Tag Archives: romance

Book Review: A MARCH BRIDE by RACHEL HAUCK

Publisher: Zondervan

Published: February 25, 2014

Format: ebook (99 pages)      

AISN: B00SL10IHO        

Series: A Year of Weddings Novella 

Origin: Publisher through NetGalley (egalley)

***Though the publisher provides the free ebook, I offer the opinion.***

 

My Look:

Susanna Truitt has found her prince in Nathaniel II, but this fairytale is fraught with doubts and peril. 

This royal had found Susanna in her own locale, but the wedding brings her to a new country.  The pomp and circumstance that follows this engagement is heady, scary, and exciting, but as this prince is now to be king, a danger lurks inside this European country.

Brighton is a small country with some large politics, and without much notice, the Parliament makes a declaration.   

Susanna has already given up her Georgia roots and moved countries away from her family.  She’s been trained, molded, and tutored into a princess and then into a queen, but how can she give up her citizenship to her country to marry the man she loves?  Is this situation a mere culmination of all the doubts that she’s been seized by? On the other hand, is this something she needs to retreat from?

When family gets sick and friends cannot come to her, Susanna has to make a choice, but it’s not the one most people would think to make.  She’s willing to let go and let God even if it breaks her or Nathaniel’s heart to do it.

Once in Georgia, Susanna believes she’s done the right thing, but has she?

My Take:

In A MARCH BRIDE by Rachel Hauck, you’ll be swept off your feet!

Susanna Truitt is a heroine that could be one of your best friends who is into some situations that you are ill-equipped to give advice on. However, you’ll want to help in her anyway we can just like the hometown characters in this book. From a distant land, I fell in love with Georgia and its people, but in Georgia, I fell hard for King Nathaniel. 

King Nathaniel II is unpretentious and as confused and scared as his soon-to-be bride is.  The pressures are growing on him just as his country teeters away from being the safety net it had always been for him and his family. Nevertheless, the pressure that comes upon the love of his life are too much for him to speak about.  However, once she leaves the country he’s broken and is willing to do what he needs to bring her back to him.   

Rachel Hauck’s A MARCH BRIDE starts out at the top of a princess and her castle story but develops into a fight or flight kind of love story with some amazing twists you’d never expect.  This novella serves a dual purpose.  It is a novella in the Year of Wedding series, but it is also a standalone continuation of the novel ONCE UPON A PRINCE by Rachel Hauck! 

Book Review: ALONG CAME TROUBLE by Erin Kern

Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing imprint of Hachette Book Group)

Published: November 19, 2013

Format: ebook (432 pages) 

Series: Trouble

Origin: Publisher through NetGalley, (eGalley)

***Though the publisher provides the free ebook, I offer the opinion.***

My Look:

Brody McDermott has a son, is divorced, and runs a family restaurant that is failing.  He is well aware that his father is near to kicking him to the curb.  What else can go wrong?

Unfortunately, for Brody, more is going to happen.

His ex-wife’s mother is elderly and ill, and his ex and her husband may have to move three states away with Brody’s son.  Now, this man already carries the burden of the failed marriage, the enormous amount of time he was buried at work and didn’t spend with his son, Tyler, and now the possibility of really losing him.   His decision to move, if need be, to be with his son comes easy, but everything else gets harder, once he meets Elisa.

Elisa Cardoso is a photographer who is waiting for her big break.  A former teacher keeps in touch and promises to call, if he can ever use her for his work at National Geographic, but she needs income, now.  Living in Trouble Wyoming provides beautiful panoramic views but nothing much in the way of a career.  However, she does manage to make some money doing food photography.  It doesn’t take her long to figure out this dying eatery would and could change her life.  Brody seems to wake something inside of her.  Yeah, she did the hard breakup thing and swore she’d never give her heart.  However, her hormones are refusing to listen to the heartbreak song.  Will she be sorry?

My Take:

Erin Kern’s ALONG CAME TROUBLE  is a heart-wrenching romance where all the pieces refuse to fit into place.  Can they have it all or will having it all cause them pain?

It was different to meet Brody McDermott first and have his story told in detail, but then add Elisa to the mix and you’ll find yourself hoping these two have more than sparks.  However, getting to the ever after seems to not be happening.

