Sunday, June 28, 2015

Review of The Secret Sister by Brenda Novak


Maisey Lazarow returns to Fairham, NC, her childhood home in hopes of finding peace and helping her brother get better. After losing her first born child and having her marriage to a man she had been with for almost ten years Maisey is unsure of what her future holds and what she is supposed to do. However, one thing is for certain and that is that she can not fall for Rafe Romero again, the first man she ever had ever been with. But that remains hard when he lives a couple bungalows down and is such a great single father to his daughter Laney. 

Rafe Romero had been a reckless kid in his younger years with no worries in the world and didn't care about anyone but himself. However, that changed when he had his baby girl and later found out she was blind. Now a changed man and a single father he has no interest in getting involved with Maisey Lazarow and her rich family. Fate however, has other plans for him and Maisey. 

Will Maisey be able uncover a secret about her family that will set her brother free and stay away from a man she can't stop thinking about? Can Rafe convince Maisey that she is worthy of his love and that they can build a life together?

My Review:

I received and ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest, non biased review.

This is the seventh book that I have read of Brenda Novak's and it was as good if not better than the first one I read of hers. With some authors you worry that if they are good at writing series that they might not do very good at stand alone novels. For Brenda that was not the case. I really enjoyed the depth and seriousness of this novel. As a reader she is able to grab you from the first chapter and hold you until the end.

Brenda did a great job from the start building the back story on the main character. It really helped me as a reader understand the character and it also set the tone for the rest of the book. In addition, I really enjoyed seeing how she incorporated more family into this story then I have read in her other books. I think that it was very much needed to tell the story.

Lastly, I loved how she through in the twist at the end. I honestly kept thinking one this was the truth all the way through the book and then she threw the curve ball in the last couple chapters. I would encourage those who like romance and mystery to read this book as it has both.

Can't wait to read her next book.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Review of Not So New In Town by Michelle Summers


Lucy Doolan left the small town of  Harmony, NC back in high school to live with her grandparents after she made a split moment decision that cost her being able to finish high school career in Harmony with her friends. Now a newly unemployed marketing genius Lucy also know as "Locco Lucy" by her town is forced to come back to the town that she never though she would have to step foot in to again. She agrees to help her unwed pregnant sister through her pregnancy and take care of her nephew in exchange for free room and board. Having never had to take care of anyone but herself Lucy finds that she is need of help and finds it in the one person she thought she would never see again, Brogan Reese. 

Brogan Reese, former quarterback for Harmony high school has returned home to open his new location for his company Better Bites and to sell his mothers home. Never in a a thousand years would he thought he would come face to face with Lucy Doolan. His high school sweethearts little sister had always been a friend and his biggest fan but now she is something more. Brogan agrees to help Lucy with her nephew in exchange for her working for him and spending time with him. 

Will Lucy and Brogan just remain friends and have maybe a little summer fling or does fate have something more planned for them?

My Review:

I received this ARC copy of "Not So New in Town" from the publisher in exchange for an honest, non biased review.

This is the first book that I have read of Michele Summers and I was quite impressed by her writing and writing style. Having read other contemporary romance authors I felt she was a mix of Jill Shalvis and Kristin Higgins, in a good way! With picking up the 2nd or 3rd book in the series you always worry as a reader that you will be lost and not wanting to read any more. For me that was not the case with this author. I felt she did a great job of giving you enough background on the characters and the town to really understand them.

In addition, I really enjoyed watching her build the love story of Brogan and and Lucy. She didn't sugar coat there story and rather made it more realistic. In many ways it was the opposite of what most love story's are. She had Brogan being the one pursuing Lucy.

Lastly, I thoroughly enjoyed the humor that Michele brought to the book.  I think it helped make the book more interesting and helped give a little comedy after or before the tougher scenes in the book.

If I would have to say there was an parts I did not enjoy it would have to be the curve ball that she had at the end of the scene. I will not further explain because I don't want to ruin the story for authors but it was definitely something that I felt was a little cliche.

