Monday, May 25, 2015

Sugar Rush by Rachel Astor


Synopsis:

There’s nothing quite like your first bite.

Dulcie Carter has been running her family’s homemade sweet shop, Candy Land Confections, on her own since her mom passed away. But business is slow and rent is high, so Dulcie knows if she wants to keep her mom’s dream alive, she’ll need a miracle. Winning the annual Assembly of Chocolatiers competition will change everything, if only she can overcome her fears and bring herself to create something new for the first time in a long time.

Then she meets Nick, a molten-hot guy with a sexy smirk and chocolate brown eyes. The attraction is stronger than any sugar rush—until she discovers he’s set to inherit his family’s big-box candy shop in town, which is her strongest competitor for first prize. Nick’s got his own reasons for needing the win, but then being around Dulcie is proving addictive.

As the competition heats up, so do the sparks between them. Can they keep their sights on winning, when love might be the sweetest prize of all?

My Review: 4 Stars

Dulcie has been running her family business, Candy Land Confections, by herself since her mom passed away. Times are tough and business is slowing down. She needs to do something before she loses everything. The Master Chocolatier competition with the $50,000 prize is just what she is needing. But the last time she entered it was a disaster and she is NOT looking forward to going back. Between the business, school and competition she has no time to waste on love. But that doesn't stop her best friend, Lila, or her Grams from harassing her about her non-existent love life.

While out with Lila one night she meets Nick. Things seem to be going pretty good until they find out that they are mortal enemies. You see Nick's family owns the competition... How Sweet It Is. Nick isn't the nicest guy when he's trying to get far away from Dulcie. And of course once he's away he just can't stop thinking about her. There is just something that intrigues him and he does his best to make it up to her.

While both Nick's father and Dulcie's Grams tells them to stay away from the other, they just can't seem to do it. You know what they say... when someone tells you NOT to do something... it makes you want to do it even more. The beginning of their relationship is lots of sneaking away and stolen moments.

Amongst the romance there is sabotage, personal growth, new friendships and relationships. Sugar Rush was definitely a cute, quick, fun read. If you are looking for something that you can read in one sitting then this is definitely a book to consider. This was my first Rachel Astor book and I will definitely be looking into more of her books. :)

And yes... even though this was a novella I was still able to come up with my casting choices... ;)

 


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Trouble in Loveland by Jennifer Peel


Synopsis:

Charlee Jensen had what she considered the idyllic childhood growing up in a town named for that most prized emotion of all, Loveland, Colorado. At seventeen, her teenage crush, a man eight years older than her, marries and she naively thinks this is the worst thing that would ever happen to her. Then her parents divorce and her world crumbles. She finds herself being whisked away from her beloved home and estranged from her father.

Now eight years later, with two degrees that she never wanted in hand, and no job prospects, her father offers her a position with his CPA firm. With no other options available, Charlee accepts his offer and returns to the hometown she loved. While rebuilding her relationship with her father, she discovers that perhaps a romantic relationship is in the cards for her, with her old teenage crush, Ryan Carter, who just happens to still live next door and is now a partner in her father’s CPA firm.

Newly divorced and single dad, Ryan Carter, isn’t quite sure what to make of the girl next door, who’s all woman now. He finds himself having a hard time resisting this beautiful yet annoyingly charming woman, but their age difference and his complicated relationship with his ex-wife cause quite a bit of trouble for the couple. Ryan finds himself torn between keeping the peace with his ex-wife and mother of his child and his feelings for Charlee.

Can they successfully overcome their troubles in Loveland? Find out in this clean romance filled with sparks, humor, and of course, a little bit of trouble.

My Review: 5 Stars

I have mixed emotions about this book. I loved it and could not put it down! I read it in less than a day for crying out loud! But then I hated it and wanted to throw my kindle across the room! At one point I'm sure I would've thrown it so hard that my neighbor would've come home to a broken kindle in their house! Lol.