At times, I found myself wanting Brody to get out of his own way, but during other times, I found myself wanting Elisa not to risk it in Trouble.  In so many ways, I figured heartbreak was sure to come.  Brody is a man who is sensitive but hides it, while Elisa wants to be strong but really doesn’t have the armor she tries to wear.  Be warned, these two definitely will get hurt.

However, sometimes what isn’t right isn’t always wrong.

I liked Brody, and I found his family endearing.  Elisa took awhile to really get to know, but I liked her early on.  She’s selfless, loving, and just not sure about her future.  Maybe we all can relate to not knowing where we are meant to be and when we are meant to be there.  Short on family, she easily makes friends, but when her heart is exposed, she’s scared of more scars.

ALONG CAME TROUBLE by Erin Kern is a romance that is different from most but is lovable just the same!

Book Review: THE HOUSE ON MAIN STREET by Shirlee McCoy

Publisher: Zebra Books

Published: November 05, 2013

Format: Paperback (352 pages)

ISBN: 9781420132359

Origin: Publisher

***Though the publisher provides the free ebook, I offer the opinion.***

My Look:

Tessa McKenzie loved being an interior designer at Master’s Design Incorporated, and she loved living on the East Coast.  In fact, she loved it so much she planned to return.  However, every minute here ticked by like a slow second hand in this hick town of Apple Valley that was buried in Washington.

Her past and baggage came home with her, but she never learned to let go.  Instead, she learned to leave, and this one decision was the best thing that happened to her, until she had to return. 

Nothing was fair about this. 

Her sister Emily and her husband died, leaving a garbage heap decorated like a Victorian, an autistic child—who hardly knew his aunt, due to her own infrequent visits—and Aunt Gertrude behind.   Although Aunt Gertrude raised her and Emily, Tessa always felt outnumbered by her sister, but dealing with these types of feelings after Emily’s death was just hard and wrong. Truth was she loved her sister, even though her sister would have married the man Tessa loved.  That marriage spurred her running away, of sorts.

In the end, this man didn’t marry her sister because the baby was not his, but he still lived in Apple Valley and had become sheriff. 

At all cost, she needed to steer clear of this man and her old not-so-buried feelings, especially at this vulnerable time.  Tessa did that by setting her goals and priorities.  As guardian to her nephew, Alex, and as only child left for Gertrude, Tess was going to clean up this cesspool and bring them all back with her to the wonders of Maryland.  Her aunt was fast becoming an adversary to her plans and her not-so-pleasant side seemed to be a permanent fixture. Why couldn’t she see that Tess just wanted the best for all involved? Her sister’s death left them all with more bills than they could afford, and this town left them with no way for Tessa to earn the money she was making at her firm.

To stay was never an option, they’d be bankrupt.

Meanwhile, Cade Cunningham had wanted to catch up with his childhood friend, but he didn’t want it to be over a sheriff’s calling.  At her house for business, not for personal reasons, Cade couldn’t imagine the flood of feelings he’d deal with seeing her here.  His little tomboy friend grew up in all the right places, and she seems to have morphed from what he remembered to a very fine feminine creature. 

How did he not see this, years ago?  Instead, all he saw was her sister. 

Emily and his relationship had grown strained, once his college years arrived, but he manned up and was going to marry her and support their child.  The joke was on him, when he found out the child was not his.  However, from the minute he found out she’d been expecting he was excited to be a good father.  Now, he still feels a connection to another man’s son, but his excitement for his aunt was something that he just never expected.

Years later, Emily is gone, Cade’s marriage to Darla imploded, and Tessa’s back home and wants to flee, again.  Not only can he lose the child he thought of as his long before he was born, but also maybe he was losing a chance to rewrite the history that should have been documented the first time around. Was there anyway to change things? Did he even have the right to feel this way? 

My Take:

THE HOUSE ON MAIN STREET by Shirlee McCoy brings you an enjoyable read with all sorts of surprises!   

Tessa McKenzie and Aunt Gertrude have a dueling mother daughter relationship, but their love shines through it.  Their feud is testament to how much they both want to do it right for Alex.  In the meantime, you’ll quickly love Alex.  He has a way of bringing the people he loves closer, even through his autistic environment, with music from his heart as his mechanism for communication.  In his music, you’ll discover clues for everyone to follow. 

