Friday, July 31, 2015

Review of Last Chance Hero by Hope Ramsey


Sabina Grey has never forgiven herself for night a fire scarred her little sister twenty some years ago. In her mind if she would have just stayed in and watched titanic with her sister she would have been there to save her sister from the fire. Since that fire she vowed that until sister was married and taken care of she would always be there for her no matter what, even if it meant not going away to college. So when Miriam, and old town matriarch tells her that in order for her to be able to have love she has to get her sister married Sabina promises to make sure that will happen. Even though it means ignoring the feelings she has for her sisters fiancĂ©. 

Ross Gardiner has had a crush on Sabina since they were little and would have liked to ask her out in high school but lacked the courage. However, when he initially returned to town and found that she was still single he jumped on the chance right away to ask her out. Sadly she refused and said that she didn't have time in her life right now for that. So at her suggestion he started dating her sister and now they were on the verge of moving in together. But as life would have it life decides to throw another curve ball which forces him to propose in exchange for Sabina to have a life. Will Ross be able to marry her sister even though he has feelings for her? Can he find the arsonist who is setting fires around town and putting his loved ones in danger? 

My Review:

I received this book from the publisher and netgalley in exchange for an honest unbiased review. This is the first book that I have read in the Last Chance series by Hope Ramsey. I have always wanted to read one and had put them on my to read series. So when I had the opportunity to read this ARC before it real eased I jumped at the chance. Having not read Hope before I was not sure if her writing style or characters would be something that I liked. However, she proved me wrong and I found that he were great. She did a great job of giving you enough back story on the characters to understand how they ticked but didn't give you too much. Hope also did a great job of making the story steady and not rushing it to get to the climax of the book. She really had me hooked at the first fire that took place and kept me until the end where you found out who'd done it.

In addition, I really enjoyed her writing style. She mixed the story up to have romance, family and mystery which are the three topics I enjoy. If there was one part that I found was lacking was information about agent Bailey. I think she gave you enough about Sabina's sister to know her but when it came to Agent Bailey you were left feeling like you didn't really know who he was other than an agent checking out the fires.

I am very interested to read the previous books in this series so that I can learn a little bit more about the town and the other residents. In addition, I can't wait until the next book in the series comes out. Another great author to my reading list!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Review of The Isle of the Lost by Melissa De La Cruz

Summary courtesy of Goodreads: 

"Twenty years ago, all the evil villains were banished from the kingdom of Auradon and made to live in virtual imprisonment on the Isle of the Lost. The island is surrounded by a magical force field that keeps the villains and their descendants safely locked up and away from the mainland. Life on the island is dark and dreary. It is a dirty, decrepit place that's been left to rot and forgotten by the world.

But hidden in the mysterious Forbidden Fortress is a dragon's eye: the key to true darkness and the villains' only hope of escape. Only the cleverest, evilest, nastiest little villain can find it...who will it be?

Mal: At sixteen, Maleficent's daughter is the most talented student at Dragon Hall, best known for her evil schemes. And when she hears about the dragon's eye, Mal thinks this could be her chance to prove herself as the cruelest of them all.

Evie: Having been castle-schooled for years, Evil Queen's daughter, Evie, doesn't know the ins and outs of Dragon Hall. But she's a quick study, especially after she falls for one too many of Mal's little tricks.

Jay: As the son of Jafar, Jay is a boy of many talents: stealing and lying to name a few. Jay and Mal have been frenemies forever and he's not about to miss out on the hunt for the dragon's eye.

Carlos: Cruella de Vil's son may not be bravest, but he's certainly clever. Carlos's inventions may be the missing piece in locating the dragon's eye and ending the banishment for good.

Mal soon learns from her mother that the dragon's eye is cursed and whoever retrieves it will be knocked into a deep sleep for a thousand years. But Mal has a plan to capture it. She'll just need a little help from her "friends." In their quest for the dragon's eye, these kids begin to realize that just because you come from an evil family tree, being good ain't so bad"

My Review: 

Ever since I was a little girl I have always been a fan of all things Disney. So when I heard that one of my favorite teen authors Melissa wrote a series about the children of disney villains I knew I had to read it! As with other De La Cruz novels I think Melissa did a great job of developing her characters and settings so that you really felt you were there experiencing the same thing as the kids. In addition, I did enjoy how she incorporated the villains a little bit too and had you learn things about them that you would not have known from watching/reading their appropriate stories. 

If there were any items that I felt that could have been changed or short end I would have to say that she could have spent less time leading up to their journey. I think that there was too much time spent on Mal trying to get back at Evie than needed to be. In addition, I also felt like she could have left out or minimized the amount of time she referred to characters that lived Auradon. I think it didn't make sense to keep on jumping between locations as there were no connection between them and the Isle of the Lost characters. 

