Sunday, November 11, 2018

TREX OR TREAT by Tara Lain




Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Date Published: October 31, 2018
ISBN:9781644051313
Genre: Contemporary short story, M/M, Holiday
E-book
Reviewed by: Gabrielle (meingee@yahoo.com)
Weblink:
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/trex-or-treat-by-tara-lain-9979-b
Obtained via publisher
Rating: 4 Hearts

When new neighbors move in across the street from Josh he never imagined that his life would change so much in such a short amount of time. Works and being a father are what Josh is focused on. That is until his new neighbor moves in. Bradley is a sight for sore eyes and Josh finds himself looking quite a bit. When his neighbor throws a Halloween party for the whole block Josh finds himself interested in so much more than some scary Halloween fun with Bradley. Can the two men find a way to each other and a way to blend their families?

This is a sweet and sexy read. I enjoyed seeing the attraction that these two men have turn onto something deeper and hope that we get to see more from them in the future. Josh is focused on making a good life for his son and considers himself to be more on the plain side and is more than a little surprised that someone like Bradley would want him. When Bradley pulls out all the stops for Josh on Halloween the sparks fly. Josh must decide if he wants to take a chance on their attraction or let this chance slip through his fingers. Both Bradley and Josh are good men and it was nice to see them grab for a happy ever after. Their story is a quick read and moves at a good pace. This story is filled out and never feels rushed. The author does a great job of getting the readers to love these characters and their story and wanting more from them as well.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.


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Sunday, November 4, 2018

THE FAMILY GATHERING by Robyn Carr



A Sullivan’s Crossing Novel, Book 3
Harlequin Mira
April 17th, 2018
978-0-7783-3076-9
Contemporary, Women’s Fiction, Romance
ARC Paperback
Reviewed by Dawn (love2read28@gmail.com)
Obtained by Publisher
4 Hearts


Dakota Jones has left the military and has basically just wandered around the world while trying to figure out what his next path in life is. His older brother and younger sister have settled in the hills of Colorado in Sullivan’s Crossing and Dakota figures he can see what’s up with them while trying to figure out where he will go next in life. But Dakota is unprepared to find that he is in everyone’s crosshairs, including the single ladies who are hoping to catch him for their own. Except the one woman in town who draws Dakota like no other is determined to not be snared by Dakota’s good looks and charm.

As Dakota finds himself enjoying getting to know his siblings again and tries to see them as the adults they are not the remembrances of a childhood filled with pain and upheaval. As Dakota finds out, family are ones who love you unconditionally and that may be the greatest gift he ever will get as it will steer him to the home and love he always longed for.

Robyn Carr’s third installment into the wonderful Sullivan’s Crossing is full of returning characters, some new faces and more that will certainly charm the reader after the first page is read. We meet two of the Jones siblings in the first two books (What We Find and Any Day Now) and I loved catching up with them in book three as well as finding out more about the other Jones’ siblings, Dakota and Sedona. Ms. Carr delivers a heartfelt story that left me hanging onto the pages for dear life as I flipped pages quickly to see where she was taking these wonderful characters on. I love, love, love this series and THE FAMILY GATHERING just cemented it as one of my go to series for a pick me up. The story flows smoothly and quickly and there was just enough of new faces to keep me engaged in the story and invested in the characters. I was thrilled to see more of Sully, Cal, Maggie, Sierra, Connie and a few other familiar faces as well as meet some new ones such as Sidney, Rafe, Rob and more. I loved the way this author captures each of the characters individual personalities and I fell in love with Sidney, her brother Rob and their family as I did with the Jones’. 