Cade Cunningham enjoys his life and job in Apple Valley.  He’s done traveling, but he wants his roots here.  The slow routine and the town’s usual clockwork give him peace, but his town caused the break-up of his marriage.  Although their union lasted six years, it was fraught with problems that came from small town living.  The last thing he needs in his life was more relationship complications.  Sleeping alone, living along, and being alone does have some advantages, but the pit of his stomach doesn’t always agree.  He’s dated and made friends, but these couplings just didn’t click.  No sparks.  Maybe he’s better off without the sparks.         

You’ll enjoy meeting the residents of Apple Valley, uncovering the mysteries of this town, and rediscovering the romance that should have been.  Be warned that once you visit this place, you may never want to leave it!

THE HOUSE ON MAIN STREET by Shirlee McCoy is a standalone title that introduces you to an assortment of characters as real as in life with an array of stories just waiting to be told. 

Book Review: THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US by Cindy Myers

Publisher: Kensington

Published: October 29, 2013

Format: ebook (289 pages)

Origin: Publisher through NetGalley (eGalley)

***Though the publisher provides the free ebook, I offer the opinion.***

My Look:

Maggie’s father, Jacob Charles Murphy, had passed away last year—leaving Maggie his property in Eureka Colorado, a mystery that still surrounded the man she had never known, and a gold mine that held no gold but lots of turquoise. 

The French Mistress was a working mine, turning a profit and providing jobs, while Maggie Stevens carved out a nice life in Eureka, working at the newspaper and living off mountain for winter right next door to the man she loves.

This next door living arrangement was because Maggie knew Jameso Clark maybe wasn’t the kind of man who could settle down.  With all she learned about her father and the effects of war on that man, Maggie knew Iraq had left its scars on Jameso and wanted to keep some privacy in each of their lives.  However, Maggie never thought she’d be the one to burden this vet way beyond his abilities in society. However, the positive pregnancy test, in hand, told her she was about to lay a load on man who carried a heavy load already. 

Maggie soon learns her troubles in this town aren’t the only bad news around. 

Olivia, the barmaid at Jameso’s workplace, has her ex-boyfriend who followed her here and reinserted him into her son’s life.  The town librarian has her issues too that link directly to her family’s squandered wealth in years past and Maggie’s father.  Olivia’s mother, Lucille, is the mayor of the town has found a man of interest who strikes Olivia as all wrong.  However, she can’t judge a good man for herself, how can she throw dispersion on someone’s choice?

Lucille is the town mayor, runs the antique store, and is thrilled her daughter and grandson are here in Eureka, but Gerald Pershing has made her see something she’s been missing.  Lucille has been on her own, without a man in her life, and doing just fine, but to have a man cause butterflies in the pit of her stomach, has this mayor realizing that all work and no play as made this woman a dull life.  Maybe she’s at the right age to take a chance on love, again? 

Well, that question was answered in the worse of ways. 

Scorned, robbed, and humiliated are just a few of the adjectives that would describe her situation.  Will she ever recover?  How can she ever pay back the money from the treasury that she helped steal?

With Mother Nature closing in and cutting Eureka Colorado off from the rest of the world, will this suffocating close bring down the town, bolster this mountain retreat, or destroy its foundations?   An avalanche and more snow threaten lives, steals resources, and could end Eureka’s bond forever.

My Take:

THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US by Cindy Myers will have you root for the town of Eureka and its townsfolk, while learning that sometimes loss isn’t what you think it is and more is not necessarily better.   

Eureka is a town of residents, friends, and family, where each new winter makes changes, carves out the new plowed path, gives a new direction to its inhabitant’s future, and has charity and helping at its core.  Frenemies pair up and people help each other to survive.

Cindy Myers gives us a town that has a mix of the young and older in their own messes but help each other through.  Eureka, Colorado is a place I’d love to call home!   

Maggie Stevens went out on her own, but even she doubts her ability to parent.  Olivia needs to let go of the past just to have the hope of a future, and her mother, Lucille, needs to realize that not having a personal life can be the one thing to set you up for the wrong fall.  Meanwhile, all of Eureka needs to stand together for survival in both physical and financial realms and be willing to go that last mile.  

Cindy Myers’ latest, THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US, is a standalone novel, but you’ll want to check out THE VIEW FROM HERE, where you can meet the townsfolk of Eureka in better days and great endings! 

Book Review: IT ALL STARTED WITH A DOG (VOLUME 1) by Leigh Somerville

Publisher: Second Wind Press LLC

Published: April 10, 2012

Format: Paperback (238 pages)  

ISBN: 9781935171928

Origin: Author Recommendation

***Though others provide the free ebook, I offer the opinion.***

My Look:

Rachel Springer has everything she needs, including her own law practice, well-meaning friends, and the consummate companion who is with her during meditation, at work, and at home. 