Charlee has had the biggest crush on Ryan ever since she was a teenager and was absolutely devastated when he married Ms. Hoity Toity. On the day of their wedding her life was flipped upside down not only because he was now married but because that was the day that her parents marriage ended as well. Her parents divorced and she is whisked off to Kansas where she spends the next 8 years of her life.

Charlee returns home to Loveland, CO where she will live with her estranged father and work for his CPA firm. She learns that her long time crush, Ryan, is now divorced with the most adorable 3 year old son, Josh, and lives right next door to her father. And not only does he live next door but he is a partner at her father's firm. And let's just say life gets very interesting once she returns home.

Charlee has a lot of spunk and is not afraid to tell it like it is... which I loved!! Any heroine with backbone is an instant favorite of mine! She is definitely strong, knows what she wants and is not afraid to go after it. But she is also vulnerable at times. I mean seriously... how many times can a girl get rejected before it really starts to take its toll?! But she stuck to her guns and did what was best for her... even when it broke her heart into a million pieces. And I just have to say that I loved seeing her rebuild her relationship with her father. It was seriously one of the sweetest things ever! He really is the best father a girl could ever ask for!

Ryan. *sigh* Ryan... Ryan... Ryan. What am I going to do with you?! You were the one that made me want to throw my kindle!! I could have Gibbs slapped you SO many times!! But I really do know where he was coming from. Dating a divorced parent with kids is definitely hard and it can pull you in so many different directions. While some people bashed him for the way he acted, I was actually feeling bad for him. Don't get me wrong... I still wanted to smack him... but he was doing the best that he could in an impossible situation. Dating anyone with kids can be extremely hard and finding the right balance is tough.. especially in the beginning. I was very proud of Ryan in the end when he told Ms. Hoity Toity just what was going to happen! I did a fist pump in the air and said... "It's about dang time!!" And I absolutely loved when he went and made things right with Charlee! I was one happy girl!

Oh!! And I absolutely LOVED Josh!! He is just so stinkin cute!! I think he was one of my most favorite parts of the book! I'm going to steal one of the lines from my dear friend Katie's review... he stole the show!! I loved every single part that he was in!! That little guy was just PERFECT!!

This is the second book I've read by Jennifer Peel and I have to say she is definitely a new favorite of mine!! I LOVE when I find new authors!! I can't wait to read more of her books!! :)

And of course... my review just wouldn't be complete without the casting!! I absolutely LOVE this one... and yes... I am TOTALLY bias!! They are just PERFECT in my opinion!! ;) Hehe.

 


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Hello Again by Heather Tullis


Synopsis:

Piper Daniels has one wish—to keep her little brother out of trouble—but her work schedule and a lack of activities for teens in her neighborhood complicate that mission. When she latches onto the idea of starting a community garden, it seems to answer all of her requirements. Until she realizes who owns the property she wants to use.

Reece Stone was the love of her life ten years earlier, until he left with only a phone call goodbye and no explanation. Now he’s the head of Stone Enterprises, and he’s thrilled at the chance to make amends and spend time with the woman he’s never been able to forget. He knows they can find love again, if he can melt her anger enough to give him a chance.

My Review: 4.5 Stars

I've been on a lost love kick lately and I love it! I am definitely a sucker for these types of stories. I love seeing the couple overcome past hurts and move forward to their happily ever after!

Piper and Reece dated for part of a summer and they clicked instantly. Things were going great until one day Piper receives a phone call from Reece breaking things off and then he takes off. Piper is heart broken and depressed. She thought that they really had something special and just didn't understand why things went down hill so fast.

Fast forward years later and she is now working full time and taking care of her autistic brother while her mom works swing shifts. Her brother seems to be getting into more trouble lately and Piper has to decide what to do with him. There is nothing in their neighborhood that will keep him and the other kids occupied and out of trouble. Then Piper has the brilliant idea of doing a community garden. She and her friends, Adelyn and Maddie, do some research and start putting her plan into action. The only problem is the lot that would be perfect for her project is owned by the one and only Reece Stone.