Overall though I really liked this story and author and am looking forward to reading more books of hers.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Review of Redemption Bay by RaeAnne Thayne

Brief Summary:

McKenzie Shaw, a small town mayor, would do anything to help save her beloved town of Haven Point. Even if that meant dealing with the infuriating, closed off jerk Ben Kilpatrick. It wasn't until years later that Kenzie's feelings for Ben went from one day being her hero to years later being the jerk that closed down the towns only source of income for many families.

For Ben Kilpatrick the town of Haven Point for the most part is a source for painful memories of his childhood. So when his boss Aiden sends him back to Haven Point to assess if the town would be a good place to building a new facility for Caine Tech, Ben is anything but excited.

Will Mckenzie be able to put her feelings aside and open her heart for a short time in order to help convince Ben, Haven Point, is a town worth saving? Can Ben look past his bad memories of his childhood to see what his hometown can offer and open his heart to  love. Or will his past continue to rule his future?

My Review: 

This is the second book in the Haven Point series by RaeAnne Thayne. I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest unbiased review. This is the fifth book that I have read of RaeAnne's and it is the fifth one that I have thoroughly enjoyed and would read again. I really feel that her books continue to get better and better with each story that she writes. In addition, I like how each of her books are individual but come together to make one great series!

What I really enjoyed in this book was the relationships she showed through out the book. Not only of the main characters but also that of a mother and her son. In addition, I also enjoyed the light hearted moments that she put in the book as well. For instance in chapter thirteen:

"Are we going to eat first?" Caleb asked. "I'm starving."

"Me, too," Luke exclaimed, "I'm so hungry I could eat a worm."

"We wouldn't want that," McKenzie said, "Let's see what we can find so you don't have to resort to such desperate measures."

I am very interested to see what RaeAnne does with Mckenzie's sisters Devin and Cole Barrett.

If there was one part of the book that I felt was lacking was the storyline between Ben and his mother. I felt there could have been more done with that. I think she started to touch on something but that I felt was left incomplete.

All in all I think this is a great second book. I would definitely recommend this book to readers who enjoy emotional but light hearted books.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Review of Second Chance Summer by Jill Shalvis

Brief Summary: 

Cedar Ridge, Colorado is nestled up to the Rocky Mountains. Famous for their clear blue skies, great skiing and great mountains to climb it has everything that any one person could want. However, for Lily Danville it is the one place she never thought that she would step foot in again after her sisters death. Unfortunately things don't always go as planned and she is forced to move back to the small town of Cedar Ridge when she is black listed at all salons in LA. Luckily she finds a job at her towns popular resort until she gets back on her feet. Will Lily be able to find peace in the one place she thought she would never leave or will the ghosts of her past including a hot firefighter/rescue drag her back. 

Aidan Kincaid has never forgotten Lily Danville, not even after she broke his heart and left town. Oh he tried to move on but no girl could ever live up to her. So when she arrives back in town and starts working at his families resort, Aidan hopes he will be able to convince her to give their love a second chance. Can Aidan teach Lily to love and trust again or will she be high tailing it out of the small town before he ever has a chance? 

My Review: 

I received this ARC of Second Chance Summer by Grand Central Publishing in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. This is the first book in a new series by the ever funny, contemporary romance author Jill Shalvis. After finishing the Lucky Harbor series by Jill Shalvis I was a little hesitant to read this series. However, after reading a couple chapters of Shalvis's new book I knew this was going to be a great one.

Jill does a great job of always developing her characters in her books as realistic as can be and their stories just as believable. Just she as did with the Lucky Harbor series, Jill does a great job of give you a picture by her writing of the small resort town of Cedar Ridge, Colorado.

One thing that I found refreshing in this book was that Jill did a different kind of story on the main characters. Many times authors make the hero of the stories be the ones to leave their heroines behind, however, in this story it was the exact opposite. I definitely think that was one of the aspects that kept me interested in this book and wanting to read more.