Her commute to work is car free and a dream and so, as she sees it, her life is perfect.

Rachel has long ago accepted that life without love and a man is okay; however, her best friend doesn’t always agree.  This is why Rachel suspects Susan is up to no good when she asks, no tells, Rachel to rent half of her duplex to a man working with her husband.   

Susan, in all her pushing, brings this gentle man to see Rachel’s downstairs apartment that is not for rent, and although this man is a total stranger, Rachel’s dog Ralph automatically adores him.  To Rachel he is nice, but she’s into something that she doesn’t necessarily want, although is not set totally against, John Turner, she is against having a male around with Susan’s devilish agenda.

But maybe she could be nice to a nice man and ignore Susan’s matchmaking assaults.  She draws up a lease and sparks her loyal friend and administrative assistant’s ire.  Who is this and why are you renting him your space?  Once she convinced Georgia, a background check was not necessary for this man, as his references were already top-notch, Rachel’s own doubt surfaced.  

Meanwhile, John Turn is a widower turned loner and a twenty-year employee turned consultant.

To appease his children the he did the dating, but he did really like being unattached.  It’s not that he had been a bachelor weighted down by a family, but he had been a husband and father weighted down by an alcoholic wife. 

In the end, the drink killed her, but it had doused her spirit long ago.  

His five years alone taught him some things and allowed him to enjoy many things, but once he became a grandfather his traveling work sometimes took a toll.  He missed his grandson, Ben, who is five now, and it was hard having to put their relationship on hold when left for work.  Right now, John was in a proverbial catch 22 situation, although he lived in Washington D.C. before and was looking forward to living there again, the time away from Ben would be painful to both him and his grandson. 

He did like the woman who was attached to his short-term housing, but regret could still fill him about leaving even while he packed.

My Take:

Leigh Somerville’s IT ALL STARTED WITH A DOG is a story that will keep you wanting each to find happiness but the twists and turns that abound will have you biting your nails until the end! 

Rachel Springer is a caring woman who has simply accepted her lot in life but gives of herself to others without regret and with a fierce loyalty.  Taking in a stray dog is only the beginning of a wonderful character with a good heart.  You’ll meet a cast of others who this woman helps along the way.  However, in some instances, her law practice can show Rachel the wrong side of people, but she doesn’t lose the right side of herself.  

John Turner’s own parent’s alcoholic background made him an easy fit into a closet drunkard’s life.  However, he’s missed out of much in raising his own children.  A sad circumstance for him, but an even sadder one for his children.  Grateful for his second chance in child rearing with his grandson, John is a man who is realizing every day can be a gift but every gift can have a drawback.  Love is a wonderful feeling that pain can hide in and wanting to be with Ben is causing to him to second guess everything.

IT ALL STARTED WITH A DOG is a standalone novel that will leave you wanting to read the sequel, ALL GOOD THINGS: SEQUEL TO: IT ALL STARTED WITH A DOG VOLUME 2 (Second Wind Press 2012)!

Book Review: KENTUCKY HOME by Sarah Title

Publisher: eKensington

Published: April 18, 2013

Format: ebook (197 pages)

Origin: Publisher through NetGalley (eGalley)

***Though the publisher provides the free ebook, I offer the opinion.***

My Look:

Luke Carson has more than a heart full of wanderlust, but even a good heart can move around. 

When a friend’s need mixes with his need for home, as short-lived as these home needs can be, Luke gets an idea.  But will it work?  Will she agree?

Mallory Thompson met Luke at charity functions, where he’s worked while she attended with her husband.  Although many people believe her life is to die for, Luke knows the truth.  He’s been a friend in her times of need and even this hasn’t made him run away from her.  She wondered how Luke would react to her black eye, and she wondered, if she was asking too much of anyone in this type of situation.  

However, she never expected this plan.

Pulling up to a horse farm in Kentucky, Mal wonders how someone this kind could come up with such a harebrained scheme, and other than fear, what prompted her to agree? A city girl coming to farm country was something you’d find in a romance novel or made for TV movie, but it was happening to her.  Here, they were pretend fiancée and betrothed coming home to meet the family, when the Carsons were really giving her a place to hide from an abusive husband who has grown slaphappy.  

