start a new life in Paris without Mitch, but this also means a life without Ross.

The story continues with her experiences in France, the messages she is sending Ross without him realizing it and how she confronts her past without having to forfeit her future. I don’t want to spoil the rest of the story so you will have to read the book for the rest of the details!

When I first started reading this book I wasn’t sure what to expect. At first I didn’t like the storyline because I saw that Mitch was an abuser and that didn’t sit well with me. But as I continued reading I saw that Angie blossomed from her friendship with Ross and that it was most likely that she would have left Mitch if he hadn’t tried to kill her. I was glad to see that Mitch didn’t escape punishment from his actions. There were times when I felt that the descriptive language could have been trimmed back and nothing would have been lost from the story or the imagery that the author created.

Overall I would recommend this book. The description on the back of the book does not do this storyline justice and I think you will be pleasantly surprised at all of the storylines come together. I also found it to be a fairly fast read and it was hard for me to put down because while I guessed what happened next in many places, there were also parts of the story that I didn’t see coming and it surprised and delighted me to read those chapters.

Reviewed for RebeccasReads (6/09)

Posted in romance on July 23, 2009

knotAmanda Hamm was born in Ohio and now lives in North Carolina with her husband and children. Writing has been a life long dream for Amanda and has written several books including Dear Jane Letters and Zero Station: A Science Fiction Novella.

“Tightening the Knot” begins with Meredith Donnor sitting in an attorney’s office contemplating filing for divorce. At some point she realizes that she doesn’t want to be there and walks out before getting very far with the process. Meredith has been married to Greg for six years, but at some point over the last year they stopped really talking to each other due to a sensitive subject, fertility and her inability to get pregnant. As the months go by, the communication decreases and Meredith is frustrated because Greg is not interpreting her hints at restarting communication. Then Greg signs them up for a Tightening the Knot marriage seminar through church, could this be the help they need to get back on track and rekindle their marriage?

This is not a very long book at all, but it does a good job of reflecting how many relationships sour and what causes the decline and what could turn the relationship around. Meredith’s “hints” and Greg’s inability to read between the lines is typical of many male-female relationships. Too many women don’t say what they think or want or need and men just can’t figure it out without the direct approach.

As I was reading the book, I was reminded of the movie “Fireproof” in small ways. When Greg started doing nice things for Meredith I immediately thought of the principals of that movie. However, the book changed direction and I was glad that it would be different.

When Greg and Meredith decide to attend the marriage seminar, I wondered if it would help their relationship. The description of the exercises they did together did seem strange but they were good principals that every married couple should remember in their day to day relationship with their spouse. As it turns out, the seminar has a positive effect on Greg and Meredith and was what their relationship needed to turn it around.

Along with Greg and Meredith’s story line is Meredith’s friendship with Jenna. There is also Tom and Ellie – Meredith’s brother and future sister-in-law. Greg’s mother, Judy, also arrives for a visit and creates some tension. These are all minor story lines but play an intricate part to the story as a whole and add sufficient background to give the reader a larger picture of why Greg and Meredith are in this situation.

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Posted in chick lit, fiction, humor, romance on March 18, 2009

Author – Lori Wilde

Third time’s the charm

Rachel Henderson is fed up with romance especially after being dumped at the altar, not once but twice! She blames it on her hometown of Valentine Texas and is determined to punish the town for putting the idea of romance in her head from when she was a young girl. On top of being left at the altar, she finds out that her parents are divorcing on her wedding day. Definitely not one of her better days.

Rachel is angry and drives the 400 miles from Houston to Valentine to seek her revenge on Valentine Texas. She decides that the way to do this is paint over the billboard entering town with black paint. Unfortunately the town’s mayor catches her in the act and has her arrested by non other than the hunky Sherriff Brody Carlton. It urns out that Brody was Rachel’s first love until he moved away at the age of 12.

Rachel is stuck in Valentine until she finishes her community service. This gives her time to start Romanceaholics Anonymous (a 12 step program for those addicted to romance), plot revenge against the fiancé that dumped her at the altar and get to know Brody as a friend. After all, she is done with romance and only wants either friendship or hot sex. But what does Brody want? Does he just want her as a friend or will he want more? And who knew that Romanceaholics Anonymous would become so popular? Rachel has to set up chapters in nearby towns to handle the interest that her YouTube video garnered.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it is the first one by Lori Wilde that I have read but it won’t be the last. ‘Addicted to Love’ is a romance book but there are several underlying stories that keep it from being pure fluff. There is the story of her parents, Michael and Selina, who still truly love each other but Selina can’t get past an indiscretion from 30 years ago. There is also Mayor Wentworth and Giada Vito. She is originally from Italy but has been a citizen for 15 years and has decided that Mayor Wentworth needs a reality check in regards to the town and his position as mayor, which is why she decides to run against him. But what is this spark that they feel when they are around each other? And of course there is the story of Rachel and Brody, her addiction to romance and can she learn to the separate the two or does she really need to?

Lori Wilde began writing at the age of 8 and hasn’t stopped yet. She has written many books including ‘Charmed and Dangerous’, ‘My Secret Life’ and ‘Lethal Exposure’. She also writes under the pen name Laura Anthony.

Reviewed for 3/09

Posted in Idaho, romance on January 22, 2009

Written by Lani Diane Rich
Published 11/08 by Forever, Hachette Book Group USA
ISBN: 978-0446618250

You don’t have to be in the big city to find love
4 out of 5 stars

Lani Diane Rich is a best-selling author, with titles such as: Crazy in Love, The Comeback Kiss, Maybe Baby, Ex and the Single Girl, and Time Off for Good Behavior. She resides in New York with her family.

“Wish You Were Here” starts off with Freya Daly traveling from Boston to Deer Creek Idaho in an attempt to purchase a run down camp for her father and his business. The owner is Nate Broday, who is a chef and father of a 12 year old daughter, Piper. He inherited the camp when his father died and all he knows is that he isn’t supposed to sell the camp until he finds a purple tackle box. He doesn’t know what is in it or why it is so important, but he feels he must honor his father’s wishes.

What Nate doesn’t know is that while Freya may appear to be a hardened business woman, she is so much more than that. He especially discovers this when her cabin is on fire and when she is being held hostage by his crazy Uncle Malcolm who would think nothing of shooting her to further his own agenda.

As most romance type novels go, this does end with the boy getting the girl but only after she leaves him in Idaho to go home and a few other mishaps along the way.

I had never read anything by Lani Diane Rich and wasn’t sure what to expect. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and considered it lighter reading than say a mystery or thriller novel. The characters seemed more real than other books with real problems and lives that I could understand and relate to even though my life may not be exactly the same. I could also relate to Freya’s life as a corporate executive and how that can impact your personal life. I liked the interaction with her father especially when she found out that she was passed over for a promotion within the family business.

I think most anyone would enjoy this book and if they can’t relate to the story line at least understand it and appreciate the situations that the characters are in at this junction of their life.

Reviewed by Leslie Storey for RebeccasReads (1/09)

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