In addition, I really enjoyed how Jill introduced new characters through out the book. I always enjoy that part as then as a reader you start thinking... hmm.. who will the next book be about.

Lastly, as always Jill did a great job of including humor through out the book which is always nice to have as it lightens up the book and makes it enjoyable to read. One of my favorite quotes that she added was really personable to Jill as for any reader that follows Jill knows how much Jill likes Supernatural. "Yes. she had a date with a box of cookies and Supernatural season eight, but that was on a need- to-know basis"

Can't wait to read the next book in the series.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Review of a Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke (Book 1)

Brief Synopsis: 

Hannah Swensen, a born raised Minnesotan has always been known in her little town of Lake Eden as the resident banker. However, when a murder occurs and her close friend is killed she volunteers to do some detective work to help catch the killer. But this task is not easy when until detective work is done everyone in this small little town is considered a suspect. Will Hannah be able to uncover who the real murder is in time to stop them from hurting anyone else or will she just put her self in harms way? Can Hannah survive her mother running her love life? 

My Review:

After reading an ARC of A Blackberry Pie murder I was very much interested in reading the rest of the series starting with the first book. I think that Joanne did a great job of developing the back story on the main character Hannah and setting the scene of the book in Lake Eden. However, I felt that book fell short of what I was expecting as there was just too much fluff put in the book between the two murders in the book. I think this fluff was when she stuck too much time in to the different people she investigated for the murder. I felt either the chapters could have been slimmed down or combined into one chapter.

In addition, I felt like the author gave a little too much back story on Hannah's sister Andrea. If Andrea would have played a bigger part in the book then i would have totally understood. However, she only came in to the story three, maybe four times in the whole book.

Lastly, the last part that I felt the author could have spent more time on was when she had the murder divulge why they killed two people. It had very little lead up to it happening which was weird considering of how the rest of the book was read.

All in all for a first book in the series I would consider it a decent book but not one that I would read again. I think that the rest of the series is worth reading as I have read a later book in the series and had liked that one better. I definitely think Joanne created the perfect character in this book series and we will just have to continue to read the books to see how she continues to have Hannah grow and see her love life flourish.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Review of A Worthy Pursuit by Karen Witemeyer


Charlotte Atherton has only cared about one thing, the safety of the children that she watched over at Sullivan's Academy. So when the school closes and three of her students are out of a place to live and are in danger of being sent to an orphanage, Charlotte does the only thing that she can think of.... She takes the three children and escapes in the middle of the night. The only problem is that one of the children Lily is considered kidnapped because her grandfather wants to take her home. Will Charlotte be able to protect the children with out the security of the school?

Stone Hammond, the best known tracker in Texas is hired by Lily's grandfather to retrieve his granddaughter and bring her back. Stone doesn't think twice when the thought of a child being held against their will. However, when Stone arrives he quickly learns that things aren't always as they have been told. Can Stone uncover the real truth? Will he be able to protect Charlotte and the kids but also get justice served? Will Charlotte be able to trust someone other than herself?

My Review:

I received this ARC book courtesy of Bethany House publishers in exchange for an honest non-biased review. This is the first story that I have read of Karen Witemeyer's so I was not familiar of her style of writing. I found that Karen did a great job of developing the characters. By her description and backstory on the characters you as the reader were able to understand the better and why they acted the way they did.

In addition, I enjoyed how she incorporated the history of the time into the scenery so that you really felt like you were back in time. From the description of the clothes to the food they ate. Each item you could tell was well researched and though of to be incorporated into the book.

Lastly, the thing that I enjoyed most about this book was that it incorporated a couple different of styles from christian fiction to historical fiction, romance, mystery and action. This was the first time that I read a christian fiction book that incorporated the styles. By Karen doing this it really made her stand out among similar books.

I would definitely recommend this book to my family, friends and readers that enjoy romance, faith, action and mystery in books. I finished this book in 3 days and if I didn't have to work and sleep would have finished it sooner!