Mal knows Luke’s heart is in the right place, but as she meets the Carson family, Mal wonders what Luke expected out of such an arrangement.  For that matter, other than being discovered and having her lies come back at her, what did she expect out of it?   Would Mr. Thompson finally give her the divorce?  Or will the harassment and abuse grow bolder?

Mallory also knows that she’s not imaging the strange looks and the dislike radiating from most of the Carson family members.  She also knows that those will only increase once they finally learn the truth about her and why she is really here.   She also knows and understands  Luke’s restlessness and about his search for something he can’t seem to find, but in just twenty-four hours, he leaves her in Kentucky and goes out on his own.  

Now, the family is acting even more strange, and she’s left to shoulder a lie that could cost her dearly—not counting what the three-legged pooch called peanut made her lose already, everything she’d eaten the night before.  

Her fear of dogs has long stood, but to have a dog maul your face with licks that show the teeth, first thing the morning, and to have a strange Carson brother in your bedroom as you panic, well, this could get any day off to a bad start anyway.  Convinced Mal needs to earn her keep, she tries to help Libby in the kitchen, but she’s shooed away since guests don’t work in this home.  With her friend, Luke, gone, she can’t just sit and mope all day, but the family thinks she’s moping because Luke up and left.  

To a small degree that is true, just not in the way they think.  

She has nothing to do with Luke gone and nothing to deter those uneasy feelings that living with a strange family can produce.  In other words, she’s bored, and she feels like a mooch. She’s determined to find work outside, but another meeting with Keith Carson, Luke’s brother, in the barn only confirms her original thought.  He looks great in jeans.  However, he has a likability factor that is almost as low as it could get, making Mal wonder if he was like this to all outsiders or just her.

Keith knows he’s been harsh to his brother’s girl, and it isn’t even her fault.  Not only did he lose his wife and baby a few years ago, he lost interest in life outside of the farm too.  Then Luke brings home a fiancée who wakes up his interest, and he needs to keep a safe distance.  

However, she wants to do work.  He can’t really fault her for that.  In fact, he likes her more for it.  She’s not one to mope around, and she believes in earning her keep.  However, this city girl would need more supervision during her work than he can afford to provide.  

Her jeans serve only as a reminder of how much he needs to keep his distance.  

She didn’t have them tight or even too stylish.  Mallory had those jeans on just right, for him. This woman, a barn, and those jeans are a dangerous mix for this Carson.

My Take:

KENTUCKY HOME by Sarah Title is a romance based on a lie, but it’s a book you must finish!  

I really liked meeting Luke and Mallory, but I fell in love with Keith Carson.  This widower has been dealt some harsh blows and manages to survive.  

Mal’s friend Luke Carson never gave a thought to all the potential problems that could lie ahead, and he certainly never expected any relationships to start.  However, you’ll find some punches between family, some accounting getting done, a romance blossoming, and gun shots firing, but you won’t stop reading to the very end.  

Sarah Title’s KENTUCKY HOME is a standalone novel, but you’ll look forward to her next title! 

Book Review: THE DESERT SHEIKH (Trilogy) by Katheryn Lane

Published: January 18, 2013

Format: ebook (154 pages)

Origin: Author

***Though the author provides the free ebook, I offer the opinion.***

My Look:

Book One: KIDNAPPED BY THE SHEIKH . . .

Who could have known that simple automobile troubles would lead Dr. Sarah Greenwich into more than inconvenience and another bill to pay?  It is a dose of perfect luck that the British Ambassador’s driver, whom she is friendly with, happens by and provides a lift.  However, this is exactly where all of her troubles really begin. 

Crews of armed men line the road in the desert, and because of the car, they identify her wrongly.   To save the friendly man, who drove her, she goes along with the kidnapper’s assumption and goes willingly with the kidnappers, hoping her future will turn out like many others’ pasts.  Once the money is paid, she is released, no harm done.  However, she can’t forget her real identity or the fear of what will happen once they find out she’s not whom she says.  It’s even harder to forget about the Sheikh and the emotions he stirs.

 

Book Two: MARRIED TO THE SHEIKH . . .

The handsome Sheikh and Sarah cement their love, after he arranges for Dr. Sarah Greenwich’s escape into safety, which came after she had fallen in love with him.  