All in all I thought this was a great start to the series and I can't wait to watch the move coming up on July 31st.  I think this story will grab readers who enjoy disney because you get to see these characters from a different perspective. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Review of Wicked Charms by Janet Evanovich & Phoef Sutton

Summary courtesy of Goodreads:

"Lizzy and Diesel return once again in an all-new adventure in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Janet Evanovich and her co-author, Phoef Sutton!

Murdered and mummified more than ninety years ago, bootlegger Collier “Peg Leg” Dazzle once found and re-hid a famous pirate’s treasure somewhere along the coast of New England. A vast collection of gold and silver coins and precious gems, the bounty also contains the Stone of Avarice — the very item reluctant treasure seeker, Lizzy Tucker, and her partner, Diesel, have been enlisted to find. While Lizzy would just like to live a quiet, semi-normal life, Diesel is all about the hunt. And this hunt is going to require a genuine treasure map and a ship worthy of sailing the seven seas . . . or at least getting them from Salem Harbor to Maine.

Greed is eternal and insatiable, and Lizzy and Diesel aren’t the only ones searching for the lost pirate’s chest. There are people who have dedicated their entire lives to finding it, and are willing to commit murder or make a deal with the devil, just to hold the fortune in their hands. One of those people may even be Wulf, Diesel’s deceptively charming and enigmatic cousin. Wulf desires the Stone of Avarice. He also desires Lizzy. It’s hard to say how far he’s willing to go to gain either one.

It’s a swashbuckling adventure full of raiders, monkeys, minions, and mayhem. Lizzy and Diesel are going to have to do everything they can to keep their heads above water and hope they are living a charmed life." 

My Review:

This is the third book in Janet Evanovich and Phoef Suttons series that I have read. I think that Janet and Phoef did a great job of keeping old characters and introducing new ones in to this particular story. It allows the readers who read from beginning to catch up with the old characters. In addition, I found the mystery and adventure that Lizzy and her group went on to be interesting and kept me reading until I was done. I actually finished this book faster than I did the other two. It was cool to see how the also incorporated more of Glo and Clara in this book and that you got to know a little more about their history.

If there were any parts of this story I did not enjoy I would say that they gave a little too much of a summary at the beginning discussing the background of the story. It seemed to me that they spent a little too much time on it then they did in the previous book. Also I felt like the book climaxed too fast. It seemed like one moment you were learning about what stone they were going to be tracking down and then they were on the island trying to recover it.

All in all I found this to be a very fun, light hearted mystery that grabbed you from the beginning until end. It is definitely a book you can take to the beach or on a vacation and be able to finish it in that time frame. I am very interested to see what they do in the next book with Lizzy & Diesel's relationship and also how Woulf is incorporated.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Review of Evergreen Springs by RaeAnne Thayne


Devin Shaw has everything a woman could ask for: a job she loves, a loving family and a beautiful house. However, the one thing that seems to be missing is a man and kids in her life. So when given the opportunity to help out secluded keep to himself ranch Cole Barrett and his kids she decided why not. However, she finds out after helping them spruce up their house she might get something out of this too when she discovers the hot springs.

For Cole Barrett Christmas is the last thing on his mind this year... He has a ranch to run and two little motherless children to worry about. So when Dr. Shaw comes into his lives and agrees to help get things more in the holiday spirit he agrees. After showing her the hot springs on his land they strike up a deal that is a win, win for him. She will help him out more with this kids until he finds a nanny and he will allow her to use the hot springs for her yoga group. 

Will their friendship turn into something more? Can they both open up their hearts and lives to the possibility of love?

My Review:

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. This is the third book in the Haven Point series and it picks up a couple months after Mckenzie & Ben's story ends. Having read books in the past by RaeAnne, I still enjoy her writing style and character development that she has in all her books. What I found I liked more in this story then in Redemption Bay was the main characters. Not that the previous characters weren't interesting, I just felt Devin and Cole had deeper pasts that grabbed you from the being and held you until the end. Another part of this book that I liked other than it being Christmas time was the two kids that she wrote into the story, Jasmine and Ty. I really liked how she wrote these two, they were two opposite brother and sisters that bickered but ultimately loved each other.

The only part of the story that I felt didn't fit in was the sister Tricia and her part in the book. I realize this was how she got Devin involved but I felt that it was something that wasn't gone into as much as it could have been. I kind of thought as a reader that was because you were going to find out more in about Tricia and her husband in the next book. However, that wasn't the case because she wrapped up their story at the end of this book. Again I understood the purpose of the sister, I just think that storyline could have been written into the next book or a novella.

