Sunday, March 27, 2016

First Crush by Heather Tullis



Synopsis:

Third-grade teacher Maddie McCormick was thrilled when the greenhouse classroom actually came to fruition—but she hadn’t counted on angering the local street thugs, or their threats.

Police officer Ben Belliston hadn’t planned on fatherhood—ever—but gaining custody of his orphaned niece had him rearranging all of his priorities. She and Maddie, her new teacher, bonded right away, so he was happy to provide a little off-duty security in the greenhouse—it was more than a fair exchange for the way Maddie helped his niece from her shell. He hadn’t expected to begin seeing his best friend’s little sister in a new light, or the way it would make him question all of his future plans.

My Review: 5 Stars

Maddie McCormick and her friends have been working on getting the greenhouse up and running not only for her students but for the community as well. When the local gang wants to take back what they think was their's, Maddie has no choice but to turn to her long time crush, Officer Ben Belliston, for help. She has been beyond frustrated with him because he can't seem to see her as anyone other than his best friend's little sister.

Ben Belliston did not have a great childhood. His father was an abusive alcoholic and his mother was the punching bag. She refused to leave his father and Ben had no choice but to deal with the abuse. With role models like his parents, he refuses to ever get married or have a family. He will not take a chance of ever turning out like his father. Little did he know that one phone call would change his life forever. When his niece, Felicia, comes to live with him after her mother's death, he has no choice but to turn to Maddie for help.

Will these two ever realize how perfect they are together? Or will the past and their pride ruin what could be the best thing to ever happen to all of them?

First Crush was a fun addition to the In the Garden series! I loved seeing all the characters from Hello Again! And the addition of little Felicia was perfect! I have actually been on a single parent finding love kick lately and this book did not disappoint! There is just something about little kids pulling at the heart strings of big alpha males that just melts my heart! I love it!

Heather Tullis has become an auto-buy author for me! She has a way of sucking me into her books and not letting me go until the end! I am definitely looking forward to the next book in the series! If you haven't read anything by her yet then you are missing out! I highly recommend this series as well as the DiCarlo Bride series. So fun! :)

And of course I can't forget my casting! I think these two are perfect! ;) Hehe.




Friday, March 25, 2016

First Line Friday's #4


Ok party people! It's that time again! First Line Friday's hosted by my amazing friend Kathy over at Bookworm Nation! Are you ready?! 

This week's First Line Friday is:



First Crush by Heather Tullis

Third-grade teacher Maddie McCormick was thrilled when the greenhouse classroom actually came to fruition—but she hadn’t counted on angering the local street thugs, or their threats. Police officer Ben Belliston hadn’t planned on fatherhood—ever—but gaining custody of his orphaned niece had him rearranging all of his priorities. She and Maddie, her new teacher, bonded right away, so he was happy to provide a little off-duty security in the greenhouse—it was more than a fair exchange for the way Maddie helped his niece from her shell. He hadn’t expected to begin seeing his best friend’s little sister in a new light, or the way it would make him question all of his future plans.


FIRST LINE

"I'm thinking pink and blue for your colors."

Okay... from the first line you might not be intrigued. But I am! I have been dying to read this book since I finished Hello Again, the first book in the In The Garden series. I had no idea it had been released until I was checking out a fellow bookworm's blog posts. I have a feeling this will be devoured just like the first one! ;)

Do you want to participate in First Line? Yes?! Then tell us what your First Line is! Are you going to do a blog post? Then don't forget to link your post back to Bookworm Nation! Post your link in the comments. Don't have a blog? No worries! Just leave a comment with the title, author name and first line.

Ready?! And GO!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Easter Mystery Box Winners!!


Did you catch the title? Yes? No? Wait! Winners?! YES! You read that right! I have decided that there are going to be TWO winners this time around! Why?! Because after the week I have had, I need to try to brighten someone's day! ;)

I do want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who participated in this giveaway and shared the love! I really love being able to do these Mystery Boxes! It seriously makes me happy to give them away!

And now.. the part that I just KNOW you all have been waiting for....


Valerie Schlicht
and
Julia Lance

CONGRATULATIONS ladies! I will be emailing you for your addresses and then I will get this shipped out to you very soon! I hope you enjoy it! :)

And to all of my readers... Happy Easter!

Oh and P.S. Stay tuned for the next mystery box giveaway! ;)

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Worth the Fall by Caitie Quinn



Synopsis:

Kasey Lane is having a bad week.

Understatement.

Her idea of success never involved losing her job, man, and apartment in 24-hours. Now, with nowhere to go and no way to pay for it anyway, Kasey decides it’s time for a fresh start, which means a new apartment, a new career, and…no men.