For a short time, Sarah and her Sheikh husband are blissful.  However, what should be the best time in he life quickly spirals into a mess.  Yes, her husband is a powerful warlord, but he is working hard to bring the region together, peacefully.  Her employer doesn’t understand or care.  They want her gone, and her husband wants her medical expertise for his people in the desert instead.  

Can she accept his culture, his demands, and her lost position? Will he accept her need to help people, work outside of the desert, and her background that is not like his?

 

Book Three: THE SHEIKH’S SON . . .  

This Sheikh’s son has spent nine years in London with his Mum.  He’s been bullied, teased and harassed because who he is and who is missing from his life.  She wants so much more for her son, Ali. 

His Mum is probably the only still married, non-widowed, single mum she knows.  Working in the medical field gives her less time with him and more time without him.  Romance for her died a long time ago, and a father figure for him never existed.  Once someone knocks on her door, she’s about to be weighted down by major emotions and lots of questions.

Does her child have the uncanny ability to bring parents together?  Does he have the best of his mum and the best of his dad to make them give their love another try?  As much as she loves his father, will the whole new relationship hurt her son?

My Take:

THE DESERT SHEIKH (TRILOGY) by Katheryn Lane begins with a hint of mystery, blends in a huge dose of romance, but keeps true reality intruding on these characters!

I enjoyed learning culture and watching these lovers blossom, but I worried over the original relationship pitfalls that plague this exotic location.   Watching the highs and lows of these two characters kept the pages turning, but it was the couple’s trials that kept me invested in this read and pulling for these two to work out.   

Katheryn Lane’s THE DESERT SHEIKH TRILOGY will leave you looking forward to more of her titles such as THE SHEIKH’S BELOVED (Books 1 and 2) and HER LATIN LOVER!  For more information about this author, feel free to check out her blog at http://Katheryn-Lane.blogspot.com or check her out on Goodreads at http://www.goodreads.com/author/KatherynLane

Book Review: HOW HARD CAN IT BE by Robyn Peterman

Publisher: eKensington

Published: January 17, 2013

Format: ebook (265 pages)

Origin: Publisher through NetGalley (eGalley)

***Though the publisher provides the free ebook, I offer the opinion.***

My Look:

Rena Gundershlict’s life consists of a career she enjoys at a job she hates and her faithful, Vinnie.  We’ll speak more about Vinnie later.

Rena searching for an excitement that corporate America doesn’t provide.  She’s recently out of trouble for the weather girl mix-up that would have never happened if she didn’t listen to Oprah. But, I digress.  Rena’s onto a new career, of sorts.  She’s keeping the accounting bit until her new life takes off, but she’s walking into the first step of being a romance writer.  

This group—the one that the best-selling romance writer, Evangeline O’Hara, is supposed to be a part of—is mainly made up of seniors, and there was no sign that the author was here or no announcement that the author was expected either.  Rena sits quietly and listens, but she is walloped at the conversational topics including handcuffs, lover recipes, threesomes, and sexy uses for hardware?  Really?  Maybe Vinnie could use something to help in his solo job?  

However, when the women turn their attention to Rena, she starts spouting a story that comes from nowhere and makes little sense, but these generous ladies are nothing but encouraging—even providing her further ideas for a threesome.  Not that she was opposed to the topic in her novel, but since she didn’t really have a novel, it kinda was a moot point.

The meeting takes an even stranger turn once Rena brings up the bestselling author.  Their smiles turned to growls and their sweet voices moved to accusation, as they demanded to know if Rena was friends with the viper!  

Luckily, it all calmed down but Rena was more confused than ever.  Why would these sweet ladies despise this author so much?  

It didn’t take long to find out.

This viper radiated evil and these nice ladies shook with fear, all the while pushing Rena behind the group to keep her safe.  Trying to help her new-found friends, Rena goes on to meet the novelist and finds herself earning money to buy a new car by helping the author.  

Here’s where the problems really begin.  Rena is asked to run an errand.  A simple errand that shouldn’t cause a fear, but due to the restraining order, after her television station debacle, this one errand can become money lost and an arrest record.  Sure, with a little help, she can dodge the arrest; Rena accepts the errand.  However, she wasn’t counting on seeing the sexist man alive.  

Unfortunately, he did take notice of her, and his notice could brand her all for him.  However, this lust a first sight ends badly.  

Once Detective Jack Careena figures out who she is, he’s slapping cuffs on her.  Real cuffs. Ultimately, he finds the pickle she’s in rather amusing, and he’s not dismissing a lustful relationship with her either.  Maybe things won’t be so bad, after all?