If you are a romance reader who loves Christmas and stories about families then this is the perfect book for you. Can't wait to read the next book in this series and unlike the previous book I really don't know who it is going to be about.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Review of Before We Kiss by Susan Mallery

Summary Courtesy of Goodreads:

Former pro-football kicker Sam Ridge has notoriously bad luck with women—from cheaters to fame chasers. Still, the gorgeous brunette at the bar in Fool's Gold looks harmless—until she takes him home and he discovers a room devoted to securing a man, for life.

Dellina Hopkins never guessed that storing gowns from a friend's bridal boutique would chase away her first and only fling. After her parents died, she skipped her "wild youth" to raise her sisters. She doesn't want forever from Sam, but one night—all night—would've been nice.

His clean getaway gets messy when his firm hires Dellina to plan an event. As long hours lead to late nights, the two succumb to temptation again. Has Sam's luck finally changed? Or this time, will Dellina be the one to run?

My Review:

This is the 14th book that I have read in Susan Mallery's Fool's Gold series. This was not one of my favorites. I think Susan's writing is just as good and is continually getting better with each book. However, there were story lines in here that I did not like and I think were pushed a little too far.

The parts of the story that I did enjoy in this book were when she was telling the actual love story of Sam and Dellina. Unlike some other readers I did not find these two characters boring. I really liked the pace in which she built their love story. I think it was realistic and it showed that if you were burned continuously in the past in the areas of love and marriage that it would take more time than usual to fall in love. In addition, I like how they continued on the story of Fayrene and Ryan as I liked to see how characters love stories continue after their book is done. I think this is something that Susan does very well. Lastly, I really enjoyed the humor that she stuck in through out the book. She really showed how strong the relationship was between Kenny, Sam and Jack.

Now to the part of the book I did not enjoy was how overboard Susan went with the parents. I think she could have done more hinting than actually telling. I really felt like the book was over sexed at times with their story. I think it drew away from the well written love story of Dellina and Sam.

All in all I think that this was a good book just not my favorite in the whole series. I am interested to read the next story of Larissa and Jack.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Review of Pelican Point by Donna Kauffman


Alex McFarland is great at fixing things and renovating historical lighthouses. However, with her life broken and in shambles after her fathers unexpected death she decides to take one last job in Blueberry Cove to see if McFarland & Sons is what she really wants to do for the rest of her life. One thing Alex didn't expect was the first person she would meet would be a ambulance and a hunky sheriff....

Logan McCrae, a hometown sheriff doesn't know what to think of Alex. His first impression of her was that she was a lost soul trying to find herself. However, as Logan gets to know her better he finds that she might just be what he needs in his life. But first he needs to convince her to stay after her renovation project is done.

Will Alex and Logan be just contractor and client or something more?

My Review:

I received this book from Netgalley and the publisher Kensingtion in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

This is the first full length book of Donna Kauffman's that I have read. I really enjoyed her writing style and dialogue that she created in the book. She did a great job of giving you a background on the main characters Alex and Logan so you really felt like you knew them. In addition, this gave you a better idea of the actions that they took.

In addition, I really think she did a great job of developing the background of the story, that being the setting of the town and the other characters. I think I would have preferred to have a little more of the Uncle who originally hired Alex to come to town. I think he was talked a lot more in the beginning and was kind of left out in the end.

Lastly, I would have to say the romance that Donna had in the beginning of the book was lacking towards the end. I think that she did a great job bringing them back together but there wasn't a lot of romance. To me it was more about the struggles that they were both going through.  In addition, I really felt that the story just ended abruptly. In most cases when I see that an author has an epilogue that means that she is going to skip forward a couple months or a year into the future to have the reader see how the characters have grown. This was not the case for this story, it was rather the next day after Logan and Alex get back together. Which to me would have been okay if that was the end of the regular story but not what I would have chose for the epilogue.

All in if I had to rate this book on a set of 5 stars, I would give it a 4. It has a great plot, well written characters and all in all excellent writing. I just think the ending needed to be redone and a little more romance added. I am interested in reading more of her books in this series to see how some of these other characters turn out that she introduced us to in this book.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Review of A December Bride by Denise Hunter


Layla O'Reilly is desperate for a date to her ex-fiance and cousins wedding after her scheduled date calls in sick. After trying all other avenues she agrees to attend the wedding with her ex-best friend Seth Murphy. Little does Layla know she is getting her self into something more than one little date with Seth.