Reece has always regretted breaking things off with Piper. However, he really didn't have a choice in the matter. He had to or else the consequences of him staying with her would ruin his life. But he never stopped thinking about her. When the proposal for the community garden comes across his desk he almost lets it pass by until he sees who the proposal is from. The wheels in his head start turning and he believes that this is his second chance with the one and only woman he has ever loved. The only problem?! Convincing Piper that he really does love her and wants her in his life.

*dreamy sigh* Reece is absolutely amazing!! I LOVE him!! He really did have his work cut out for him when it comes to winning Piper back. But with a little honestly... lots of patience... and fighting to make her dreams come true he is able to show her just how much she really means to him and how he never stopped loving her. And I just have to say I LOVED his relationship with Spencer! While some people had trouble connecting him him and not wanting him around... Reece made him feel apart of various things and never left him out. Seriously... this man rocked!!

I do have to say I did not like their mom. She really was a piece of work and I really, really wanted to knock her upside the head! Ugh! What kind of person does those types of things?! She is the mom for crying out loud and she needs to act like one! I know towards the end she started trying but the book ended before she really got a chance to make things right in my opinion. Not sure if I ended up liking her or not. I guess time and other books in the series will tell.

All in all it was a really good book and I really enjoyed it!! I only wish that it would have been just a little bit longer... maybe like a chapter. I would have LOVED to see Spencer's reaction to what happened at the end... it would have been priceless!! But instead... it just ended. :( And as you all know... I hate that! Lol. But I guess it'll all work out since there are going to be other books in the series. :) I am definitely looking forward to Adelyn and Maddie's stories!

And of course no review of mine would be complete without casting! ;) Hehe. So... here is my Piper and Reece...

 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Professional Boundaries by Jennifer Peel


Synopsis:

At thirty two, Kelli Bryant is ready to take on the world, and Chandler Media, as the new Marketing Director, but her plans are derailed when her promotion is given to none other than Ian Greyson, Kelli’s old college flame, her one true love and the one man she hoped to never see again.

Between Kelli’s determination to remain on top and Ian’s strict new office policies, there’s no shortage of fireworks in the office. Their explosive relationship spills over into their personal lives as Kelli tries to keep Ian at arm’s length and Ian desperately tries to win her back (during off hours only, of course).

Professional Boundaries is a clean romance filled with fun and humor. It is a story of two professionals who just can't keep it professional.

My Review: 5 Stars

My first thoughts when I finished reading Professional Boundaries was why in the world did I take so long to read this?! It was really cute and I loved it!

Kelli had her heart broken 13 years ago by Ian. He was her first love and one day just walked out of her life... never to be heard from again. She thought that she was completely over him until one day he shows up back in her life... and takes her dream position at Chandler Media.

Emotions are crazy and Kelli does everything she can to guard her heart... she refuses to let Ian back in. Little does she know... she never stood a chance. And everyone knew that except Kelli herself. She was constantly telling everyone nothing was ever going to happen between them again... that he never loved her and he never will. *sigh* Stubborn, blind woman! Lol.

While other reviews I've read bash Ian and say how much they did not like him... I have to say I am the minority... I LOVED him!! He just cracked me up!! Oh my heck!! The man definitely has a sense of humor... ;) Hehe. And I have to say... I could understand why he did what he did. He wanted her to experience life... he didn't want her to have any regrets... he loved her enough to let her go.