But as a magnet for ridiculousness and absurd brushes with the law, her start goes from fresh to stale in record time. It doesn’t help that Mr. Wrong keeps showing up during her adventures gone awry and taking over. Now, as Kasey plans her way to independence she has to decide if the only path to success is going it alone...or if maybe a partner in crime can make the journey sweeter.

My Review: 4.5 Stars

Kasey Lane has pretty much hit rock bottom through no fault of her own. She has been laid off, her boyfriend dumps her the night before they are supposed to move in together and she's now homeless thanks to said loser... I mean boyfriend. Kasey decides from here on out she does NOT need a man to take care of her. She is going to become a new and better Kasey and eventually down the line she will find someone safe, someone who won't over take her life and tell her how to live it.

Enter Max... an alpha male who does whatever he can to take care of the people he cares about. He can't help it... it's just the way he's built. From the first moment he meets Kasey (it's hilarious by the way!) he knows that she is trouble. She just has this way of getting into situations that he doesn't know whether to laugh or be irritated. She is definitely not like any other woman he knows. These two are like oil and water around each other and you can't help but cheer them on!

I was sucked in from the very beginning and did not want to put this book down! I lost count at how many times I literally busted out laughing while reading! It was seriously SO much fun! The only thing that could have made it better would've been having them get together just a bit sooner so you could see how they were as a couple. And of course if the book wouldn't have just ended! You all know how much I hate that! Just a little bit more... that's all I wanted! ;) Hehe.

All in all it was an awesome book! I can't wait to read the next book in the series! I definitely will be checking out more books my Bria Quinlan/Caitie Quinn!

Content: Mild language throughout and mild innuendo.

And of course I can't forget my casting choices! This one was a bit hard because there was zero description of the heroine so I had to go with who I felt would fit best for myself. Hehe. What do you think?!



Sunday, March 13, 2016

His Kind of Cowgirl by Karen Rock


Synopsis:

Would he still love her…if he knew?

Tanner Hayes smashed Claire's life to pieces when he chose the rodeo over her ten years ago. And now he'd wrecked her truck! Fantastic. She'd lost her husband, the family ranch was mired in debt, her father was recuperating from a stroke and her son was being bullied. Why not throw a reckless bull rider into the mix?

All she'd wanted was a safe, stable life. But with Tanner back in town—and staying on her ranch—nothing was safe, or under control. Not the feelings she'd fought so hard to forget. Not the son she was determined to protect. And certainly not her long-held secret…

My Review: 4 Stars

Ten years ago, Claire Shelton gave Tanner Hayes an ultimatum... her or the rodeo. She was heartbroken when he chose the rodeo. But Tanner knew he needed to make something of himself and prove their small town wrong if he was ever going to be worthy of Claire. Little did he know the heartaches and hard decisions that would come from that one choice.

Fast forward to present day and Claire's life is far from easy. She's a widow, a single mother, a caregiver for her father who recently had a stroke and is dealing with her father's ranch that is about to be foreclosed on. She does not expect Tanner to come crashing back into her life... literally. 

And now with her deepest, darkest secret on the verge of being discovered, she would give anything for Tanner to disappear again. Little did she know that fate had something else in store for these two. Sit back and hold on tight as Claire and Tanner embark on a journey filled with adventure, family, self discovery, forgiveness and most importantly love.

Tanner was such an amazing hero! He had a tough life growing up but was determined to be a better person than either of his parents were. I loved the way he interacted with little Jonathan. He was so good with him and for him. I loved watching these two develop their relationship. Any scene with the two of them had me grinning from ear to ear. Absolutely adored them! :)  

Sadly, I had a hard time connecting with Claire. I have to admit I spent a lot of the book disliking her. I get that she was trying to protect everyone around her because of her fears but I think she went about it the wrong way. She was doing more harm to others than good to herself. I wish that her secret would've come out a bit sooner than it did. I was really hoping to see Claire and Tanner work things out more and maybe see her take the initiative rather than Tanner jumping in and fixing it like he did. I personally think she got off too easy. 

I also would have loved to see an epilogue. Maybe a year later to see how everyone was settling in. :) 

This was my very first book by Karen Rock and I have already added other books of hers to my list Any author who can evoke so many feelings in just one book is definitely one to keep an eye on. I can't wait to read more by her. 

And now for my casting... what do you think? ;)


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Weekend Ramblings #4



Are you ready for another Weekend Ramblings a la KJ?!

Well then... let's get ready to raaaaammmmmbbbbbllllleeeee!!!!!

This week's rambling topic is...