On the way back from the police station, Rena finds out that those jewels she didn’t steal has the Viper on her with the threat of  blackmail.  She’ll help the author for free or face charges. Now the many things that she’s heard about this author is beginning to make sense.  She’s been blackmailing these women too.  

Fine, Rena’s pulling the next story from her butt and bringing this woman down!  

 

My Take:

HOW HARD CAN IT BE by Robyn Peterman is an over-the-top, zany parody based on the romance writing world with romance and bits of suspense built into it!  

Rena Gundershlict is a young for her age thirty-year-old, and her search for the job that will make her happy gets her into some hysterical situations.  However, throughout all the craziness, you’ll find Rena quite lovable.  It takes a group of elderly writers, a hot and grounded detective, and an aunt who believes in Bigfoot to bring about the right career path and a wonderful life for Rena.  However, it takes Rena’s abilities and courage to save her friends from the Viper for Rena to find herself.   

Even though HOW HARD CAN IT BE by Robyn Peterman is a standalone novel, you’ll look forward to the next adventure from Robyn Peterman! 

Book Review: TAKING THE REINS by Kat Murray

Publisher: Brava

Published: December 24, 2012

Format: Paperback (288 pages)

ISBN: 9780758281043

Origin: Publisher

***Though the publisher provides the free book, I offer the opinion.***

My Look:

For Peyton Muldoon working in a man’s world came with challenges.  

The first one had been her dearly departed mother, Sylvia.  Forget gaining her mother’s approval, Peyton had spent most of her time keeping Sylvia from killing off her father’s ranch. Her mother hired the wrong people, slept with the worse people, and chased Peyton’s siblings away from home.  

However, Peyton couldn’t leave the M-Star ranch. 

From early on, the land was in her blood, and while her father brought Peyton to tag along, he hoped to pass the ranch off to his son, Peyton’s brother, Trace.  The only problem was Trace had the bug for the rodeo, not the land.

The ranch was left to his wife and his children’s mother—until she died, but it was Peyton who worked the land, caring for the animals. Now, after facing down the truth about the thief on the inside, Peyton fired her mother’s former lover, Sam Nylen, leaving her with one big problem. Who could she get for her trainer?  There was only one answer.  Red Callahan.  His name drew a shudder, especially since she just now heard him telling a man not to do business with M-Star.  

Red Callahan was a drifter, of sorts.  

Meanwhile, his reputation allowed him to pick and choose what jobs he took, and he always took them on a temporary basis.  Sometimes, this was out of necessity. Red wouldn’t let a ranch owner boot out help to hire him.  However, most times, the temporary lifestyle suited him.  Red was from bad stock too.  His father, Mac Callahan, left his parenting skills on the train to nowhere and looked to his son to bail him out of trouble.  With his last job ending, he already had a folder filled with offers.  Most times, he went on instinct but when instinct didn’t answer he did it the old-fashioned way . . . eenie . . . meenie . . ..  

A knock sounded to interrupt his unscientific picking process.  The woman on the other of that door took his sense right away.  

The Peyton “spitfire” Muldoon was laying out an offer that he needed to walk right away from, but his instinct decided to malfunction on him now.   He could think of at least 100 reasons why this would be the wrong move.  He would have been able to recite them to Peyton too, but she just issued him a timeline for a response and walked her fine form out the door.  

A timeline?

Peyton was a fine filly who acted like a sulky mare, but she’d cut you down faster than blink. He understood her situation more than he wanted to admit.  She was fighting the bad reputation her mother actively forged, being a woman—a handicap in this business, and her own stubborn streak. Not to mention, she was doing everything herself.  If there was a ranch who really need him, it was M-Star.

However, he couldn’t bring himself to do it.  

Well, maybe that was the problem, he could bring himself to do it, but she wouldn’t be receptive to that.  

He’s been in lust with this woman a long time.  To be around Peyton meant all his senses would be on high alert, teasing himself with something he could never have.  Walking away was the right thing to do.  However, he couldn’t do that either.  He stayed hold up trying to will his instinct into submission and reject the offer.  This was a battle he wasn’t winning, but the clock ticked passed the allotted forty-eight hours.  

Now, like it or not, Red Callahan was going, hat in hand, to M-Star to drive himself crazy every day, hoping for something that would never be.  