Kelli on the other hand... *shaking my head* I seriously wanted to slap her for the first half of the book! Oh my heck! Can we say childish much?! Sheesh woman!! She took it a bit too far at times and could be a real brat! I understand that she was hurt and her heart was broken... I really do but she was a 32 year old acting like an immature teenager at times. *sigh* I was so glad when she finally started accepting that her feelings were just as strong as ever and that she had a 2nd chance with the one and only love of her life. Once this started happening I just could NOT put the book down! :) I think one of my favorite parts of the book were their park dates. So sweet! I loved it! <3

And can I tell you how happy I was when I got an epilogue?! Eeeek!! Nothing makes this girl happier than closer!! *dreamy sigh* And it was a great ending to an amazing book!! This was my very first book by Jennifer Peel and I am happy to announce that I have another favorite author!! I can't wait to read her other books in my collection!! :)

And yes... after browsing my hero and heroine boards on Pinterest I have found my perfect Ian and Kelli! I've said it before and I'll say it again... this is one of my favorite parts when it comes to reviewing!! ;) Hehe. So... without further adieu... here is my Ian and Kelli...

 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Organized Bride by Lucy McConnell


Synopsis:

Early on, Pamela Jones realized she had an unusual talent for putting two people together. Over the years, she's turned it into a successful matchmaking service for the ultra-wealthy: Billionaire Marriage Brokers. While she specializes in "business" marriages--paring people off because of their skills, education, or training--she can spot a potential love match a mile away. When Pamela has a "good feeling" about a bride and groom a business marriage can become so much more.

MaKayla thought taking a job as an event planner for a high-end hotel would be a wonderful lead into opening her own events business. However, a one year no-contact clause leaves her clientless if she quits. With nowhere to go, she is intrigued with Pamela's offer for a one-year contract running charities and overseeing contributions--until she finds out that to take her dream job, she also has to take Gabe...for better or worse.

My Review: 4 Stars

Book 2 in the Billionaire Marriage Broker series! While I absolutely LOVED the first book... The Academic Bride... this one was good for me. I enjoyed it but not as much as the first one.

MaKayla enjoys being a party planner and loves all the little details that go into planning the perfect event. Her dream is to own her own business but the way things are going for her in the job she is currently in it does not look promising. When Pamela stops by the hotel after one of MaKayla's events to discuss the chance of a lifetime she is scared to make the plunge but does it anyway.

Gabe's ex-girlfriend really did a number on him and all of his charity events. She was all about the money and spend, spend, spend. So by the time they break up he has absolutely no faith in women. When he meets Pamela and is able to explain all that he has been through she is able to present the perfect solution. Yep... that's right! Marriage! ;)

MaKayla and Gabe are very cute together. They fit each other perfectly. However, their life together doesn't start out being the greatest. There are misunderstandings and stubbornness but in the end they are determined to succeed. They both have to find just the right balance to make everything work.. they have to learn how to communicate and just be who the other person needs. I really enjoyed the little things that Gabe would do for MaKayla. And I just have to say that it really is refreshing to see the Alpha male role portrayed in a good, clean romance book. I love it! :)

The only thing that would have made it better was an epilogue! I have said it over and over again... I don't like to be left hanging. Books that just end make me sad! I like to have closure! I guess what they say is true... when a book is good... you just want MORE!! ;)

Lucy McConnell has become and auto buy author for me. Can't wait to read what she has planned for us next! :)

And yes... I do have casting for this book! Admit it... it's one of the reasons you read my blog posts... am I right?! ;) Hehe.

 

Monday, May 4, 2015

*Cover Reveal* Love Under Construction by Danyelle Ferguson


They say that love and business don’t mix . . . 


Charlee is angry...

What do you do when your boss makes someone else the lead on a big renovation project that should rightfully be yours? You quit. On second thought, that might not be the best idea, but Charlee Jackson has never been one for second thoughts. Instead, she lands a big contract of her own. She’s jumping into her new life—work boots, tool belt and all. Now she just needs to form a company and hire contractors and buy supplies and get an office and not fall in love with her former boss's son. Yeah. Definitely not that last one.

Peter is torn...

You can’t date someone who works for you, but now that his dad let Charlee walk out the door, Peter Elliot is considering his options. Charlee was their top renovation expert, his best friend’s sister, and the only thing that made the drudgery of running a large construction business bearable. But how do you date a competitor, especially one your father is trying to drive out of business? It would be stupid to make your dad angry right before he retires and hands the company over to you. Right?