Seth Murphy would give anything to take back the day that he ruined his friends life, but how was he supposed to know that his best male friend would hook up with Layla's cousin.... Hoping to earn her forgiveness he offers to be her date. But in the heat of the moment he does the most off the cuff thing. He tells people that they are now engaged. Will Layla agree to go along with this charade for the sake of her career or will she set everyone straight even though it might end up hurting someone in return?

My review:

This is the first novella in the "Year of Weddings series". Having never read any of Denise Hunters books before I was not sure what to expect. However, after reading a couple chapters I really enjoyed this christian romance and wanted to read more of Denise's books and this series. I think Denise did a great job of giving you a brief overview right away of the main character so that you would understand the situation as you read on. In addition, I really enjoyed how  she incorporated faith, romance and humor in this novella.

The only item that I would say made this novella a 4 out of 5 was that I felt it could have actually been made into an entire book rather than just a novella.  I am very interested to read more in this series and also by this author. I would encourage both Christian readers and romance readers alike to read this book as I feel it flows across both genres but not fixating on just one.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Review of Refining Fire by Tracie Petersen

Brief Synopsis:

Militine Scott, a young twenty-two year old woman has always had to fend for herself since as long as she can remember. Luckily accepted into the Madison School for Brides she is giving the opportunity to learn everything she can to survive on her own, however, unlike the others she has no interest in getting married. Well that is until she meets a young man by the name of Thane Patton. Will Militine open her heart and and soul to another person even though it may require her to face her past that she left behind? 

Thane Patton, a young business man and volunteer fire fighter, like Militine has been on his own since his early teens. Having escaped a murderous father and moving to Seattle with nothing, Thane knows what is like to be on your own. Will Thane open his heart and his past to Militine, even though it may cause him to lose her for ever? Or should he keep his past in the past and build a new future? 

My Review:

I received this copy of Refining Fire from the publisher in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

This is the second book in the Brides of Seattle series by Tracie Peterson. Having read the first book in the series "Steadfast Heart" I had the backing to know what the Madison School for Brides was and the back drop of the story. However, if you are a reader who just wants to start with this one you should not have a problem picking up on the story as she does a good job of recapping the first story briefly in the first chapter.

I found that I really liked the characters that Tracie presented this time more than I did in the first book. Militine and Thane grabbed at your heart strings from the moment you first read about them until the very last sentence. You the reader were fighting along side with them as the story continued. In addition, I really enjoyed how she introduced Lenore and her husband into this story so that you get to catch up on her and others that you met in the first book. Lastly, I really did find that it was interesting with the fire that they threw in this book. I think it really was the climax of the book and worked really well.

On the other hand the items that I did not like in this book was that once again I felt like a majority of the book was about Abrianna and Wade. Not that I don't enjoy reading about the two characters but I do think that they could have either been in the first book or the last one by themselves. I think that having them in there distracted from the story of Militine and Thane. It seemed she spent more time on them then she did others. And for this reason I gave this book a 3 instead of a 4 or 5. I will be interested to see how she finishes out this series in the next book "Love Everlasting".

Friday, July 3, 2015

Review of Run to You by Rachel Gibson

Summary courtesy of Goodreads:

There's nothing like fleeing Miami to ruin a girl's day. Stella Leon's bartending gig was going fine until gorgeous ex-Marine Beau Junger decked her mob-connected boss, spirited her out of the city, and claimed that Stella's half-sister--the one with the perfect life--sent him. Now Stella has no choice but to go along for the ride... and seduce Beau's military-issue socks off...

The Marine Corps was Beau's escape from his old man's legacy of naval heroism and serial philandering, but no amount of training could prepare him for the day he looked in the mirror and saw his father staring back. The answer: swear off meaningless sex. Oh, and find a way to make Stella Leon quit being so damn hot

My Review: 

This is the second book of Rachel Gibson's that I have read and although it had a great story to it and the same humor as "Nothing But Trouble" it wasn't my favorite. I really enjoyed the humor and relationship that Rachel built between Stella and Beau. However, I felt that she spent too much of the story following them on the road trip to meet Stella's sister. It made the book drag on and at times made it difficult to read because I lost interest.

Although I may have not liked the pace of the story I did enjoy the book when it got to the second half of the book. I think Rachel did a great job of incorporating Stella's sister into the story. She kind of showed how although her father may have spent more time with Sadie that it didn't mean they had the best relationship.In addition, I liked how she talked about the relationship between Beau and his brother Blake. Lastly, I enjoyed the way she brought Stella and Beau back together in the end. She didn't make it easy which some authors might have done. 

Even though this book was not my favorite I am glad that I completely read it because if i didn't I wouldn't have gotten to read the best part of the book. The end :)