However, for the first time, Red was nervous.  What if she turned him down now? 

My Take:

TAKING THE REINS by Kat Murray is Western, with a sexy twist and a hint of mystery!

I fell in love with Red long before Peyton, but I knew Peyton wouldn’t be far behind.  He cared about the land and the horses the same way she does.  This is Peyton’s life and Red has a part in that now.  Her tenacity and strength draw you in, and you’ll feel about M-Star the way she does.  Soon, you’ll figure here’s a woman inside those boots who is afraid. Peyton’s not afraid of making choices, but she worries how those choices will change her way of life.

Red knows lust from love, but the respect he has for Peyton changes everything.  He wants her dream to succeed, and it doesn’t take him long to know that he wants to be a permanent fixture at M-Star, with Peyton.  Although Red knows his horses, he doesn’t know the fairer sex, and he’s in for a bumpy ride.  A ride he’d take no matter what the cost. 

TAKING THE REINS by Kat Murray is a standalone novel, but you’ll look forward to the release of BUCKING THE RULES coming June 2013 from BRAVA! 

THE VIEW FROM HERE

by Cindy Myers

Publisher: Kensington

Published: November 27, 2012

Format: Paperback (352 pages)

ISBN: 9780758277404

Origin: Publisher

***Though the publisher provides the free book, I offer the opinion.***

My Look:

The Colorado address held no clue. The envelope from an attorney startles Maggie Stevens, and she really didn’t need anymore surprises.  

Her husband, Carter Stevens, provided enough surprise to last her a life time and it wasn’t the good kind.  How ever can the words, “I don’t love you anymore” be kind?  His further revelations that he had someone new came as even more of a blow.  A younger woman with more money held Carter’s heart, or more accurately, Carter’s purse strings, and Carter’s future.  As the remnants of her marriage stood in boxes, ready for the next chapter, Maggie wasn’t ready for the next day.

Maggie had given up her dreams to his dreams, not that he forced her to do it, you see. However, he never minded that she did it. After twenty years of marriage and a career that was largely spent working at Carter’s business, she didn’t even have children to keep herself grounded; Carter didn’t want them. Yes, Maggie agreed, blindly.  

Finally, she dared to open the envelope waiting to see what other legal business Carter directed to her. 

The proclamation inside, nearly felled her. Maggie’s father, Jacob Charles Murphy, had passed away—leaving to Maggie his property and a mystery that still surrounded the man she had never known.   Oh, he left her a gold mine too.

No. Really.  A gold mine called The French Mistress.

Upon her mother’s passing, Maggie had gained only pictures of her father.  One was of a skinny man glowing with a newborn in his arms.  Maggie never understood how someone could look so happy but abandon the family he created, although her mother would have told a different story. She claimed the Vietnam War changed him. Even so why not visit or get to know his daughter?

Maybe now was the time to find out about Jacob Charles Murphy.  

Maggie had a best friend still in Texas but nothing else. Seeing Carter and soon to be wife around the same town was something Maggie could spare herself by going. Despite the fears and the lamenting, now was the time to leave Texas for a while. She had dreamed of traveling, although Colorado was never the destination.  After all, the change of scenery would do wonders, even if she never figured out exactly who her father was really.   And what about the mine? Is it really a gold mine or was it nothing more than a cavern in a mountain that he pretended was something more?

Maybe Maggie was out to stake her claim in Colorado. Soothing dreams of a new life, a mystery, and a comfortable lifestyle awaits her in the mountains of Colorado.  

 

My Take:

THE VIEW FROM HERE by Cindy Myers will keep you reading, seeing that Maggie gains more than what she bargains for with a few new friends, a new path, a new direction, and a new future.

Cindy Myers spins a tale that has Maggie Stevens, at the tender age of forty, finding herself.   

Previously, Maggie never took a chance or went out on her own, but even she knows that left her wanting something she never had.  The quest to find about her dad has her discover a lot more about herself, while accepting her father was flawed.   Maggie desired to know the feeling of accomplishment, the adventure of learning something new every day, and the stripping down a facade of the life she created but never liked.  Maybe, we all have a small part of the old Maggie in us, opting for comfortable and shying away from adventure.  Maybe we possess some part of the new Maggie, forging ahead with something new.   I related to Maggie Stevens, and I’m sure you will too! 

THE VIEW FROM HERE by Cindy Myers is a standalone novel!