When Charlee and Peter are scheduled to work on the same Indulgence Row house, their feelings and priorities are put to the test. They need to make a choice, and they better be quick about it, because the whole mixture is curing fast and threatening to crumble to pieces.

LOVE UNDER CONSTRUCTION
by Danyelle Ferguson
Published by Wonderstruck Books
Coming Sept. 8th, 2015
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25469733-love-under-construction


Other books in the series: Sweet Confections



About the Author

Danyelle Ferguson discovered her love for the written word in elementary school. Her first article was published when she was in 6th grade. Since then, she’s won several awards and has been published world-wide in newspapers, magazines and books. She’s grateful every day to work in her dream jobs – author, editor, and nurturing her readaholic tendencies.

She grew up surrounded by Pennsylvania’s beautiful Allegheny Mountains. Then lived for ten years among the majestic Wasatch Mountains. She is currently experiencing mountain-withdrawal while living in Kansas with her husband and four angels-in-training. She enjoys reading, writing, dancing & singing in the kitchen, and the occasional long bubble bath to relax from the everyday stress of being “Mommy.”


Share the Love Giveaway!


Share the Love Under Construction cover on your social media and be entered to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash, plus a Sweet Confections ebook by Danyelle Ferguson. There are several different ways to enter - and none are "mandatory." Choose your favorites, share & like away, and cross your fingers to win the prize. The giveaway is open internationally and ends at midnight (CT) on Thursday, May 7th. Good luck & thank you!


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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Art & Soul by Brittany C. Cherry


Synopsis:

I had always been the invisible art student in high school. Passed by. Glossed over. Unnoticed. Now I was Aria Watson… that girl.

After one bad decision, and being labeled a slut, I was no longer unseen. I was the whore. The ignoramus. The tramp. I would never be invisible again.

Particularly to Levi Myers. He was the odd boy with the beautiful soul who accepted and understood the broken girl inside me.

Falling in love wasn’t the plan. But how could I resist his promises of hope? Of forgiveness? Of a future I had stopped dreaming of? We were shattered. We were scarred. We were something strange and beautiful.

We were two lost souls holding on to the only thing that could keep us together.

Each other.

My Review: 4 Stars

Aria and Levi are both broken in their own ways. They each have things that they are going through. Each trying to make the best of a bad situation. Neither of them feel like they have anyone to turn to... anyone who will understand.. anyone who will just be there for them. That is until they realize that they can be that for each other.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is from Aria's point of view and I just had to share it because it pretty much sums everything up! :)

"Maybe it wasn't about fixing the broken hearts. Maybe it was about loving the broken pieces the way they were. Maybe when someone you loved was hurting, all they needed was someone to hold their pinkie as a reminder that they weren't alone."

While I absolutely LOVED Art & Soul there were just some things that stopped me from giving the full 5 stars that I wanted to give! There were just a few too many crude one liners that I didn't care for and way too many F-bombs and other curse words for my liking. If there was an edited version of this book I would be recommending it to ALL my friends! But alas... there are just a few I can recommend this one too. :(

But I am glad that I decided to just push through and read the book despite the things that I did not like. It really was an amazing book! It really makes you think about life and what you see on the outside isn't always what's on the inside. Just because someone looks happy, doesn't mean they are. Just because someone looks strong, doesn't mean they are. Just because someone's life seems perfect, doesn't mean it is. We all have struggles, we all have moments of despair, we all feel unloved and unwanted at times. It really makes you think about life and how we never know what another person is going through. We should all treat each other with kindness... with unconditional love... with respect. You just never know when your actions... your smile... your love will be just what someone is needing in that point in time. <3

Friday, May 1, 2015

Getting Her Groom by Heather Tullis


Synopsis:

Angela Chestnut can’t wait to move to New York City to fulfill her dream on the stages of Broadway, but first she has to finish her last year of college. When a couple of the student stages are damaged in a flood, she moves the show she has to direct to a local community center in the hopes of raising enough funds that they’ll be able to keep their doors open. But someone wants The Center to fail, and if that means Angela’s show, and her final grade, have to fail as well, they’re totally okay with that.