THE FAMILY GATHERING isn’t all romance and whatnot, it has mental illness, stalkers and a few other items that had me on the edge of my seat wondering if all would end well for the characters. What makes this book, heck this series, so enjoyable is the characters. They are diverse, intriguing and downright entertaining.  Every time I open a Robyn Carr book, I am brought back to a place where it feels like family. Her gift of storytelling is just amazing, and she does a wonderful service on the world of mental illness, neurosurgery and other issues that were brought up in the series. I can’t wait to see where book four, The Best of Us, goes next now that the Jones siblings are settled and can’t wait to see where her masterful storytelling takes us. If you enjoy a heartwarming series that will tug at your heart strings and will make you laugh, cry then laugh some more, then pick up the Sullivan’s Crossing series and settle in for a wonderful time set in the lushness of the Colorado portion of the Continental Divide and enjoy meeting the residents of this sleepy little place.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement

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Sunday, October 28, 2018

THE GLASS OCEAN by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig and Karen White



Publisher:      William Morrow
Published:      September 4, 2018
ISBN:        978-0062642455
Genre:      Contemporary, Historical, Mystery
Format:     Print from Library
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina  myreviewbooks@aol.com

FOUR HEARTS



Three women have their lives intersect over a mysterious parcel salvaged from the Lusitania.  In 1915 Caroline Hochstetter is desperately in love with her husband, but he continuously ignore her for business matters.  Even on the night before they sail on the famed ship—the unsinkable and called fastest ship in the Cunard fleet, he tends to business rather than his wife. 

Forger Tessa Fairweather is determined that the “job” her sister Ginny is determined she complete will be the last one.  Every painting Tessa, aka Tess, has forged to date has been, to her mind innocent.  This one, however, could dramatically change the course of the war.  But as she boards the Lusitania Tess doesn’t know this.

In 2013 Sarah Blake has had a spectacular success with her first book, Small Potatoes.  But that was several years ago.  But that was before her mother needed to be placed in a care facility and Sarah’s advance and royalty ran out.  Now she is trying to regain her muse.  In an act of desperation she opens a box her mother told to never ever open.  The box, which holds a link to her family’s past, may well hold the key to Sarah’s future.  In the box is an intriguing document, one that leads her across the ocean.  What she finds there is more than her muse. 

Three women, one ship, a family history entwining the past and the present.  story, some history, great characters and several stories wonderfully woven into one.  With each new character that came along a new story began to unfold, each more compelling than the one before.  Andrews ties them altogether in fabulous style and storytelling. 

I’ve read co-authored books before.  Some of them you can tell right off where one author stopped writing and the next stepped in.  I’ve read others that are seamless and you have no idea there was more than one pen telling the tale.  Lauren Willig, Karen White and Beatriz Williams in THE GLASS OCEAN go one step further than any multi-author book I’ve read not only that their voices blend in a smooth and compelling tale, but they link the three main characters as well as events in the past and present into an enthralling story.  Normally when a book alternates between the past and the present I read all of the chapters that take place in the past first and then go back and read those in the present.  With THE GLASS OCEAN I was so drawn to each story I read straight through. 

Each woman has a romance – an unforgettable romance.  There is a mystery.  There is suspense.  There is hope for a ship we now know was doomed. 

I struggled to read the last chapter but it is written in first person present tense which I find unreadable.  To me it reads like a grammar school student trying to write their first play or someone who is learning English.  After reading such a great story that flowed from the first paragraph to have it end with the choppy and jarring first person present tense I was disappointed.  Had it been written in a readable voice this review would have been a five.


This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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Sunday, October 21, 2018

LOVE YOU SO SPECIAL by Tara Lain




Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Date Published: September 28, 2018
ISBN: 9781640809611
Genre: Contemporary
eBook
Reviewed by: Gabrielle (meingee@yahoo.com)
Weblink:  https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/love-you-so-special-by-tara-lain-9894-b
Obtained via publisher
Rating: 4 Hearts


What could a plumber and a famous pianist ever have in common? Artie has always loved classical music and when he gets a chance to listen to Francois play he is blown away. A coincidence has Artie doing some work for Francois and his mother. When Artie realizes Francois is the man behind the beautiful music he heard at the auditorium he enjoys his chance at getting to hear the music of his dreams, but when Francois is having problems with his music Artie takes a chance to find out just what the problem could be. The two men strike up a tentative friendship but what more could ever come of it?