*Clean Romance Reads*

This is a topic that gets discussed with my bookish friends quite a bit. It is getting harder and harder to find clean romance these days. There are a lot of authors we love who are staying true to the way they write and keep their books clean. But there are others out there that want to reach a wider range of readers so they tend to push the limits just a little bit. And there are even the occasional authors who start out writing clean reads only to move on to writing a step below erotica because they can reach an even wider range of readers.

We all have different versions of what clean means to us. Squeaky clean, pretty clean, fade to black, even sketchy clean. Language bothers some more than it bothers others. Clean reading is not really black and white like a lot of people think. It's full of gray areas depending on personal preference.

My personal preferences definitely vary. Squeaky clean? Check! Pretty clean? Check! Fade to black? Check! (As long as there is no full on descriptions of them getting to the fade to black.) I have also been known to even read a sketchy clean romance. Again.. it really all depends. I am okay with mild language (heck, dang it, etc) but I absolutely cannot stand the F-bomb or the B-words. Just not my thing and I honestly do not see a point in having those words in any book. I also do not mind occasional drinking in books or sex before marriage (again as long as it is fade to black).

But I do have some friends who deem a book unclean if there is any swearing, sex before marriage, or drinking in a book. Everyone is different. There are definitely SO many gray areas when it comes to clean romance.

So my questions to you are, what does clean romance mean to you? What do you like? What do you not like? What are your thoughts on authors moving from writing clean romance to more steamy, sketchy romance?

And if there are any authors out there reading this... what are your thoughts? I have always wondered if you receive any pressure from publishers to write more steamy romance than what you are comfortable with. How do you deal with the pressure of writing outside your comfort zone? Do you ever feel like only writing a certain genre so you don't have to deal with the pressure of adding unclean content to your books?

Inquiring minds want to know! 

So come on party people... let's rrrrraaaaammmmmbbbbbllllleeeee!! ;)

The Protective Groom by Lucy McConnell


Synopsis:

Noah Baker is about to meet the toughest woman in Texas—right before he marries her.

Harley Wilson, of the Texas Wilsons, is being stalked by an unscrupulous creeper who is intent on doing her harm. In order to protect herself, Harley asks Pamela Jones to find her a groom. She needs someone who can hold his own in a firefight and happily sign annulment papers when this nightmare is over.

Noah Baker thinks he’s hit the jackpot as a Billionaire Marriage Brokers’ groom. The position is the perfect opportunity to move forward and put the past behind him once and for all. However, Noah must dig into his training as a police officer and doing so brings up demons he buried two years ago when he left the force.

Time runs short for Noah as his list of suspects grows to include an almost fiancĂ©, a twisted cousin, and Harley’s step-brother. With Harley’s father breathing down his neck, Noah finds himself falling for Harley in a way that makes this assignment as personal as—well, marriage.

My Review: 4.5 Stars

Harely Wilson is beautiful, sassy, rich, famous and being stalked by a creeper. They need a plan to either draw the creeper out to be caught or make them forget about her and move on. Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on who you ask) there is only one option. That option?! Get married! Harley has no desire to be married to a fake groom but it's the only way to keep her and her family safe and get rid of the psychopath once and for all.

Noah Baker needs to put the past behind him and make a fresh start with his life. What better way to do that than to become a BMB groom! He has been waiting for a few months for Pamela Jones to reach out to him for a bride. But when the time finally arrives he's not sure if he can do it or not. But one look at Harley's picture and he knows that he must do this. He just couldn't live with himself if anything happened to her because he was too afraid of history repeating itself.

From the very beginning sparks start to fly and there is chemistry aplenty between Harley and Noah. Harley does her best to fight it but even she isn't immune to Noah's charm. ;) But they can't move forward with where their relationship might lead until the stalker is caught. Noah has to stay alert and on his toes. He cannot afford even the smallest of distractions like Harley's smell, laugh or kisses. Harley realizes that she needs to be on her best behavior for her husband's sake. But once the stalker is caught?! All bets are off and she will not hold back when it comes to making her husband hers forever.

These two! *dreamy sigh* The Protective Groom is definitely one of my favorites in the series! I first fell in love with Noah while reading The Country Bride and by the end I was really, really hoping he would get his own book. You better believe I squealed like a teenage girl when I discovered he would! And his story did not disappoint! I absolutely loved it! So why only 4.5 stars? Yep.. you guessed it. The book just ended! An epilogue would have been perfect! I am dying to know what Noah ended up doing with his life when all the danger was behind them. 