Alex Checketts has had an unhealthy interest (in his opinion) in Angela, who is twelve years younger than himself, since they met at her sister’s place the previous summer. He finds himself roped into accompanying the musical she’s written for her project and gets caught up in the mystery behind who is trying to shut down the community center. His attraction to Angela only grows as they spend more time together and her interest in him isn’t helping his resolve not to date her.

Whether they’ll be able to make it work after she moved to New York worries them both. But first they have to survive to put on Angela’s show and save The Center.

My Review: 3 Stars

After 6 books our dear Alex gets his book! I was wondering if this would happen or if he would just be left hanging. I am glad that he got his HEA!

Angela is a lot younger than Alex but has had her eye on him since she spent the summer with Jonquil. Even though he ran out on their date she just can't get him out of her mind. Alex of course is stubborn because he sees Angela as being "too young" for him and refuses to turn into his father when it comes to women. He refuses to let himself fall for Angela but like all the other guys in this series.. he is a goner when it comes to the women. ;)

While I liked Getting Her Groom, I felt a little let down. There wasn't as much romance as the other books and Alex was stubborn for a lot of the book. I also didn't feel like there was much chemistry between Alex and Angela. While the mystery was pretty predictable again, it seemed to be one of the main focuses of the book. The other was Angela and Alex growing as individuals. It's kinda like their relationship was a side note while they worked more on themselves. And I have to say... I did not like the ending much. After 6 books it would have been nice to actually have an epilogue with where everyone was at after X amount of years. But this one? It just ended. And for those of you that know me... that is one of my biggest pet peeves. I need more... I need closure! Lol.

All in all it was a good series and I would read it again if I was in the mood. :) Heather Tullis has become one of my go to authors. Can't wait to read more of her books. :)

The Last Bride by Heather Tullis


Synopsis:

When Gage learned that George DiCarlo thought he would make a great match for his youngest daughter, Gage was not interested. Not even if she was beautiful, talented, kicked butt on hiking trails and could challenge even his love of skiing. When Jonquil's learns about it a year later, her reaction is exactly the opposite. After watching the rest of her sisters fall in love with the men her father hoped they would connect with, she is curious about the one he had planned for her. But Gage is not making it easy and plenty of problems stand between them-her half-sister, Angela, from her family back in Philadelphia seems determined to keep her on her toes and threats against Gage's family keep them guessing all the way.

My Review: 4 Stars

Finally we get Jonquil's story! Unlike all her other sisters she was very open to the idea of who her father has chosen for her. Gage on the other hand is the complete opposite! He does NOT want to have anything to do with Jonquil and does his best to avoid it at all costs! Stubborn man! Doesn't he know that it was inevitable that they would end up together?! ;)

Jonquil is an observer. She likes to sit back and watch people. She is very perceptive to all things going on around her and she doesn't miss much. She sees the kind of man that Gage is and she knows that he will do anything and everything for the people that he loves... whether they be family or friends. She also sees that he puts the needs of everyone else in front of his own. He takes care of them before he takes care of himself. When tragedy strikes she is right there at his side... doing for him what he does for everyone else.

Gage has a hard time figuring out what in the world he wants. He enjoys spending time with Jonquil and she bring happiness into his life. But no matter how much he likes having her around he is still stubborn when it comes to the wishes of her father. The more time they spend together, the more he starts to change his mind. Can his heart talk his mind into marrying Jonquil?

As for the mystery part of the book, like a few of the others in this series, it was kinda predictable. I knew early on who was in on everything and why.. but I didn't mind. I still enjoyed the book and felt like it was a good addition to the series.

I'm glad that I stumbled upon the DiCarlo Brides series. They were sweet, swoony reads that fit my moods when I was in a funk. I look forward to reading them again! :)