I was quickly lost in this story. These two men are so much more than they think they are. Each one has his own demons to deal with but together they can face the world head on. Artie may not have all the fancy schooling, but he is smart in his own way and Fran├žois just needs the right man to stand by his side and give him the strength he needs to face his fears. I loved seeing Artie and Francois fight for their happy ending. The two must find a way to deal with their own problems first in order to find a way to a better future. It was nice to see both Francois and Artie each come to the others defense even as friends. Their love is strong no matter what and the men learn the hard way that love is worth fighting for. Artie and Francois come from opposite worlds yet somehow, they connect. The author weaves a beautiful romance between two characters that are full of depth and emotions. I was instantly drawn into their story and fully engrossed all the way to the end.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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Monday, October 15, 2018

FIVE YEARS GONE by Marie Force



Kensington Books
September 25th, 2018
978-1-4201-4903-6
Contemporary, Fiction, Military
Electronic ARC
Reviewed by Dawn (love2read28@gmail.com)
Obtained by Author
5 Hearts

 



When Ava met John in San Diego, she found a man who consumed her, fell in love with and was just happy as can be in the two years they were together. Then John was called to duty in the military and that is where her life she lived with John went to hell in a handbasket because he went away and never returned. Five years has passed, and Ava decides to leave San Diego and move back to New York City, to her family and try to put her life, her heart, back together again. But not knowing where John is, what happened to him or even if he is still a live or dead, has colored everything even as she tries to move past the past and embrace a possible new romance with a new man but John lingers in her mind and heart. Can Ava finally put to rest the past in order to have the present and future she longs for? Can she ever find peace with someone new while the man who left her behind haunts her every moment of every day?

FIVE YEARS GONE is a story that will leave you emotionally gutted. It’s a story that literally ripped me asunder and I was left shaking with emotions that I just could not process. Ms. Force delivers a powerful story that will leave you breathless as you follow Ava’s journey from the moment she met John to the present where she tries to figure out how to live with no answers to so many questions and a heart that is shattered beyond belief. With each page you flip, the reader is drawn more and more into Ava’s story and we get to see how she copes, her relationships with family, new friends and more as she tries to live once again. What go to me the most was how real the characters were. Ava, John, Eric and all the rest as they helped move the story along even as I was eager to see what Ava’s would find out in the end. The author does an amazing job in capturing each character’s vibrant and at times annoying personality quirks. Though yes, I have to say sometimes I really wanted to shake Ava at times and say to her to get help or to talk about what happened.  Several twists had me on the edge of my seat and I swear I was just about ready to bawl when the last few chapters came about and I really don’t want to give away to many things because, man, this book just guts you to a level I haven’t experienced in a long time while reading a book.

FIVE YEARS GONE is a story about moving on even when you can’t think of doing so, of forgiveness, of love, duty and so much more. Ms. Force delivers a stunning story that will keep you on the edge of your seat and flipping the pages till the very end of the book is closed. With characters like Ava, Eric and more to keep the pace moving we get to see how one woman chose to move on with her life even though the answers she seeks may never materialize. FIVE YEARS GONE is a departure over this author’s past books and yes, she is still one of my favorite authors that I will auto-buy when ever she has a release coming up. FIVE YEARS GONE is a different kind of story than what her readers may be used to. The only draw back I got was the constant character back and forth chapter wise. One minute we are in Ava’s head, next chapter maybe Eric’s or a friend or back to Ava. It got confusing at first and yes, a bit annoying, until the story started to smooth out and we got to see how Ava was and the path she was trying to forge by herself. I recommend not coming into this book expecting a classic Marie Force story. What we get with FIVE YEARS GONE is something different, emotional and downright perfect in this world we live in today. Yes, its intense and keeps you running the gauntlet of emotions but the ending though not one I might of thought would happen in the beginning but where Ava finally ends in the final chapter is the perfect ending for her in my opinion. But get the tissues and keep them handy because you WILL cry with this story. You will go and hug your partner/lover/husband/family/pets tight for a few minutes and just feel because I can say with all honesty, Ms. Force, you deliver a story that left me gutted emotion wise and I can’t wait to see where the sequel will go next.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement

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