This series is definitely one of my favorites! I fell in love with it before I even finished the very first book! I cannot wait for the next book in the series to come out! I am secretly hoping that Jackson gets his own book. If anyone needs/deserves a HEA, it's him! ;)

And can I just tell you that I absolutely, 110% LOVE my casting?! These two are perfect in my opinion! ;)


Easter Mystery Box!


Ok party people! Guess what time it is?! Mystery box time! YAY!

I was looking for a good reason to do a Mystery Box and realized that Easter was just around the corner! What a perfect time to give away awesome bookish stuff, right?! ;)

So you know what to do... check out the Rafflecopter below and enter to win! Easy peasy lemon squeezy! And don't forget to share the love! Shout it from the rooftops to all your bookish friends! ;)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, March 11, 2016

First Line Friday's #3


Ok party people! It's that time again! First Line Friday's hosted by my amazing friend Kathy over at Bookworm Nation! Are you ready?! 

This week's First Line Friday is:


The Protective Groom by Lucy McConnell

Noah Baker is about to meet the toughest woman in Texas—right before he marries her.

Harley Wilson, of the Texas Wilsons, is being stalked by an unscrupulous creeper who is intent on doing her harm. In order to protect herself, Harley asks Pamela Jones to find her a groom. She needs someone who can hold his own in a firefight and happily sign annulment papers when this nightmare is over.

Noah Baker thinks he’s hit the jackpot as a Billionaire Marriage Brokers’ groom. The position is the perfect opportunity to move forward and put the past behind him once and for all. However, Noah must dig into his training as a police officer and doing so brings up demons he buried two years ago when he left the force.

Time runs short for Noah as his list of suspects grows to include an almost fiancĂ©, a twisted cousin, and Harley’s step-brother. With Harley’s father breathing down his neck, Noah finds himself falling for Harley in a way that makes this assignment as personal as—well, marriage.

FIRST LINE

"Harley Wilson let out a sigh as she slipped off her three-inch stilettos in the back of the Limo."

I fell in love with this series from the very first book! I am constantly on the look out for the next book! I also make sure to tell everyone that they HAVE to read this series! I started this book yesterday and I am absolutely loving it so far! If you haven't picked up The Billionaire Marriage Brokers series then you are definitely missing out! Seriously! It is SO much fun!  

Do you want to participate in First Line Friday's? Yes?! Then tell us what your First Line is! Are you going to do a blog post? Then don't forget to link your post back to Bookworm Nation! Don't have a blog? No worries! Just leave a comment with the title, author name and first line.

Ready?! And GO!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

What Remains by Sarah Brocious


Synopsis:

The way we react to the circumstances Life throws at us shapes our journey.

For Hadley, an instance at the start of her adult life has been haunting her the whole way. And now she is returning home with her heart heavy. Her life definitely did not turn out the way she had planned. (life rarely does) Not only is she freshly divorced, but she has to face the ghosts of her past, and the reason she left home to begin with...Max Brandon.

Max is only too happy to see his Hadley return and only too willing to correct the errors that long ago made her run.

After all of these years they are going to find out if forgiveness is an option....if love is strong enough to heal...if forever is written in their stars.

My Review: 4 Stars

For Hadley, life should not have turned out the way it did. But one misunderstanding and lack of communication sends her into the arms of another. After eight years of heartache and an abusive marriage, Hadley is headed home to try to put the pieces of her life back together and figure out where she goes from here. But in doing so, she has to face the ghost of her past. Face the one who sent her running in the first place. Face the one who, no matter what, she just cannot stop loving. Max. 

Max has never stopped loving Hadley. She has been, and always will be, his one and only. He was broken when she left him. After she married Logan, he knew he needed to try to move on as well. But his own marriage only lasted a short time. Now a single dad to the adorable 4 year old Mady, he will do whatever it takes to win Hadley back and make her his forever.  

Watching Max and Hadley reconnect was really sweet! You could tell they both were still in love with each other. They just needed to work a few things out before they could move forward with their future. I absolutely loved Max! He was so quick to forgive and start fresh. His thoughts were he had his Hadley back and anything else could be worked out along the way.

I am a sucker for lost love and second chance books and this one did not disappoint! It was fun! I am looking forward to the next book in this series. :)    

Content for my squeaky clean read friends: Mild language and innuendo. There is one scene that can be skipped over. :) 

And of course I cannot forget my casting! I really like this one! I know... I know... I say that all the time but it's true! ;) Hehe. 

 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Weekend Ramblings #3


Are you ready for another Weekend Ramblings a la KJ?!

Well then... let's get ready to raaaaammmmmbbbbbllllleeeee!!!!!

This week's rambling topic is...

*Comfort Reading*

The last couple of weeks have been pretty crappy for me. From getting yelled about things way beyond my control, to my driver's seat no longer moving forward and now has to go into the shop, to killing not only one but TWO seagulls on my way to work on Thursday (I swear I did not mean to kill them! I even swerved into on coming traffic to miss those suicidal birds!), and hoping my crazy neighbor who lives below me didn't start a brawl in in the parking lot over his cat breaking out of the screen to get to another cat, it's just been tough!

There are times that life is just too much and I need a break from reality. These breaks come in the form of READING! Being able to escape life, even just for a short period of time, does this girl A LOT of good! Since this weekend calls for rain (and I'm REALLY hoping we get some!), I am going to be curling up and doing nothing but reading! Not sure what I want to read just yet but I do want to finish at least one book. The question is... do I pick a new book or grab one of my all time favorites/go to books? Hmmm... decisions... decisions... decisions... ;)

What about you? What do you do when you need a break from reality? Do you try and get some reading in? Do you read a specific genre? An old favorite? A new book? What are some of your go to's? 

Inquiring mind want to know! So come on party people... let's rrrrraaaaammmmmbbbbbllllleeeee!! ;)  

Friday, March 4, 2016

First Line Friday's #2


Ok party people! It's that time again! First Line Friday's hosted by my amazing friend Kathy over at Bookworm Nation! Are you ready?! 

This week's First Line Friday is: 


Porcelain Keys by Sarah Beard

Aria's life is full of secrets--secrets about her mother's death, her father's cruelty, and her dream to go to Juilliard. When Aria meets Thomas, he draws out her secrets, captures her heart, and gives her the courage to defy her father. But when tragedy strikes and Thomas disappears, Aria is left alone to transform her broken heart's melody into something beautiful. Porcelain Keys is a captivating love story that will resonate long after the last page is turned.

FIRST LINE

"I fled barefoot through the backyard, my spine tingling with the fear of pursuit."

I stumbled upon this book while raiding my friend, Katie at Katie's Clean Book Collection's shelves on Goodreads. After reading the synopsis and her review, I decided that this was one that I just HAD to add to my TBR shelf! I am trying to hurry through the book I'm reading just so I can start this one! Part of me wants to set the book aside and read this one first! Hehe.

So... do you want to participate in First Line Friday's? Yes?! Then tell us what yours is! Are you going to do a blog post? Then don't forget to link your post back to Bookworm Nation! Don't have a blog? No worries! Just leave a comment with the title, author name and first line.

Ready?! And GO!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Winter's Kiss by Laura Bastian



Synopsis:

Carrie Winters is happy with her job and content with her life as it is. When a minor car accident gets her tangled up with Bryce Thomson, she never would have guessed he’d turn out to be a client. Or that he would be the overbearing kind of guy she always wanted to avoid.

Bryce Thomson is cynical and thinks the younger generation is in need of help, but he discovers the girl he’d pegged as superficial is so much more than a first impression. He offers Carrie a job as an assistant in running his outreach program. While Bryce thinks he’s in complete control of things, Carrie shows him a new side of life and helps him let go of past heartbreak making him wonder if it’s okay to love again.

When Carrie’s brother is in trouble and needs Bryce’s help, can she let go of her pride and allow Bryce into her life?

My Review: 4 Stars

Carrie hasn't had the greatest of childhoods nor the best of luck when it comes to dating guys. But she doesn't let it get her down or stop her from living her life. She has this vibe that just draws others to her. You can't help but smile and be happy when she's around. She has a good job, her little brother, Eric, and friends but she can't help wanting a little more out of life. Who knew that running a red light would give her that little bit more that she's been longing for? 

Bryce was jilted by his ex-wife and wants absolutely nothing to do with women ever again. He had loved and was hurt in the worst way. Between his work at the art gallery and getting his outreach program up and running, he is just far too busy to even think about women or about love. He never imagined that when Carrie crashed into his car that his life would be turned upside down... for the better. 

I had a hard time connecting with Bryce. He could be such a pain in the rear end at times! He and Carrie were complete opposites. While she embraced and lived life, he just existed. A lot of the book was them getting to know each other and trying to be friends. When they discovered that their feelings ran deeper than friendship I was right there cheering them on. But then Bryce just froze and spent a lot of time talking himself out of his feelings for Carrie. So frustrating!

I would've loved to see less of the struggle and more of the building of their relationship once Bryce realized what was right in front of him. I just have a hard time believing that these two would actually last. Don't get me wrong, I really did enjoy the book. I just wanted a little more.

All in all, it was a good addition to this series. I will definitely be reading more by Laura Bastian. :)

And here's my casting! Enjoy! :)